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than 35 years ago, He was forced to start over af­ter los­ing ev­ery­thing in a 1987 house fire and since has ac­quired more than 4,000. Of his cur­rent col­lec­tion, Wood­son says his Spi­der-Man is­sues are all-but-sacro­sanct, but there’s one he could never see part­ing with: Amaz­ing Spi­der­Man # 300.

“(That is­sue) was a huge mile­stone and helped in­tro­duce Todd McFarlane as an artist as well as the char­ac­ter Venom, but that’s not why it’s my ab­so­lute favourite,” he writes. “My favourite aunt, Bar­bara, bought that comic for me for Christ­mas. Comics mean more to me when they are gifts.”

Big dreams

Col­lec­tors’ sky-high ex­pec­ta­tions are fu­elled, in part, by sto­ries – al­most myths – of hid­den trea­sures

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