Monday, June 24, 2013
Rant #989: Stand-Up Comics
As a kid in my fabled Rochdale Village, South Jamaica, Queens, New York, I was a collector from the get-go.
As most boys my age did, I collected baseball cards with a fervor that really was incredible.
With packs priced a a nickel apiece, even someone who didn't have too much money (me) could buy lots and lots of baseball cards.
And get gum with it, too, which I always gave to my sister (hence, the bad teeth that she had).
But somewhere down the line, I got rid of my cards for a woeful price.
I was stupid, I really was.
The other collection I had, and which I still have, is my comic book collection.
I have about 2,000 comics in my collection. I actually started collecting comic books prior to my family's move to Rochdale Village.
I think I actually taught myself to read via comic books, as I have some dated from the very early 1960s, like 1960 and 1961.
And like baseball cards, they were very economical. When I first started to collect them, they were a dime apiece, then they moved up to 12 cents, then moving up to the ungodly sum of 15 cents and then 20 cents, and so on.
I loved comic books. Reading these took me to fantasy places that I would never visit, nor would anyone else.
It put me in the shoes of the heroes. I was a DC guy, not much of a Marvel person, so my comic book heroes were Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, etc.
I did enjoy Daredevil, for whatever reason.
Anyway, I collected through my college years, so my collection--or at least the bulk of it--stretches really from the late 1950s--somehow, I have comics that are older than I am--through the mid-1970s.
But then, during the mid-1970s, I gave up collecting, and moved "full-time" into collecting my third passion, phonograph records.
Talking about that collection is for another column. I have brought up that collection on numerous occasions here, so let's focus on the comic books this time.
After I stopped collecting comic books, they were put in my old room's closet, and they have basically sat there for the past nearly 40 years or so.
I have tried to sell them, here and there, to little avail.
A few years ago, I actually sold a couple of issues to a collector for a few hundred dollars.
Yes, I do have some gems in my collection, but they are well read gems, and collectors are always looking for near mint copies, of which I don't have many.
When I bought comic books, I did not buy them as an investment. I bought them to read, and I did just that.
That certainly has turned off some potential buyers, but that is a fact.
Anyway, once again, I am going to try to sell my collection. I have decided that perhaps now is the time to sell these comics, and I think I have a good idea to do just that.
Later this summer, I think I am going to have a garage sale--comic books only. I can advertise the sale locally and perhaps on something like Craiglist, so my costs will be next to nil.
I hesitate bringing these comics out into the sun, because they have been holed up in that closet since the 1970s. Bringing them outside might damage them further.
But it has to be done, and I think now is a good time.
I have been reading that the superhero movie craze is starting to push up comic book prices, and for anyone who collected comics in the 1960s, as I did, my collection might be somewhat valuable.
No, I don't have The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 or anything like that, but I have enough lesser issues from the time to interest both serious and casual collectors.
At least I think I do.
And since in today's world, adults collect comics--kids don't really buy into these things anymore, probably because of their cost, which is a couple of dollars per issue now--I think they can be priced right to move.
Pricing should be good, but you can never go directly by the book. I think that book is--or at least was, years ago--called the Overstreet Price Guide, and they always overprice comics.
But if I keep prices fair, maybe I can get a good financial haul from this garage sale.
And yes, I would prefer to sell the whole lot, but that probably won't happen.
Anyway, this is the first announcement of this garage sales, so stay tuned for more.
If you are interested, please contact me through this column.
If not, thanks for bearing with me while I got this all off my chest.
Two thousand comic books. That's a pretty heavy amount, and I hope to get them off my chest this summer.
Heck, I doubt even Superman could bear the brunt of all of these issues I have.
And now it is time to unload them, and I hope I can do just that.
No Kryptonite, just my childhood right there in my collection.
Posted by Larry at 2:54 AM