While running some errands in
We became friends with the owner, Bob Wayne, and the manager, Michael Davis, and I went there at least once a week to pick up the new comics and spend an hour or two visiting. '81 was a year of big changes for me. I had quit my regular job and was trying to make it as a full-time writer. I had been corresponding for a couple of years with Bill Crider and Joe Lansdale, but they were the only other writers I knew. But in '81 I met Kerry Newcomb at a bookstore on the other side of
Of course, I didn't make it as a full-time writer just yet; that was still several years off and I wound up working at other jobs in the meantime. Fantastic Worlds moved and then grew into a chain of successful comic book stores. Bob Wayne wound up selling the stores and going to work as an executive for DC Comics in New York, and he's still there. The Fantastic Worlds stores are all gone now. I bought my comics at other stores over the years and finally stopped buying them several years ago when I realized I didn't have the time or space for them anymore. (I still buy and read trade paperback reprints of the old stuff, though.) I'm prone to attacks of nostalgia, and when I drove by that old shopping center where Fantastic Worlds started out, it really took me back and I knew I had to do a little reminiscing.
(Update: Of course, as regular visitors to this blog know, I started reading comics on a regular basis again a couple of years ago. Bob Wayne is still at DC and still a friend; I run into him at conventions every few years. Michael Davis is still in the area and he and his wife Kelly are good friends of ours. The shopping center where Fantastic Worlds was located originally is still there, or at least it was the last time I drove along that part of Camp Bowie Boulevard. I have no idea what's in the space where the store was.)