My Beloved Daughter,
On to my next “fandom.”
While I met friends in Campbell, I didn’t visit them outside of school much at first. On the weekends, after Saturday morning cartoons. Grandma Pat took me to the library in town, which was slightly larger than the one in Van Buren. Pouring over the books there, I came across four books about Marvel super heroes. There was one about the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, and Spider-man.
Each of the books contained biographies of the heroes, along with reprints of two comics, including the comic where the hero was introduced and another random comic. I read all of them, but Spidey really resonated with me. A geeky science whiz who couldn’t get the girl who was suddenly given great powers and had to decide what to do with them. The reprint of Amazing Fantasy 15, his origin story, was pretty cool. The book also contained diagrams of his equipment, like his belt—where he carried his web fluid and he had a nifty light with his mask on it—and his web shooters. I practically memorized that book.
The first Spider-man comic that I bought was an issue of Marvel Team-up where he worked with the Black Widow. It was the comic where he got sucked into the ship that took him to the Beyonder’s world where the original Secret Wars took place. This is where a god-like being forced some of the biggest heroes of the Marvel Universe, led by Captain America, to fight an army of some of the biggest villains, led by Doctor Doom. The series was twelve issues and two of the highlights (for me) was seeing Spider-man trounce all of the Avengers in issue three and get his black suit (which would turn out to be an alien being that went on to be part of the villain, Venom) in issue eight.
More than comics, I’d watch his cartoons and get shirts with him on them. Action figures (which I never kept in good shape) also filled my toy box. I had posters and trading cards. I was a huge fan.
Over the years, Spider-man broke up with his girlfriend, the Black Cat, and married Mary Jane Watson. This showed me that he a geeky person can overcome his geekiness and marry a super model.
By the time I was in high school, I’d started visiting the Fantasy Shop, in St. Charles, every time I would go there. I started putting my Spider-man comics in bags with boards to keep them in good shape. I had several hundred comics at one points and, like an idiot, sold the collection for a pittance.
When you collect things tied to your fandoms, be sure to keep them in pristine condition. You can give them to your kids as a legacy.