A Moving Experience

I’m baaa-a-a-ack, though I’m not yet fully moved into my new home. It’s not as if I’ve been idle where all things LOAC are concerned—I’ve turned in text for Lil Abner Volume 6 and Steve Canyon Volume 4, edited final copy for the first volumes of both Tarzan and Superman, been absorbing the strips for Rip Kirby Volume 6, and recently I’ve been re-reading The Gumps: Death of Mary Gold as a pleasant lunchtime dessert—yet I’ve been less visible in this space than usual. I hope to remedy that situation, starting today. Before I offer a new posting on one of our upcoming releases, please indulge me a few personal reflections related to my getting-ready-to-wrap-up move:

• As a friend pointed out, the seventeen years I lived in my former residence is the longest period of time I’ve called any place home. My parents moved from “in town” to “out in the country” when I was about twelve, meaning the time spent in either of my two childhood homes doesn’t equal the time spent in the place I’ve just vacated.

• For the first time in my life I used movers to help load, transport, and unload my belongings. When I moved into my former home, my parents insisted on helping me. My Dad was sixty years old then, and at that time we had no idea slightly less than two years to live. At that time, of course, there was no way to know, and even if there was some magic future-showing mirror, we’d all be better off not looking into it.

• Why does it take so long to move? For me, it’s because there’s so much stuff to be packed, shlepped, and unpacked! Biggest surprise emerging from this process? I learned that selling excess stuff has become incredibly difficult: I advertised my four-piece living room set and a hardwood drop-leaf table for sale, twenty dollars cash-&-carry, and got exactly zero inquiries. I “culled the herd” of several hundred prose books and comics collections, plus thirty-seven years of accumulated science fiction magazines (including full runs of The Twilight Zone and Omni)—I had to donate the books and recycle the mags, because the independent bookseller is now such a specialized, marginalized, and—being internet-based—largely invisible retail entity. I just couldn’t find anyone to buy in bulk, even at pennies-per-book.

• On the more upbeat side, looking back at my now-former home, the Batman graphic novel Lee Weeks and I produced went on sale eight months after I moved into the Greater Boston area …

• … I walked the younger of my two sisters down the aisle during the change of the millennium …

• … One of my nieces and both of my nephews were born after I had settled in, meaning my former home has been the only place they associate with me throughout their lifetimes …

• … I was at Fenway Park to see the Red Sox begin their historic turn-around against the Yankees in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, attended Game One of the 2007 World Series, and was high above courtside when the Boston Celtics humbled the Los Angeles Lakers and claimed their NBA-best seventeenth world championship …

• … I met my future wife while living there…

• And of course, Dean and I began work on the Library of American Comics in late 2006, with Terry and the Pirates Volume 1 on sale the next summer. Seven years later we’re still going strong, augmenting our line of books with this website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and a dedicated Forum at the IDW website, all of them allowing us to more closely communicate with you. It’s great fun offering you sneak-peeks or “We didn’t have room for this, but knew you’d like to see it …” or behind-the-scenes travelogues from our trips to Boston University, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, Comic-Con in San Diego, and UCLA; we’ll have those types of features—and more—in the future, you can be sure.

• For now, though, I’ll mention that Dean and I recently did a Comics Journal interview with the knowledgeable and insightful Dan Nadel: if you missed it, you’ll find it here

• … And I’ll leave you with a couple photos taken from the deck of my new home. May the next seventeen years be, on balance, as good to me—and to all of you, too—as were the past seventeen!

M4A_POND

I now look out on a small pond that’s been augmented with a few man-made touches. Still, folks catch fish here … someday, maybe I’ll take up the ol’ rod-&-reel again, in my “spare time” …

M4B_Duck

There’s other wildlife more easily visible than the fish—a Blue Heron makes his home on the property, as well as this pair, whom we’ve dubbed The Duck & The Drake.

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