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Jim Starlin’s Silver Surfer shined in April 1991

by Matthew Price Published: October 18, 2012

This is the latest in my continuing series looking back at the comic books of 1991.  In this post, I’ll look back at the comics I bought in April 1991, and at some of the other comic books that were available.  I’m using the newsstand option at Mike’s Amazing World of Comics as my reference guide for this.  When I remember, I’ll share details about how and where I bought comics at the time.

The issue that started me as a Jim Starlin fan and a Silver Surfer fan was this month’s “Silver Surfer” #50. I remember this purchasing trip better than most.

I was attracted, of course, to the really cool foil cover, but was debating the price of $1.50 for a book that didn’t have any of my favorite characters in it. For some reason, my dad was with me at Planet Comics, then across from the high school in Norman. My recollection is that Bart Bush, longtime manager of the store, recommended this issue to me. (I haven’t checked my recollection with his, though there’s really no reason he’d remember selling a comic to a kid. That’s what he did every day!) What I remember him saying is, “I don’t think you’ll regret it.” I really haven’t! This is one I still have in my collection. It looks a lot cooler in your hand than it does in a scan. This was a prelude piece to “Infinity Gauntlet,” which kicked off in the summer.

Otherwise, I seem to remember following “Armageddon 2001″ into “Batman” Annual 15 and “Superman” Annual 3. I also returned to DC for “Flash” #51.

John Wesley Shipp as the Flash.
John Wesley Shipp as the Flash.

From Marvel, I went with “Captain America” #386, “Captain America” Annual 10, “Spider-Man” 11, “New Warriors” 12, and two X-books: “Uncanny X-Men” 277 and “X-Factor” 67.

My interests were still heavily in the creators who would later form Image Comics, plus favorite characters Superman, Batman and Captain America.

I enjoyed the “Flash” TV series that was then on the air, so that may have affected my increased interest in the character in comics. (Even though at the time, Wally West was the Flash of the comics, while Barry Allen was the TV show star.  Some elements from the Wally West Flash — like the necessity to eat large quantities of food after expending speed energy — were brought into the series, as was scientist Tina McGee, a character invented by writer Mike Baron in the early part of this “Flash” series.)

My brother picked up Daredevil 293 in a comic booth that was at that time in Oklahoma City’s Farmer’s Public Market, 311 South Klein Avenue:

Farmer's Public Market in Oklahoma City.  National Register of Historic Places.   Staff photo by Jim Beckel.
Farmer's Public Market in Oklahoma City. National Register of Historic Places. Staff photo by Jim Beckel.

According to The Oklahoman’s archive, the Farmer’s Public Market was built in 1928 by John J. Harden, then one of Oklahoma’s richest men.  The market has a long history of food sales, dances, festivals and boxing matches.  We visited there quite a bit in the 1990s; our favorite stop was of course the comics booth, though I don’t have any recollection at this time of who ran that, nor could I tell you definitively how long it was there.  The Farmer’s Public Market, of course, still exists today, and hosts events including weddings, festivals, and public events.

According to the Farmer’s Public Market web site, Hank Williams Sr., Count Bassie, and Bob Wills have all played in the Auditorium.  At one point, the site reports, the building also housed a grocery store, meat market, candy store, bakery, café, and drug store.

The main building was placed on the national register of historic places in 1982. It is the second largest building in Oklahoma City on the national register.

- Matt Price
See below for more images.



by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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