Folks, for the past forty years I’ve hoarded a box of treasure under my bed; a cache of comic books.
I don’t like to flaunt my ‘wealth’ (but I’m going to), because the last thing I want is some fanatical collector stealing my plastic treasure chest of mirth.
Mind you, like most stuff we hoard, it’s not worth much to anyone else, but it’s sentimental value is off the charts for me. I can’t recall the first comic, but my collection started in primary school with the exploits of Hot Stuff, Casper, Little Lotta, Richie Rich, Scrooge McDuck and Snoopy.
I soon graduated to Archie and his perpetual quest to hook Veronica while fending off a love-struck Betty. Superheroes came and went, Batman, Spiderman and, of course, The Phantom. Then I went through a Commando comic book phase, and to this day I can still swear (mildly) in German.
But, by the time I hit high-school, Archie, Jughead and Moose were traded for Hagar, Blondie, BC, Crock and The Wizard of ID. Actually, do kids still trade comic books these days?
Later came Asterix, MAD Magazine, Footrot Flats and 2000AD featuring the grim, and oddly misspelled, Judge Dredd. Around this time other comics were tossed onto the pile that I’m ashamed to admit I enjoyed, like the unemployed, wife-beating, cheating, lying, drunk Andy Capp, Sex to Sexty and Tales from the Crypt.
Most of those went, but I’ve still got some Joliffe’s Outbacks’ featuring the exploits of Witchetty’s Tribe which, these days, must be about as politically correct as owning a packet of Golliwog biscuits.
I’d get rid of them tomorrow, but, they still make me laugh. Am I a bad person?! Or just a tragicomic figure?
Occasionally, Long Suffering Wife will drop hints about dumping them at the nearest book exchange, but when I pop the lid, the musty smell of old paper hits me harder than a well-aimed rolling pin to the scone and the box winds up back under our bed.
I’ll probably get rid of them, one day, but for now, I’ll happily sleep on it.