Welcome back friends, to this 51st rambling of mine! I am sorry to say I missed the milestone of my 50th post with my last blog, but we're here now so let's carry on, shall we?
Today I am happy to share with you a newly completed collection, but isn't comics this time. This week I completed my collection of Isaac Asimov's The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction containing the original printing of Stephen King's "The Gunslinger". I have been after these books for some time, not entirely continuously, but here and there for well over a decade or more likely closer to 15 years or so.
The title of the blog is a play on the very first line of King's epic tale, "The Man in Black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed." What did follow was a nearly 30 year trek for King and his constant readers as we tried to keep up with the titular Gunslinger. The full Dark Tower cycle was completed only 5 years ago and really began when King first put that line down on paper, at age 19.
The actual story wasn't published until October 1978 in the F&Sci-Fi magazine. The Gunslinger was broken up into it's 5 chapters and released slowly in the magazine, pt.2 was in 1980 and pt. 3-5 in 1981. The full story was not collected in one book until 1982 through Grant, a small publisher that still works with King to produce limited editions of his books. A first printing of the novel can easily run you $500 to $1000+ on ebay and has been, for a very long time, my ultimate Holy Grail and White Whale. Hell, even a second printing can run for $200+.
I have first printing of all 7 Dark Tower books but the first one.
But back to the magazines:
These puppies have really become pricey since the comic books adaptions of the novels started. What I originally started collecting for $25-$30 a book sky rocketed to $50 to even $200 a book! This set me back for a bit but as I was starting to keep my eyes out again for affordable auctions for the last 2 books, I got lucky and snagged them both recently, right on budget. One I got in a lot for $34 and the other on it's own for $30, both in better shape the the older one's I had. So it was a double excellent score and a collection complete.
Now if I could just find me a First Printing of the novel on the cheap....oh well, we all need our ultimate goals to make this collecting thing fun.
See you all next time!