Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buying comics

It's been an fun and interesting summer for comic buys.  (It's also been a fun and interesting summer for comic sales, but that is the subject for another post.)  It seems like, as I got to feeling better, comics just sort of popped out of the woodwork at me.  And that made me happy.

It started off in August with a sale that advertised that there would be lots of comics.  Normally, this means that there's a box or two of 90's glut crap that I don't really care to buy or sell, but the ad mentioned 60's and 70's, which meant that I was there--and hoping that something would be affordable.

The street address had me a little concerned that it was the same house that I had been to a few years ago where the comics were nice but collector-priced.  I wasn't sure at this point if I was looking to buy for me or buy to sell, but either way, I don't pay collector prices.

Happily, I turned out to be wrong about the address.  I got there right as the sake was starting and there were already three other nerds dudes going through the comics.  It took them about five seconds to get on my last freaking nerve.  Two of them I recognized from my own sales.

We were all crammed together on a tiny, little porch covered with boxes of comics.  They were flitting all over the place, usually right to the places I was trying to get to.  I normally try to be polite at sales, but these dudes would stand in front of everything, flipping through the same box over and over again and jabber to each other about nerd shit that no one cares about nothing, while I was trying to wait.  I ended up acting like a total ass and reaching around them to start grabbing things out of the box, which forced them to move.  I'm not proud of myself, but if I hadn't, I might still be there.

The deal was that unbagged comics were a dollar each, while the bagged ones were the price on the bag, which was the price the owner paid--ie collector's prices.  The unbagged ones were in lesser condition, but that's what I stayed with.  And racked up a nice pile, which I got for about ten bucks less than the dollar an issue price.  Deal!

I stuck primarily with DC reprint titles and Dollar Comics from the 70's.  I love that stuff.  It was some of my favorite stuff as a kid--anthology titles like Superman Family and Batman Family that would feature a new story, plus a bunch of old reprints.  I even got a few old 100 pagers in the stack.

A lot of these I have, so they will go to the booth, but I'll need to check my files first.  It was an awesome, fun buy that I enjoyed, even with the obnoxious nerds dudes.

A couple of weeks later, I was at the big flea market in the antique wing.  The first dealer I came to had a long box of comics that was about half full.

I kind of half-heartedly started flipping through it.  Nothing was priced, and it was pretty unremarkable for the most part--Zero Hour-era DC and the like.  Typically, dealers sell this stuff at a buck a pop, which is not a price I'd be paying for what I was seeing.

Then, all of a sudden, I hit upon some 1950's Donald Duck!

Followed by a scad of Classics Illustrated!

It was a bigger scad than this.  This is just a representative sample.
Now, I loves me some Classics Illustrated, so I was getting ready to ask the price, when the vendor comes over to me and says:  "Would you like to buy the whole box?"  I'm a little wary, since I have no clue what he knows or thinks he knows about what he's got, but I ask how much.  "Twenty bucks," he says.  "SOLD!" say I.  Money changes hands and off I stroll with a box of comics.

Bear in mind that there are like 150 comics in this box.  Out of that, maybe two dozen are what I really want, but I can run the rest through my booth, make my money back (and then some), and we're all happy.  (I've already sold several of them, in fact.)

Like I said the rest was pretty unremarkable, but it will be good booth fodder:

I might keep the Phantom, but I also think I might have it.

Again, representative sampling at play.

I have no idea why there were so many of this one issue.
Another treat from that box was a few copies of one issue of Golden Legacy, a series of African-American History comics from the 70's.  I have nearly all of them, but I'm missing a few.  (Until I looked them up for this post, I had no idea they could be ordered online.)  I already have this issue and now I have several more to sell.  I've seen this one in lots before.  It must have been kind of popular.

The best part of this story happens after I bought the comics.  I balanced the box on top of my granny cart and started wheeling for the door. I bought them from literally the first dealer I saw, so I wasn't that far in.  I texted Keith that I was heading to the car to drop off the box.

What I did not know was that Keith was not in the building.  He had stopped to take a call as we were going in and was still outside.  (The whole transaction happened really quick.)  He headed to the car and decided to take it to the front of the building, so I wouldn't have to go so far.  While he was doing that, I got to where I was SURE the car was supposed to be and couldn't find it.

He's waiting at the front for me.  I'm wandering the parking lot convinced the car has been stolen, because there's no way I've forgotten where we parked five minutes ago.  It was really funny.

I did one other big buy from a sidewalk sale at a local comic shop that had several quarter boxes, but those books are already at the booth, so I have no pictures.  That buy was kind of heavy on 70's DC sword and sorcery titles, like Beowulf.  That was a short-lived trend for DC (except for Warlord), but I always kind of liked it.  Fun stuff for a quarter a pop!

The comic shop sidewalk sales always bring out the teeming nerd horde a bunch of people, but for the most part it's pretty orderly.  It's well-organized and people are pretty involved in their searches, but they will move out of your way and not block access to the comics like jerky nerds dudes on front porches do.


Shara said...

You got me on this post. I know nothing about comics. But, I can see why there's so many of that one - she's DAZZLING!

I lost my own car at a garage sale on Saturday. I parked on a cul-de-sac in line with a lot of other cars all going around the circle. I drive a gray SUV and there were a few other gray/blue/black SUV's in that circle and I couldn't figure out which was mine! (We drove a red SUV for years and that was always easy to find. This one, not so much.) I finally pressed m key fob and the headlights lit up. Thank you technology!

Judy said...

I don't know anything at all about comics, but I know I would have pounced on the Donald Duck comics! Those were amazing! Great finds, Eddie.