Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bookie Parlor


Every nerd remembers their first step inside of a comic book shop.
It is not unlike Richard Dreyfuss looking into the mothership in Close

As a young nerdy lad, it blows your small mind that such a shop could even

Why it most be the most magical place to work ever!

My first shop was called The Bookie Parlor in Dayton, Ohio.

I would beg my parents to stop there every time we drove by it.
It had Spider-Man, Superman, Batman and the Hulk painted on the side of the
It also looked a little shady. I must gain entrance!

When I walked through the doors of The Bookie Parlor
It was not unlike entering the hallowed halls of Valhalla!

The small shop was overflowing with four-color treasure!

On the wall behind the counter was
Amazing Fantasy #15
Fantastic Four #1
The Incredible Hulk #1
Suoerman and Batman battling the Axis on the cover of various WW2-era comics!
I had only seen pictures of them in my newly acquired Overstreet price guide!
I was feeling light-headed!

I was still obsessed with Richie Rich and asked they had any for sale.

The old man with his funny-looking ears rose from behind the counter.
"Come over here, kid" the old man growled.
He then produced a copy of Richie Rich #1 from a glass case!
I couldn't believe my eyes!
You know how rare it is to see the first of anything when you are busy doing
things for the first time yourself?
I had come to believe that Spidey and Batman and Popeye and Richie Rich had just
appeared out of the ether, and yet,
Here I was face to face with evidence that they had all STARTED somewhere.

"How much is it, sir?' I dared to ask the gruff old coot.
"One-hundred dollars, son. You got a hundred bucks on ya?' he said winking at my
twitchy dad.
The old man had crushed my 8 year old soul.
I would never have a hundred bucks.
I would have to settle for a reprint of that first issue which I could at least
read without worrying about decreasing the book's value.

I may not have left with the first issue of Richie Rich under my arm
But I did see something that I never thought I'd ever see.
The old man with the funny ears had successfully planted the collecting chip
into yet another
young nerd's hard wiring.

1 comment:

  1. I miss Hal and The Bookie Parlor. This was also my first comic store I visited, I grew up a few blocks from the store when it was on Wayne. We were lucky to have both this store and Mavericks in Kettering when it came to collecting. Both Hal and Jack were always nice and friendly to anyone who came into their stores.