Crazy 8’s First Non-Fiction Release, Hey Kids, Comics!

By Robert J. Kelly

newsstand1951“Hey Kids, Comics!”

Growing up, there was no newsstand, supermarket, department store, or convenience store that escaped my laser-like gaze, hoping to see those three words (and exclamation mark!) on display. Those words mean comics are for sale, which means I would be walking out of that newsstand, supermarket, department store, or convenience store with at least one of them in my hands.

Back in 2007, I created a blog based on those memories, betting that there were other people out there that had similarly powerful experiences centered around their love of comic books. It didn’t take long for the stories to roll in, from all walks of life, about how comics profoundly affected their lives. As I read the each new story, I found them so compelling that a thought finally occurred to me: “These would make a great book.”

Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales from the Spinner Rack features all-new stories of four-color obsession: Paul Kupperberg (Kevin Keller) takes us on a tour of DC’s classic 80 Page Giants. J.M. DeMatteis (The Phantom Stranger) talks about the time he headed out onto the cold New York streets, sick as a dog, just to get some Marvels from a nearby newsstand. Author Alan Brennert (Palisades Park) shares how a Dennis the Menace comic book helped guide his future. Master Cosplayer Roxanna Meta tells us the story of how she found love at a comic book shop. Sholly Fisch (Super Friends) reveals how a Marvel Treasury Edition almost got him killed!

These are only a tiny fraction of the funny, sad, embarrassing, and in some cases unbelievable true-life adventures that are contained in this book. Comic book legends, best-selling authors, Emmy-nominated TV writers, journalists, bloggers (even a real-life physicist!) share their stories and vintage photos of comic reading, collecting, obsessing, making Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales from the Spinner Rack a must-read for comics fans of all ages.

On a more personal note, I pitched this book to dozens of publishers and book agents, all of whom turned it down because they didn’t believe it was “marketable enough.” They all thought that comic books were too obscure a subject for a book like this, and that people wouldn’t be able to relate. I don’t think that’s true. Obsession is universal—everyone has something in their life that affected them in a profound way. For many of us, it was—and continues to be—comic books. With films and TV shows based on comics raking in billions of dollars and millions of fans, I think now is the perfect time for a book like Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales from the Spinner Rack. Read it and don’t be surprised if you see yourself in its pages. I know I did.

 Hey Kids, Comics! will be released in print and digital editions in September,

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