By Lee Hester, owner of Lee's Comics of California.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I just discovered this video. The song is by Alan More. I really like it. Also, it just happens to be about ducks. Check it out!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This is a bit blurry, but it helps to prove that Dick Tracy was REALLY popular in the 1940s! Even Daffy Duck couldn't live without reading his adventures!


Perhaps you heard about this. It was July 1945. America was in the middle of World War 2. The newspaper delivery men were on strike in New York city. That meant no Sunday Funnies for the kids. New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to the rescue! He reads them live on station WNYC. Just a little slice of what makes America great.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


One of my Customers, Dick Baughman, brought in an old copy of The Palo Alto Weekly. It brought back a rush of memories. I didn't have a copy, and it's been decades since I saw it. I scanned the front page without color correcting the yellow out. I removed the yellow from the other pages to make them easier to read. Check it out!

When I looked over the newspaper after all these years, I was struck by a number of impressions. First, I was surprised that the newspaper was issued July 21 1982. I opened my store July 1st 1982, so I was brand new to the business. I was 21 years old, and had started on a shoestring budget. Comics and Comix, at that time was the largest, most successful comic book chain store in the nation. The Palo Alto branch was one of the top performing locations in the chain.

Cover-girl Teresa Marovich was the manager of Comics and Comix at that time. She was a terrific person, and a friend. I thought she looked lovely on the cover, and in the interior shot. I regret to say it, but at the time, I was jealous. Comics and Comix was outclassing me in every way, and I was insecure. I think back on the way I used to be when I encounter new retailers that exhibit that same feelings of rivalry and jealousy. I've been there. Years ago I learned to relax and stop worrying about other comic book stores.

Another thing that I forgot about is the fact that I wouldn't give my last name to the reporter. I just wanted to be referred to by my fist name. I paid a heavy price for that, as I came off looking foolish in the article. After this fist misstep I learned to be a lot more open with the press. Even though the article was historic for me, I didn't save it because of my embarrassment at not giving my last name, and the fact that it showcased my rivals more than me.

This must have been the first newspaper article that mentioned Lee's Comics. Since that time there have been many more articles. I have most of them. It was really a blast to get this first one, and to experience all those old memories again. I hope you enjoyed reading it as well.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


There is quite a bit of evidence that our new President elect is a comic book fan. I'm going to gather the best items I can find into this entry. If you know of any others, please send them along, and I will add them.

I should not have to say this, but please spare me your hate mail. Whether you voted for him or not, Obama is going to be the leader of the free world. The fact that he likes comics is noteworthy for comic book fans. Just to be "fair and balanced", let me know if you find out that McCain collects comics. If this turns out to be the case, I'll do an item on that too.

According to the Telegraph, Obama "collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics."

Barack Obama posing with a Superman statue.

Alex Ross's T-shirt design.

You can see here that Obama is fond of it.

This is from the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Okay, here's my obligatory APE post. You know you can't live without it.

My son "Little" Lee, Mark Crane and Mark Arnold help me set up my usual 5 booths. Poor Mark Arnold (not pictured here) took a spill and hurt himself. He injured his pinky, and couldn't lift it all weekend. Seriously!

I wish I could remember the name of the guy in the vest. He did the wonderful stained glass type picture of John Lennon. My photograph really does not do it justice. You have to see it in person to really appreciate it. He also did a great mini comic in the style of Edward Gorey that centered around Morrissey. The guy is new to comics, but is a genius. I bought several of his mini comics to give to artists, retailers, and friends. Hopefully someone will clue me in to the name of this guy.

Noted illustrator Barron Storey illustrates stories notably.

The new Kramer's Ergot, a really big book with great art by a who's who of Alt comics talents! Look for it at Lee's Comics as soon as we find a way to fit it through the door.

Here's Lloyd Dangle, one of my favorite political cartoonists. I asked him if he created the art for the Airborne package. He said "Yes, I cheated millions."

Here's Zap comics artist Spain showing off a terrific new print that he produced.

The Convention Report Measure of 1996, passed by over two thirds of the voters, mandates that Rafael Navarro will appear in all convention reports. We are in full compliance.

Michael Aushenker is in the house with his new "Cartoon Flophouse" comic. He is working on a new Pokey comic, out soon.

Here's John (Bean) Hastings. The guys at my table saw one of his books, Smith Brown Jones, Alien Accountant, and said that I looked like the main character. What do you think?

Here's Dan Vado and some other guy.

Here's Andrew Farago curator of the Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco and his wife Shaenon.
Andrew is an incredibly calm and likable fellow, and he is great at his job.

Mark Arnold meets everyone's idol Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Life in Hell.

It was raining quite heavily on Saturday. The humidity was so thick in the hall that many the books started getting warped within a few hours! I was quite alarmed when I noticed this.

Here's amiable Al Gordon, inker extraordinaire. I've know Al for about 30 years, since before I had a comic book store.

One of these people is Hillary B Price, artist of "It Rhymes With Orange", seen in papers all across America. Mark Arnold commissioned a terrific Harvey themed drawing from her.

Here's Keith Knight, a very funny fellow.

Here's lovable eccentric, Dame Darcy. She has her own band that plays sea shanties and is the creator of the long running title "Meat Cake" for Fantagraphics.

That's the cool thing about the APE. You can meet so many unusual and creative thinkers. The APE is for those that stand apart. For those that don't trod the beaten path. The free-thinkers, the eccentrics, the loonies. My kind of people.

Yes, I'll be back next year for another slice.

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Imagine a World with no comic books. Not worth living.

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