Normally, if a guy sells a few antiques or vintage knick-knacks from around the house, it’s not that big of a deal, at least not big enough to make news on every outlet from the Cleveland Plain Dealer to AOL. But when one of those antiques happens to be one of the most famous and sought-after comic books ever published, that’s probably going to get the nerds and nerd-friendly chit-chatting on the old TwitterBooks.
In this case, 69-year old Cleveland Heights resident Richard Schaen sold his copy of the very first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man for $7,900, which doesn’t sound like much. But given that the condition was rated as a 6.5 – the guy who taught me how to make spreadsheets twice says that’s “Meh at best” – that’s a pretty good haul.
Factor in the reason that he decided to sell his incredible teenage investment – to pay for part of his daughter’s wedding – and you’ve got yourself a candidate for the Internet’s Awesome Dad of the Week.
“I gave my daughter a promissory note for the money with a picture of the Spider-Man comic, which we can use to pay for a big part of the catering for her reception,” he said.
Ironically, it was Jane’s birth in 1981 that triggered Schaen’s decision to stop buying and collecting comics, which he had been doing since he was a child. He grew up in the Cleveland area and most of his comics came from local drugstores.
“Comics had gone up to 75 cents by then (Each costs $2.99 or $3.99 today) and I was spending $40 a month,” he said. “Also, it took two evenings a week to read the new comics and with a new baby in the house, I found myself stretched.”
“I put them away for a rainy day,” he said. “I still bought a few comics now and then to keep my hand in, but I no longer followed all the series. There are just too many of them.” (Via the Cleveland Plain Dealer)
As someone who also spent several of his teen years building a nice collection of Spider-Man, X-Men and Avengers titles (only to have them vanish), I have to imagine that Richard’s decision weighed on him a little, because once he popped that box open, there had to be a tidal wave of nostalgia. But still, that’s ultimately why we buy and collect, to save for the future and make a big sale, so Richard’s simply living the dream, as he also just sold the first issue of Daredevil and is about to sell several Incredible Hulk comics and an original Hulk t-shirt from 1965 that has never been opened. I can hear hipsters from Brooklyn to Seattle emptying their wallets.
I do think that Richard should get to do one or all of the following for his sacrifice:
– Dress as Spider-Man or any Spider-Man villain during the wedding reception.
– Hire a priest or wedding official and have him or her dress as Spider-Man.
– Have the caterers include a filet mignon or lobster just for him, so he can walk around and reveal it to everyone as his $7,900 dinner.
– Buy himself a GolfBoard. And if he doesn’t want that, he can but me one.