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I Sold My Comic Book Collection, and Here’s Why

June 10, 2019

If you’re going to invest in comic books, you might start with this one.

When I announced to my friends a few years ago that I was going to sell my comic book collection, they warned me not to.

“That collection is worth money,” they said.

My friends were right.  I’d started collecting when I was in elementary school in the early 1970s, and I didn’t stop until the glut of the early 1990s.  If you’ve ever collected comic books, you probably know about the 90s glut that I’m talking about.  If you haven’t collected comics, the details would bore you.  At any rate, I had some relatively valuable comic books.

“Yeah,” I said.  “That’s why I’m selling them.  If they weren’t worth any money, I wouldn’t bother.”

One friend said, “Maybe your kids would want them.”

When I asked my daughter if she wanted my comics, she said, “NO!”  She likes superhero movies and will wear the occasional Marvel t-shirt, but she has no interest in my comics.

My friends also said, “You’ve had them since you were a kid.  How could you get rid of them?”

“Yes, I’ve had them since I was a kid,” I said.  “But I’m not a kid anymore.  And I can’t read all of them again.”

Plus, I’m using the money to get rid of some bad debt.  I’m not whining about money, but I have some annoying debt to take care of.  Some of it was from a bad decision I made years ago, and part of it is from circumstances that were out of my control.  Either way, I have to deal with it.

The way I look at it, I’m using my childhood to get rid of debt and pay bills.  I’ve heard of people who write letters to their younger selves, and I personally think that’s kind of impractical because if my past self read a letter from my present self, it could really mess up the time-continuum.  But if I did write a letter to my childhood self (and I’m not saying I would), I’d say:

“Thanks for saving all these comics.  Thanks for helping to pay off some bad debt.”

Or I’d say, “Thanks for saving all these comics, but you’re not getting laid for a long time.”

Despite what people might think, unintended abstinence caused by comic book reading isn’t so bad.  I’ve never had to worry about surprise pregnancies or STDs or crazy girlfriends sending older brothers after me.  When I got to college, I learned to hide the comic books, so potential girlfriends wouldn’t learn about the collection until it was too late, and by then I’d matured enough to not do anything too stupid with women.

Anyway, having a huge old comic collection was like having a stack of money in my closet while I have debt accumulating interest.  Why would I keep money in my closet?

Nobody would say, “Don’t sell your money!  It’s worth a lot of money!”

I know some people see comic books as an investment, but that works only for a small percentage of comics.  People who buy comics as an investment only can get frustrated really quickly.  A bunch of comic book investors learned that the hard way during the 1990s.

Years ago, I saw the Pawn Stars guy on television buy a bunch of worthless X-Men from the 1990s and then brag about how comics were a great investment.  I laughed.  It completely ruined Pawn Stars for me.  If the Pawn Stores expert didn’t know 1990s X-Men were worthless, what else didn’t he know?  Amateur.

It’s easier to sell a collection now than it ever has been.  25 years ago, there was no internet or ebay, so you had to go to a dealer who’d rip you off, and I understand the rip-off.  Comic stores have to pay employees and overhead.  That’s the good thing about selling online.  I don’t have to pay much for fees, and I’m my only employee.

I’m not saying everybody my age should sell their childhood collections too.  If everybody sold their collections, nobody would be buying, and we need buyers.  If you have comics and you still like reading them, keep them.  If you have family that you can pass them down to, keep them.  I’m just saying in my situation, selling them is the way to go, and some people don’t understand that.

I look back fondly on my comic collecting days, even though I was really socially awkward at the time.  I’m not sure if I was socially awkward because I read comic books or if I read comic books because I was socially awkward.  I’m still socially awkward (but not as much), and I still have a soft spot for comic books, but  I also like having a little more space in my house and a little less debt on my credit score.  Thank you comic books!

*****

Here’s the video version of this blog post, with several examples of great comic books that I might or might NOT part with.

From → Pop culture

6 Comments
  1. I couldn’t imagine selling all my books, but I see the practicality of selling the comics. If you don’t really read them, they’re taking up space, and no one else wants them, why not?

  2. I never really had comic books, but I would give my left arm to have my Pigs In Space metal lunchbox back.

  3. You should do it. If I could find a buyer for all the Archies I accrued as bribery in the 80s to attend church, I would sell them in a heartbeat.

  4. Practicality. Sometimes, people do forget this. Those papers won’t stop your family from starving to death if you don’t sell them.

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