fantastic forty-seven years

I bought my first comic book in (I believe) 1963. Since then, I've been buying comics pretty much every week (or at least I got comics every week – there was a period when I got them for free, but that's another story).

The first comic book I bought was Fantastic Four #26, "The Avengers Take Over." Which was the second half of a two-part story, so my initial impression was that comic books were pretty confusing.

The reason I'm thinking about this right now is that I just found out that my regular comic store, where I've been buying comics for the last ten or fifteen years, is closing at the end of this year. My first thought was, "Where am I going to buy comics next year?" My second thought was that maybe it's time to pack it in. Am I buying them out of enthusiasm these days, or out of habit? How often do I go into the store and scan the racks, see nothing exciting, and then think, "Well, I'm here, I should buy something!"?

What if I just stopped?

How many comics are there that I would really miss? Planetary is done. Cerebus is done. I gave up on The Authority a while ago. I still read Doom Patrol (hey, I go back to the first issue with them), but is it as good as the Drake/Premiani issues, or the Grant Morrison series? Well, no.

But it could get better (the mantra of the habitual comic book reader).

Of course, there's Secret Six. I can't give up on that incredibly dysfunctional group of super-villains. And Glamourpuss, mostly because I can't believe a book that weird actually exists. And at some point there may be another issue of Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island.

It's really the writers I can't give up on, these days mostly Gail Simone and Warren Ellis. And Dave Sim, his crazy self. And sometimes Grant Morrison and Peter Milligan.

Which makes it good news that I just checked the Cosmic Comics website, and it now reports that they will stay open, under new ownership. The rebate books will even still be honored(!).

I'm looking forward to checking it out, especially since now I know I'm not just doing this on autopilot.

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