The Esposito Collection

And then, there are some weeks when a TON of stuff happens!

There is not a day that goes by that we don’t get AT LEAST one person in to sell comics or collectibles, which is still incredible to me because, with the advent of the internet and various online auction sites, the world is literally at people’s fingertips. Don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite activities is going through other peoples stuff, seeing what they thought would be worth money down the line…it’s almost like opening up a time capsule, albeit one from only a few years ago. Most times I find trash, and I try to let people down as easily as I can without hurting too many feelings. But there are a few times when we get TREASURE!!!

I have known Walt Flanagan for going on seventeen years, and he is one of the most unflappable people I have ever met, but when Inker Mike Esposito’s nephew brought in some of his uncle’s artwork, Walt nearly had a coronary.
Not only did Tim (Esposito’s nephew) bring in the art, but some VERY cool highball glasses given out to DC artists in the late ’60s/ early ’70s. Those were actually purchased by Walt himself, to display at The Stash.

A bit about Mike Esposito and why Walt and I are such huge fans of his work: Mike was from New York City, and was making his bones in the comics world during the last days of the Golden Age. He was a frequent collaborator of penciller Ross Andru, whom Esposito had gone to high school with. He was also credited as the first inker on The Amazing Spider-Man after Steve Ditko had left the title and John Romita Sr. took over the art chores. He had a hand in creating some cool DC characters in the Silver Age, concepts still used to this day, such as The Metal Men, Suicide Squad and Rose and Thorn. He and Andru have also achieved a kind of immortality, as their image of Wonder Woman is on a United States postage stamp!
The Loki Hot Toys 1/6th scale figure, released by Sideshow Collectibles is a truly amazing action figure. When placed side-by-side with a thirteen inch G.I. Joe from the ’60s or ’70s, you can get a clear view of just how far toy companies have come in terms of the quality of their product and their ability to sculpt in exacting detail.
But more importantly, the young lady purchasing Loki brings up a valid argument…DO NICE GUYS ACTUALLY FINISH LAST? I believe it is possible to be a good guy and not be on the receiving end of life’s poking stick. I love Kevin’s line about life NOT being a Damon Runyon story.
Now let’s talk Happy Days paper dolls. I seriously doubt that you could market paper dolls with anything other than the kitsch factor in mind to todays marketplace, but these were a big thing back at the height of Happy Days’ popularity. Walt’s love of Happy Days is well known to his friends and to fans of his and Bryan’s podcast “Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave”, insomuch as his trivia quizzes around The Secret Stash have become legendary. It’s been pointed out more than once that Walt yearns for a more idyllic, carefree society of Arnold’s Drive-In, Mayberry and Riverdale. We may have been one of the ONLY places where the seller could get $55 for his item.
I have to say that it ALWAYS feels great when we at The Stash get to do something helpful to someone in need. Mrs. Esposito was actually going to get rid of the artwork her husband had been working on before his death, and that would have robbed a lot of his fans the opportunity to buy a piece of history, their history that they shared with the artist. It’s always a good thing to give back, especially to someone who unknowingly helped a little boy discover a passion he’d take with him for his entire life. So thank you, Mike Esposito. For myself and your innumerable fans.
And there ya go…

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