Hellblazer #1 & Sandman #1

HELLBLAZER #1

‘Yesterday I was shivering in London. Now the Sudanese sun scorches the skin from me, like a blowtorch.’

In this premiere issue of Hellblazer, streetwise magician John Constantine meets an old friend and goes in search of a hunger demon.

Hellblazer #1, January 1988, Cover by Dave McKean

The first Hellblazer issue I bought was number 31 back in July 1990. It was written by Jamie Delano with art by Sean Phillips. The story is titled “Mourning of the Magician” and tells the tale of John Constantine’s father’s funeral. I was vaguely aware of the character of Constantine but had no idea who anyone else was. What I do remember is how much the story pulled me in. It was a ghost story set in England with references to occult magic. I instantly wanted to know more about these characters and the world they inhabited.

I continued to buy Hellblazer monthly and made it my mission to get hold of the previous thirty issues that I’d missed. Some were easy to find, others not so much, especially the first ten issues. I remember tracking down issue one at a comics fair in Manchester, England. I don’t recall how much I paid for it but it can’t have been very much because I was in college at the time. I can trace my infection with the “collector-bug” to this comic book as well as Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.

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