February, 1981

It should have been a no-brainer. I liked the Teen Titans. I liked the writing of Marv Wolfman, who I thought was one of the best of the era. I really liked George Perez, who had penciled many of the earliest Marvel books I had read. But when NEW TEEN TITANS failed to show up at my usual comics outlets, I didn’t bother to track it down.

Why? Because I hadn’t liked the preview story that had run in DC COMICS PRESENTS #26 before the series premiered. 

The only place in the area that was carrying NEW TEEN TITANS was a small card store in Israel Litwack’s neck of the woods. And every month, he’d badger me about trying this new title, which he was really taken with. And I’d tell him that I read the preview and hadn’t liked it. 

But the Justice League were going to be guest-starring in issue #4, and that was all it took to push me over the edge. I asked Israel to pick me up a copy–and I was hooked.

NEW TEEN TITANS was the preeminent DC series of its day, the first title of what was then referred to as “the new DC.” It combined the Marvel approach to character and story dynamics with the DC characters and the flavor of its universe. It was, to put it simply, the book that got many people past their “Marvel Comics are cool; DC Comics suck” prejudices.

Israel had to buy my copies of TITANS for me up until the time that I moved to Delaware at the end of 1981, since the book had horrible distribution in my area. And I managed to locate all of the back issues by the time #6 hit the stands (though Glenn Hauman chiseled me out of an extra buck for #1, which he bought for $4.00 and then turned around and sold to me for $5.00. Literally. Just turned around. I’ll bet the thinks I’ve forgotten this..)

I met George Perez for the first time at a signing that was held at a comic shop out on Long Island in celebration of the Titans when TITANS #6 came out. And now he calls me at my house. Not bad, eh?

2014 Notes: Glenn Hauman did eventually refund that extra dollar to me. I have since learned that the signing in question that I mention at the end took place on January 17th, 1981 (my birthday) at Starwind Comics in Levittown, on Hempstead Turnpike.

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