Friday, April 18, 2008

Tales from the Green Scrapbook #0: Here Beginneth the Chronicle... began simply, a decade or so ago: it was a web page listing the comics reference books I owned at the time. It included a few dozen titles, maybe more. I'd hoped eventually to track down all such books published in America, a goal which at that point wasn't entirely out of reach.

Ahh, how times change.

But some things don't change, like my passion for amassing everything about comics I can find. While I'm not sure when I first started reading comic books, I can't remember ever not reading comic strips. The words-and-pictures format fascinated me; and comic books, once I discovered them, held me in a grip that only true junkies can understand. The research / hoarding bug bit me around age ten, when I first discovered that there were occasional stories about comic books published in The Milwaukee Journal, our local afternoon newspaper. Soon thereafter, live-action super hero TV shows began appearing, so TV Guide became another source for my collection. Even Weekly Reader Senior cover-featured Spider-Man in 1977.

I'd dutifully clip out whatever I found and tape these treasures into a well-used green notebook. There weren't many pages left, so I economized on space, often to ridiculous measures. I'd cut out stories as carefully as possible, usually reducing the margins around text to practically nil. I'd also trim columns of newspaper text to exactly the length of the notebook pages, and assemble smaller bits into longer columns. In this way I usually could fit complete stories onto a single page. It wasn't until years later that I realized (1) margins help readability; (2) recording the dates of publication would have been a nice idea; and (3) clippings that stretch to the very edges of the page usually get crinkled, ragged, or just plain ol' destroyed.

Sadly for adult me, this particular bout of collecting mania was short-lived, lasting only a couple of years or so. I've got no idea why, apart perhaps from sloth; after all, I'd only filled half of the notebook's pages.

But I did manage to keep the notebook -- and more amazingly, I've recently found it. It now occupies a place of honor on one of my research bookshelves. For whatever reason, I've decided to archive the contents here, in a series of posts entitled Tales from the Green Scrapbook. Consider it a quaint and curious archaeological exhibit.

So watch this space, beginning later today, for our first thrilling installment. Here's a clue: Much like its subject, the article is now trapped in a world it never made...

Labels: , , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link


Blogger K. A. Laity said...

Fantastic -- I can't wait to see the post! Of course I've held the treasure in my own hands, too.

4/18/2008 4:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home