For years I had this recurring dream where I would be walking down the street and come across a huge stash of comics sitting in boxes on the sidewalk. In my dream, I never got to open the boxes and see what was inside, but I envisioned them filled with great old books to complete my collection or at least sell for a tidy sum.
So imagine my disbelief when Victor, my building superintendent, pulled me aside the other day. He took me into his storage space in the basement and showed me box after box overflowing with comics! Turns out they had been left to him by a couple of vacating tenants over the years, and he had just gotten the bright idea of trying to sell them. Even though I’ve lived in the building for over seven years, he never knew I was a cartoonist until fairly recently, so when he found out, he figured I was the guy to show them to. Now I love Victor; he’s a great super and he always goes out of his way to help out Sari and I. So I agreed to go through the boxes and see what was what.
It took me a week or so of hour-long visits, but eventually I went through the thousands of books, culling what I thought had some re-sale value. (I’m sort of touch with that market from selling books from my collection over the years.) Sadly, the vast majority of the comics were crappy ’90s Marvel and Image books, published during the speculator rage when supply way outpaced demand. But I did find a mother lode of vintage 1970s Marvels, going back to the era of 25-cent books. Most of the comics were in awful condition, having been read multiple times and never bagged or boarded. Even so, there were a couple of gems, including the first appearance of The Punisher in Amazing Spider-Man #129, the first appearance of Gambit in X-Men #266, and a nearly complete run of Claremont/Byrne/Austin X-Men.
I took the books with “potential” up to my apartment, and spent some hours here or there over the last few weeks putting them up on eBay. I also invested in some comics boxes and bags and boards. When all was said and done, I netted Victor over $300 (the Punisher Spider-Man alone sold for over $100!). Victor was thrilled when I brought him the cash the other day, and I’ve been getting to enjoy reading old comics, and filling some gaps in my old collection (mostly Byrne and George Pérez books). And I still have a bunch of books left to sell, when I get around to it. Who says dreams don’t come true?
4 thoughts on “Dream Come True”
We all dream of striking that vein of gold. I have that Spider-man Comic.
Where do you find the time to do all the things you do? Do you never sleep?
When I visited NY, my friend Elis in Spanish Harlem had me look at a stack of comics her ex-boyfriend left behind when he split. Mostly crappy 80’s and 90’s stuff, some of which I owned myself (which is how I knew right away that they were worth nothing). I hate being the one who tells people their comics are not the goldmine they were hoping for. I’m glad you had a few gems in your landlord’s batch.
Ooh — hey — but a couple of weeks ago I bought a stack of Disney comics in a quarter bin. I brought them to a friend who knows about such things and found out they are all Barks issues and even in their beat-up condition are worth about $5 each. One of the best quarter bin finds of my life.
Re: old comics
It’s funny how no matter how much alt-comix street cred we’ve got, we still have this unbreakable connection back to our fanboy days
Great find with those Disney comics!