- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Comics & Graphic Novels
How To Find Your Missing Comic Book Issues
For comic book collectors there is always a title that we are drawn to. We start reading it and then have to collect the rest of the series. Sometimes it is an older title that may not be as available to collect as others. Sure there are trade paperbacks coming out all the time but a trade is not the same as the original issue. Comic books used to be printed on actual paper not the glossy print that is used today. If you find a title from the early nineties or earlier they will be printed on paper and you might have to search pretty hard to find them and keep that nostalgic feeling. In the following paragraphs I will give you some ideas on where you can find these books.
The first place you are going to probably look is a comic book store. That is the most reasonable place to start your search. Some comic book stores have large amounts of back issues (previous issues) that can help fill your collection. Some comic book stores though especially new ones may not have back issues available and only focus on new comics and trade paperbacks. If this is the case where you live then you are going to have to search a bit harder in other places.
Your next stop can be video game/music stores that are getting into the comic book scene. Some of them have back issues usually around $2.50 or so with deals when you buy more than two. I have had some good luck finding what I was looking for at these stores. A lot of times they even have sales with “buy one get one free.” The number of boxes and space that they have though is limited though so again they may not have what you are looking for. There are still some other places you can look so don’t panic.
Flea Markets believe it or not are a great place to find comic books that you cannot find anywhere else. A lot of times some of the vendors used to own a comic book store and are just trying to get rid of their leftovers. It is bad they closed down but a good deal for you because their comics are now marked usually at .50 cents. I have had a bit of luck finding missing issues at a flea market I used to sell at and they are still in great condition. They might have multiple copies of a lot of comic books but you just have to dig and not give up. I once found a comic for fifty cents that I had seen somewhere else marked for $10.00.
Another great point about flea markets is that most of the people with comics will sell them three or four for $1.00. If you happen to come across a booth with multiple issues of a comic you want this is a good money saver. Some vendors will have comics that are really beat up and you might think of passing them by but take a moment to see what they have. Other vendors with comics may just be parents getting rid of their child’s old stuff. This is great for you because you can haggle with them and may come out of the market with more than you expected.
Antique shops are another great place to keep an eye out for comics. A lot of them sell items on consignment or just rent out booths for people to sell their items. If you go to an “Antique Mall” you may or may not find the best deal for single issues. It all depends on how much that vendor has to pay for rent. They need to make a profit on their items so they can come out on top at the end of the month so their prices may be a little high.
An antique shop that is owned by one person on the other hand can be a great place to find your comics. They may be a little rough around the edges but if you are not looking to re-sell them and just want to fill your missing issue gaps then this will work out well. Unless you are looking for Action Comics #1 you should be able to come out with a decent price on your books. Some owners I’ve met just want to get rid of their pile of comics so they usually sell them at a low price. When you have a house sized antique store there is only so much stuff you can fit in there.
The comic cons are a really good place to find your missing issues. Remember that these vendors are comic book store owners though and have their supplies priced at what they are worth. There will be some vendors with .50 cent or $1.00 boxes but don’t count on finding too many of them. There are hundreds of vendors at the comic con so you should be able to find whatever you are looking for. The only drawback is that the comic con is only once a year, actually there are multiple ones throughout the year but they will require a bit of travel if you want to go to all of them.
I hope this hub has given you some new ideas on ways to fill the gaps in your collection. I have been a comic book reader for eighteen years and I love reading the older comics. The smell of the paper is great just like when you walk into a bookstore. It brings back a lot of nostalgia and reading the letter pages is always fun. Dennis O’Neil always had a recommended reading in the letter pages of The Question comic book. It is little things like that you won’t find in a trade paperback collection. I hope you have enjoyed this post and you find the missing issues for your collection.