45 and Counting

Alright, back to some happier stuff now. As mentioned in several previous posts over the last couple years, I’m a big fan of The Spinner Rack on Twitter. And over the past few weeks I noticed something.


I bought that issue of Avengers new at the Village Smoke Shop in South Orange, New Jersey. Those issues of The Defenders and Hulk I would get later that summer, down the shore, along with the previous issue of Avengers (#148), as recounted in one of my early “Geek Odyssey” posts.


I bought these issues of Captain Marvel and Iron Man new off the racks, yet again, at the Smoke Shop. My first purchases of said titles.


I bought that issue of Marvel Team-Up new off the rack at… you guessed it, the Smoke Shop.

What’s the significance? Well, I can’t imagine ever pinning it down to an exact date, but these Spinner Rack tweets make it abundantly clear that my regular comic-buying habit was born at some point in the spring of 1976. Which means we recently passed the forty-fifth anniversary of my first comic purchase as a full-time fan. That’s a hell of a long time ago. Five more years and Alan Stewart just might allow me to guest post over at Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books blog.

It’s a shame about the old Smoke Shop though, huh? Must’ve torn it down decades ago, right? Well…

Took that pic just this past Tuesday evening. They don’t sell comics there anymore, of course—they probably stopped selling those in the late 80s or thereabouts. Now it’s just newspapers (no magazines), lottery tickets, greeting cards, miscellaneous beverages, and tobacco products.

But it’s still there and hasn’t really changed much aesthetically. There’s no logical reason for me to be pleased by this, yet I am.

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