Ah, comics…just the word brings back happy memories of sifting through bargain bins at a nearby sports card shop and of trudging every week to an office supply store in the center of town that inexplicably carried Marvel Comics. Ah, early 90’s, how I miss your $1.00 cover prices.
As I mentioned way back, maybe a couple of years ago, I had grown tired of my comic collection and decided to part ways with it via Craigslist. It seemed like digital comics were taking over and my comics were just sitting in boxes with just a few key Silver age issues on display in my man cave. To this day, it was one of the dumbest things I’ve done. It’s one thing to sell a collection of Modern age books, but it’s another thing to sell a collection of Silver age. Those, well..you don’t sell those. A few months ago, seemingly out of nowhere I got the itch. You know what I’m talking about; that itch so deeply rooted in your brain that the only way to scratch it is by running out of your house screaming like a lunatic and buying that game, comic, miniature, ..etc that you just have to have. For me, that itch was Tales of Suspense #81. It was my favorite cover from my old collection and I just had to own it again.
I figured that if I immersed myself in MTG and built some new decks, the comic bug would fade away. It did not however, instead it intensified becoming a nerdy tornado of materialism..I couldn’t stop thinking about comics. When I was at work, I was reading CBR.com and Newsarama.com articles. At night I would spend hours traveling through page after page at collectors-society.com, (You want to get hooked on comics? Go there. You’ve been warned.). Finally, in an effort to regain my sanity I logged onto eBay and found a copy of TOS #81 for $12 and bought it. No auction or “make an offer” bullcrap for me, I just bought that sucker. It was mine again.. that’s all I needed just that one issue…wait, what’s that? Tales to Astonish #91 with only a few seconds left?! Mine! House of Mystery #219?! For $6.00?! Mine! Oh man! I loved the McFarlane run on Amazing Spider-Man! Issue #318! Mine! It was a long night that night. I was exhausted the next morning at work but not as exhausted as my bank account.
A couple of days later, I found myself standing in Newbury comics with my better half, Caitlyn, eyeballing the newest issues on the shelf. I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump back into collecting new books just yet, but she convinced me to do so. She said that it makes me happy so it’s worth the inflated cover prices. She also made me proud by buying herself a Thor infinity scarf. It didn’t take much convincing for me to jump back in head first. After only a few minutes I had accrued about $40 worth of comics. Thankfully, it was a Monday evening and they have a BOGO sale on Mondays (you’re welcome, corporate guy at Newbury..could we get some swag?), so my wallet didn’t take a beating. Honestly, it was fun to buy comics again, I had never stopped reading them, but there is something about the hunt for that one issue, the interactions you have with fellow collectors, and of course the feeling of holding that book in your hand and not just viewing it on an iPad (iPad plug, Apple, send a couple our way). I also noticed that there is more of a diverse audience for them. Just by being in Newbury for 30 minutes, I saw men, women, kids, all flipping through comics. This is probably due to the emergence of comics in mainstream media via movies and tv shows. I think it’s fantastic that people are finally understanding that comics are not just for kids. Now if the publishers could just stop the reboot nonsense, we would be golden. As for me, I’m proud to say that I’m a collector again. My goal is to regain most of the Silver age issues I sold and build from there, maybe it’ll happen and maybe it won’t but regardless it’ll be fun to try.