Another beautiful interior shot of a Bronze Age comic shop, this one from Flying Colors Comics. Let’s nail down the date. The best look I can get of the nearest comics is the Fantastic Four on the bottom shelf, three in from the far right. It’s FF #226, with a publication date of January, 1981. (Look for the hand of the Samurai Destroyer under the ‘sti’ of ‘Fantastic’.)
The newest book would be in full view, with back issues tucked behind it. Publication dates ran two to three months in advance, so we’re in October or November of 1980. Other than the FF, I spot Defenders #89 (pink cover) and, below it, #91 (yellow cover, same publication date as FF #226). Man, 1980. What a beautiful time to be a kid.
I’m not into DC, so I can’t identify any of the comics on the bottom rack in back of the store, but I do see, just to the right of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Coloring Book (more on that in a sec) at the top of the spinner rack, Starlog #39 (October, 1980), with Gil Gerrard on the cover.
Now, the spinner rack. The LoTR coloring book was part of the promotional campaign for Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 LoTR adaptation, as you can see in this sweet catalog at Plaid Stallions.
The version seen here (top right, by the weird lady’s head) and in the comic shop was originally published in 1978. An alternate cover version, seen below via eBay, came out in 1979.
To the left of the LoTR book you’ll see what’s become a cult item in the pop art world: the Space WARP Space Fantasy Color & Story Book (1978), published by Troubador Press. I want it badly.
UPDATE (11/22/13): Malcolm Whyte, who ran Troubador Press for 30 years, spotted more Troubador titles on the rack: Maze Craze 4 is just beneath the LoTR book; Larry Evans’ 3-D Monster Mazes is just beneath that; and two different Evans 3-D Maze Posters volumes (“huge fold-out jobs and complex!” Malcolm notes) are beneath that.