COMIC BOOKS

X-Men was my first comics that weren’t Ghostbusters-the Real GB. I had money somehow and a dimestore by Kohl’s Department Store had a rack. X-men, not Uncanny X-Men was in its early 90’s redux before a bunch of new books were coming. Psylocke had a cover piece with some other X-Men characters and she was slammin’ hot.

Toys R Us had a bunch ofg the earlier ones: X-Men 1–3 or 4, so I was getting the new books from a drug store.

Before the Guitar Center ever came, and Harry Schwartz Book Store got turned into Half Priced Books, moved from the Old Country Buffet Plaza just across Bluemound Road, there was a small and nice comic book store in that strip mall-Loehmann’s Plaza. I used to get my hair cut there too! Oh the memories Brookfield, Wisconsin…

X-Files was popular and just coming to comics. I think it was just after Jurassic Park, the winter of 93' and I was in fifth (5th) grade. My friend liked comics too. The movies were not Marvel yet, and the 89' Batman and the 92' Batman Returns were the only real comic book films yet, besides Richard Donner’s Supermans, and a terrible Hulk movie I saw in a Disney hotel in Orlando with my dad and brother, late at night.

I remember playing Waukesha Park and Rec (WPR) baseball and coming home, taking my plastic cleats off, to my little brother watching X-Men cartoons. Thirty (30) minute shows with the X-Crew against the Sentinals, and Magneto. The most basic early 90’s “This is the X-Men.” Like it. Buy it. Kids had Ninja Turtles and Legos, Silverhawks, He-man and Star Wars were for the older kids. Along with Thunder Cats and Voltron. We didn’t have any of those. Construx, Lincoln Logs, Go Bots, Robocop, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Michael Keaton Batman and Jack Nicholson Joker. And Anton Furst’s and Tim Burton’s Batmobile, Batwing and Batcave.

Oh yeah and some kids got to see the 92' T2: Terminator 2: Judgement Day from Jim Cameron-a rated R movie about robots killing some kid named John Connor and traveling back in time. Those toys were pretty cool, and Toys R Us at the end of Bluemound Road was where you got this shit, near Brookfield Square Mall. There was a playset that Scotty had, where you had a Terminator skeleton and a pink, Gak, rubbery Play Doh formed around it to make a human looking T-400 or was it T-500? Not sure, you could buy new refill packs of the pink human flesh skin to put the Terminator/robot/skeleton in a forming playset device to be shot at by the enemy/villain/T-1,000, just like Arnold and Stan Winston did, when guitarist Adam Jones and Morello were young friends and still had zits. Just kidding, they weren’t that young, yeah the guitar player from Tool worked on the visual effects before the band made Aenima and whatever else. Adam Jones seems like a really cool guy.

Toys led into X-Men comics and eventually the Warner Bros. Books snuck their way in. My weekly or bi-weekly visit to the 3 or so comic shops were only for the Big Two (2): Marvel and DC (Detective Comics). Spawn was getting popular and the independent comics were getting notoriety. I had a Spawn toy and some books from Image Comics.

The movie sucked, but the soundtrack was good. In that time, Crow: City of Angels and all these bullshit knockoff sequels didn’t sell you with their previews-it was the soundtrack with the trailer. Obviously CD’s and not cassettes from Bluemound Best Buy and Circuit City, and the Mall will have to be an other article.

So Batman, Wolverine, X-men, Uncanny X-Men, Detective Comics, maybe Superman and/or Action Comics were my main books. My friend Matt liked X-Factor-so I checked it out around the 100-or 101, 102 issue.

My dad took me and Andy, Scott, Matt and maybe Tony Scott to our first comic convention-or more so a place where people gathered to sell stockpiles of books from all around south eastern Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. It wasn’t very big, but they had way more books than the Pewaukee store or the one near my current dentist and karate place by Pizza Hut and those gas stations.

I got an X-Factor back-issue and an Art of Star Wars three (3) book set, that my dad let me and Scott get. It was in Milwaukee near the stadium, before it was Miller Park and whatever they mistakenly call it today. Fuckin’ Wisconsinites!

As I got older and more X-Men related comics came out, we had all sorts of spinoff’s and solo stories of Rogue and Bishop and all X-Men. Generation X was fancy with tin foil and I loved that book. The Phalanx Covenant was also a fancy, shiny with tin foil, and fun summer crossover event in the Marvel universe of comics, to get books like X-Force, or Excalibur and Cable, that you would never be caught dead reading.

The world of buying and collecting comics completely changed at the age of sixteen (16), with the ability to drive to the comic shop any fuckin’ day we wanted to go. Having pocket change was not just given, but my dad being a Pediatrician used incentives to us motivcated in school, chores, or birthday money.

Bags and boards at all times, and trade paperbacks.

The comic book collector I was and still want to be…..

Originally published at https://www.tumblr.com.

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FILMMAKER / GUITARS AND VOCALS IN BAND CHECKTHEGATE (CheckTG & CHKTG)

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steven_shander

FILMMAKER / GUITARS AND VOCALS IN BAND CHECKTHEGATE (CheckTG & CHKTG)