Monday, September 11, 2006

a hobby and the price of achievement

As you may have read, I've reignited my youthful passion for collecting graphic novel's AKA comic books. Actually, it's been something I had been doing on and off for quite a few years.

However, I was very suprised by the amazingly expensive price of new comic books today $3.00. Some of the harder to find indendent publishers can be even more expensive. The good news is that the quality of artwork and story lines have greatly appreciated since the 1970s.

I found several parties selling comic books on Craigs List. Eventually I met a successful collector with a very large collection. He was selling them quit reasonably at flee markets. Knowing that I could buy from him, I began asking other sellers (with large volumes of comics to sell) to match or beat his terms. Eventually, I negotiated the average price down to about $0.20 per comic - fifteen times less than new comics at the store. Unfortunately, buying entire collections means you have to take the good with the bad, however, you can ask the seller to remove lower quality books not in collectible condition.

Using these techniques, my collection has grown from a few hundred comic books to over 3000. It's been successful and I expect to keep using it until I have 7000 - 10,000. Unfortunately, the price for success is an incredibly big mess in my office. Several thousand comic books piled al over. I am now struggling with the best way to store and organize them.

Typically, comic books are bagged and boarded. I'm doing that now. Thanks to my friend, I've been able to reduce the cost of bags and boards from $0.13 to $0.06. Big difference! However, many of the collections I've been buying have comics already bagged and boarded and don't need to be re-bagged and re-boarded.

It still leaves me with the issue of how to store and organize all of them. I've bought a good number of short boxes (card board file boxes that hold 150 comics). I'm planning on creating a box for each letter of the alphabet and then adding additional boxes for letters as needed; e.g. a1, a2, a3. Earlier, when I numbered the boxes 1...10, I ended up having to shift comics from entire boxes as the middle ones became filled.

Although my friend can find small boxes for $2.50 each, I'd like to find a convenient direct source as I think I'll need to buy even more boxes soon. It would be good to have a source where I could buy boxes as needed rather than waiting a few weeks.

Once I have everything boxed away, I'm not sure where to put them. Our house in NC doesn't have the greatest storage options. That certainly will be a big challenge.

In the end, I wonder if this collecting challenge will be more pain than pleasure. Why not golf or something on-line?

Have a wonderful day,

1 comment:

Blaine Moore said...

I have 8 small boxes and about a dozen of the larger boxes that hold 300 comic books down on pallets in my basement.

I'm dreading the time I decide to go through and see if they are still in good shape. Every time I open them I wind up reading them again, and I don't have time to do that these days...