• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 01

Comic Book Collection

There is a whole shelf of novelty mugs in the back of the Salvation Army on Western Avenue: #1 Dad, World's Best Grandma, cups with sentimental mugshots of loved ones, smiling children sitting on laps or opening gifts. Above them are china, cheap but sturdy, and dozens of oddly shaped cookie jars, salt shakers, and other mealtime nicknacks. In other aisles: a dogeared Danielle Steele novel, a Crosby Stills and Nash cassette tape that used to endlessly play in that 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo on trips to the beach during the summer.

When my dad died, we threw out his entire comic book collection because no one would buy or even take it. We tried to get the books on those shelves but they were overstuffed and even hospitals would not accept them because they were out of date. So, 10,000 comic books meticulously purchased and catalogued by year in long white boxes, each one in perfect condition and carefully placed inside a plastic sleeve, were dumped in rental dumpsters on the front curb. They were supposed to be his retirement fund—but that would have been over twenty years down the road, and even in the plastic, the pages would have probably begun to yellow by then.