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Norwalk Kindergartner Stars On Spider-Man Cover

NORWALK, Conn. — At age 5, Ben Kruseski had an experience Wednesday that many adults never achieve: He put his autograph on books for admiring fans, signing his name just above a picture of himself. His father couldn't resist what might be a "once in a lifetime opportunity."

Dave Kruseski usually orders 35 to 40 copies of "The Amazing Spider-Man" from Marvel Comics for his Westport Avenue store, Heroes Comics and Cards. But this month, there is a special promotion: Thanks to the wonders of digital technology, Kruseski could get a picture of his store or his logo on the cover if he ordered 500 copies. Kruseski went for it, and had young Ben stand in front of the store for the photo.

"Business-wise it's not the greatest decision," said Kruseski. "But how could I not have my son on the cover of 'The Amazing Spider-Man?'"

Ben was eating it up Wednesday afternoon, easily folding his hands into a Spider-Man web-throwing pose, middle fingers bent to his palms. He had signed more than 10 autographs, using a gold pen.

"A lot of my customers requested it," Kruseski said. "They want a signed autograph from him, because they all know him. He works every Friday during the summer with me."

Kruseski has owned his store for 16 years and says there aren't many comic stores left. He thinks there's one in Stamford and one in Bridgeport. He doesn't know of any other stores that bought into the promotion but says about 150 stores participated. Serious collectors will try to get one of each.

He expects to have plenty for Ben to save. The father-son camaraderie showed in a perfected back and forth: "At the end of the day I'm going to auction off Ben," Kruseski said. Ben replied with a grin, "I'm going to sell Daddy on eBay. For $100."

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