A few days back, a gentleman popped by the shop with a small handful of undergrounds…a couple copies each of Zap #9 and #10, three San Francisco Comic Book #5s, one or two other items. Some of them weren’t in great shape, but I always have demand for undergrounds, Zaps in particular, so I was willing to dole out a small bit of money even for the somewhat water-damaged copies. …Some of which, by the way, I was able to turn around and sell later that afternoon.
Anyway, after purchasing the comics from this person, he tells us that he has a few hundred more comics of similar vintage back home if we were interested. “Why sure!” we replied, and a day or two later the rest of his collection was in our possession.
And when he said he had a few hundred more, we didn’t realize that a couple hundred of those would be more copies of San Francisco Comic Book #5:
Well, okay, I exaggerate slightly, but that was a pretty sizable pile of SFCB, as I’m going to call it instead of typing that out again. There was also a nice stack of Zaps, such as these #9s:
…which, as you can probably see, are a little worse for wear, but I’m sure we can sell them. As Ralph (remember Ralph? This is a song about Ralph), owner of the Old Comics part of our business, put it, “everyone looking for undergrounds asks for Zaps. And almost everyone asks for Freak Brothers,” which, alas, this collection did not contain. But, yes, Zaps are the single most requested underground at the shop. For a while there, we had some very nice copies of assorted Zap issues going for some premium prices, but the vast majority of people asking for these aren’t looking for collectibility or investment…they just want to read the darn things, and a bunch of “affordable” copies are exactly what we can use.
There were other Zaps in the collection…again, multiple copies of them, in varying conditions, mostly from the middle of the run. There were various other undergrounds, plus a bunch of more mainstream comics from the ’80s and very early ’90s that filled out the boxes, generally fairly common stuff in worn condition, thrown into the deal after we paid actual money for the stuff we could use. Nothing terribly exciting, save for a beat copy of an issue of Infinity Gauntlet that we gave to a customer gratis so he could complete his run and read the series.
Not quite on the scale of the immense collection of undergrounds we acquired a few years back (that we’re still going through, when we find the time), but it’s always nice to recover books like these from wherever they were being hidden, and getting them into the hands of more people who can appreciate them.