I just got back home to Jersey from the Pittsburgh Comicon.
I’m all comiconned out.
After a bloodbath at the bank, I took my targeted list around for all three days, used those magic words, “any discount for cash?” and succeeded in knocking off a boatload of comics on X-Men 1-200 run project. I’m down to 12 issues aka “The Dirty Dozen” as the last batch. Oddly, some comics are just not around in decent shape despite being big books. I did the doorbuster opening day, rechecked the “I’m only here one day” booths, and did the Sunday run when discounts were big.
My want list is now down to X-Men 1 (I could have blown my whole trip budget on a copy, but that would have been oh so unsatisfying), X-Men 2 (see notes on X-Men 1), issue #4, 19-21 (holding out of a copy that wasn’t used as a litter box), 56, 77-78, 101 (DAMN YOU PHOENIX! Most overpriced book at the Con), 107 & 108.
During the end of my Saturday splurge, I felt… closure. Not full closure, but the odd feeling that my collecting days are coming to an end. I do appreciate and read many books ABOUT comics, but as far as collecting as a hobby is concerned, once I capture those last 12, I’m out. I’m done.
As a realist and an investor, I will be looking of course to occasionally upgrade a copy to a nice one, but I had this creeping sensation of sadness walking around on Saturday evening. All those comics, many slowly deteriorating, especially those from the 80s & 90s that were printed on yellowing newsprint. I saw many dealers who were old men, guys in their late 50s to early 60s who seemed trapped now in a house or store or condo with boxes of stories they will never sell. I often heard the passing phrase in conversation, “I just bought this collection on the cheap from someone” and I don’t want to be that guy. There were boxes with comics that were only a couple of months old, still on the rack at my local shop with a $2.99-3.99 cover price, being blown out at $1 each or less. It’s just too much.
I love my X-Men, and the Dirty Dozen will complete a small specific and manageable investment that I also love for art and storytelling, but so help me God, I’m not going to leave a public storage unit of pulp to the highest bidder when I die.
Don’t get me wrong, the Con was a blast, but I’ll be going as a passive observer to be entertained next year.
And maybe I’ll donate blood.