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.


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.

  1. I love this idea. I have my own collection collecting dust in my closet in various boxes and storage containers. I hadn’t thought of donating them. Some part of my mind is still stuck in the 90s when I was a kid and first started collecting them and was told they were a great investment. HA. Anyways, this also reminds me of one of my favorite charities based out of the U.S. but they work over seas as well I believe. http://www.childsplaycharity.org/ They’re mostly based around video games and what not. And I know there are some sanitary requirements for what gets donated to Children’s Hospitals, things have to be able to be sanitized and what not. Anyways, if you were interested in working with an organization, they’re a great group of nerds trying to help kids too.

  2. Thank you! That’s a great help. I have to admit that sanitising wasn’t something that had occurred to me, but obviously would be important.
    I will look into that link, because, even if it is a different product, the idea is similar and they could well help with working out the logistics…
    Thank you, again!

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