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Comic Collecting


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#1 of 35 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

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Posted July 30 2011 - 07:06 AM

Hi Gang! Been a long, LONG time since I posted anything on the old HTF. I did a search, but didn't see any threads just talking about the hobby of comic collecting. A few months back, I looked closer at my collection of comics. I did a lot of collecting in high school, but really had not touched them in almost 25 years. Well, I am really glad I looked closer.. Turns out, the bags I used were just plain old plastic bags (all we really had back in the 80's I guess) and they had started to yellow. Also, the tape I had used to seal the bags was NOT acid free, so it had started to eat through the bags. The other problem was that I did not have any boards in the bags. Reason was that back in the 80's we only used normal cardboard which, apparently, was also not acid free. So, on one hand I am glad I did not board the bags, but it did tend to leave several comics with a good curl at the bottom. Yikes! So, one ambitious weekend, I decided to re-bag and board all my comics. I guessed that I had about 300 comics. Well, I had over 700. Crap that was a lot of work. My arms were sore from rebagging all of them. The other thing I did was to buy a program on my computer to catalog what I owned. It was some good, nerdy fun entering all my books. I also discovered the new grading systems by CGC and PGX. What a cool idea! I have since sent several of my collection away to be graded and "slabbed". One very nice surprise was that I just got my copy of "The Incredible Hulk" #181 graded at a 9.4! Not too shabby. I have since spent way too much money in buying the many years of back issues that I missed out on and also many back issues that were already slabbed and now I am at well over 1000 comics. Not a huge collection, but a good start! Anyway, just wanted to share this fun, nerdy hobby I rediscovered. I hope some others here share the interest.
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#2 of 35 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 30 2011 - 07:47 AM

Thanks for the info. I collected mostly from grade school to junior high and effectively stopped once I got into college. I have since picked up again mostly for the Buffy and Angel franchises.


I too have a bunch of comics that are in a questionable state. I have bagged and boarded most of the ones I think are worth something, but I'm not really sure of their value based on their condition. One of these days I will get them evaluated.


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#3 of 35 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted July 30 2011 - 08:13 AM

One very nice surprise was that I just got my copy of "The Incredible Hulk" #181 graded at a 9.4! Not too shabby.

You sure got me beat. I went through some of my old 'forgotten' comics at the beginning of the year and 95% of it was various 1990's junk that I sold for a few dollars a piece as 40 or 50 issue lots. I did find my copy of Batman: Vengeance Of Bane (with the 1st appearance of Bane) though. I figure I might be able to do OK with that when the third Batman movie comes out.

I have since picked up again mostly for the Buffy and Angel franchises.

If you haven't already heard, Buffy Season Nine starts in September and the new Angel & Faith series (which I think is a really good pairing of characters) starts at the end of August.

#4 of 35 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 30 2011 - 08:25 AM

Yup. I have a subscription set up at my local comics shop. I was thinking about waiting for the trade paperbacks this time, but the promise of going back to more grounded stories persuaded me to do otherwise. Plus the pairing of Angel and Faith has me excited.


If you haven't already heard, Buffy Season Nine starts in September and the new Angel & Faith series (which I think is a really good pairing of characters) starts at the end of August.



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#5 of 35 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

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Posted July 30 2011 - 08:55 AM

95% of it was various 1990's junk that I sold for a few dollars a piece.

I feel your pain! A whole bunch of mine are crap as well. All that Marvel "New Universe" stuff...what a loss. Many are actually worth BELOW cover price. Oh well. I still enjoy having them. Another surprise for me was X-Men #266. I stopped collecting them around #275 so I just sneaked that one in! I got it graded and it scored a 9.8 so it seems to be worth a couple of hundred bucks. I also subscribed to the online Marvel website. That way, I can read all the comics without opening them. What amazed me is how BAD some of the story lines are. The worst offenders, in my opinion, are the ones that make you read ten other comic titles to understand what the hell is going on. Such blatant marketing is just sad in a medium aimed mainly at kids. Oh well. Now I am older, I can afford to bid on some of the older issues. Its scary amounts of fun and scary how much money I have dropped on comics the past few weeks! :D
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#6 of 35 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted July 30 2011 - 10:27 AM

My old comics are also in yellowed bags with no boards. I took some out to sample them, and they didn't seem to have suffered any damage. I need to bag and board them, but I'm afraid of boards doing more harm than good. I took some issues out that are just a few years old, and they seem to have some spine roll from the book in front being positioned a little to the right and pressing against it. :( I'm hoping it just had the spinal roll when I bought it and I didn't notice, because I'm scared to look at my hundreds of Spideys now. Anyway, I'm fighting mad to read your comments about the New U. Some of it--DP7--was real good! I spent almost any money I could get my hands on in the '80s buying X-Men and Amazing back issues. Even the old stuff was reasonable back then, albeit in less than mint condition. I think standards were higher back then, because I have some books that were very inexpensive that look great and are probably worth a bundle now. Problem is, I could sell a lot of the stuff I bought, but never my Spideys.

#7 of 35 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted July 30 2011 - 11:24 AM

Many of those New Universe books were really good. I started collecting and reading in the late 80's. Bought just about everything and was in the store so much they hired me and put me to work. Might have been the best job I ever had. I worked with people who liked comics and the customers did too. Lots of things to talk about there. Over the years I got to meet a few people in the industry including Bill Willingham and chuck Dixon and became friends with another who isn't as well known but he has been inking for the big two and other companies for the last 25 years and he graduated the Kubert school. He was able to get me into a few conventions one of which I met John Shea who was Lex Luther on one of the tv shows. I was told not to talk to him but I couldn't help saying hello and asking him to autograph my notebook. He did and was very nice. Haven't bought a book in maybe five years. My collection is about 50 long boxes and is probably about 15 thousand books. I'm in the process of cataloging everything right now. I bagged everything back then and also did many with backer boards. I stopped doing that for the last five years of my buying which was about ten years ago. Over the years I've managed to purchase about 90% of every spider-man book ever published up to five years ago or so.
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#8 of 35 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted July 30 2011 - 11:39 AM

My collection is about 50 long boxes and is probably about 15 thousand books.

That's pretty darn impressive.

#9 of 35 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

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Posted July 30 2011 - 11:50 AM

Wow! 15,000! That is stunning! What are some of the more valuable ones? My personal goal is to collect all X-Men up to 500. Long, expensive road ahead! Anyone have thoughts on the whole CGC grading system? I like it. Makes buying online a lot simpler and the cases they get sealed in are very nice.
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#10 of 35 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted July 30 2011 - 12:16 PM

I'm strongly against the cgc grading. It promotes buying a comic in a sealed portable vault and I would never do that. No matter the value of a book I want to be able to handle it and the whole thing just seems like a way to scam people into paying much more for a book then it is really worth. For example a book I have in my hand might be worth $50, but if I pay whatever they require to send it in and have them grade it, now it's worth $500 just because it's now in a plastic case even though it's the same exact book. Two things stopped me from buying, one was the grading causing important books I need to be unavailable at normal prices due to the plastic case and the other was price of monthly new books reaching $4-$5. The price of new releases is expected but the trouble is when you want to have each issue of the three big character's titles. Spider-man has 5-8 books a month as does Btman and Superman at least they did up unti a few years ago. So that's 20-25 books just on those titles if you want more there isn't any money left. I stopped when the coast was getting over $100 a week. I think that cgc stuff is a shame. It's just price gouging. I really hate it. A little tough for me to talk about the books i had that were the most valuable. Back in 1999 the block we lived on was destroyed in a flood. We lost many things including a bunch of valuable action figures and some comics. Almost all my books at the time were kept on the upstairs back room except for a handful that I had in bookcase downstairs. Everything on the first floor and in the basement was destroyed from the water Including Amazing number 14 and Amazing number one. Yep Amazing number one. I bought that book at an indoor flee market for $50 in 1988. The was one thing wrong with the book it was missing one sheet. The missing page was the very first page and last page which was one sheet if you open it and lay it flat. So it may not have been worth a fortune but I still had a real copy of Amazing Spider-man number one. Amazing number 14 is the first appearance of the Green Goblin and a very early Hulk appearance. Probably paid about $20 for it and now it might be worth 2-3 grand or if I sealed it up might be worth five times that.
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#11 of 35 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted July 30 2011 - 05:44 PM

Tony, this is a side of you I never guessed at. Spider-Man currently only has one title (though he also appears in the Avengers books and FF), though it is technically bi-weekly. A second title is coming in the fall, which is supposed to have the Marvel Team-Up feel. I was and am greatly opposed to the dissolution of the Spider-marriage, and Brand New Day was hit or miss. I have to admit, though, that the book is really pretty good right now. I still hate Peter's new girlfriend and really hate that they've marginalized Mary Jane just because the marriage is gone. She's coming back in a pretty big way in the current storyline, though. If you want to get in on it, it started up with this week's issue and is mostly self-contained. Scott, how have you been, both health-wise and with your acting career? I'm hoping your accident is just a distant memory by now (and hoping that bringing it up isn't the wrong thing).

#12 of 35 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 30 2011 - 05:51 PM

Sniff...I still remember (and own) the issue when Peter and MJ got hitched.


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#13 of 35 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted July 30 2011 - 06:09 PM

I read GIJoe and Transformers exclusively until I went to a convention in Dallas and was handed a Spider-Man heart pin issued to celebrate the wedding. That got me interested in the character and set me on the path to reading superhero comics. Man, love me some Romita Sr.

#14 of 35 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted July 30 2011 - 06:22 PM

My comic collecting kind of waxed and waned with the fortunes of the comic industry. I used to collect a lot of books, but most either got cancelled, completed or I lost track of them when the industry would collapse, resulting in the local comic shop going under. Quite a few of the comics I collected were B&W books. The stuff I liked to collect were things like Messner-Loeb's Journeyand Hilly Rose, Sim's Cerebus, Galllaci's Albedo Anthropomorphics and Quagmire's Cutey Bunny just to name a few. I found comic collecting a bit depressing after awhile because anything I actually liked to read either got cancelled or came out on such an irregular basis that it was almost impossible to keep track of. If a comic didn't have some spandex superheroe in it, nobody would give a shit no matter how well written it was. I doubt I have more than one or two Marvel comics series in my collection. In fact, the only that comes to mind is The Nam . The only other Marvel comic I actually liked was The Howling Commandos. Mostly because it was so absurd I found it humourous . I only have a few DC books, none of which have spandex laden muscleheads as characters. For DC books, the only ones I ever liked were the war mags and Jonah Hex. Another series of reprints that I used to buy was Eisner's The Spirit. That was a great comic series. Man, could he draw femme fatales or what? Milton Caniff's Terry and The Pirates was another great comic sttrip series. I have all twelve hardcover volumes of his stuff up unitl he turned it over to anohter artist, George something or other. Elzie Segar's early Popeye strips were killer. There was a release done of his Thimble Theater strips in which the early volumes were done in full broadsheet style, reproducing the comics in the size that they were initally run in. A modern strip artist would think he or she had died and gone to heaven if they had the real estate to play in that Segar and his contemporaries had. Frankly, I don't think my collection has anything of any real monetary value with the possible exception of Albedo #2 which apparently is sought after by Usagi Yojimbo collectors. Even that one I only have a vague idea of the value and don't really care, since I have no intentions of selling it now or in the future. I dont really consider myself to be be a comics collector, because I have never bought my books as investment vehicles. I buy them to read them. If I bought vintage Howling Commandos books, it would only be because I wanted to actually revisit the stories. The comics would have to be in a condition that would allow me to read it. I would never buy a book or comic that I couldn't take out of the sleeve and actually read, because AFAIAC that is their only function. If I can't read it then it's not worth spending the money on. That is why a CGC graded comic wouldn't be worth buying, because it has been reduced to a static display in which all of the artwork, other than the cover, can never be seen. In that case, you might as well have just bought a cover and had that encased. For example, I just purchased a print and the seller included an old Whitman Uncle Scrooge comic. I took it out of the bag and read it. There is no way that I can leave a comic book unread. I always want to see what is between the covers, no matter how mundane it may be. Buying a comic and encasing it in plastic makes about as much sense to me as buying Blu-ray or DVD movie and gluing the cover shut so I can only look at the case's cover art. Right now the only books I regularly follow are Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo and some of the Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics that migrate from publisher to publisher. I also pick up the trades of DMZ. Another one that is piquing my interest is a series called Mouse Guard. I 'm actually thinking about trying to find back issues or trades of that series.
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#15 of 35 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

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Posted July 30 2011 - 06:50 PM

Scott, how have you been, both health-wise and with your acting career? I'm hoping your accident is just a distant memory by now (and hoping that bringing it up isn't the wrong thing).

Hi Greg, thanks for asking. Health has been better than I deserve! Just over 2 year since my near fatal accident and I am doing pretty darn good. My ribs are still not lined up (and never will be) but otherwise doing ok. Odd aches/pains but nothing too serious considering. Acting career is brutal. Still trying, but damn slow. Good thing I dont rely on it for my income! Funny, with all the comics I have, I just never got that much into Spiderman. I like him, just was not a title I purchased many of. Same can be said with a LOT of comics. I love so many, but could only afford a limited amount. I understand the dislike of CGC or PGX from a pure fan of comics. However, I have found it to add another very cool level to my collecting of just the X-Men. With them graded/slabbed, I feel pretty confident I am getting what is advertised. I have bought a few older issues of X-Men recently that were not graded and I can only say that the term "near mint" is very liberally used! Plus, the way the comics are sealed, I think, does provide some excellent protection. I wonder if that issue of Tony's had been slabbed if it might have survived??? I recently bought a very nice curio cabinet and have several of my current favorite comics on display. Just waiting for my Hulk #181 to return from CGC to put it in there. I will take a pic when it does.
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#16 of 35 OFFLINE   Pete York

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Posted July 30 2011 - 07:05 PM



Originally Posted by Scott McGillivray 

...
My personal goal is to collect all X-Men up to 500. Long, expensive road ahead!
...



I once had a similar idea. Problem was, the book gets so bad around #300 that I just had to abandon it. Obviously YMMV. Good luck.



#17 of 35 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted July 31 2011 - 01:34 AM

I have Hulk 181, and glanced through it a couple weeks ago. I love being able to do that. The word slabbed is a perfect description of these books that are put intomthose covers. They are essentially dead and buried in there. I really doubt that htose books I lost would have survived, I couldn't even find them in all the rubble anyway it was demolition of everything on the first floor. Edwin that is a very good reasoning on what the slabbing of books come down to but I do feel that these books are valuable beyond thier entertainment value. I never got into those more independent and non super hero-y books for some reason. I have a few issue of Cerebus that a Wolverine like character appeared and I think I bought the last three or four issues. I need to sell my collection I just don't have room for them anymore and in spite of my dislike for the slabbing I may have to do it to get decent value back in a sale. Greg, I stopped right as that BND started in Spider-man, how long ago did that story start up? The wedding issue posted above has two covers one with the friends of Peter Parker and one with the villains of Spider-man. One of our dogs name is Parker. I don't want to start buying the books again. It really is an addiction for me it would quickly escalate. When we go in Borders I always look at the comic book spinner rack just to see the cover but never buy the book. (when I just typed spinner I forgot the p and it was sinner, glad I noticed it :o) Anyway I love this topic and even though I can't start buying again really enjoy the discussion. Great idea Scott and glad to see you back. When I would hang at my friends house I sometimes watched him as he was inking a page. It is definitely not a glamourous job unless you are one of the top guys in the industry I suppose. Messy too. It was really neat to see the process as a page went from pencils to the finished inked product. It was surprising how little detail is on some of the pencilled pages. The inker practically creates the entire pages art sometimes. Scott have you considered buying original comic pages. They are really interesting and as a collectible makes more sense becuse it's only one page and perfectly reasonable to expect Framing.
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#18 of 35 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted July 31 2011 - 04:24 AM

Here are links that should go to what i have catalogued so far. let me know if it doesnt work. Sorry for the 35 seperate links I couldnt figure out another way to post them. https://spreadsheets...mlzM0E&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...2x3QlE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...zhlaHc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...EluMXc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...1p4Z3c&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...kZlVEE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...EUzUFE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...y1XRXc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...jZzR2c&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...UpzSVE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...1VUdXc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...URqRkE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...2pFOVE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...GJVX3c&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...El2dFE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...TN2aVE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...TNRWHc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...UxiX3c&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...Uc4dWc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...zRwNlE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...DljekE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...21Eamc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...URHR0E&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...0hjcWc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...EFoWVE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...zFOMHc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...l9EcUE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...3FzbHc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...jhQTFE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...0xIOEE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...nJPM1E&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...ThSYnc&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...lBPdlE&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...Wgta2c&hl=en_US https://spreadsheets...25GOVE&hl=en_US
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#19 of 35 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted July 31 2011 - 04:26 AM

you"ll see in those lists that not only did I read a lot of books but since I worked at a store and got a giant discount, I bought multiples with the expectation of one day selling them. Oh well, its not as easy as you would think to sell.
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#20 of 35 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted July 31 2011 - 05:38 AM

I have Hulk 181, and glanced through it a couple weeks ago. I love being able to do that.

We have similar thoughts on CGC grading. However, if I had something of some good value, I'd be too worried to read it and just buy a reprint or a trade anyway so I might as well seal it up in carbonite. The best thing about CGC grading is that if you're a buyer, you know what you're getting. You'll pay more if it's CGC graded but if you're spending thousands on a book, I'd consider it worth the extra money to not have any question about its condition. Without CGC grading, it's a crap shoot in terms of condition. When I buy recent cheap back issues on eBay, I go to guys with huge feedback who are advertising mint condition (non-CGC graded) and the issues still routinely have stress marks and other flaws that certainly knock it down from mint condition. I'm not even that concerned about condition (as long as a book isn't ripped or have stains on it, I'm good) but the guys who want MINT condition must lose their minds when buying non-CGC stuff on eBay.