Before I was married, I used to collect comic books. I had commercial accounts with Diamond Distributing and Capital Distributing, and I received a large shipment of comics every month. I didn't smoke, I didn't drink, but I had a good job. I spent $176 per month on my collection.

I read one copy and packaged a duplicate copy in archival quality bags. I read every comic that I bought. It was my hobby at the time.

I had complete series copies of X-Men, Spider-Man from #6 up, Daredevil, and most of the current Marvel series. I started going out with a nice girl I met in a comic store, and for my birthday she got me a Daredevil #1 in mint condition.

Years later, I have cases of comic books. I'm a newly-married joe with an average job and a new baby. Things are tight financially. Our car had so many rust holes it looked like Fred Flintstone's foot-powered version. I stole street signs to patch the holes in the floorboards.

My wife never asked me, but one day I announced that, "I'm selling my comic books." I had stopped buying them a while before; there was no money to keep up with the collection.

I could see she was secretly glad that the room full of boxes would be leaving, but she knew that I really loved those things. She argued for a little bit, but I was determined to do the right thing.

I sold the collection to a new car dealer for a new 1990 Ford Bronco II. I only received about 60% of their value. My wife was floored, she didn't know I was sitting on $18,000 worth of wood-based gold.

I used to dream of attending the San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest comic book convention in the United States. I ended up moving to San Diego, but I never went to the convention. It was too sad for me to remember the enjoyment I received from my kiddie comics. And besides, I had sold my comics and became a man.