Connoisseurs

How is June here already? I have plans to leave my warehouse by the end of this year. When I made the decision back in December, I imagined I’d have about 40% of the warehouse dispositioned, moved, sold or even tossed out by now but I swear to you there is more stuff in there now than there was in December. I’m obviously doing something wrong. Warehousing hundreds of thousands of comics is very, very labor intensive but it’s not just grunt work: the labor has to have that immersive hobby talent that allows one to rifle through a box in several minutes dispositioning into price piles by quick eye and split-second decision making. The piles don’t have to be perfectly right, letting a $50 book into the $10 pile is not a big deal as long as it doesn’t happen often, the alternative would be to stop every time you’re unsure and check prices online but that brings dispositioning volume down drastically. Again, having the right eye go through these boxes is the key and again, accidentally sprinkling in some steals just adds to the draw of the bins you are creating. I think the key will be finding the sales avenue for the bulk comics, I’m talking 10 to 25 long boxes at a time. I think the buyers will be there, it’s getting the boxes ready, that’s the issue! The struggle continues, I’ll try to update my progress as July approaches.

My old comic pal Ron Hobbs dropped by the warehouse last week to hand in some books he needed sent in to CGC. Ron is one of the truest comic connoisseurs I know, he has that eye for the good stuff and almost always attains it years before you and I realize what’s even happening. Unfortunately for me Ron has a bit of a mean streak in him, case in point his bringing down, ‘to show me’, this to-die-for copy of Cinderella Love #29, by far my favourite Matt Baker cover. I tried every trick in the book, well maybe not every trick, but all the tricks rooted in masculinity and honour, but to no avail. Seriously, I did not want this book to leave and I tried lining up some crazy trades, but as I said Ron has that rare eye. I’m glad he brought it down though, it’s always good to see how the other half live. Ron did allow me to use this gem as my cover of the week. Perhaps you all can help me exact my revenge on Ron by finding me a nice tight, crisp copy…

Our ad of the week comes from the inside cover of Orb Magazine #1. All you old-timers in the Toronto area remember Bakka Books on Queen Street. Bakka was one of the earliest places in Canada to offer back issue comics, I’d love to hear a few stories down in the comments field of some stuff some of you bought from Bakka back in the day.

It’s been a while since a nice little pile of comics walked into the shop. These came in last week for pressing. It’s funny how age plays into the hobby, I, being an old veteran, was able to identify these as desirable books but easily kept my calm in their presence. My pal Sammy, about a solar cycle younger than me was as giddy as a schoolgirl when he saw these. Sammy wanted all of these, especially those two copies of Batman Adventure #12. Me, I’ll save my giddiness for when those pre–Batman Detectives walk in!

Last night our eBay Canadiana Auction closed with some truly amazing results. There were so many we were watching, one of which was this copy of Dime Comics #1, it’s a big Canadian Whites key issue and it sold for a respectable $3,162.00 USD. We’re already planning for out next Canadiana auction, worst case it will be next Spring but if consignment submissions are healthy enough, we’ll set another one up in the fall. Thanks to all the bidders!

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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Spider
Spider
10 months ago

Looking at those Bronze age books was fun, yeah, own most of them and have bought,sold & upgraded mine…good tradable stock of some fine moments.

One that threw me….Master of Kung-Fu #19, what’s driving that one Walt? I was offered a high grade copy recently, turned it down…

Spider
Spider
10 months ago

ah, experts Mel and Live Frog have steered me straight, Fear #19…it’s because I’d been looking at a blue background with Man-Thing on the front of Master of Kung-Fu #19 yesterday…that’s how I got confused.

I have very little Shang-Chi experience, but I get this strange feeling that it’s just a matter of time before my boxes start to swell with it…Mike Zeck, Paul Gulacy, Doug Moench, Jim Starlin….it’s calling out to me. I read #30 with Shang-chi taking on a more espionage-like role (instead of just walking around, stumbling into trouble) and I really enjoyed it, the art was stunning…so I’ve bought #31 and a few Zeck issues (with Doom!)…it all seems like very value centric reading for comic fans, great art, fun stories, not worth very much money! Perfect!!!!

Speaking of Gulacy: the wise elders have spoken: Bat Man #393/#394 can now be added to the imaginary column ‘Classic Reads: done dirt cheap’ where bargain priced, high value comics are discussed – these Gulacy books represent some fantastic art, highly collectable run and most importantly for any Bat Man book – MRL: Minimal Robin Levels – my theory that the less Robin a Bat Man issue has in it, the better the book.

Chris Meli
Chris Meli
10 months ago

Good luck with your revenge copy of that book. If I find a “nice, tight, crisp copy” at a good price, I will be sure to not tell you about it.

That set of books for pressing is sweet. I don’t have any trouble keeping my cool, but I do have trouble not looking for the hidden catch (like in Baltimore last year). TWO copies of Batman Adventures #12? I get suspicious maybe too quickly…

Has anyone done a modern team-up of Rex Baxter and Rex Dexter? And maybe Rex the Wonder Dog?

Disagree with Spider on Gulacy. I remember when he was all the rage in the seventies. His use of blacks was distinctive, but his figure poses were awkward.

Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
10 months ago

That Cinderella Love is great! I see the Whiz 6 went for a nice some on ICE and worth every penny. I had it on my radar but it got a bit too pricey for my budget and I shouldn’t be buying anyway.

ron hobbs
ron hobbs
10 months ago

That Cinderella Love is quite sweet. The owner is a shrewd man. Baker is king no matter where you look.