Stash of western-themed comics up for auction after being discovered in Alberta storage locker

When Alex Archbold was first contacted about a storage locker in Calgary apparently containing thousands of pieces of western-themed memorabilia, the Edmonton collectibles and antique dealer was initially hesitant to arrange a meeting.

“[The locker’s owner] said you’ll have to meet my friend in a storage locker and you’ll have to bring cash,” Archbold said.” I said ‘no, that doesn’t sound super safe. I don’t want to take a whole bunch of cash to an undisclosed location and meet someone about comic books,’ so I passed on the deal.”

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Around four or five months later, Archbold was again contacted by the owner and decided to make the drive to Calgary — but held off on bringing any money until he could see the items.

Archbold says the fear of “having [his] kidneys harvested” was quelled when he learned that the person he would be meeting was a retired RCMP officer.

According to Archbold, the locker was “stacked to the roof” with boxes containing old western-themed comic books, some featuring publishing dates as far back as the 1940s.

“It wasn’t until I got home and started going through the boxes that I realized just what I had,” Archbold said. “I knew my shop (Curiosity Inc.) in Edmonton wouldn’t be able to handle a collection that big, with some pretty important titles in it, so I had to reach out to a big company, in a big city that could handle it.”

That company would be Comic Connect, an online comic book auction based in New York City.

“[Alex and I] really connected on many levels,” Comic Connect co-owner Vincent Zurzolo said. “We both shared an incredible passion for collectibles, comic books and pop culture.”

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Over 600 items are available in the so-called Quick Draw auction on ComicConnect.com. Each item has a starting bid of $1.

Archbold says the auction was given its name after he learned more about the collection’s previous owner.

“He was actually a professional quick drawer, which is why we called it the Quick Draw collection,” Archbold says. “He performed in movies, was a fast draw, a sort of wild west artist.”

Zurzolo says the comic books featuring some of the western genre’s biggest names, such as John Wayne and Roy Rogers, are attracting the most attention in the auction.

While the auction features mostly western-themed items, Zurzolo doesn’t want that to discourage would-be bidders.

“There’s something for everyone in this auction,” says Zurzolo.

Bidding will close on Nov. 17.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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