Well, “sorta friendly” anyway.

§ November 30th, 2022 § Filed under retailing § 10 Comments


So this is what I’ve been busy with at the shop since Sunday…a sizable collection acquired from someone just trying to clear out space in the house. It was something inherited from a family member and that he didn’t really have any use for, thus it was to his local friendly neighborhood comic shop for unloading.

This ended up filling about four and a half long boxes, having been delivered to me in a variety of plastic storage bins that, I should remind you, are not the ideal place to keep comics. I could tell a lot of time was spent sorting, organizing, and cataloguing these comics, but alas not as much attention was spent to keeping them in nice condition. They’re…pretty rough, by and large. Intact and readable, but…well, I’ve already processed a big stack of these and the highest grade I’ve given to anything so far is a single VG+.

It’s mostly late ’70s/early ’80s, but it’s material I’ve been short on from that period. Lots of Spider-Man, Jonah Hex, Warlord, war comics, that sort of thing. While low grade, it’s all sellable goodies and even if they average out only a buck or two apiece, I should do pretty well on these. The trick is finding the time to get them all processed…I’ve been spending pretty much every spare moment I’ve had trying to work on these, but spare moments can be hard to come by, especially with holiday traffic.

But that’s a big part of why I like running a comic shop: getting to play with old comics! Even if they’re a little beat up, they’re still deserving of some love and a good home.

10 Responses to “Well, “sorta friendly” anyway.”

  • I had a buddy who got some of his comics graded and slabbed (and eventually sold them off). When he was showing them to me, he remarked that the comics that get the highest grade and best price are those that were the least loved – not read and re-read and re-read. I like my comics in ‘reader grade’.

  • Thom H. says:

    I love a good reading copy of an old comic. Sometimes I pick up old back issues for $1 or so for the sake of nostalgia and then pass them along to someone else (or the free little library) when I’m done with them.

    It’s worth it to relive that mid-’80s Legion of Super-heroes storyline again, even if I don’t want to permanently own it. In this climate of HOT KEY COLLECTIBLES, it’s nice that some comics can still be cheap and disposable like they were originally intended to be.

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    And this is why I could never own a comic store–I’d keep stopping processing those comics to read them.

  • Brian F says:

    I live in Wa state, but I love flipping through & buying cheap reader comics.
    Dunno when I’ll be in Camarillo, CA again but a stop at yer store is on my to do list.

  • Donald G says:

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I feel that I must reiterate: I have no use for slabbed comics. I will not buy them. I will not slab those few candidates I might have for a possible 9.8 grade. I have no respect for the modern Collectibles Industrial Complex. (I also still consider cleaning and pressing a comic to bump up its grade before slabbing a form of cheating to game the system, despite the rest of the industry embracing it.) I couldn’t give less of a crap about monetizing my hobby.

    Bagging and boarding are fine, and I’m old enough to remember when comic shops boarding their bagged back issues was rare, let alone bagging and boarding the current week’s releases on the display shelves.

    Most of my personal collection from the early eighties to the mid-nineties is in the VG to FN range. My 1995-2005 collection is mostly in the FN to VF/NM range. My Poor to Fair to Good are mostly confined to the years 1974-80. Those PR to Gd I would actually toss in the trash before even trying and failing to unload them on a comic shop. (I do have some self-awareness, after all.)

    But, yeah, sell me VG to VF/NM raws that I’m not scared to carefully take out of the bag to read (and soak up the surrounding cultural context of the ads, lettercols, soapboxes, bullpen bulletins, and publishorials) over 9.6 to 9.8 slabs you can’t even crack open without “ruining the value of the comic,” any day.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Re: “COVID is spread by Infectious Lass” — DC Comics should have Infectious Lass appearing in public service ads reminding people to get their booster shots.

    Also, James Gunn should totally direct a Legion of Substitute Heroes movie!

  • Aaron says:

    Mike Sterling Tells You How to Store Your Comics Using Materials Purchased from Mike Sterling sounds like a fine post for a slow idea day, though maybe it’s on the shop’s non-mobile web site.

    For instance, I would have assumed that I could put my books in any place after I “bagged and boarded” them safely, or whatever the modern equivalent is. Wouldn’t a Tupperware-like container keep my All-Star Squadron issues smelling fresh, or at least not like, you know?

  • Casie says:

    Old comics are the best! So happy to see these guys found the right person to bring them new life. Don’t work too hard though, Mike. Take care. :)

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Spider-Man, Jonah Hex, Warlord, war comics”

    ALL good readin’!

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