I no longer read comics. My reasons for this are varied, but mainly it's because the joy and magic of reading comes from me picturing the events of the story in my own mind. It's my preference.

In my youth, however, I was an enormous fan of comics. I read some DC, but I was a Marvel reader for the most part. At the time at least, Marvel was more sophisticated and the stories had more depth than the stuff DC was doing. That was my opinion, anyway.

I was beyond excited when Marvel announced a fan club in the works. This was in the mid-1970's. I had read in back issues that Marvel had a club in the '60's called The Merry Marvel Marching Society. I was green with envy that I was unable to be a part of it.

The new club was called F.O.O.M., or, Friends of Ol' Marvel. I had to join. The price was steep, my friends. They wanted $2.50 to become a member. It was tough, because I never had much dough when I was a kid. I could buy a stack of comics for two-and-a-half bucks. And I always sweated about whether I would be able to afford the new issues of my favorite comics every month.

I scraped up the money to join F.O.O.M., sent it in, and waited.

My package eventually arrived. Inside were decals, a membership card, the first issues of F.O.O.M. Magazine, and it was inside a large Hulk-a-riffic envelope. I was ecstatic.

I've always been the type to join fan clubs and things like that. When I joined the Ben Folds Fan Club, my ex called me a dork. She wasn't laughing when I got an invitation to attend a closed TV taping Ben and his band were doing in my home town. Membership does, of course, have its privileges.

My favorite horror publisher is Cemetery Dance Publications. I love the books they choose to publish, the people who work there, the quality of their publications. CD has an annual book club. I've been a member for a while. I think I missed one year, and I deeply regretted it.

Today I received a package from CD, which contained some of the 2014 book club exclusives. Unfortunately there was no eye-popping mail packaging, like Marvel did with F.O.O.M., but the stuff inside was awesome.

There is a Glenn Chadbourne poster, a blood-red tee shirt with a short story by Kealan Patrick Burke on it, a nifty Stephen King mousepad, and a keychain with the Cemetery Dance emblem emblazoned upon it. I expected a cheap plastic keychain, but this one is solid metal and sturdy. I'm glad, because I am hard on things in my pockets.

It's getting harder all the time to feel like a kid again, but today I did. Thanks, CD.

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