Dollar Bin Digging #1: Hunting for Comic Books

by Richard G

Pic-1-300x171 Dollar Bin Digging #1:  Hunting for Comic BooksIf you are any type of comic book collector you spent your fair share of time digging in longbox after longbox full of comic books; both the back issue bins and the dollar bins for that matter. We purposely look through the longboxes to find missing issues in our collection and fill in those gaps to complete a run or maybe to find that hidden gem. The fact of the matter is, you never know what you can find in those longboxes.  It’s the thrill of the hunt I often hear is what gets collectors excited. The dollar bin digging is what we are discussing today.

Despite the mandatory lockdown that is going on nationwide there are comic shops that are slowly opening back up. Comic Cons, small ones, are starting to happen again.  This article will highlight some recent finds I had when I attended a small comic con. I will let you know what you may find as you dig in them longboxes as well.  Welcome to the life of Dollar Bin Digging!

Dollar Bin Digging 101 

For whatever reason, a comic book collector can find some amazing comic books while Dollar Bin Digging.  Dealers are always acquiring bulk collections by the masses each and every month and there is only so much time in the day.  Not all the key issues are found in the longboxes during the initial acquisition by the Dealer.  A lot of key comic books get missed and are ready for the public to finger through and grab.  No complaints here.  Like I said earlier, it’s the thrill of the hunt that makes it exciting.  I’ve seen people take Dollar Bin Digging seriously by marking off their territory, meaning, do not enter this long box or the one next to it and the one next to that.  Then there are those collectors with the knee pads, gloves, back brace, going all in.  I haven’t gotten there yet!

The one advice I can give to any newbie out there is trying to remember as much of the comic book cover and/or characters as you can.  When it comes to serious Comic Cons with 50k plus attendees and people shoulder to shoulder walking the aisle, you really do not have time to check your phone every five minutes to make sure you have the right cover?  Go with your gut, and take the comic, after all, it’s only a $1 right!

The Key Finds   

Pic-2-255x300 Dollar Bin Digging #1:  Hunting for Comic BooksSo back to the Comic-Con.  I was fortunate to head out the house, drive about an hour, wait in line, put on a mask, get my temperature checked at the door, and eventually dig in some Dollar Bins.  The first set of comic books I found were the Marvel vs DC complete 1-4 mini-series from 1995.  Bagged and boarded too.  You can say comic book writer Donny Cates made this comic book series relevant again with his story in the current Thor series.  In any event, the set can fetch you in the neighborhood of $20-$50 online, depending on the condition.  You do the math.

I guess you can say it was Donny Cates day for me, I found more comics by the aforementioned A-list comic book story writer.  I found Venom #1 in the dollar bin, not worth much by itself, maybe $5-$10, but if you can complete a set of Venom 1-5 or 1-3 then you’re talking $100+ easy because now we’re talking about the Knull storyline, which is a key character right now!  Amazing find.

Redneck series by Image Comics issues 1-8 was another find I had at the Con, each for a dollar, don’t know Pic-3-300x225 Dollar Bin Digging #1:  Hunting for Comic Booksmuch about the series but I do know anything Cates is hot and I decided to pick it up.  The set can go for $50 online as those are the early issues of the series which now I believe they are on issue #27.  Good find.

Daredevil 10 (vol. 2) series from 1999 was another find I had.  It features the 1st cover appearance of Echo and to me, a cooler cover then issue #9 which is the 1st appearance of the character Echo in the comic.  Looking online, you can see that Daredevil #9 and #10, as a set, can go for $50+ easy.  By itself, it can sell for $20 plus, don’t believe me check it out here.  Cool find.

Pic-4-202x300 Dollar Bin Digging #1:  Hunting for Comic BooksAnother crazy find at the Con was One Punch Man FCBD from 2016.  I never had this comic book and I don’t even remember participating in the FCBD festivities in 2016.  I didn’t start getting into FCBD until maybe 2018, sad I know.  Amazing how many people you see at a comic shop on FCBD compared to people on NCBD, where did they come from?  That’s a discussion for another day.  But yes, I found a $40 comic book in the dollar bin.  There is confirmed news about Sony developing a film based on the One Punch Man manga series.  I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Wow!  

The Other Finds

Not all comic books you find in the Dollar Bin are immediate flip material.  Some take time to materialize and others may just be reading material you want to add to your PC.  These are those comics:

Shirtless Bear-Fighter #1 (1st print) – just a funny comic book series by Image Comics about a man raised by bears in the woods, eventually betrayed by those same bears then wanders the woods fighting the bears to protect the forest.  It was hot when it first came out but the last issue was issue #5 which was released months ago and kind of died out.  I can see this being a mini-series.  You just never know.  2 NM copies.

Winter Soldier #1 – 1st appearance of RJ, the assassin.  A hot comic book when it came out, you never know when Marvel will bring this character back again.  1st appearance on the last pages of the comic book.  Good comic to have regardless especially if you are a Winter Soldier fan.  NM copy.

Walking Dead #188-190 – The recent release of Negan Lives by Image Comics has rejuvenated the Walking Dead franchise and has made the final issues of the series desirable again.  These are PC copies, for now, to go with the final issues I already have, 191-193, 1st print copies.  Negan Lives indeed!!

Time to Go Home 

Attending Comic Cons are usually an all-day event and can be tiresome and painful if you’re on your feet all day.  This event was no different and after digging through all the longboxes, both on the tables, and the floor, it was time to go home.  Another lesson I can give is when you get home, please rebag and board all the comic books you found.  You will be happy you did and will thank me later.  The comics deserve it.  Also, bring water.  Overall it was a good experience.  I am glad I attended this Comic-Con.  I must admit, I was hesitant at first leaving the house and driving so far but at the end of the day, I think it was worth attending as it was a Con that was well executed.

As you can see there can be some amazing finds in the Dollar Bins.  With a little bit of planning and set goals in mind, you too can find some hidden gems to add to your collection.  Try to have fun out there while digging and stay safe comic book collectors.   I don’t know about you but I am receiving a lot of alerts about scheduled Comic Cons coming up in July and August as well as Warehouse sales sponsored by local comic book shops which often have 100s of longboxes of dollar comic books.  All I can say to you now is KEEP DIGGING IN THEM LONG BOXES!!!!

Dollar Bin Digging Wrap Up

Please share your thoughts and comments you have about Dollar Bin Digging?  Are you a fan of Dollar Bin Digging or are you mostly a Comic-Con wall display collector?  What comic books have you found in the Dollar Bins lately?  Which comic books are you looking for in the Dollar Bins?  Which comic books are your all-time favorite finds in the Dollar Bin?  Please share your experience about Dollar Bin Digging and what are some of your favorite comic books to go on the hunt for.

 

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4 comments

Jack Borges July 12, 2020 - 4:53 pm

Fun article! I can so relate. Just yesterday I went to my LCS and tthumbed through around 15 long boxes (4500 books). By the end my back was killing me LOL! Walked out with around 20 books. The best of which was a NM copied of Dark Horse Presents #34-36. #35 in 9.8, FMV $400! I’d buy that for a dollar!

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Richard Guzman July 23, 2020 - 5:27 pm

Did someone say 9.8!!!!!!!!!! lol ,, love finding dollar books that are bagged and boarded and in really high pristine 9.8 condition!! The ROI can be infinite on those if you find a hidden gem as you probably already know. Digging in 15 longboxes can def hurt the back (and knees if there on the floor) so I know what you’re talking about. But I find not many people will do that so there loss is your gain! Congrats on the Dark Horse Presents finds, def some hot books right there!!! I’d buy that for a dollar too. Makes my Savage She-Hulk 1 I found in the dollar bin a year or two ago feel minute!!!!!!!!l lol

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Pugilisticphilosopher July 22, 2020 - 8:22 pm

Great article. I’ve dug quite a few gems out of bargain bins over the years. Early Iron Fist issues, Man Bat #1, some key Iron Man issues, the 1st Rocket Racoon limited series, Machine Man #1 …the list goes on. The long game works better in most cases but sometimes you get a quick flip out of it. The hunt is always fun.

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Richard Guzman July 23, 2020 - 5:23 pm

Wow! Those are some amazing finds. I am almost nervous to ask what else you found in those bargain bins over the years. As you already know, those can be some fun times for all of us when you find those hidden gems. I agree, alot of buy and hold for me as well when digging but every now and then I’ll find something maybe in better shape then a copy I already have or a character I am not to fond of and quick flip is in full effect. Talk soon, and keep on digging in them long boxes!!!!!!!!

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