Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brainstorm - I Has One

I've been struggling with what to do with the 5,400 or so comic books that I've collected over the past 25 years, that are now occupying over 15 long boxes in my home office, with another 25-30 coming in every month. There are probably a 1,500 or so that I have no intention of getting rid of, but the other 4K are just taking up space. I did give a jam-packed full long box to my nephew for his birthday a few years ago - a couple of years each of Avengers, Captain America and Fantastic Four - that was unfortunately lost in my sister's house fire last fall but I pretty much have every other book that I've ever bought.

A few years ago I could have sold a bunch of them to the local comic book store for 40-50% of their value in store credit, but I never got around to it and most shops aren't even buying anymore. I've looked into eBay and there are certainly a lot of comic sales going on there, but then I think about the hassle and time to grade each book (which is pretty subjective despite some well-accepted guidelines), photograph or scan then and post them on eBay, board-and-bag them then ship them out for probably no more than the shipping charges. Not worth my time. I've also thought about the comic marketplace function of comiccollectorlive.com, whose software I'm using to catalog everything, but that really doesn't reduce the hassle factor.

So while I was riding into work today I had a revelation. I don't want to just start throwing books in the trash without some attempt to find homes for them, but I don't want to spend a lot of time and effort and money making that attempt, so why not give them away via the Interwebs? My initial thinking is that I'll set up a blog specifically about the comics, list the books in lots on the blog a few at a time and on a first-come, first-serve basis send 'em out to first responders for the cost of shipping. No boards, no bags, just a padded envelope and US postage. If you're local, arrange to meet me and buy me a beer at Tyler's Taproom or Top of the Hill and they're yours. If there's no interest in a particular lot, then the landfill is probably the right place for them anyway. And I won't have to worry about some geekboy arguing that the Incredible Hulk #294 that I sold him as NM was only VF because of some microscopic chip out of the spine.

I've got some prep work to do (setting up the blog, doing some publicity, updating my PayPal account, checking on shipping costs) that will have to take a back seat to getting ready for the Meadowmont street fair (selling photography, not comics) but I ought to be ready to get going by late August, if not sooner. I've got some pretty good stuff that I'm willing to let go of, like the Grant Morrison runs of Doom Patrol and Animal Man, the Peter David run of the Hulk, other good stuff. The only titles that I'm pretty sure I'm not parting with are the X-titles, including my almost-complete run of New Mutants and some of the landmark 80s stuff like Dark Knight, Elektra:Assassin and the Watchmen. And Flaming Carrot - nobody gets the Flaming Carrot. Or the 4-issue Frank Miller Wolverine mini-series. But pretty much everything else will go, one way or another.

More soon!

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