We all have plenty of memories when it comes to comicbooks. But only one first. This feature will focus on those firsts. First up (no pun intended), the answer to a question that gets asked often: what is the first comicbook you bought?
It’s getting warmer outside and as we get closer to summer I’m reminded of the time I’d spend with my grandparents every year. And when I think of my grandparents I think of the trips with my grandfather to the newsstand where he’d pick up the paper and play his numbers. I loved those trips. Not only because I was spending time with my grandfather, but also because I’d get to see what the spinner rack had to offer.
I had been reading comicbooks long before those trips started. I had a subscription to Amazing Spider-Man when I lived in Arizona. And thanks to my aunt, my collection was growing. But right now, I’m going to take a stroll down memory lane to the first comicbook I remember buying on my own: Blade Runner #2 by Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, Carlos Garzon, Dan Green, Ralph Reese, Marie Severin, Ed King, and Jim Salicrup.
There was something about the Brent Anderson cover. Rick Deckard’s outstretched arm, his open hand in the foreground, felt like he was reaching for me. The logo caught my eye, too, as I was aware of the movie, even though I wouldn’t see it until it showed up on HBO. The price of the comicbook was unimportant as was the number on the cover. There were other, more familiar characters sitting in the slots on that rack, but this is the one I was leaving with that morning.
When I turned the front cover open I was immediately thrown into the story. Not only was Deckard in the middle of pulling his gun, there was a conversation already taking place, but it was easy enough to fill in the blanks of how we got here.
I may not have been too keen on what “adapted by” meant, and my nine year-old mind wasn’t worried about any shortcomings in the story (and in the years to come I’d learn just what kind of master storyteller Archie Goodwin was), but my nine year-old eyes loved every line on the page (even with four artists credited. I became a snob later).
I think most of us know Al Williamson from the Star Wars comicbooks (the Return of the Jedi limited series holds a special place in my heart for a few reasons) or the daily comicstrip and inking John Romita Jr. on Daredevil and The Man Without Fear. But thanks to this issue, I can’t think of the movie and not think of Al.
I lost track of how many times I’ve read this issue. It’s not a particularly strong adaptation. You’re going to lose something when there’s only two issues to tell the story. The art tries, but it misses some of the nuances you’ll see in the movie. It doesn’t move with the same deliberateness of the film and due to page limits, some things happen between panels.
It has always amused me that an R-rated movie would be adapted and sold on the newsstand. I eventually read the first issue. After I watched the movie, actually. And that added to my amusement since I wasn’t sure how they would portray Zhora.
So that’s the first comicbook I remember buying with my pocket change. It’s by no means the first one I read nor is it the first series I collected (although I did own the complete run at one point), but it is near and dear to me.
I have a few ideas for future installments of Four-Color Firsts, but let me know if there’s a first you’d like to read about. In the meantime, if you can remember, what is the first comicbook you bought with your money?