2014 EVENT AUCTION HIGHLIGHT: THE JOHN WISE COLLECTION
Memorabilia and Comic Titles: Action 1 - Young Allies 1
The world of vintage comic collecting has its own history, stories, and legends, much like the beloved comics preserved and treasured in this rewarding hobby. Among the first to indulge in this pursuit, one of the folks who built the market and helped get modern fandom on its legs, is John Wise, a friend to ComicConnect, a scholar of this great American art form, and one of the foremost curators of vintage comics.
John grew up in Rockford, Illinois and began collecting long before comic shops or the internet existed. He started out buying back issues from a second-hand bookstore named Collector’s Corner, soon after, John discovered some kindred spirits, a small but dedicated band of comic enthusiasts who communicated via fanzines, mimeos, mailings, and ads in Warren magazines. He acquired price lists and rarities from early vintage comic retail pioneers Howard Rogofsky, Dale Manesis, Jerry Bails, and Phil Seuling. Many of these early treasures remain in John’s collection to this day. In high school, John’s entrepreneurial bent led to his learning the value of trading, flipping, and investing early when he sold a Detective Comics 27, a Batman 1, and a full run of Sub-Mariner. John was showing his true colors as a pioneer, leading the way for today’s savvy investment buyers and comic traders.
In the early 80s, John’s collecting bug returned. Flush with his first real disposable income as an adult, he reconnected with his childhood and reclaimed many of his past treasures. He explored new passions and undiscovered rarities, including making purchases from a young Stephen Fishler. Inspired by first appearances and milestone issues, he soon acquired most of the top Golden Age keys. He also discovered a passion for Christmas-themed covers and amassed an impressive collection of holiday classics, as well as a complete collection of Big Little Books.
It’s difficult for any collector to pick their favorites, but John has given it some thought. “My favorites are probably Flash Comics 1, Action Comics 1, and Marvel Comics 1,” he offered, “but it is really hard to narrow it down since I love them all. As I am entering a new phase of my life, I have decided to let others acquire these very special comics I’ve spent half of my existence collecting. I know that current and future generations will enjoy these very special comics as much as I have.”
The passion, dedication, and heart of collectors like John have helped keep the art of comics alive; preserving an art form that otherwise may have been destined to oblivion or obscurity. Thanks to his diligent efforts and fantastic eye for quality, the next generation will get to experience these wonderful treasures as though they were new, and the current pool of collectors will be able to acquire some of the most lovingly preserved and carefully curated examples of the comic form.
On behalf of all of us who love comics, thank you John Wise.
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Check out The John Wise Collection in the news:
Daily Mail - May 31, 2014 - Iconic comic book collection offering first glimpses of Superman, Batman and...
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