Last week--in fact, the last time I blogged here (I'm sooo bad at this anymore...that may be a sad hint, dear reader)--I told you about how the Fantastic Four entered--and ultimately changed--my life, 50 years ago. I think it's rare for any one person to be able to look at one ten-cent funnybook (as our parents were wont to call them in that day and age) and be able to point out that that slim pamphlet changed their life. But I suppose I'm no one special in that regard: I'm sure there are literally thousands of comics writers and artists who can do the same thing. Each of us have what I like to refer to as our own "private Rosebuds," if I can steal a metaphor from Orson Welles and Herman Mankiewicz's Citizen Kane (and not mean William Randolph Hearst's pet-name for his mistress's genitalia).
Well, my brother, Rick, voiced displeasure with my "tattered and torn" comment, when I mentioned we still had that issue which he had purchased 50 years ago on a rainy day in August 1961. He dug it out and took photos of it. As you can see, it still exists, a victim of the infamous "Marvel chipping" that haunts a lot of the books of that era, in that the cover's edges have chipped away. I would kind of be afraid to read this book, without white gloves and a hermetically-sealed container, but here it is in all its glory:
A bit bent and chipped, but certainly not tattered and torn. Would I like it to be in better condition? Sure...but I wouldn't trade this for all the 9.8 CGC slabbed copies in the world. This book has its own private pedigree, and it means the world to me. It all goes back to that day in August 1961, which you can read more about here, if you haven't already.