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Saturday, May 21, 2005
Highlights of My Week
One of our more "high maintenance" customers came in to the store the other day. This particular fellow is a bit of a man-child. And I don't say that to be mean or paint a negative portrait of comic book fans in general, I say that because he's my age and his emotional and social development peaked at around age fourteen. If his interests had lain less in comics and more in socially approved obsessions, like sports or cars or politics, his off-kilterness may not even be noticeable. But, in any case, this fellow has always had very specific tastes in comics. He's primarily interested in comics featuring female versions of existing male characters. So, anything with She Hulk or Spider-Woman is a big priority for him. Recently, his tastes have branched out. Now he's also looking for comics in which female super-heroes get stabbed. I don't really want to know what brought up this sudden new dimension to his comic collecting.
There's a scene I'm getting tired of seeing play out in our store. That's the parent who has dragged their kid into a comic book store and then refused to buy the kid anything. It's usually because the comic is "too expensive." Or "not appropriate." Or "you can't read." Or "we're only here to buy something for your brother," always directed at a girl, I've noticed. Of course, since about half the time the above occurs the kid in question is making a scene by screaming and crying and, on at least one memorable occasion, actually throwing themselves to the floor and kicking at people, I'm not too choked up with sympathy for the kids. Having spent some time as a full-time caregiver for children, I'm well aware of their uncanny knack for picking the times to make a scene which make the adult look like the unreasonable one.
A recent phone call: "Do you guys buy comics?" If they're in sellable condition and they're ones we need, sure. "Well, how much is this comic worth?" What comic? (Thinking: we're on the phone, genius...) "I've got a bunch of comics here and they're all really old and I want to know how much you'd buy them for." Well, you'd need to bring them in so we can take a look at them... "Like, I got this one, and it's really old. It's got some kind of shiny stuff on the cover and it says 'Butt-kicking first issue.' How much is that one worth?" Without knowing what the actual comic is, I couldn't tell you. "It's 'Butt-kicking first issue.'" No, I'd need to know the actual title of the comic. If you look at the first page, there's usually a small box with lots of tiny writing in it. The title is usually the first word in that box. "Oh, okay...It's Neigh-Tea-Rash-Her. How much is that worth?" ...Uhm...Night-Thrasher? "Yeah, that's it. How much is it?" To be honest, we probably wouldn't be interested in buying that. We've got plenty of back-stock on comics from that period. If we did buy it, it would have to be in perfect shape. And even then we'd only pay, maybe, half of whatever the cover price is. "Well, I got a bunch more comics, how much are they worth?" If they're all from that same period, we probably wouldn't need them, or pay much for them if we did. "What comics do you buy then?" Right now, we're mostly looking for older comics in good condition. As a rough estimate, unless a comic is at least thirty years old, we're probably not going to want to buy it at all. "Oh, yeah, all these comics are thirty years old." Really? And they're all about the age as the Night-Thrasher comic, and they're all about thirty years old. "Yes."
Funny, we didn't see anyone come in later that week with a collection of comics more than thirty years old, but we did see a box of mostly Marvel comics from the nineties that were in incredibly bad condition.