It all started with westerns.
“My uncle was like a big brother to me,” our collector reminisces. “I got pretty sick when I was seven years old, and he knew I loved cowboys, so he brought me an issue of Fargo Kid. I still remember that comic, and reading it over and over again.” In the concrete jungle of the Bronx, a little boy’s dreams of escape to the American Southwest proved too intoxicating to ignore, and so began a lifelong love of comic books and cowboys. “Once I read that, I was hooked,” he recalls. He would save up for stacks of comics, buying whatever western and movie tie-in comics he could find… and then he discovered Superman.
Once the Man of Steel entered the picture, comics went from a distraction to an obsession. As the years went on, and he left for college, his mother gave most of his comics away to a cousin, though he still kept many of his western favorites. After college, years of hard work and diligence led him to career success and a move to the wide open spaces and rough landscapes of Dallas, where he built a home and family, thinking his childhood hobby was behind him. Bringing his remaining books to a local comics dealer, he got a lowball offer – dimes on the dollar – and thought, well, if they’re that cheap, maybe I should keep them and complete the collection. He had the money, and the comics were available. Why not?
And so, at the age of thirty, he dove into the small, pre-internet world of comic collecting, visiting cons, swap meets, flea markets, putting together a carefully curated, thorough
collection of hero, sci-fi, adventure, TV (especially western), and even movie comics, basically anything that struck his fancy. “Condition wasn’t such an issue back then, I just wanted to read them. I loved the stories, and I loved the art,” he recalls. Luckily, this meant he could spend his time and money on completionism, as a result his collection holds some true rarities, and runs of titles that are nefariously tough to find. “It helped me keep my sanity while working hard for long hours,” he reminisces.
Through it all, his first hero obsession, Superman, remained the priority, but key issues always seemed to go up in price higher and faster than his conscience or salary would permit! As he got older and more successful, with more disposable income, he began to frequent Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and other reputable auction houses, carefully buying key pieces, such as his Action Comics #1, the Siegel and Shuster sci-fi fanzines, and, remarkably, the original hand-colored cover art on the Action #1 silver print. He soon built an entire room in his home, which he dubbed “the vault”, for not only his comics, but toys, memorabilia, and more, his childhood dream of being a cowboy, becoming a sort of reality as he lived on a beautiful 110-acre ranch in Nashville, surrounded by his collection and the grand, epic American landscape that beckoned him from the confines of a childhood in the Bronx.
“I realized not long ago that I’d have to trim down my belongings, as I can’t stay on this big ranch forever,” he finishes, “so I’ve chosen to sell my hero stuff, and keep the westerns, TV, and movie comics as a fond memento.” This extraordinary collection of Superman treasures, along with other key books and runs of classic series is the foundation of this Event Auction. We have named it the Hidden Valley Collection, both for the locale where the city-boy-made-good finally found his home, and for the hidden landscapes of the mind where childhood fantasies and love of adventure remain no matter how old – or young – we are.
Bidding begins Monday! Event Auction ends the week of December 4 - 8.
ComicConnect is currently accepting consignments for their next major auction. Contact them today to reserve space as it is on a first-come first-served basis. Call toll-free 1.888.779.7377 or e-mail their staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cash advances up to $5 million are available.