You may have heard that a fairly good copy of the iconic first issue of Action Comics that introduced the character of Superman — the first superhero — is on the auction block.  Recession be damned, some estimate a winning bid could be as high as $400,000.  For a comic book.

Like any other red-blooded American boy in the Cold War era, I was a comic book collector.  But, as my childhood chum and fellow collector once remarked, “The trouble was we actually read these things, so pages would be torn and folded.  So, even if we didn’t end up throwing them out,  they probably wouldn’t be worth much today as collectibles to people who are more interesting in owning the things as an object, rather than what they were originally intended for – something to make being a kid more bearable.”

I think I started collecting comics at around third or fourth grade, but by the time I got to junior high school it was, to use a Biblical phrase that has come into use of late in the political realm, time to put childish things away.  I had graduated to the tales of Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke and real books without pictures.  I wasn’t (or at least didn’t want to be treated like) a kid, anymore.  Consequently, I emptied my drawers of comics and sent them, I don’t really remember where.

For whatever reasons, comics (or, ahem, graphic novels) never held much interest to me as an adult. I did, however, just order The Watchmen just to see what all the fuss is about that has been generated by the upcoming movie version. The premise does strike me as intriguing, though superhero as anti-hero certainly isn’t original to this series, as any fan of Marvel Comics knows. This, however, sounds a bit more adult, as opposed to adolescent Peter Parkerish angst, centric.

Speaking of which, I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man, which I just got to see, a comic I never read and which I probably wouldn’t have watched were it not for all the press about Robert Downey Jr. Even while the anti-hero aspect is of the more formulaic and James Bondish (and hence less adult) variety, it’s well worth the rental fee thanks to Downey’s performance.

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