The Story of How I Started Reading
"The Punisher"

by Mark Moore

There are two different versions of this story, yet they both tell the same tale. I have put the Kids' Version first, followed by the Grand Epic Version of the story, even though I wrote the Grand Epic Version first. This story was updated on Friday, July 30, 1999, at 9:43 AM.

Kids' Version

This is how I got into reading "The Punisher" comic books.

On June 4, 1999, at 7:00 AM, my alarm clock woke me up. I got dressed.

At about 7:50, I arrived at Howard's Flea Market. I walked across the stoney dirt lot and checked Warren's Book Store. It was closed. I walked to the other end of the flea market and went into Mr. Ed's Books, where six days earlier I had bought "Archie Meets The Punisher, Volume 1, Number 1". That book had introduced me to Frank Castle. Now I was looking for issues of "The Punisher". I didn't find any in Ed's small collection, so I asked him if he had any issues of "The Transformers", which my friend, Matt Slater, had bought from him earlier. He didn't have any. However, I did buy a CD that had themes of some movies I'd seen.

On my way back to Warren's Book Store, I met another guy that sells comic books, but I don't know his name. I asked him if he had any comic books I was looking for. He didn't have any comics with him that day.

When I got to Warren's, I saw that it was open. He pulled a cover off some cardboard boxes filled with comic books. I looked through them.

It was so hot, I was sweating. Sweat got on my glasses and in my eyes. A fly kept buzzing around me and biting me. I found issues of "The Punisher" and others. I found a series called "The Punisher 2099", but Frank wasn't in it, so I put it back. I did the same with "Son of the Punisher 2099". I didn't take issues of other series that had Frank as a guest star.

I bought The Punisher, Vol. II, No. 52, 54, 57, 79; The Punisher Annual, Vol. 1, No. 5; The Punisher: War Journal, Vol. 1, No. 49-51, 53, 61; The Punisher: War Zone, Vol. 1, No. 14 & 15, The Punisher: The Origin of Micro Chip, Vol. 1, No. 1 & 2; Mortal Kombat: Blood & Thunder # 6, Goro: Prince of Pain # 1 & 2; Archie Giant Series Presents Betty and Veronica Spectacular, No. 250; and Reggie and Me, No. 92. It all cost me six bucks total.

Then I went back to my car. It was 9:30 AM! I drove home, where I wrote this story.

-Mark Moore, June 4, 1999, 2:30 PM

Grand Epic Version

Here begineth a treatise of how I cometh into the company of "The Punisher".

On the glorious Fourth day of June in the Year of Our Lord, Nineteen-Hundred-Ninety-Nine, at Zero past the Seventh Hour, I awakened to the sound of mine alarm clock. I proceeded to make ready myself.

At approximately Fifty past the Seventh Hour, I arrived at my destination, the fabled Howard's Flea Market. I made my way inside across the Valley of Sand and Stone. I then searched out the Big Three: Sir Warren, Sir Edward, and the Man Whose Name I Know Not.

In my enthusiasm, I had apparently arrived early, for Sir Warren's Shoppe had not yet opened. I entered Sir Edward's Shoppe, where six days prior I had made the wise purchase of the tome "Archie Meets The Punisher, Volume 1, Number 1". That tale had introduced me to the famous exploits of Sir Francis Castle. It was now that I sought out more tales of Him. Having found none in Sir Edward's meager collection, I inquired the shopkeeper of the adventures of "The Transformers", tomes of which my friend, Matthew Slater, had purchased in this very place earlier. Alas, Sir Edward had none. However, I did make purchase of a compact disc containing themes of tales I had seen before.

On my journey back to Sir Warren's Shoppe, I came across the Man Whose Name I Know Not. I inquired of tomes which I sought. He had none with him that day.

Upon arriving at Sir Warren's Shoppe, I was pleased to see that Sir Warren had arrived and opened his doors. He uncovered chests full of tomes for me to peruse. I eagerly delved in and came across many a tale which I shall come to purchase.

Sweat falling from my brow and into mine spectacles and eyes, and whilst attacked by a horrific creature, soon I came across the tales of Sir Francis Castle. Accompanying these tales were tales of Sir Reginald, Sir Elizabeth, Sir Veronica, and the Defenders of Earth Realm and their Nemesis. Also in my discovery were tales known as "The Punisher 2099", but when I looketh inside the tome, I discovered 'twas not Sir Francis! I putteth them back into the chest. I did likewise with the tale of the man's progeny. I also discovered tales of other heroes, but I did not purchase them, for Sir Francis appears only as guest for a short time.

My final tally: 14 tales of "The Punisher", 1 of Sir Reginald, 1 of Sirs Elizabeth and Veronica, 1 of the Defenders of Earth Realm, and 2 of their Nemesis. I brought my purchases up to Sir Warren and paid 600 pence in total for them.

I journeyed back to my vehicle across the Valley of Sand and Stone. 'Twas Half past the Ninth Hour! I returneth home and did write this preceding treatise.

-Mark Moore, The Fourth of June, Nineteen-Hundred-Ninety-Nine, Half past the Fourteenth Hour

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