When you got a Super Hero Wallbusters poster, you were supposed to cut out the figures, paste them on your wall, and then write something clever in the word balloons. When I got mine, I stored it in a poster tube, got Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner to sign it, and then paid a lot of money to get it framed.
I’ve been collecting for a long time, and it’s rare to find something I have never seen. Don’t want, already have or can’t afford — sure. But entirely new to me? Not often.
I was walking the dealer room at Toronto Trek in 2006. Nimoy and Shatner were scheduled for the Fan Expo convention that fall, so I was looking for something to get signed. I spotted this big poster (90 x 120 cm, 3 x 4 feet) from across that crowded room. I had never seen one before.
The dealer had found two in storage; he had forgotten about them. (See? Go through your old stuff; you never know what you’ll find.) He was asking $50 and surprised me by throwing in a Star Trek V juice carton, which is now one of the oddest items in my collection. The next day I dropped by his booth and he asked if I would have paid more for the poster. I said yes, so the person who got his last one paid $75. Sorry about that.
The poster is copyrighted 1977. The manufacturer, Western Graphics Corporation, was bought sometime after by Mead Corporation and then by Rose Art Industries and seems to be no longer. The company also produced Spider-Man, Evel Knievel and Wonder Woman Wallbusters, and that’s all I know about it or its products.
I wish I had a great signing story, but this was one of those cons when Shatner and Nimoy had a huge line so they just signed with their heads down. I had hoped the unusual item would get them to look up and inquire about it. No luck. I also got the American Cancer Society anti-smoking poster autographed at that con, with the same lack of personal contact. As I said, lots of people to get through.
But it is still one of my favourite pieces, because it’s a fun likeness, I have not seen another since, and it’s big and looks great on my wall. Also, it got me that weird juice-carton collectible.