In March 2000, London-based Comic Book Auctions took delivery of over one thousand US comics from one John Lieber, who lived near Bristol. The origin of these comics would prove a bit of a revelation…
“He had explained to us that his uncle, who lived in America, used to send him the latest super-hero comics as they came out, month by month, title by title,” Malcolm Phillips, the auction house’s Director, told downthetubes.
“Some of the comics were even accompanied by individual letters about how the characters were to develop and, if successful, progress to their own titles.
“If you haven’t already guessed, his uncle in America was a Mr Stanley Lee, president emeritus of Marvel Comics.”
(Stan Lee’s only brother, Larry, is mentioned with great warmth and fondness throughout his autobiography Excelsior and his regular dispatch of comics to his young nephew in the 1960s was a demonstration of Stan’s affection for his family).
“I then suggested to John that we might give the collection a ‘name’ to benefit from the premium that such a magnificent provenance deserved,” Malcolm continues, “and the ‘Uncle Stan Collection’ was born, the first signature collection ever offered in the UK.
“However, John said he would have to write to his uncle to get his express permission and a week or so later Stan replied:
‘Hi John, Of course you can call your collection of comics ”The Uncle Stan Collection”,
I hope you make a fortune,
“ Uncle” Stan.
PS My attorney will call you later to discuss my percentage.
PPS Just kidding!’
God bless Uncle Stan, RIP.