Superman Vol. 39, No.308 - 'This Planet Is Mine'
That fresh face was mine, a wee lamb set free in a cage full of old lions, fixated on taking my green ass to the bank.
This is only my second foray into the monthly 'free for all' of the London Comic Book Mart, the last time I came was a very short visit with my family in tow. I didn't really get a chance to look around, my 10 year old son thought he had died and gone to heaven, understandably so, surrounded as he was by so many trading cards, which is his weakness. My wife, on the other hand, was slightly disconcerted by the sight of so many pale, shabbily dressed men thumbing through boxes of grubby old paper. I was out of there before I had a chance to acclimatize.
Superman Vol.41, No.338 - 'Let My People Grow'
So, jump forward a month and I was back again, fresh off the Cambridge to Kings Cross train. Was I showing my naivete?, I was excited, I was hopeful, and I had a very modest list of Bronze age Superman titles that I felt certain were there just waiting for me to pick up.
I think I must have had fresh meat written across my forehead, for my fellow mart goers were at times obstructive, blocking access to the boxes I wanted to look through, and when I finally maneuvered into position, a grasping arm would reach across me and block my vision, it was like being at a weekend car boot sale.
I paid £4.50 for one title that I later found at another dealers table for a pound, my knowledge and mileage in comic book collecting showed itself only too clearly.
Superman Vol. 36, No. 279 - 'Menace Of The Energy - Blackmailers'
I'm making it sound like I had a terrible time, but in fact I now know that I want to try again, to be more bargain savvy, not to limit myself and to experiment a bit more, to sharpen my elbows, and most importantly to make sure I avoid standing down wind from the bloke who hasn't washed behind his ears in God knows how long!
You know, I thought Superman wasn't that popular, you could have fooled me! It seemed to be that I was forever stuck behind his biggest fan.
Superman Vol. 34, No. 256 - 'The Dagger That Ripped The Sky'
My modest little wish list comprised of a handful of issues from 1977, to be more exact I was aiming to bag no. 307-10 of Superman, penciled by the Spanish born artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. This modern master of the medium had moved to New York via Argentina, and worked for DC comics between 1974-82.
Before coming down to London I had made a search of artists working on the Superman books, and this man's pencils stood out a mile in my estimation. I came away with issue no. 308 from February 1977, entitled 'This Planet Is Mine'.
So, what do I take away with me? A thirst for more, one eye on e-bay, a London date set in my diary and a new found appreciation of classic comic book artists.