Collecting Comic Book Back Issues

When a particular series of comics catches your fancy, you may take it upon yourself to amass a collection of the comic’s back issues. As some comics go back sixty years or more, this is truly a momentous, and often tedious undertaking. Collections, graphic novels, or paperbacks may be an easy way out, but the true aficionado wants to own each individual comic book in a series – and perhaps doubles and triples where alternate covers come into play.
When looking over your collection, whether for the simple enjoyment of reading your comics, or to valuate the collection itself, there’s a special feeling to knowing that you own the comics, as they were initially released, from the beginning to now – it’s a feeling that few collectors ever get to experience, but one you should strive to achieve for your favorite series or character.
“But what about expense?” You ask. If you’re careful, keep a shrewd eye out for bargains, and put a little effort into it, collecting individual issues shouldn’t run you much more than grabbing the trade paperbacks – just don’t decide on Spiderman or Action Comics as your first challenge! Your commitment to completion will serve you well when you look out over your comic empire. Here are some tips to get you from here to there very quickly, and on a shoestring:
eBay FTW!
Yeah, it’s obvious, I know, but there’s nearly nothing out there that you can’t pick up on eBay. I almost bought a screen-used Delorian from Back To The Future last month, but the wife promised to force me to live in it if I did. Regardless, unless you’re hunting for the very most elite comic – something even Mr. Glass would have a hard time finding – you’d do well to poke around eBay a bit. Sometimes you’ll find great deals offered by folks who really don’t know what they have!
Don’t Forget the Little Guy
I have a “comic book store,” near where I live that has been in continuous operation for nearly twenty-five years. God bless the little man who runs the place – he can’t possibly make a penny, but is passionate about keeping the doors open. Over the years, the sign has changed a dozen times. Verizon Wireless, Appliance Repair, Mailboxes for Rent, even Tanning Booths! The guy has either tried his hand at a million things, or else rented out part of his space to other hopeful (or hopeless) entrepreneurs trying to squeak by. Through it all, the dusty boxes of back issues have stood on folding tables in the corner. Frankly, I think the guy could likely unload the lot on eBay and retire, but I’ve never mentioned it to him, ’cause from time to time, I discover PURE. COMIC. GOLD. Within the various boxes and bins in that musty room. Bottom line – don’t overlook the small comic shops when searching for specific issues.
Ultimately, whether you decide to settle for trades or really take on the challenge, your comic collection will see you through a lot of boring, rainy weekends. Take good care of them, and the stories will always be there for you.

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