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Monday, June 25, 2007

Start the week @ RD/KA! : Meanwhile...

Extraordinary good fortune!
So there I was the other day, heading off up to my GP's to collect a new prescription for Chlorpromazine (a.k.a. Largactil), which is my discretionary tranq of choice when I need a little bit extra to help me manage my hypomanic cycle. Passing Caledonia Books (my former friendly neighbourhood 2nd-hand bookstore) on my way, I decided to pop in in search of some cheap graphic novels. I did well, picking up: Essential Doctor Strange, Vol. 1 (the Dread Dormammu!- memories, sigh), and The Ultimates, Vol. 1 for easy reading; completing my Joe Sacco collection with Safe Area Gorazde; and getting another major nostalgia hit with a battered old copy of Michael Moorcock and Howard Chaykin's Eternal Champion collaboration The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell, which was the first graphic novel I ever read, some 30 years ago.

Well satisfied with my finds, I was heading for the cash desk when I spied something I could barely believe I was seeing. It was a copy of the official 1945 The Story of the 79th Armoured Division. And that's not the facsimile reprint linked to there, but the original edition, with the label inside saying:

RESTRICTED
The information given in this document is not to be communicated, either directly or indirectly, to the Press, or to any person not authorised to receive it.

I last saw this book when I was still at school. A friend I used to roleplay and wargame with had got a copy through a relative. I borrowed it, and just couldn't get enough of the cornucopia of riches contained within its pages. I pleaded with my friend to let me have it, but he was wisely having none of it. I was deeply saddened, but I got over it.

I picked up the copy I found in Caledonia books to check price- £15! What a find! A quick double-take and I saw it was actually £45- steep, but by no means excessive (just check out these prices). I just had to have this book! For some reason I swithered- those graphic novels were dear to me already! But the owner of the bookstore came to my rescue, offering me a deal effectively giving me £5 off the book and £3 off the comics if I took the whole lot on the spot. I accepted with alacrity and a second trip to the ATM.

I may come back another time to show off some of the amazing contents of this splendid book. In the meantime: let joy be unconfined! ;)
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