Inherited large comic book/graphic novel collection
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7 posts

My brother recently passed away leaving me a collection of 7-10,000 comics and graphic novels. My brother was big into anime/manga so there is lots of that, but also DC/Dark Horse and Marvel. I haven't found anything really vintage, although I have not looked inside each and every box -- seems mostly 80s-90s. Looking for a strategy (not a monetary offer at this point) for handling the collection, though I feel the first thing to do would be an inventory, which is a daunting task. The condition of the comics is mostly good as most have been stored in boxes indoors with many of them in a plastic sleeves, and many of them not. Also have 50-70 anime figurines purchased from Japan still in their original boxes -- original purchase price $50-$70 each, as well as assorted trading cards and many DC superhero figurines in the original packages.

Just looking for advice/tips on how best to relieve myself of ownership of all this stuff. I haven't yet decided how much effort I wan't to put into this, although with retirement a couple of years away, I've considered deferring action until then.

Thanks.

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823 posts

Sorry for the loss of your brother.

Finding someone that will want all 7000-10,000 books will be difficult especially if you do not know what you have.

IMO, inventorying what you have is where you need to start, at least by title and number so you can see what era(s) these books cover.

Where these books stored by title?

Are any of the boxes marked showing what is in each?

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There is a relationship between time and money...the more time you want to spend on it the more money you will see in return. Selling it all at once will likely net the least amount of money but there is little work that needs to be done for that. You could consign to an estate auction house and give them 60% or so but the prices realized will be out of your control. You could just take it a box at a time and list on ebay where you will see more money but the time and hassle potential increase dramatically. Comic shops are another option but they do not pay well usually, although again very little effort is involved.

Many here buy collections, including myself when fortunate enough to do so. A collector forum such as this will put you in the middle of those options above...more than a dealer/estate auction but not as much as if you sold them yourself.

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+1Bird 

I concur - comic shops will likely net you the least - sound advice 

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firstly, condolences on your loss.

 

second, i think your instincts are correct; you're going to have to do at least a cursory inventory.  you don't need to worry about grades so much at first, unless books are really beat up.  no one is going to give you top dollar on a bulk purchase from that time period based on condition.   just catalogue the contents of each box at the start and then with a little research you can make some decisions about which ones should garner more of your attention.  as a general rule, if you have heard of the character as a 'layman,' then there's more likely a value to that book or series.

 

the figurines/toys is a different story. i think doing searches of sold listings on ebay would be your best bet to establish which would be worth your time trying to sell versus donate or some other option

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7 posts

I appreciate the condolences and the advice. If anything, the endeavor should prove to be interesting.

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Easiest  thing is to sort them by price. That will help determine age and worth. It's important to get a grasp of what you have.

Hopefully, they are organized to some extent.  Otherwise your task is daunting. I'd get started now. In all likelihood, more than half your books are fairly worthless. Saving and storing them for years won't change that and will tie up space.

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Sorry to hear of your loss. 

I would definitely Catalog the collect as best as you can with as much time as you want to spend. That will give you a general idea of what you have and potential value. From there at least you can determine if you want to wholesale the collection or dig through it and try to pull books that might have some value. You had the right idea of looking for Vintage books as those would have the most value compared to modern books. As for the statues I would catalog them as well and look up prices on Ebay to get a general idea. From there you can at least determine if you want to spend your time selling them individually or let someone else do the work. you also mentioned Retirement coming up soon. if you have the storage or space and I got my brothers collection/hobby stuff and in your situation I would hold on to it till retirement; when I have more time and go through his stuff you can probably learn a lot about your brother from seeing the stuff he collected, liked and read; you might even learn something about him you might not of known before just saying. 

Best of Luck

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Posted (edited)

My condolences to your family loss.

All I can think of mycomicshop.com - you can check it out on https://www.mycomicshop.com/webuycomics

Look at all options but you can always call them.

Otherwise, you can find the consigners/auction companies near you.

Edited by JollyComics

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877 posts

Strange that he did not bag and board many of his books since this was pretty much standard fare since the mid 70's.  This suggests to me he was more of a reader than a collector.  10000 books is a LOT! You are going to get pennies on the dollar for most of these 80 -90's books if anything at all, but I am sure there are a few treasures.  Getting money out of a comic book collector is like taking a dwarfs gold, maybe harder.  Sorry for your loss and good luck!

 

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And trust me, bags and boards weren't the standard fare in the 1970s or '80s.

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Bags were common in the 80s, boards not so much.. Comic collecting changed dramatically that decade.  As more and more books were sold in comic shops, bags became much more common. When I opened my first shop, I didn't carry supplies. I'd special order a box or two when requested, and would buy bags a thousand at a time, mostly for myself. Except for my discount bins, all back issues were bagged.

By 1988, I had a supply department, with bags, boxes, mylars and the like. Didn't sell a lot of boards at that point.  I had these thin boards made that you'd put about eight in a box , every twenty books or so to keep the boxes tight.

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2 hours ago, namisgr said:

And trust me, bags and boards weren't the standard fare in the 1970s or '80s.

Are you trying to tell me that in say 1977 bags and boards were not commonplace?  They sure were at every convention and shop I ever visited and they went on every one of my books.  They even had 4 mil mylars.  The only raw books you would find were new issues.  We are going to have to agree to disagree on this, i didn't start collecting yesterday...  Moving on...

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2 minutes ago, Karl Liebl said:

Are you trying to tell me that in say 1977 bags and boards were not commonplace?  They sure were at every convention and shop I ever visited and they went on every one of my books.  They even had 4 mil mylars.  The only raw books you would find were new issues.  We are going to have to agree to disagree on this, i didn't start collecting yesterday...  Moving on...

Aren't you the guy that inherited his collection from his brother?

Now, you've been a collector since the 70's..?

Okay...

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17 minutes ago, TwoPiece said:

Aren't you the guy that inherited his collection from his brother?

Now, you've been a collector since the 70's..?

Okay...

Ummm yeah I had my own books too Including X Men number 5 up but i sold them all when I joined the navy.  My brother kept 1 short box and that's what I got... Okay??

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1 minute ago, Karl Liebl said:

Ummm yeah I had my own books too Including X Men number 5 up but i sold them all when I joined the navy.  My brother kept 1 short box and that's what I got... Okay??

Sure.

Were you in the Navy during the 70's and 80's when backing boards were uncommon?

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3 minutes ago, TwoPiece said:

Sure.

Were you in the Navy during the 70's and 80's when backing boards were uncommon?

No.  I said they were common in 1977.  And yes I was in the Navy in the 80's.  The glorious 600 ship fleet Reagan created that broke the Soviet Union's back!

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Just now, Karl Liebl said:

No.  I said they were common in 1977.  And yes I was in the Navy in the 80's.  The glorious 600 ship fleet Reagan created that broke the Soviet Union's back!

Consensus says otherwise, though.

Maybe you lived in a small bubble that was 'ahead of the curve'. That didn't make the practice common, though.

Thanks for your service, FYI. I don't really care for your antics on the boards, here, but I respect you for serving our country.

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Sorry to hear of your loss especially a comic book collector.

Do you have the time to do this right or do you want them gone fast is really what you
need to ask yourself. 

Since they aren't just comics you will need someone who specializes in several areas if 
you want them all gone at once. Without doing a lot of work you will expect to received a fraction
of the true value.

If the collection is valuable then the more time you put in the more monetary reward you will 
reap. You can also advertise it on craigslist, here and other places and you will get dealers to
come look at it and make offers as well. Good luck.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Karl Liebl said:

Are you trying to tell me that in say 1977 bags and boards were not commonplace?

They weren't from my experience.  Sure, they were available from Robert Bell even a decade earlier, but they weren't widely used by collectors, and at that time most dealers at conventions offered their material without backing boards.  Even bags were uncommon in the early '70s.  Having begun collecting in 1972, shopping at several back issue comic stores, and attending the New York Comic Con twice just prior to 1977, that's personal observation.  Shadroch offers independent confirmation in his post above, and photos of dealer rooms from the early to mid 1970s conventions do too.

My collection of 3000 books bought off the rack and hundreds more acquired at conventions and through the mail (thanks to The Buyer's Guide For Comic Fandom) weren't bagged until around 1982 and weren't boarded until the late-1980s.

You mentioned that mylar was in use back then, but mylar comic bags weren't even brought to market until 1979 according to E.Gerber's website, and of course took a number of years thereafter to become commonplace.

 

 

Edited by namisgr

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