The thrill is gone.
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380 posts in this topic

I might be a little younger then some of you, 41 currently. I started collecting as a kid and my older brother got me into some great older stories. I amassed a humble but decent collection when I quit collecting in the 90's due to lack of quality in the industry. I lugged around 4 long boxes for about 2 decades, only to sell them all together about 2 years ago. I've dipped my toes back in a bit, carefully buying a few comics here. I definitely regret selling some of my books as I see what it would cost to replace them (Amazing Spiderman #15). I find it a fun hobby again! I've always collected for the nostalgia (I don't flip or look to buy books just to sell for a profit) and to display comic books as art. While the internet has made finding pretty much any comic relatively simple, its lost the charm and fun of finding books in person, or looking and searching for it with a bit of work/time commitment. I hope all of you guys a bit older then me can find someone to pass on your collections to who will appreciate them, or sell them and enjoy the remainders of your life and fruits of your labor!

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On 11/28/2020 at 12:10 PM, shadroch said:

I've been collecting comics since 1972 and they have been a major part of my life. I've owned two comic shops, managed a third, done countless shows and been buying and selling on the internet since the day after I got my first webtv.

Two years ago, I decided to move from Las Vegas to Bisbee ,with the intention of opening a shop that would have a large comic presence. I ran into a few roadblocks and then the virus came along setting me back further.  

I never dreamed I would be in a position of almost no money coming in for 18 months and I also realized I no longer really want to work. It's been six years since I worked more than an occasional part time gig and the thought of opening a shop and being there fulltime simply isn't appealing anymore.

Two weeks ago, I decided I would break into my " retirement vault" - my 100 books worth at least $1,000 each, and sell five of them. In 2016, circumstances forced me into the same situation and I really agonized over which two books to sell. It was like ripping a child out of my arms. 

This time it was different. Avengers 1 was my pride and joy, now I look at it and see $3,000. My Avengers 4- signed by Stan and Joe Simon-that one I will hold onto. Captain America Comics- I love the Schomburg covers, but I have an original painting and two lithos that are much nicer.  I'm still finding a few books I have an emotional tie to- Defenders 10, Captain America 3, the Legion Adventures, Judge Dredd 1, but increasingly I look at the rest and I just see dollar bills. Even when one lives alone, sixty plus comic boxes take up a lot of space.

I'm reminded of my friends Mom. Her husband worked for Con Ed and over the course of his career, managed to buy $250,000 worth of stock in the company. I'm sure he intended that to provide for his family, but when he died the mother refused to sell the stock. She insisted that her beloved husband scrimped and saved to buy them the stock and it would dishonor his memory if they were to sell them. He ended up leaving CW Post to go to a state school because they didn't have the money.

 

My son, whom I am not close with, and my nephews, who I am close to , have zero interest in my books. If I die, they would be a burden on my nephew to sell. In my will, I leave my books to a comic industry charity. but they can have what is left over. 

I also have underestimated what these book are going for.  A GS X-Men I bought on these boards for $300 sold for $920 even when it turned out to be restored , and another copy I bought from MCS for $410 just sold for $1400.  While I don't "need" the money, those two books just allowed me to buy a nice patio set. 

I've thought about selling out in the past, but I'm pretty sure this time I will go thru with it. 

I look at my two bookcases full of Omni's , Archives and Masterpeces and realize I will most likely never get around to reading them.  Time to pass them along to someone who will appreciate them. 

I think I will still bargain hunt when I can, but 99% of my collection no longer means much to me. 

Forgive my rant, I thought writing this might make me feel different but it didn't.

 

I’ve been losing interest in collecting across the board especially art. Takes up a lot of wall space. Constantly battling light (probably overly parnoid) but my fiancé always has to have the blinds open to the max. I’m also finding that the only collectors I actually enjoy talking to about any hobbies or life in general are from these boards. The people I’ve meet through FB add nothing to my collecting or life in general and most of them are just a literal waste of my time. I had one guy just see a few pictures of art that were posted on a couple of artists pages add me FB. It only took me about 2 weeks before I just blocked him.

With comics I have concerns about paper quality holding up and damage in the slab especially tears at the Staples. I can’t believe how much more pronounced tanning I am seeing on 60’s books compared to 12-15 years ago.

Trimming in the graded sports card community is out of control but prices remain insane. There has been shenanigans with graded Magic cards too. 

All these things just make it hard to keep my interest in actually collecting.

I’ve actually been more interested in stocks. Building a portfolio actually feels a lot like collecting. Don’t have to ship anything when you sell. You can collect dividends, which could be another reason your friend’s mom didn’t want to sell. $250,000 of Con Ed stock would pay out almost 10K a year in dividends currently. Not sure about what the payout was like at the time your friend was in college at that value.

Edited by Mephisto
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One other point I would like to make about the difference between collecting today and say 1960's 1970's 1980's is when you left and sold your books, there was no way you could really get that material again in any form. Today with the incredible  reprints, I can buy 3 Vols of Fantastic Four hardcover bigger in size, better in color and get FF 1-93 plus annuals of unpublished covers for around $300...(note they are reprinting Omb #2/3 in 2021). I agree with your beater copies nothing compares to the smell, feeling of holding that original book. But if they are slabbed you cannot read them anyway. So I can see how it is easier to disconnect from collecting today, rather having the actual physical copies you should STILL be considered a collector even if you just have the Big reprint books. But way back when, when you were out, you really out Today, if you come back you can still get the material that who sold back in a different format. I think it is a very interesting issue here..can you still be considered a true comic book collector with a collection of reprints...? any thoughts...                                                                                    

Edited by Mmehdy
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23 hours ago, Get Marwood & I said:

This might sound silly but I had the most superb collection of books and I sold the lot as I saw no way forward with them, having no outlet or friends to share them with and having completed the various collecting goals I'd set. Then I found this forum and realised I could have got so much pleasure sharing the stuff with the crowd here. Variants, misprints, inserts - a thread of enthusiasts to show off to for each and every damn book. I've always had lousy timing in my life. 

Perhaps we should hop in this car and correct ...

Deloreon.JPG

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24 minutes ago, shadroch said:

I still plan on opening my shop at some point, it just won't be focused on comics. In January, I plan on moving in and doing yard sales every weekend. 

To live in the building and have a business in it at the same time, I need to do certain improvements. I can live in it as long as it isn't open to the public, and I can do unlimited yard sales since it is a commercial property. If I can handle working two days and find someone to do two days, I'll be good.

For the first time in almost thirty years, I don't have a dog so I'm free to travel. I'm hoping to be able to do that this spring.

For the last twenty-five years or so, I've looked at comics as an investment, a nestegg for my retirement.  I'm six years into my retirement and while I've sold more than I bought the last few years, I still thought of being retired as somewhere down the road. 

I look around and it's obvious I'm suffering from stuffitis.  I like swords, but I don't need forty of them. I like old obsolete currency- silver certificates, national bank notes, brown and red seal notes, ect, ect, but in most cases I have dozens of them. I like old tin soldiers, but don't need hundreds of them. Yesterday I came across five Wolverine min-series slabs. Turns out I have four 9.8s and a 9.6.   I thought I had two 9.8s., so I could sell the three books, pocket $800+ and be where I thought I was to start with.  I have four long boxes of Legion books,almost all Adventures and Superboys. I also have a complete set of Legion archives and at least one Omnibus sized book.    Too much stuff.  I found a short box that was labeled Unbagged DCs.In it were 40 Crisis #1s, a dozen Perez Wonder Woman 1s, and about a hundred various issues of Watchmen, multiple copies of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold #1s. I'm guessing I put this away in the late 80s and somehow it never got opened. I have two long boxes of Tales of Suspense. I went thru them and picked the best copy of each issue, but that left me well over 300 books, mostly low to midgrade. Most of my SA books are in the 4.0-6.0 range with many being below that.  In the 90s, TOS was dollar box fodder and I'd buy whatever I saw. I should have been a bit more selective but even the worse of them has made a profit. 

It's not like I'm going to dump everything to a dealer for twenty cents on the dollar. The market is up right now and it seems like a good time to sell.  I'm just surprised I have lost my emotional attachments to the books. In the past, it hurt to sell a book. Now I ship boxes to MCS and get a thrill when they sell. 

Your situation is a bit different than mine.  I don’t have massive amounts of “newer” books and none in quantity. I probably have most of that stuff but single copies. This stuff means nothing to me. If it doesn’t fit in my house or garage, I don’t have it. I can’t imagine having storage units or buildings to store it in. 

I have always been “quality” over “quantity”. But in 50 years I have a lot more quality than I need. 

For instance, I probably have 15 boxes of pre and some post code horror books.  My favorite genre. If I didn’t have it, I bought it. I am probably a dozen books short of completing an Atlas run. I have gotton to the point where I question do I really need to spend the amount of money I would need to in order to just be “complete”? I don’t think so. So in many respects, I am done.

I really don’t want to sell them all off. Everybody wants the keys or classic covers they would sell in minutes or a phone call but what about the more run of the mill issues? Not that they aren’t very cool too but I don’t really want to just blow them out after spending so much effort in finding them. Many, I can’t imagine selling at all. I have left my family a complete inventory list and a few people I trust when they want it gone.

What about other genres? War, Crime, GGA, Superhero, Same story. 

I know, tough problem to have...

The “other stuff” is a lot more work. Everybody wants old gas and advertising signs and figures out here. Vintage space and character toys ect Problem is it is very hard to be sold online. 

March was to be the month I was going to ramp up doing live shows. 2 or 3 a month. I had organized boxes and sorted out a ton of stuff. Then, everything shut down. No idea when shows will be back. 

I’ve still got plenty of time (I hope) just lost my momentum. 

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23 minutes ago, Mephisto said:

I’ve been losing interest in collecting across the board especially art. Takes up a lot of wall space. Constantly battling light (probably overly parnoid) but my fiancé always has to have the blinds open to the max. I’m also finding that the only collectors I actually enjoy talking to about any hobbies or life in general are from these boards. The people I’ve meet through FB add nothing to my collecting or life in general and most of them are just a literal waste of my time. I had one guy just see a few pictures of art that were posted on a couple of artists pages add me FB. It only took me about 2 weeks before I just blocked him.

With comics I have concerns about paper quality holding up and damage in the slab especially tears at the Staples. I can’t believe how much more pronounced tanning I am seeing on 60’s books compared to 12-15 years ago.

Trimming in the graded sports card community is out of control but prices remain insane. There has been shenanigans with graded Magic cards too. 

All these things just make it hard to keep my interest in actually collecting.

I’ve actually been more interested in stocks. Building a portfolio actually feels a lot like collecting. Don’t have to ship anything when you sell. You can collect dividends, which could be another reason your friend’s mom didn’t want to sell. $250,000 of Con Ed stock would pay out almost 10K a year in dividends currently. Not sure about what the payout was like at the time your friend was in college at that value.

I know what you mean. What good is all this stuff if you can’t share it with other collectors? I respect dedicated collectors of almost anything. A friend who passed away this year had a museum quality collection of south sea islands primitive art. Masks, war clubs, paddles, knives, spears and art. Not my thing at all but going over to his place and seeing his passion was always inspiring to me. 

I have no worry of damage. I keep my comics in a cool, dry dark place. Stuff on the walls are protected from direct light. Three dimensional items are in display cases or on shelves and neat. My worst problem is dusting...:roflmao:

Money is boring. It is just simply a vehicle to obtain more stuff or to travel or for experiences. Money isn’t that hard to obtain if I want it. My needs are simple. I have set myself up so I don’t have to deal with it and live a happy life.  I’d much rather have another vintage electric guitar than a pile of cash or a stock certificate. 

But how many more do I really need? 

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28 minutes ago, Mmehdy said:

One other point I would like to make about the difference between collecting today and say 1960's 1970's 1980's is when you left and sold your books, there was no way you could really get that material again in any form. Today with the incredible  reprints, I can buy 3 Vols of Fantastic Four hardcover bigger in size, better in color and get FF 1-93 plus annuals of unpublished covers for around $300...(note they are reprinting Omb #2/3 in 2021). I agree with your beater copies nothing compares to the smell, feeling of holding that original book. But if they are slabbed you cannot read them anyway. So I can see how it is easier to disconnect from collecting today, rather having the actual physical copies you should STILL be considered a collector even if you just have the Big reprint books. But way back when, when you were out, you really out. I think it is a very interesting issue here..can you still be considered a true comic book collector with a collection of reprints...? any thoughts...                                                                                    

Reprints are OK I guess. They get the job done but kind of like sex with a condom. Just nothing like the real thing...

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I think the only thing now keeping me from selling now is the effort to sell and  the tax implications. Not sure if thats an issue with everyone else. I dont want to sell piece by piece. Want to take all 500 books and sell eventually but these are more expensive books. Could be quite a bit of money . My issue and maybe some others here. I purchase these things 20 plus years ago. I got no receipts for anything.  Will get stuck getting taxed at full sale price. ( I was an accountant in a previous life ). Its an issue for me . Maybe I just started separate thread on that for advice. But definitely an issue for me.

Edited by spidrvacc
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54 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

The balance I found, to keep comics in my life, was to replace the expensive - AF#15, ASM#1-20 etc - with the inexpensive and yet, as it turns out, equally satisfying Charlton 1960's pence copies. So I still get parcels, I'm still in the hunt, I still get the thrill, go to fairs and shops, trawl online and I still get to record, document, share and explore. And all I have is a thousand or so comics that won't mind too much if circumstances mean that they end their life in a skip. 

Sell that AF#15, buy a car, go on holiday or secure your families income. Then set a few pennies aside for Gorgo, Doctor Tom Brent, Cynthia Doyle, Black Fury.....

Although, I have always hated selling big books unless for a solid reason, real estate, college educations, or other life changing situations, I have done so with no regrets. I realized at the time that they would be gone forever but hey, I know I actually owned them for a while. 

Past few years, I have seen prices climb to a point that I really just can’t enjoy blowing so much money on something that in the long run, I could live happily without. 

I really never want to be out of the hunt either. The journey is so much better than the destination. So, I have just adjusted my expectations. Spending $20.-$100. on a book brings me a whole lot of fun and satisfaction. 

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1 minute ago, Monstro said:

I had very similar feelings about my comics 10 years ago, maybe a little longer. But I didn't sell anything, I just stacked the boxes in multiple closets and completely forgot about them. I did not look at them once. If I thought about them I couldn't imagine ever collecting again. About 3 months ago I decided I would finally sell them. Pulled them all out to begin putting together a detailed list of what I have. Next thing I knew I had fallen in love with them again. Haven't sold a single issue, instead I've added about 30 books to my collection. Good times.

Smart move. Sometimes you just need a little “vacation”...

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Back in 1998, I was serious to open the comic book store in Illinois but too many roadblocks were ahead of me.  My dad is very good with money and understood the business functionally and structurally. He has excellent business credits and was ready to support me.

Only two main things prevented the privilege of opening the business were the office space rental for 2400 sq feet and Diamond Comic Distribution subscription.  The space rental was about $1800 per month and DCD's minimum requirement was $250 per month. We were kind of too late to run the comic book store. The best time to start the business was 1986. I am 12 years too late.  Too many greedy banks keep increasing the rental fees every year.  Now, that same office space rental was increased to $3400 a month and is still vacant. DCD is still screwing up the businesses. I would see why so many comic book stores were out of the business and have seen many vacant office spaces out there.

The greedy took the thrill out of us.  I am happy that I didn't open the business but I missed the thrills in 1980's.

Edited by JollyComics
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