Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two Dozen Holidays

So there I am, standing in the dark, blearily looking at the lights of the city from my Capitol Hill apartment window, and I'm talking on the phone with Wally Wood. In those days anything seemed possible in my life.

He gets right down to business., "I hear you're interested in purchasing some original art."

"Ah, um, yeah," I gurgle.

"Well let me tell ya what I got..."

And he proceeds to describe not just some of his art, but other comic art that he has—Bob Kane, Joe Shuster, Frazetta, Foster, Hogarth, Kelly, Capp and others as he rambled on, sounding tired and maybe a little drunk.

I slid down the wall, staring into darkness, missing some of what he was saying, as I started figuring how much money I could raise. This wasn't my business or my expertise, but I knew that opportunities like this were pretty darn rare.

By the time we were done, we were talking a very big chunk of money for a 'portfolio' of material, but it was money I knew I could raise, if just barely. So we made an agreement, and he said I should deal with a representative of his from this point. So I sent a cashiers check made out to a name that I didn't then recognize. And of course I was a nervous wreck, thinking what a dope I was, what the hell had I done. . .

But within two weeks several large packages arrived at my doorstep. After having a beer and almost holding my breath I unwrapped them and found several actual portfolios, scuffed and beaten.

And opening them was like two dozen holidays rolled into one.

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