Brotherhood Spawns a Lifetime of Collecting
It was a routine school day afternoon at the Sanchez house and 7-year-old Arthur decided to wander into his older brother’s bedroom and start reading one of his Star Wars comic books. Suddenly and accidentally, Arthur tore a page, and when his brother came home he fully expected to be banned for life from his comic books. Instead his brother sat him down, talked about what happened, and promised to buy Arthur his own comic book. The next day when Arthur returned home from school, there sitting on his bed was his very first comic book, He-Man. “I couldn’t believe that I had my own book. I was so drawn to the artwork right away.” said Arthur. At that exact moment his brother’s support and generosity jump started a brand new passion that young Arthur would never let go of, while building his massive comic collection and setting himself up to live out his ultimate dream.
While Arthur’s love for comic books started with that He-Man book, days later something else happened involving his brother that got him to start building his own collection. “My brother kept talking about the new Batman: Dark Knight Returns book and I wanted to surprise him with it.” Arthur said. “When I went to the store to buy it, I ended up buying a detective book thinking that it was the book that my brother wanted. When I got home, he didn’t want it so I ended up reading it and I immediately fell in love with every aspect of it.” From the artwork to the storyline, little by little, Arthur continued to add to his comic collection, even getting a job at a pizza place in high school so he had plenty of money to buy new books.
After high school, Arthur’s love for the artwork in his comic books inspired him to join the Navy as a Graphic Illustrator with the hopes of one day also getting a degree in Graphic Design. However, after he had already enlisted, Arthur was surprised to learn that the Illustrator positions weren’t going to be available. He needed to honor his commitment, and decided to become a medic in the Navy. He spent the next eight years seeing parts of the world that he never imagined he would visit. All the while, his comic book collection kept growing. “Whether I was in Okinawa, Japan or Rota, Spain I always went in search of comic book stores in the area, and not only did my collection get bigger, but I got a lot more exposure on a global level.” said Arthur. “Plus I had a steady income that allowed me to keep on buying new and unique books.” Near the end of his time in the Navy, Arthur did in fact get a degree in Graphic Design at the Art Institute but when his service was complete, he followed up eight years as a medic with a job in medical sales. His dream of working in and around the comics industry would have to wait once again but his collection of books continued to grow.
Through the years Arthur’s life changed a lot but his fundamental principles when it comes to collecting have always stayed the same. He taught himself how to build his massive collection by following a few important variables and now has amassed more than 10,000 items. “It all starts with knowing exactly what you’re collecting.” Arthur said. “For me, my first passion was the X-Men because I was drawn to the artwork so I focused on getting more and more of those. Write down what you’re looking for and go for it.”
Once you have an area that you’re targeting, Arthur believes that from your search to the handling of your new purchases, you need to be well informed and you need to be extra careful with your items. “Do your research and actually learn how to grade a comic book because that will help you a lot when buying new items.” continued Arthur. “In addition, understand the etiquette of putting plastic over your books because the way you preserve them is obviously extremely important.”
Finally while finding your direction and being well informed are important, Arthur credits being experimental as one of the biggest reasons that his collection is where it is today. “I remember buying a book I’d never heard of called ‘Nowhere Man’ and I just loved it. I ended up buying all six books.” Arthur said. “I can’t tell you the number of times I randomly tried a brand new book and ended up falling in love with the series. So definitely open yourself up to new books.”
Today as Arthur’s career in medical sales continue, that comic book life dream that he’s had in his mind for all of these years is about to become a reality. He’s currently in the process of opening his own comic store called Four Corners Comics, so the public can experience his years and years of collectibles. It’s the ultimate prize for a man whose inspiration and determination started with one He-Man book given to him by his brother and the result of years of commitment, knowledge and passion toward his beloved comic books.