OK so this is my first activity on this forum in over 3 years. Who the heck am I? Why'd I fall of the forums? Why am I back out of nowhere with 200 slabs to sell? Long story short on the slabs... They are all my personal collection that I picked up some years back. I bought all of them already slabbed, none of them are my own submissions. So I have no idea if any of them have ever been pressed, but judging by the prevalence of pressing, its likely some have. I truly do not want to part with these, but after mulling it over the last year... it's just time to. That's the short version. Read on if you want more background/details!
I've been lurking the forums since... well for a long time before I finally created an account in 2011. 2011... man that was a good year. Had just moved from dusty/hot lil El Paso to the big ole' DFW. The move meant a big step up in pay and on top of that the overtime was all you could handle. Indeed, times were good. So what does one do with disposable income? For me the answer was simple... go get them grails.
I started collecting comics when I was 9. Back in those days of the early 80's, it was all about Transformers for me. Then later on I meandered through X-men, Spider-man, Batman, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Dark Horse, Image, Ultraverse..... all the usual suspects of the 80's and 90's. At some point I started ordering multiple copies via ads in the Comics Buyers Guide "newspaper" (and from ads in the comics too) and then selling those extras a few months later at conventions and turning a small profit. Every penny that I made, well of course I re-spent them back into even more orders, ever growing the collection. Then I reached the college years, and collecting completely stopped. Shoulda sold those longboxes full of 90's Image and Ultraverse when I had the chance, but instead they've sat untouched for decades. I suspect this tale is ubiquitous.
Then it's 2011 and I have both time on my hands and money to spend. And that comic obsession came back with a vengeance. Between early 2011 and late 2013 I sank many a dollar into getting that high grade dream set I'd always longed for as a kid. At first I thought, OK.... I'll stick to only X-men. But hey wait a minute what about getting that Transformers set! Oh wow those Ghost Riders look even sweeter than I remember... buy buy buy! Before long I was back to collecting.... well everything. If I thought it was awesome, I bought it. Problem is.... my scope of what I thought was awesome seemed ever expanding! I was buying raw books like there was no tomorrow too. I absolutely LOVED drinking my favorite high ABV beers while hunting through auctions and comic dealer sites and meanwhile hopping in and out of the collectors-society forums for the laughs and insanity that is CG on weekend nights.
I had already bought several personal grails... X-men 12 (1st Juggernaut), ASM 129, Marvel Spotlight 5, Hulk 181.... and then I thought... dare I? Go after X-men 1? Pffff no! C'mon that's crazy talk.. I COULDN'T. Well.... why can't I? Toyed around with the idea for a couple weeks. Yeah.... sigh... yeah, I'm gonna do it. I see an auction coming up at one of the auction houses I like. The scans looks good and the grade is right.... let's take a shot at this. I can seriously remember that auction like it was yesterday. Within the final hours of the auction the price is still below my spending cap. I throw a bid at it, I'm now in the lead. I'm not excited yet of course, its WAY too early for that. Sure enough within the last hour someone (or perhaps several people) bid me up until I'm out of the running. But JUST BARELY out of the running.... oh man I cant let it go by such a slight margin, I can't loose it like THAT. Fine... I throw a little more at it, no way I'll get it at that price but still why not its worth a shot. My bid has me back in the lead. I laugh... no way I'm gonna win... NO WAY. It's going to blow up in the final secs, I know how this works. Final hour ticks down. Final minutes tick down. Last minute.... I'm still in the frickin lead.... no freakin way... man the TENSION! I was seriously going to have a heart attack as each second ticked down. I'm gonna be snipped last second I know it. 5 seconds, I'm holding my breath. 3 seconds. I won. To say I was absolutely stunned doesn't quite truly capture that moment. Dumbstruck? Flabbergasted? Whatever it was, I sat there flushed while the rollercoaster of emotions swept through me. Elated. Disbelief. I own X-men #1.
I knew that win would mean the end of my collecting budget for 6 to 8 months, probably longer. No prob, I'll stay off of the auction sites and just stick to the collector-society forums and live vicariously through others in the "new to your collection" threads. Yeah that didnt work, within a couple weeks I was back to buying. That's when I knew that in order for me to not buy, it would have to be a total banishment from everything comic related. Not even ghosting the forum. Fine, its gonna suck but its necessary. It's fine, I've got all these sweet sweet slabs and I'm gonna keep them till some day far down the road I'm giving them to my kids or better yet grandkids. But of course life always has other plans for us! 2014 brings big negative changes for me. Not just changes in my financial situation, but also changes in family structure, even changes in health of several family members. For the last 2 years I have been wrestling back and forth with the fact that I should sell the slabs. I probably should have sold them in 2014, but I simply could not let go of the idea that I was planning to keep them for decades. It's weighed heavy on my mind for years now, but I just could not bring myself to sell them. But now, for several different reasons that I can no longer ignore, its unequivocally time to let them go. Believe me I'm not happy about it. But it has to be done. Once I made the very difficult decision to sell, now which do I sell? That also became a back and forth between selling only this but not that, then ok I'll sell all of these but not those. It would always boil down to me saying awww screw it Im not selling any of it as I just cant decide which to part with. So that finally led to my final decision: just sell them all. Just make it a complete endcap to that chapter or now.
Those collecting days of 2011 to 2013 were truly great days for me. Absolutely loved them. The Clink and CC auctions, the ebay hunt, the hilarity of CG... Hope I'll be collecting like that again one day down the road.