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Do You Have A Plan For Your Comics Collection When You Die?

It was something that Heidi MacDonald wrote about that brought about a change. The idea of being buried with – or by – your comics collection. Over the years I have taken steps to consider the impact on my loved ones of having a large amount of, basically, paper that might have an appeal to others, will have. Indeed, I just had a bit of a sort through what had built up since the last time I underwent a purge. And was reminded of the necessity of such, from Chuck Rozanski, writing on his Mile High Comics newsletter today. He writes;

Yesterday, I (once again) let my desire to be of help to others overrule my common sense. The story is a familiar one: I am a comic book retailer of 51 years experience who frequently gets called upon to buy a collection of comics and graphic novels, but then finds himself instead immersed in a collection that consists primarily of vast quantities of toys, sports memorabilia, and nostalgia items that are (at best) tangential to our core business. Sigh… While it is absolutely true that the comics that were offered as a part of this single-owner collection were excellent (tomorrow and Friday's Premium New-In-Stock should both contain enough high-grade Silver Age comics to knock your socks off…), but in all honesty, the last thing that I needed yesterday (just eight days before my scheduled double cataract surgery), was to have to drop everything else that I was planning to do in order to arrange the logistics for today of moving a vast quantity of toys and other stuff. So why did I buy everything in this immense collection, instead of just the comic books? Because the lady selling the collection has become so infirm that she can no longer lift anything, or even navigate stairs. That makes her basement filled with vast numbers of boxes filled with comics and collectibles highly problematic. Her husband (a lifelong Mile High Comics client) is currently hospitalized, and has debilitating health issues that now preclude his helping in any way. Before his latest illness, he was trying to liquidate (in some measure) by selling portions of his amazing collection directly to individual collectors. At this point, however, that is simply no longer possible. Finally selling off the entirety of what remains of his lifetime collectibles hoard has now become simply unavoidable. Where I fill a critical role in resolving such a dilemma is in our ability to integrate darn near anything/everything related to comics and/or pop culture into our vast Jason St. Mega-Store. As a case in point, we may not currently have any showcases in Jason St. devoted to limited edition Barbie dolls, but I am confident that Pam will utilize her brilliant design abilities to figure out a way to get his 100+ Barbie figures visible to our Mega-Store clients. At the same time, Lisa will find a way to display his 500+ character-themed Beanie Babies. The hundreds of GI Joe figures he accumulated will be easier for us to display, as there are already at least a couple of our huge showcases entirely devoted to that genre. The 500+ Hallmark Christmas ornaments are a thornier problem, but some way, somehow, we will figure out a way to have them available for our holiday shoppers. Don't even ask me about all the sports memorabilia, as I haven't a clue. The point that is most cogent here is that I refuse to abandon our lifelong comics and/or pop culture fans who are in distress. I may not be entirely thrilled in making an offer for the entirety of a half-century accumulation of vastly differing collectibles, but I also am quite aware that (for most sellers) bringing in half a dozen (or more) specialists to buy vastly different genres of collectibles is simply not a viable option. So, I go ahead and buy the whole darn accumulation, and then leave it to Pam, Lisa, Mike, and Dave to try to figure out how to somehow recover our sunk cost. Blessedly, they usually succeed.

Now, this kind of thing is obviously more of an issue in the USA, with major healthcare issues, but wherever you are, having a collection is a wonderful thing. Having a plan for when you are no longer around, or incapable of lifting a longbox, is important too. And hey, there's always Chuck…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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