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Monday, April 16, 2012

On selling off my comic book collection...

So, about a year, year and a half ago, I decided to start selling off my comic book collection.

I've been collecting comic books since I was probably about 5, starting with G.I. Joe, moving on to Spider-Man and Wolverine, then finally onto the Silver Age stuff and collecting specific artists and writers (Morrison, Steranko, Kirby, Moore, Ellis, etc.). I kept buying regularly through college and, while I lived in Chicago, I kept a pull-list at Comix Revolution, then Graham Crackers (both great stores, in their own ways).

By the time I moved to Los Angeles, I had about three long boxes and 5 short boxes of comics with me, and another 6 long boxes back at my parent's house in North Carolina, roughly amounting to about three thousand comics or so. I never really bothered counting or keeping track, though I could usually tell you where to find a specific item in my idiosyncratically organized collection.

As I was preparing to move out to Los Angeles, I started selling off old textbooks and a large portion of my music collection. I had finally realized that 90% of those textbooks were never going to be of any use to me, and even the few books that might be, for some minor point of reference, could be reserved through the library or borrowed. And I had already burned copies of most of my CDs.

I had already quit my office job in the Loop. And though I had savings, I found that you end up doing a lot more (and spending more money) when you don't get home from work too tired to do anything except watch TV. Once or twice a week, I'd go to Beck's Books or a record store near Belmont and Broadway, and usually walk out with $15-20 (at least). Anything I couldn't get rid of, I gave to Open Books, a wonderful Chicago-based charity.

I was cutting down on moving expenses (somewhat) and bringing in pocket money. By the time I moved to Los Angeles, I was down to about two full bookshelves worth of books, mostly sentimental items, important reference works, or things I hadn't read yet.

After the move to Los Angeles, I realized how much stuff I still had. I kept winnowing down my CD collection further and further (since I was still looking for a job, filling the gap with the occasional temp assignment). And I realized, after the movers delivered some of my comic boxes already opened or ruined, that I wasn't re-reading most of those floppy pamphlets at all. I'd read them once, enjoyed them, then filed them away with the other issues of GENERIC SUPERHERO CHARACTER.

It was about this time that I stumbled back across Lone Star Comic's online website, which includes a buying site that allows you to inventory your collection, as well as get a quote for the items they're looking for. And given how OCD I am, I couldn't resist the urge to verify the value (or lack thereof) of my collection, as well as the size and completeness of it. It was almost like a game...

Tomorrow: Part 2, in which I talk about parting with all these treasured possessions, and how it wasn't as sad as I thought it would be...


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