Completists or Fans? The Last of the Comicbook Speculator Collectors


A writer at Jersey’s Best discusses his back issue collection and how he built it up years before. And, he says that:


The collecting had taken over, and instead of just getting to read about world-saving shenanigans, I also wanted to complete a series, or get that “hot” book of the month. It was fun, though more expensive and not quite as thrilling as being transported to fantastic worlds during those long, hot summer days, when I never knew what book I’d find. I went from “Who’d make me a costume if I suddenly got superpowers,” to “I wonder how much I could sell these for?” Which I never did. I’m notoriously lazy and a bit of a hoarder, so I have a few boxes of comic books that I may never get rid of.


If the back issues aren’t in the best condition, that’s one reason he may find it difficult. But another is that, if his pamphlets are only from the past 40-50 years, they’re unlikely to be worth much regardless. There’s only so much from those eras that hasn’t qualified in the eyes of the speculator market for serious payments like the Golden/Silver Age publications already have.


There are still a few books I like to pick up now and then, but I’m by no means an avid comic book collector. No. It’s more like the old days for me, but with a modern twist. Today, I can spin through thousands of comics any time of day on my iPad, stream television versions of them or settle down for a 3-hour blockbuster movie.


Well doesn’t that solve the desire to get an entire series of the past so you can read the complete storyline, if it takes up several issues? Whether he can jettison his pamphlet collection, what’s available on iPad helps to do all that, and so too does being able to buy whatever’s available in paperback/hardcover reprints, which are easily a better choice, IMO. The live action movies and TV shows, however, do not appeal to me anymore.

The columnist also wrote a list of the most valued comics of the past year or so, but as I’ve said before, I’m not impressed with the speculator market, since it’s uninterested in the reading value of the classics in question. I think it’s great he collected and read what he did, but it’s a shame writers like these won’t make a case for improving the quality of writing and art in modern comics, which has collapsed under the weight of PC, and so long as the Big Two are corporate owned, will never recover.


Originally published here.

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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1