Friday, June 17, 2005

collecting comics

Used to be if you started buying comic series The Ultra Supers on issue #10 and you wanted to read issue numbers 1 thru 9 you had to buy the original issues from a comic book store. In the last ten years the graphic novel has taken off. Old issues are reprinted several at a time in trade paperbacks. I think this is great.

On my walk home today I ran into Rory, the owner of Comic Relief, and we talked about all those comics I was buying back in the 70s and 80s. Yes, he said, it used to be the collectors and readers market was pretty much the same because everyone was competing for a finite batch of books. These days only the first edition collector crowd (a small crowd) is out for the original issues. People who just want to read the stories may not even have to buy them -- sometimes the library will own the paperback reprints -- not the sort of thing that happened in the 70s! Probably the only real way to get value out of the old comics (other than rereading them), Rory says, is by donating them and writing off the donation on taxes.

Rory says there is probably a handful of my comics he'd be able to resell. Probably the very ones I'm least willing to part with.

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