The University of South Carolina (USC) received a collection of 180,000 comics and books from a private collector that is estimated to be worth $2.5 million, as reported by The Post and Courier.

The collection was donated by Gary Watson, a retired nurse from Columbus, Ohio. He began collecting when he was 8 years old and stopped after retiring in 2010. Not wanting the collection to be broken up, Watson ruled out selling it privately opting to donate it as a whole to a college with comic collections. USC approached him about the collection after other colleges said they would sell any duplicates in their collections.

USC enlisted the help of Chris Foss, owner of a comic book store in Columbia, South Carolina, to help sort the collection. Foss stated, “Every box was like a mystery. It takes a lot to stun me. This did.”

500 long boxes were delivered to USC to be sorted and cataloged. Some of the key issues said to be in the collection:

  • Amazing Fantasy #15, August 1962: First appearance of Spider-Man
  • Avengers #1, September 1963: First appearance of the Avengers
  • The Brave and the Bold #28, March 1960: First appearance of the Justice League
  • Tales of Suspense #39, March 1963: First appearance of Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk #1, May 1962: First appearance of the Incredible Hulk
  • The X-Men #1, September 1963: First appearance of the X-Men