When Too Much is Not Enough

A reminder that Comic Culture this Wednesday will feature our annual Poem Off, Chris Owen and I will read Valentine’s Day poems written by superheroes. We might even be joined by our legendary producer Shekky Fendstein.

Work continues at the warehouse and I’m starting to get an appreciation for complete sets. I was working through the Spawn comics and notices that #1-5 are not there but we had multiples in the #6 to #14 and then again with #21 to #30. Spawns are way too labour intensive to sell online as single issues so I think I’m going to try to sell them as little runs like Spawn #6-#14 Complete and then Spawn #21-#30 Complete! This way the listing can have some monetary value to it and the buyer can enjoy getting an unbroken run. I’m not sure how it will go but I’ll give it a shot.

I’m sensing more and more that this warehouse project will be about listing quickly and efficiently but also about bundling into digestible and desirable runs and sets, they don’t even have to be from the same title. I’m thinking of finding all the – say – 9 issues that make up the Fall of the Mutants from X-Factor, X-Men and New Mutants, or even the 6 issues that make up Kraven’s Last Hunt in Amazing, Spectacular and Spider-Man. I think I’ll have to get even more creative than that and tie themes together that are less obvious because there are so many books here that will simply not sell on their own.

The good news is I think I’m going to come up with some funky combinations, books that you’d think don’t go together except for one not so obvious factor that ties them together. I’m hoping that once people realize the binding factor does indeed make sense they won’t be able to resist. Me – “How about all the Marvel Annuals with Yellow covers”? Everybody else – “Walt that’s a terrible idea” !! OK so obviously I have my work cut out for me.

Auction Highlights

Last night on our eBay auctions (internationalcollectiblesexchange) we sold a CGC 4.0 Off White Pages copy of Amazing Spider-Man #15 for $960.18. It was a great result, the highest price for the book in this grade this year and the second-highest realized price ever according to GPA. The book got good buzz thanks to rumours that Keanu Reeves was set to play Kraven, the rumours appear to be false but no matter, someone will play Kraven, a Spidey villain deserving of a higher ranking among the long list of great Spidey Villains.

I think almost all Spider-Man comics below #129 are undervalued and the ones under #20 even more so. Early issues featuring first appearances of key villains will look like bargains at today’s prices two years from now. Advantage Buyer.

1st Appearance Kraven the Hunter
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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  1. I was going to say that $960.18 was an incredible deal for AF15, until I realized it was for ASM15. Note to self: Klaus – time to get glasses.

  2. Hey Walt with every passing pic of this warehouse find it is looking more and more like it came from Dragon Lady’s basement, soon you’ll be mining out Micronauts, Moon Knights and Ka-zar.

  3. Klaus, every week you leave here with homework this week it’s reading glasses and last week it was work out what all the fuss about Hulk 180/181 is about!!!

    Walt: the Kraven run is fantastic and I only compiled mine a few months ago: I think this would be really attractive to certain collectors…and once again, loving your vintage comics listed at the shop, the quality is superb…my 9 year old son is obsessed with one day owning a Marvel Star Wars comic (he’s got bad timing, if only he had this dream a few years ago) clicks on your catalog every day!

  4. Bundling “story arc” different issues is a great idea especially when they crossover different titles. Lots of chasing to track them down singly but also lots of work to assemble at your end. If I was looking for a particular run I’d appreciate it and go for it.

  5. Spider, I’m working hard at getting more stuff up on Big B, keep checking in, and your 9 year old does have good taste – and bad timing.

    Tim, you are right about the arcs, some of the arcs are really tough to put together, I have to sit down and map oout all the good multi title arcs from the era and then go digging.

    Craig, I did find the Moon Knights, I’m sure the Ka-Zars are not far behind.

    Klaus, you gotta stop drinking that home made stuff!

  6. In my Comics & Comix stores in the 1980s, we made up a lot of back issue sets and they did very well. My buddy Jeff was there, sellling them, Jeff, that’s your cue, chime in there….

  7. Bud

    Yes we did put together a lot of runs. Back then it was just about a run of one title. But with the newer stuff from the 90’s and later, story arcs and crossovers are a great idea.

    But our first priority in doing this was to introduce our customers to new titles and characters that they might not even think about picking up. It was about exposure (in the Non- X-rated way). We put together sets from any company that we had extra books of, Tower Comics, Dell, Gold Key and yes even DC and Marvel. When Teen Titans #1 came out that Wolfman & Perez did, we cut up a Marvel comic for the logo and pasted it over the DC logo. Then we made a sign saying “HEY, A NEW MARVEL COMIC”. Why did we do it??? well because some people are so blinded to Marvel that they think Marvel is the only company and certainly the only company that can produce a good comic even when creators did work for both companies (look at Kirby and how many times he went back and forth between DC and Marvel). Does that mean he only did good stuff when he worked for Marvel????????

    Our second reason for doing it was to move overstock. Which in your case Walter, you have in abundance!!!!!!

    And number 3, we kept the price reasonable for people to be able to afford it. We weren’t looking for a one time sell, we were looking to gain a new customer or expand the reading of our current customers. We were looking for the long term existence of the comic shop. We really got the idea from the collected works of Prince Valiant and Flash Gordon that Bud was carrying at the time.

    And my last comment is I’m glad I worked in the comic shop in the 70’s & 80’s when there weren’t graded books. We weren’t pushing $960.18 books that you can only see the front and back cover. We were pushing the story and art inside. But I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing me knocked graded books so I will sign off for now.

    Nuff Said!!!

    Excelsior Jeff (joke, joke)

  8. “Giant Hands” set, “Giant Heads” set, “Rainbow Colour” set, “Statue of Liberty” set, “Death of Heroes” set… maybe that’s getting too specialized. ?

  9. Thanks Jeff and Bud, and good points Jeff. I will have to get creative to sell sets of books and as you point out with your examples they don’t have to be simple story arcs. I don’t think I’ll go as crazy as Tim but if in six months the pile hasn’t shrunk I’ll be emailing Tim to send even more ideas.

  10. one comic title from the 40’s to 2011 can fill a room, When i started buying comics in the 1970’s. The dealers would have many titles of comics that would fill two boxes

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