From Heritage:

" our upcoming auction is from the Janowicz Collection.
As a young boy growing up in Rochester, New York, Joe Janowicz loved comic books. "With two working parents trying to make ends meet and with only two channels on a black and white TV, comics were my best friends and extended family," Joe said.

In 1958, when Joe was 10 years old, he traded comics with another young boy and got his first look at Golden Age books. He recalls being amazed at the larger page size and the different characters. But unfortunately, what was becoming a large collection was soon greatly diminished. "In 1960, we moved from the city to a suburban home, and that's when my Dad told me we had to get rid of some boxes of comics rather than move them." Joe remembers his father taking him and his comics – which back then had no real collector's value – to a used bookstore where he got two cents for every copy sold.

Joe managed to save a fair number of comics from the 1940s and 1950s, but during the 1960s, he began to buy virtually every Marvel and DC comic that came out. "I remember buying The Amazing Spider-Man #1, and thinking that this new character might last 20 issues, at best," Joe said. "Here I am, all these years later, and I'm still buying Spider-Man comics!"

Joe started college in 1966 and put his collection on hiatus. He took up the hobby again in the 1980s, and even introduced his son to comic books in the late 1980s with a trip to a local comic book convention. To this day, Joe and his son still talk about those experiences of the comics they bought together and the special memories they shared.

There's already heavy bidding on this poster from the Janowicz Collection.
Joe's other collecting passion is movie posters, an interest that began at age 8 in 1956, when his father took him to a downtown movie theater to see the first Godzilla movie. "It was a Thursday night," Joe recalled, "and we went to the last evening showing. As we left the movie, the manager, who was changing the movie posters in the lobby, overheard me talking excitedly about Godzilla and said, 'Here, take this poster home.' I've been in love with movie posters since that day. During high school, I had a job as an usher in a movie theater, which not only gave me extra money to buy comic books, but the owner of the theater also gave me a bunch of posters that were gathering dust in a back room. Of course, as the years went by, I gave some away, like the Attack of the Giant Leeches one sheet I gave to my roommate's girlfriend. Today, that poster is worth a lot of money, but back then, who knew?"

"The Janowicz collection contains some of the nicest Silver Age Marvels I've ever seen," said Lon Allen, Director of Sales for the Comic Division of Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries, "and is noteworthy not only for its depth – it boasts many important runs from #1 up – but also for its quality. Rarely does one see so many important Silver Age books with such gleaming white pages."

"Unlike most kids, who read comics and then mistreated or discarded them, Joe obviously handled his comics with great care, as they've survived the intervening decades in remarkable condition," Allen said. "His Amazing Spider-Man #1, for example, is exceptional, with a page quality that sets it apart from nearly every other high-grade example we've seen. Silver Age Marvels, especially in high-grade, are always desirable, so the entrance into the market of these original owner beauties should cause a number of advanced collectors to sit up and take notice."

"Joe didn't neglect DC titles, of course," Allen said, "and the quality of the key titles in this area reflect that. His copy of Brave and the Bold #28, featuring the first appearance of the Justice League of America, is a real trophy, for example. With all the interest in high-grade Silver Age DCs we've seen lately, this part of Joe's collection should create quite a bidding frenzy."

"Even the older books in the collection are superb," Allen said, "such as his Brenda Starr #14, truly one of the nicest copies in existence, surpassed only by the legendary Mile High copy."

Heritage Auction Galleries' upcoming Comics Signature Auction will be held May 3-5, 2007 in their Dallas, Texas world headquarters."

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