Well, if you read thru my previous blog, hopefully you could relate to how hard it was to get back into something that I really loved as a kid. It’s fun hobby that some of us have a hard time admitting. I still collect trading cards every now and again but it’s still a very volatile market and it’s only as good as the players themselves…how many of you out there sunk hundreds of dollars into Michael Vick, Roger Clemens, or old schoolers like Pete Rose only to watch your collection go to pot because of their off the field drama? Not only that, but if you are hoping to make a tiny bit of pocket change by investing in rookies of the future, you start praying that Adrian Peterson or Matt Ryan have successful careers. But I digress.
Comics, in my mind are still very much a good (and safe) hobby to collect and invest in. And most books tend to go up and if they do decline there are many other reasons that they do so. If Spiderman punched out a pit-bull in issue 579 of Amazing Spiderman, and PETA got offended, I doubt that it would affect the value of a mint condition of issue 252 of Amazing Spiderman…heh!
Ok….let’s get on with it.
You wake up one day and you all of a sudden have an itch to grab some colorful books of tights wearing adventurers battling evil all over the world and the universe….what do you do….WHAT.DO.YOU.DO?
First of all don’t panic….read on as I give you some advice how to work your way back into this addiction…uhhh hobby!
– Take it easy…if you have been out for longer than 5 years and your only references are the movies and glimpses on the news stands, then you are in for a big shock. A lot of the comics universe has changed and been revamped. Norman Osborn is alive and well running the Thunderbolts, a government organization seeking out unregistered super heroes. Braniac has adopted a new form, Loki is a girl, ½ of Gotham might or might not know who Batman is since he told Catwoman, Steve Rogers is dead, and we finally know (in about 10 different retellings) who Wolverine is. Shocked yet? Your best bet before jumping right in is to grab a few trade paperbacks out there and read thru. They are good because you can get a complete story arc out of your favorite series to see if you are still interested.
– If you have a very good friend who doesn’t mind, borrow a few books and read thru those too.
– Make wikipedia, and your favorite comic sites your friends. Something I didn’t have as kid was complete access by internet to every last biographical comic book star known to man. Yes DC and Marvel had guides and handbooks that they came out with in the 80s, but just imaging who quickly they went out of date.
– Get over yourself and get over your fears…find a good shop! Don’t be scared because you think a lot of kids go to these shops. You would be surprised when you find that most of the people that go to these shops may be around the same age and older. I think it was blind luck that the shop I stumbled onto was very friendly and helpful was well as organized. A few things you want to keep in mid as you look for a good shop. You want a shop where the people know their stuff about comics, can recommend good books and new books, is clean, and the comics are in good condition. Also ask about if they have a subscription plan. Most shops offer a plan where if you order buy a certain amount of books, a discount on what you get.
– Make a budget…ok so now you are getting the hang of buying some books on a monthly basis, pace yourself. Those books aren’t going anywhere. I may check my box twice a month and I have agonizing choices over which books I want to buy this week or make wait 2 weeks but I don’t want to be broke….especially if you have adult responsibilities! If I find out someone skimped on their cell bill for Invincible Iron Man Imma laff at you!
– Choose your titles wisely…this has still always been my biggest complaint. Too many titles for one superhero / super group. I can’t begin to tell you how many books that they X Men got or Superman and so on. But once you got a shop in mind, ask the clerks which ones they prefer more and then flip thru an issue or 2 yourself, you may be surprised. I was always an Uncanny X Men fan…but after reading thru the Astonishing X Men, I was impressed.
– Don’t be afraid to try something new…again and I don’t know how many times I can stress it, talk to your clerks! They will find ways to part your money from your hard earned cash and sometimes you will thank them for it! I wasn’t going to mess with the Star Wars Legacy series…one TPB and now I want to know why a descendant of Luke Skywalker is a junkie! Picked up The Boys issue 22 and since then bought vol. 1 and 2 of the TPB to get caught up and can’t WAIT for 23!!! Was never a fan of Captain America or Iron Man when I was younger but seeing as how both of these heroes are having such huge effects on their universe, it’s hard not to. Also, don’t be afraid to say no! It’s your money…don’t let yourself get talked into a book that after first glance you aren’t feeling.
– From a collector’s standpoint, if you are looking to make some money off of this hobby, do yourself a solid and get the variants of issues and make sure you get one that you will read and when you are done, store them properly. If I could, I still have a lot of comics I collected in the 80s I wish I had slabbed because some are worth more than the 50, 60 and 75 cents that I paid for! And sometimes, it’s good to get a comic out of sentimental value too…don’t expect to get rich unless you are willing to be broke sometimes! Choose wisely what you get!
– Check out the podcasts….and not just ours but there are a few out there on iTunes that you can download and listen to in order to find out the goings on in the comics world
– Most of all, have fun…it’s stress free, doesn’t take a lot of energy and even a good way to get your kids into them.
Hopefully this advice will do some good and if you have any questions or need opinions about comics, drop a line to me and Kev and if we can’t answer it, we will find someone who will !
Check out my site: http://www.freewebs.com/thenextissue/index.htm