The Captain's Veranda by Joe Sarno


There they were all laid out for me! Complete runs in mint condition. Batman3 thru 27. Archie Comics 1 thru 6, along with a smattering of other MLJ titles including Zip, Jackpot, Top-Notch, and Shield-Wizard Comics. But the piece de resistance were the Timely's. Virually every Timely published from Marvel Comics #1 until the end of 1944: Captain American, Marvel Mystery, Young Allies, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch, All-Select, All-Winners,U.S.A., Daring Mystery, Kid Komics, Complete 1 and 2, even Tough Kid Squad #1. But for some odd reason there were no Mystic Comics; and Red Raven Comics #1 was also absent. Over 200 Timely's nicely laid out. And they were soon to be mine. I didn't know it but it was a Red Letter day in my life.

My brother and I drove to LaPorte,Indiana with over $5,000 in my pocket on Sunday, June 1st, after Bill, the owner, brought the books to my store on Wednesday May 28th, 1975. When we got there the Captain America #1 and Marvel Comics #1 were not with the rest of the books, though I had seen them a few days earlier. I inquired about them, and Bill found them in the bedroom of his spacious house. He had also found some very nice movie magazines original and posters (hehad worked at the theater for a couple of summers), along with some radio premiums including several Captain Midnight decoder badges, As I recall I had offered him the $5,000 on the phone, after carefully studying several guides and "forsale" listings. I figured the comics were worth about $12,000, and my brother later confirmed that figure-- but within a year those same books had a total value of $21,000, that's how much Timely's were accuring value back in 1975.

I wanted to merge some of books into my own collection-- but I think it was at the time that I began to wonder if I should keep that collection growing. Within 10 short years I had amassed 40,000 comics, and maybe it was getting to easy. I loved those colorful collections of paper, but there were other priorties. I had a family to raise, and a few debts to pay off-- and a business to run! So I continued selling those comics from LaPorte, thinking that other bigger and better buys were ahead of me. And a few months later I opened another larger store across form my original location. I brought new fixtures, and hired new people and I went to my first New York convention to show off what was left og my new acquistions.

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Originally published in the C.B. WEEKLY (Comic Book Collectors Bulletin) Vol 3 #83 August 01, 2001 copyright Joe Sarno and respective copyright holders 2003.