March 2, 2011

The Magic Satchel

Valiant Comics – the Beginning.

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My intoduction into Valiants came from a college friend of mine named Bono (not the U2 singer, but Bo-no, like “Bo Duke”), he had more comics than I could have ever imagined, early Spidermans, 1st app. of this, 1st app. of that, he had it all. Well Bono asked if I wanted to go to a comic convention with him, at that time I was a bum, so I said sure. On the way he began to tell me all about the comics industry, the history of comics, and about the “Big 2”. Then he told me about a new company that he was into, Valiant. He told me that Valiant was going to change the history of comics. That day he must have bought me a few, I didn’t have any money, from the first read I was hooked.

I do not remember exactly what books they were or how far into the Valiant universe it was, but it was still early enough. (I missed the release of the 1st wave of books, Mag., Solar, Rai, Harby, but I began to scoop some of the back issues up) Quickly all of my money was going towards Valiant comics. (at least the $$$ I did not spend on Food and other necessities)

Soon there was about five us that were hooked on Valiants, (my buddy Thing traded an Iron Man #1 for Valiants) We went weekly to this comics convention, bought all the Valiant titles and tried to get the back issues. Bono had them all, most in multiples, every so often he would give a book to one of us (Solar #2, Harby #4) Bono was the Valiant Godfather!

Unfortunately, we became speculators, buying multiple copies of books took some of the fun of just reading them. Slowly all of us, except Bono, stopped. (I bet you Bono has every reasonably desirable comic there is, seriously)

So that was early 90’s, now flash forward to around 2006. I had gotten rid of all my multiples, but for years I just couldn’t get myself to drop my early Valiants, and every summer (I am a teacher, great time to read comics) I get them out and re-read them. I’ve held them so long (just a couple of short boxes) I don’t think I will ever get rid of them.

For me it is not about value or investment, it is all about the joy of reading them. Every time I re-read, it is as good as the first time, and it kinda-sort-of brings me back to the days of yore; no job, no wife, no kids, no bills, no house, just me reading this great story, this universe that you almost felt part of.

Bottom line is the early Valiant Universe is some of the most creative and exciting reading that I have every done. I don’t know what life will bring, but if the Lord tarries, next summer I am sure I will re-read my Valiants.

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