Thursday, September 13, 2007

Me and the Cap'n : Episode 1 ( Wherein I reveal my past as a comic book nerd for the world to see! )

For the next week or so I'll be sharing a few of the items that survived my childhood interest in a fellow by the name of Captain Canuck. I'll be focusing more on my introduction to the Captain, his fan club and merchandise, so for an overview of the CC story be sure to visit the many CC fan sites out there, or creator Richard Comely's site and this gallery of CC covers. I've also just found out that comic collector / dealer supreme Doug Sulipa has a large number of vintage Captain Canuck items available for sale.

Like many kids in the mid - 1970's I bought ( or more accurately my Dad bought for me ) 25 or 30 cent comics books on a regular basis. Most Sundays we'd stop by our local well-stocked newsstand and peruse the fine offerings of illustrated juvenile literature. I'd inevitably depart with a Richie Rich comic or two and chuckle at the wacky hijinks and high adventures that Richie and his pals would get themselves into.
May of 1977 changed that when, after having my mind blown by a little-remembered cinema selection by the name of Star Wars, I started picking up the Marvel comics adaptation of the movie, which lead me to Marvel comics and superheroes in general, and a comic book nerd was born.
Sometime between early '77 and early '79 my Dad and I were visiting Macleods, a now-defunct hardware / department store chain, when we noticed a number of plastic-packaged comic books in the kid's colouring / activity book section. On closer inspection I realized that this appeared to be a CANADIAN superhero! My Dad, by now always on the lookout for investment opportunities in the quickly expanding collector comics field, decided that we'd not only pick up one of the 3-packs of these colourful creations, but the store's entire stock of 15 or 20 of these "Special Collector's Packs"! The fact that Macleod's had marked down the price to 99 cents didn't hurt either.

In addition to the first three issues ( published in 1975-76 ) of this unusual comic the pack came with an offer of other merchandise and a card-stock "3-D Table Top Diorama" ( illustration by the amazing George Freeman, more on him later ) that you were to colour and cut out. Being the newly-fledged comic book geek I was I didn't want to decrease the value of this obvious future gold mine. So I never actually cut one out and tried it...

...that is until sometime in the mid to late 1980's! Why, you ask, would someone who by that point had given up comic book collecting finally try out this kid's activity? Your guess is as good as mine! Maybe I wanted to try out the new markers I was using in my burgeoning part time illustration endevours. Maybe I realized by that point that these plastic-packed blasts from the past were never going to be worth a hundred dollars each. Who knows! Just sit back and wallow in the wildness that is the Captain Canuck 3-D Table Top Diorama!

Next time.....The return of the Captain!

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