Have you been priced out of keys? Daunted by the price appreciation of your buy list? Don’t get discouraged. And don’t overreach. Shift your focus, stay calm and enjoy hunting for books using comic collecting strategies like these.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
If you have been at it for a few years, the prices realized for existing (and an ever-expanding list of new) keys are breathtaking. Hopefully, you have a few books in your collection that have appreciated nicely over the past year. But along with the excitement of watching your collection grow in value is the realization that it might not be growing in numbers any time soon as the big books move farther and farther away from what most of us can afford.
Fear not, I have a couple of ideas that will keep you in the game and also keep your bank account out of the red. Let’s take a look.
Behold, the Benevolence of the Birthday Book
That was my best Stan Lee intro. My first suggestion is birthday books. I have been adding comics published in the month I was born since I first heard this mentioned in the comments on a now-forgotten YouTube video. For me, that means books with the published date of March 1969 (roughly a hundred years ago). Now, I do understand that any comic published for March of that year most certainly hit the shelves at least six or eight weeks before that, but we need to start somewhere.
I am fortunate in that there are several early, beautiful Neal Adams covers for that month. There is also the iconic John Romita cover for Amazing Spider-Man #70. But there are all kinds of treasures to be discovered. Herb Trimpe and Dan Adkins cover featuring the Sandman for The Incredible Hulk #113, for example. I was surprised by the quality of the story (the Neal Adams cover speaks for itself) in Detective Comics #385. But there is so much more. How about the fantastic peace symbol cover for SGT Fury and His Howling Commandos #64?
You get the idea. Hopefully, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the stories and art from your birth month as well.
Villain Appearances (other than the first)
That Sandman cover I mentioned earlier got me thinking about another approach to collecting. We all know Sandman got his start in Amazing Spider-Man #4, but he has appeared in numerous Spidey stories and titles since. The aforementioned Hulk #113 (and #114 too) of course, along with Marvel Team-Up, Fantastic Four, House of M, and even Wonder Man #1 and many, many others. Even just picking up his Silver Age appearances yields some nice Fantastic Four issues. Check out Fantastic Four #36. Silver Age, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on the credits, first appearance of the Frightful Four (Sandman is a member), and Medusa. While not dollar bin material, it does not break the bank time either. That’s just one example from the dozens of characters out there that we could focus on.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that Scarecrow looms large in Batman’s immediate future, I plan on taking a hard look at his appearances in stories since Batman #189. I anticipate finding some collectible gems that will bring some joy to my collection without interfering with my family’s long-term financial goals.
There are a lot of ways to keep that passion burning, even when your larger goals are momentarily out of reach. Good luck out there!