Comic books are anything but "kid stuff" these days--collecting used comic books is a hobby that generates millions of dollars a year, and comic book publishers frequently put out special editions with an eye to their value to collectors in years to come. While new comic books rarely cost more than a couple of dollars apiece, highly desirable collectable comics can trade for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The comic book with the highest price tag to date was a Marvel Comics No. 1 issue that sold for £227,500 for in 2001. If you'd like to get in on this hobby, there are a number of different places you can go to find your special titles, or to discover ones that may be new to you. One thing you can be sure of, you'll never run out of comics to discover, collect and enjoy.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Local comic book shop (if possible)
- Computer with Internet access
- Credit card and/or paypal account for online purchases
Start by visiting your local comic shop. While most shops stock a wide range of new titles, they also tend to have quite a few back issues and older titles as well.
Talk to the comic shop owner and check the notice board there to see if there are any upcoming comic book shows or conventions. Conventions are a great place to find dealers from all over, not to mention ones who specialise in particular comic genres--golden age superheroes, romance comics, war comics, horror comics, alternative comics, manga.
Visit science fiction, fantasy and TV/movie conventions as well if you have a particular interest in comics that may be associated with these themes. If you do not want to participate in other convention events and activities, you can check with the convention organisers to see whether you can arrange for admittance to the dealer room alone for a lower rate (or perhaps even for free).
Scour the web for comic dealers who stock a wide range of speciality titles, or those who specialise in your particular area. You can join listservs and forums of other comics fans to get tips on where to go to find the best online bargains or even to arrange swaps with other collectors.
Tips and warnings
- Get a comic price guide so you'll know what prices you should be paying for the used comics you'd like to buy.
- Be sure that any online seller you deal with has a return policy if you'll be spending more than a few dollars, especially if you want your comics to be in mint condition.
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