How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Sell My Comics Collection


Louis Falcetti writes;

Would you like to know one of the most important lessons I've learned about the world at large? No one who should pay attention, does. I learned this the first time I went to the San Diego Comic Con in 2010. In preparation for the event I ordered an Unofficial Survival Guide which helped a great deal. It told me all about how to pack, how to dress, how to behave when doing a Q&A and a million other little things I would never have thought of. I thought that everyone did this. Everyone does not. At Comic Con I saw countless upon countless people violating every rule, taboo and advisement from body odors to trying to get an autograph during a Q&A. What does this have to do with selling my comic collection on eBay? No one pays attention to anything there either.

"What is the condition for Uncanny #266?" the question from the buyer reads, oblivious to the write up I gave and the attached photos.

Or the most common reoccurring facepalming message, "I know it says you don't do international shipping, but will you ship to X" where X is always international.

To tell you the truth, I do international shipping, despite my adamant denial of that service in my auctions. Whenever I get one of these pleas for understanding from overseas, 9 out of 10 times I buckle and go ahead. I mean, come on, I'm Italian, some guy in Italy wants to own We3, I'm going to deny him? And be haunted by my grandparents because of it? (Italian superstition is very clear about the consequences of denying comic sales to paisans in other lands)

Oh! I'm selling my comic collection, did I mention that? 20+ years of comics have been steadily departing my apartment over the last 6 weeks. I lost my job at the beginning of the month and have since spent between 6-8 hours a day photographing, listing, packing and shipping my 20+ long boxes. I'm going to include a link to my seller's page on ebay if you're in the mood for a full set of something at a very reasonable (i.e. unemployed) price.

One thing you realize right away when putting something that you've spent years slaving away on is that there really isn't going to be a "Oh I could never sell that" pile. I sold my entire Astro City collection for $60, full volumes one and two! Even the 3d special, the dark ages, the flip book and every one shot! If I could part with that impossibly perfect piece of comic book history I can part with anything. Well not anything, I'm trying to keep from selling my complete runs of Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. Trying to at least, but after I sold my complete Hellblazer run I realized all bets were off.

I got started doing this eBay comic selling during the insane Walking Dead comic book insanity of two years ago. My those were glory days, right around the time the title was approaching issue 100, the TV show was in it's infancy and if you had early Walking Dead issues you could name your price. I had had the insane luck to find a copy of TWD #1 in a bargain bin, first printing. After that I had from #5 on and selling those books was my first ever taste of unadulterated capitalism. "So this is what it feels like to make money" I remember thinking at the time.

Since then I've had luck in expected places (Batman, X-men), no luck in unexpected places (No one wants to buy Elektra:Assassin first printing full series for $10.00??), no luck in expected places (No one wants to buy non Morrison (Vertigo) Animal Man comics. Jamie Delano has a tough time on the resale market in general, which is fine with me because I'm a lot happier with my copies of Ghostdancing and Outlaw Territory than I would be with the pittance I'd probably have to let them go at) and last of all, luck in unexpected places (To this day I'm stunned that someone wanted to buy my JLA/The 99 set).

It's freeing in a way, making money on recent books feels liberating, rather than dirty, after all my Revival and Manhattan Projects comics meant a lot to me, this isn't an example of crass market speculation, it's survival. I needed to get rid of this beast of a collection anyways. No one should be carrying around 8,000+ comic books if they've still yet to receive a Bachelor's Degree and continue to live in an endless stream of tiny apartments. At my worst I would have nightmares of the apocalypse happening and me freaking out because I couldn't figure out which one long box to grab.

I was a long, long, long time hold out, a believer that tradewaiting was a sin and that real fans bought floppies. I can't afford to feel like that anymore and that's ok. What I love about Fatale is still there in the trades, I don't have to sit on potential cash in hand at a time when I desperately need it. I've realized what I love about comics isn't just the endless acquisition of back issues (though God was that satisfying for so, so long) but it's the stories inside of them that keep me there. I can sell my entire run of Preacher (and will be doing so soon) and that doesn't diminish what that story means to me.

If you've got a little extra cash and a little extra room in your collection, take a look at my collection on eBay. I've been through a lot of titles already, but there's still 100+ sets up there, with re-listed sets getting marked down until their sold. Haven't you always wanted to own an incomplete collection of Peter Milligan's Egypt? No? Well good because I'm not selling it.

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About 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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