10th Jan2020

eBuying Comics: Week 34

by Ian Wells

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The year is 2020, the most futuristic sci-fi sounding of years. With the futuristic motive set up and with this being the first eBuying Comics of 202o I am a firm believer in looking forwards not backwards. Admittedly that does sound a little strange when talking about old comics, but in regards to the blog I think from here things can only get better. I look at the previous years installments as a rough draft. I tried some things that worked and others that didn’t work as well. I want to make eBuying Comics more streamlined and enjoyable, like the good parts of early Wizard magazine. I want to step out more and more from the eBay side of things a cover the wider scope of collecting comics. Lastly I want to make everything more professional. I will elaborate more on these points later, but first I have to contradict myself by revisiting something from last year. Early last year I presented you all with my obtainable wish list of key issues for the year.

  • Marvel Special Edition #16
  • Incredible Hulk #340
  • Daredevil #150
  • Mighty World of Marvel #198-#199
  • Classic X-Men #10
  • X-Men #5 (vol 2)

As you can see I only managed to knock off two comics from this list and they were the cheapest two on the list. Through the year I missed out on at least three seperate auctions for Daredevil #150 an at least one cheap auction for Incredible Hulk #340. Marvel Special Edition #16 is going up and up, especially since the Shang Chi movie was announced. I hope I can complete this list year but I am not restricting myself to just this list as the sole purpose of my digging this year. This year a lot of the focus will be on more obscure items rather than filling gaps in my collection. Two examples of this being the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Authorized Martial Arts Training Manuals and the TMNT collected books. The training manuals are one of those comic products that are so bad they are good. I regard them as a must have for any true TNMT fan. They are a six issue series put out my Solson Publications in 1986, from the era of TMNT success that publishers wre throwing anything at the wall to see what stuck. Ideally I am looking to buy them as a set but with postage from America being so high I don’t think it woould be any more cost effective to buy them this way as it would be individually. The TMNT collected books are a little harder to come by. They are the original trade paperbacks for the original Mirage series. Most of them only collect three of four issues and are in black and white. They can get high in price for two reasons, first being rarity. The second being the high calibre of creators who worked on TMNT when Eastman and Laird became too busy. We are talking about top creators like Jim Lawson, Rick Veitch and Michael Zulli. I think it will be a case of keeping an eye on whatever ones become available for a good price rather than hunting them all down and completing the run. Another series where I am looking to pick up a few issues here and than as opposed to the who run is the black and white magazine sized Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu by Marvel. It ran for thirty three issues between 1974 and 1977 coinciding with the Kung Fu craze sweeping the big screen. There a re a few issues I already have my eye on, the two Bruce Lee centric issues and issue twelve which focuses on Martial Arts in the James Bond films of the time. Of course there is always the chance I will go down the rabbit hole and start collecting Wolverine variant covers!

The biggest change I want to make for eBuying Comics in 2020 is to be more professional. Both in regards to my writing and promoting of the blog, but also I want to run it more like a business. Obviously at times I will still buy comics basked on instinct. I want to operate so I only spend money on eBay from the sales I make on eBay. I will provide weekly updates on ins and outs and I promise not to make it sound like a maths exam question. If only I could hire Margot Robbie to tell you the sales figures to make it more appealing like in The Big Short! When I first started selling comics on eBay it was purely just to make space for more comics. So I just went out and brought a bulk of envelopes in two sizes. One for single issues and one for trade paperbacks. I didn’t really think about pricing them up or whatever, I needed them so I brought them. I am still using that bulk of envelopes but when they are gone I would like to properly source some new envelopes, again with them being purchased from my selling profits along with any other packing materials I may need. I will the be able to readjust my P+P charges.

On a more personal level there are two projects I would like to experiment with throughout 2020. Again I want any money needed for them to come from my comic sales. Both projects having been scratching at my brain for most of last year and depending on their success they could provide my money back and even a small profit! Bold claims so early I know! Anyway the first itch I want to scratch is to make my own hardbound book of a comic series not previously collected. Comic book binding is pretty big business especially for older readers/collectors who now in family life are restrcited for space. But there is a sub culture of fans creating thier own bound collections of obscure series because it is a fan hobby and they can turn a small profit or have a bespoke one off item none of their collector friends will have. I have watched a few videos and I don’t want to say it looks easy but with patience and application it certainly seems doeable. the biggeest obstacle will be finding the comics I want to bind at a  very cheap price seeing as I will be taking them aprt to stich back together. I think £1 boxes at conventions will be the best option unless I can buy a whole run cheap on eBay. I have a few contenders for comics I would like to bind and will start off doing it for my own enjoyment. Currently the dream bind is all ten issues of Punisher Armoury. It would be the ultimate kitch collection. If you are unfamiliar with Punisher Armoury it is a comic that would never be published today with the negativity around gun culture being what it is. The title doesn’t bury the lead, it is drawings and descriptions of Frank Castles’ weapons and tech. If I happen to get good at it maybe I can make it a little side line. Dream big right! The second project I want to turn my hand to is to put out a zine. Again I have a grand idea in my mind which might be too grand for my first attempt so I want to do a little test zine. I am not artistic at all so will be utiilizing what skills I do have to put something together. I think it is only fitting that the zine should focus on collector culture and the printing of the possible zine would be funded by my sales having everything come full circle.

Exciting times ahead, like I said dream big. Watch this space and I’m happy to have anyone and everyone along for the ride.

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