A somewhat personal oddity this time, though I guess it’s not necessarily all that odd… This is the bag I was given in Forbidden Planet in Denmark St., London, on Tuesday May 25th, 1982. It was my first ever visit to an actual comic-book store, so naturally I kept the bag because I was a big nerd. Plus I was a huge fan of Brian Bolland’s work… look how gorgeous this is!
These days I can’t imagine someone allowing a sixteen-year-old to travel to another country unaccompanied. But then, the past is also a different country: I’d left school a couple of months earlier and was working full-time, earning my keep. This was my first visit to London, first flight on a plane… But none of that was as exciting as navigating my way across the city in search of 23 Denmark Street!
I remember quite a lot about that visit to FP… The store wasn’t as shiny and polished as comic-book stores are these days. And the staff were a little paranoid, too: in the entrance, customers had to hand over their backpacks in exchange for a ticket — presumably shoplifting was a big problem. The guy at the door was a proper London punk with piercings and, as far as I recall, a mohawk hairstyle, but thankfully he wasn’t as terrifying as he looked.
The store was packed with desirable items, but I didn’t have a huge amount of money — as I’ve mentioned, I’d only started working full-time less than two months previously. Judging by the receipt (which of course I kept) the item I bought was 2000AD-related and it cost £3.25, so it was almost certainly the first Judge Dredd album published by Titan Books. Unfortunately, I can’t check the cover-price because I lent my copy — along with the two Titan Books’ Cursed Earth volumes — to someone many years ago, but the person to whom I thought I’d lent them insisted that the copies he had on his shelves were his own, and that he’d never borrowed them from me. I am still annoyed about that!
But here’s a bonus: I picked up a couple of A5 flyers while I was in the store, and of course I kept them, too…