Adventures Of A Comics Collector

Susan Rook Susan Rook
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July 12th, 2015

My life and work in journalism has taken me to all corners of the Earth (still yearning for Earth 2). I’ve interviewed some of the most powerful people in the world. Now, the most powerful heroes (and villains) in the Universe fascinate me. Over the years, I’ve done everything from customer service, motivational speaking to local and national news. I love talking with people and finding out what makes them tick. Three cats rule our house -- my husband and I are staff. I love baseball, Plastic Man and popsicles.

Adventures Of A Comics Collector
Comics
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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

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.”

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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