A comic-book collection is a precious thing to its owner. It’s not just titles and issues, heroes and villains. It’s a sort of history of what that person likes, what they enjoy, what they were interested in at the time they were buying. In a very real way, each collection is like a fingerprint: it’s unique, and there’s no other like it, forever linked to its possessor.
We get a lot of collections through our doors at BLASTOFF, and every now and then one comes in that is something special, as much for its owner as for the books that lay within it. This is one of those. To use a phrase the subject of our piece would undoubtedly have approved of:
“Once upon a time…”
Once upon a time, there was a fellow living in Fontana, California, named Jim Finazzo. Jim was, like so many of us, a lifelong comic-book fan, as well as a true Disneyland fanatic. Jim absolutely loved the park, and visited as often as he could. After working for 20 years as a photocopy technician, Jim unexpectedly found himself out of a job when his employer was bought out by a larger company.
And here’s what separates Jim from so many of us. Faced with this crossroads in his life, Jim asked himself “What do I want to do? Where am I happiest?”
And so, in 2011, Jim went to work at Disneyland, starting out doing ODV, or Outdoor Vending. Jim sold balloons. And as he himself said, “if I’m selling balloons, I’m going to be the best balloon-seller there is.”
Jim was a true believer at Disney in the best sense of the word. He told people to remember that they worked at The Happiest Place on Earth, and he meant it.
“People pay a lot to come here,” Jim would say, “and for me not to pay attention is unacceptable.”
The folks at Disneyland were paying attention, though, and recognized both Jim’s devotion to the guests and his skills as a bartender and sommelier, promoting Jim to his dream job, as a bartender at the Carthay Circle in Disney California Adventure, the park’s newest and most elite restaurant. Jim had found love as well: in November 2012 he and his fiancée Tammy were married. Jim had big plans, to sell his comic-book collection to pay for he and Tammy to travel, to see the world.
Jim Finazzo passed away on January 31, 2013. The illness was brief, unexpected and devastating. He was only 45 years old.
BLASTOFF is pleased and honored to offer The Jim Finazzo Collection. To celebrate Jim’s life and honor his memory, a portion of the proceeds from every sale will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Disneyland’s charity of choice since 1960.
In the words of Jim’s widow Tammy, “All he ever wanted was to work at Disneyland and fall in love. It wasn’t my fairytale ending, but it was his.”
Click the link to see just a few of the books currently available from Jim’s collection. New books will be added frequently, so make sure to check back.