Tim

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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.

General Update – Monday 25th May, 2009

In Comics, Formula 1, General on 25 May, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I’d like to apologise for my lack of blogging recently…

I blog mainly from my EeePC, and that has been having a lot of problems… Should all be solved now though, as I have installed a stripped-down version of Windows XP on it and that seems to be behaving itself nicely!

I will endeavour to catch up on my comic and F1 blogging over the next few weeks, and also hope to be able to redesign the blog slightly using some basic CSS skills and a bit of Photoshop wizardry.

Mainly I’d like to redesign the front page to give you a choice of Comics or F1 from the outset, with a few topical graphics.  I also would like to get permission to use pictures from the world of F1 and Comics, so you people can actually see what I’m talking about sometimes…

Maybe when Apple finally roll-out their iPhone OS3 update, it will be easier to blog from my iPhone, but lack of Copy/Paste is really hampering things at the moment…

In the meantime, I posted a sort of Race Report on DiffuseF1.com, a new website for the Twitter generation, put together by @SarahAnnGreen and @tkei – early days yet, but has a tonne of potential! Go and have a look!

Bye for now,

Tim

Comics That Blew My Mind

In Comics, General on 17 April, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I haven’t completely forgotten about comics, don’t worry.  I’ve just been overwhelmed by all the F1 news, both on and off the track for the last few weeks.

I’ll get back to my early influences, and my thoughts on comics in general shortly, but in the meantime, I am also going to skip back and forth in my personal romance with comics and mention comics, authors, artists and events that influenced me in one way or another, and how they continue to affect my current reading list.

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F1 2009 – Round 1 – Australia – Baby, They Were Brawn To Run!

In Formula 1, General on 02 April, 2009 at 12:07 am

Yes, okay, that’s an awful title, but it was that or “The Brawn Supremacy”, which I’ve already seen used elsewhere…

Now, I try not to be biased, and to present an even-handed account of things, but I can’t help but love the “underdog”, even if that is a bit misleading with regards to BrawnGP…

Read the rest of this entry »

Will YOU watch the Watchmen?

In Comics, General on 02 March, 2009 at 12:08 am

Rather than continue my history of “comics and me”, I thought I would write about something else tonight… I just realised that this week a highly anticipated movie comes out…

Even more anticipated, dreaded, cheered, pre-judged and hyped than either The Lord of the Rings or The Dark Knight

I’m talking of course of Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Graphic Novel (or 12-issue “maxi” series of comics, depending on your point of view) Watchmen.

For those of us who read the book (and I use that term with good reason) either when it first came out, or in the early nineties, it was a bombshell of a comic. Here were two British creators who had taken the superhero concept, placed it in an alternate world just like ours, but subtly different. “The Superman does exist, and he is American!” was the news story from the forties that changed the world of the Watchmen. The USA won the Vietnam war. It is 1985, and Nixon is still in power. Cars are electric. Kids read Pirate Comics, because Superhero comics were competing with real Superheroes in the news. It had nudity, swearing, rape, murder, broken limbs, and an oppressive right-wing American government still locked in a Cold War with the USSR and edging closer and closer to nuclear Armageddon (the clock motif represents a “Doomsday Clock” slowly ticking closer to midnight…).

Compared to “Superman the Movie” it was like comparing “The Untouchables” to “Murder, She Wrote“…

The book has many stories interwoven throughout a core detective story of one vigilante hero (“Masks” have been outlawed) trying to solve the murder of another ex-hero, “The Comedian”… The yellow “Smiley” badge with a blood splatter on the corner became a symbol recognised by comic geeks all over the world.

The problem that I’m facing is the same one that I had before “The Fellowship of the Ring” (Part one of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as you well know 😉 )came out. I had seen the trailers. I loved Peter Jackson as a director, having seen all his previous films, but couldn’t help worrying if his vision would come close to my vision of a book that I have read about seven or eight times in the last 20 years, and loved utterly. (I know, sad old geek… 😦 )

I came out of the cinema that time grinning from ear-to-ear, having adored every minute of it.

The problem is, this is a Graphic Novel, not a Novel. It utilises the form to perfection, pushing the storytelling into new patterns and styles that hadn’t really been used before. Re-reading Watchmen is a necessity to getting to more and more out of it. There are so many incidental characters, whose stories are told in glimpses and then stitched together in text pieces at the end of each chapter, while whole pages are given over to a pirate comic being read by a boy at a newsstand, who pops up throughout the story, from the first chapter to the last…

I know that like Tom Bombadil was dropped from the Fellowship film, various stories will be lost (like the artists on the island bit), and it occurred to me that I didn’t want to have read the comic first. The trailers look fantastic. The world they’ve created looks like the comic. The costumes look spectacular, and the actors seem fine (I prefer a no-Name cast, if offers less distractions and the actors work harder (look at Star Wars!).

I’m going to try and see it in the next couple of weeks with my wife. She’s keen, she’s seen the trailers, and she’s heard about the book (hell, in the last 15 years, she must have seen me read it half a dozen times!) but I’ve told her that she’d be better off reading it after she’s seen the film… I think she’ll appreciate it a bit more… And if you haven’t read it yet, wait until after the film… and remember: “READ THE TEXT BITS TOO!” (that’s the wordy bits at the end of the picture-y bit, okay? There’s only twelve of them, it’s not that hard) 😉

Now if only WordPress had an keystroke for a Watchmen Smiley… B)

My first WordPress Blog…

In General on 23 February, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Right… Here we go then.  First post on Blog 2… Blog 1 was written on an iPhone.  This one is being done on my EeePC

First thoughts… Keyboard’s much nicer… not sure about the interface though…

Tomorrow I will swap, and try the Eee PC on aardvarkz.blogspot.com and the iPhone here…

Different methodology too… iPhone uses custom built apps for blogging.  Eee PC uses the standard web interface (i.e. Firefox)

Anyway… The other blog is going to be for me more general thoughts on things like politics, religion, poetry, art, movies and other general interest topics…

This one is going to try to focus on comics and Formula 1… My two biggest hobbies/interests/drugs…

So, without much further ado, welcome to my blog.  I hope you enjoy reading it.  If not, please feel free never to return! 🙂

T