Howdy fellow Kabooooom geeks, welcome to “That Rare Nerd Find” feature here At Kabooooom HQ. What is this feature exactly about you ask?! It’s about treasure, nerd treasure. Now as someone who has been collecting toys, comics, retro videogames, signed memorabilia, rare books, and original comic book art for pretty much his whole life, I think it’s safe to assume that I am an aficionado on the subject. I am literally and quite honestly always on the prowl for that rare or nostalgic nerdy item. That in mind, this feature will focus on what I find in my travels but also provide you, my readers a brief history of my discoveries and the tips and tricks to use on your own personal quest.
Today’s feature will focus on my favorite comic book character, Dr. Strange. I have always loved the former Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel U partly due to it being my Pops’ favorite character when he was a college student in the 1960s. So the find about to share with you was and still is a most fantastic and wonderful surprise. But before I begin let’s begin with a little history lesson of the good doctor.
If you do not know your Strange Tales history it was a comic book anthology published by Marvel Comics from 1951-1968, with a total of 168 issues under its belt. It introduced the features “Doctor Strange” and “Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” It was Marvel’s premiere showcase for science fiction/suspense stories pioneered by the likes of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Also it was the groundbreaking career launcher of writer-artist Jim Steranko. Originally the anthology began as a horror syndication from the company’s 1950s precursor, Atlas Comics but the series eventually morphed in 1954 to superhero fare due to the imposition of the Comics Code Authority.
The title then became a “split book” with the introduction of Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, by Lee and artist Steve Ditko. This 10 page feature debuted in issue #110 (July 1963). Ditko’s surrealistic mystical landscapes and increasingly head-trippy visuals helped make Dr. Strange an instant fan favorite. Ditko would eventually take Strange into the ever more abstract realms in his own title and the rest is comic book history.
Anydoodles, the story of this rare nerd find begins with my family and I on vacation in some random tourist town located in the middle of nowhere with no comic book, video game, or book store in sight. So on one of our boring vacation days it was decided to go see the local/cutesy shops in town and it was in one of those shops that I found Strange Tales #110. The first appearance of Dr. Strange. For 25 cents.
Yes, you read that right. I got Strange Tales #110, first appearance of Dr. Strange, published in 1963, in moderately fantastic condition for one whole quarter. PRAISE THE VASHANTI! This all went down in a store I never even thought to carry comics, at a rinky dinky antique store in said tourist town. All I can say is if you are ever on a boring vacation in a tourist town make sure to visit the local antique store and never be afraid to ask if they have comics. You truly never know what nerd treasure you may find in a dusty bin in the back of the store.
Interested in sharing your own nerd treasure on “That Rare Nerd Find?” Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and become the next Kabooooom network star!