Patience is a Virtue Until Comics Are Involved

by Michael Vlachakis

121469_fc76b81fbedc43eb969f3b6f18bcbbefa017e81e-196x300 Patience is a Virtue Until Comics Are Involved

Does fortune favor the bold?  Is it the early bird who gets the worm?  Never say never?  Do you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take?  Everything happens for a reason!  Insert cliche statement here.  When faced with the opportunity to make a purchase, how do you begin your analysis of the situation?  Its buy time!  Do I want it?  Is it rare?  How is the price in comparison to market value?  Can I afford it?  Will I ever see one again?

I once had the opportunity to purchase a copy of X-Men #60 featuring the first appearance of Sauron (I will avoid a nerd war here by not referring to him as the “cooler” Sauron…settle down Hobbit fans).  The moment I saw it was a bit of a rush.  It was beautiful…I had never seen one in 9.8 grade before.  Instantaneously, my brain began the barrage of data crunching, review, debate, agony, and adrenaline.  Should I buy it? Typically, I have enough knowledge and foresight to know what I am buying and how much I am willing to pay.  This was not one of those times.

As I reviewed my past purchases throughout the history of my collection, I remembered the good and the bad.  Those impulsive purchases that worked out in the long run.  The bad bets that still sit in my collection as a haunting reminder of my worst mistakes.  When it comes to the higher price points, like for an X-Men #60, you want to make sure that you have all the information to make the best decision because a loss at this price point can have dramatic ramifications.  Even if you are a proven speculator who has made sound decisions in the past, there is no guarantee that you will have that same luck going forward.  You could have hit an anomaly in the sale.  The market could have been hyper-inflated during the sale period.  It could be plain old dumb luck.  With the big hitters, there is no room for error.

I ran the numbers on the recent sales and checked the census number to see what I was up against.  I talked myself out of buying it immediately after almost pulling the trigger on this sale.  The dynamic tension was wearing down on me with every decision to buy and then quick dismissal and a hasty return to data analysis.  It becomes a hectic and beautiful Mobius strip of emotional chaos.

After much deliberation and consideration, I had made my decision.  Once decided, it was gone.  There is no misery like missing out on a comic you want…other than real misery.  It’s tough and you soon realize that there are more fish (comics) in the sea and you are happy to move on and continue the hunt.  You can’t own them all.  Who knows if it would have been the correct decision for me financially or for the diversity of my collection.  Perhaps the next time an X-Men #60 hits the market, I will be more inclined to act quickly.  However, I find it more likely that I will go through the same mental Olympics that occurred the first time I tried to make the decision.  What am I expecting to change?

Is there a comic that you wish you had been more reactionary on?  What is your most notable loss?  Drop your comments and join the speculation!

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Michelle December 7, 2019 - 10:25 pm

Please don’t know what to do father passed away found this comic book. Zen intergalactic 2nd issue has certificate. It’s a black and white I guess don’t know it’s wrapped .help

Mark Armstrong December 10, 2019 - 9:28 am

Ah patience, lost opportunities and hesitation! I’m sure most collectors have tales to tell. In the mid-eighties, my brother and I started collecting comics, Marvel mainly; a hobby we both continue to love to this day. Back then, without the internet to peruse, we relied on our LCS and the occasional mail order company to feed our habits. Our LCS in Newcastle, North East England was Timeslip, which later became Son of Timeslip and we visited regularly. One of the highlights was seeing the major key issues on the wall, encased in mylar sleeves. There were some mega books up there, TOS 39, DD1, FF1, Avengers 1, Flash 105, and the daddy of them all; Amazing Fantasy 15. It was for sale at that time for £200 ($263). My brother and I wanted that book. We saved all summer, doing odd jobs to supplement our paper rounds and at some point when we had £60 ($79), we visited the shop. There was a kid there with his mother, picking books off the wall, expensive books. It was his birthday and his mother clearly had money. In minutes he’d nabbed a pile including TOS39, Flash 105 and of course AF15. We couldn’t believe it. To heal the pain, we put the money down on Avengers 1, so that was that, but we can’t look back without a tinge of regret. AF15 never came back in, and the rest is not so much hesitation, more enforced patience and a missed opportunity! Anyway, great article, keep up the good work !


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