Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mea Culpa

I'm feeling a little defensive about the whole Papal flap Mark has instigated, calling into question either my faith or my character in brokering a fair trade, or perhaps both. While I have proven time and again that my memory is as faulty as the next guy's, I'm pretty sure the issue in question that The Life of Pope John Paul II garnered me at the time was either G.I. Joe #2, or a well-worn G.I. Joe #3 with the bottom half of one page missing.

I seem to remember some wheeling and dealing around those early G.I. Joe issues between us. I know I missed issue #2 when it first came out, yet I have issues #1 through #56 uninterrupted, present, and accounted for in the Original Collection. I also thought issue #2 had a coupon for the "Official G.I. Joe Mobile Strike Force" membership clipped from it.

Naturally, when I dug into the boxes tonight, I went straight to G.I. Joe #2. I was certain that was the issue I had bartered away the head of the Catholic Church for, but that issue is completely intact. This was troubling because I distinctly remember that issue as the mutilated one. I flipped through the interior pages looking for a hole somewhere among them. Nothing. It's hard to say whether it was a whim or instinct, but I then went to issue #3 -- "The Trojan Gambit" -- and, sure enough, the bottom half of pages 15 and 16 are missing.

This might be the only comic I own with any part of it purposely removed. And, until I procured a copy of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Volume 1 trade paperback last summer, it is very possible I may have never seen what happened in those excised panels found on the back of the detached subscription coupon.

I know I had subscriptions to various Marvel titles in the mid-'80s, but I don't know for sure if Mark did or not. Although it's entirely possible I had cut out the order form and used it myself, I don't think I actually subscribed to any titles until a year or two later.

While I can't say ex cathedra exactly what I may have received from Mark in exchange, I can say for sure that I do remember the late pontiff's comic book bio that I gave up. I recognized the cover of the book as soon as I saw it posted on Sample Reality. And I remembered being intrigued as a kid to learn the Pope's real name was a girl's name: Karol Wojtyla. I also can see pretty clearly in my mind panels of young Karol running through the streets of Poland.

So if Mark really feels the need to unload his copy of Marvel's foray into faith-based biographies, I've got a Micronauts #2 I'd be willing to trade for it. Hell, I'll even throw in a ROM annual or two to keep things on the up-and-up.


Mark Sample said...

I didn't mean, of course, to call into question your trading integrity. Surely some repressed part of my younger self wanted those pics of the boy-pope running through the streets of Krakow or wherever. (Actually, the image imprinted forever on my mind is the pope skiing -- soon to be posted on Sample Reality.

And you did make some fair trades, as I recall. Didn't you trade me your Def Leppard "Hysteria" cassette for my Car's "Drive" cassette?

I think we both lost on that one.

Mark Sample said...

Okay, the pope boy pictures are up...