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.