The greatest comics of all time don’t appear on bestseller charts or canon lists or big-box bookstore shelves. They are the property of the back issue bins and thrift store crates and swap meet hawkers of America, living like the medium itself in the unremembered crags and pockets of publishing history…
Zen Intergalactic Ninja: Tour of the Universe Special – The Airbrush Art of Dan Cote, by Dan Cote with an introduction by Steve Stern. Cover dated 1995. Published by Entity Comics/Express Publications.
How acquired: A flash of shiny pink and silver caught my eye midway through a box of “special stuff” at the legendary, trash-strewn, dust-encrusted, Indian food-smelling SuperSecret Comics Warehouse in Brooklyn. The pink was the comic’s own holographic foil cardstock cover (I love ’90s comics), but the silver was a faded glint of metallic Sharpie tracings. Yes, folks, this is a signed copy — albeit one signed by the dude who wrote the comic’s introduction, with ink that’s made more moves toward fading off than staying on since. This thing smells like Sharpie too, so overwhelmingly that I have to hold it at arms’ length when I read it — probably the result of the no doubt extremely hazardous chemicals used to produce such a shiny cover. Which, as you’ll come to understand, is perfect.