High above our planet…our mighty Satellite Orbits the Earth stuck in a time-warp perpetually leaving us stranded in my childhood of the 1980s. As all of the Satellite Team have beamed home for the holidays I remain solo in the command deck of the Satellite overlooking our beautiful planet as we begin our annual Christmas celebration. The Good Will, the presents, the excitement is all around. In complete blissful silence I lean into to our mission recorder to share a tale of Christmas gone by and all the joy and laughter that comes with it. Its Christmas Time…Computer…start us off with some Christmas mood music to start the show!
Happy Holidays faithful readers! As is tradition here on the Satellite we present our year end tradition the ever popular Super-Hero Satellite Holiday Special!! This time around we have invited a few friends from the mighty Super-Blog Team Up to join us as we share Christmas related stories and other Holiday related antics!! So as is tradition…grab that glass of Egg Nog, fill up a bowl of Pretzels and before you watch some good old Holiday TV Specials give this old blog a read to get you primed for the season festivities to kick off!
Transmission Date: Dec 21st 2016
Its no secret that this writer loves the Holiday Season. So many great memories attached to Christmas morning and all the anticipation and everything that Christmas as a kid brings!! Growing up I always awaited the one morning a year when Santa and my parents would pack the Christmas tree full of amazing gifts many of which appeared in no coincidence from my Christmas list that I would draft yearly. I was very fortunate..my parents always made Christmas a big deal and spent way more money than they probably had to give my brother and I a great morning. Yes while it was true at times I would find that hiding spot in the guest bedroom…maybe behind a certain black storage chest…I may even have peeked at a few of my incoming treasures! It was a very exciting time growing up in 1980 something! Many Christmas mornings would bring such gifts that I still hold dear to this day like my Star Wars and G.I. Joe Collections, The Six Million Dollar Man , Kiss Dolls, you name it…I was blessed to be sure.
One gift in particular I will always remember due to its curiosity factor.It was NOT one of my Top Ten favorite Xmas gifts..nor would it fall in my bottom ten. Nope this one had a weird place all to its own. As documented in other posts the annual Sears Wish Book was the primary way of getting cool stuff on Christmas Morning. This particular year in the late 80s at the height of my comic buying madness, I happened upon a novel item in Sears golden tome known as The Wish Book. It was the Sears Comic Collectors Box. It was the size of a regular Comics Short Box , black in color and claimed to feature 20 Valuable collectors item comics as well as some 1st issues.
Okay Sears..you had me at hint of getting first issues. I bought anything with the number 1 on the cover, I just had to have them. It was the very symbol of value. Superman number 1 went for big bucks, as did Green Lantern and Batman number ones!! Surely this collectors box included at least one of these coveted books…right? Not quite, as it turned out.If the anticipation wasnt enough it was one of those gifts that seemed invisible in the house prior to Christmas. It was not discovered early on one of my Pre-Christmas scouting missions when Mom and Dad would leave the house..in fact I was convinced I was NOT getting this gift on Christmas Morning. My parents being my parents they came through…like they always did. They delivered this one Christmas morning bypassing my Big Brother like radar. So there it was…the Sears Comic Collectors Box!
It was slightly bigger than a comics short box and did not contain the usual comic box lid…instead one of the sides came down to expose the inside of the box which contained three divider boxes to hold and stand your comics collection. Once you filled up your boxes you cold re-seal the side panel via its velcro tabs on each side of the door. The box was jet black and had in bold heroic lettering on the front panel reading “Comics Collector Box”! It was pretty damn great honestly! That was just the box!! By god this thing was about to reveal 20 Collectors Item Comics with 1st issues included!! I lifted the sealed bag of comics out of the box just waiting to reveal the books that would one day secure my future and put my kids through college!!
Upon inspection of the first few titles..I was hopeful!! ROM #1 started proceedings!!I still love this book to this day! Stunning cover based on an awesome toy property…it was a first issue…it looked like a first issue ..smelled like one and all! This was a good start. I loved ROM and his robot bad self! I thumbed though the book…it was mint condition and not a crack to be seen! Sears did not let me down out of the gate..This book masterfully crafted by Marvel Scribe Bill Mantlo was based on a toy property in the 70s called Rom Space Knight from board game guru’s Parker Brothers. While the toy was a small scale misfire, the comic book took this bare bones Robot toy gave it a universe and a back story based in the Marvel Universe. It was penciled by Marvel legend Sal Buscema in the classic Marvel house style!!
Next up was something called Captain Victory and The Galactic Rangers. This was an independent selection from Pacific comics! I had never purchased anything from Pacific nor did I ever read anything Captain Victory related. That said, it was a NUMBER 1 so in my teenage mind it would be valuable at some point!As I thumbed through the pages I was surprised to see the art work of one Jack “King” Kirby! At this point I was still not sold on Kirby’s fit as an artist in the 1980s world of comics and actually was not a fan of his work. Yes…that’s a crime…I get it. I did eventually wake up and appreciate Kirby’s work and contribution to the business but at the time he was “That artist who screwed up the Super Powers Mini Series” What did I know. Nothing apparently. I did go on to buy all issues of Captain Victory down the line and gain a high appreciation of the Kirbyverse.
Another classic followed with the John Buscema cover art on the 1st issue of The Savage She-Hulk. This was the best find in the lot. I loved the Incredible Hulk series in the 1980s and was a huge fan of the television series…so She-Hulk was just up my alley!! I my mind I was 3 for 3…only 17 more books to go….but sadly that’s where it stopped. If you looked up the book value of all three books at the very time my Collectors box arrived it added up to an astronomical …$9.35! Yes…LESS than ten bucks!! How could that be…all these NUMBER ONE’S!!?? Well…what would follow would be 17 other titles that may or may not have been used to light fires, line bird cages, clean up spills and…well you get the point.
The picture above is not the actual comics that were presented in the set…from what I recall remaining titles included The Marvel Index, an issue of Jon Sable, an issue of ALF from STAR Comics, a random issue of Superman, a funny animal comic that I had never heard of…and drum roll please…an amazing issue of Meet Misty….yes…Misty.
This will be the ONLY time I swear to Jesus that “Meet Misty” will ever appear in this blog but the point of all this is that calling some of these titles in this Comic Collectors Box “Collectors Items” may have been a stretch!! So as it stood, I gained three comics that still remain in my collection to this day and a great memory on Christmas morning! As I get older I finally realized the true value of Christmas. I now have 4 kids of my own and on Christmas day it doesnt matter if there is anything under the tree with my name written on the tag I try to give them the same sense of wonder and excitement Christmas brought me.This year is a special one for me and its all about family. This blog has always been about sharing my memories of growing up and all the things that I enjoyed as a kid.
All these memories were made possible by my parents who worked their hands to the bone to make sure no matter what that us kids had everything we ever wanted for Christmas above all else…the same values my wife and I share to this day…so I dedicate this post to my Mother and Father who will celebrate Christmas with us for the first time in 8 years and I am so thankful. You only get one family…make the most out of it…be thankful for the time you have. So this one goes out to you guys..thank you for making growing up awesome and for your unrelenting support over the years…this blog has been and always was a tribute to my childhood, the one my family gave me! I just humbly say Thank You…I can never repay that..but Ill try!
To my Super-Blog brethren I am thankful as well that this team keeps me motivated and excited to write this little blog and with their support I have not waivered! To each of them I wish everyone of my friends a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best in the New Year where hopefully we can do this all over again!! Thank-you for your friendship and excellent work you all do. To all a good night..
Visit my Colleagues in arms as we continue to share the Comics Christmas Spirit!! Click their links below to continue the festivities!!