Ok I'm finally going to post MY Valiant story. I have NO idea how long it's going to be so bear with me.
The first comic book I ever read wasn't Valiant it was Amazing Spider-man #139 (first grizzly) I was camping with my family near Sonora California....I was 12 years old. From that moment on I was HOOKED. I had to read more. So when I got back from the camping trip I went to my local Grocery store and purchased my FIRST new comics. Amazing Spider-man of course.
I was just in middle school still and of course it was SOOO uncool to have comics with you at school. I still didn't care. I collected ALL Marvel at this time.....to me DC was there ugly step-child. I was young and didn't know any better. Comics were MUCH cheaper at this time so I was buying every Marvel I could at the time.
Comics were a big part of my teenage years...they kept me out of so many problems that faced many other kids my age...namely getting into trouble. But they also made me unaware of all the stupid things people were doing to get into trouble......ok that made NO sense.
Move forward to High school I bought Magnus #1 the first week it came out at the comic shop I went to. I loved it. I read that issue so many times it was falling apart. It was SOO different from the marvel books I was reading.......when your reading so many Marvel titles anything would be fresh. Hell I was even reading Darkhawk......
Problem was I couldn't find any other issues of Magnus until #4.....my retailer just wasn't getting anything in, or he did and I wasn't seeing it. I gave up on continuing magnus because I couldn't find it locally.
I continued my Marvel buying because well they were everywhere. But I kept Magnus in the back of my mind. School got in the way.....sneaking into my own prom (boy that's a hum-dinger of a story
) getting caught & banned from grad night to Disneyland......oh and GIRLS.
Then it happened. I walked into my comic shop and was floored by the UNITY #0 poster promoting the EPIC crossover. I had to have it. So I signed up and was going to get it. Read Unity #0 and everything changed. Valiant became my focus PERIOD. At the time comic shows were everywhere....and in the strangest places too. I was delivering newspapers at the time and one of my customers was an older guy that set up at cons about 100 miles from our town whenever they had them.
I worked my into his "gig"....I helped him set up and work his table every chance I got. We were doing sometimes 2 shows a month it was a GREAT education.
I was now buying pre-unity issues I was missing at the shows I was working at and trading various new marvels for them. I was still missing the "biggie" pre-unity books....Harbinger #1-4, Rai #3-4, Magnus #12 & Solar #10. I was invited to work with "Captain Collecto" at Wonder-Con 1993....my first really BIG show experience. Valiant was smoking HOT
by this time. I made up my mind at the show to fill a missing pre-unity issue I needed. Harbinger #1 was selling for $100-125 at the show.....so I decided either Magnus #12 or Rai #4 both were selling for $75 and that's the most I have EVER paid to this day for a Valiant issue. I was making my mind up and decided on Rai #4 walked over to the table and the issue was GONE
. Sold minutes ago to some other person. I RAN
over to the other dealer selling Magnus #12 and bought in on the spot. Yeah I still have THAT
copy in my collection. Remember at that time Turok was just announced as getting his own title so it was going through the roof.
I have pictures of the Valiant Booth from Wonder-Con 1993 I need to find those and share. They are very cool.
I also bought my first original art at that show NOT
Valiant but it started my obsession with the medium.
I continued to travel with Captain Collecto over the next 3-5 years....doing local shows and my Valiant collection was growing. I became the "valiant expert" at the local shows with dealers asking me questions about characters and what was going on in all the titles. I was very close to getting married right when Birthquake hit. Twice the titles except for Shadowman & Solar the only two that remained monthly. Twice the titles meant twice the amount of money each month. Even the BAD titles (psi-lords)......yeah I bought them all. I almost gave up....when X-O was being written by Ron Marz it turned into a toilet read........seriously you could read it in under 5 minutes and it sucked. Sears and Smith were putting out nice art but the book wasn't very good.
Valiant went from a company known for tight continuity to this? I just about had enough when all the sudden titles were disappearing......gone. Books were being solicitated and never came out. Still waiting for my Shamons Tears/Turok mini.......Hello! I kept buying and started writing to Acclaim. My first letter was printed in Bloodshot #41...(look it up first letter on the page
). I was writing the titles I thought didn't suck. Then I read Shadowman #43 & Magnus #64. I got really *SQUEE* off and wrote scathing letters to Acclaim about it. I received a package in the mail from Acclaim with a Psi-Lords #1 GOLD and a thank you letter about my passion for Magnus...they wrote to me saying they have Magnus planned in a few mini-series next summer. Yeah that made me feel better
Then one month later I received a letter from Europe.....it was from BOB HALL
. he personally wrote me concerning my letter about SM #43. "Brian, your the only person who wrote about Jacks apparent demise hence the reason the reason I chose to end the book. I notice each month the sales numbers falling and instead of writing a nice ending I left Jack falling."
he then told me about his project called Armed & Dangerous for Acclaim and asked me to write him what I thought.....
In Fact I just found this letter and have posted it for you to see
I did and that letter was printed in A&D #3 of the first story arc. Bob and I have stayed in touch since. It's funny the first time I got to meet BOB HALL
at the SDCC
was also my first experiance meeting a VC.com member x-omatic....we were both buying original art from him. That was before the reboot (of this message board) by the way. I was Shadowsip.
So VH-1 was now DEAD. I was working at a comic shop in Modesto called Gotham City Comics that might be the best job I ever had. At this time NO
one was buying Valiant even pre-unity books were in everyone's quarter bins. I NEVER
stopped buying them. Even though I answered to my wife countless times why I needed yet another copy of Harbinger #1......
Acclaim decided to relaunch...VH-2. I was aboard full force. I was crazy...I would call the Acclaim office and try getting someone there to talk with me. Jeff Gomez took my call one day and we became quick friends. I remember Jeff calling me countless times asking me to write a letter before he goes into work the next day on a certain title. I happily did
I think I ended up having 11 letters printed in VH-2. Jeff had me sit in with him on the phone when he had editor meetings and I got to hear the whole thing it was so cool. I finally got to meet Jeff at the 2005 SDCC
Valiant Open conference.
I also got to know some guy named Joe Petrilak. Joe was me on the East coast........he was able to hang out at the Acclaim offices. he started Acclaim INK and had the very first Valiant fan website. Mind you being the "Valiant guy" at this time raised more eyebrows and follow that with snickering. I also meet GREAT Valiant fans like magnusr, Sonicdan & Anthony K.. These guys including Greg kept the Valiant Flame lit for so long when NO one cared. These Valiant fans are very dear to my heart and if Valiant had a Hall of Fame for fans they would be in on the first ballot. Joe you started my original art obsession with Valiant.....I thank you. He helped me also get a Save ninjak petition going on the web in 1997-98 when I found out from Gomez that it was the first VH-2 title to be canceled. Yeah I liked Ninjak. But I did it also because it reminded me of VH-1 again & I don't mean the book......the pattern. I knew that once Ninjak got canceled others would follow....and they did.
When Valiant characters show up in print again I'll be there.......what else am I going to do? I've invested to much of myself not too. I am forgetting stuff and when it comes to me I'll fill in more. So there you go. It's long.....but it's true.....I wasn't wearing any helmet (I swear) the whole time
UPDATE : Captain Collecto passed on 4/3/09 10:45 PM.
As of 2017 I'll be opening my own Comic Book shop called "The Comic Web" so I have now come full circle I'll be selling Valiant Comics to people from now on. So excited to be opening the next chapter in this.
I'm also writing the History of Valiant (or whatever it will be called when it gets published) an informative look at the three times the Valiant Universe has been resurrected and the story behind it.
Last edited by betterthanezra
on Thu May 18, 2017 8:23:05 pm, edited 15 times in total.