Mine Smells Like Roses

Last week Spider and I were texting a few things back and forth to each other and the end result was this business venture that we think will be a surefire hit. We’ve developed a POOP index, that is a Probability Of Over Paying index and we think there will be great demand for the service. So you want to buy a comic, maybe an Amazing Spider-Man #101 or perhaps a Batman Killing Joke, you send us the info such as the grade and price and for a small fee we’ll send you back a POOP index reading for your potential buy. Our POOP index will either persuade you to follow through with the buy or it will dissuade you, whichever way you choose you still have to pay us! I’m thinking rather than an index based on a 1 to 10 rating system we go with a smell guage, so if we designate the potential deal you sent us details on a Rose then you know we think its a buy, if our verdict is a Pepe then you know to stay away, we’ll have to come up with a few other designations to fill in the spectrum that lies between Roses and Pepes. Our only disclaimer when you decide to use our service is that we will be wrong more than we will be right so caveat emptor.

A service like the one descriped above is actually not a bad idea, considering the volatility in comic values, I think market analysis is needed when buying expensive comics these days. Reading the tea leaves has never been more important. You don’t just look at the activity of that particular book in that particular grade, you look at what the grades above and below have been doing, you look at the issues above and below wherever you can find similar type books, you look at other similar keys if it is a key issue you are after, you look at census activity, have there been a bunch coming into the census lately, you look at what the book was averaging in 2020 before the pandemic started inflating values, you look at economic indicators in the “real” world, and you look at a bunch of other factors and well. To make a good and informed decision on an expensive comic today you have to put on your Warren Buffet hat, or skip all that hard work and send some money to me and Spider!

I cannot escape the weekly comic books destined for our eBay auctions stack but truth be told I don’t want escape, these piles hold treasures at every turn and the potential for new discoveries keep me at full attention. As soon as I saw the Joe Kubert cover to Weird War Tales #39 I knew it was my cover of the week, the book it made me think of right away was the classic cover to Blue Bolt #114 with that iconic L.B. Cole monster cover. I actually had a CGC 5.0 copy of that Blue Bolt #114 a few years back but sold it, my stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

I found another bound Jack Kirby edition, this ne was for Boys Ranch. Leafing through these is loads of fun, Kirby was very creative in the 1950s and in each issue of Boys Ranch he took the time to give us a two page spread like the one below, apologies, I forot to not which issue this was from, you can get lost in these books, truly amazing stuff from the great Jack Kirby.

The ad of the week comes from the back cover of Warren Magazine’s Eerie #8, the front cover features one of Frank Frazetta’s classic covers while the back cover is flogging 8mm Home Movies. I’ve never noted ads for 8mm home movies before but I’d imagine these were directed at young adults that worked and at perhaps rich kids, who had an 8mm film projector at home and if you did where did you go find 8mm film to watch? Was there a Blockbuster type of place that had a selection? Perhaps record shops had a selection? I bet you there were mini conventions for this material in larger cities, obviously ads in periodicals got to some buyers. The quality was probably crap but I can see how the allure of ordering this must have been strong.

Our weekly ice collectible eBay auction ended last night with a good mix of cards, toys and comics, we’re starting to throw in more toys and cards as we move towards widening our auctions into full pop culture collectibles auctions. The main focus remains comics though and last night I thought our Marvel Spotlight #11 graded CGC 9.6 went a little light at $227.50 USD, I though the Mark Jewelers insert woulf push this copy closer to $300 so I’m calling this an definite Advantage Buyer.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1688

29 Comments

  1. Your POOP index is right in line with umpteen other advisory services. Send me this sign up info so I can place it in the really unique but beautiful illuminated showcase holder.

    I cannot get enough of DC Kubert covers and that one is just killer! These Kubert cover books are at the top of the undervalued list. I am still able to pick up really nice copies from this period for a couple of bucks, and I do at every opportunity.

    I was not a rich kid and we had an 8mm camera, so we had an 8mm projector. These movies you could buy were three-minute silent films. I finally pestered my parents into buying a few of these: Frankenstein vs. The Martians, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, The Little Rascals in the Haunted House. BW and totally underwhelming.

  2. The first time i ever saw and 8mm film I was probably 12, a friend had an older brother who was kind enough to show all us kids an xxx movie. Like Meli, I too pestered my parents to buy an 8mm projector after that “viewing” but to no avail 🙁

  3. Oh, thank Gord! When I read that headline I thought you were going to be talking about farts!!! But it just turned out to be POOP. Much better…I guess.

  4. Mel… your always focusing on the end… or is it rear-end if things! I had to look up the Blue Bolt … the Kubert is reminiscent of the LB Cole… and like both! That made me list a few pre-code horror along with my Marvels. I looked at past sales and then what others were asking and listed them as in between as Buy it Now along with my other auctions. Hey Meli… you were right again about Marvel readers… I keep coming across ads that can help you get your High School Diploma in the early issues! Maybe Marvel was secretly indoctrinating future DC readers in order to subvert the rival…

  5. While the illustration of Weird War Tales is by a favourite of mine, Joe Kubert, and other illustration style artists I have never heard of this title. It seems to be the down side of WW 11 comics and once excellent in their day.

    Now in my 80th year and a bit of a comics historian I have never ever seen any attention paid to comics about the Korean war. I remember them as a kid and being confused by the red star on both the new MiGs and the F – 86 Sabres.

    But where are the comics I read ?

    You guys seem to be concentrated on money not history but it does seem that a deep knowledge of history is amongst you.

    So I ask you where are the Korean War Comics ?

    Canada fought pretty hard in that war.

    M.

  6. Sounds like a great business plan…for me to poop on.
    If it is successful I would recommend to secure ComicPoopdaily.com URL before one of us ‘DAILY reader’s do

  7. I will gladly pay you for POOP- as long as you successfully integrate it onto ebay, Heritage Auctions & all the various other online auctions that dominate our hobby. A typical bid page should list the current Overstreet value of the item, it’s current bid and the POOP rating. Make it happen and I will subscribe !! It will be a game changer !

    Meli’s comment has inspired me!- why does CGC not make holders that have little lights inside them?? Wouldn’t you like to flick on a switch & bathe your lovely, slabbed book in a soft, relaxing glow??? This would be very useful when viewing your graded, slabbed book collection in a dark basement [ like my basement!]. Make it happen !!!

    CGC holders should also come with braille descriptions of their contents embossed or engraved onto their surface so visually impaired collectors can enjoy comic book investing too ! Why should they have any money ?? We should allow them overpay for comic books as well !!!

    Don’t get me started about 8mm film !!! I love collecting film & still cry myself to sleep with an old copy of THE BIG REEL magazine under my pillow !!!
    I have three 16mm projectors, two 8mm & two super 8 and most of them still work [ although could use some refreshment].
    There is a magic to collecting film and it can become very addictive ! Yes, the quality of the image can vary but most commercially issued stuff was not bad to excellent upon issue- most degradation happens from poor handling or storage by collectors, not from any fault of the manufacturer [although some film stock can age very poorly]. Video quality was as good or better than most VHS tapes- if it was crap, nobody would have bought the product. There were both sound and silent films available to the public, with sound appearing from the 1960’s on.
    I do not care to collect fragments of films, but will search out complete examples of the subjects that I like. I love various comedies [ anything from Laurel & Hardy to the Three Stooges ] & various cartoons [ Tex Avery, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny etc] & am happy to report that most are available quite cheaply, the market not being polluted by big money in the manner of our comic book market! Some of these short subjects have rarely or never made it into DVD format & fantastic discoveries can be made. I recently picked up a Super 8 copy of a very rare comedy called ‘A Pair of Tights’ from 1929, featuring Anita Garvin [ better known for her Laurel & Hardy appearances ] & Marion ‘Peanuts’ Byron [better known for movies like ‘Hips,Hips, Hooray’ with Wheeler & Woolsey]. This was a commercially issued print by ‘Blackhawk Films’ & cost me $30.00. It is the only copy that I have seen, although I am sure that Blackhawk must have issued a few hundred or maybe even a couple thousand [?] copies in their day. This film can be viewed on youtube or Archive.org for free, thus you may ask why would I want to pay for such a thing? Well, I ask you in turn – why would you pay for a Hulk #181 when a cheaper reprint is available ??? Why would you pay for a Golden Age comic when you can read many of them for free on the ‘Digital Comics Museum’?? Answer, anyone ??

    My experiences in buying film are strictly by mail order [ back in the 1980’s] or via the internet. I have never been to a show or convention that promotes this kind of material. I am sure such conventions existed, but were probably tied into Hollywood memorabilia collecting rather than a stand alone interest.

    I wonder when CGC will start slabbing film reels?? We live in a collecting society that values things that are encased- Comics, magazines, VHS tapes, Nintendo game cartridges, action figures & toys, various sports & non-sports cards, stamps & coins. Can film be far behind ??? What is this fetish with encasing stuff ?? Is this some kind of mental disorder ?? Is this a form of bondage ?? What does this activity tell you about our society ?? What will aliens think when they land here in the future & find all of our valuable stuff encased in plastic???

    And now, my friends- I will retire for the evening with some Old Time Radio. Should I listen to yet another exploit of ‘The Shadow’, or maybe I should continue with Carlton Morse’s ‘The City of the Dead’ serial? Never mind- it will be ‘Dimension X’ with ‘The Martian Death March’- I haven’t heard this one for a while! Night, night!

    PS- Mel- Farting is very good for you! It is quite liberating !! I find that some kinds of blue cheese make me fart like a goat- it is quite refreshing!! Bye now.

  8. Wayne- the vast majority of Korean War comics are on ebay or various other auction platforms, such as Heritage Auctions. True war comics began during the Korean War because WW2 was fought primarily by superheroes such as Captain America or The Sub-Mariner. Yes, there were some WW2 war comics such as FIGHT Comics, RANGERS Comics & WINGS Comics [ all Fiction House eh?, but there were some others ] but the field really took off during the Korean War & the material can get quite brutal. Marvel/Atlas must have produced about thirty war titles alone with War Comics & Battle being the best known. Sadly, these things are no longer cheap and are following in the footsteps of horror comics & getting very expensive. You can get some nice reprints though, such as all the EC Frontline Combat & Two Fisted Tales comics, plus there are some nice compilations of Marvel/Atlas or DC war stories out there as well. I recently got a compilation called ATLAS AT WAR [ edited by Michael J. Vassallo] from my LCS. I am looking at my copy right now- it is a smorgasbord of material, featuring work by Severin, Kirby, Powell, Krigstein, Ditko, Davis, Drucker & many others. You should ask Walter to get you a copy as Diamond may still have it in stock. Failing this, you can go on DIGITAL COMICS MUSEUM & read a ton of non-Marvel or DC material totally FREE!!!

    I am stunned that you have never heard of WEIRD WAR TALES !!! Can it be possible for an 80 year old collector to have not heard of this title ???Apparently, Yes!!
    However, this is mostly a ‘weird’ book, horror stories built up around a war theme. Not really a war comics. Lots of fun, though !!

  9. Weird War Tales?? Pfft! Live, I am also an OTR afficinado… and listen every day to a few hours… or 30’s-40’s music if my wife isn’t around! Talk about war comics… just as I am liquidating most if my collection I just got interested in G.I. Joe by Ziff Davis from the 50’s with the Saunders and DeSoto painted covers… cheap great and available… why can’t I stop collecting…….

  10. Thank you Live Frog. Very helpful.

    To your surprise I am no longer a collector of comics in the traditional sense but my research goes on in some of the outer edges of comics/self-taught art etc.

    With all of the fears around AI, robots, privacy and the like has anyone written about Magnus Robot Fighter in 4000 BC ?.

    One would expect use of images as illustrations in opinion pieces here and there. The early material had lovely clean images and good text.

    Thanks again Live Frog.

    m.

  11. Hi Walt – Growing up in the late sixties-early seventies, I would see short one reel 8mm (and later super 8) films for sale at the camera stores my father would frequent. There was a large camera store on Guelph Line in Burlington and they had shelves of them behind the counter where we’d drop off film for developing (remember that?). There was one on dinosaurs and based on the box’s painting, I had to have it and begged my father to buy it every time we went in. He never gave in, so I have no idea what was on it. Stop motion puppets? Men in rubber suits? Iguanas with added horns? I’m sure I was spared some serious disappointment by his steely resolve.

  12. Gerald- once you start collecting, you will never stop! It is an addiction! I waste too much time collecting & far too little time enjoying what I have! The internet makes it too easy to buy stuff…if it isn’t comics or pulps, it is stamps or militaria….or movie memorabilia…..8mm film reels…strewth !!! I can’t stop !!!

    The Ziff-Davis Comics [ & pulps ] are always fun. I like their GI Joe, but have to say that I enjoy Harvey Kurtzman’s parody of it in Mad #10 even more !

    Wayne- War Comics are a fascinating field & demand more discussion. Collectors have certainly picked up on War comics lately and are beginning to drive prices into the stratosphere. I am not aware of any discussion groups/blogs strictly devoted to war comics [ & none on War pulps at all ] but Dr. Michael J. Vassallo’s blog covers Marvel/Atlas history very well & much information can be found therein if you take the time to look. Note the ad for his ATLAS AT WAR compilation in the link that I include below. It is very good and worth the money.

    http://timely-atlas-comics.blogspot.com/

    It appears to me that Korean war comics were far more brutal than their WW2 predecessors. Golden Age collectors can pick out specific issues of WW2 comics that depict a beheading or hanging scene, but with Korean war comics, it seems that every other issue has a scene or scenes of graphic violence! Marvel/Atlas, Harvey & Magazine Enterprises seem to lead the way with hordes of little ‘commie’ soldiers being bayoneted, machine gunned, clubbed, burned or blown to bits in clinical detail !! The DC & Fawcett comics pale in comparison & GI Joe [Ziff-Davis] is pure slapstick with the blonde haired American superman using his rifle as a club to send little yellow men flying in all directions. It looks like we hated the commies more than we hated the axis, as our WW2 comics rarely showed nazi or japanese soldiers being butchered so frequently in so many different ways!! Correct me if I’m wrong. It could be because many of the artists who drew the WW2 comics had not seen actual war, but by the time the Korean War erupted, some of these guys were veterans & drew upon their experiences. The guys who came back from WW2 were changed men & our pop culture changed with them. Entertainment became more brutal- just look at some of the movies & publications that appeared after the war- compare it to the stuff that was produced in the 1920’s & 1930’s- there is a marked difference in tone! The 1920’s & 1930’s stuff was produced by guys who came back from WW1, but they were happy to be alive & the pop culture shows it ! The guys who came back from WW2 were affected differently- they had served for five bloody years of war & had liberated some of the concentration camps, They had seen depravity & they were devastated. No more fun & games for them.

    I am not mentioning EC’s Frontline Combat or Two-Fisted Tales for a reason. They are not merely war comics. They are graphic literature. They are on a different level.

    Articles on various war comics, artists & writers have appeared in various magazines over the years & occasionally show up in a blog or two. You have to look, but this is true with any field- just try to find a discussion, in print or online ANYWHERE, on Love or Western comics !!! Material is out there, but has to be unearthed akin to an archeological dig! There should be a database out there, listing all known prozines & fanzines with a list of contents of each issue, kinda like what GALACTIC CENTRAL has accomplished with their fiction magazine database. This is a daunting task & would have to be accomplished by a team of madmen with access to some of the greatest collections of such magazines in the world !!
    I agree that the current generation of collectors focuses FAR TOO MUCH on talking about the financial value & potential resale of their books than about their artistic or literary value. This will probably not change in the future, as most good books will be slabbed & nobody will be able to read them, thus will not be able to talk about them in any meaningful way.

  13. Russ Manning is pure genius. I grew up on his Tarzan & Korak stories. Such beautiful, clean linework. After you have seen such beautiful work, how can you possibly enjoy drivel by Todd McFarlane or Rob Liefeld etc etc ???

    Russ Manning has been discussed in the classic comic magazines- I seem to recall an issue or two of Comics Journal & there are probably others. Sadly, you have to go digging to find this stuff. Today’s collectors will not discuss Russ Manning unless they have a slabbed CGC 9.8 copy of one of his books. Very sad.

  14. CGC Marvel spotlight #11 – The problems with Comics today Walter

    That 9.6 beauty is likely worth 50$…. and Canadian dollars. This whole Market place is fools gold and this is a good example of it Walt.

    Nobody’s generally has wanted this book for almost 50 years. I saw it in that general shape in 2$ to 5 $ bins for decades.

    Dont get me wrong, I like the book, the title, but its not key and its a good example of how stupid the market has gotten since 2019 to 2020

    Im happy for the sellers. But the buyers will get hurt down the road.

    CGC bloat and Marvel Universe crap has ruined the collectors market.

    And this isn’t buyers regret, I’ve 70 long boxes to prove it. I feel for collectors and the dying amount of readers in the real hobby.

    Maybe this is comic’s FTX or Madoff moment.

  15. Well said, David! Bravo.

    I’m so happy that I’m not the only one who feels this way . There’s at least two of us.!!

  16. Alan, great story and thanks for sharing. I don’t want to play Freud here but you professional drawings and paintings of dinosaurs is nothing short of stunning, amazing work, yes you do have lots to thank your dad for.

    I’m a bit more optomistic on the future of the comic market Dave but I too agree a correction was needed.

  17. David, the Marvel Spotlight #11 isn’t key but it is going on 50 years old, nothing to sneeze at. I think maybe Walt was trying for a 9.8 but just missed. Stabbing this comic makes sense because of the age and high grade. Some people like to collect these because it’s like walking into a time machine, pristine condition, just like you pulled it off the rack 50 years ago. I believe digitization ruined comic collecting as it did the music business. The old slabbed comics can be accessed online and read in the palm of your hand, or collected in an omnibus. I too sent this book out for grading, waiting for my 9.8……

  18. Ed- I don’t understand this comment- ‘I believe digitization ruined comic collecting as it did the music business.’

    If comics are available free to read online, why are collectors paying such insane amounts of money for the originals ???
    Collectors are certainly not paying insane dollars for old records. They still have some value but they have not gone insane !!
    Digitization has certainly affected the music industry, but it has done nothing to affect comic sales negatively. Comment anyone ??

    I believe that slabbing has ruined comics as monkeys now put their full trust in some unknown parties’ grading opinion, which may or may not be correct.
    This inspires them to spend huge amounts of money, which they would not have done if slabbing did not exist. Slabbing & 3rd party grading has built up a false level
    of confidence in today’s collector/investors. Today’s investor does not need to think- somebody else has done the thinking for them !
    .CGC has many employees & they are probably not all equal- human beings make mistakes y’know?! They do make errors.
    We all see things differently! How many times have you seen a slabbed book that DOES NOT appear to warrant it’s grade ???

    I have a slabbed [ now cracked open ] Daredevil Battles Hitler #1 which was graded ‘Apparent FVF 7.0’ which does not make sense-
    the heavily restored cover appears MINT 9.8 yet the innards are toned & all the page corners are abraded, rounded ! It is a VG book wrapped in a 9.8 cover !!! WTF ???

    How many times have you heard stories of guys getting their books back graded 9.4 or 9.6- then cracking them open and re-submitting them.
    This time they come back 9.8 !!! Great Victory!!! High 5 !!

    Does this sound all right with you ??

    For various reasons, not enough people are reading their books. Some books are not worth reading. This is having a negative effect on sales !

  19. If we went back in time and actually created a company that assisted collectors (instead of just being a purely-for-profit exercise) then we’d build CGC differently; whilst they do have their positives (I like using their grading scale and descriptions) imho they have done a lot more damage than good. Breaking the 9+ into 0.2 increments has massively changed the market, 9.8 obsession has really created an ‘investment’ (I use that word loosely, personally unless the asset is deriving an income or producing something of value then I think of these asset classes as ‘speculative purchases’).

    In my mind there are similarities between the 9.8 and the mass of modern variant covers – both are the product of companies that are preying on the obsessive nature of collectors to profit – and both do nothing positive for the hobby.

    I have nothing against a buyer and a seller using a third party opinion to determine grade, I just don’t see what they offer as suitable and/or consistent.

  20. POOP is the opposing force to FOMO, one drives prices higher due to a market full of exuberant buyers, whilst when many buyers feel a high level of POOP (or ‘pooping’ as a verb) then that causes buyers to watch from the sidelines and therefore it becomes self fulfilling as the prices do drop and the watcher congratulates themselves on their wisdom for not purchasing.

    It’s also easy to remember – cause if people are running around saying a book is ‘hot sh!t’…chances are the POOP level is really high! Modern variant covers by the cool artist of the day??? Massive POOP!!! Secondary characters that no one even cared for but are suddenly getting a MCU release…more POOP!!!

  21. Hi Live Frog. I don’t need to go out to my local comic shop and by the monthly edition of my favorite comic. They can accessed online, and the chances of them being worth anything as physical media are slim.

    ‘If comics are available free to read online, why are collectors paying such insane amounts of money for the originals ???
    Why? Because a 50+ year old comic in higher grades is rare. Even if it is a common issue, I wouldn’t mind having it in my collection. Do I need a 6.5 of Marvel Spotlight #11? No! I can buy the omnibus or read it online if I’m that interested in the art or story.

    As for music, if I’m a musician, putting out new music is more of a marketing effort to get people to buy a ticket to the concert or other products musicians sell. Before, musicians would get paid for sales of their music. Now, it can be accessed online, usually for free. So why bother? Now are comics just promotion/ marketing for movies, video games, etc? I guess for me, getting a comic book that is slabed even if it is a common issue, is important because of 1)its age and 2) the high grade for a 50,60,70 year old comic.

    I dabble a bit in sports cards. Let’s take for example a 1971 Topps baseball card. Black border, 1971-nobody was thinking about keeping these as investments. The cards are now over 50 years old. If I find a 1971 Topps baseball card in excellent condition, I’ll send it in to be graded just because I know they are hard to find in great condition even if it is a no-name player. Same logic for comic books.

    ‘Collectors are certsinly not paying insane amount of money for records’. Maybe this can be the next collectible? Can the beatles first album, wrapped in shrink wrap with tight corners and unblemished cover be slabbed and graded? Why not? I can listen to their first album online, I can buy the remastered album, but I can’t get the 1964 debut album in excellent condition just like someone bought it off the shelf in 1964.

    BTW, have you seen the cost of MIB graded video games from the 1970’s and 80’s ? Graded action figures? Why? Age and condition.

    You are correct in my opinion in about the arbitrary nature of grading. The only reason for grading in my opinion is key issues, age and condition.

  22. Hi Ed, thanks for your reply.

    I certainly understand the desire to own a high grade copy of a favourite or important book. I personally do not require my books to be slabbed, but to each their own. I am happy to get nice raw copies and as long as I pay a fair price for them, am content. I like to look at my books, thus do not need 9.8 copies. I like to handle my books, something that you cannot do with a digital copy. Just holding them can bring much pleasure!

    I don’t believe ‘digitization’ has affected the sales of vintage comics at all, slabbed or raw, regardless of condition. Outside of Marvel & DC and a handful of other licensed properties [ Green Hornet, Lone Ranger, The Shadow etc etc ], many vintage books & stories have fallen into the public domain & can be found for free online on sites like DIGITAL COMIC MUSEUM & COMIC BOOK PLUS. In spite of this, Vintage comic book sales remain strong & even though there is a much needed ‘correction’ happening right now post pandemic, I really do not believe that their sales going forward will falter. They will find their level & continue to sell. In spite of our digital world, actually holding an item of value has much meaning, as you actually own the copy that you are holding. You own it, & you will choose when to let it go. A digital copy is just a shadow, a convenient way to reach books that are not accessible to you, but you don’t get to own them. Owning something tangible still has great meaning in our world.

    Digitization may have affected new comic sales. I cannot discuss this too much as I really don’t read new comics any more. I honestly find little of interest in current superhero publications. I certainly am averse to paying about $6.00 each for one of these flimsy pamphlets. I am sure many readers out there are content to read their serials online & do not need physical copies. This may affect future sales of back issues if these people never feel the need to own a physical copy. Does Marvel or DC care that more people are reading digital copies than picking up paper copies ? I don’t think that they are as attached to the printed books as much as you think & may switch to all digital in the future if the market demands it. I certainly do not feel compelled to buy any new comics any more & have recently cancelled all of my holds with my LCS, except for Thor which I love. However, in the current issues he is melded with the Hulk and is fighting venom or carnage. This is crap. and if this CRAP continues, I will have to ditch Thor as well. I personally do not care if digitization puts an end to printed modern superhero comics as I feel that it has reached it’s end & has nothing more to offer. These little pamphlets merely maintain copyright on the properties for Marvel or DC, nothing more. It’s the movies that currently make all the money, but when the movies falter……..what will happen next?

    The internet has certainly changed the way people create, distribute, purchase [ or steal ] & listen to their music. I can’t discuss this- I do not know enough about this world. As a collectible, I have not seen records take off as comic books have and many classic albums remain within reach for many collectors of the physical media. I am still able to buy any Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart album that I want without breaking the bank! Records have not morphed into investment vehicles the way comics have & there is nothing to show that this may change in the future. Records and rare books are generally purchased for the pride of ownership or pure enjoyment it seems, not as investments. Yes, there are some books or discs that fetch high prices, but are these items actually expected to generate their new owners a profit down the road?? We have the various price guides & the GPA to track comic sales, but is there anything remotely similar for rare books or records ?? I don’t think so, those markets are not populated by an army of investors, it is mostly fans making those purchases. Some damn rich fans, too !
    Comic books are easy to figure out & you don’t need much brains to ‘invest’ in them. Records are more complex & as many albums were issued & re-issued in a myriad forms, It requires a lot of knowledge & talent to recognize a rare or important edition .I believe that the arcane knowledge required to ‘invest’ in rare records or books is simply too much for the average mouth-breathing comic book investor and this field will never be infiltrated by them- it will always remain firmly in the grip of the true fans who know their field as no other mortal does. Knowledge is power, newcomers beware!- you will get taken for a bath by your betters if you don’t know your sh*t !!

    I do not understand the need to slab stuff. Why do we need to encase our beloved items in plastic?? This is strictly a North American phenomenon, as I can see no other nation on earth that is showing a need to do this! Is this a form of bondage? Are we making sure our objects do not escape ?? What are we supposed to do with the mass of sealed boxes that are creeping into our homes?? When will it end ? Should I be slabbing my model kits or nazi combat awards ??? Should I slab my kids or my wife ??? I do not understand this world- why would you want to slab your records ??? This train of thought makes no sense!
    Items are being slabbed because they have survived for decades in perfect shape. What makes you think that they can’t survive for a few decades more in that same condition with the proper care and storage?? Edgar Church did not slab his books ?? The Promise Collection was not slabbed until Heritage got their claws on it. Why do you need to slab your stuff ???

    Don’t slab your records. Just don’t !

  23. LF, do NOT slab the wife!!! The grade will be a lot less than what you think! In your eyes she’s a 9.8 GEM of a woman…but even if you get her cleaned and pressed, well, some of those flaws aren’t coming out and the results aren’t going to match your wonderful perception! Better to cherish her the way she is and as you say enjoy the the ability to hold her whenever you can.

  24. The main disadvantage I can see to listening to your music online is that it will most likely be purely digital. A record groove is a wave. A CD is a digital representation of a wave. Guess which one sounds better! A record can capture about 80-90 % of the studio sound. CDs drop to somewhere in the 20% range, and your Ipod even less than that. To truly enjoy music, a clean vinyl recording is going to be your best bet. As for comics, just like rare books, they are meant to be read, not preserved in amber! If you can’t open it, you sure as hell can’t read it and enjoy it! I do indeed find that rare book collectors are not generally buying as an investment (unless it’s that rare first edition of Tamburlaine), but buying to read and inhale that lovely old book odour (the lignin in the paper is the source of that vanilla-like smell in used bookstores, since lignin is chemically related to vanillanin). My 1659 edition of Cicero’s De Natura Deorum, as old as it may be, is still crying out from the shelf to be read! Would I slab my first edition of House at Pooh Corner (not to be confused with POOP Corner)? Absolutely not!!! The printed page was invented for reading and nothing else (unless you hang your old books in the outhouse)! And you can’t even wipe your butt with a plastic slab!

  25. Oops! Sorry! I meant Tamerlane (Edgar Allan Poe), not Tamburlaine (Christopher Marlowe)! Maybe there are just too many rare books swimming around in my head! And, actually, with my background in theatre, I would probably rather own a copy of Tamburlaine!

    cheers, mel

  26. Spider- you are right ! My wife is too big for the slab & anyway, she fights me- scratching & clawing & trying to get away….

    Mel- Correct on all points!

    I am sure I have an issue of Comics Journal where Gary Groth interviews Rob Liefeld, & the Rob states that he will be adapting 'Cicero’s De Natura Deorum'
    into a YOUNGBLOOD story arc for IAMGE. Whatever came of that ?? Am I confused ??? I'll have to go through my IMAGE collection & refresh my brain...

    Hah!!- I don't have an IMAGE collection ! I would never stoop do low!!! Woop !!!

  27. Just as I was enjoying the image of a burning slab effigy… you ruin it by mentioning Leifeld!

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