Sherman Oaks : Hobbyist Shares the Magic of Comic Books

Nearly a quarter-century later, Corey J. Baham still remembers the first comic book he ever read--Hot Wheels No. 3.

But while the 29-year-old enthusiast has more than 7,000 of the four-color fantasies squirreled away in his Long Beach home, that title is not among them.

"No, my mother threw out every comic book I collected from then to 1982," Baham said, noting that that his mom's zealous cleanup didn't quash the hobby he's had since the age of 5.

This afternoon, he'll be at the Sherman Oaks branch of the Los Angeles Public Library to discuss the history of the medium that spawned Superman and Spider-Man, Archie and Jughead, Casper and Richie Rich.

In a 45-minute slide show, Baham will detail the formation of the major comic-book publishers, the emergence of superheroes in the late 1930s and the congressional attacks on horror comics in the 1950s. He'll also talk about the growth of shops devoted to comics and the issue of writers and artists owning their work.

For Baham, who works in the computer industry, it's an opportunity to pass along some of the magic that enchanted him as a child.

"I always loved my comics and would run out and buy them whenever I had 25 cents," he said. During his appearance today, he'll be giving away between 100 and 200 comic books to those in attendance.

The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the library, 14245 Moorpark St. in Sherman Oaks. Admission is free.

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