Adventures Of A Comics Collector

July 12th, 2015 | by Susan Rook
Adventures Of A Comics Collector

Comics collectors are some of the passionate fans out there.  Our Susan Rook takes deep dive into the world of comics collecting here on ComiConverse.

Imagine that you’re at a garage sale and you spot a box of old comics. The seller says, “Oh that’s just stuff I’m going to throw away, if you want it you can have it.”   You get the box home and find junk, lots of torn up comics and then, in amongst the dust of memories you find …..

The Collector’s Dream

How would your comic book collecting dream end?


Every collector has a favorite timeframe, publisher, super hero or super villain. Maybe you want to keep the comic you find or perhaps you dream of a huge payday from a rare comic book that you find and sell.

I imagine being the guy who was renovating his house and found Action Comics #1 – the first appearance of Superman. He sold that rare comic for $175,000.   A nearly pristine Action Comics #1 sold on eBay in August, 2014 for a whopping $3.2 million.

The Collector’s Reality

old comics

There’s always a chance of finding buried treasure, but let’s be realistic, it’s a small chance. So much has been written about the value of comic book collections in the basement; it’s actually much harder to find someone willing to give away a bunch of old comics, but it does happen and it happened to my husband.

The Thrill Of The Hunt

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My guy has always loved comics.

ComiConverse comic Overstreet comics price guide

When I tell you my origin story you’ll find out that I’m the new fan. He has always loved comics and everyone knows that about him.

Over the years, people have given Bill some great action figures, tee shirts and even old comics collections.  We were about to get another unsolicited find when his brother, Tom, called to say he had a box of old comics from a friend.  Immediately we started the game of: “What will be in the box?”

I’ll admit it, the two days before the box arrived we had fun speculating what we wanted to find.  I’m a fan of Plastic Man and Metamorpho so I hoped for anything by Ramona Fradon.  We both think the world of Archie artist Fernando Ruiz and have a bunch of original Archie prints.  Bill, the first Batman fan in our family, got a wistful look and said, “Wouldn’t it be great to find Detective #27?”

Wow, to find Batman’s first appearance or Spider-Man’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15!  We know that’s unrealistic but who said an adventure has to be realistic?

He was hoping for the stuff he grew up reading in the early- mid 70’s: DC, Marvel, Archie, and Harvey comics.  Especially the 100 page specials.  I asked why he wanted those comic books and he said, “I still love reading those, and the smell and feel of the books brings me back to when I first loved comics.  Those books also have reprints of older stories, which were always fun.”

Opening That Box

Bill grabbed his Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and started in for the thrill of the hunt.  What’s inside the box?

He didn’t find a rare comic book or even anything worth more than a couple of dollars. He loved finding the beat up Teen Titans because he grew up reading these. He got really excited about the Adventure Comics #364. Flipping carefully through the pages I watched his face fall, “Aw, look,” he said, “Some idiot cut out something.  I can’t even read the mail bag to find out what people wrote back then.”

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The Comics Quest

Just as quickly as he frowned about the cut up pages, he laughed and said, “There’s always next time!” Oh sure, it would be great to become wealthy. It’s kind of like the dream of winning the lottery. But, honestly I think the excitement of pawing through old comics is that you become part of an adventure. Who doesn’t love an adventure? After all, taking the reader or a collector on an adventure is what comics are all about.

What are some favorites in your comic book collection?

Have you found any amazing comics that thrill you to your comics loving core?

Let us know.  We absolutely love to ComiConverse!


Susan Rook is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @BaseballSus

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  • Honestly can’t really say I love old comics. Probably the oldest ones I have are the TPBs of Long Halloween and Kingdom Come and one I got from the scholastic book order The Untold Legend of the Batman.

    I think the favourite on in my collection though is Nightwing: A Knight in Bludhaven as picking up that book while I was in university really got me in to comics in big way.

  • I didn’t get it either (except conceptually) until last year at FanExpo Canada. I had about 30 minutes before going off to see a panel and I decided to hunt for Ramona Fradon Plastic Man. I couldn’t believe it … flipping through those long boxes of comics on the HUNT. It was CRAZY and so much fun! I get the collectors urge now.
    What is it about Nightwing for you? — story arc, art, etc?
    I’m interested in what captures the attention of fans.

  • I think what captured me first about Nightwing was that I was jumping on at Issue #1 (which is why for me the whole New 52 thing was AMAZING! I jumped on to over 10 books, that I get mostly as hardcovers)

    And really Dick Grayson is a character I have grown up with my whole life, like I know who he is y’know? Plus I loved the style of that book art and writing, the idea that he wanted to go out into the world and become his own man, since I was 18 at the time is seemed like relevant stuff to me.

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