Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Lurks in the Longbox? #6

Comics Buyer’s Guide 40th Anniversary!
Comics Buyer’s Guide released their 40th anniversary issue this past week, and it’s a great issue filled with memories and covers from the last 40 years of publication.  One of my best CBG memories is from my early teen years when I received a gift subscription from my Mom for Easter.  She knew I was too old for an Easter basket, but still always felt obligated to get me something.  On that Sunday morning, I woke up to my usual “six-pack” of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (they were so much bigger then!), and a card in an envelope marked “Six month subscription to Comics Buyer’s Guide.”  My mother liked to draw in her earlier years, so of course the envelope had a hand drawn picture of a bunny with huge front teeth.  Up to this point, CBG was an occasional purchase when I was fortunate enough to be driven to a store that carried it. Now for the first time, I was receiving my favorite publication about comics in the mail on a weekly basis! 
During this time period I came to understand that the Postal Service did not always place high priority on my CBG delivery.  I would often wait much more than a week for the next exciting issue, or receive a couple issues back to back (which seemed to be common for many magazines back in those days). 
In the years to come, CBG would not only become my main source of comic-related news, but would often provide an important link between the comic book industry and current events.  I remember seeing the front page article about the Washington sniper attacks that took place during October 2002, and how they were affecting operations at local comic shops.  CBG also did a tribute issue for the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, featuring an incredible Captain America cover.  However, the issue that most affected me on a personal level was the front page coverage of the shocking murder of Barbara George, the co-owner of Comics World, a store here in the Metro Detroit area.  Over two decades later, after years of investigation, initial trial, appeals, and a book release, the final decision remains unresolved, as the case is scheduled for a retrial later this year.
As the years have passed, CBG has gone through several format changes, especially from weekly newspaper to monthly magazine, but there is one thing that never changes.  Comics Buyer’s Guide has always made me feel like part of a community, and now as a contributor to the magazine, I am grateful for the chance to give something back to that community.