Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What comic book collector doesn't love a bargain?

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — One-dollar comics. That has a sweet ring to it.

The only sweeter sound is hearing comics are on sale for two-for-a-dollar or less and of course, free.

"These aren't the comics we're looking for." — 2013 Cincinnati Comic Expo
Collectors who attend conventions know that perusing the $1 boxes means looking through a lot of crap — and I mean a lot — in the hopes of finding some gems.

Last week I went to an antique mall when I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law because I remembered years ago there were some long boxes of comics there.

So needless to say when I was led to a booth with many, many boxes of comics priced at $1 for each issue, I was thrilled. Maybe more like geeked. After all, each and every issue was one buck!

Of course there were plenty of crappy comics in the booth — crap which that vendor won't sell until someone else buys the entire collection. But there actually were some halfway decent issues from the era I love the most (the Bronze Age, 1970 through 1985) and even more surprisingly, quite a few issues from the late 1990s and even more recent issues.

Here's another true-ism about finding a plethora of bargain gems: A handful of issues easily can turn into a large pile. A few bucks out of your pocket can lead you to thinking, "How can I pay for this now?" or better yet, "Which of these issues do I need to put back?"

Back to the so-called antique mall. The first issue I found that went into my "buy pile" was X-MEN No. 30, better known as the wedding of long-time lovebirds Scott Summers and Jean Grey. A steal at $1!

I also grabbed one of the final issues of WEST COAST AVENGERS which will nearly complete the entire series, the first issue of the AVENGERS PRIME five-part series and WORLD'S FINEST COMICS No. 248 (an oversized issue of the Batman-Superman team-up title which regularly featured several other heroes in their own stories for most of the 1980s).

I also found several issues of writer Kurt Busiek's run of the AVENGERS title that launched in 1998, which nearly completes my search for all of his issues. (Do any of you out there know the last issue Busiek wrote? — That's where I'm ending my run.) For the first of three reviews of Busiek's must-read run, go here.

Most impressively, I found eight issues of Busiek's brilliant AVENGERS FOREVER. I didn't intend on buying them, but as I found issue after issue and when I realized this vendor stocked three-quarters of the time-jumping limited series, my earlier resolve went straight out the window!

All in all, I bought 20 issues. Not bad — even with Tennessee's ridiculous 9.25-percent sales tax.

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