Anyone here collect comics?

I remember the original Jane Foster story in the Thor comic. If I recall correctly, it was a big failure as she found going from working in an office on Earth and given super-powers in Asgaard too much!

Anybody got any of these? If so, jump on that bubble before it bursts!

So I’ve been reading more comics online, and buying graphic novels on Comixology dot com. The prices are amazing, especially the sales (and LOTS of freebies if you want to try it out that way).

And, look, Tag & Bink for 99¢!

But here’s my conundrum: Could I really give up dead tree comics and go all-electron? It would save a lot of money, and space in my (no-room-for-clothes-but-I-still-call-it-a-) closet.

Oh, and Comixology comics are a .cbz format. Will I always be able to read those? Bet I couldn’t if Comixology went under…

Cbz is just a zip with a different extension. (Cbr is a rar, the rare cbt is a tar). Inside the zip are ordinary image files, such as jpgs, pngs, or webps.

I go long periods without reading comics, then get in the mood again. Lately I’m binging. But I convert all my comics–50 or 100 MB per issue is obscene overkill to me. I unzip them, batch resize them to 1280 pixels high and jpg quality setting of 70 (plenty of resolution for reading on my Kindle) and resave them again (I prefer cbr.) Individal issues are reduced to around 5 MB.

I find as you get older reading comics in their original format is a chore. The paper and my bad eyesight.

I find as you get older reading comics in their original format is a delight. They smell like old paper and glue breaking down, and the vintage printing process (roto-gravure) gives it those subtly desaturated colors, and such a nostalgic look.

I took off on my bike yesterday and found a coffee joint with a patio in a small town. Pulled out a few old Silver Age comics from my panniers and had a wonderfully timeless experience.


ETA: That experience is the only thing keeping me from going all-digital with my comics…

The last physical comic I bought was back when they were printed on cheap pulp paper with bottom-of-the-barrel printing. When I see modern ones, it shocks me how much better they look–and how much more expensive they are. (When I quit collecting in the 80s, they were at 75 cents an issue. Prices have risen steeply ahead of inflation.)

My prime comic era dates back to the 10c (or “Still 10c” - uh-oh - prices going up soon) issues of the 60’s, and the back-page ads featuring “Sea Monkeys”, and “Throw Your Voice” - along with Charles Atlas sand-kicking images.

I heartily recommend the book Mail Order Mystery. It’s a reproduction of the ad as it appeared in comics, pictures and descriptions of what you actually got and a snappy review.

I would love to get my hands on that book. It looks like it’s out of print and about $90 secondhand. A little steep for 179 pages.

Mail Order Mysteries is the title

I have a copy that I bought several years ago. The cover and back cover glow in the dark, which is somehow appropriate.

The author must have had very indulgent parents, because he sent for (and carefully preserved) a lot of the schlock advertised in comic books from the 1960s-1980s and the stuff from Captain Company that was advertised in Famous Monsters of Filmland. I have to admit, a big part of the thrill was seeing what all that junk actually looked like in real life, after years of seeing the hype in print. All those ads for soldiers (and knights and pirates and dolls) was for paper-thin plastic figures that only stood because of their bases. The rubber masks were appallingly bad, and a lot of the novelties were extremely cheap (I DID get some of those from magic stores and the like).

I think I paid $20-25 for my copy new. It must be popular as an out-of-print item. I just did a quick check and it’s similarly pricey at all the internet used-book sites.

Sorry, I keep forgetting how expensive that book is. I bought a used copy for $10 at Philly’s Garden Of Earthly Delights. I have no financial connection to the Garden. But, their prices are great. Customer service is great. I am one very satisfied customer.

Here is some stuff that is not in the book:


I have a ton of comics, but I stopped buying about ten years ago. I have a lot of complete runs of various titles, and most of them are in really good condition. I was collecting during what I think was a great period of writing: early-to-late 2000s, Brian Michael Bendis churning out four or five titles a month, Brubaker’s run on Captain America, the War Games Crossover in the Batman titles, the splitting and relaunch of the Avengers after issue #500, Alias/Jessica Jones…

Pretty sure I stopped not long after Secret Invasion, before the big Asgard-themed event. Basically, the boxes were piled really high in my apartment; currently they take up a big shelving unit and then some. I loved what I’d been reading, but I’d wake up, glance over at a pile of boxes taller than me, and all I could think was “there’s an overseas vacation or two in those boxes.” I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money every month on books I’d read once or twice then dutifully file away in plastic bags, when I could be putting that money towards actual experiences.

I stil go to comiccons, though, meeting the guests and doing cosplay photography (or at least I did until conventions ended with the dawn of the Plague) and I race out to see every superhero movie that comes out. Once and a while I’ll flip through a recent trade paperback and I just don’t get it…the artwork is beyond me and too much plot has passed since I followed my favorite characters, that I just don’t think I could ever get back on board. I’d really like to sell my collection, but like everything else, it’s gotta wait until people can see each other again.

But wouldn’t NOW, when people are staying home more, be the perfect time to sell them? You’d just have to figure out a non-Con way to do it.

Any suggestions, folks? Maybe we need a “Best way to sell my comics?” thread…

I know I’ve spent more on comics in the last year than in any other year (in the 21st century, at least). Cheaper than regular therapy, I figure…