Sunday, June 17, 2012

On Selling My Comic Book Collection, Part 2

In my last post, which was way, way too long ago, I wrote some about the road that brought me to the selling of my comic book collection. Now I'll pick up with part 2...

When I first started entering my comics on Lonestar Comic's website, it was in part just curiousity. Were my comics actually worth anything? Or were they just random packages of paper, taking up space....

The answer is that they were worth something, but very few of them were worth anything much. A few of my G.I. Joe comics were worth between 50-100 dollars, as they came from late in the Marvel run and had not been collected. But most of the comics were worth maybe half or a quarter of what I paid for them, if I was lucky.

But I wasn't looking to get what I'd paid for them. I was just looking to free up space, to remove clutter, to have one less box to move the next time I changed apartments. And if I could pick up spending money while I did it, so much the better.

So I started the purge. First to go were a large chunk of the comics I had purchased since going off to college. I sold off a ton of Nu/New Marvel and countless DC reboots and "new" takes on iconic properties. I can't say I really felt anything at them going. I'd enjoyed many of them on the first read-through, but very few had ever earned a re-read or even a second thought.

Then, on a visit home, I started culling the old collection: the crappy to mediocre '90s comics that I had cut my teeth on: Spider-Man's clones, Wolverine without a nose, GI Joes fighting Transformers... I felt a small nostalgic twinge (and I held on to the first few comics I had purchased), but I never read them. They gave me a warm fuzzy feeling when I thought of them, but they just took up space in my parents' house and I didn't really enjoy the actual things. Goodbye to those.

At this point, I started cutting deeper and deeper. I said goodbye to reprints of stuff that had been reprinted in better editions and poor condition Silver Age comics that I'd purchased just to feel like I was a serious collector. These I felt more uncomfortable with letting go, but whatever the problems of the comic book market today, it's relatively easy to get quality reprints of everything from Ditko and Kirby monster comics to Flex Mentallo (!).

I'm not going to claim that there weren't moments of sadness as I did this. But this wasn't like the little kid in Puff the Magic Dragon saying goodbye to his imaginary friend. These were things that brought me very little joy, except in the abstract or in my memories. Other people wanted them and other people might enjoy them. And in return, I would get money to spend on creating new memories or received trade credit I used to get comics I had never read.

And as I went through my collection, I rediscovered the comics that I did enjoy. And even as I said goodbye to a large portion of my collection, I remembered the joy they had given me at the time I bought them.

Selling off my comics, strangely enough, made me more interested in reading comics than I had been in ages.