A Foundational Entry…

The name is Cotter, Mike Cotter.  Forty something bookseller with over a dozen years working for other folks in the rare book world.  Nearly all who know me can attest to my fascination with film, especially films that I “experienced” when the world wasn’t quite so complicated and you only had two options at Taco Bell: hard shell or soft shell. It was in these early days that the thought of treasure hunting for a living began to percolate. When I was about ten, “The Goonies” hit theatres across America. During that first viewing, I realized that I wanted to hunt for treasure just like Mikey and the gang had done. This was to be the film that laid the foundations of my professional goals in a funky sort of way.

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At around the same time in 1985, Robert Ballard shocked the world when his fame-assuring hunt for The Titanic hit paydirt. Keep in mind that the summer of 1985 had already been highlighted by Mel Fischer’s epic discovery of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha: the richest find in oceanographic history on record. Couple all of this with the timely return of Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom installment, and it’s not hard to see how a passion for archaeology might grow in the heart of a ten year old who really didn’t have much else going on in his life. As the son of a transient engineer, I moved around the country more than most military brats. Something like seven states in 12 years!

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What does all this have to do with the world of collectibles??? I suppose that there were other kids out there in similar situations. Judging by what appears to be thriving in the online world of collectibles, there is a lot of interest in the discoveries, films, books, magazines and trinkets of the early to mid-1980’s. Everything from “boom boxes” and the custom curated cassette tapes we used to make to Goonies lunchboxes are reaching unprecedented levels of excitement at auctions and eBay. The 80’s are back: and they are back in a big way. Star Wars reawakens this December. The Ghostbusters are at it again. We’ve already seen the 80’s revival of classics like Robocop, Footloose and The Karate Kid. These reboots are also rumored to be in the works I hear:

Dirty Dancing

Escape from New York

Big Trouble in Little China

Point Break


Romancing the Stone

Pet Sematary

Flight of the Navigator


Weird Science

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

While I am a general antiquarian bookseller by trade, my passion is 1980’s pop-culture… Things are going great, and they’re only getting better in the immortal words of Timbuk 3.

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Mike Cotter, Back in Time Rare Books



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