Oskee Wee Wee

This week Chris and Walt promote the great city of Hamilton, Ontario and its rich history as a comic book collecting hub.

Please let us know what you thought of the show: leave us a comment, we just ask that you keep things civil.

Do you have any history of hunting down comics in Hamilton?

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1688

11 Comments

  1. Nice recollections Chris and Walt. But too short…
    Don’t short change us on Comic Culture Conversation

  2. Hilarious! I made one joke about selling holiday packages to ‘Beautiful, Sunny Hamilton’ and this is the result!

    I really need to be more careful about letting my imagination take flights of fancy

  3. Freewheelin’ was the Dylan album. It had Hard Rain and Blowin’ in the Wind on it. His imitators put out FreeStealin’.

  4. Guys! Do yourselves a favour and buy a bottle of Te Bheag Gaelic whisky, a blended Scotch from the Isle of Skye. As much as I love Bushmills and Tullamore Dew, this baby has a smooth taste and a slight sweetness much like the Irish. and, at only $40.40 it’s not going to put a huge dint in your pocketbook! You really owe it to yourselves to have a “wee dram,’ or, as we say it in Gaelic, “te bheag.” Slainte.

    In the days of the Festival of Friends, Hamilton was the place to be for folk enthusiasts in Ontario and beyond. I think of it as second only to Mariposa in the thriving folk scene of the ’70s! And the beach strip by the Skyway used to be one of the hottest bathing and entertainment spots on the lake. Okay, now I’m beginning to show my age. The waterfalls along the escarpment are beyond beautiful…they’re stunning! And need I mention Dundurn Castle for the history buffs? Hamilton is full of amazing things to do and see, besides Stelco!

  5. Hey guys! I am expecting an official Comic Book Daily ‘No-Prize’ for inspiring this week’s topic! Are ya gonna mail it or shall I pick it up at Big ‘B’ comics?? Lemme know.

    I picked up a Mystery in Space #5 for $25.00 [VG] from the Hamilton Silver Snail about 35 years ago- that’s it. I bought no other book from any Hamilton comic store ever!
    I never seem to venture into Hamilton downtown. Never have, & I don’t know why. Always mean to visit places like Dundurn Castle but never get around to it.
    I DO spend a fair bit of time visiting waterfalls in the Hamilton area- THAT IS definitely time well spent!

  6. Live Frog, Comic Culture’s muse… what are two muses called? Muesli? We must add Spider as a muse.

    Mightymighty, luckily we have no imitators,

    Gordon, that song brought tears to my eyes

    Mel, I try not to drink anything I can’t pronounce, luckily for us, Chris, ever the cunning linguist, buys the booze

  7. Thanks Walt!- I’ll send you a photograph.

    I have been thinking about the whole Hamilton thing & it all makes sense to me now. As a kid living in Oakville in the 1980’s, it made more sense to me to take the trip to Toronto & hit a number of stores, than go to Hamilton & hit one or two stores. From Union Station in Toronto, we could hoof it in any direction & enjoy mecca! We could go up Yonge Street & hit Sam the Record Man, Mr.Gameway’s Ark or the World’s biggest Bookstore [ we weren’t just after comic books- we had a wealth of interests]. We could trek along Queen St & hit a bunch of record stores, used book stores & comic stores DRAGON LADY, SILVER SNAIL & those rotten tossers, Grey Legion [boo hiss!]. I would check out BAKKA with every trip I took & this is where I bought my first pulps & ARKHAM HOUSE volumes! If we had any cash left, we could hoof it to Honest Ed’s & check out YESTERDAY’S HEROES & MEMORY LANE [ which was selling movie material by then]. Finally, if we had the energy, we would trek to Harbord St & check out THE BEGUILING [ before they moved to Honest Ed’s area of town]. There were so many good stores around back then & we could not hope to hit them all on one trip. Most of these stores are gone now, or have moved elsewhere & Queen Street has little interest to me now.

    On top of this, Toronto hosted scads of Comic Conventions back then, big and small, at least a show a month somewhere in town, sometimes two shows a month! On one particularly poor bit of scheduling, Dragon Lady & another group hosted major comic conventions on the SAME DAY!! Dragon Lady had their show at a hotel down the street from their store and it was a knockout- the other guys had their show at a hotel a few blocks away & GENE COLAN showed up with his family along with HUNDREDS of pages of his original art for sale, which he had just received from Marvel. Sh*t-loads of original Daredevil pages, Tomb of Dracula pages etc from $60.00 to $200.00 a page !!! Like a FOOL I did not buy any…I was just a kid & did not see the value of collecting just single pages of art. For the price of a single page of art, you could fill a sack with pre-code horror, crime & other assorted vintage books. Why the hell would I want a single piece of cardboard when I could buy a few dozen complete books for the same price ??? WE DID NOT see today’s market coming folks!- nobody could predict today’s price levels back then!! I could buy Captain America #76, #77 & #78 in fair to good condition for the same price as a single page of Daredevil art on Gene’s table! Yep, a dealer had all three issues for $20.00 each right across the aisle from Gene’s tables. What would you do at a time like this ???
    This convention was not a success as their air conditioning had failed & the hall steamed like the BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA!!! You could not think in the heat & we did not spend too much time in there. Gene was surrounded by fans, fanboys AND electric fans & both made a lot of noise. We left the show & went back to the Dragon Lady show where I gave Harley Yee the rest of my money!

    On one memorable convention at the Ontario College of Art, I met Ed Furness. I almost never went to the artist’s alley at these conventions as I really only wanted the comics, not to waste time chin-wagging with some artist who was probably wishing he was somewhere else. This show featured Joe Kubert & sons Adam & Andy. I went to see Joe as I was very fond of his work. He was being mobbed by fans & was probably wishing he was somewhere else. He had brought a single page of art with him- it was a Hawkman page from Flash Comics #104. Very nice. In the corner of the artists’ alley sat an old man, totally alone, eating an egg sandwich. It was Ed Furness. I recognized his name from some of the Freelance & Grand Slam comics that I had at home. I ended up talking to him for some time, uncontested. I don’t recall what we talked about- just chit-chat. Although the hall was packed with comics, there was not a single Canadian Golden Age comic to be found! I had Ed sign the convention program for me as I simply could not find anything that he had worked on in the hall. I left the show kinda sad- here was a guy who had spent a chunk of his life in the comics & both he and his comics were now forgotten and ignored. Not one person came to talk to him while I sat with him. Very sad indeed !

    This is why I did not have any reason to go to Hamilton & know so little about the city. Everything simply happened in Toronto…..’nuff said!

    PS- If you guys see Ron van Leeuwen hanging around somewhere, pls remind him that he still owes John Biernat a dinner. I would like to know if he still has his monkeys or have they all escaped?? I am sure I saw some of them driving down the 427 a few days ago in a beat up van. Ho hum……

  8. Oooohhhhh !! I just got the joke !!! … “cunning linguist”… that’s absolutely awful! This is a family channel !!! Go wash your hands !!!

  9. Love your comic convention and comic stories Live frog. Imagine if you’d bought two or three pages of Colon Art?
    In 1978 or 1979, a young fellow named Ray,age 18 or so, started Beaver comics in Barrie Ontario. He may have even been younger. He was going to the USA and buying original art. He wanted me to go, but I couldn’t see past my own comic collecting. He mentioned and I believe showed me some Kirby pages. The first Time I ever saw original Art. Amazing. Sadly Ray died of Cancer by the early 1990’s, but he was a great guy,progressive as a comic business man and Barrie missed him.
    As for the original art, I spoke to his Mom, and it and much else went missing. Keep the memories alive Mr Live Frog and others. Its been a swell journey.

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