MACLEAN’S REVIEWS

Got a vintage “Batman”? See the King of Camp

JON RUDDY April 1 1969
MACLEAN’S REVIEWS

Got a vintage “Batman”? See the King of Camp

JON RUDDY April 1 1969

Got a vintage “Batman”? See the King of Camp

MOVIES

A COUPLE brought a box of old comic books into Memory Lane Book Store on Markham Street in Toronto. George Henderson, the proprietor, riffled through the stack and offered them $17.50, a sum representing about half his retail price. The woman started to tremble.

“Is your wife all right?” Henderson asked.

“Yes,” said the man. “It’s just that we’ve got a whole truckload of these comics outside.”

So Henderson paid $1,750 for the lot — and happily. At 39, he is Canada’s king of camp and an ardent comicollector who got that way by chance three years ago, when he whimsically decorated his book-store window with old comic books he had found in his sister’s basement. “A man came in and picked up a Batman from the display and peeled off five $20 bills from his money clip. I immediately closed the store and went down to the States to find out what the business was all about.”

Now lie’s selling 15,000 used comics a month, including surprising quantities to newly hooked youngsters.

“I’ve got kids coming in here once a week and spending $10 on comics,” says Henderson. “Where they get it I don’t know.” Not that he feels guilty about taking their pocket money. Comics, he feels, are as sound an investment as coins or stamps, and the market will inflate indefinitely.

JON RUDDY