Collector's Edge Comics Time Line

The Parker Age

1983    to     July 6th, 2000






1983 (cont.):

Jef opens his first incarnation of Collector's Edge on S. 13th St.


Jef liquidates his comic collection (including full runs of early Marvels) to produce capital to open the shop. He uses the fledgling Capital City Comics Distribution, based in Madison.


Jef inherits employee Gabe Serafin from Excalibur Comics, as well as a teenager named Robbie.



Jef separates from/divorces Linda.


First appearance of Mark Lindval from Renaissance Books (although Jef knew him a little earlier than this).


The 13th St. store experiences some structural problems and Jef moves the store to 2304 S. Howell (currently an office in the Maritime Bank building.)


The new shop becomes a popular Friday night hangout (new comics arrived on Friday).


Jef holds court at a restaurant called the Ritz, which later became the Copper Penny and is now the Bay View Family Restaurant.


June: Jef begins a torrid love affair with Sue Marusik.


Henry Smith becomes bartender at the Burnham Bowl comics show.


First appearance of Travis Livieri.


Independent comics such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nexus, and Jon Sable Freelance herald the onset of the "Independent explosion".


Jef begins side work for the Oriental Theatre and also starts a poster shrink-wrap business.


Jef adopts blaze orange as the store color.


Early package system is developed, using a spiral notebook. Jef remembers it fondly for years to come.


Jef befriends Chris Hill, an employee of the Oriental, and lures him back into comics. Chris opens a package on his first visit to the store in December.



Sales begin to increase with series such as "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and "Secret Wars".


A young Travis Livieri joins the Edge, working for Jef on weekends.


Wrestling and roman knuckles are popular sports within the shop.


First appearances of Ilija Stojsavljevic, Bob Schneider and Clayton Dietl.


Travis and Kevin meet (later become best friends.) Ironically they lived only a block away from each other, but never met until they both frequented the Edge.


Mountain Dew becomes the Edge's unofficial drink of choice.



Jef and Sue live above the Ritz restaurant. For about a year Jef had his home, restaurant and shop all within one square city block!


John Byrne's "Man of Steel" Superman mini-series debuts. Jef orders 500 copies and takes a bath.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen.


Dave Rogman, who had frequented Excalibur, Chet's, and Collector's Edge, goes on a two year comics hiatus at age 16.


December: Jerry Ordway draws Jef into Adventures of Superman #426 as Graggin, the scavenger of Apokolips.



Jef buys a computer and Kevin Zawicki starts the first computerized package system along with Jef's future wife Sue, who is doing the bookkeeping.


Jef offers a money back guarantee on Watchmen #1-2. Watchmen completes its 12-issue series and Jef begins to formulate "the Watchmen speech" to interest people in the book.


Summer: First computerized package system goes on line.


Jef and Sue marry on September 26.


Jef opens a second shop in West Allis (6830 W. Lincoln Ave.).


Jef helps Tom Monsour open a short-lived comic shop on the east side called EastTown Comics.


Young grocer Ilija Stojsavljevic opens a package at the Edge.


First appearance of Chuck Megal.


Fall: Dave Mehling opens a package at the Edge.


Jef briefly employs a kid who came over to Collector's Edge from one of his competitors. Jef suspects him of being a spy and sends him packing.



South shop moves around the corner to 2327 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. The new location affords much more space.


Jef is affectionately christened 'The Fatman' by the staff, and "Jef is fat!" becomes an Edge rallying cry.


January: Chris Hill joins The Edge at South on Saturdays. Chris's tastes run towards some more obscure comics and he convinces Jef to up his orders on a few, including Tales of the Beanworld. Most of these go unsold, which Jef never forgets or lets Chris forget.


February: Notebook package system retired, Jef remembers this day not so fondly.


April 23rd: In a story that has become a Collector's Edge legend, Travis Livieri was working alone at South when Stephen King came into the store. King bought Daredevil #3 & #4 for $75 and paid with a check, then Travis sent him to the Renaissance to meet Mark Lindval, a huge King fan. Jef, who was working at West, reamed Travis for not having King sign any of the first editions that were stored at the shop.


Jason Denzer and Brian Ewing join the Edge at South.


Jef is at the center of a large group which convenes at the 27th Street Chancery on Friday nights, or later Coco's or The Village Inn on Tuesdays. The group included Jef Parker, Steve Dobrzynski, Kevin Zawicki, Ilija Stojsavljevic, Jason Denzer, Neil Pech, Barsom Manashian, Wilbert Beech, Chuck Megal, Clayton Dietl, Mike Machlan, Dennis Dillon, Loren Sanders and his wife, Robert Elkins, Mike Van Plew, Henry Smith, Sue Parker, Rick LaRue jr., Dave Rogman, Chris Hill, Luke Spanton and various others, some every week, others only once or twice. This eventually mutated into Jef, King of the Morlocks, holding court at the Copper Penny/Bay View Family Restaurant but with hardly any of the originals left.


Jef takes his first ever vacation, a cruise, leaving Travis Livieri and Chris Hill in charge of the shops.


First appearance of Matt Glaze.


Capital City Distribution begins to hold retailer conferences, creating an opportunity for the publishers to present their products to store owners from across the country. In 1993 or 1994 Jef razzes Mr. T, there to promote his new book from Now Comics, about the trees being cut down to print it. In the mid-nineties Jef is nominated for the Retailer of the Year award.


Travis Livieri and Chris Hill run the West store.


First appearance of Chris Cushinery.


Dave Rogman opens a package.


Summer: Travis Livieri and Kevin Zawicki feel that Jef is getting a little lazy and partying a little too hard, affecting the quality of the shops. Travis (with a reluctant Kevin, believe it or not) confronts Jef about his "gallivanting around." Jef shows them who's boss, telling them to walk if they don't like it. They don't walk, but don't like it either.


Fall: Bruce Blanton joins the Edge and runs the West store, replacing Chris Hill who's off to grad school. Jef drives Chris and his comics to Rochester, New York in August.


Marvel-zombie Steve Dobrzynski first meets Jef.


November: First Appearance of Shane Mervyn, who comes to the Edge after Sun Foods closes.



Summer: Jef opens the North store at 7852 W. Appleton Ave, run by Chris Hill, who's back from grad school. About six months later it moves to its current location, 7826 W. Burleigh. Helpers include Eric Musial and Allen Frank. The Burleigh store eventually had the loudest stereo yet seen in a comics shop in Southeastern Wisconsin, thanks to speakers Jef acquired from customers.


"Batman" premieres and the bat-frenzy begins.


While waiting for the Odd Rock Café to open for a speed metal concert, John Steib and Teri Pritchett spot a Punisher stand-up in a store window. They go in and meet Jef for the first time.


Jef begins to host the once-a-month (more or less) Collector's Edge staff meetings. Held at several restaurants, or at the store with pizza ordered in from Pepi's Pizza (Travis Livieri is still hooked on it). These meetings give Jef (The Dictator) an opportunity to directly impart his wisdom and instruction to his employees. He always picks up the check.


Gary Ellis joins the Edge as swing man.


John Steib brings his brother Bob to Collector's Edge. Bob eventually completes his Silver Age Marvel collection there.


September: Travis Livieri goes away to college. He returns often at Christmas break or in the summers, working at South or on many different special projects, until 1995.



Thom Walesa joins the Edge.


Kevin Zawicki and Chris Hill refine and improve the package system.


Jason Denzer runs the West Store.


Rick LaRue, jr. joins the Edge at South.


First appearance of Jeff (Damage) Zellner.


The South store undergoes a major makeover, reversing the back stock shelves and the racks.


Jef turns the Burnham Bowl comics show over to Bob Schneider and Henry Smith. It continues to this day under Henry and Clayton Dietl.


July 12th: artists Tim Vigil and David Quinn (Faust) do a signing at the Edge, complete with a concert style t-shirt.


August: The Edge newsletter (Volume 1) begins, runs 8 issues until April 1991.It was Brian Ewing's idea, edited and assembled by Chris Hill, and art directed by North customer Matt Eells.


First appearance of the "Jefhead" drawing, done by Rick LaRue jr. for the Parker's Paradise column in issue #3 of the newsletter. This picture so well captures the spirit of Parker that it eventually appears over other columns, in ads and fliers, on business cards, and ultimately in the Memorial advertisement.


December: Annual New Year's Eve sale begins. Called "The Over the Edge New Year's Sale," it had many of the enduring features of the sale in place, including the prize drawings, free soda (with admission), and discounted supplies. Dave Mehling wins the first grand prize drawing. It ran from 6:30 PM on 12/31 to 6:00AM on 1/1.



Speculator's market begins to drive comic sales up.


Chris Hill becomes General Manager, a role he makes up to explain the strange way he's getting paid.


Jenny Anderson, Jef's niece, acts as assistant on the computerized Package system.Her mother Debbie Anderson, Jef's sister-in-law, also does some janitorial work at the shops.


Summer: Jason Denzer is held up at knife point at North.This was the only armed robbery at any of the stores, ever.


Wilbert Beech and later Ilija (The Mad Serb) Stojsavljevic join the Edge.


September 4th: Logan Parker born. Jef took the names Logan and Jessica from "Logan's Run."


November: John Steib joins the Edge at South.



Robert Elkins joins the Edge at West on Sundays.


Chuck Megal joins the Edge.


Rich Koslowski joins the Edge at North, later moves to East.


First appearance of Chris Radomski at West. Collecting only Ghost Rider and Hellraiser, he is deemed "The Scary Guy."


Lisa Anderson, another of Jef's nieces, helps out with stamping, sorting, and filing.


Capital City Distribution opens a Milwaukee based warehouse, primarily due to Jef finding them a suitable location. Tom and Debbie, the manager and clerk, give Jef the nickname Spanky (or Sparky.)


Spring: Jef opens a shop on the east side (3952 Maryland Ave.), initially run by John Steib and Chris Hill.


Bag and Tag back issue inventory system begins. It started out as Jef's idea, but Chris Hill and Kevin Zawicki evolved it into a form that a) worked (in theory) and b) Jef didn't like. It lasts longest at the West store, but is eventually phased out.


Travis Livieri, back for the summer, contributes much to the back issue archive at North.


June 6th: Jef dances at the wedding of John Steib and Teri Pritchett.


Kevin Zawicki coins the phrase "Jef's on Mongo" as a shorthand description for those times when Jef's mind went elsewhere.


Dave (Attitude Lad) Rogman and Justin Shady join the Edge at South. Dave had attended the same grade school as Travis Livieri. Justin is John Steib's nephew.


October: Jef sends Kevin Zawicki off to database training, allowing him to further enhance the computerized package system.


RED OCTOBER: the hobby that was a business changes Jef's feelings about the industry and comics distribution forever when a distributor error leads to a comics shipment gone horribly wrong. It takes weeks to recover. The name "Red October" references the movie "Hunt For Red October", because we were hunting for the missing shipment, and it put Jef in the financial red.


November: Henry Smith joins the Edge and takes over North. His helpers will include Damien Casey and Matt Fernandez starting in 1993 and Bo Mrazik starting in 1995.


Wil Beech takes over East.


Allen Frank joins the Edge at North.


December: The Death of Superman in Superman #75 brings an unprecedented number of people into the stores, with lines extending up the block at opening time.



Jef buys a building (a floral shop) on Kinnickinnic and moves the South store across the street to 2330 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, its current location.


John Steib takes over West, where his helpers will include Jeff (Damage) Zellner, Jose Acosta, Ken (Weak Fish) Sievert, Mike (Question) Schultz and John (Other John) Steinke.


May 2nd: 5th: 6th Annual Captial City Distribution Sales Conference


April: The Reign of the Supermen begins and brings, well, pretty much no one new into the stores. The speculator boom is officially over.


Chris Hill takes a sabbatical.


December 31st: Annual New Year Sale 10PM - 3AM



February 13th: First Appearance of Jose Acosta at West. He fills out his run of Aquaman: Time & Tide and starts his package about a month later.


May: Matt Glaze joins the Edge.


June: Ken Sievert joins the Edge.


Chris Radomski joins the Edge at East.


Summer: Jef accosts Terry Stewart, the president of Marvel, at a baseball stadium in St. Louis during a Capital City Retailers conference.


July 5th: Chase Parker born.


August: Waukesha store opens (1413 Summit Ave.), run by Dave Rogman.


Jef begins to frequent gun shows, eventually building a large and peculiar collection of firearms.


December: The comics market becomes unstable when Marvel buys Heroes World Distribution and begins to distribute their own comics, setting off a wave of exclusive deals culminating in the closure of Capital City Distribution and ten other distributors. Jef switches to Diamond, the only remaining viable comics distributor.



Steve Dobrzynski joins the Edge at West on Sundays.


January: Edge newsletter (Volume 2) begins, masterminded by Luke Spanton and John Steib.


February: East store closes. Travis Livieri, Matt Glaze and Jef move the store out. Against his better judgment, Matt tries to lift a counter into the van at Jef's behest. He slips, slides and crashes, shattering the glass without injuring himself.

Bryan Farmer briefly helps out at the stores.

Summer: Nikki Pawlak helps out in the basement at South.


June 3rd: Jef is on TV, appearing on a Children's Miracle Network Telethon. Jef wears a Death (from DC's Sandman) t-shirt, reading "You get what everyone gets. You get a lifetime."


June 27th: At Jef's request Kevin Zawicki and Jef part company. Kevin leaves a newly updated, untested package system in the hands of Jenny Anderson.


Chris Radomski takes over South.


Fall: Chris Hill back one more time as consultant.


Sean Anderson joins the Edge as Basement Guy, later moves upstairs.


Sue Penkivech joins the Edge doing computer system work.


John Steib begins a term as General Manager.


September: Jenny Anderson attempts to maintain the package system remotely after leaving for college, which leads directly to Kevin Zawicki's return on 9/29 as package system consultant after intense and dramatic negotiations with Jef mediated by Ilija Stojsavljevic. Kevin stays in this role for the rest of Jef's reign.


December: The Clean Slate Address.



January: Marvelcution! Mass firings and cancellations at Marvel Comics, including the end of the 2099 titles and all Malibu comics.


Jef has many people including David Villa and Jim Parker, jr. (Jef's nephew) working at the old Kinnickinnic location assembling overstock comics for donations. They eventually fill hundreds of long boxes, which are assembled at all the shops as the "ugly comics cubes."


August: Waukesha store closes.


September: Chris Cushinery joins the Edge at South.


Rick LaRue, jr. returns to South.


Jeff (Damage) Zellner joins the Edge.


A bizarre allergic reaction puts Jef into a coma for a few days. Employees past and present rally to keep things running smoothly.


October: Superman wedding reception. Jef is on the news.


Staff Picks begin, last through 1997.


December: Kevin Zawicki pitches a major upgrade to the computerized package system. Jef reluctantly agrees. The upgrade is code named HOMER, so easy Homer Simpson could use it (as Jef requests).



Allen Frank returns to the Edge.

January: The Green Bay Packers win their first Super Bowl in 29 years. Jef is pleased.

Dave Rogman takes over South.


February: Chris Cushinery takes over the North store.


Shane Mervyn joins the Edge.


Larry helps out in the basement at South.


Will Mrazik helps out at the north store stamping donation boxes and making Allen Frank's life hell.


April: The distributor wars end as Diamond begins to handle Marvel Comics again.


Bill Mattar pitches in at North for one week to help prepare for the annual 3/$1 sale.




April: Jef vacations in the Wisconsin Dells. He gets VERY thirsty.


Summer: Tuesday movie night at South starts.


Labor Day: Jose Acosta joins the Edge.


December 31st: Annual New Year Sale.



Mike Mikulovsky, Dave Mehling and Brian Daniels join the Edge.


July: Jef learns he has cancer.


Fall/Winter: Friends and employees cook up several plans to keep the shops running and maintain Jef's legacy.


December: Jose Acosta begins running the North store.



January 7th: Annual New Year Sale


Jef selects Steve Dobrzynski as his successor.


March 4th: Although parts had been in use for months, the newly upgraded computerized package system goes live, now known as CEDS (Collector's Edge Database System.)


Spring: During a bad turn in Jef's condition, Jose Acosta does a two week turn as Shipment Manager. He panics like a little girl.


June: Kevin Zawicki officially rejoins the Edge when prospective buyer Steve Dobrzynski hires him as package system/operations manager.


July 6th: Jef sells his three stores (South, West, North) to Steve Dobrzynski.