By Dylis Jones
Has Panama’s former Tourism director, and one time presidential hopeful fallen on hard times or is he experiencing the end of a once burning passion?
Outside of Panama, Blades is better known as an award winning salsa singer and actor, much loved in Latin. America but, as he toured the world serenading his adoring fans, few knew of a secret love.
Blades started collecting comic books as a young boy in Panama. Although he lost interest in the hobby in his teens, when hearrived in New York City in 1974, aged 26, he wandered into a used comic book store on 8th Avenue and walked out with his passion rekindled.
Over the next 35 years, Blades was busy building his film and music career, but he was also busy creating a one-of-a-kind comic collection—chock full of complete runs and esoteric of titles.
That collection—which includes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Mickey Mouse plus hundreds of other rare Golden Age Comics from the 1930s and 40s—is going up for auction this summer on online auction site ComicConnect.com.
Finally satisfied after completing so many runs, Blades, who is known for his roles in Predator 2, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Last Flight, The Devil’s Own, Color of Night, Cradle Will Rock and Safe House, says it’s time to pare down the collection so he can concentrate on other areas.
Blades, describes his interestas unlike those of most collectors. “I wasn’t as concerned with condition as other collectors,” Blades says. “I wasn’t a cork sniffer. I was always more interested in completing the run.”
“It’s really difficult to find someone who has completed as many varied runs of titles as those in Ruben’s collection,” says Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of Metropolis Collectibles, the largest vintage comic dealer and its online auction site ComicConnect.com. “This is such a unique collection and will generate a great deal of interest.”