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Comic book collector sees red over purchase at Phoenix store

Posted at 7:05 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 13:01:21-04

A local comic collector is turning green with anger after a recent purchase of a rare comic book is now costing a lot more than he expected.

“They were telling me how they had been in business for 36 years and that they were experts,” said Kurt Masse.

Masse is hulking mad over a recent purchase at All About Books and Comics in Phoenix.

“You can see there’s been like big chunks of purple here and here,” said Masse, pointing out some odd-looking colors on the cover of his recent purchase.

Back in November, Masse lasered in on a rare find; a 1962 first appearance of the Hulk -- an investment for the long-time comic fanatic.

“An issue like this, the Incredible Hulk number one, it’s going up 20 to 25 percent a year,” said Masse. 

This made forking over $5,500 for the supposedly unretouched collector's item an easy decision.

“I was excited to show my friends, some of them are actually experts, they own comic book shops and they looked at it and spotted it instantly,” said Masse.

What they spotted was evidence of restoration -- something that can decrease the value of a comic by 50 to 70 percent.

The discovery was a punch to the stomach.

“It’s basically if I bought a car and then found out the dealership had rolled back the odometer,” said Masse.

Once he confirmed the restoration through a nationally recognized company, Masse quickly complained to All About Books and Comics.

The store claimed in a statement to ABC15 that they are not restoration experts, and offered a compromise of store credit.

In the statement, they also say they were selling the item on consignment for the actual owner. They requested a refund from the original owner, who declined.

“The only other option now is to actually sue them in small claims court,” said Masse.

Now, Masse offers this word of advice for anyone else bulking up their portfolios with comics.

“If you're gonna purchase it, get it in writing that if there's restoration, that they’ll accept it back. Secondly, I would purchase with PayPal or a credit card that has an insurance policy on it so that if you didn’t get what you were supposed to, they will cover you,” said Masse.