Comic Book Collector Learns Fine Art of Letting Go

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By: Martha Irvine, AP National Writer
NEW YORK, NY.- Jose Alaniz spent about a week sorting and packing each comic book — carefully, lovingly. There were 12 boxes of them, comics he’d collected since his mother bought him his first one at age 6. He took time to look through them all. The Defenders. The Incredible Hulk. The Mighty Thor. Spider-Man. Each of them, even the bad ones, meant something to him. And now here he was, preparing to let them go to the special collections at the University of Washington libraries. Alaniz knows some would consider it silly that a 42-year-old man should be so attached to bits of paper and ink, books never really meant to last that long. A professor at the university, he sounds a bit apologetic for what he can only describe as his own sappiness (not an easy thing for a serious, somewhat nerdy academic to embrace). Still, though he would soften the blow by keeping 10 of his most prized comic books, it would not be easy to let go. Those he