Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reasons I Love Comics (issue#5): Back-issue boxes.

When I go to a comic shop, I have to wade through Darth Vader masks, Hellboy fists, Randy Bowen Busts, Topps trading cards, Macfarlane action figures and Graphitti T-shirts to get to the actual source of this merchandising; the comics themselves. Increasingly, these days, it is getting harder to buy comics in comics shops. It's even more difficult to buy what us bona-fide piss-smelling self-abusing comics nerds really want (besides a good bath): Back issues.
I love sifting through boxes of old comics. Even if I have no intention of purchasing any. You can't beat having a good old mooch, checking out the covers and shaking your head at the prices of some of them ("£18!? But it's Herb Trimpe!).
Those days are going. eBay has all but killed the back-issue business. I'm being a bit hypocritical here, as I've purchased old comics from eBay, in fact, the most I've ever paid for one comic,£17, was for a Marvel Team-Up #1 from eBay. The reason I bought the issue from them and not from a comics shop is probably the main reason that we don't see back-issue bins in comics stores anymore; the price. Old comics are expensive, and once the store has factored in its overheads and profit, it gets too much for your average punter. the cheapest I'd seen a similar-quality MTU#1 in a shop was for £40!
There are still comics fairs and marts and memorabilia shows to go to, but these mean mingling with people who smell of wet dog, and there's always some bastard looking at the box you want to rummage through! These fairs are also increasingly being taken over by the action figure/trading card/anime merchants. It shows me that your average geek these days is more interested in comics stuff than the actual comics themselves.

15 comments:

Jemima said...

Yeah, but Wonderwoman knickers!

jonni said...

Amen brother!

So you've been to my LCS then? Not only do have to squeeze past everything else (fat sweaty nerds etc. - "Stop talking about D&D! Christ you're making me feel nauseous!) to get to the bastard comics - but if you wanna look at the back issues, then you have to shift mounds of action figures and the like out the way...[/rant]

*ahem*

Luckily, there's also a 2nd hand book store in town that's like a haven for back issues, where the maximum price of anything seems to be about £2 - with everything else starting at about 50p.

mick said...

JvS: Wonder Woman knickers' niceness depends on the bottom wearing them. Also, they don't do them in my size. The elastic cuts into my leg.

Jonni: We have a secondhand bookstore here in Brum that sells comics. It's called 'Reader's World', but it should be called 'Readers' Wives', due to the amount of 'pre-enjoyed' porno mags it also sells, in the same section of the shop that sells the funnybooks. It's weird, queing with an armful of Tomb of Dracula standing behind a man in a mac holding the April,1978 copy of Razzle!

DanProject76 said...

I love the smell of old comics...

But not those smelly people at the comic marts I used to go to.

mick said...

I too am fond of the odour of old comics. It seems a lot of us comics fans are aware of the smelliness of other comics fans; maybe it's like shit, we don't mind our own odour, it's just other people's we object to.

Jemima said...

I smell nice.

DanProject76 said...

No, it's just that a lot of comic fans smell! They usually smell of manky old leather jackets and oversized 'metal rock' t-shirts.

mick said...

You've just described my look! Only 'oversized' is more like 'stretched' these days!

jonni said...

jvs - You're a girl, you're supposed to smell nice!

I however, smell of Hugo Boss - mmmmmm..., breathe it in fanboy - this is what hygeine smells like.




Really can't be arsed to do any work today - might actually post some content over on me own blog...

mick said...

Interesting fact this: Hugo Boss designed and supplied all uniforms for the Nazis. That's why they always looked well turned out. He probably used forced Jewish labour to manufacture the uniforms as well.
I'm not saying anyone who wears Boss is a nazi, though. Just saying...

Clive_Evil_C said...

Oh dear, I'll keep quiet that I'm one of the those people who go into comic books shops to only look at the merchandise. Shit, I hit Login and Publish!

jonni said...

When I went to see Downfall, we did all come out remarking that the Nazis did have a rather decent sense of style...

mick said...

I went into Forbidden Planet today with my daughter, and there was a man in there who must've been bitten by a radioactive armpit when he was younger. He had a heavy metal T-shirt on. Damn! I hate reinforcing stereotypes! Still, my daughter got a Human Torch action figure for a quid. It lights up and shouts 'Flame On!' at you when you're trying to watch the inauguration of Martin O'Neill on Sky Sports News.
I watched Downfall as well and was disappointed the board game based on safe-cracking was not involved.

jonni said...

Buckaroo: the Musical

mick said...

Mousetrap: The stage play. Shit! That bloody Agatha Christie beat me to it!