Lost in collecting- Om's Journal by oldmilwaukee6er
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This journal will attempt to wrangle my irrational pursuit of an Amazing Spider-Man #1 1963 in a comic book speculator bubble.

 

I am entering the fourth phase of my comic collecting. My first phase was 1989-1993. I collected mainly pre-Unity Valiants and Image comics, along with some Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine. My favorite thing was to hop into the car and hit Chicago-land book and comic stores, and I found a lot of great Valiant books that way. I habitually collected Spawn throughout my formative college years, but generally took a break following the Death of Superman until I met my eventual wife c. 1997. I collected again briefly from 1998-1999 (Oni, Kevin Smith, X-Men, Spawn), but then sporadically due to comic shop closures in Montana. I generally stopped again through my graduate school years, but did start to acquire some independent books via eBay c. 2000, mostly Milk & Cheese, Sandman. In 2002, I moved down to Louisiana and my love affair with underground comix started. My wife checked out all the books on comics at the LSU Library and brought home Mark Estren's History of Underground, which referenced Jay Kennedy's 1982 price guide, and both were watershed moments that defined the next 12 years of my collecting. I posted a lot on Comics Price Guide message boards during this time, and there was even an underground comix presence on the old STL boards too. I joined CGC in 2004, but I generally do not post too much (and mostly to underground related stuff).

 

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Anyways, I wanted to start a blog for some time and a collector friend (BrotherJ) asked for a con report from this schweet up-and-coming local con- Mighty Con. So, please forgive the combination of the two at the beginning (and also look for my con report from Wizard World Chicago).

 

Mighty Con Milwaukee

Con pics before the crowds- https://www.facebook.com/MightyCon?fref=ts

I should probably preface this by saying that this con is quickly becoming my favorite local con, and that I have a little bias there. Mighty Con Milwaukee is run by a trio of collector-dealers out of Chicago (namely Geek, Inc. Comics) and it has always attracted an eclectic assortment of local comic dealers- Jim (Bula?), John Hauser Comics, Comic Verse, and Tango Comics Unlimited, plus the core trio of dealer/hosts- Geek Inc Comics, Pulp Culture Comics And Collectibles (autographed comics], and Sutdog Comics. All of these dealers band together 2-3 per table at Wizard World Chicago too. Besides comics, there are also artist alley types, print makers, and others (horror genre)- Check out their website for more information: http://geekinccomics.com/

 

The other shows in Milwaukee, e.g. the 30+ year old Burnham Bowl or one of Alan’s dingy no-tell-motel show, are dollar book shows. Or books for fractions of a dollar (2 for 1 up to 5 for 1). Thus, Milwaukee has been fed a staple of old store stock, surfaced collections, and reader copies for longer than my tenure here (c. 2008). No order. Sometimes no bags and boards. Often fresh meat. At times, I have picked them all and I have learned to have no agenda and be open to the moment, typically, I just work comics and namely ask after “adult or underground comics.” At Burnham Bowl, I routinely spend $12-40 and have been known to strike out completely, opting for the old bowling alley cheeseburger instead. I think my best day there was hitting the ATM to buy about 180 Atari 2600 and 22 Intellivision games for $80. One time I set up at Burnham to deal and bought the most beat up copy of TOS 39 you can imagine for $100 and flipping it the same day for $200. The most I personally made there as a dealer was $250 (I sell underground comix and weird hippie stuff). Anyways, hopefully you understand my point- Milwaukee grinds comics.

 

Some dealers have emerged from the mire to dare a wall display, alphabetizing, $5 boxes, and a wee comic chat, e.g. ‘Mark the Lawyer’, ‘Bob Parbs’, Bula, Hauser, & many more from other parts Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minneapolis. It changes sometimes and there really are nice people. It is just that Milwaukee cons are Kevin Smith dirt cons, complete with **insert** n fart jokes.

 

Mighty Con takes place at the American Serb Hall, on Oklahoma Ave in Milwaukee. It is not too far away from one of the best comic book stores in Milwaukee- Lost World of Wonders. They advertise a show that “welcomes the whole family with low prices, free parking, and tons of great deals for people of all ages... thousands of comic books, toys, statues, posters, t-shirts, video games, artists, and collectibles of all shapes and sizes.” Each Mighty Con has gotten bigger and this one was the largest yet, with a sold out dealer space and simultaneous Wisconsin Blood Center drive (donate and get a free T-shirt, plus entered into a drawing for $100 gift card at Lost World of Wonders). If you order your pass online and pay via Paypal, you can get in at 10AM, otherwise the show opens at 10:30AM.

 

We rolled in about 11:10AM to a full parking lot! I parked in the back, damn near by the grease trap. And wow was it hopping! My wife almost immediately split off to donate blood. We both donate regularly, usually at her work and she was feeling up for it (and wanted the T-shirt). I was being selfish, this was Mighty Con after all, and so I went straight in to soak up the sights. It was great- one classic convention room with four rows and booths all around the perimeter, as well as another ‘bar’ room, with a non-functioning bar in the middle and booths around the perimeter. I overheard they may eventually take over another room.

 

OK, let us all pause for a moment and recognize that we are in a comic / geek culture zeitgeist boom! As a ‘maturing collector’ that has already survived one comic book crash, I become more hesitant in a boom. Therefore, lately I have adopted the Buffett-esque motto of “when others are greedy, be fearful.” I personally think now is a good time to be selling some comic books. Do not get me wrong, I am not fearful for the near-term of comics, but there is lots of fresh blood in the water in terms of speculators, new collectors, and a diversifying fan demographic. Right now, I am focusing on my goals, enjoy the benefits of a boom (merchandise, movies, etc), buying2-3 new books per week, and otherwise trying not to spec too much as I did back in the early 1990s.

So, I was running lean for this show… with $46 after the $3 admission to eat, drink, and pick. The lady had $47.

 

I have been consistently pulling Usagi YoJimbos and Spawns out of the bargain boxes, and so I figured if I could pull some of those books, I would be a happy camper. Recently, I made a list of Drizzt DoUrden / Forgotten Realms adaptations from Devil’s Due Publishing c. 2005-2008.

 

I stopped by Jim’s booth first, as he was right by the door and his booth cleared up right as I was passing. HE commented on my Deadpool shirt and we chatted about ‘Alan’s show last weekend’ and comics in general. He mentioned that he did quite well there and I spoke of budgets and trying to save for Wizard World Chicago (FRI only, as is my custom). We made a tentative plan to have a drink at Gibson’s around 730pm at WWCHI. I bought a nice little Usagi book from him for $3 (marked 7). Nice deal from a nice guy that always chats me up.

 

Critters #14 (1987). A great early Usagi Yojimbo cover and the last pre-UY #1 appearance, this also features the 2nd appearance of Gen (Gennosuke the Rhino bounty hunter) and wraps-up the “Bounty Hunter” storyline from Critters #1.

Critters14_zpsxjdhxt55.jpg

 

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Next I wove my way through the crowds, popping in and out of books to generally spy wall books, before losing half my stack to Sutdog Comics on 19 Forgotten Realms / Drizzt books! Holy schnickies! I was so geeked I bought an additional 3 doubles and also plucked 2 NM+ Scud #22s (Jim Mahfood cover), all for $20. I knew I was buying doubles (one was 3 issues- Sojourn #1), but here I had just built a want list that I crushed it and gobbled up all of them. I got a little overwhelmed, I think, because at one point a supercute/tall comic book girl tossed me Drizzt / Legacy #1-3! Hot damn. I bought em all. Half my stack gone, I retreated out of the main hall and grabbed a coke $2 from the bowling alley bar.

 

Scud #22 (Jim Mahfood cover). A guy I describe as my favorite modern underground artist. I imagine he lives the modern R. Crumb lifestyle- http://www.jimmahfood.com/. I generally collect his small press stuff and avoid some larger projects, but one has to admire an artist that can pretty much do whatever he/she wants!

Scud22_zpsmljo5k0m.jpg

 

Shared the coke with my wife as she recovered from the ‘bloodletting to the vampire guild’ (as we say). Great turnout for the drive, lots turned away (did not eat or iron levels low; some puking Haha), but great turnout and interest throughout the day. The t-shirt was “Real Superheroes donate blood” in comic / pop culture zip-o-tone font. We re-upped on her coke $1 as she was now a pint low, and I took stock of the Drizzt haul.

 

Drizzt DoUrden is a wonderful, 2 scimitar wielding badass, anti-hero-esque dark elf and I read many of the R.A. Salvatore books back in high school around the same time I started collecting comics. I learned via my want list research just how Drizzt has grown into the flagship character of Forgotten Realms since my high school daze. Drizzt may never see the big screen treatment that he deserves, but if for some reason he did… I want in. Can you imagine Artemis Enteri vs. Drizzt DoUrden on the bigscreen? Or Rumblebelly Regis the Halfling played by Peter Dinklage? I image that Devil’s Due could not have that large of print runs. The wife read most of Sojourn #1 and she commented that it was pretty good and she liked Seeley’s more simplistic art. The books are 48-pages each and the run is VF+ to NM- and included 2-3 prestige editions with cover prices of $9.50. Happy to have them and pulled out three under copy doubles to serve as the first throwaway readers. I ended up with-

Forgotten Realms: Exile 1-3 (NM- or better)

Forgotten Realms: Sojourn 1(3), 2 (NM)

Forgotten Realms: The Crystal Shard 1(2), 2(2), 3 (VFNM)

Forgotten Realms: Streams of Silver 1-3 (VF+)

Forgotten Realms: The Halfling’s Gem 1-3 (VF; two prestige editions))

Forgotten Realms: The Legacy 1-3 (VFNM)

Forgotten Realms: Starless Night 1 (VF)

 

Recovered, the lady went to pick some $5 graphic novels that she found (maybe Comic Verse). I knew the booth that she talking about, in the past I have plucked great $5 80s Fantagraphics from them. I browsed later but didn’t pull the trigger (BTW she ended up getting 4 X-Men essential volumes and was on :cloud9 in the bar later reading / flipping through them).

 

I slow-picked and stopped by the madman Jimmy Decker’s booth. He deals in esoterica and does shows irregularly and thus was busy all day and wheeling and dealing (up 300 hundo at this point). He had a signed Air Pirates #1 from Hallgren’s private collection, all sorts of cool stuff- Rolling Stone with the Hulk cover, Hansi, early fanzines, underground comix, I mean all sorts of weird, oddball stuff. He also reps a bunch of wrestlers, C/D list celebrities at other cons and helps run a few Zurko Promotion shows around Chicagoland, such as the Wheaton all-nighter flea market.

 

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The next purchase made my show and from then on I was in celebration-mode and without any money. First, I plucked two more Drizzt books (probably dupes, who knows, I was punchdrunk on $1 Drizzt books by this point) and the following book for $3. I actually said out loud “are you sure this book is $1?” And then paid my money and skipped around a little.

 

Outliers #1 (2012). I recall coveting this book c. 2013. It was the first Kickstarter book that blew up on spec, perhaps on rumors of it being optioned for TV? I am not 100%, but as a collector / admirer of many underground, self-published, creator owned properties, I remember being jealous that I missed out on this one. It stung a little more, somehow. Later, over a beer, I looked up two completed eBay sales ~$20 shipped and one parked on eBay at $50.

Outliers_zps3es4v71i.jpg

 

This book pretty much made my picking day! I had about $15 after soda refills and tips. I looked through some more boxes before deciding to try to see if there were more Drizzt books at Sutdog. In particular, I now need his first appearances in Homeland #1-3. There I closed down my show with 18 Vol. 3 Usagis- 5 VFNM lower issues, and NM copies of 132-144 (last issue) for $15. Overall, it was a huge haul for me, with over 40 books pulled! BOOM. The lady and I decompressed over a beer in the bowling alley, as is fitting for a Milwaukee show.

Cheers! Om

 

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Great report! :applause:

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I liked this report. Around the winter of 1986/87 I set up at two Milwaukee shows. They were combo baseball card and comic shows at that point. Probably the 30-year old show you mentioned. I did very well at the first one, driving over with Harley Yee. First and only time I ever outsold him! Came back alone the next time and did poorly. Since I was coming from about 4.5 hours away, that was the end of Milwaukee for me. :)

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Thanks for the report, my friend!

 

I love those cheap dollar book shows in Milwaukee! I used to pull some quality material. In fact, I remember pulling a near complete set of Jonah Hex out of Alan's cheap boxes before the books started going up in value. Burnham shows were great. Sure, the room stunk of...something, but I always found good stuff, I never got annoyed by the people standing next to me rooting through the cheap boxes (unlike in the Philly area, where I have come close to fighting with various people who had no sense of bargain box manners) and once I was done rooting through comics, I would go to the bar with the wife and have one of their tasty toaster oven pizzas or a Bloody Mary with a beer chaser.

 

I really miss Milwaukee, and the comic shows and shops in the area are just one of the reasons. Hoping to get out there sometime again soon.

 

 

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Around the winter of 1986/87 I set up at two Milwaukee shows... Came back alone the next time and did poorly. Since I was coming from about 4.5 hours away, that was the end of Milwaukee for me. :)

 

lol Tough one! When I set up at the old Burnham Bowl show (or out at Elkhown WI antique fair), I often paraphrase Jimmy D

"these *spooning* people wouldn't pay $10 for a $20 bill."

 

I love those cheap dollar book shows in Milwaukee! I used to pull some quality material... and once I was done rooting through comics, I would go to the bar with the wife and have one of their tasty toaster oven pizzas or a Bloody Mary with a beer chaser.

 

Milwaukee misses you friend! Ahh... Burnham Bowl. A 35+ year old comic show. In a bowling alley. With a bar. Low lighting & dollar books or less everywhere. Maybe my X-Men #2 is the best book in the room, haha! The dealers all love the pizza. I like their cheeseburger/fry basket ($5) with the little paper cup of pickles (the food I crave if hungover).

 

Burnham Bowl is old school. I guess Mighty Con is new school & more popular culture focused (and growing, whereas Burnham rarely sells out dealer space anymore).

Edited by oldmilwaukee6er

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I think a lot about collecting, the art and science of it (hence the original title). I like to study comic book speculation websites, or articles about comic books as investment vehicles. I have been buying and selling comic books as sport since I was 17 or so. It is hard to believe that now the comic book back issue market probably represents a $150-200M/yr industry. That being said, I do buy what I love… and it has been since the last boom in comic books that I have been randomly investing in comics. Or is it? In 2013 I paid the most that I had for a book… $1700. Suddenly spending several hundred dollars per book became commonplace. Often I only had to speak to my wife if the purchase even went over $100 or so. Imagine trading stock like that- perhaps you do. But doing it without even a conversation? It was unsustainable and my collecting was becoming unfocused.

 

Sometimes it is fun to think about the collector we were and the collector we have become. I also like making yearly collecting resolutions and thinking about the collector that I would like to be.

 

It is also fun to think about the differences between my acquisition phases versus my curation phase versus my selling phases of collecting. Always in my minds’ eye am I a minimalist, with just enough stuff to fit in one pickup truck load and hit the road. And for years it wasn’t too much more than that. Sure, I probably had close to 15 long boxes of comics at my peak, but I also moved across the U.S.A. three times and jettisoned stuff along the way. Anyways, but the idea is free flowing, blow with the wind, minimalist. Hahaha. In the early daze of the CPG comics boards**, I used to have a signature that represented my minimalist desires… “3 short boxes for the revolution!” Now… one could not contain my underground comix in 5 boxes and I have a short box full of Usagi Yojimbo, two full of Spawn, one of ‘modern indy stuff’, and lots of miscellaneous stuff too.

 

Yet for all the hard work and the acquisitions (and considering a geek-Con era boom); it felt like I did not really have anything with Big-Comic-Geek-Cache. I guess this is consistent with the part of me that enjoys the conspicuous consumption side of comics and related popular culture.

 

And so, I looked with longing toward bigger game- and Amazing Fantasy #15.

 

**Comics Price Guide had very active underground comix message boards c2004-2007 or so. It was where many of us u-comix collectors met and started working on the first u-comix price guide in over 26 years (Fogel’s in 2006). Then we tried to write a wiki, the Head Comix wiki, which would have been a free, open access u-comix guide. But that died on the vine over a fight about slabbing underground comix and is in part why I spend way more time lurking on these boards. But perhaps more on that another time.

 

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I have most Aircel books from the 80's. I was into D & D so I was drawn towards Elflord and the others. I think there are some gems amongst the Aircel group. What do you think of First Comics and Eclipse and Comico (elementals was a fav of mine)

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The Wednesday One

I follow this group (http://comicbookinvest.com/) on Facebook for the fun of it. And my favorite weekly post is the Wednesday One: http://comicbookinvest.com/category/the-wednesday-one/

SHOUT OUT(!) Great read guys!

 

These days, my main collecting goals are as follows:

1. Buy ASM 1 in GDVG

2. Put together the best first print runs of Zap Comix & Freak Brothers that I can afford (i.e. Registry)- Presently ON HOLD

3. Curate Spawn run (inspired by newshane’s journal) Completed- basically this meant pulling them out of storage, rebagging, and putting together a want list.

4. Run collect Usagi Yojimbo on the cheap, with less emphasis on condition

5. Run collect Spawn on the cheap with more emphasis on condition

6. Foster comic interest with my nieces & nephews

7. Overall downsize and re-invest in Silver Age mega keys

8. Enjoy the geek-Con era boom

 

There are a few other items on my want list, and some I hope to acquire quite soon, but that is for another day. Anyways, my weekly pull list may only amount to 2-3 books each week. In fact, I do not even maintain a subscription as there is a comic shop right around the corner from my apt. If I cannot find it there, then I may run over to the old man at the Turning Page or (more likely) out to Lost World of Wonders. I made the decision that I was NOT going to chase books and NOT pay up for variants. I get it, lots of guys are making money and leveraging into better books- that IS the way to hustle a comic boom. I am just lazy this time around and it is inconsistent with my primary goal.

 

Consistent with #6 and #8 above I pull the following:

  • Usagi, Spawn, Effigy (Vertigo), Fight Club & Star Wars (maybe odd Harley Quinn book)
  • Avengers Assemble & The Fox (nephew)
  • Squirrel Girl, Lumberjanes, & Archie (niece)
  • The wife pulls- Jem & the Holograms, Munchkin, Sandman Overture & maybe the odd issue

Therefore, the week of 7/28 it is a big week for us with five titles-

Spawn 254

Star Wars 7 My Wednesday One (if I could only pick one)!

Munchkin 7

Jem 5

Sandman 5 (prestige)

 

Plus a new short box for those modern spec books that I am not supposed to be buying (more next time!) :insane:

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Star Wars 7 My Wednesday One (if I could only pick one)!

 

In the end, my pull of the week was Star Wars 7 and the digital download to read & Sex Criminals #11 variant for the new spec box. I read some articles about the book and there it was, last copy at my small LCS.

 

NSFW (but really not THAT bad, I mean c’mon, very Nintendo cartoony)

 

 

th_sexcrim11_zpsonswvvdi.jpg

 

 

I bought a new short box to hold the $1 moderns and spec pulls that I have picked up since mid-2014 or so. I also scanned a few books in.

 

I think some of them are pretty laughable, but when I say spec books I suppose I really mean an eclectic slice of comicdom. Here are a few… lol

 

Shadow Show 1 (Hill)

th_Shadow_zpserpph7kp.jpg

 

Silk 1

th_Silk1_zpsbsx2zp62.jpg

 

(4) Usagi Senso #6 (Death of Usagi YoJimbo?)

th_Senso6_zpsh2xbfbxn.jpg

 

Garbage Pail Kids; Puketacular sketch blank

th_GPKblank_zpsnmr45vo5.jpg

 

More tomorrow! I start a new part-time job tonight.

 

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Mighty Con Milwaukee is run by a trio of collector-dealers out of Chicago (namely Geek, Inc. Comics) and it has always attracted an eclectic assortment of local comic dealers- Jim (Bula?), John Hauser Comics, Comic Verse, and Tango Comics Unlimited, plus the core trio of dealer/hosts- Geek Inc Comics, Pulp Culture Comics And Collectibles (autographed comics], and Sutdog Comics. All of these dealers band together 2-3 per table at Wizard World Chicago too.

 

Hi, just saw this and figured I would chime in. I am James Bula, owner of Kowabunga Comics in Oconomowoc - but there IS another Jim who was set up by the door, Jim Droese, and this may be who you talked too although I'll just pretend your nice words were about me too ;) Jim is a very nice guy though.

 

We actually had a long set of tables in this picture:

 

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/v/t1.0-9/11800068_784485111667265_4127766756074644338_n.jpg?oh=7a214f5dbcd7d1df7f9ccf38c812052b&oe=564D16D0

 

But I am not in it, those are two of my guys.

 

We had a great show and mainly sold a lot of wall books and silver age. I also found a lot of Star Wars books for the shop in the dollar bins as I can't seem to keep them in.

 

I've been going to shows in Milwaukee for 25 years (since I was 6! My uncle used to take me, which is how I got into comics in the first place). When I was 10 I met Alex Ross at some bowling alley show in downtown Milwaukee and he signed a bunch of promotional posters for me. This was right before Kingdom Come and he was a big name, just not the huge name he is now. It was pretty cool, and I have those posters up at the shop.

 

Those days are obviously over... I can certainly say I enjoy the Burnham show, and it is exactly what you say it is. We might make $200, might make $2,000, it just depends show to show. One of my better shows in recent years was earlier this year during the blizzard when hardly any dealers showed up. I know it was also Jim's best Burnham to date as well.

 

I will chime in a later with some more thoughts on the local con scene after work. Thanks for the shout out!

 

- James

 

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Thanks for the post, James! I appreciate your response. And welcome to the boards! I like these boards, great knowledge and great reading. I remember the Super Bowl show that you were speaking of. Apparently, there was a whale scooping up wall books like mad and spread something like $4k around the room. Wild! I personally did not make it because the show was Super Bowl Sunday and (as you said) it snowed like crazy late the night before. I remember that I was at The Corner Spot (1/2 block away from my apt.) that night drinking with friends and we partied down because of the snow and being trapped in along the lake bluff. I skipped that show!

 

COOL! Small world. YESTERDAY, I volunteered for Junior Achievement Finance Park and TODAY I am off to Stephens Convention Center (Rosemont, IL) to attend “The National” sports collectibles show: http://www.nsccshow.com/show_details.shtml. I am helping my brother, who is set up as a small time dealer at the show, spending the night and helping him break down on Sunday. It should be interesting and I will be sure to do a mini report. Apparently he is selling like mad through two days and so it may be a slow Sunday (perhaps we can sell out completely). I am bringing a little picking money and a few things to flip. MORE TO COME ON THAT.

 

ANYways… Here are a few more spec books that I [have picked up since getting back into modern comics about a year ago. Generally, I pick up a book that catches my eye or that my comic book guy recommends. Rarely am I looking for a quick flip (I have been lazy & not setting up at the local shows), I guess I am just plain old collecting to odd modern. I like the new incarnation of my collecting, My regular visits to the shop mean I can stay up to speed on some current news and my comic guy is good at filling in the details of major story arcs that I am not collecting, e.g. Secret Wars.

 

Effigy #1. I like this book and along with Star Wars it is my favorite read. Scientology, meets crime drama, meets pop culture with a lot of dualism.

th_Effigy1_zpshsh8ab44.jpg

 

Divergence #0 FCBD. These [days I have a softer spot for the odd DC book versus Marvel. I kinda liked some New52 stuff- e.g. Harley, Lobo, & Bats. Early appearance of Grail (cool female character). In writing about these books, I do see a leaning toward a good female character.

th_DivergenceFCBD_zpscnp98sgu.jpg

 

Batman (2010) #40. Great freakin read. I flipped through this on the shelf and went “oh, cool, I gotta show my friends.”

th_Batman40_zpsibs1fjrl.jpg

 

Django & Zorro #1. Tarentino comics!? This one does give me a pang of regret though. I kinda cringe at it every time I see it (just not something I would normally collect).

th_Django1_zpsetomhajr.jpg

 

Kodansha Comics FCBD: Attack on Titan. I am not a anime guy but I watched the bulk of the series on Netflix and I must say the trailer does not discourage my interest.

th_AttackonTitanFCBD_zpsgftzblju.jpg

 

(2) Harley Quinn New52 Annual #1 (Marijuana) Ant Lucia Bombshells variant. Also have 2 Connor marijuana covers. Hilarious book, but I found one still on the rack a few weeks ago.

 

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Thanks for the post, James! I appreciate your response. And welcome to the boards! I like these boards, great knowledge and great reading. I remember the Super Bowl show that you were speaking of. Apparently, there was a whale scooping up wall books like mad and spread something like $4k around the room. Wild! I personally did not make it because the show was Super Bowl Sunday and (as you said) it snowed like crazy late the night before. I remember that I was at The Corner Spot (1/2 block away from my apt.) that night drinking with friends and we partied down because of the snow and being trapped in along the lake bluff. I skipped that show!

 

Thanks, I've gotten lots of great info from these boards!

 

As for the Burnham Whale, he was at the last show at Serb Hall and dropped well over 5k... he's a large volume reseller, cool with making 15 - 20%. He's dropped aout 3k at my shop alone in the last month. VERY cool guy. I know I'm going to have a good week when he comes in.

 

Do you plan to be at Burnham tomorrow? (oops, ETA you'll be in Rosemont) I'll be there, but I plan to do something different from the last few shows and just bring .50 books (haven't brought them in about 9 months).

 

Lately I've been bringing lots of sets to shows and they've been doing very well. Anything from $5 to $300 (signed full run of the 2008 GotG series), as well as boxes of keys and silver age books. My wall books have been going like crazy - sold two Hulk 181's within a week. People seem to be wanting to spend a lot more on keys and investment books than ever before, but at the cost of the people that used to buy a shortbox worth of cheap books from me. Who knows with this market.

 

I take it from your first few posts that you don't much attend Alan's shows? He certainly has a reputation in this area.

 

- James

Edited by OconoJames

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Funny story about Alan, he knew me as "The Valiant Guy" because I would always ask if he had gotten any Valiant stuff in his stock. He once presented me with a worthless random issue of Shadowman signed and personalized by Bob Hall to me. I was grateful, thinking it was a gift to me in thanks for all the stuff I had bought from him.I was suprised when I found out he wanted me to pay for it! I wonder what he would have done with it if I has passed on it? :roflmao:

 

Anyway, I usually did pretty well with Alan, he usually had some pretty good stuff in those cheap boxes. Was always curious how well he did with his own shows once he stopped during Burnham. I just checked his show schedule and there doesn't appear to be any Milwaukee shows planned for the rest of 2015.

 

EDIT: I just "liked" Alan's Facebook page and I see his Milwaukee show was just last weekend. It was at the Clarion by the airport in Oak Creek. Very nice location, I lived not too far from there in Greenfield. How many dealers does he usually get?

Edited by Brother J

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UPDATE from road- Arrived in Chicagoland without issue. Worked the show 'with mah bruv' (oldest brother) & it was not long before he tasked me with a few side hustles. The first one I made $200 on, while the second one has been a bust.

 

The best comics that I have seen are Hulk 3-6 in 1.5 - 2.0 for $1k. Seems like full boat to me. #4 is a pence copy too.

 

So the question for tonight is... Do 4 GD Hulks get me any closer to my ASM 1?

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National Sports Collectibles Show

SAT

First impressions. Arrived about 1015am after parking at MB Financial Park ($13/day with overnight). Brother came out and with my pass and I got in without issue.

I was struck by how few people it seemed were in the convention hall at first. I mean Wizard World is usually a 30min wait or more to get in, especially if I came at 15min after the public arrived. There was really no wait for tickets, maybe 2 people deep. But by the time we made it back to my bro’s table I saw the scope of the show. It seemed like less people, more small time dealers (I heard a record), and less congestion. But it was huge, do not get me wrong and there was easily more product and I thought more dealers than Wizard World.

Lots of dealers look the same! A sea of slabbed cards in glass cases. Or run pulling from notebooks of cards or long rows of cards. Or the vintage booths (of which we were one)- pre-War cards, equipment, paper, etc. There were also the autograph dealers, of which many only dealt with authenticated autographs (as I would later find out).

 

The side hustles (part 1)

Pretty much as soon as I arrived, my brother tasked me with a few side hustles- that is selling a few items of my father’s for a 50% commission. He would outline the general details and then task me with getting the desired amount for the item. This is not unusual, as having grown up picking since I was 16 I was accustomed to such small games (who can flip something they purchase at a show for more money, who can sell the next item, etc.). The items, as they were unfolded to me:

 

*4000 common baseball cards from 1969-1975, with more 70s (and some football and basketball)

*~500 NY Times cut/stored flat sports pages from 1927-1936 (85% OWW)

*8 scrapbooks with newspaper baseball/magazine clippings 1938-1946, generally focusing on stars and World Series

*An autograph book (94 charity golf event) with~ 28 autographs, including 7 HOFers and 8 deceased players (many on their picture, some not).

 

I focused on the common cards first after getting a quick education from my brother (20c each for 60s common wholesale price $800, but ours were VG average and more 70s with the 75s in good condition). After a 35min hustle of rejections, I found a “run” store that specialized in these type of items and paid $400 cash for the cards. Very nice guys. Good deal at about 10c per cards and I just earned my first $200.

 

(my brother's) 1848 Baltimore newspaper that lists the 'inventor of baseball' Abner Doubleday's graduation from West Point. I had this appraised by Heritage autions at about $300. Not something you see everyday (as we say).

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500+ NY Time sports pages (cut) c. 1926-1930s that feature all sorts of Ruth and Gehrig content. For scale, that is a magazine jammed down to serve as fulcrum to access the bottom part of the box. To say that my father was 'a reader' would be an understatement.

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My old Spawn #1 box c. 1992 (now my brother's). This represents my first big investment in comics. I bought 100 for $1 each and sold them on consignment for $4-6 each during my early college years. I still have the best 3 copies left.

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The comics (SAT cont)

Incredible Hulk #2-6 in 1.0-2.0 (perhaps a little better), two had tape, and #4 was a pence copy (9d)? $800 for all three. When I thought I was up $400 I looked for his booth again midday Sunday to low ball him $100 a book, but he must have packed up… there were empty booths in the vicinity and the books were decidedly not there anymore.

 

VFNM+ Harbinger #1 for $30 (and VFNM+ Archer and Armstrong Gold for $30 too)… the guy had a few good Valiants- (2) XO Manowar 1, Armorines Gold, Magnus 0, Solar 1. WOW- remember cards and Valiants back in the 90s? HEY Valiant fans, pick baseball card shows for your books!?

 

The Harbinger & Archer/Armstrong sold by the time I circled back around on Sunday (I Had to make a little money to spend a little more), and they were probably a good deal.

 

I also tried to hustled the newspapers by targeting the vintage and ‘more papery booths’ and got a pretty brutal education on old paper that I somewhat suspected

 

Dinner with family at the Hofbrau with a nice sauerbraten and 1.0L of dunkel (and I bought my bro a beer at the tail end of the show).

 

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SUN

The side hustles (part 2)

Soundtrack

 

SUN we rose early and walked around my bro’s new downsized neighborhood before grabbing an egg mcmuffin and heading into the show. SUN traffic was light and the show was SLEEPY to start with many dealers arriving around 10AM (1/2 hour after early birds). We were there right at 845AM so my brother went out picking for stuff and consigning some of his bulky stuff to auction. I covered the booth until after 10A and made a few small sales without issue and EVEN sold the scrapbooks for $70 to someone at the booth (we agreed to try and wholesale them for $10 each), so I was please and he was in such a good mood he let me keep the sale (lumped into some other stuff for an extra $50).

 

SAT late I did find a former producer for ESPN and co-author of a book (w/daughter) about Babe Ruth who wanted to pick through the papers for $2 each (and maybe take the best 20-50). Rather than have all the Ruth picked out we decided to hold firm on the whole lot at around $1 ea wholesale or $500. He hemmed and hawed and passed but promised to stop by AM for one last offer.

 

About 1130AM he did stop by and inquired again about cherry-picking through the papers (no). but I asked him to sign our copy of his book (we had it!) and we got to talking/laughing real nice and quoting $300 for all (we were working with one auction house, but ALL were hesitant to deal with shipping, the size, etc. He countered $250, my bro held firm and they continued to talk cordially. I thought CLEARLY this deal was done, only a few dollars off, getting 50c each for sports one-sheets, so I sought out the HULK 3-6 dealer to lowball him on the books (ASM1 be damned)… with barely 375 in my pocket, needing the paper deal to go down and thinking I might could go to 125 per book (you never know, but sometimes I get out of my league at the real low grading end).

 

Came back after a long lap and the papers were still there! WTF? My brother is usually pretty good about closing deals, but the guy walked (bulky, etc) and we were left talking about their previous fun conversations (letters the guy had from the Hall of Fame about stat corrections and his book, musical, and more. Impressive guy! I was bummed. I both missed out on a whiff of the HULK my next big commission was gone.

 

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