78 towers 7 boxes high x 3 wide

Welcome to 2021 everyone, though much of what the new year will bring is out of our control let’s remember that there’s also much that remains within our control. Our kindness, empathy, vigilance, positive attitude, hard work and perseverance will make 2021 a winning year, let’s get to work.

I’ve thought long and hard over the past couple of months as to what direction to take my weekly posts. A spark caught my attention as I was doing my Making A Splash posts last year, I got onto a vein where I’d put up splash pages from comics that I was listing on eBay that week. The idea was if I focused on those random books sitting in front of me there was a chance I’d be adding something new to the already vast archive of splash pages online. I wanted to transfer that sense of discovery into this year’s new posts.

I also want these posts to focus on comic book collecting, on assessing values, on spotting trends on solving problems that affect both the buyers and the sellers in the comic book marketplace. As much as you think you know there is always way more to learn and with that in mind I’ve decided to share a year-long project we’ve undertaken at Big B Comics and ICE.

In the fall we bought a warehouse worth of comics, actually two separate warehouses, almost 1,600 long boxes or about 400,000 comics. In November I had so many comic boxes strewn over so many little storage spaces, the Big B basement in Hamilton, my dad’s garage, the Big B basement in Niagara Falls, my garage, my buddy’s dad’s shed out behind his flooring business and my brother in law’s garage. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner but in December I leased a 3,000 square foot warehouse and over the course of three back-breaking weeks got all the boxes into this one centralized space. We’ll be spending the next year at least discovering what exactly is in there because I’ve only peeked into about 25% of the boxes, just enough to know that I wanted to buy the stuff.

Based on the boxes I’ve looked in I can safely say that almost all the books are from the mid-1970s to the late 2010s. The first challenge is to try to line the boxes up in some sort of order (luckily they were numbered boxes whose order seemed relatively intact). I think the next step will be to try to alphanumeric everything, even if this takes 6 weeks it will be our best bet to know what we have).

The idea is that I update weekly on how this battle goes, I’ll share the wins and I’ll share the losses, I’ll share the unique and rare finds and I’ll share the full long box of an issue that might be worth a dime. I honestly don’t know what I’ll find in here but I thought I’d chronicle my progress.

I won’t limit these posts to this warehouse purchase, I’ll also include any other pickups as the year goes on. Big B Comics is a really good back issue store, always has been, but collections are drying up, Covid has limited what people are bringing in, and it’s limited to where we can go to look at collections. Covid has also created a seller’s market with way more demand than supply. Let’s see how Big B Comics does in this new and challenging environment.

Next week I’ll post my first impressions as I’ve started to lift off a few lids today.

I’d also like to announce the return of our Comic Culture podcast which will be posted every Wednesday, Chris Owen and I will continue to explore the world of Comic Book Culture and we both hope you tune in and give it a try.

Also, in keeping with my focus on getting through this warehouse collection, I’ll also be adding sporadic Auction Highlights, I’ll focus on how our books, both graded and raw are doing on our eBay auctions.

Hopefully, this post can deliver content worth exploring, what I’m excited about is that I have no idea where this is going. And I’ll give myself a week to come up with a name, Time to Collect will be fine if I can’t find a more fitting one.

Starting to line them up by the old box number
I can see myself taking a nap on that bottom row