Someone in every generation claims to have had the inaugural issue of [insert comic-book title here] stowed in the attic, garage or under the bed, only to discover that his mother disposed of it with the one-eyed teddy bear and the cummerbund from prom. If this well-worn tale is true, millions of dollars of collectible comic books are now moldering in landfills across America. When your progressive mother claims to have "recycled" your pristine first edition of Action Comics No. 1, remind her that having $317,000 pulped into toilet paper is little consolation.
How the ephemera of children's entertainment transforms into high-end obsessions for collectors requires more analysis than this space allows, though we might surmise names like Freud and Peter Pan would come up as frequently as Frank Miller and Stan Lee. (Also, notice how it's always the mother who dumps the comics in these tales of multipanel woe.)
Entrepreneur Alex Komarov has a product that will prevent comics from ever being dumped again—keep the content, ditch the medium. Komarov's latest foray into the iPad app market (coming on the heels of his popular