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30 Years: My First-Ever Collected Volume/Graphic Novel

I don’t think it was Christmas day exactly, but it was for Christmas that a childhood friend gave me The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told; as much from him as his parents, I believe.

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That was Christmas 1989, as I recall–I do not believe it was the FIRST Christmas I was interested in comics, but the second–after Mom had bought me some comics throughout 1989, with my having "gotten by" on comics Grandpa had brought for me in 1988.

30 years later, I still have this book. Even though somewhere I have a newer copy in better condition, I’ve opted to keep my original copy on the shelf in my main collection.

Some of the key Superman stories were in this book and this was how I first read them. From the original Action Comics #1 story, to For the Man Who Has Everything and loads in-between…even up to Superman #2 in the Byrne "reboot era." That one stuck out as an odd piece to me at the time, not really fitting with the other stories, and in retrospect I would have thought perhaps something else like the Man of Steel #3 (One Night in Gotham City) might have fit better, to have "representation" from the then-young reboot. (With a 1987 copyright date, I believe this volume predates the Return to Krypton in Superman #18, as well as the Supergirl Saga and so on…likely even Action Comics #600).

This was ALSO my first-ever collected volume, first-ever "graphic novel," first-ever comic BOOK. Despite the hundreds of volumes in my library now this one holds a special place as THE first in my collection, going back to my earliest days being into comics (and pre-dating my first "lapse" from comics).

As it was a Christmas gift…I felt it an appropriate thing to share today, Christmas Day 2019…as my earliest days into comics are in a cascading 30-year-anniversary going forward.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, All!

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Christmas as a comic person

This is my 23rd Christmas since being introduced to comics.

supermanchristmas1992 And yet, comics have been a pretty rare “gift thing” for me. Which is quite understandable for a number of reasons (I’m resistant toward birthdays, and gifts, when they’re mine and I’m on the receiving end) and of course…when someone owns tens of thousands of comics…unless they’re vocal about some certain (probably highly expensive) issue they’re missing…what CAN you really get them that they don’t likely already own?

So, I don’t have very many comics-associated Christmas memories. But there are a few.

wolverine77 Christmas 1993, I remember Dad taking me to Capp’s Comics in Mentor, OH on Christmas Eve. In addition to the “usual” comics that week (whatever the new Superman issue was, among others), he bought me a number of other comics I had my eyes on. And then we “qualified” for some “free” comics the store owner had behind the counter. (For every so many dollars spent, one would (cumulatively) “qualify” for certain “free” comics—I remember the silvery and black Magnus: Robot Fighter #25 from Valiant, and other such overstocked “collector’s item” issues.)

And for some reason, I have this strong memory of Wolverine #77 from that year. Can’t forget to mention the “Christmas issue” of Superman that year, part of the “Funeral for a Friend” storyline.

sandmandreamcountry I’m pretty sure one year, my parents gave me a gift card to Capp’s; and though I don’t recall specifics, I am pretty certain they gave me a few comics one year.

Probably the most significant comics-related gift, though, was in 2001. For my birthday that year, my parents gave me The Sandman vols. 3 and 7 (Dream Country and Fables & Reflections). For Christmas, they gave me the other 8 volumes.

On a slightly different note: I recall back in 2006 or so, DC Comics solicited an “Infinite Christmas” one-shot/holiday special…something I found amusing enough, playing off the “recently”-concluded Infinite Crisis event’s title. infinitechristmasspecial However, when the book shipped, they changed the title from “Infinite Christmas” to “Infinite Holiday,” which I didn’t catch til I got home and went to read it. (Which, being incensed at the title change, I opted to NOT read, and have not bought/read any DC “holiday special” since.)

Of course…it should be noted that while this is all materialistic and self-indulgent…

Gifts do not—to me—represent Christmas. Even with the gifts of comics and such I’ve received…I associate them more with the time of year, and stuff going on—personal memories and feelings and such—at the time.

But I’m not going to get into my feelings over the perversion of the true meaning of Christmas in contemporary society, here.

I hope you’re having—or had—a very merry Christmas…comics or no!

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