Tim

Looking for the true value of comics…

In Comics, General on 14 August, 2011 at 5:50 pm

The monetary value of comics has fluctuated over the years. In the late-80s and early-90s, the Comic-Collector-Mania created a (brief) boom in comics that simulataneosly made a few people very rich, then nearly led to the collapse of the industry (or the “mainstream” industry any way… ) as speculators paid ridiculous prices for “limited edition” comics, spurring the publishers to produce variant covers that were deemed rarer and even more valuable…

Unfortunately, the bubble burst, nearly dragging Marvel comics with it

These days, there are still a few speculators out there, buying every number one issue and praying that it becomes more popular than its print run, so they can sell it on eBay for a profit that hopefully outweighs the money they spent on all the other titles that didn’t quite make it…

The truth of the matter is that there is really no monetary value left in modern comics. There are the occasional gems out there, sure, like a first print of Chew #1 or The Walking Dead, but generally speaking, most comics depreciate in value very quickly unless they were published prior to 1990 and are in “Mint” condition.

However…

There are other values to be found in comics. The value of stories, language and escapism…

Now, I have a tonne of old comics taking up space in our spare room and loft space, some worth more than I originally paid for them, but most much less.

I have been trying to do something with them for years. I sold about 3,000 comics on eBay half-a-dozen years ago… for about £200… Some I really wanted to keep for sentimental reasons, in some wistful dream that my children might want to read them when they are older… In the years since then, however, I have amassed even more comics and bought trade paperbacks and graphic novels that collected some of my favourite storylines in an easier-to-read format than individual comics (and in some cases on better paper and with remastered colours and lettering)… Which in turn leads to more comics that are merely taking up space in the house and arguably decreasing even further in value…

I have heard of organisations in the US that send comics overseas to soldiers stationed away from home, but I have had another idea…

I know that there are children out there who spend a lot of time in hospital and hospices across the country without much in terms of entertainment or distractions.

I want to donate my comics to children’s hospitals like Great Ormond Street or a Barnardos orphanage like the one my maternal Grandfather was raised in.

I am going to put them together in batches of storylines and bind them, then deliver them to various organisations.

Picture these children getting the chance to read a story that takes their minds off the pain they may be going through and potentially gives them inspiration and hope.

The next step would be collecting them back up and dropping off another batch, keeping the comics in rotation around the various places I can find.

Don’t worry, I will be looking at the actual content and making sure that no Mature Readers titles end up in a pre-teen ward or anything like that.

What I would like to do ultimately is see this spread across the country. See collectors like me admit to themselves that the vast majority of their collection would do more good in the hands of critically ill children than gathering dust in a room somewhere…

I intend to write to all the children’s charities in the UK that I can think of in an attempt to build a network of donors and recipients across the country. Ultimately this may lead to setting up a brand new charity all on its own, linked to other charities, but I just want to start small and build from there.

So, please, if you know anyone involved with a charity that might be able to help me establish some connections, send them a link to this blog and ask them to contact me?

My plan is to have a booth at Kapow Comic Convention next May in London to further expand the idea and make more contacts across the industry and find other fans who are a similar position and would like to donate their own comics to kids who would appreciate it.

The GCBC 2010 – Part 1: Living Room – Top Left Shelf

In Comics, The Great Comic Book Census of 2010 on 24 April, 2010 at 10:30 am

The Living Room
Left Bookshelf

Well, I may as well start here…
Starting at the top left and working my way along:

Top Shelf

Apologies for the picture quality… they were taken on my iPhone and therefore not that good… Particularly the close-ups…

The Great Comic Book Census of 2010

In Comics, The Great Comic Book Census of 2010 on 19 April, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Welcome to my world. The idea behind “The Great Comic Book Census of 2010″ is multifold.

What is this all about?
Firstly, it’s a look at what I am currently picking up each month at my Local Comic Shop (“LCS”), broken down into the same divisions they use: “Marvel Comics”; “DC Comics” (including imprints like Wildstorm and Vertigo), and; “Indie Comics” – the banner used to cover all the other publishers who aren’t “The Big Two”.

Secondly, I’ll be looking at “Graphic Novels and Collections”, whether they be standalone, one-off stories, a “Trade Paperback” or “Deluxe Hardcover”, or special reprints. Most of these have been obtained online, via Amazon, Forbidden Planet, or eBay…

Thirdly, a list of Digital Comics I have accumulated for my iPhone… And my thoughts about the comics themselves, their translation to this new medium, and how to find them…

I am also going to be using this as an exercise to see what titles I am really reading, what is piling up, what is and isn’t working for me and why…

I realise that I probably buy more comics per month than most other people other than reviewers or those directly involved with their creation, but I still spend less on comics per month than most of my work colleagues spend down the pub… Not being a big drinker (anymore) I think I actually get the better deal out of it…

Finally, I am also going to be looking at what to do with the comics that are slowly filling our house, quite literally from foundations (understairs cupboard) to rafters (reinforced roof storage) via various bedrooms inbetween… Some are going to be kept for posterity or nostalgia reasons, obviously. Some will hopefully be sold to appreciative recipients. Those that I want to get rid of, that simply won’t sell? I have no idea what to do with them… I’d like to gift them to charities or children’s hospitals and the like, but I have no idea where to start… Any advice or suggestions there would be greatly appreciated…

Structure and Methodology
Seeing as I have neither the time, nor the room, to sort everything in one go, I am going to simply work my way around the house, one room at a time, one shelf, or one box at a time… Sorting, commenting and listing as I go.

Once I’ve finished each bunch, I’m going to add it to a master list, linking back to the original posts for each title…

I hope you all enjoy the adventure!

Tim

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