Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Imaginary Blonde

Longtime readers know about my fascination with the detritus of a misspent youth; 70s comics, Gold Medal paperbacks, late-night creature features, musical one-hit wonders, and the like. Those who, like me, peruse the dustbins of history for forgotten lore know that it is not so much the acquisition as the hunt.

For instance, recently I went to a party at a friend's and came across a box of comics his mother had chucked out of the attic and told him to get rid of. He hadn't gotten around to throwing it away yet and I peeked in out of curiosity and found a whole slew of 60s-era Marvel Comics with single- and double-digit numbering and titles like Uncanny X-Men and Daredevil and The Amazing Spider-Man. Yes, the little voice in my head told me to casually offer him $20 to take the box off his hands but I couldn't do it.

Even more recently I was visiting a little antique store my wife had dragged me into and I happened across a stack of old magazines. The old man running the shop told me a 99-year-old man had recently passed away and the proprietor had been given the opportunity to sort through his junk and see if anything was worth saving.

My eyes landed on Manhunt Detective Story Monthly #1, January 1953, with stories by Mickey Spillane, William Irish, Kenneth Millar, Richard S. Prather, and Evan Hunter, among others. If you do not recognize these names, please leave this blog immediately and go to Google, then come back when you are educated, grasshopper. Right behind this one was issues 2, 4, and 9, featuring Richard Deming and David Goodis and Ross Macdonald (as I said, Google).

All for a thin dollar each. The proprietor must have seen my bad pokerface because he hesitated to sell them at the eleventh hour, but without making a quick trip to ebay couldn't figure out how not to sell these to me.

Later I checked out ebay myself, and suffice to say could make back my $4 rather easily. But these are made for reading myself, looking at the covers and thinking about that quickening of the pulse when I saw them on the dusty shelf.

I'll be out nosing around, but can be found at

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