Are You Still… A Collector?

It’s 2012, but the collector’s mentality still has its hooks in me. What about you?

In my capacity as a writer for iFanboy, I have spent a lot of inches deriding the guy who blocks the New Releases shelf at the comic book shop going through each Deadpool trying to find the one pristine, unsullied copy for him to get slabbed in Lucite, the guy who gives this week’s issue of Detective Comics two stars and then goes downstairs to bag, board, vacuum seal, and enshrine it in his home for all time.

“Imagine if you tried to physically keep a copy of every episode of every show you ever watched on television in your house, whether you liked the show or not,” I’ve said. “Would that not make you a diagnosable insane-o? You keep a boxes and boxes filled with every periodical you ever bought? If your grandma was doing that with TV Guides, you’d put her in a home.”

In my dotage, I’ve started waging an obsessive war on clutter like you only can after a couple of years of slipping on Fisher Price Little People. (Parenthood: It’ll Grinch Ya!™) Anything I haven’t seen my wife or kids touch in more than two days disappears like a Soviet dissident, and I’ve gone after the boxes in my basement with a backhoe. On trash day, our lawn looks like we’ve just been evicted.

And the recycling bin? Well, lately it’s had more than a few comics in it.

Do you ever go through your longboxes and purge? As you’re putting away your most recent purchases, you notice that run of Force Works in there and think, “Come now. You are never going to give those more than an irony-filled riffling again as long as you live, and you don’t want to inflict them on the troops or the kids at the children’s hospital. Donations are supposed to be an act of kindness. It’s time to bury these at sea and clear out some room.” The more I have schlepped up to my office with armloads of comics to file into boxes that are already so heavy that they have permanently warped the shelves they’re on, the more ruthless I have gotten with my recycling. I have become utterly unsentimental.

Or so I claim. But I have a huge weak spot.

Ever since I was a kid, I have had runs of The Avengers, Captain America, Fantastic Four, and Uncanny X-Men, as well as gigantic, whale-choking runs of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk. They date back to my earliest days of reading and in some cases span all the way up to when I quit in the nineties. These are the books I put in bags to protect them, although being ten I saved money on bags by cramming in a dozen at a time. I earnestly believed I was protecting my investment, but as an adult I now see that many of these treasures now look like I kept them in a a bird cage with an angry falcon precisely because of the way I “protected” them. Nonetheless, they were mine and I loved them.

paper vs. digital

Pile vs. Pile

The thing is, back before the iPad was even a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ still-glimmering eye, a company called GIT Corp. was licensed by Marvel to publish DVDs with entire 500-issue runs of these books on them in PDF form. I have every one of these DVDs. So I have digital copies of all the issues I bought as a kid, and many more issues besides.

There is no reason whatsoever for me to keep these books anymore.

So why haven’t I gotten rid of them?

I’ve had these DVDs for five or six years. All the issues stayed up there in the boxes. Mr. Tough Guy has no mercy when the comic’s just a couple years old– “Fear Itself: The Home Front? Bah! Into the garbage chute, flyboy!”– but when he gets to the box that’s about to self-rip because of Peter David’s Hulk run, suddenly Mr. Tough Guy is alone in a room arguing with himself.

“B-but what if Adobe’s next reader doesn’t support these files anymore? I won’t be able to look at these issues again.”

“Even though you haven’t looked at them again as it is for at least ten years.”

“Never mind that. All those issues Todd McFarlane made his name with are in here, and I have kids to put through college.”

“Listen to yourself! Those things are on eBay for cover price, you fool! The nineties are over!”

You’re over!!

Still the pounds and pounds of paper persist. This week, during the latest schlepping upstairs/alphabetizing/box shuffling/back throwing out/filing/life-choice questioning/day-I-was-born cursing, I did another purge. After wrestling with myself for twenty minutes like I was trying not to turn into a werewolf, I finally took all those old runs out of their boxes.

And moved them downstairs.

Baby steps.

(I think it was the smell of the paper that melted my resolve.)

It’s hard to shake a habit so ingrained into your psyche. You don’t just stop doing something you’ve been doing since you were eight years old, no matter how unsentimental you may think you are. While I love getting my weekly reading as an intangible file (it alphabetizes and files itself! you purge by hitting a button!) those old stacks still have their claws in me. I may never shake it. I’m still figuring out whether that’s a weakness or a strength.

 


Jim Mroczkowski wishes he’d never seen that episode of Hoarders.

 

Comments

  1. CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

    With our most recent move I’ve become much much much less attached to my single issues, mainly because I have no physical space to store them. Most have been donated to book drives and the like, and the few appropriate enough for 6 years olds have gone to my fiance’s 1st graders.

    I may not want to keep them anymore, but I still don’t have it in me to throw them away.

    I do keep a few single issue that I know aren’t gonna be collected in trade any time soon. Gail Simone’s Deadpool/Agent X run, for example.

  2. emberman says:

    I am new to “Collecting” I stopped at the death of superman but the new 52 got me back in. Marvel is doing it right where any of the titles that are also available digitally is under the same cover. You see with DC they release another cover variant so if you are a collector you have to get Cover A then Cover B to get the digital version, can be a bit stressful on the wallet. I wish DC did this where you get the digital copy with only one cover. Variant “other Artist” covers don’t need it but A covers should.

    I still like the smell of paper and fresh ink, can’t get that digitally but I do like only having to take ONE tablet on the bus and not 100 comics!

  3. Joshy Joshy says:

    Title made me think of Sandman :D
    I read digital, only a trades/hardcovers collector

  4. TheRealVenom TheRealVenom says:

    I’ll NEVER stop collecting physical copies of my favorite comics.
    Collecting comics is still an INVESTMENT. I think people sometimes forget that. Even in this day and age. Just check ebay for full runs and variants of hot series like uncanny x-force and Batman.

    Your digital comics are all well and good, easier to store and hey, less long boxes but they will never be worth anything.

    I love trying to find rare variant covers and getting that favorite comic signed by a writer and or artist. The digital age will never be able to offer me what I love getting out of this hobby.

    • nmoline says:

      Which runs are you showing that are selling for more than you paid? Yes you can get back some of your cover price, but I can’t find any recent runs of X-Men or Batman that are selling for above cover.

      The days of comic book collecting are long gone. Once issues started selling over 100k the scarcity necessary to make the item collectible is gone.

      Ultimate Spider-Man 1 is the only recent book that appears to fetch any real important value to collectors.

    • kmob181 kmob181 says:

      As someone who regularly sells comics he isn’t going to keep on eBay I can tell you a lot of recent stuff has value. My first fours issues of Chew sold for $120 before issue #5 even hit the shelves. I sold the first 10 issues of Uncanny X-Force for over $60. That being said its not about profit as much as getting some money back for stuff you don’t have room for or have lost interest in. I’ve sold runs of DMZ, House of Mystery, and the Dark Tower just to name a few for close to cover price. Its like renting.

    • TheRealVenom TheRealVenom says:

      There are a few full runs of uncanny x-force on there packaged with a couple 1 for 25 and 50 variants that are getting bids of over 300.
      So to say that recent books carry no value is ignorant.

      Ive recently sold my #1 Justice league new 52 autographed by both geoff johns and jim lee for 225$ on ebay.
      Digital will never carry a value and you can’t get it autographed either.

    • GiantRaven GiantRaven says:

      ‘Your digital comics are all well and good, easier to store and hey, less long boxes but they will never be worth anything.’

      Any digital comic I decide to buy will always be worth something to the one person that really matters – myself.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      It seems to me that you’re both kind of right – if you’re looking to turn around a recent run of a hot book (like uncanny x-force) or a particularly hot recent issue (like a first printing of some New 52 number 1s), or a classic run of a book that has some media heat (I bet Avengers back issues will be easier to move in a couple months) you need to be a fairly diligent seller.

      And even though there might be money to be made on certain issues or runs, large amounts of relatively recent releases will probably never be worth more than their cover price (if you can even get that).

      I have a few things I could likely sell for a profit when the time is right – runs of Y The Last Man, Ex Machina or 100 Bullets should be worth something if tv shows or movies ever come together, but most other things (Planetary, early Authority, Bendis Daredevil, Morrison X-Men) are so much easier to get in collected form that I can’t imagine they’re worth much.

      In other words, it seems like being successful in the collector’s market is all about acting fast and selling to people who don’t know about (or don’t care for) collected editions.

    • it seems like selling and reselling things on ebay is a hobby in and of itself. Almost like Day trading with comics. I’ve heard stories of Walking Dead #1 going for insane prices when the first season on AMC started up…i see it all the time with books and what not. If you’re into that it could be fun.

    • ClasikRok ClasikRok says:

      I buy my books from DCBS, so selling the books for cover price would turn a profit! :)

    • kmob181 kmob181 says:

      For me at least ebay is just a way to get some money back on books I’m not going to keep. I don’t speculate. All the books I sell are ones I purchased because I wanted to read them. If I decide after awhile a series isn’t for me or, if during one of my bi-annual culls I find something older that I don’t want to keep anymore and the book or books in question are selling online I put them up. This also happens if I get a nicer copy of a book I already own. Its not about extracting maximum profit. All my auctions start at $.99. I’m a firm believer in the mantra that a book sells for what people are willing to pay, not what a price guide says its worth and if I already got to read the story and can make even a portion of the money back that I spent I feel like I’ve already come out ahead.

    • Of course recent books don’t sell for a lot of money. They’re *recent*. Any half-decent collector of anything knows that value (and scarcity) increase with age. That said, I hope all of you sell off what you have and stop collecting, it’ll make what I’m saving more valuable.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      @megavikingman: I get your logic, but I’m not sure it entirely holds true. Since sales (and therefore print runs, I presume) are lower now for most books, some recent books are probably more scarce than older ones. This is merely supposition and may be a bad example, but there are probably more copies of Mark Waid’s Flash from the 1990s, than there are of Geoff Johns’ Flash of a few years ago. So if scarcity determines value, the recent book should be worth more, right?

      But like @kmob181 says, it all comes down to what someone is willing to pay. And I think there are factors that might make it hard for recent books to gain value over time. The overall market for comic books is pretty small right now, and the collectibility aspect is pretty heavily downplayed these days. In other words, most everyone who wants an issue of a current book will get an issue of current book. And most people (new and returning readers) who come late to the party are probably more reader than collector-oriented (due to the industry’s focus on comics as entertainment media and not collectible objects) and will therefore gravitate toward a collected edition or digital.

      But hey, as long as collectors still enjoy the hunt and don’t mind keeping up a collection, I say live and let live. Just don’t be disappointed if your investment doesn’t pan out.

  5. JokersNuts JokersNuts says:

    Maybe it’s more fun to read comic books than to look at some PDF’s on a computer screen. The experience of reading a comic digitally is very different than reading it physically, and for me personally, its an experience I don’t like.

  6. Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

    At this point I only keep trades, for the most part. After we record the podcast, I send 80% of the single issues right out the door in one way or another.

    I have about 35 longboxes in my family’s storage unit in NYC and this weekend I was talking to my mom and she said that they were thinking of getting rid of the unit and my first thought was, “I have a lot of comics in there” which was immediately proceeded by “Eh, that’s fine. They can go away.”

    I’ve fully turned the corner.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      Thirty-five longboxes?!

      Wow….

      I have two long boxes and about a dozen short boxes and as I read the article, I thought “Even though I don’t consider myself a collector, I really should get rid of some old stuff I’ve kept, but will never re-read”.

      Now, I think I can hold off for a bit. Thanks, Conor!

    • mikegraham6 mikegraham6 says:

      I have no attachment to my individual comics. While i moved to digital-only once the new 52 launched, even when i was buying floppies i’d give them to my brother rather than keep them. Lately though, trades have been my real problem. I’ve started to run out of space with those. I’ve cut back on my trade purchasing immensely but i foresee the day where i’ll run into the exact same problem that i had with monthly comics with my trade collection. Now THAT’s going to be a hard faught battle in my psyche. I don’t know how i’ll be able to convince myself to get rid of a significant portion of my trade collection due to lack of space. 20 pg, 3 dollar comics are one thing, but 20-30 dollar tpbs? that’ll be difficult….

    • Ali Colluccio Ali Colluccio (@WonderAli) says:

      but… but what about “It Came from the Storage Unit!” :(

    • skrulldave skrulldave says:

      Re: Conor let me know when the dumping occurs, postage is in the mail :) I understand those storage units are pricey, one ends up paying double for the stuff stored there, which is why I store at home. Yes, I’m a hoarder. Still I haven’t yet found the right solution for me–it’s an obsession or something.

    • kmob181 kmob181 says:

      Digital comics aren’t my thing. And trades are ok but a floppy is much more than the sum of its parts. Especially for older books its like stepping back to that time period. The ads, the notes, the letters pages, the individual book with a cover that is not just another page in a trade, the original coloring, these are things I value. But there are limits. I cull my books every year. Unless the book is going to be reread or has some historical significance [personal or industry] it gets resold on ebay, donated, or even recycled. In this way I never get above what I would guess amounts to 10 or at the very most 12 long boxes [I have my stuff on shelves] and I never will. Every time I think I cannot possibly get rid of anything else I find something. Im not saying this strategy is for everyone but it works for me.

    • @kmob–i do agree that the ads and letters page are very important. I did a research project for a book a few years ago, where i spent a lot of time in archives documenting that stuff. Really interesting historical stuff…but how often do you need to look at stuff like that? I trust the infinite googleplex library! ha

    • kmob181 kmob181 says:

      @wally – i guess for me floppies are the lithographs, trades are coffee table books and digital is a website with pictures. i just prefer the first – within limits.

  7. Okay, I’ve been a COLLECTOR since 1963. Imagine that. About 12 years ago I dumped ALL my old Marvel/DC from around 1980 back. I just had it with schlepping, re bagging, maintaining and overall just owning all that history. I traded it in, took a bad hit, and was just as happy as can be to no longer feel responsible for that stuff. Now I’m down to about 20 long boxes and am ready for another purge. I no longer collect but still read (I do own an I-Pad 2 and love it for comics). Help me… I don’t have alot of time to invest in getting rid of around 12 long boxes of books, but I am not so generous as to just give them away. What’s a guy to do? Any suggestions? ALL REASONABLE OFFERS (OR OPINIONS) WELCOMED! LOL

    • itsbecca itsbecca says:

      When I start my at home comic organization/binding service (see below) you can be one of my first customers. (A binding service does already exist, but I know, from personal experience, the organization bit is often the hardest part.)

  8. itsbecca itsbecca says:

    I think getting rid of clutter is one of my favorite cathartic parts of moving. You pare down to your essentials; yet, still in every move I feel like I happen to have that one box that never gets unpacked and no one really misses it.

    Long boxes are starting to fit that bill too. I have organization fantasies, where I think I’ll go through every issue, separate them into runs. I’ll find out which issues I’m missing from a run and scour the internets. Then when all that is done I’ll bind the runs at home with covers designed like old books and my own fingers providing the stitching. It seems so romantic, in a sick sort of way. And I just can’t get over it. So I keep toting 2 out of 5 issues of World War Hulk around with me.

    • i’ve had similar ideas. Making my own custom omnibuses….then i remember back to all of my book binding projects and how i never want to to that again. haha. its fun, but its also labor.

    • MisterShaw MisterShaw says:

      That’s my biggest hang-up with stopping single issues, too. I did finally quit with new stuff when DC relaunched–I bought Spider-Man & Fantastic Four/FF through the most recent arcs–but I’m still trying to fill gaps specifically so I can get them bound. I did finally complete my No Man’s Land bin-diving, so that’s something. Still working on Batgirl and Catwoman.

  9. Christopher Christopher says:

    Sounds like you’ve got a compromise going – most new stuff out – most classic stuff in. Works for me to keep me collection from sprawling from its designated place. But culling is cathartic, isn’t it?

  10. Zeppo Zeppo says:

    I’ve taken a step back from ‘collecting’ since getting my own home. I’ve realised I hate long boxes, so have sold a lot of my sinlge issues. I’ve gone digital which helps with the space, and now I only buy the trade/hardcover for stories I really love and know I will read again and again.

    I am keeping my full run of Y: The Last Man, and my Spider-man run, but thats it.

    I’m the same with DVD’s. At one point I would have bought X3 even though I didn’t like it to complete my X-men DVD set, not anymore. I’m tired of having things in my house I don’t even like.

  11. I don’t collect single issues. I don’t really want all that clutter and boxes and such. I have two longboxes in my office closet that are always in the way. I do have some old issues that i really think are fun, and i’m going to invest in a bunch of comic book frames and start hanging them in my office. They’re not valuable, but cool to look at. I’m almost 100% digital for single issues save for some Marvel things i can’t get that way. (however the inconvenience of that is putting those books i enjoy on my chopping block…sorry Daredevil)

    I do however collect art books in general, and for me a subgenre of that is the collected edition comic. I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to my trades, HC’s and coffee table books about comics. Thats kind of what i’m really into right now.

  12. Jeff Reid Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    If you want to give yourself a rationalization as to why you should never throw away any comic ever, just get a job where you write about old storylines. These writings should also include copious amounts of panels from various issues that you scan yourself. Then you’ll always have an excuse to keep everything.

    I sort of have a nagging fear as to what my comic storing spaces will look like in a year if I keep up my current pace but then I refuse to keep thinking about it. Problem solved!

  13. pyynk pyynk says:

    I still have freaking MAGIC cards. I KNOW I have a problem. Dealing with that problem? Well, I’m hoping to unload the Magic cards! That’s a start, right?

  14. zlbenson zlbenson says:

    I only keep the single issues or trades/hardcovers of things I really liked. Stuff I know I am going to read again, or pour over the art again. Everything else gets dropped off at Half price books for like a dime on the dollar. I then use that money to buy more comics! hehe.

    Also I don’t bag and board anything anymore, it was countering my ability to randomly flip through my books and take a look at them. I handle them nicely, and thats about it.

    Recently I almost got caught in a small collecting trap – I thought about picking up all the Batwoman appearances since it wasn’t a big list. Well I bought a couple that were boring reads for one panel appearance and quickly realized how stupid I was.

  15. ChiefAaron ChiefAaron says:

    For me, it’s not the boxes and boxes of single issues that I’ll never read again that keeps me “collecting.” It’s the enjoyment of walking into my LCS every single week and picking up those brand new books with beautiful covers. I recently got back into comics with the new 52 after a long pause during my mid to late 20′s. But just as I’ve gone almost completely digital with books, I feel that I could be heading in that direction with comics, too. I’m trying hard to think of a compromise. Perhaps buying single issues of the absolute favorite superhero or series is a way to go – and just reading digitally for the ones that are kind of okay. You can always go back and buy the single issue runs of a favorite series after the fact on eBay or enjoy the fun of hunting them down issue by issue at various shops. If I could ever get past losing the enjoyment of the comic book store experience, I’d probably just go all digital. This is the BEST debate in comic books, in my opinion. Thanks for posting.

  16. sitara119 sitara119 says:

    i fuckn’ hate that guy at the shop who stands right in front of the new release shelf and just fuckn’ stands there. usually they are reading or, as you stated, looking for that pristine copy, but usually reading. drives me nuts. take a few steps back you inconsiderate prick. i want to be able to get my books without smelling your garbage scented axe body spray or even worse, your bad BO. feel like i’m taking crazy pills over here. DO YOU NOT NOTICE ALL THESE PEOPLE WAITING ON YOUR RUDE ASS TO GET OUTA THE WAY.
    sorry…ranting. it’s a pepeeve

    nice article. i’m about to get an ipad and go digital just because the clutter is getting ridiculous. i too have a family now and as it turns out, finding a place for everything is a huge headache. then i look at all the long and short boxes taking up space in almost every room of my house and i wanna start pulling my hair out. the office, bedroom, under the console table behind the couch,on the top shelf of my son’s closet(safely outa his reach), and a few other places. RIDICULOUS.
    but, i’ll never throw out any of my old floppys. nota one.

    • Jim Mroczkowski Jim Mroczkowski (@jimski) says:

      Guy Who Stands There And Reads is my nemesis. I literally take a picture of him every week, blatantly, and he is incapable of shame.

    • there was this corporate lawyer guy who did it at my old shop. He boxed everyone out, went through every issue looking for “the pristine”, spread things out all over the back issue area, but it was allowed cause he’d drop hundreds of dollars at a time on a 2 inch stack, variants and slabbed back issues. every customer hated him, but i guess he literally paid their rent.

    • It’s about the equivalent to the douchebag at the gym who grabs some dumbbells from the rack and then proceeds to do some endless set of curls so he can stare at himself in the mirror.

  17. Vidman Vidman says:

    I will never go to digital comics as my copy of choice. I have never owned a digital comic, and I am not interested in ever owning one. I have a nook, with the android operating system, and I have an iPad that I use at my job, and I still will never buy a digital comic.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of many other people throwing out their old comics in favor of digital comics. It helps my comics become more rare (and by extension, more valuable).

    Even DC and Marvel have begun to realize that the digital comics aren’t a big seller. They are trying to use them as enticements to buy the physical copy (meaning many of the comics I buy have the little ‘this issue includes a code to get a free copy of the digital comic’).

    However, to answer the question that is the title of this article, yes, Yes, YES, I am a collector, still, and will be as long as I am a reader of comics. I have found that, while I do often go back and reread lots of my older comics, it is sometimes a lot of fun to try get recent issues of runs of comics that are at issue 20, 40, or 60ish, and try to get the whole series. It’s really fun sometimes, and I often don’t read them until I have the whole run. It can take months or even a couple years for some of them, even in the buyer’s market that is out there.

    • skydog skydog says:

      Dude, I hear you! We should start a comic book recycling company. Kind of like those free attic cleaning services in the Pennysaver or perhaps a 800-Got-Junk type of deal. Book burning parties, perhaps?

  18. stevetwo stevetwo says:

    Jim, I have been in the exact same spot as you for several years. Both space, kids and a mature look at the nature of collecting “things” have played a huge part in how I view this, my lifelong hobby, today. It all comes down to individual tastes of course, and one’s opinion of whether or not they’ll go back and read something. That’s HUGE, because anyone who is past the college years, and has a house, a car and a family probably doesn’t have time to sit down with a stack of 20 old issues of Batman and read them straight through.

    I’m that guy, and this has made it totally easy to clean out the stuff I’ll never read again. Are there books I’d never throw out? Certainly – A few series I’ve collected since childhood like Amazing, Batman and Detective. Can I get rid of more? I’m sure I could. I’m sure I will, in time. Like you said, baby steps.

    If anyone isn’t sure, just think about the Jerry Seinfeld episode where George wants to go to an ex-girlfriend’s house to retrieve some books. “Did you read them?” Jerry asks. “Yeah,” answers George. “Then why do you still need them. What is this obsession people have with books? They put them in their houses like they’re trophies. What do you need it for after you read it?”

    True Jerry, but then you have probably never read Marvels, Astro City…

  19. ryanwhodat ryanwhodat says:

    I can’t collect single issues where I live, and I’m also pretty new to comics. I guess I just don’t have that same love for nostalgia, but I can say I started mostly digitally and now only want trades. I want to build a little bit of a library of my favorite stuff. I can’t do that digitally.

  20. GimpTactics says:

    I don’t collect and never have but you know what? Don’t feel pressured into getting rid of them. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t looked at them in ten years or more. Who does it hurt if they’re sitting upstairs in your office? Are you moving soon? Are you struggling for space?

    It seems like they’re an anti-collecting zeitgeist as digital comics start to gain traction and there doesn’t need to be. Embracing the new doesn’t have to mean throwing away the old.

  21. Kamilo Kamilo says:

    Never got a straight answer on this, but it was brought up in the article so why not: Is there anything wrong with putting more than one comic in a given bag and board? It saves space and makes for convenient storyline packs I can easily pass off (I usually get ~6 to a bag), but, if I’m slowly destroying them as is implied by the article, maybe I should move them to their own packs?

    • TomO TomO says:

      Over time, the spines of the book will put a pronounced curl in the book that is pressed up against it. You can sort of remedy this by sliding a backer between the issues, but that doesn’t stop the same thing from happening to the books on the outside of the bag interacting with the books on the outside of the bag next to it.

      So yeah, if you’re looking for pristine over the long haul, one book per bag and backer.

  22. KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

    After reading the comment thread so far, I think I’m still not ready to just toss a bunch of my old comics (anything I have worth donating is probably worth keeping), but I have been convinced to stop buying bags and boards. I have two empty short boxes, and I’ve been telling myself that when those are full, I’m out of the physical single issue buying business (in favor of trades and digital), but we’ll see if my resolve holds.

    Come to think of it, one of my long boxes is half full of old issues of Wizard! An interesting artifact, but I should really let those go!

    @Conor, Ron, Josh or Someone In Charge: Is there any chance of an “iFanboy Marketplace” where members of the community could attempt to buy, sell or trade books amongst themselves?

  23. doomwad says:

    Good article. I enjoyed it. I have space issues in my house, but I know what makes me happy, and I plan to keep doing what I have been doing, i.e., buying and holding onto them. It makes me happy and I feel fortunate that something so simple brings a smile to my face. If others don’t want to hold onto their comics, that’s cool too.

    • skrulldave skrulldave says:

      Re: Doomwad, I like the name–I agree though, it brings a joy to me somehow, and for that alone, it’s worth keeping around for now until that changes.

  24. Timmy Wood Timmy Wood (@TimmyWood) says:

    If it can’t fit on my shelf with my books, i.e. a collected trade or hardcover. I am not buying it.

    If it’s a single issue that can’t be purchased digitally, I am not buying it.

    The only exception is Scalped, which is ending soon.

    I have gotten rid of 95% of my single issues. I have one short box full of things that are special to me for sentimental reasons but that’s it and they are all stuff I have dug out of quarter bins.

  25. skrulldave skrulldave says:

    I’m an impossible hoarder to some degree. I don’t collect the monthly comics anymore, the price has keep me from doing that, and not having a venue to buy them (although I do now). I do pick up graphic novels from time to time. I haven’t gone to an iPad yet. How does digital comics compare to the physical ones? If they were the same, I’d definitely still be picking up the physical ones–I just enjoy hold the actual books in hand. What do you do with digital old copies of comics you’ve already read, just delete them? What if you wanted to go back and re-examine a panel/cover or artwork or something. If you deleted them you could do that.

    Worse yet, I also collect movies DVDs, music, vinyl, and CDs, books and some magazines. Granted I have a better filter these days of what I would like to buy, and yes, storage does become an issue. But I enjoy collecting stuff, I guess it’s my hobby.

  26. IroncladMerc says:

    I’ve got 9 long boxes full, mostly of crap which wouldn’t sell and will probably end up being sold for 1 cent on eBay one day in series sets.

    But I do have a few issues in my collection in Mylar bags, which are some silver age and a couple of Golden age books that I will still keep, like Captain Marvel Adventures #80. I ought to get it slabbed someday but I’m lazy.

  27. jonny jonny says:

    I love my comics but I am truly trying to move to the digital way of life. I’ve already been buying back issues of Image and Dark Horse books since they’re cheaper than other publishers (*coughcoughMarvelcough*). I think despite that though, I could never bring myself to stop buying my favorite books like ASM, Batman, or DC. Those three have always been consistent for me since forever and they’re a pretty huge collection… I hate to break it just to save space.

  28. I recently went through a bunch of my longboxes to do some culling (one of my favorite things to do is put start up an episode of Hoarders on my laptop and start cleaning, it really pushes the process along). There are plenty of issues I’ll be getting rid of but I’ll still have tons of stuff. I can’t see myself ever getting rid of some of my x-runs, particularly my run of Uncanny. I did sit there in front of the boxes and think to myself “do I really need EVERY issue of Alpha Flight, or can I just keep the Byrne ones?’ So I guess getting rid of a bunch of that stuff is progress.

    I’d like to add, to everyone that hates the person who’s looking for a pristine copy int he LCS: I think it’s important to remember that some people collect for different reasons and getting a nice mint copy is important to that person. I don’t care what my copy looks like, but I’ve never had a shop experience where the “Mint Copy Collector” didn’t just slide over a little bit and let me grab my books after I pleasantly said “excuse me.” Lets not demonize someone too much just because they’re more into how mint their collection is.

    • Andrew Andrew says:

      I can relate to both of your paragraphs. In regard to “collecting,” Uncanny X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man are the only two series that I think I’ll hang onto for good. I actually just bought Alpha Flight 1-28 (the Byrne issues) for a total of $5 because I love Byrne’s work from the 80′s. The writing was the definition of mediocre but that art sho’ is purty! 28 issues takes up a good chunk of a box, so now I am trying to decide whether I should keep them. “I don’t see myself every reading these issues again. “But this is classic John Byrne stuff! A part of comics history! Also, I love classic 80′s ads!”

      I’m glad you mentioned that your encounters with the Mint Hunters has been largely benign, as I’ve had the same experiences. There are a couple of people I run into now and again at my store and they have stacks on the ground while they inspect each spine and corner. I certainly find it peculiar and pointless, but they’ve been quick to move and be as out of the way of others a possible. I am sure it is quite frustrating to be repeatedly boxed out by oblivious or rude patrons and to have to swallow your inner Larry David week after week. Weridos gotta be weird sometimes. Now me, I’m such a stand up and selfless guy that I often take the bent or crimped copies just so others don’t have to shuffle and dig. (I’m humble, too!)

    • What at guy! I too can sympathize with people who have had experiences with rude Mint Hunters. I guess I’ve been lucky enough to have never had it be a problem (I’ve been collecting for about 15 years in 4 different states, so I’ve got to find some wood to knock on).

      I do sometimes wonder how many of the people who get really frustrated by it don’t think to just ask if the offender could move over for a second. I know that there are strange people that would react oddly to such a request, but it seems to me that most collectors would just let you grab your books.

  29. I always keep it to four long-boxes, whenever I run out of space I give the stuff I’m not ever looking at again to kids in the neighborhood. They love it, and I’m happy about getting kids to read. They get single issues and my friends get trades, especially the really good stuff since I only tend to hang on to Hardcovers. I’ve recently taken to selling some of my older neglected hardcovers, variants and signed comics on ebay to make a little cash on the side and that’s been working out really well. It’s like I’m getting rid of starting a collecting obsession by giving it to others.

  30. Skruff Skruff says:

    I’m fully converted now to digital comics, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. At last check at a storage facility where I keep most of my comics, however, I had over 56 long boxes of comics dating back to the mid-to-late 80s.

    I’d LOVE to get that down to 5 or less, keeping only the titles that I won’t ever stop loving (Ultimate Spider-Man, Fables, etc.), but the thought of just chucking the rest makes me cringe. With eBay seemingly a dead zone anymore for all but the rarest of comics, I’d just like to donate the rest to a charity or something, even if all they do is re-sell them.

    Anyone have any suggestions on reputable charities that would take a ton of comics and put them to good use?

    • I believe that there is an organization that will send age appropriate donated comics to either children’s hospitals or troops overseas. I don’t remember the name of the organization, but I think I heard about it on an iFanboy podcast a few years ago, maybe someone else can add a reply to provide more information?

      Also, 56 long boxes is…amazing. I probably have around 15 or 20 and thought it was cumbersome.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      There’s Heroes For Heroes, maybe that’s what you’re thinking of?

      http://www.heroes4heroes.org/

    • Skruff Skruff says:

      @colossusfrrhodeisland — And by “amazing”, I know you mean “disturbing”. It’s ok! ;-)

      There was a period in the 90s, where I could easily spend $40 a week on comics, even though I was making barely 1/4 of what I make now, since I was in/just out of college. I was a junkie in the truest sense of the word. Plus, there was a period in the late 90s where I was addicted to getting old runs of comics (Spider-Woman, Savage She-Hulk, etc.) off of eBay. Those weren’t cheap either (and I’ll be keeping those as well).

      When I recently moved cross-country, I was shocked how many long boxes I actually had accumulated. I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy most of the comics I read, because I did, but in hindsight, I was just a wee bit excessive. At least now, with digital comics, any excess just hits my wallet and not any physical storage space that I have to maintain.

      @KenOchalek — Thanks! I’ll check that out!.

    • Found the original iFanboy article about the organization:

      http://ifanboy.com/articles/looking-to-donate-comics/

      It looks like this and the one that Ken recommended would both be really good options. And as a fellow collector, I meant “impressive” way more than “disturbing.”

  31. I have a bunch of long boxes and it is a fun nostalgia trip to see all the old Mike Wieringo Robin issues and KG Beast and stuff but I only care about a couple of series now that I keep like Atlas, Daredevil and King City.

  32. RocketRacoon RocketRacoon says:

    Everytime I read these type of articles, I always wonder how many people genuinely think they are going to fund their retirment with their collection, By the looks of it there are at least a few. It’s frightening.

    • yeah i sometimes think that same thing. I just remember one time i was in a shop, and this guy brought in long boxes of 70s through 90s stuff. Thought he was going to get rich….really nice stuff, complete runs, X-men, spiderman, batman etc. The shop was like. We have multiple copies of all of this stuff in the back. They gave him like $50 bucks for 5 issyes…out of two long boxes! Unless you have lots of pristine golden age stuff i don’t know if comics will make a dent in your investment portfolio.

    • sitara119 sitara119 says:

      i dont think it’s frightening(more like saddening), but people do often enough fall into the trap of thinking their collection is worth a small fortune or will be one day because it’s worth so much to them personally. it’s more of an emotional investment. dont get me wrong, i love it when i see that one of my books is worth $50-200 in a price guide, especially if i only paid 75cents to a dollar for them, but i’ve noticed that people rarely get what a book is “worth” when they try to sell them for cash.
      there was a chain of comic shops in the phoenix area called atomic comics that recently shut down because they would try to sell things like todd mcfarlane’s ASM issues for $15-20 bucks a pop(#300 was priced somewhere around $150). which is what they’re “worth”, but when my lil’ LCS is willing to let them go for $4 bucks a piece with the exception of the venom and green goblin issues(which he charged like $8-10 dollars and #300 for like $50) it really shows you that a book is only worth what one is willing to pay for it, which usually isn’t what it’s “worth”.

  33. Zapruder Zapruder says:

    Nice conversation. I too was an on and off again comic buyer until the new 52 and stumbling across a big batch of 70′s DC Horror for sale last summer made me dust off the boxes in the attic. I treat collecting as it is, a hobby, that allows me to think about something besides work and kids and the wife. I had a great time cataloging everything into stashmycomics.com and now spend a good amount of money per month at my local as well as ebay filling in holes of series I got as a kid. To me the most relaxing part of my week is getting 20 minutes of quiet by my boxes, putting away the new purchases. (sounds sad when written out!)

    Another part of it is pure nostalgia, haven’t you ever looked at a cover of a comic you haven’t seen in 20 years and been zapped right back to when you were a kid in the backseat on a family vacation trying to pass the time?

    I’ve got nothing against digital, it’s not for me though. The buying/reading/bagging/storing ritual is still too much fun.

  34. I have one issue. Uncanny X-Men number 189 (or somewhere near there).

    I’m lucky to have a guest house that serves as a two-room library/office.

    I definitely collect music (CDs/vinyl) as well as books.

    I read single issues and buy hardcover collections of stuff that I know I want to have.

    All trades are donated if they are not worth keeping in the library.

  35. filippod filippod (@filippodee) says:

    Digital comics are not there for me yet. I am already buying some (around 150 so far) and eventually I’m sure they’ll improve to the point I don’t need the floppies anymore. At the moment I feel the digital reproduction quality is not good enough (it’s more than a feeling: I have the free Marvel digital copy coupons which allow me to compare directly paper and digital product).

  36. walkeri says:

    Well I for one will never stop buying the paper version of comics.
    The only collected editions of comics I buy are the ones I can’t afford to buy as back issues and as for downloading comics that’s just something I’m not into, I just love the feel of a comic book in my hands and as I have my own comic room to house my collection it’s nice to retire there and just lose myself in my hobby.
    I’ve been collecting since the early 70′s and yes over the years I’ve culled my collection from time to time but saying that I still have 88 boxes full of comics and I’ve recently started buying back issues of comics from the 70′s and 80′s which I’ve just started bagging and I must say the smell and feel of a comic that is over 30 years old just takes me back to when I was a kid.
    I will always stand buy the paper version of comics because if I started downloading them I’d miss out on my weekly trip to my local comic shop and I can’t see myself ever not collecting,besides I think I help keep my local comic shop going as I collect 105 comics a month and spend more on other comic related items as well.

  37. Waldo says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if any of you know if there is a good website to help track your own collection and maybe price guide?

  38. Hording mentality.

  39. walterwhite walterwhite says:

    I have about 4 long boxes and a couple of short boxes and still love getting printed comics because digital just isn’t for me. I tend too keep certain run of comics that I love like Preacher 1-66, Y the last man complete, Animal Man Grant Morrison run, Walking Dead 1-now, 100 bullets complete, and my Moore Swamp Thing run, and all time favorite run ever Miller on Daredevil 158-233.

    I’m sure I could throw these on Ebay and make some cash if I had too. I recent went through and got rid a bunch of marvel stuff on ebay and pulled in some cash but the day of buying one comic that is going to make you rich is far from over.

    Still I don’t think I will ever be a digital guy when there are so many great omnibus out there that look so good on your book selves.

  40. Fett02 Fett02 says:

    You know what really doesn’t help with the collector mentality? When shops give you bags and boards for free like my LCS for its pull-listers. If I actually had to pay for them, I probably wouldn’t. But since I’m being offered something for free, there isn’t anything that costs me other a little extra space in boxes to continue my OCD-ness.

  41. drdeeeznutz drdeeeznutz says:

    Superiority complex

  42. Multihuller Multihuller says:

    I have two long boxes worth of books I want to keep for sentimental reasons. However, being a child of the early 90′s and that speculative era, I still have tons of OCD problems. If I read a single issue I’m still very careful not to damage the book, even though it’s pointless. In fact, the main reason I love digital is so I no longer have to worry about my OCD kicking in over damaging it. Trades and digital have saved me for going nuts.

  43. emanroxx says:

    I don’t have a problem with collecting single issues probably because I’ve only been collecting since I was about 10 (I’m 19 now).I have about 10 short boxes and I still love to get the single issues, but only for old 70s and 80s marvel comics because for some reason they just read better to me on the old browning paper stock. I have some trades for this stuff but to me it doesnt read as well restored on glossy paper. As for new comics I just usually pick up the trade.

  44. Jesse1125 Jesse1125 says:

    @Jim I too have thoses Dvd’s. There are various apps (for both Ipod &
    Android) that allows you to read those pdf files. You can drag and drop those files into the device of your choice. Nothing beats a long commute when you’re walking around with 20-30 issues in your pocket!!

  45. skydog skydog says:

    What’s going to happen ultimately? My guess is that individual comic book sales will decline for about the next decade. Everyone will be reading digital for the decade after that. Then masses will be jettisoning their comics onto the open market for about a 10 year period and then the books won’t be worth shit. twenty years after that, when comics are no longer made, the original books will be worth their weight in gold. Unfortunately for me, I will be like 80 years old!

    • I don’t think comics will ever stop being printed on paper. Fewer of them may be printed because some fans will opt for digital. But the shorter print runs will make the printed comics more valuable.

  46. skydog skydog says:

    Also, you can’t get the creator to autograph a digital copy. Nothing like holding a book that you know was in the hands of the author or artist who created it. NOTHING!

  47. I’m what I like to call an eclectic completist. By that I mean I like a lot of different things and once I’ve got one I kind of want the set!

    When I was a kid I used to read as many US comics as I could find. I’m from Scotland so that was hard in itself as few shops carried them. In 1987 I discovered my first LCS ( the late, lamented AKA Books and Comics in Glasgow) and started seriously collecting with Justice League 1. I then discovered more comic shops and a couple of market stalls that sold comics. I started off as a strictly DC fan but after a year or two branched out into Marvel and the odd indie book.

    Fast forward 25 years to the present day and I’m living in a 3 bedroom flat with a collection of over 30000 comics spread over 3 rooms. I don’t bag and board each one though. They are mostly six to a bag filed alphanumerically with the exception of pre-1970′s which are mostly in single bags. I know for practical reasons the day will come when I need to get rid of some of them but I really would hate to part with them. I’ve got the same DVD comic collections Jim mentioned and like him I don’t want to part with the original issues they contain. The only thing I did get rid of was the Essentials that they covered.

    To be honest, I love being a collector! I love having all this mad, useless knowledge of companies, characters, titles, history, continuity, storylines and general nonsense that is of absolutely no value to anyone except as pure, personal entertainment. I love picking up a comic from my collection, looking at the cover (perhaps reminiscing of the good old pre-internet days when tracking down a particular back issue was both hard work to do and an absolute joy when you succeeded), enjoying the adverts (selling GRIT seemed like an exotic dream to a seven year old boy from Glasgow and how much did I want a pair of those see-behind glasses!), reading the letters page (sometimes a future comic professional would have a letter printed – My favourite is in Justice League of America No 1 in which a fan letter from Roy Thomas is published suggesting DC also team-up all the super-animals in their own book!), reading all the in-house promotional material (Ask the Answer Man was a great window into a much bigger world and how Fred Hembeck entertained with his irreverent look at my beloved characters) and to top it off, the smell! The smell of old comics is the smell of history! (The smell of digital comics is the smell of an IPad). Most of this stuff is lost in both collected editions and digital comics.

    Yep. I’m a collector and will be forevermore ( or at least until my floor gives way perhaps killing my downstairs neighbour).

  48. Irrationally defensive.

  49. Will serious art collectors be satisfied with a large screen TV that shows a rotating slide show of their favorite works of art? Nope. If an art lover can afford them, he will take the original paintings or prints any day. It will always be the same for comic collectors. I will never throw a comic away (although I might give some away). You never know when an obscure character will be revived, become popular, and make his early appearances valuable. Comics rise in value for odd reasons. The issue of “Uncanny X-Men” where Wolverine is first called “Logan” is more valuable than the several issues before and after. Who knew that Hobgoblin would become a popular Spider-Man villian? His first couple of appearances are more valuable than the several issues before and after.

    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      The art analogy is flawed. Comics are (relatively) cheap mass produced pieces of entertainment. Paintings are not that. High quality prints are not that.

    • yeah i agree with conor. I see that argument A LOT and it always falls flat. In gallery and art collecting circles a print run only has value if it is a signed and numbered edition with the originals (plates, wood blocks, screens, negatives etc) having been destroyed after the print run. Most usually the printing will be done by hand instead of on any sort of automated press. Thats why prints/photographs become valuable pieces of art. The value is in the edition number and the art of the printmaking.

    • Wha? And you call yourselves comic fans? No, generally comics are not “high art,” but they are a kind of “folk art” and the folk arts of many cultures are collectibles. It could be Grandma Moses, American Indian crafts or oriental rugs. And comics on paper ARE printed. Collectors want the first edition, before the masses caught on to what was cool. A first edition of a novel can even be valuable if it is signed by an author like Hemmingway or Fitzgerald.

    • By definition, Folk art has to be hand made, utilitarian, decorative and most importantly, created by a “naive hand”….i.e. no formal art training, no sense of proportion, draftsmanship, color theory etc etc. All the things that make comics, disqualify that.

      Comics are closer to “Ephemera”…..except even with that it’s printed matter not intended to be preserved. Comics are deliberately designed collectibles.

      No one is disparaging the art from of comics. Yes the original art pages by the creators is stuff you hang in a museum or gallery. The booklets we buy are cheaply printed, mass produced reproductions. Even the smallest runs are still in the thousands to meet Diamond requirements, and they are immediately bagged and boarded by thousands of people the same day they are released, so really its tough to put the term “rare” in the same conversation with a modern comic book.

      Of course you are right about the first editions and stuff, and i’m sure you can make *some* money reselling modern comics, but if you think you’re going to buy a house, or put your kid through college with the single issues you are buying today…..then i have serious doubts about that strategy.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      @wally: Well, the housing market is still pretty depressed….and 30 or more longboxes of comics at even 50 cents per comic…I suppose that could be a down payment on a modest starter home in certain areas these days. :-)

      I think finding buyers for most of that stuff would be the real struggle. The books only have financial value is someone is looking to buy.

    • Exactly where comic books fall on the continuum of culture is an interesting question. I tend to think of pop culture in general as “folk art.” Most pop music, television, comic books and many feature films were not made by people with aspirations of competing with Henry James, Mozart or Moliere. Pop culture is created by people who just want to entertain and make a buck, and some of he creators may be well educated and know the difference between entertainment and art. Today, many comic artists are trained, and some of their work may actually achieve an artistic merit. I haven’t read a comic yet that has writing that I would consider striving to be in the league of Proust or Dickens. And that’s fine. Reading only art can be exhausting, and it’s pleasant to take a break with mere entertainment. And there is a difference between good entertainment and bad, which I why I bother to review comics. On the other hand, I suspect that when Stan Lee was young, he and most of his fellow writers had no college and would not know the difference between Jane Austen and Herman Melville. Similarly, most of the artists had little or no formal training. So there was an era when comics met Wally’s definition of “folk art.”

    • delphan says:

      Would a serious art collector be satisfied with a coffee table book reproduction of the art? That’s what a comic book and TPB actually is. What difference does it make if the reproduction is on paper or on an LCD?

      The original art pages are the actual art.

  50. I am sure that one can get the early adventures of Superman and Batman in some kind of trade paper back or omnibus collection, but has that made the original comics any less sought after? No. In the long run, I think digital may eat up more of the sales for TPB’s than for single issues.

    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      That’s scarcity at work. The original appearances of Superman and Batman are valuable because there are a relative handful left in existence. They are legitimate rare pop culture artifacts. People don’t pay hundreds of thousand to millions of dollars for them to read the stories.

    • delphan says:

      I think the opposite is true. Digital comics will impact most on single issues and increase sales of trades and hard covers. I personally buy single issues in digital and favourite runs in collections.

  51. Kzinti says:

    This almost sounds like old collector versus new collector. Yes I am one of those who will review a comic, give it bad scores and still puts it into a bag and board, and store it away. However I like having those issues kept in a manner I feel is keeping them safe. Howver unlike some 10 to 20 years ago, when I collected for value, I no longer care about a resale value of the comics I purchase. That is not why I collect anymore. I collect because I enjoy the character, team, storyline of the titles I buy. I do like a prestine copy of what I am buying, I’m paying for something, why not try and get the best you can get for your money? Though I will buy a bent, ripped copy if that is what is available, hopefully I will get a discount. I enjoy the stories, simply put. I am a collector, I like to have the hands on copy of something. To each collector his own, I don’t find fault in any who collect the way they wish.

  52. malloc malloc says:

    There is another bonus with physical comics. If you enjoy reading older comics, or atleast don’t mind waiting till something is 2-3 years old to read it. You can buy them much cheaper at shows. A lot of the books I have are ones I found for 50 cents to a dollar at shows. And they are good to get the signed at shows too, it would be hard to do that with a digital version.

  53. KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

    Voluminous vocabularies.

  54. Wolfdog Wolfdog says:

    I’ve finally come to terms with my collecting habits. I’ve organized the comics I want to keep in 4 categories. 1. My silver age stuff (mostly Marvel) 2. My Kirby collection (nearly complete from 68-77) 3. My complete run of Captain America/TOS and 4. Runs I really liked that I haven’t replaced with collected editions. Everything else sits for about a year, then gets yard-saled or given away.

    At last year’s family yard sale, I put out my tub of carded Star Wars:POTF toys. Some kid about 9 (well, his mom) gave me $25 for all 50 or so of them. I asked him what he was going to do with them, thinking maybe he’s a collector in the making, but he said he was going to rip ‘em open and play with them. I felt a little jealous because I realized I kind of wanted to do that too, instead of them sitting in my garage attic since 1995.

  55. the1captain says:

    I recently remodeled my basement. After going through my books I have to say I’ve never had them as organized as I do now. But I have to admit that now that I can get a better handle on my collection, it is time for a purge. Especially my trades. I love having my trades/hardcovers on a shelf. It just looks nice. An ipad doesn’t decorate a room like my books do. But I do have to filter the pile. Maybe some donations to the library are in order. The best part? If I ever do want to suddenly reread those trades I can just check them out of the library.

    On another note, one part of the hobby I think over time will be lost is the thrill of the hunt. Remember the fun of going to a con or a comic shop you find on vacation and going through the bins to find a particular book you searched for years for. And finding it at a cheap price too.

  56. KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

    It’s really interesting to read these comments and see how many people are still very much into the collector mentality. And if that’s you, that’s cool, I hope you can happily do your thing for as long as you want to.

    But (he says approaching the simmering pot with a large spoon) I really think when publishers and retailers encourage the collector’s mentality over the reader’s mentality it hinders the future growth of the industry in exchange for some short term gains (just like fans who flip hot comics on eBay — while it can be lucrative, I think it’s short-sighted).

    • i wish my first 12 issues of SPAWN were worth as much today as when i was 15. I could get a nice downpayment on a
      new car! =(

      Yes i totally agree. The real value of comics is in the stories and pop culture impact….its not in the “limited edition porcelain plate” aspect of the comics industry.

  57. BizDaddy BizDaddy says:

    Maybe it’s a little bit of OCD, but I find it cathartic to once and a while go through the stacks of unorganized comics lying on the living room table or on the bed stand and file them into the boxes that reside in my basement. Sometimes it requires moving whole sections of my collection around in order make room. Other times it means perusing old issues to determine what makes the cut and what goes to the local middle school.
    I’ve made a move to get some of my comics digitally, but having a computer alphabetize and order my comics doesn’t allow me the same mindless Sunday of reordering my physical books. And it’s pretty cool to see the longboxes full of X-Men books. I realize they will probably get thrown away after I’ve met the “great reboot in the sky”, but for now they make me happy, and in the long run all hobbies should be about the joy you get from them, and whatever nuances that joy may take.

    • ClasikRok ClasikRok says:

      I don’t know why, but I love that aspect too. Maybe I’m an Organization Nerd LOL!

      I do it with my comics and DVD/Blu-Ray collections. Something about just going through everything, picking up a book and going back in your head to the time you first read it. Those are the books I will always keep.

  58. Flash923 Flash923 says:

    I am a collector true and true and not the kind that collects for the monetary reasons. Does that make me a hoarder? I mean yeah it would be nice if some of the stuff I am collecting turned out to have a huge price tag and fetch me a lot of dough however; I like reading my comics in book form, collecting my action figures in or out of boxes, collecting Heroclix, and just all kinds of shirts, shoes, and even food items. The digital thing for me just does not cut the fresh scent of a comic book even though now a days they are not as promonate a smell as the paper and ink used to in comics. Collector I am indeed!!

    K

  59. kennyg kennyg says:

    Yes, I am still a hoarder, dammit.

  60. ClasikRok ClasikRok says:

    Yes, I am still a collector. Though I have been considering going through and reducing my collection to the thing I really want to keep.

    As long as it is in print, I will continue to buy print copies of The Amazing Spider-Man, and probably most of the various Spidey related titles.

    As for the point of going digital, I just can’t go there yet, for a couple reasons.

    Firstly, the price. I currently buy the majority of my comics from DCBS, which offers a great discount on new books. Until digital can offer me the books at that price, I cannot switch. PLUS- the resalability of print. Yes, maybe I can only get cover price for the books I plan to sell, but the books I am ordereing through DCBS are LESS THAN COVER, so in that case, I am making a profit (I can even stand to sell the books below cover and still make a profit there, which is also a plus).

    Secondly, I don’t have an iPad (yet, I want one SOOO BAD!). I usually read my books on my lunch break at work, so portability is an issue, and my iPhone just won’t cut it.

    I am considering moving to Trades on some titles, but it is difficult to give up this habit that I so love, collecting comics :)

  61. RaceMcCloud RaceMcCloud says:

    I paid forward almost every single issue I had over a year ago, Jimski, keeping only two or three boxes of stuff I actually do go back to and read.

    Best decision I ever made.

  62. Andrew Andrew says:

    I’m on to you, Jimski! You are flexing your considerable comic-media muscles to get everyone to destroy their musty old back issues so that your musty old back issues will soar in value! Assuming you post an article like this a couple times a year, the sceme might pan out by the time your kids are approaching college and you’ll come full circle. Crafty, sir, crafty.

  63. Bhodili Bhodili says:

    I gave up on the investment value of comics a long time ago. I think I have about 10 long boxes and am now purchasing a mix of digital (Comixology) and physical comic books. One of the reasons that I continue to hang on to my collection is to pass it on to my kids as an inheritance. Not for the value, but rather for the memories of us driving in the car and talking about comics. Discussions of who would beat who and how to best use a super-heroes powers. Using comic books to teach my kids about values, etc. I thought my kids would not care about which son got which collection (Marvel, DC, etc.) until we started to talk about it and they got it into a big argument. I realized that these comics have memories for them and so I will continue to hang on to the comics, figure out how they will be distributed to the kids when I’m gone (and they’re adults), and see what happens.