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Rebuilding my Comic Bookshelves



Back in 2014 I began making plans to move abroad. Expecting to have to downsize to smaller accommodations in Europe I sold off a huge chunk of my Comic book library (graphic novels, hardcovers, omnibuses and custom bound editions). Well I'm back in the US now and have started to work to rebuild my library. I thought it would be fun to track my progress here, and provide some reviews along the way. 

As it is with books, some books I sold for a pretty penny have gone back into print and are now very affordable. Other titles that I created my own custom binds of have now had published volumes created (Gotham Central, DC 1 Million, etc), while other titles that were previously affordable have become difficult to find and have launched in price (why oh why did I sell them!??!). 

If you want to see the original sales thread it is here:

Or just take a look at the Bookshelves I was selling from... Im not looking to perfectly replicate the collection, but it gives me a jumping off point for my hunt (and isn't the hunting the most fun part?)

So pull up a rich corinthian leather chair, put on your smoking jacket and join me in Miraclemet's collected editions library...




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Looking forward to read about your journey


do you plan to make more custom volumes?

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On 12/19/2017 at 5:31 AM, n2wdw said:

Looking forward to read about your journey


do you plan to make more custom volumes?

I've started looking into local binders here in DC. I have a few old projects still in need of binding, but my raw comics are still,down in FL with my parents... So I'll need to plan a roadtrip first!

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Lots of buying of late....

One recent pickup made me want to write about a subsection of Collected Editions... the "Ex-Library edition" 

When buying used copies on eBay or Amazon (or other places at times) you can find some used book stores selling and sometimes they have books that were previously in circulation at local libraries. Are these worth buying? Well, sometimes. 

The good news is with modern library systems, we've gone away from the library card and the pocket holder in books, and now we just have to deal with a adhesive barcode and a spine label. Also the adhesives have gone away from the serious glues they used to use to adhere paper to paper, and instead we have the gummy tape used to stick slick barcodes to slick hardback covers (or back covers). The gummy tape is easy enough to remove. 

I've bought a few books over the years that have this level of wear and have been very happy with them since their "lesser" condition status keeps prices down. Most of the tape glue can be removed, so at most the only evidence you have of a books "ex-library" status is the occasional stamp (and that's not frequent these days even). 

Ive got two sets that include ex-library copies. One was the Marvel re-issue of the Miracleman (Alan Moore) series of hardcovers. Years ago I lucked into a few sales and picked up the oop TPBs from Eclipse from the original editions, but once Marvel bought the rights I assumed the books would eventually go back to print so I sold my OOPs and waited (and man that was a long wait). Picked up the 4 volume HCs for about $30 earlier this year that were ex-library, with the only evidence being a small stamp on the inside cover of each book. Circulation wear was minuscule, and no different than most of my other books that had been read a few times. I still cant believe Marvel hasnt done an omnibus, but Im sure one will eventually come out. I also cant believe people are still trying to sell their 1st editions for prices that were market before the reprint. If you are a seller you have to have some awareness!

The other collection I pieced together was Kurt Busiek's Astro City title. The first 4 volumes are OOP but they have recently been reprinted, so I've been able to find the original editions. Was able to get original editions of V 1,3 and 4, but had to live with a 2nd edition of Vol 2. My Volume 1 is an ex-library (for $10 rather than the $50-100 that they're listed for new/like-new) and it fits in just fine with no extra wear.  This was a title I had previously and was happy to be able to pick it up again. 



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Don Rosa. Never has a creator so exceptionally picked up the mantle from a predecessor. Carl Barks wrote amazing stories in the pages of Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics  in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Will Eisner called him "the Hans Christian Andersen of comic books" and that seems on the nose. Don Rosa somehow captured the same spirit in his revitilization of Donald and Uncle Scrooge for Gladstone and then Edgmont publishing. Gemstone published paperback versions of the stores in 2 volumes and a later companion (around 2007-08) and then Boom Studios published hardcover versions a few years later (2010-11 I think). I had the hardcover versions and thought they were amazing. Around the time of the hardcovers Rosa retired from creating new works, and went head to head with his publishers on the printing and reprinting rights for his stories. 

As a result the books fell out of print, and have become tough finds. Some copies for a couple hundred have sat on eBay, and actual auctions were rare. I was able to win two auctions that comprised the whole collection of hardbacks, and was happy to have them. 

Fantagraphics, who Rosa has been happier with has been publishing his Gladstone and Edgmont stories for the last few years in nice hardbacks, and I have quite a few (see a later post). Now "The Complete Life And Times Of Uncle Scrooge Volume 1" is schedule to come out in February of 2019 from Fantagraphics. So maybe I overpaid (Lets say I paid about $50/book for my 3 volumes), but I'll believe the new release when I see it (I've waited as much as 2 and a half years for books to get released after repeated delays), so until then (6 months from now) I'll enjoy my original hardcovers!


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