Stephen Ritter has been collecting comics since the early 1970s , starting with his childhood favorites from Marvel and DC. After completing the entire Silver Age of both companies, Stephen inevitably migrated towards the Golden Age in the mid-80s, which greatly broadened the scope of his collecting. He eventually began dealing part-time by setting up at conventions with his growing inventory.
"I was a very grade conscious collector over the years. My experience as a dealer helped augment my ability to cherry pick, and allowed me access to many phenomenal collections." His friendly demeanor and fairness also earned him a loyal following among collectors who frequented the shows.
Stephen has served in the Air Force for the last 25 years, now a Lt. Colonel and facing retirement. "It's been a dream of mine to build a website for customers who normally would wait to see me at a convention." WorldWide Comics is the result, tying together decades of knowledge, experience, and above all, a killer comic book collection. "The long term plan of this business is to provide a massive selection of comics for all classes of collectors. Whether they collect Gold, Silver or Bronze, high grade or low grade, CGC or raw, we will have it all."
Both he and Matt Nelson are completing work on their forthcoming book about Pedigreed comics, a project that has been in the works for the past four years.
Matt Nelson got an early start in vintage comics. His eyes were opened once he saw his first Overstreet Price Guide sitting on a friend's shelf at home. After reading it cover to cover, he was hooked. For his 14th birthday, his Mother bought him his first Silver Age comic, an Iron Man #1.
Matt's passion grew considerably over the next five years, as he networked with as many local stores and collectors as he could find in his hometown of Slidell, La and nearby New Orleans. He met Bill Ponseti in 1990, and helped Bill open More Fun Comics in late 1992. "It was the perfect job for me during college. We both loved Golden Age comics, and it was our goal to pump as much of it into New Orleans as possible, since the existing market there was very small."
During the next four years, Matt and Bill became Overstreet advisors, began traveling to San Diego Comic Con, and basically accomplished their goal of establishing More Fun Comics as the Mecca of vintage comics throughout the Gulf states. The watershed moment came when an elderly lady walked into the store in January of 1996 with Action #1-18 for sale. She had found them cleaning out her husband's house on St. Charles, just around the corner from the store! The lady had visited a rival store first, but the owner, realizing he could never afford the comics, sent her to More Fun.
In 1996 Matt had a chance to study restoration under Bill Sarrill, who is considered the father of comic restoration in the industry. Shortly thereafter Matt established Classic Conservations to offer his restoration abilities to collectors. Later changed to Classics Incorporated, the business now offers a myriad of services, such as restoration, pressing, proscreen, expert advice on third party grading, and investment consulting.
Matt eventually crossed paths with Stephen during the early stages of writing the Pedigreed comics book. "Working closely with Stephen on the book the past few years has allowed some creative thinking to spill over into other areas of comic collecting and influence our future. We realized that we had very similar goals in mind, and further cementing that partnership was a smart move."