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Buy Books & Hips
Written by Gary Groth | Filed under comics industry 17 Sep 2009 3:40 PM

Here's a public service announcement on behalf of an enduring member of the comics biz. Bob Beerbohm's been selling old comics since 1966 when he was still a teenager and, in 1973, opened the first Comics & Comix store (with partner Bud Plant) in San Francisco. Comics & Comix became a chain in the bay area, one of the earliest comic book stores in the then-inchoate direct sales market. Since then, Bob's continued to sell vintage comics from the '40s, '50s, and '60s, Big Litle Books, and original art, has become something of an amateur comics historian whose scholarly essays appear in every Overstreet Price Guide — there's a lot of fascinating, arcane comics history rattling around in his brain that he keeps threatening to put into a book. This won't happen unless he can solve his medical problems.

Bob could be a poster child for our pathologically dysfunctional and systemically cruel and capricious health care system. He was in a serious car accident while leaving the 1973 Houston Comicon and, as a result, he's worn all the cartilage from his hip joints, which means that when he walks, his hips are grinding bone on bone. Naturally, his health insurance company dropped him as soon as he complained about this because, they said, it constituted a "previously undisclosed condition," and they wouldn't cover the operation he now desperately needs. So, the bottom line is that he's in continuous pain, can barely get around on crutches, can no longer do all the physical labor that his business requires (like lifting and carrying boxes of comics), is broke, and needs you to buy some comics from him so he can afford the $18,000 it'll cost him in cold hard cash for this operation. If we lived in a better world, America's generous socialistic health care would give him the operation he needs, or, at the very least, some rich patron would come forward and write him a check. We do not live in that world, and he needs all the help he can get.

You can visit his ebay store at http://stores.ebay.com/BLB-COMICS, or his website at www.BLBcomics.com. You can even call him: (402) 727-4071. In fact, Bob's a chatterbox. Call him up and offer to pay him to talk comics history by the minute — you could spend your money more frivolously.