On July 1, 1999, Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo announced a major merger between the vintage comic book dealers then-best known as the men behind Metropolis Collectibles and Vincent’s Collectibles, respectively. “We made the cover of Comics Buyer’s Guide, but it wasn’t news outside of the vintage comic market,” Zurzolo said. “Now, 25 years later, with the publicity from the numerous record-breaking sales we’ve made, and comic books taking center stage in film and TV, the general public understands comic books are big business.”

The competing sellers, both already based out of New York City, first combined their forces in 1998 to negotiate the purchase of the pedigree collection later known as the Spokane Collection. The two soon found the benefits of pairing Fishler’s extensive collection with Zurzolo’s thriving customer base.

They shared an additional passion for cultivating the comics community. “Vincent and I believed in networking, and we knew there was a future in helping comics fans treat their collections as investments,” Fishler said.

The 2007 launch of ComicConnect.com marked the addition of an auction house to the fold. The new site quickly drew attention with a then record-breaking sale of $317,000 for an Action Comics #1, the 1938 debut of Superman. ComicConnect went on to achieve the book’s first $1 million sale to a private collector in 2010. Four years later, Zurzolo and Fishler acquired a Near Mint copy of Action Comics #1 for $3.2 million that would set another record in a private sale. More impressive sales have followed, including the 2023 sale of the book for $3.4 million, and later a $4.7 million sale.

The Caped Crusader has also been a star for Metropolis. In 2021, ComicConnect sold a Batman #1 (first Joker and Catwoman) for $1.2 million, and earlier in 2024, ComicConnect set a new sales record for Batman’s debut in Detective Comics #27 when it sold for $1.825 million at auction.

As the partners mark their 25th anniversary, ComicConnect.com continues as one of the premier auction and consignment sites and MetropolisComics.com provides what they describe as “a unique experience in purchasing comics with an unparalleled depth of inventory.”

“We’re also celebrating the 25th anniversary of Stephen introducing his 10-point grading scale,” Zurzolo said. “That’s been another big part of our success story. The system provided a new level of precision in judging a comic book, and people could see that this was the work of a true comics fan. We’ve watched that 10-point scale become the global model. The Metropolis site represents the trust that’s been built around that grading.”

In addition to his work with Metropolis and ComicConnect, Zurzolo developed his own comic, The Addiction, which debuted in 2023.

“We’ve made a lot of money for our clients, but we’ve never lost that thrill of finding an amazing comic, or holding the original art that created a modern day mythology,” Zurzolo said. “The past 25 years have seen the public embrace comic book culture. We want to continue to be part of preserving that work and establishing the true value of the art form.”