Vintage is Better: Shared My Opinion with Long Line of NY Comic-Con Ticket Buyers

Drew the Cover for My First Novel

That's Lord Kolius wielding a four-bladed axe.
That's Lord Kolius wielding a four-bladed axe.

The Line is Huge

So I was walking into my office in downtown Manhattan and there is a huge line wrapped around several buildings. Near the entrance to my building, I ask two young girls in Superman t-shirts what they are waiting on line for.

NY Comic-con tickets of course.

I have a large well-known comic book store near my office so the line is coming from there, two blocks away. That doesn't bother me at all. You see, while most of you readers who've read my blogs know me as a baseball card dealer, I also collected comic books for many years, worked for two comic book stores and have attended the NY Comic-Con and the Marvel Mega Tour several times in the early 1990's.

I also was part of the Small Press Comic world in the early 1980's when I was first getting into comics and I later learned how to draw heroes and such for my own comic books and Dungeons and Dragons adventures. And for those of you thinking ahead, YES, I played Magic: The Gathering for years as well (though I like old-school role-playing adventuring better).

So I have a long history of super nerd and geekdom for all things fanboy.

So what happened yesterday?

Mighty Thor 130: A Classic Book

Silver Age is the way to go for investors
Silver Age is the way to go for investors

Went to Another Comic Store

Lately, I have been asked by other collectibles dealers for Silver Age comic books and the other comic book store in my area has lots of them at good prices. So I've been slowly picking up 5-10 books every couple of days, knowing that most of it will be resold within the month. I've even decided to keep two of them because I remember having them when I was younger.

I've been picking up lots of different titles and as I'm not specifically looking for key books, I've been able to build up a nice collection without spending a great deal of money. However, in the end, we are talking about books from the late 1960's. This is classic vintage. I picked up the book shown at right, in a middle grade for $8.00.

Given the atmosphere around comic books lately, I have two choices, buy the new stuff, or buy the old stuff - I don't have enough money for both as new comics are nearly $4 a book. That's a lot of money for a brand new book.

So then the argument goes something like this: Do I spend $4 on the newest Spider-Man book or $8 on a 40-year old classic Thor book in decent shape that will only get harder to find. My decision is easy.

Amazing Fantasy 15

It was 12 cents in 1962 - value now close to $1 million in top graded condition
It was 12 cents in 1962 - value now close to $1 million in top graded condition

Walking Back to the Office

So I'm walking back to the office and passing two blocks worth of line as people continue to wait to buy tickets for the NY Comic-Con. Several of them see me walking by with a bag from the other store and called out to me asking what I bought. So I stopped to show them. Thor 130, Thor 151 for $7 and an early Superboy also for $7. All three books are worth about double what I paid for them. Several older collectors nodded their appreciation for my choices, several younger ones thought I should have bought the new Thor books featuring Thor as a woman (NOT a bad idea from a quick-turn-around sale perspective). It was an interesting conversation that got spurred between New and Classic comic book collecting that drew in many people on line.

Of course other people wanted to see the books I had purchased that spurred the debate. I have to admit that this was really cool. I have debates like this with baseball card collectors too. Do you buy Mike Trout or Mickey Mantle? Do you buy Silver Age Thor or New Thor?

In the end, there wasn't a right or wrong answer and these people, young and old, knew it. They just liked talking about comics and I loved it. That's what the Comic-Con is about. When I went in the early 90's I met many artists and writers and had an absolutely awesome time. Where else do you meet Bernie Wrightson, Tim Hildebrandt and Frank Miller? Where else can you find a comic book dealer who has 3 copies of Amazing Fantasy 15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man, one of the 3 most important books in comics and one of it's most expensive at well over $500,000 in top shape).

I hope all those people on line got the tickets they waited so long for (there was still a line at 5pm when I got on a bus to head home). It was a reminder of how things used to be for the younger version of me who was so into that world. I was really into Star Wars, Star Trek and Japanese anime too, but that's a story for a different time...

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