Why am I hanging on to this relic of hippie nostalgia? It's a souvenir of the day I met my future.
One day in the spring of 1977, I walked into a comic book store with a couple of friends and a stack of silk-screened posters we’d made for the recent Spring Fair. I didn’t know from comics, but we wanted to sell our leftover posters on consignment, and the recently-opened Atlantis Fantasyworld had posters on its walls.
I can’t remember what came of that transaction; my friend, the comic collector, was handling the business end of the deal with one of the owners, Joe. But I didn’t want to look like a deadbeat, so I wandered around the shop and picked up this copy of Fat Freddy’s Cat, which I bought from the other owner — Jim.
|She sells silk screens at the Spring Fair|
Little did I know that a couple of months later, the Star Wars juggernaut was about to hit Santa Cruz. My publisher at Good Times told me if I could find a photo, he’d run my review as a cover story.
(Back then, GT was only 12 pages long, so a cover story meant the text of the review was actually printed on the cover! Not buried on page 6 with the ads for The Broken Egg, Cymbaline’s and The Good Fruit Company.)
The photo was the catch. It’s not like we could just dial up iMDB. (This was long before computers were invented; we were practically chiseling the paper onto slate tablets, like The Flintstones.) But I had seen some movie stills on the wall at — you guessed it — Atlantis Fantasyworld.
|Comics convert: me & my future|
I never did get that still. (Turns out the only ones he had on the wall were from vintage ’50s monster movies.)
But I did get my cover story — my counterpart at the Sentinel took pity on a newbie and gave me one of his Star Wars stills — which gave me another excuse to visit Atlantis for another chat, the day the story was published, and then — well, you get the idea!
So when I happened upon Fat Freddy’s Cat, the discovery was bittersweet — but mostly sweet.
I notice it’s Book #1, and practically in mint condition (except for some fading on the spine), as it’s been mostly untouched by human hands all these yeas. I wonder if it’s worth anything — I’d have to ask Joe.
But it’s priceless to me.