The Captain's Veranda by Joe Sarno


I began collecting in 1965. Back the we had two magazines available to comic collectors for oredering back issue comics and related items: THE ROCKET'S BLAST/COMIC COLLECTOR and THE FANTASY COLLECTOR.

RBCC was sent out to subscribers about every six weeks, a photo offset, saddle stiched magazine that usually ran a few articles, and lots of advertising.

FANTASY COLLECTOR was the smaller of the two, mimeograhed with more material slanted toward the science fiction fan/collector.

By 1966 I was ordering from both 'zines every issue. And my collecting taste ran the full gamut from comics books to big little books to radio premiums and tape recordings of old radio shows. as well as toys, and movie related items.Comic strips, original art, board games, puppets, and 16 mm films, especially of old TV shows were also received in brown paper envelopes and brown paper-wrapped boxes. Every day was a surprise, because you never knew waht you would receive next, including, occasionally, a returned check because the item ordered had already been purchased by someone else. So occasionally it was a good idea, if there was something you really wanted bad, to call first, to find out if it was still available. And of course, it was a lot cheaper to buy collectables back then.

Even then I had dreamed of opening up a retail store to buy and sell in the collecting market, but I had also thought to have an ajacent museum for displaying items from my collection. In a way I have something like that now. The mini museum is in the back of my Chicago store and features a number of items from my collection, some purchased way back in the 60's.

When our store first opened in 1971 we were called THE FANTASY SHOP for a short while, but quickly changed our name to THE NOSTALGIA SHOP as a way of letting our customers that we handled a variety of NOSTALGIA items, including toys and movie posters and radio premiums, and trading cards, even baseball cards. We were the first shop in Chicago to carry comics, toiys and baseball cards. BY THE TON!!!

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Originally published in the C.B. WEEKLY (Comic Book Collectors Bulletin) Vol 2 #30 July 28 1999 copyright Joe Sarno and respective copyright holders 2003.