Aug 20, 2007
Slyde vs. Moriarty: prologue
Here it is. The beginning/prologue for the first of three tales about our good friend Slyde and his encounter with someone we only know as "Moriarty". First...some salient, if rather boring, details:
For those of you who don't know, Slyde and I are comic-book geeks. Well, I try to say that I was a comic-book geek as I stopped collecting about 12 years ago, but one can really never escape from one's true self - as the saying goes. So right after college (around 1989, Earl fans) I had my first real job and, for the first time in my life, excess cash flow. I was up in Boston visiting a college buddy. When we get to his house, I see that he has comic-books everywhere.
I find out he has been collecting since he was a kid, and now that he had some extra coin in his pocket, he has started again. And lo and behold, comic-books had grown up since I was a kid. Thanks, mostly, to the Brits in the genre...Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, etc...
I was hooked.
I started out small. Going to my local shop once a week to pick up a few titles and rifle through the back-issues bin. Then I started pre-ordering books from my shop. First a handful, then up to as many as 25 or 30 a month. It was addicting. I would pick up my books on Friday and spend my downtime during the next week reading and bagging my goodies. Good times!
Then I met Slyde, and we kinda took it to the next level. He was only buying a choice few books every month, but he had been collecting since he was a kid. I helped change all that by introducing him to some independent and DC titles (Slyde was mostly a Marvel guy). Soon his monthly pre-orders were rivaling mine.
We would also spend Saturday or Sunday afternoons going to different comic-book shops, going through their back issues, trying to fill out our wish-lists. And comic-book conventions, ahhh....comic-book conventions. We would pack up our favorite books in hopes that our favorite writers/artists could sign them. Total loser fan-boys! Well, we tried to tell ourselves that we weren't but please refer to the second paragraph above.
We certainly didn't look like fan-boys. We didn't dress in Spidey or Dark Knight t-shirts. Well, Slyde had a couple of Dead World shirts...but they were kinda cool. For that crowd, at least. Honestly, we spent just as much time making fun of the crowd as we did looking for back issues of Iron Fist. Really!
This went on for a few years. Then around 1994, I stopped collecting. Cold turkey. I don't really have a reason for it, I just decided that I had had enough. This pissed Slyde off to no end. I ramped up his comic-book buying by a shitload, then I left him out there on his own. Oh, I still stop in to the shop every year or two when something cool comes out. Frank Miller did a second Dark Knight story in prestige format a few years back...had to have that. Last year Joss Whedon wrote a Firefly/Serenity short series that I needed to own. But mostly, I stay away.
Slyde has cut way back too. I think he only gets 1 or 2 books a month, unless something special comes out (World War Hulk), but nowhere near what he used to buy.
But it was during those peak 4 or 5 years that our story takes place. Going to various shops, conventions and weekend shows at VFW halls. Pizza and beers for lunch, lunatic comic-book fans and a lot of money spent on pictures drawn on paper.
Next: Peter David, Port Jefferson and our introduction to Moriarty and his evil sidekick!