CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Thousands of superhero fans traveled across the country to the Queen City.
Last weekend marked the 40th anniversary of Heroes Con, a comic book convention founded by the owner of a local comic bookstore.
Before iPhones and tablets, entertainment came in the form of flimsy books plastered with superheroes.
“I loved Spider-Man as a little boy, and I remember reading, ‘with great power, comes great responsibility,’ and when I read that, it sent a shiver up my spine,” Vincent Zurzolo said.
At age 15, he turned his love for comic books into a business, first selling by word of mouth, then by demand.
“I used to set up on Broadway between John and Maiden and all of the guys from Wallstreet would come out and I would sell them comic books,” Zurzolo said.
What first sold for pennies and then dollars, now sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“First superhero book ever made, and this comic book should sell for somewhere around $300,000 to $400,000 thousand dollars at auction,“ Zurzolo said.
The books are graded on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the greatest.
Back in 2010, his company Comic Connect made history by selling a coming book for $1 million. The company went on to break that record five more times.
“And it is really exciting for me because when I started off, all I was doing was selling dollar comic books and to have worked my way up to this level has been really cool to be a part of,” Zurzolo said.
This past weekend, he put his price possessions on display at Charlotte’s Heroes Convention.
“I get emotional,” Randy Salazar said.
Comic books are Salazar’s life five days a week. He works at a coming bookstore in Denver. He flew to the Queen City Thursday morning to be around others who share his passion.
“When most people stop reading comics, they get into high school, girls, sports, socializing, it just never went away for me,” Salazar said.
“It’s almost like it’s Christmas morning and you are opening up a box and you don’t know what the gift is. That’s what comic books are to me,” Zurzolo said.