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Live from Gene Hendricks’ Basement – FIRE & WATER #130

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 130th episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is now available for your listening pleasure! THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is the official podcast of FIRESTORM FAN and THE AQUAMAN SHRINE.

Recorded live and in-person! Shag, Rob and special guest Gene Hendricks reminisce about “road trip comics”!

You can find the 130th episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST on iTunes. While you’re there, please drop us a review on the iTunes page. Every comment helps! Alternatively, you may play the podcast using the player below or by right-clicking “download”, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (41 MB).

Opening theme, “That Time is Now,” by Michael Kohler. Special thanks to Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic original closing theme!

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Fire and Water Podcast: Irredeemable Shag, Gene Hendricks, and Rob Kelly

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  1. This was a great show. Thanks to Gene for making it less awkward than last time.

    But seriously, I loved hearing the heartfelt stories. Isn’t it a bit ironic that Rob had no problem doing a friendly home invasion on a couple of old ladies, but wouldn’t ask a store owner about purchasing one of his fixtures? I did enjoy your pics Rob, and I’d have done the exact same thing. I heartily recommend everyone read Scooby-Doo Team-Up. It’s a whole lotta fun! My daughter subscribes to it, and I always read it to her.

    We never took vacations when I was a kid. The most I’d get was a long car ride and a visit to a Kentucky state park. But I always took a stack of comics with me and read them in the back seat while my parents drove around the state. It’s probably why my sense of direction is utter crap. We did take an overnight trip somewhere when I was around 12, and I picked up Captain America #333 & 334, where John Walker becomes Cap for a time. I had missed a lot of Caps back home and was stunned by these developments!

    I’m glad you (or fake Buster Pointdexter) explained what Wah-Wah was. I had no idea.


  2. This was a fun episode, though a mere taste of Gene pretending to be your father shouting down the stairs wasn’t nearly enough. You three should have run with that angle for the entire episode!

    After this episode I started thinking about my own vacation comics and discovers–to my sadness–that I didn’t have any. I don’t remember ever buying comics on family vacations or bringing them along to read during long trips. This realization makes me retroactively hate my parents and my childhood.

  3. Anj says:

    I have talked about my “mountain comics” which are ‘beach comics’. There was a convenience store 3 blocks away from the summer house we lived in and I would be sent to get milk, occasionally with some extra change to get a comic off the spinner.

    But the big wins were the stacks I would get cheap from yard sales/flea markets we would head to when living there. As a result many of ‘first comics’ were DC books from the early 70s even though I was reading them in the late 70s. I cut my teeth on the Bates/Grell Legion.

    I am unbelievably jealous about Rob’s spinner rack. I would love to have one! Quite a score!!

  4. Tim Wallace says:

    I remember a week, summer of 1990, that I spent on a friend’s family boat. It was 4 of us, and the one guy’s dad. We had a blast! I remember docking one day, in some little town along the Chesapeake Bay, and walking into a local drugstore to grab drinks and snacks and walking out with a couple NOW Comics “Married With Children…” and “Real Ghostbusters” issues! I was surprised they had something other than the standard DC/Marvel/Archie fare and couldn’t resist them.

  5. ^The drugstore up the street from me carried NOW Comics, like those you mentioned, and Green Hornet (which I bought) and Ralph Snart (which my future brother-in-law bought). I’m not sure how they got newsstand distribution, but they did!


  6. Extremely cool to hear about Rob’s trip revisiting aspects of his childhood. We get too few chances to do that kind of thing, and it was so fun to hear about Rob taking advantage of this opportunity.

  7. Frank says:

    I didn’t have “mountain comics” and trips to the Poconos so much as “a newsstand is the only stability in my young life” and “camping out” without lights or running water because the bills didn’t get paid. I do recall having a copy of Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 with me on an interminable bus ride to Denver (as well as possibly an early issue of the Baxter New Teen Titans where the heroes battled demonic versions of themselves.) While laying entombed by all my family’s worldly possessions in the back of a pick-up truck bound for Albuquerque, I remember reading Justice League International #7, the hilarious “Moving Day” issue, which was one of the last books I bought from my first ever neighborhood comic shop before leaving it forever. The first comic I bought in Flagstaff was a Spider-Man digest with a John Romita Sr. cover featuring Man-Mountain Marko. I bought a copy of Sledge Hammer!#1 and a 2 liter coke before getting hit by a truck crossing a busy intersection in Vegas. I lost both purchases and one shoe (plus the sock,) though I bought a second copy before it went out a stock (and am probably to only reader who can make such a claim AND even came back for the second and final Alex Saviuk-drawn issue.) That convenience store (I think it was a 7-11) was my main source of comics my whole time in Sin City, though I don’t think I ever walked there again. Fun episode hearing about normal people’s lives!

  8. Xum Yukinori says:


    I have a long-time friend who collects comics and had lived in Traverse City, Michigan through most of the 1980s — and upon hearing this podcast I asked him about the Comics Cave. He remembers it well. It used to be the only comic book store in town at that time, and was owned and run by a kind husband-and-wife team. One quirky little thing he had mentioned is that the price tags of their back issues were handwritten on these tiny, neon-green, rounded rectangular stickers (which you can buy at any office supply store) stuck on the top left corner of the comic bag… which were so difficult to remove that he quickly stopped bothering to do so.

    In the early 1980s the Cave used to be located downtown on Front Street in one of the multi-shop buildings about a block or so away from Stacey’s (which he says was a 1950s-style diner and malt shoppe that later changed ownership and name in the late 1980s to “Poppycock’s”). The Cave then moved into a solitary shop on Eighth Street near the Boardman River in the mid-1980s. He was very surprised to show up at that location one Wednesday in 1988 to find the building empty and for lease. Fortunately he still had a business card from the shop and called the phone number, and yes, they were continuing their operations and filling comic book pull-lists from the garage of their house, which was up in the hilly area a few miles west of downtown Traverse City, which I presume is where you went as well.

    According to what my friend told me, the move was made with absolutely no notice and had to have happened in September 1988, because he distinctly remembers The New Titans #50 being the last comic he bought at the Eighth Street store, and having to drive up to the hills to purchase issue #51 and subsequent issues. Because of the inconvenient distance (he lived out on the Peninsula), he visited the “Comic Cave home base” on a monthly basis instead of weekly, and always had to call to schedule an appointment to pick up his comics prior to a visit. One time he was actually stuck in the snow for a couple of hours and missed an appointment (no cellular phones back then, so help was hard to come by).

    In early 1989, a different comic book store opened on Eighth Street off of Garfield Ave (in the same shop lot as the Ben Franklin 5 and 10) — which was a lot closer to the Peninsula and the Community College he was attending. However, the owner was a chain smoker and had no qualms about smoking throughout the day in his establishment. So my friend very quickly decided to purchase his comics through mail order until he moved out of the city to go to university schooling a few years later.

    Shag, I trust you are familiar with where these places are or were, since I had never been to Traverse City myself…

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