Thursday, March 10, 2011

Here Comes the Spider-Man!

I just read in USA Today that a nearly mint copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15--the comic that introduced Spider-Man to the world--sold for $1.1 million dollars. It came out in 1962 and somehow escaped the fate of the comics I used to read and collect, which got rolled up and stuck in a back pocket or piled under the bed in a heap. It's the highest price ever paid for a comic from what's known as the "Silver Age" of comics--the mid-1950's to around 1970.

I read comics from 1964 to the early 1970's and loved Spider-Man. My first issue was number 8. My mom got it for me along with several other now forgotten comics when I was home from school sick.

I loved the story of Peter Parker, the nerd with glasses who suddenly, with the bite of a radioactive spider, acquired super powers. I would have loved to have had super powers in the 7th grade.

I started buying Spider-Man and other Marvel comics off the newsstand myself with issue 25 and was able to fill in most of the gaps from guys in the neighborhood. My oldest one was number 2, featuring the Vulture--a popular and recurring Spider-Man villian.

Starting with issue number 39 the artist changed from the classic Steve Ditko to the sleeker renderings of Johnny Romita. I still treasure those original 38 issues--but don't own any comics now. I gave it up as an adult--but now I wish I had those slim little Marvel 12-cent classics back.

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