What Sorcery is This?
So...I was driving, and searching desperately for my sunglasses, and found an odd pair, which I put on...and WHOA! Instead of the usual gray lenses, these were amber, and suddenly, the normal world was transformed into the ANTI-MATTER UNIVERSE! Everything was...yellow! The greens were glowing green, the whites were yellow, the sky was yellow...it was as though I was suddenly transported to Qward!
Turns out they belong to my youngest, but we have agreed that they are to become known as the Sinestro Glasses, and she gave them to me for my birthday today.
Yes. I'm OLD!
And being old, I want to take advantage of that fact, and explain it all to the youngsters here about comic books in the Olden Days. When I started collecting comics, they cost 20 cents, and very shortly thereafter went up to a whole 25 cents. There was no internet in those days, so nobody was able to blog about it or call for Dan Dideo's head. The books were printed on thin crappy paper, and very simply colored. Artists used zipotone to give texture and shadows. It was the 1970's so the covers were bright, garish and full of blurbs. There weren't a lot of cross-overs or "events". Most stories were single issue or two-issue stories, but there were some that went on for a bit, which was considered to be pretty darn daring and state of the art for the time.
Roy Thomas was writing Avengers, and John Buscema was doing the artistic chores. The women mostly stood around and fainted or waved their hands or had mental powers, they didn't punch people or get dirty, and people like Hawkeye sneered at them for being "female and therefore incompetent". I wasn't very old, but I thought that Hawkeye was a dillweed.
Barry West was still alive, and Hal Jordan was still shagging stewardesses. Batman wasn't the dark and grim and gritty asshole of the present yet, but he was still pretty cranky. There weren't any comic books stores yet, you had to go to the newstand or the drug store, and search for them on a revolving rack. You couldn't find back issues, unless you knew somebody who would trade you for them. By the time that I went to college, there was a seedy little bookstore right next to my dorm at UConn, that actually had back issues of comic books, and I thought that I was in heaven. I actually rode my bike to Willimantic to find another seedy little bookstore that had MORE back issues, and bought all of five old Thor's, and considered myself in heaven. They didn't cost very much, but I didn't HAVE very much. This was a time when I had about $20 a month to spend on myself. A MONTH. Of course, tuition only cost about $4,000 too, so I suppose that it is all relative.
Nowadays (you KNEW I'd use that word eventually) I think a single comic costs what all those old Thor's cost me. I have to admit that as much as I adore old Silver age stuff, I love my modern comics too. We have better paper, and all that gorgeous computerized coloring. We have good writers and artists, and we have the internet now, so we can all get together and either complain or rejoice. As a middle-aged woman, I am considered to be something of a curiosity, certainly an anomaly, in this little hobby of ours. You have no idea how lovely and heartwarming it can be, to find that there are OTHER people who have the same interests, and like the same books and are more than willing to discuss them. It makes it a little less lonely.
Now I'm going to go and eat some birthday cake.
And I'm going to show off Hal's magnificent behind. Just because I can!