Comics haul ‘the find of a lifetime’

Father, son score valuable collection of super-hero titles

By Mark Randall and Wade “Weasel” Walker thought they had scoured every comic shop, every roadside antique shop, and every flea market in the Mid-South buying whatever vintage comic books they could get their hands on. But even they weren’t prepared for what Wade found when an 82 year-old woman answered his ad and said she had a collection of old comics she wanted to sell. The father and son duo got in their car at 5 a.m. and drove to a remote town in northwest Arkansas to meet the woman and were amazed at what they found. “These two little old ladies came out and they looked like 80 year-old versions of Lavern and Shirley,” Robert said. “It was so cute.” The woman’s husband had been a comic book collector since the 1940s and had passed away. “He was an only child,” Robert said. “His mother worked at a pharmacy. Once a week, she would buy every comic on the rack at the drug store.” The boxes contained some of the rarest and most sought after comic books in existence. A Flash comic from the 1940s, one of about 20 in existence. The first appearance of Wonder Woman. Amazing Spider-Man No. 2. Rare issues of Detective Comics. First appearance of Captain Marvel. First appearance of Wolverine. Early issues featuring Green Lantern. Some of the first appearances of all-star teams, the Avengers and the Justice League of America. “She brought out a box and opened it and there was a Superman No. 32 laying on top,” Robert said. “We’re thinking, ‘this is awesome.’ After about the ninth box I said don’t bring any more out. The lady said ‘well, I’ve got 14 more boxes.’ We purchased what we had the money for.” A collector from Pennsylvania had looked at the collection before they had but Robert said they had tried to cheat her on the price. She heard about Robert and Weasel and liked the idea that they were going to use the money from the sale of the comics to help their charity, Mr. Robert & The Daycare Kids, which takes kids on adventures designed to help them learn self respect. The group was looking to raise $1,000. “She loved the idea of the Daycare Kids,” Robert said. She sold Weasel the boxes for $800 or about $40 per comic. “In this box is $130,000 worth of comic books,” Robert said. “Some of the rarest you will ever see.” “I wasn’t expecting it,” Wade added. “I really wasn’t. When I walked in and she pulled out Superman No. 34 I was like OK, she’s got something here. You never see these in the type of condition they are in.” Wade has been collecting comic for about four years, following in his father’s footsteps, and hopes to open his own shop in the coming years. He plans to sell enough of the comics to pay for college. The rest of the money will go back into Mr. Robert & The Daycare Kids. “There is enough to pay for him to go to college three times over,” Robert said. “He’s paying for college on his own now. I’m out.” Robert said he is proud of his son for finding the comic books. “I told Weasel if you’re ever going to achieve anything you need to go out there and find your own adventure,” Robert said. “Well, this is his own adventure. He located them. He found them on his own.” Weasel will debut the comics at his own table at the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention this weekend in Memphis at the Hilton. The phone has already been ringing wanting to know what comics he has, and has even attracted interest from celebrities like wrestling legend Jerry Lawler. “Jerry Lawler wanted to know what number Superman and Batman we have,” Robert said. “This is a lifetime find. You can go right now and drive to Memphis and all the way down to Jackson, Mississippi or all the way up to St. Louis and you’re not going to find these in any comic book store. If there were, I’d have probably already have bought them. I never would have thought we’d have found these in Arkansas because I guarantee you we’ve been to every place. And this is just a sample of the collection. It’s stuff you only hear about. You’re talking about comic books that even the gurus don’t know about.”


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