Yeah, I’m that old.
I remember holding the comic in my hand. I remember reading it over and over again. I also remember wearing the cover off and tearing pages with wear.
Then, sadly, the comic vanished (as many do) into obscurity.
TALES TO ASTONISH #27; MAN IN THE ANTHILL was the origin story of hero known as Ant-Man. If you have one in mint condition and graded high enough, you can pull over $60,000. I try not to whine about comics past, but that makes me shudder at times. But I’ve never been much of a comic collector. I’ve been much more of a comic consumer. I can’t stand to have comics for just looking at the cover. I have to read. That’s why I’d rather buy a comic with the cover torn off and the story intact than to pay massive amounts of money for a nice cover and/or investment.
And what kills me is I don’t know what happened to it. Did it suffer the fate of the comics thrown away by mom? I know some of my comics were confiscated at school; never to be returned. Who knows, really. All that’s important is that I remember and it had a lasting effect on my life.
This was the age of giant insect movies and dinosaurs coming back from the tar pits. And I ate them up like candy. Seeing Hank Pym (the original Ant Man) standing next to a towering ant reminded me of my favorite weekday afternoon scifi movie: THEM. Strange chemicals, radioactive spills, atomic bomb testings and man’s inexhaustible curiosity spawned all sorts of weird science movies. Comics were no different. Ant-Man himself was the result of experiments with a strange gas; the Pym Particles.
Our fascination with the scientific unknown haunted us even in our dreams and seeped into our movies. And, as a young boy, I devoured every inch of film; every second of story. And I grabbed every comic I could get my hand on or get my mom to buy. I could NOT get enough…and still can’t. My only enemy now is time. I envy that kid who had the world by the tail and plenty of time to travel his imaginative worlds.
No, if I could, I would travel back and spend some time with that child and, maybe, borrow TALES TO ASTONISH #27. Not so I could pawn it for the cash so much. No. I would just like to enjoy the leisurely stroll into the imagination of the child; maybe capture some of that wonder lost.