Treasure Trove of Comics
His late great-uncle Billy Wright had not only managed to amass a comic book collection including some of the most desirable ever printed, but also had the foresight to store them in good condition.
Treasure Trove of Comics
As he cleaned out the home of his great-aunt, in Virginia after her death 31 year-old Michael Rorrer had no idea, as he went through the stuff piled into basement cupboards, that he would find an unsuspected treasure trove of 345 comic books, neatly stacked in a closet.
Michael thought them cool but gave no thought to value until later, when conversations led him to realise that his late great-uncle Billy Wright had not only managed to amass a comic book collection including some of the most desirable ever printed, but also had the foresight to store them in good condition.
That was why, last week, the bulk of this incredible assembly of rare comics sold at auction for about $3.5 million. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions ran the event, most expensive item the 1939 copy of Detective Comics No. 27 - featuring the debut of Batman - which, at a New York City auction fetched $523,000.
Other big sales included 1938 Action Comics No. 1 - featuring the first appearance of Superman - $299,000 - 1940 Batman No. 1 fetching $275,000, buyers finding themselves dizzy with excitement about the type of collections not believed to exist anymore.
Mother of Michael, Lisa Hernandez, 54, of League City, Texas, gave half the comics to him and the rest to his younger brother, originally. Michael mentioned to a work colleague that he had seen a Captain America No. 2, a 1941 issue in which the hero bursts in on Adolf Hitler.
The co-worker suggested that if he had Action Comics No. 1, he might be onto a real find, so on gong home, Michael checked and there it was, prompting him to begin researching in earnest. His great-uncle, as a boy, collected an astonishing array of what would become the most valuable comic books in history.
Upon realizing how important they were, Micheal called his mother, who still had the other box, and they then went through them checking comic after comic off the list that Michael had written down. Hernandez said the look on his face after looking through them told her that something big was in the air.
Michael vaguely remembered his aunt fleetingly referring to the comics after finding out that he and brother Jonathan liked them, though the 66 year-old great-uncle, who died in 1994 never mentioned owning them.
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. It seems that this man had been an only child whose mother obsessively hung on to his childhood toys, many still in original boxed toy items - also in good condition also found in that treasure trove cellar.