Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Bought a Comic...

...okay, I bought seven. Well, nine if you count the trades I picked up, but who's counting? And I gotta say, it felt great. I walked into Mile High Comics and for the first time in ages I walked out with more than the latest Previews. Buying books online saves a lot of money, but there's nothing like talking with a friendly, knowledgeable clerk (Aaron is one cool cat) about comics and then actually holding something physical when you turn over the money instead of getting an email that says you'll get your merchandise in 7 to 10 days.

So what would bring this comic collector out of hibernation? Adam Hughes. The man's got talent, and I couldn't see my Hughes Catwoman collection fall short of completion. I owed it to my collection, right? Or maybe it's something else entirely, something closer to what Aaron said: "So you just like girls with big boobs?"

Before we go down that path, let's take a step back for a minute and look at what drove me to stop collecting monthlies in the first place. Nearly a year ago, I realized that monthlies had fallen out of favor with me when I realized I had a stack of unread comics. Those books ended up in white boxes and I read the arcs I already owned in tradepaperback form. I liked reading the entire story in one sitting, so what was the point of the monthlies? Within a few months I sold all but what I considered my essential comics, and it was clear I had broken the comics collecting habit.

Flash forward to football season. In the heart of the NFL playoffs, I was scurrying to buy up every Green Bay Packers football card I could find. Ebay was loaded with 2007 Bowman and Bowman Chrome cards I needed for my sets, and I was quickly getting over my head with expenses. Football cards aren't cheap when you're buying 10-15 a week.

I needed money to support the seasonal expenses, so I turned to my comic collection and decided to trim the fat. The Packers were heading to the NFC Championship game, and all that mattered was football. Aside from my near-complete runs of Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Warlord, and the graded John Carter books, I could get rid of anything in my collection. Or so I told myself.

I quickly sold my graded X-Men books. And then my Spider-Man issues. No big deal, really. Not when I knew this additional money would help pad my Packers collection. I was running out of books to sell, but next on the chopping block were all of my Frank Cho books.

I pulled them out and went through them to determine exactly what I had. God those were lovely covers. Cho really knows how to draw "real" women. Did I really want to give those up? I considered this for a couple of days before deciding that Hell yeah I wanted to sell those books. I needed that new Brandon Jackson autograph. So off went those comics with covers of big breasted women with large thighs. No harm, no foul.

Of course, I still needed some money, and the only thing substantial I had left was my box of Adam Hughes comics. Just as I did with the Cho books, I cataloged my Hughes books. Along the way, I really soaked in the art of each cover and I knew it would be hard to part with them.

Still, I began checking eBay for recent auction values. They were hit or miss, and I wasn't exactly sure how much to expect from the 50+ comics I had. One night, as I was looking at some recent sales, I found myself looking at newly listed items, too. And just like that, in the blink of an eye, I went from selling to buying.

"Ooh, Catwoman 74. That's a nice cover. Why did I stop buying that series? And wait a second. I never bought Red Sonja 8, the one with the Hughes cover. How could I have skipped that."

I spent the rest of the week figuring out which recent Hughes covers had hit the shelves during my absence. The pain of the Packers loss to the Giants was still weighing heavy on my chest and here I was making the switch from football cards back to comics.

Now here I am preparing to put this stack of Catwoman and Red Sonja books into Mylite 2 bags with fullback acid free boards. god it feels good to be back. Yet as I think that, I turn and see that I still haven't put away the recent football cards I got in the mail last week.

Oh well, football season is over, right? Those cards can wait another six months. For now, I have more comics to buy...

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