My buddy, Jase, and I made many a pilgrimage to Oak Ridge, Clinton, and Knoxville during high school searching for independent, mostly horror, comics. High on our lists were always Faust; Love of the Damned and Dead World. Kevin Eastman's Zombie War was always a major find since I was a big fan of the original TMNT. We were both Clive Barker fans, so any of the Nightbreed and Hellraiser books were important. Jase lucked out and found Barker and Steve Niles' Night of the Living Dead: London. He also found the only Spring Heeled Jack comics (Rebel Studios) I've ever seen.
Comics have always been immeasurably important to me. Ever since I bought my first Detective Comics back in '87 I have been hooked. The late 80's/early 90's had a glut of splendid indies to choose from, but where we lived there were no comic shops, so we had to rely on the Knoxville Comic Con and the, maybe, one or two times a year I'd get to go to one of the comic shops in Knoxville or Clinton. Thank God for a drivers license! We'd take a Saturday and drive to every used book store and thrift shop we could find, digging through their shelves looking for treasure. Clinton Cards, Comics and Collectibles was a Mecca. I always found something surprising, like Razor (London Night Studio), Jason Vs. Leatherface (Topps I think?), Calibre Presents, Ashes (Calibre) or Evil Ernie.
One of my favorite memories was tearing through one of our early comic cons at 13 or 14 and hitting up every table asking for Faust and having every vendor having a negative reaction to our queries. "Demon children!" and "Um...No. We wouldn't bring that book." were common statements. But there was ONE cool table and the dude sold us issues 1 and 6 like he was selling us porn. Which he kinda was. And fitting since I had to hide a lot of my non Marvel/DC comics with my porn!
Keep watching the sky, nerds!