BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Some may view superhero fandom as “just for kids" but one Bowling Green man proves that this culture of comics is one that resonates with generations both young and old.
Larry Nader has been drawn to comic books since he was 4 years old.
“I just enjoyed the heroic attitude. How they were... the betterment of people,” he said.
What first started as a childhood interest has grown into a massive collection that started seemingly by accident.
“I just didn’t throw them out! From the mid-60s on I bought Batman, Superman... I enjoyed reading them," Nader said.
Nader’s hobby has since turned into a collection of roughly 27,000 pieces. Of course, his assemblage contains more than just comic books. In fact, Nader has a room full of superhero statues ranging from 2 ft. to 6.5 ft. tall.
Some of his most interesting statues even spent a year on display at the Wood County Historical Museum. However, Nader said this short vacancy just gave him extra room to fill up with even more superhero figurines.
While his astounding collection has been building for around 50 years or so, Nader has decided that now is the time to start paring down.
“I’m getting older for one, so I have to think about what my son is going to do,” Nader said. “My son loves comic books, but 27,000 is a lot to deal with."
Nader is putting around 3,000 books and 100 figures up for auction. The number might be just a tiny fraction of his collection, but some of the items are rare collectibles.
For DC fans, an especially notable item up for sale is the Batman #232 “Daughter of the Demon” comic featuring the first appearance of notorious villain Ra’s al Ghul published in 1971, which can be worth upwards of $1,000.
Marvel fans have even more opportunity to snag a rare find. Seemingly the most exciting of which is The Amazing Spider-Man #129. Published in 1974, this is the first time fans see the brutal anti-hero, The Punisher. A copy of this one in nearly perfect condition? Well, that can be worth anywhere from $5,000 to $13,000.
Right in line with the premiere of “Avengers: Endgame" the past weekend, Nader is also selling his copy of “Infinity Gauntlet". This is the comic that served as the basis for the Infinity War series. “Avengers: Endgame” found huge success at the box office, with an estimated $350 million in domestic ticket sales and $1.2 billion globally.
While superhero comics may have been aimed at a younger audience in the very beginning, the cult following of all the movie and TV adaptations developed since the late 1930s makes it clear the genre has evolved to be enjoyed by all walks of life.
“People used to think of them as just for kids and they really aren’t,” Nader said. “They incorporate current events, and the artists are fabulous. Where else do you find this much original art being produced?”
The bidding has already begun, but you can fight to take home any of these thousands of items online through local company, Ottawa River Auctions’ website until Tuesday, April 30.