As long time comic book fans know, in the early 1990’s, the original Valiant Comics were a big deal. Series like X-O Manowar, Magnus Robot Fighter, and Solar Man of the Atom were big collectors items back then.
Of course these days you can find multiple copies of Bloodshot #1 and a bunch of other Valiant books in the quarter bins at comic shops and conventions all over the country. But that is neither here nor there.
The point is that for a couple of years, every new series Valiant published would sell thousands of copies, and would dominate Wizard magazine’s top 10 lists for months. One of those series that sold like hot cakes was Ninjak, written by Mark Moretti, with art by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti.
When Ninjak #1 was released, Laneit and your truly were in the 9th grade. Our visits to New England Comics were rare in those days, so we would always stock up during each visit. On one occasion, we both purchased a copy of Ninjak #1, lured in by the art of Joe Quesada, the shiny wraparound chromium cover, and the hopes that one day this book would pay for our college education.
Anyways, a few days later at school, Laneit seemed really ticked off about something. I soon found out that during his industrial design class he had destroyed his precious copy of Ninjak #1. Here’s what I remember from that early 1994 day:
The class assignment had been to scan something and see if they could do something else with it. For example, I once turned The New England Patriots logo into a coaster.
Anywho, Laneit decided it would be a good idea to scan the cover of Ninjak #1 for project. But keep in mind, this school scanner was not like the scanners of today. Hell, it wasn’t even like the scanners of 10 years ago. The school scanner was the size of a go-kart, and just as loud.
So Laneit put the comic in there, and of course the whole thing melts. Not only is the comic destroyed, but now the scanner is out of commission too. I never found out if Laneit had to pay for the damage or not, but I think all he was concerned with was losing the comic book.
I fell bad for that scanner because it still had a few decent years left in it. I just hope its in a better place now. May it rest in peace.