Tag Archives: DC

Willie The Ice Cream Man

19 Mar

March 19, 2018

I was going through my last few remaining comics. I once had 32 short boxes full of comics. Each box holds around 200 issues, more or less, so that’s 6,400 comics. But I had many loose ones in stacks on shelves, probably at least three more boxes full, so that’s around 7,000 comics. Over the last few years I sold or gave away nearly all of them. I have just about 65 comics left. Yes, I downsized 6,935 comics.  So those 65 comics amount to around .0085% of what I used to have. But each one has a meaning or a sentimental value. I kept them not because they are valuable (a couple are, most are not) but because they all have a story, not between the covers, but behind them.

To drive home the point, where I once had hundreds and hundreds of Batman comics I now own exactly 5.

These are my two favorites.

Detective Comics 406 and 409, published in 1970 and 1971. In the condition in which I own them they are worth around $15 – $20 each.

But they only cost me 25 cents each, and that’s the background of this story.

It was around 1980, maybe as early as 1978, maybe as late as 1983, but I date it to 1980 because I distinctly remember riding my bike up and down the street pretending it could fly like the motorcycles on Galactica 1980

It was summer, of course. There was no better time to be a kid than in the summer. We had an ice cream man who came every summer day in the afternoon, and when school started he came around a little later after we were home. His name was Willie and we all knew him because we were kids and what kid doesn’t love ice cream? He peddled around the neighborhood on an old fashioned ice cream cart, basically a bicycle with a freezer in the front.

He’d jingle the bells on the handlebars and we’d hear him coming down the block. Since I and my brother lived in an apartment building (we were city boys) we didn’t have time to run all the way upstairs to get money. We’d just yell for our mother to come to the window. “MOM! MOOOOOM!” Half the mothers in the building would look out the window to see if it was their kid yelling. But our mother would come to the window and we’d yell “the ice cream man is coming!” and she’d put some money in a can or a box and she’d toss it out the fifth floor window to us. We never caught it though. We’d always have to crash through the bushes in the front of our building to retrieve it. 

So now we’d yell “Willie! Ice cream! Over here!” and he’d peddle over to us, jingling all the way, to borrow a phrase. But this is the best part. Not only would we get ice cream, we’d get comic books too. Willie had a box somehow lashed to the back of his bike with old comic books. They were old even then, and he sold them for a quarter apiece. 

Was there ever a better summer day? Playing outside, riding bikes, eating ice cream, reading comic books. This is what a kid’s life should be.

So when it came time for me to pare down my comic collection the two Batman issues had to stay. Sure the covers are great, and yes, I like the stories, but I had gotten rid of issues with better covers and better stories. But none of them had a story that I was part of, that reminded me of the days of my youth. There are very few comics that I distinctly remember buying and reading when I was a kid, and not many that put a smile on my face, so these two issues are keepers.

(The Incredible Hulk 216, which I bought new from the corner candy store is another, and yes, I still have that one too.)

 

 

And by the way, here are the flying motorcycles I used to pretend I was riding. 

 

Before I go, one quick ice cream man story. One day Willie was not there, and someone else was driving the cart. He was coming down the block, ringing his bell. We started calling out “ice cream man! Ice cream man!” and waving to him.

He looked at us and, with a big smile, waved back. And kept on going.

We didn’t get ice cream that day. 

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One Day in Metropolis (JLA Blog 1)

9 Nov

November 9, 2017

With the impending release of the Justice League movie, which I fully expect to be mediocre at best, I re-present my better, and more realistic, take on Superman. 

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August 15, 2014

Tourist: Look!

Man: Wha?

Tourist: Look! Up in the sky!

Man: Get outta my way, I’m walkin’ here.

Tourist: Seriously, look in the sky!

Woman: I think it’s a bird or something, I dunno, like an owl.

Man: That guy’s nuts.

Tourist: Look! In the sky!

Woman: Now it kinda looks like a plane. It’s just a plane.

Man: Jeez, I’m supposed to get all excited over a bird? This is Metropolis, try to not see a bird or a plane.

Tourist: It’s Superman!

Woman: That’s all? I’m late for my appointment.

Tourist: But it’s Superman!

Man: Let me tell you something about this Superman, pal. Maybe you wazzn’t here back then, but when Brainiac got a mad on and wanted to kill Supes he didn’t go to no Pittsburgh. He showed up right here and stood right in Shuster Square, daring Supes to hit him right in the kisser. Traffic was tied up for miles. Think I got to work that day? No I did not. Lost my job over that. And unemployment don’t take “lost my job cuz of Brainiac” and pay off a jackpot.

Tourist: But what about Lex Luthor, huh? Superman kept him from destroying the Boring Building.

Man: Yeah, but not before Luthor ripped up half the block. Yeah, Superman saved the Boring Building, but what about the Good Chops Diner down the block? They’ve been closed for three weeks tryin’ ta fix it up. My wife used to work there. Let me tell you, there ain’t no work there now.

Tourist: Well, ok, I’m sorry, but wow, look at him. Don’t you wish you could fly like him?

Man: Yeah, I’d fly away to a place where I ain’t got no bills. MetroBank don’t let you pay off your credit cards with Daily Planet coupons.

Tourist: Oh, yeah, I see…

Man: Yeah, great, now you see. You think about that while I’m on line for food stamps. See ya around, I’m late already.

 

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