How do we separate the collector from the businessman? Is it even possible?

I know I struggle with it all the time. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. There is something magical about holding a 50 year old raw comic book in your hands and flipping through the pages as if it just came off of the spinner rack! The scent of the acid and ink as you slowly, delicately turn the pages, and feel that, yes feel, the slight breeze as the air moves while you delicately turn the page.

So how do we make wise decisions as collectors and as businessmen or women? I really don’t have a magical answer to that question. I have both bought and sold books, and afterward wondered why I did either, but invariably a lot of it comes down to money. Moulaaah, cash flow! Even if I have a great copy of an issue, when I see one that is a little bit nicer I can justify buying it with no problem whatsoever.

classiccapfanI have kicked myself in the butt on numerous occasions afterward and I suppose that really is a sign that the collector is either becoming a businessman, or the businessman is kidding himself and is really more of a collector.

Bottom line, I am trying to find a balance. A good rule of thumb has been don’t move out a key issue until you have a line on a higher grade or better looking copy. Or you need the cash flow to purchase something else with a higher return value so that you earn the cash to be able to upgrade.

Just imagine if money was no object! Would the hunt, the chase, still be as fun? Or would the financial where with all diminish the successful score?

I think it would be a great problem to have to experience! I know that in my collecting persona I am really enjoying finding some runs that I never experienced when they originally came out for one reason or another. They are not only reasonably priced as a rule but can be like finding hidden gems by creative teams that are no longer with us.

I personally find myself doing this on an ever-increasing basis. The Jack Kirby Fourth World books, Frank Miller’s Sin City, John Byrne’s Wonder Woman and The Demon runs, just to name a few.

So I think the question I started this column with has to be answered by each one of us, as it pertains to each one of us.

I don’t have the answer. But I do know that the best advice when it comes to what to buy is “buy what you like , and you never will be disappointed”.

Sometimes financially you win, and sometimes you lose, but hopefully we learn something every time out.

Happy Collecting!