Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 1, 2012

Comics I Read In Series Form In The 1980s: X-Men


I've been thinking about comics in terms of how I've consumed them over the years, with particular attention given to the long period of time my primary consumption of comics was through following comic book series. I can mark the time I quit comics when I was a kid by what issue of X-Men I bought the week I before I quit (#103) and the issue of I bought that led me to buying comics again (#125). The X-Men series as executed by Chris Claremont and John Byrne had a lot going on that was fun: an emerging super-character (Wolverine), the first appearance of a minor pop-culture icon (Kitty Pryde), an appealing underdog set-up (they were always on the run and getting their butts kicked in a way that I'm not sure you could do these days), the art was attractive, the writing was appealing to a smart young person (the occasional big word, emotions on the sleeve, nothing very complicated or complex) and the whole thing was soaked in death.

I bought my new copies off of a spinner rack at a pair of grocery stores: Ross and Marsh. Ross had the comics about a week before Marsh did but Marsh kept them around longer, and displayed them in a corner of the store where you could sit on the shelving and read the issues you weren't taking home. I bought old copies at an agonizing, saved-up $2 to $4 a pop at B&B Loan Company in my hometown's little-frequented downtown. It was a pawn shop, and they kept their comics on a big shelf in small piles by title. I would bail out of buying X-Men pretty early on in the 1980s, and buy occasional issues to "check in" on the title, a kind of nostalgic buy I'm not sure the pricing of comic books allows anymore.
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink

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