When Vincent Zurzolo was 5, he begged his mother for 10 cents so he could buy comic books from the canteen and candy store near his home in Rockaway Beach, Queens. “My first comic strip was Ghost Rider #19, 1976,” Mr. Zurzolo said. “At 15, I started buying and selling them with a friend. drawn in my school.
Several decades later, he owns two successful businesses, Metropolis Collectibles, an online retailer of vintage comics, and Comic Connect, a leading online auction site.
As for his own collection, Mr. Zurzolo’s most prized possession is Amazing Fantasy No. 15, 1962, which he purchased in 2001 for $115,000 and which features the debut of Spiderman. Today it is worth almost $2 million, he said.
Mr. Zurzolo, 51, lives in Greenwich Village with his wife, Josephine Dano, 51, artistic director.
QUIET SPACE I wake up alone around 8:30. My wife has an uncanny ability to stay asleep. I go into the living room and do Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes. I just have water; I do not drink coffee. Sometimes I can have yogurt with granola. I also started eating sardines. They are a good source of protein. I put on some sweat, grab a bottle of water, and head to the gym.
FAMOUS GYM For the next 100 minutes – I’ve learned to time everything – I’m at the McBurney YMCA on 14th Street. He’s the one they wrote the song for. I lift weights, use elliptical machines, and stretch.
PROTEIN, GREENS At home I have leftovers found in the fridge, or poached eggs. I could make a salad with chicken. I try to eat more green foods. Jo may be getting up or taking a shower. She’s a coffee and baking person, so she’ll have that.
MORE EXERCISES Around noon, I could go for a bike ride. I started riding during the pandemic to get out of my house. I used a Citi bike, but it’s like 50 pounds and it was hard to get speed on it, so I bought a Scott bike from Echelon Cycles. I walk up the West Side Highway or the George Washington Bridge and back, which feels like a sense of accomplishment. It’s a bridge goliath and the water is to my right which I love.
REGISTRATION AT WORK If I’m not riding, I’ll go to the office for a few hours. People love comics. They offer an escape and are an extremely valuable form of investment and collection. Metropolis currently has 250,000 comics in inventory and we sell about 50,000 a year. Some only cost a few dollars; others go for a few million.
GROCERY RUN Jo and I went to Trader Joe’s. We scour the store for fresh produce: red peppers, Brussels sprouts, baby arugula, berries and pomelos, which she introduced me to. It’s like a grapefruit but sweeter. We buy chicken thighs, dried meat, which is pure protein, and fresh flowers. Then we take the bags home.
COMIC COUPLES I love visiting comic book stores. My private childhood collection is around 1,000. My adult collection is about the same. Sometimes Jo comes with me. She was a fan of comics before we met. It’s amazing that she has a passion for it and that we can date. On one of our first dates, she was spouting obscure information about the X-Men characters. I was shocked. I thought, “Wow, I like this girl.”
ADDICTION SUPERHERO My own comic, called Addiction, which I wrote with professional comic book writer David Quinn, will hopefully be released next year. This is the story of a female doctor who struggles with drug addiction. The mafia shoots her with a huge cocktail to kill her, which she does, except she comes back to life. When she does and touches someone, she can inject them with any type of drug. She is very elegant and has a boyfriend. There are also a lot of villains.
SIGNATURE DISH Before the pandemic, my father, who is 95, sometimes came to my house for dinner. He lives in New Jersey and is very independent. He likes to take the bus, or I’ll find him a car. I’m still nervous about Covid so we haven’t seen each other as much as I’d like. It was difficult. I learned to cook from my parents and sometimes I make my signature dish, steak pizzaiola, which is chard and ribeye in a crust covered with chopped vegetables. Usually Jo, who is an amazing cook, makes roast chicken. If she does, I’ll be on the phone with customers or on our website to check on current offers.
SCREEN EXHAUST Around 7 o’clock, we go down to the living room to watch television while we eat. Jo is on an anime kick; I’m not. We both love science fiction. We watched “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Picard”. We also love Marvel movies.
SCHEMES For the past five years, Jo has put me on a skin diet. I grew up on the beach. I don’t want my skin to look like leather, so before bed I use a bunch of products: Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Gel Cleanser, Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Eye Cream and Amorepacific’s Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Mask. I also like dental floss.
READING IN BED Around 11:30 p.m. or midnight I am in bed. Jo is there first. I could read a little. I read comics digitally. I have just reread “Wolverine” (1982) by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. I was 11 the first time I read it. Reading it again was special and brought back many memories. I also just finished “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” by David Goggins. It’s like a motivational book, but it’s beyond that. He is an impressive human being. Then it’s lights out.