Written by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong
Unless you know comics, more specifically the history of comics, you may not know who Edgar Church and Chuck Rozanski are. Stepping in to try and change that is screenplay writer David Johnson. Johnson’s film project Edgar’s Comics, currently a Kickstarter campaign, tells the tale of a young man who finds the holy grail of comic books.
What is the story of Edgar Church and Chuck Rozanski? It started in 1977 in Denver, Colorado when a young Rozanski, a comic book dealer, discovered the comic book equivalent of a 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth baseball card in the basement of the late Edgar Church’s home. The comic book collection, known as the Edgar Church collection or the Mile High collection, contained around 18,000 high grade condition books of just about every comic published from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Included in the lot was the 1938 Action Comics #1…yes, the very same 10 cents comic that sold for $2.16 million in November 2011 on Comic Connect. This find of a lifetime helped to catapult Rozanski from selling comics in his parent’s basement to Mile High Comics, a successful chain of comic book stores and an online retailer.
As for the collection’s original collector, Church, he did not so much as read the comics but bought and used them for reference in his work as a commercial artist which is one of the reasons for the collection’s pristine condition. Church himself was alive in 1977 but hospitalized with dementia, leaving his children with power of attorney. With no knowledge of the collection’s estimated value of $200,000 (now rumored to be worth $50 million), Church’s children wanted to clean the house of the comics and contacted Rozanski, who purchased it for around $1800. In the 30+ years, the collection has been separated and sold to collectors.
The story of Edgar’s Comics isn’t just about the comic book collection; it’s about Chuck Rozanski’s life before and after finding the comic book mother lode, and his impact on the world of collecting comics. To learn more about Edgar’s Comics, its Kickstarter campaign and/or to pledge $1 or even $5000 towards the $68,000 goal, go to David Johnson’s Kickstarter page.