Tag Archives: Panels of Awesome

My Comic Life With eBay: A Retrospective

Today’s post comes from Mike Haynes, the founder of Panels of Awesome.

Usually, I avoid collecting comics. If a comic is really good, I’ll grab a couple issues and read them but I rarely “collect” the comics. There’s really only one title that I’ve tired desperately to collect from issue 1 to the latest issue and that, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who knows who I am, is Amazing Spider-Man.

When I got back into comics, after avoiding them for a couple of years, I grabbed the latest issue, which was probably somewhere around #519 or 520. I read it, I liked it. I had to have more of it so I started heading to my local shop and picking up back issues. This little plan worked out nicely for a while until I started finding massive gaps in my collection that would require much more effort to fill. Enter eBay. Needless to say, the website has helped me fill in the entire run from the 1999 relaunch until now, annuals included. Where would I be without it? Probably dead or crying. Here’s a couple of the rarer issues I was able to get my hands on thanks to eBay and, obviously, the people who decided to sell the comics in the first place.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 (Volume 2):
This issue, entitled ‘Nuff Said, is a fairly interesting one for the fact that there’s not a single line of dialog in the entire book aside from a quick blurb about how the issue was actually thought up as well as the breakdown of all the pages courtesy of JMS. The story shifts through the main characters as they go about their regular days. Mary Jane wakes up, shoots some photos and goes to a movie premiere before calling it a night. When we shift to Aunt May, she’s at the local library canceling her Daily Bugle subscription, because of it’s unfair coverage of Spider-Man, and is switching to a newspaper that is much more neutral. Jump to Peter and we find that he’s, as usual, being a hero. He saves a couple people from a fire before heading home and falling asleep thinking about Mary Jane, who’s now living alone in LA. It’s surprising how an issue with absolutely no words can somehow be more interesting than many issues that are filled with them.
Price payed on eBay: $3.00 (Plus shipping)

Amazing Spider-Man #30 (Volume 2):
This issue, in addition to introducing one of the most important characters in his run, is actually the issue that kicked off J. Michael Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man. The character introduced is Ezekiel, who would prove to be a very important part of Peter’s life during the run of JMS as it related to the totemic aspect to Spider-Man’s past. Aside from showing Ezekiel for the first time, the issue is fairly simple in design. It’s mostly just a “day in the life” style story as Straczynski gets his feet wet to the world of Spider-Man and shows us how Pete’s been dealing with the numerous changes to his life recently. So, while it might not be the most action-packed issue, it’s monumental in the sense that JMS’ six year run started right here. Funny story, I went into a shop and asked the owner about buying this issue and he told me that it would run me about $50. I checked eBay and, as you can see, got it for quite a bit less.
Price payed on eBay: $4.50 (Plus shipping)

Amazing Spider-Man #36 (Volume 2)
This issue, known to many as “The Black Issue”, is the comic that was released in 2001 which explored the effects of the 9/11 attacks on the heroes of the Marvel U as well as the city of New York. It’s a very powerful issue that shows the police and firefighters doing everything that they can, with a little bit of help from the Marvel heroes, to locate survivors and save the lives of those who fell victim to the horrific attacks. The best part about this issue is that, while it’s a Spider-Man comic, there are a number of cameos from different heroes and villains in the Marvel U that really give the comic book that much more impact. More importantly, instead of showing the superheroes as the ones who are rescuing survivors and saving the day, the emphasis is put on the policemen and firefighters being the true heroes. The best example of this is the great final shot of the comic in which the superheroes are placed in the background of the panel with the police and firefighters placed in the foreground indicating just how much more important their presence was at ground zero than that of the fictional superheroes. Overall, it’s a stunning issue that is easily the jewel of my Amazing Spider-Man collection.
Price payed on eBay: $35.00 (Plus shipping)

When I was looking around for issue #36, I tried the same shop as I did for issue #30 and the owner told me that the comic would run me $150.00 and that he could put me on a layaway plan if I wanted. Needless to say, looking back on this all, eBay’s been pretty good to me. It’s hard to imagine what my comic collection (not to mention my wallet) would be without it and I know for a fact that, somewhere down the road, I’ll probably require it’s services again.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Comics, General

Ebay Week Day 1 – Finding Single Issue Bargains

Attention all! Ebay week if (finally) underway! After many false starts, including yesterday (my job started that day and I completely lost track of time), I almost failed uploading tonight as well due to the storm, but I think I have a window of time big enough to get this post up. This week should prove to be fun, I even have a guest post from Mike Haynes of Panels of Awesome, but that’s for later. So, let us begin, how many times have you missed a single issue that isn’t in your pull box, or you have a run of old comics and are missing a few issues? Well, Ebay can be a wondrous source of single issue comics, even if you are not looking for one particular comic, but you’d like to collect some back issues anyway. While the amazing deals are out there, We, as the comic book community are still feeling the effects of the comic speculation bubble, and as a result there are a lot of overpriced comics due to overspeculation, and a lot of general crap floating around. But hopefully with these few tips will help you accurately search out what you are looking for. Before I start however, I have to say that this is merely a bargain hunting strategy, and if you happen to be looking for Ultimate Spiderman #1 Variant, you’re going to have to be prepared to pay top dollar.

Speculation, What is it, and how does it affect me?

Comic prices are very interesting, as there is no simple linear rule to defining the prices (eg, older = more expensive), as the aforementioned speculation. First though, we must address the issue of, what is speculation? Speculation, put simply, and in the context we are viewing it, is the act of speculating or guessing that a particular item, in our case comic books, will one day become valuable, or that it can be resold for more later. Speculation, literally defined means trading with the purpose of making profits, and I’m sure you’ve seen this, such as when Captain America #25 was released, and it was immediately being sold, or attempted to be sold for $25 dollars on Ebay even though my local comic shop was selling them for the standard $2.99. The first printing was fairly limited however, and they probably sold. As much as this is something that does not please me, I don’t believe my hobby should really be belittled by others for profit, it is a viable trade strategy. We saw the same attempts with the Death of Superman, but DC printed an incredibly large number of those issues, and they’re now found in bargain bins pretty much everywhere. So, the most expensive comics will be the old rare ones, followed by more recent comics being sold by people trying to make a quick dollar, but if you’re searching for something a little more obscure (ie, not a hot item), from the 70-90’s, you’re sure to find a great deal.

What should you, as an honest comic collector take from all this? The short story is, if you are hoping to pick up an important issue you may have missed, Ebay is probably not the place. Heck, the internet is probably not the place you want to look. My advice would be to check out other comic book locations in your local area. Chances are one of them heard the issue was going to be big, and ordered some extras, especially if there is a comic book store located in a cit around you, such as midtown comics in NYC, or a very small comic shop, that probably doesn’t get many patrons is also a good candidate; basically anything on either extreme if your first choices aren’t working out.

Finding Single Issue Bargains

Moving on to what Ebay and the internet can do for you, instead of what it can’t. For this installment of Ebay week, I will be giving some examples and pointers of good search methods, some of which can be applied to finding just about anything on Ebay. First off, know what you are looking for, or alternatively, know that you are not looking for anything in particular, and just browsing. If you have never used Ebay before I suggest you do some browsing, and test searches before committing to anything, it can be daunting, and you want to make sure you are getting the best deals. First off, make use of the categories if you are just browsing, but if you are looking for a particular item, it would be best to not limit your categories due to poorly categorized items, a good example of this would be listing an autographed comic under collectibles, or memorabilia. Also, while browsing/searching, be sure to look to the left hand of your screen. The upper section allows you to limit your search to categories and sub-categories, such as only silver-age comics. Below that allows you to limit or expand your search to include Ebay stores as well as those who offer free shipping. Now, onto the specifics, when searching Ebay, instead of just searching “Signed Thor comic” and taking the first thing that pops up, do alternate searches using synonyms, such as autographed, graphic novel, or include the author or illustrator. Doing this requires you to make good use of the watched items feature. Just click “Watch this item,” and come back to all your favorites later. Doing this allows you to really see what the bargains are. I’ve picked up a good number of comics for exceptionally cheap, such as Journey into Mystery #123 for about $12 US, or the occasional bargain for $3-5 US like the last issue I needed my for Official Marvel Handbook series. However, don’t be afraid to be patient, if you’re in a rush you’ll make mistakes. In my hurry to collect and read all the issues of Civil War I had missed, I ended up spending way more than I had to, and then shipping on top of that! Remember to look for deals on shipping, many sellers will offer them.

Addendum: For examples of what I’m talking about, see my other blog “Life of a Welshman” for proof that great bargains DO exist out there! Today’s entry can be found here.

3 Comments

Filed under Comics, General

Occupying Time Off

Mike over at Panels of Awesome, which btw have recently changed sites, so update your bookmarks, posted today on what to do while you’ve got downtime, be it from work or school.  I thought it was a very interesting topic, and to occupy my downtime, I figured I’d blog about it.  I left a comment saying that I tend to read old comics, but I do other stuff too; I read other’s blogs fanatically.  I figured I’d take some time and spotlight on some great blog posts of late by other bloggers.   Rokk’s Comic Revolution writes some great reviews that I often don’t really get to appreciate during the busy times of the year.  I’ve been reading them over the last few days and as someone who puts a lot of time and thought into writing reviews, I really appreciate what he’s doing there.  On the topic of reviews, Faust’s website, entitled Faust’s Fantastically Fantasmagoric Forum, writes on a wide variety of topics, including television and movies, but he also does a weekly comic review, focusing mainly on DC stuff.  I mainly read Marvel, Dark Horse, and BOOM! Studios comics, and I’d read more DC if it were financially feasible, so I enjoy the chance to read up on what’s happening in DC.

I would be mistaken to not mention Comics Daily, written by J. Hunt, a regular commenter on this site.  He recently wrote a post about the One More Day debacle, and wrote a very well worded opinion, which which I absolutely agree.  He writes very detailed blog posts, and always seems to be able to get to the heart of the issue.  Much of the comic book community is refusing to tangent from OMD, and to link you to all of the posts that have been created about it would be an act of futility.  One that does deserve mentioning is No More Days posted over at the Fortress of Solitude.  This post tackles the argument from a slightly different, and a little more cynical perspective.

Comics don’t always have to be taken seriously, a blog entitled Comics Make No Sense takes a look at comics that well, make no sense.  Taking them out of context, or even in general, and pointing out just how ridiculous they are.  I thought the one he did about some guy with a Q on his chest (I’m told it stands for Quiet Plea for Help), who appeared in Dial H for Hero.  Some blogs have been quite silent, such as Merc With A Mouth, who’s last entry was simply a list of links, which I am quickly realizing is what this is amounting to, I will probably do more indepth writing on each one in the coming future however.  As well as For the Love of Comics, who will be thankfully returning in the new year, because his is one of the ones I read most frequently.

1 Comment

Filed under General

Some Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man Fun

            Starting out with a brief overview of the mission here at Your Comic Relief, I aim to have a serious article posted daily.  On the weekends, as we saw on Saturday, if I find something that I find interesting I’ll post it with some commentary.  Also, I may update at any time if anything dramatic happens in the world of comic books.  So, in summation, you can expect a post every week day, and weekends are a possibility.  An RSS feed can help you determine easily if there is new content available.  With that out of the way: today’s post (albeit late).

            Admittedly amateur, home made comics are often fairly lame or don’t make sense.  But over at Panels of Awesome,  Mike Haynes is proving the skeptics of home grown webcomics wrong.  He recently published some of his personal home made comics.  While some are less humorous, this one really captured Spider-man’s characteristic and iconic sense of humor in my opinion, in a way the Hollywood failed to do.  Not to say the others are poorly done, I just find this one to be strikingly similar to how Spider-man should be portrayed.  Comparing it to a standard, as is the convention in analysis both scientific and literary, we can clearly see the similarity.  Spider-man’s sense of humor can be best characterized as witty and underhanded, and really makes reading his stories fun.  Something about this has been lost in the recent publications, comparing him to the spider-man comics from the 80’s there a marked difference in his persona.  Has anyone else noticed this?  Leave a comment and let me know!

            Also, everyone else seems to be posting the Dark Horse trailer, so I figured I would too.  Commentary and opinion will be posted once I’ve had a chance to really think it over.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Marvel, Web Comics