Sunday, January 08, 2006

Tales From The Comic Box #2

Well, if we're gonna start this thing off, we may as well tak about the two types of customers that show up at a comic book store: collector versus reader. Now, they're both one in the same, but there's a slight difference. While one just picks up the book and enjoys it for the sheer fun of it, the other is very carefull of the condition or said book. Sometimes both are the same person. It's not a bad thing, although it was the collector that help bring about a glut of comics in the early ninties from the companies that were valued at high prices in the mid decade, but have dropped in price due to folks buying more than one copy of the book, thereby devaluing the price. I look at like gold prices. The more gold you have available, the more the rariety of it goes down. The same with comics. Lots of folks purchased Action Comics when they published the death of Superman. The issue was hyped by DC Comics as being the most important comic ever printed in the media, which meant everyone and their mother was going out to by the comic, plus special pakaging, including a button, a black armband and more, all sealed in black plastic.

Now, in order to read the book, you had to open the black seal. Now that in collectors circles is a no-no. But, you had to see how Supes dies. Any damage done to the book after opening it, no matter what drops the collectors price. So, you had to buy at least two, three or more just to get the chance to see what happens. One to read the other to put away, just to sell is later for your child's college fund. Soon the book, in orginal condition, was selling for up to seventy-five dollars after six months of being published. An amazing feat. Soon, the price began to drop in the collectors market, and the book now goes for around 15 bucks. Why? Nearly 200,000 copies were made of the book, dropping the price. Don't feel bad for Superman, however. The first issue of Action from June, 1938 goes now (and please correct me someone if I'm wrong) for over 400, 000, in good condition, if you happpen to have a copy of it.

I've had guys show up at the store all the time telling me that want to sell their collections and 9 times out of ten I turn them down, due to the availabilty of the books and the condition. OY, the condition! One guy showed up with books from the mid 1950's that were torn, watermarked and chewed on by some strange animal. Fantasic books with great old artwork and wild stories. There's just no way in the world we could sell them in that shape. It's a shame I had to do that to the guy, as some of the books, in good condition would have been worth a lot of money.

Like I was saying, collectors are readers and readers are collectors. Me, I'm that guy. I'll never sell 'em, though. I may wanna buy a Hummer one day.

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