I'm a noobster here and I wanted to start by sharing a pretty epic event in my life, that occurred on Saturday the 17th of December 2011. I've been reading comics since I was a kid of the tender age of say 8. All this thanks to my uncles Rufino and Robert because they always left their comics laying all over their rooms or somewhere around the apartment when we use to live in the projects of Austin. The first comic that caught my eye was the old Savage Sword of Conan. At that time it was the magazine format issues and not the standard comic size books that I began perusing through and seeing the adventures. I personally started collecting comics of my own back in the late 80s. I would say it was around 1987 that I went full swing and dedicated myself to collecting seriously, well as serious as a 12 year old could get. It's not like I had money flowing out of my ass. I was working the lawn cutting business back then and then went into the serious landscaping business with my Godfather. That helped me make some serious greenbacks. This helped me to walk into bookstores and comic book stores with much confidence and just buy what I wanted to instead of having to pick through leftovers that were at the bargain bins.
So even back in the 80s when I got into comic reading and collecting I saw the ads that Chuck Rozanski (owner and founder of Mile High Comics) had in nearly every issue of DC and Marvel comics that I read. Each time I read a newer ad of his I got that little juice in my step and I got excited. I had excitement in me because here I was reading an ad for a man who had what I was dreaming of having when I grew up, to be an owner of a comic book store but not just any comic book store; the biggest comic book store in the country.
On this amazing 17th of December 2011, I stepped into the Mile High Comics Jason Street warehouse and it felt like all my adult life was stripped away from me. All I could see in my mind was me, at 12 years of age, gawking with my mouth wide open at the marvel that was before my eyes. I was surrounded by comics in every direction. Not only were there comics but also toys (action figures for the adults reading this lol) and all sorts of memorabilia from the dawn of comics and movies to the present age. It took me a few minutes to collect myself and the imaginary drool on my face, or was it real drool? I then started looking around because I knew I was going to meet HIM. The CHUCK ROZANSKI! I scanned for a few minutes and finally I caught him as he was racing about the aisles trying to make sure everything was in order for the day's events. While I waited for him to slow down a bit I began to look for the next great individual I was going to meet that day, the legendary Jim Shooter. It took me a bit to spot him and when I did I could not miss him. The man is 6 foot 7 inches. He towered over everyone in the warehouse. It was awesome! He had stepped out from the office he was in and was getting ready to sit at the autograph table they had set up for him. I stood there just thinking about what I would say to him and what I might ask him. After all he is a legend in the comic book world. Then I saw Chuck slow down and stop. That was my time to make my move :-). So I said "Excuse me Mr. Rozanski" and it went from there. I told him how honored I was to be at the new store/warehouse and that I was getting to live out a dream I had been dreaming about for over 20 years. To finally meet him in person after so long was truly amazing. I felt like I was in the presence of a comic book god and he is a god for so many of us comic book geeks. We exchanged a few more words and he told me "thank you". I shook his hand and then asked him for a photo with me and then I had my Ariana take a picture of Chuck and I. That image will forever be etched in my mind.
The next great event was getting my comics signed by Jim Shooter and actually just having good conversation with him and that I did. I remember seeing Jim's Letter from the Editor section in all the 80s comics I picked up, more so in the issues from the early 80s that I managed to pick up when I discovered second hand book stores. Jim has accomplished so much in his career and more than most can imagine. He jumped into the comics field as a teenager and then moved on from there. He has this presence that many assume he would be a tough man to deal with but it's quite the opposite. As they say, "don't let that outward appearance fool you." Jim is an easy person to talk to and a true well of knowledge. It was truly and honor to get to meet both Chuck and Jim on this amazing day. To wrap it up, I have to say that if I had the money I would have gladly bought one of everything in the warehouse but sadly I'm no Donald Trump and I damn sure don't have that kind of space in my house.
Until next time, thank you all for checking out my Lair of Wonders---