Collector Immersed in World of Comic Heroes
At age 18, Don Wright started scuba-diving with his father and dreamed of becoming a marine biologist.
But about four years ago, a friend sold him 11 Golden Age comic books for $20. “That day someone offered me $200 for them,” he said. “That sort of cranked me up.”
The marine biologist dream is on hold, and although he still dives, Wright, 34, is more infatuated with comic books, animation art, electronic toys, baseball cards and movie posters owned by other people.
Every three months Wright organizes and runs the Orange County Comic, Card and Collectible Show at the Red Lion Inn in Costa Mesa.
Table space rents for $50 and there is a $2.50 admission fee.
Although he doesn’t sell any of his own, Wright says he has about 10,000 comic books stored away along with other collectible items.
“I started collecting when I was 25 and when I saw one I’d like, I would buy it,” he said. “I saved my money and bought comic books when I could.”
One of these days he plans to open a comic book store.
The Huntington Beach man, who served four years in the Navy as an electronics technician, said he has attended other comic books collectible shows, “but I could see that no one had done it right,” he said.
Which is how he decided to call his business “Done Right Productions"--also a play on his name.
“Right now, no one has a clue about me and my business, but I’m having a ball,” he said. “I’m creating something from nothing.”
And while some day he hopes to make it pay off, “at this point making money is kind of a joke,” said Wright, who works as a credit consultant to pay the rent and buy food. “I like to think I’m in a growth stage. Some day I expect to make some real money.”
But he doesn’t feel it will be from his shows.
“I’m looking ahead” said Wright, “to the time I can work as a consultant to toy companies and movie studios.”
Besides providing trading and sales opportunities to owners of comic books, baseball cards, Japanese animation art, “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” items and movie posters, Wright’s show also attracts young comic book artists. Professional artists hold seminars and budding comic book artists compete in a contest. “We have a separate room for student artists who have not had their art published,” he said. “In September we’ll select a winner who will get his art published in a comic book.”
In addition, Wright is promoting comic book literacy.
“It’s not meant to replace books. It’s a way to provide a different form of reading without a lot of complicated words,” he said. “It can be an important part of a person’s development and a great addition to reading books.”
But more important to Wright: “I like to bring a lot of people together. I want everyone who goes to these things to have a good time, to enjoy themselves.”
However, he added, “if it doesn’t turn out exactly the way I want it, I get depressed.”