One of my favorite old photos has to be Comicland, picturing a little guy dwarfed by hundreds of future collector's items, lost in an adventure.
Part of what I love so much about the photo is how it reminds me of my own "Comicland Moment" when I was a kid back in Duluth. See, before comic book specialty shops and the "Hey Kids! Comics!" wire racks at 7-11, there were the old-fashioned newsstands. I still remember visiting Downtown Book for the first time and being struck speechless by row upon row upon row of brand new comic books (easily five times the amount pictured above). Like the lad in the photo, my friends and I basked in the glory of all those comics, unsure of whether to actually buy something or just drop to our knees and worship at the foot of the towering, cathedral-like shelves.
Of course, time rolls on and the traditional newsstands have largely become a thing of the past, replaced by comic specialty shops, mega-chain bookstores and online bookselling empires. Don't get me wrong, these new venues have their advantages, but part of me feels just a little bit sorry for younger fans who never really had that "Comicland" newsstand experience.
Drippy nostalgia? Maybe. But equal parts gratitude.