10 Things You Should Know about Comics

DC

Comic books have been around for over a century now, so getting started might be a little daunting. But don’t worry: we’ve put together ten easy tips to get you caught up on the world of comic books, right here, right now.


1. Comics Aren’t Just for Adults Anymore

Think comic books are the sole domain of overripe, sweaty men in their thirties? Not anymore! Yes, there’s a fair amount of comic books aimed at oversized children, but there are also comics aimed at actual children, too. And actual adults. And even women read comics! WE KNOW! It’s like all those stereotypes perpetuated for decades might not be true. Weird, because most stereotypes ARE true. Right, fellas? Right? Hello?


Marvel

2. No One Stays Dead

There used to be a rule that “No one stays dead in comics, except Uncle Ben and Bucky,” referring to Spider-Man’s uncle, and Captain America’s partner. With Uncle Ben having come back as an evil alternate universe version of himself, and Bucky dying, and being resurrected twice (once in less than three months of his “death”), the rule should be, “No one stays dead in comics, except characters no one is interested in, and civilians.” And we’re sure that won’t be true soon, too.


Marvel

3. Heroes Don’t Fight Villains Anymore, Just Heroes

Used to be back in the day that super-heroes spent a lot of their time fighting super-villains. Not so anymore! In the modern era, superheroes mostly ignore crime, and pummel each other into a pulp. That’s called “character-driven storytelling.”


4. Like TV? Then you’ll love comic books!

Oni Press

Everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to, er, Jericho has gotten a comic book continuation.And some of your favorite TV stars, from Rashida Jones (that’s her book to the left) to Joshua Jackson have penned comic books in recent years. We’re still waiting for “Crisis On Infinite The Wires,” but we can’t ask for everything.


5. Don’t Worry, There Are Only Four or Five Different Versions of Superman

Worried about getting caught up in confusing story continuity? Don’t worry, DC recently simplified things, rebooting their entire superhero universe with new number one issues. So now, there’s only the “modern” Superman in his title comic, Superman; one just starting out five years ago in Action Comics; one that takes place one year after that in Justice League; an entirely different one in the Graphic Novels Superman: Earth One; and they’re about to introduce another, alternate universe Superman in the new comic Earth 2. See? Super easy.


Marvel

6. Swarm Is a Supervillain Made Out Of Nazi Bees

Marvel Comics has actually published multiple issues featuring a villain named Swarm, who, no joke, is made entirely out of Nazi bees. you could take this as how insane and ridiculous comics are, or you could take it as the possibilities that are available to readers of the great medium of comic books.

We just wonder whether the bees are ALL Nazis, or if there’s maybe a few that feel uncomfortable about that whole deal.


7. They’re Not Collectible (Unless They Are)

Any comic being sold as the latest collectible won’t actually be collectible… Unless it is. Meaning, if you’re picking up a polybagged, foil variant signed copy of SuperSlammer #85 featuring the Death of SuperSlammer (NOTE: This is not a real comic, but we wish it was), so is everyone else… Meaning your investment is null and void. However, if you put down a few hundred dollars for an actually rare variant cover, you might get slightly more than you paid back if you sell the comic immediately… Or sixty years from now. Anything twenty years old or less? Sorry, buddy.


Marvel

8. They’re Not Like the Movies (Unless They Are)

You saw the latest big superhero movie, and want to get into the comics. Sounds easy, right? Sorry! The continuity in comics is often vastly different than the one you saw on the screen, with some exceptions. Publishers like Marvel and DC have gotten savvier about this, often tweaking their main comics to fit in with a movie. For example, Marvel will be releasing a book called Avengers Assemble around the same time as The Avengers movie, featuring the same team, though also following where those characters are at in the comics. So easy to jump in for new readers, bad for fans of Scarlett Johansson.


9. Know Your Lingo

Most comics are released monthly, in 20-30 page format: they’re called comic books, or floppies, or pamphlets. When those comics are collected, usually 4-6 issues at a time, they’re called Trades. When someone publishes a longer form comic book story, it’s called an Original Graphic Novel, or OGN. Don’t call Trades Graphic Novels, unless you want a comic book fan to kill you.


10. You’ll Never Get Caught Up, So Don’t Try

Okay, seriously though, folks, you’ll never, ever be able to keep track of everything in comic books, so don’t even try. Instead, the smart reader reads what they want to read, based on art and writing they like, rather than religiously reading the latest Mega-Crossover. There’s plenty of stuff out there to choose from, so choose wisely, and have fun.


Alex Zalben is the sinister mastermind behind New York’s Comic Book Club every Tuesday night. Follow him on Twitter @azalben, or with your Spidey sense.

From: http://mancavedaily.newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/08/10-things-you-should-know-about-comics/

Superman’s Doomsday Decision; Meanwhile…

After a little trip down memory lane, the action returns to the present…well the present continuity of ACTION COMICS, which is still in the past of other comics…

The Good

It took the abduction of Metropolis to get the authorities to accept Superman’s presence. It’s up to Superman to uncover the purpose of the alien invaders and attempt to save the lives of the millions of residents that have been miniaturized and placed in a bottle. We still have the younger version of Superman that feels so different from the one in JUSTICE LEAGUE and SUPERMAN. It might be because he seems to have less power but seeing him jump into the action and get a little beat up trying to save the day has been interesting. He’s not all-powerful and that makes him a little more human. As he makes his way to confront the aliens and figure out what is happening, we continue to get flashes of information that builds up who Superman will become. What doesn’t make sense is how such an interesting character at this state can become a bit of a bore in his other appearances in the “New 52.”

It’s a treat seeing Grant Morrison’s story unravel. There may not be an enormous amount of new revelations here but you’ll find yourself clinging on to every little detail, trying to decipher if there’s more on the page than there appears to be. There’s also something about Rags Morales’ version of the t-shirt and jeans wearing Superman that I totally dig. I hate the thought that eventually we’ll just see the current costume-wearing Superman in this series.

The back up feature by Sholly Fisch and Brad Walker has more with Steel and gets you wondering where his place in the “New 52” will be.

The Bad

The action is split between Superman trying to save Metropolis and those stuck inside. Something about the way Lex Luthor is depicted rubs me the wrong way. We assume the story is just over five years ago (sometime before the first arc in JUSTICE LEAGUE) but Lex seems older than he should be compared to how young Lois and Clark seem.

We do have some cool moments but the action is a little lighter than what we’re used to. It’s all building up towards a bigger showdown set for the next issue.

I did enjoy seeing more of Steel but a good back up story ended up getting a little cheesy. The bigger question is what happens to Steel from this time to the current continuity? Unless I’ve missed it, I don’t recall any mention of him in SUPERMAN or other titles. If he’s making himself out to be this big time hero in Metropolis, you would think he’d still be active or there would be some mention of him. Either something happens to him between then and now or he’s locked himself away somewhere.

The Verdict

ACTION COMICS is one of the comics that sits high on my list of favorite “New 52” books. Seeing Grant Morrison write Superman’s past keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even though we pretty much know where he ends up and who he becomes, Morrison makes the development of his character an interesting read. Rags Morales continues to win me over with his depiction of this younger Superman and I hate the idea that soon he’ll be in his regular costume rather than what I at first thought was a silly look for Superman. The action is toned down a little as Superman tries uncovering what the aliens/attackers are doing and those trapped in the bottle are figuring out what’s going on but there is still some exciting moments within.

March 5, 2012: Golden Age Comic Book Artist Sheldon Moldoff Dies at Age 91

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Golden Age Comic Book Artist Sheldon “Shelly” Moldoff, whose debut was a sports filler that appeared on the inside back cover of Action Comics #1 which featured the debut appearance of Superman, passed away on February 29th at the age of 91.

During the late-1930s and 1940s Golden Age of comic books, Moldoff became a prolific cover artist for the future DC Comics. His work includes the first cover of the Golden Age Green Lantern, on issue #16 of All-American’s flagship title All-American Comics, featuring the debut of that character created by artist Martin Nodell. Moldoff created the character Black Pirate (Jon Valor) in Action Comics #23 (April 1940), and became one of the earliest artists for the character Hawkman (created by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville, though sometimes misattributed to Moldoff). Moldoff drew the first image of the formerly civilian character Shiera Sanders in costume as Hawkgirl in All Star Comics #5, based on Neville’s Hawkman costume design.

Beginning with Flash Comics #4 (April 1940), Moldoff became the regular Hawkman artist, following Neville’s departure from the feature the issue before.

In 1953, Moldoff became one of the primary Batman ghost artists who, along with Win Mortimer and Dick Sprang, drew stories credited to Bob Kane, following Kane’s style and under Kane’s supervision.

Kane and Moldoff would go on to co-create the original Bat-Girl (teen Betty Kane), as well as the novelty characters Bat-Mite and Ace the Bat-Hound. Alongside writer Robert Kanigher, Moldoff also co-created the supervillainess Poison Ivy in Batman #181 (June 1966).

Moldoff was let go by DC in 1967, along with Golden Age artists George Papp and Wayne Boring. He turned to animation, doing storyboards for such animated TV series as Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, and wrote and drew promotional comic books given away to children at the Burger King and Red Lobster restaurant and fast-food chains, as well as through the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team.

In 2000, Moldoff illustrated a chapter of the Evan Dorkin project Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest; it was his first work for DC Comics in over 30 years.

Moldoff is survived by his sons, Richard Moldoff and Kenneth Moldoff, daughter, Ellen Moldoff Stein, son-in-law, Jeffrey Stein, grandchildren, Anthony Moldoff, Lizabeth Moldoff Curtis and her husband, Robert Curtis, Kendra Moldoff, Max Stein, great grandchildren, Samantha, Joseph and Brittney Curtis. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 11:00am with a service to follow at Noon at Kraeer Funeral Home Cremation Center, 1655 University Drive, Coral Springs.

Dear DC Comics: Why Do You Keep Fridging Me?

Lois Lane, Superman Adventures Annual #1

So why am I behind a desk again? (Image from Superman Adventures Annual #1, copyright DC Comics)

To Whom It May Concern at DC Comics:

Usually, I don’t have time to write a letter like this because I’m out uncovering corruption in Metropolis or investigating the latest scheme by Lex Luthor to discredit Superman. Or, in a quiet moment, enjoying some time with my husband, Clark (Superman) Kent.

But due to the latest editorial decisions, I’m no longer a field reporter and I’m longer married. In fact, The Superman Group Editor even called me a “trophy wife.” While I won’t dignify that insult with a reply, I’m a bit concerned that many making the editorial decisions at DC don’t seem to know what to do with me. I have no idea why.

For instance, in current DC universe, I’m sitting behind a desk, giving orders and filling out forms (which is why I have time to write this letter). Does this make any sense to you? I am the premier investigative reporter in my world — it was once said that my reputation rolls ahead of me like a steamroller. I’m not the kind of person who should ever sit behind a desk, no matter if the job is high status or not. Starfleet once made James T. Kirk sit behind a desk. That didn’t end well for anyone. He belongs in a starship. I belong out there in my city, bringing truth to light.

I’m not very happy about the loss of the support of my husband either.

We had a long, happy marriage of equals. Now, I can understand why creators would like to turn back to the clock and write our courtship again. Courtship is fun and interesting to write and doesn’t require nearly as much creative energy as making a marriage interesting. However, there does not seem to be any courtship happening. In fact, I seem to have shacked up with some annoying man, who points a lot, for a night of fun sex designed not to so much be fun for me, but to make Clark feel bad.

But, hey, at least in this reality, I’m alive. So far, in other universes, I’ve been killed three times in the last year. I expected to die spectacularly in the big Flashpoint event, since it was supposed to be a nasty alternate reality, but I’m a bit bummed that my death once again had no real purpose save to cause Superman angst. I also died in the DCU Online game, but I suppose that also might be excused since so many heroes die as players move along in that game.

But killing me off on Earth-2 was the most cutting blow. Earth-2 used to be the DC alternate reality where things were different, where even if heroes aged, they were allowed to live and have families. I had a long, happy successful marriage on Earth-2 and was enjoying my old age with my family and friends around me.

Action Comics Anniversary issue, Lois  Clark

My wedding day on Earth-2

But in the new Earth-2 I’m dead, and angst over my death has moved my Clark to contemplate becoming a killer? “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” as Perry would say (except he’s likely dead over there as well. Or maybe not, since he’s a man). Also dead apparently are Selina Kyle-Wayne, and the entire Amazon nation save Princess Diana, Wonder Woman. (And I missed the chance to be drawn by Nicola Scott too!)

That’s a lot of women to fridge all at once and I must roll my eyes in particular at the destruction, yet again, of the Amazons. They’ve been killed en masse in Flashpoint, in J. Michael Straczynski’s revamp of the character, and several times before that.

To quote a writer who seems to know how to make a female character pro-active rather than a prop, “Bored now.”

If you add my deaths, Selina’s Earth-2 death, the Amazons, and the need to get rid of all the DC Universe married couples, including Barry Allen and Wally West (who aren’t even dating), and leave only Aquaman and Mera as DC’s lone married couple, I submit that perhaps someone at DC Editorial is more against marriage in general than Joe Quesada is against Spider-Man being married.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go yell at some stupid junior reporter who broke their arm when they didn’t move fast enough to avoid a car being tossed around in a fight between Superman and the Parasite.

Sincerely,

Lois Lane

P.S. Could you please, if you can’t write me better, send me over to the Secret Identity universe written by that sweet and talented Kurt Busiek? Thanks!

From: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/03/loislane/

Captain Blue Hen Comics celebrates Superman’s birthday

It’s ironic that Superman can outrun a speeding bullet, yet it takes an eternity for his birthday to circle around, since he’s a leap year baby.

While every four years Newark’s Captain Blue Hen Comics Entertainment would acknowledge Superman was born on Wednesday, Feb. 29, this year was the first time they actually threw the Man of Steel a birthday bash. Equipped with a vanilla Superman cake, kryptonite juice (Hawaiian Punch Green Berry Rush), donated books and artwork from DC Comics to support local charities (such as the Delaware SPCA) as well as a guest artist and a handful of energetic shop goers – it’s no surprise the event was… well, super.

Party time
Captain Blue Hen transformed into a mini comic convention Wednesday as shop goers showed up in costume, including shop owner Joe Murray, who rocked the iconic Clark Kent getup: black framed glasses, loose necktie, blazer and a partially unbuttoned dress shirt, revealing the signature Superman “S” logo tee.

Customers lined up to meet and have their Superman comics autographed by artist Brett Breeding, who worked on Superman comics from ’86 to the late ‘90s, which includes his inking duties on the epic DC Comics series that momentarily caused the world to stand still: “The Death of Superman.”

“The Superman that I grew up on and the Superman that we did in my era on the books – Superman was a positive example of something people wanted to be,” said Breeding of New Castle.

“Everybody wished they could do the things that he could do, and not just from his super powers but from his moral code and the type of standup guy that he was. There’s a lot of blowback from fans and stuff that he’s, too, much of a ‘boy scout.’ But I think it’s funny that, that’s been around forever and yet the character has been around as long as he has and is as popular as he is. I read something once where the Superman symbol is the second most noticed icon in the world next to the Christian cross. And I believe that.”

The master plan
Though it’s important to pay homage to Superman, Murray explained there was a strategy behind throwing a birthday bash in his honor on Wednesday.

“Specifically we did it because this is one of the very rare occurrences where Feb. 29 falls on a Wednesday,” Murray said. “In the comic book industry Wednesday is the day; it’s the most important day of the week because that’s when the new comics come in. DC Comics ships 13 titles a week and if it’s a fifth week [in the month] they don’t really have anything to ship.”

Hence, Murray rounded up his regular customers for a fun-filled time on what would be an otherwise slow day at the shop.

Jason Colatriano, 31, and his little boy, Jack, enjoyed the party, especially Jack who indulged in kryptonite juice and cake.

Though Jason isn’t crazy about Superman, he loves the fact that the hero is a good role model for his son.

“He’s morally correct and always does the right thing,” said Jason, of Pike Creek, who dressed his son in an adorable Superman muscle costume, while he donned the iconic “S” tee. “I’m not a big Superman fan but if [Jack] wants to be a big superman fan, then absolutely.”

 

From: http://www.communitypub.com/topstories/x570343803/Captain-Blue-Hen-Comics-celebrates-Superman-s-birthday

Comic Quest Celebrates Superman’s Birthday

Comic Quest is celebrating Superman’s birthday today by handing out cupcakes and discounting Superman merchandise.

According to the store, DC Comics pegs Superman’s official birthday as Feb. 29: Born on Krypton, baby Kal-El was born this day. Kyrpton’s calendar is slightly different, with 18 Kryptonian years for every 25 years on Earth.

Comic Quest is celebrating the “monumental event” by giving a 25 percent discount on Superman items, handing out cupcakes decorated with Superman’s logo, dressing up a mannequin as Superman and diplaying a banner in front of the store wishing Superman a happy birthday.

Since the superhero’s birthday coincides with a leap day, the store is also giving a 10 percent discount for all Comic Quest items to anyone who shows up and “leaps like Superman.” [See the photo to the right for an example.]

Hours for the store, which is open every day in Suite 100 at 23811 Bridger, are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

From: http://lakeforest-ca.patch.com/articles/comic-quest-celebrates-superman-s-birthday

Detective Comics #1 fourth printing variant

Detective Comics #1 fourth printing variant

Just last week, DC Comics announced that their landmark ‘Justice League’ #1 was going back to the presses for a seventh printing. But that was then and this is now… this week belongs to the Batman.

DC announced today that ‘Detective Comics’ #1 is headed back for a sixth printing. The first issue from writer/artist Tony Daniel, sets the groundwork for Batman and the Joker in the rebooted New 52 universe. Other than ‘Justice League’, no other book in the New 52 has had as many printings.

Batman: The Dark Knight’ #1 will get a third printing and ‘Batman: The Dark Knight’ #6 will get a second printing too. The first and fourth issues of the regular ‘Batman’ title are also headed back to the printers. ‘Batman #1 is headed for a fourth printing and ‘Batman #4 is back for a third. ‘Batman’, from writer Scott Snyder, tells the story of the Dark Knight as he battles against a shadowy group known only as the Court of Owls. The Court is rumored to have secretly run Gotham City for ages. Now they’ve set their sights on Batman and their best assassin, The Talon, is on the job.

The New 52 Batman titles have taken the Caped Crusader back to his roots. He’s no longer the “goddamn Batman” of the previous universe. In that world, he was virtually unstoppable and could take down gods even with no powers. In the New 52, Batman is fallible. He’s still the world’s greatest detective and a world-class fighter, but he does make mistakes. That’s given Batman an edge that he hasn’t had in ages.

And while Batman is the rage of the day, the other half of the World’s Finest team isn’t standing idly by. Superman gets a reprint as well. ‘Action Comics’ #1 from legendary writer Grant Morrison is also headed back for a fifth printing. ‘Action’ is set five years in the past and tells the story of a young Superman and his first days in Metropolis.

All four new printings will be on your comic shop shelves on March 28th.

Related articles:

  1. Holy Sales Figures, Batman! All 52 #1 Issues From DC Comics Sold Out!
  2. Comic Book Review: ‘Batman Robin #20 Dark Knight vs. White Knight: Part 1?
  3. Comic Book Review: ‘Detective Comics’ #5
  4. New ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Poster Hints At The End Of Batman
  5. Comic Book Review: ‘Detective Comics’ #6

From: http://sciencefiction.com/2012/02/28/action-comics-batman-the-dark-knight-and-detective-comics-getting-reprints/

February 28, 2012: Superman Comics Available This Week


Diamond Comics has released the list of comic books and other items on sale this week. Here are the Superman related items in that list…

Available This Week: February 29, 2012.

The following products are expected to ship to comic book specialty stores this week, with all comics also available for digital download. Note that this list is tentative and subject to change. Please check with your retailer for availability.

Click on the magnifying glass icon () next to a comic’s title to view a sneak peek at the pages within.

  • DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #24
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #6
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #4 (2ND PRINTING)

  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ARCHIVES VOL 10 HC

  • From: http://www.supermanhomepage.com/news.php?readmore=10973

    February 26, 2012: 2012 MegaCon Coverage

    Superman Super Site contributing writer, Scott Doran had the opportunity to attend the recent 2012 MegaCon in Orlando, Florida and has submitted the following report covering his trip to the convention:

    MegaCon 2012 is a comic book convention that takes place in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center. It normally takes place near at the end of the first quarter, and this year it was February 17th thru February 19th. There was an array of host hotels around the area, which are listed at www.megaconvention.com. The website is also the place to get the MegaCon three-day pass, which has the added benefit of getting in the dealer’s room an hour early for the first day.

    The dealer’s room was the largest that I have ever seen. It was the size of five football fields or two air hangars in one large space. It was filled with vendors that specialized in costuming, games, and comics, as well as comic artists, writers, celebrities in the sci-fi/comic media. Superman-related guests were Valerie Perrine, who is best known to Superman fans as Miss Eve Teschmacher, Lex Luthor’s girlfriend from the first two Superman movies; and Richard Leparmenter, who played the TV reporter that covered East Houston, Idaho when the Phantom Zone criminals invaded that small town and is best known for his role as Admiral Motti, Darth Vader’s “first” Force choke from Star Wars: Episode IV. Comic guests were Dan Jurgens, who is well known for The Death and Return of Superman Trilogy and the New 52’s Justice League International; Tim Sale, the artist for Superman for All Seasons; and the legendary George Perez, known for his work on The New Teen Titans, Action Comics and his run on the new 52 Superman, not to mention that he is the featured guest artist for this year’s Metropolis Superman Celebration.

    Mr. Perez is the founder of the Hero’s Initiative, a non-profit organization for retired comic book artists who can’t afford medical bills and other retirement benefits. There were a lot of Cosplayers that had costumes of the new 52 characters, and they were posing for pictures with fans for donations to the organization.

    As I went to the celebrity panel, friends that I know that come to Metropolis, Jeffrey Breslauer and Dough Hubler, and I spoke with Ms. Perrine about her interest in coming to Metropolis. As Dough was talking with her, convincing her to speak with the Metropolis people if they approach her to be a celebrity guest for this year’s Superman Celebration, she said, “by all means!” Keep those fingers crossed!

    Normally at cons, the last day is special – as in special deals. I have never seen any fans line up for a dealer’s room like they did at MegaCon. It looked like Black Friday, but sadly there were not any special deals from the vendors.

    MegaCon was a well-organized comic convention. It was friendly, family-oriented, and family-owned. It was a busy con, but not hectic or frenzied like Dragon*Con. It was smaller than Dragon* Con, but with more open spaces, you could actually breathe.

    Megacon is held in Orlando, Florida, which is also the home of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and many other themed attractions. Orlando is home of the imagination and, quite fittingly, it brings it to life.

    From: http://www.supermansupersite.com/0226115.html

    Childhood comic collection fetches $3.2 million

    The bulk of a man’s childhood comic book collection that included many of the most prized issues ever published sold at auction Wednesday for about $3.5 million. A copy of Detective Comics No. 27, which sold for 10 cents in 1939 and features the debut of Batman, got the top bid at the New York City auction Wednesday. It sold for about $523,000, including a buyer’s premium, said Lon Allen, managing director of comics for Heritage Auctions, the Dallas-based auction house overseeing the sale.

    detective-comics-batman-crop.jpgView full sizeA copy of Detective Comics No. 27, which features the debut of Batman, got the top bid at the New York City auction Wednesday, selling for about $523,000.

    “This really has its place in the history of great comic book collections,” said Allen, who added that the auction was high energy, with “a bunch of applause at a couple of the top lots.”

    Action Comics No. 1, a 1938 issue featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold for about $299,000; Batman No. 1, from 1940, sold for about $275,000; and Captain America No. 2, a 1941 issue with a frightened Adolf Hitler on the cover, brought in about $114,000, Allen said.

    Among the 345 well-preserved comics bought decades ago by the Virginia boy with a remarkable knack for picking winners were 44 of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide’s top 100 issues from comics’ golden age.

    “It was amazing seeing what they went for,” said Michael Rorrer, who discovered his late great-uncle Billy Wright’s collection last year while cleaning out his late great-aunt’s house in Martinsville, Va., following her death.

    Opening up a basement closet, Rorrer found the neatly stacked comics that had belonged to Wright, who died in 1994 at age 66.

    “This is just one of those collections that all the guys in the business think don’t exist anymore,” Allen said.

    action-comics-superman.jpgView full sizeAction Comics No. 1, a 1938 issue featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold for about $299,000.

    Experts say the collection is remarkable not only for the number of rare books, but also because the comics were kept in such good condition for half a century by the man who bought them in his childhood.

    “The scope of this collection is, from a historian’s perspective, dizzying,” said J.C. Vaughn, associate publisher of Overstreet.

    Most comics from the golden age — the late 1930s into the 1950s — fell victim to wartime paper drives, normal wear and tear and mothers throwing them out, said Vaughn. Of the 200,000 copies of Action Comics No. 1 produced, about 130,000 were sold and the about 70,000 that didn’t sell were pulped. Today, experts believe only about 100 copies are left in the world, he said.

    Allen said that 80 of the lesser-valued comics from the collection will be sold in an online auction Friday that’s expected to bring in about $100,000.

    Rorrer, of Oxnard, Calif., got half his great uncle’s collection and his mother took the other half to give to his brother Jonathan in Houston. Rorrer, 31, said he didn’t realize their value until months later, when he mentioned the collection to a co-worker who mused that it would be quite something if he had Action Comics No. 1.

    “I went home and was looking through some of them, and there it was,” said Rorrer, who then began researching the collection’s value in earnest.

    Once Rorrer realized how important the comics were, he called his mother, Lisa Hernandez, of League City, Texas, who still had the box for his brother at her house. The two then went through their boxes, checking comic after comic off the list.

    Hernandez said it really hit her how valuable the comics were when she saw the look on Allen’s face when the auction house expert came to her house to look through the comics.

    “It was kind of hard to wrap my head around it,” Allen said.

    The find was a complete surprise for the family, and it is unclear if Ruby Wright was aware of the collection’s significance. Rorrer said he remembers her making only one fleeting reference to comics: Upon learning he and his brother liked comic books, she said she had some she would one day give them. He said his great uncle never mentioned his collection.

    Allen, who called the collection “jaw-dropping,” noted that Wright “seemed to have a knack” for picking up the ones that would be the most valuable. The core of his collection is from 1938 to 1941.

    Hernandez said it makes sense that her uncle — even as a boy — had a discerning eye. The man who went to The College of William and Mary before having a long career as a chemical engineer for DuPont was smart, she said. And, she added, Wright was an only child whose mother kept most everything he had. She said that they found games from the 1930s that were still in their original boxes.

    “There were some really hard to find books that were in really, really great condition,” said Paul Litch, the primary grader at Certified Guaranty Company, an independent certification service for comic books.

    “You can see it was a real collection,” Litch said. “Someone really cared about these and kept them in good shape.”

    Jamie Stengle of The Associated Press wrote this report.

    From: http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2012/02/childhood_comic_collection_fet.html

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