A couple weekends ago a good friend and I went to a “mini-con” that one of our local comic shops put on for Comictober. It was held in a hotel ballroom in suburban Kansas City. No TV personalities or movie stars, no panels about how to build your own R2D2, or extravagant Game of Thrones photo setups, just a good old fashion comic convention. A small aisle of local comic creators and table after table of long boxes with a few cosplayers dressed up like their favorite superhero. The con advertised over 50,000 comics to look through and you guessed it, none of them were organized. Part of the proceeds made at this event went to a children’s toy drive.
We got there pretty much when the doors opened and the hunt was on. A room full of hardcore comic book nerds digging through boxes. A totally different experience from sitting on one’s own couch doing searches on eBay and tapping the buy it now button when you find that one issue you need to finish a run. Now don’t get me wrong I still do that too, but this is a different comic collecting game we’re playing here. I am keeping an out eye out for certain issues to finish certain runs, but with a huge mass of unsorted comics like this, I’m also looking for oddities. Indie books with characters I’ve never heard of before. Cool covers done in art styles I haven’t seen before. Books I haven’t heard of created by writers I enjoy. We are also looking to score some great deals finding hidden treasures the store owner overlooked.
They are doing bulk deals at the show which is perfect. For eighty dollars they’ll let you fill a short box. A short box holds about 150 comics (bagged and boarded) or about 200 without. My buddy and I are both on limited budgets, so we split a short box and find a loose backing board to separate his finds from mine. This is so freeing. With comics usually being about four bucks a piece now, you pick out ten comics and you’ve spent forty dollars before tax. Today I’m going to get about eighty comics for the same price. Now don’t get me wrong I understand the amount of hard work and skill that goes into making a good comic and they are totally worth it, but you can really play around with what you buy at fifty cents a pop.
So here are some of my favorite finds for the day. First off is Batman 452-454, a three issue story arc called Dark Knight Dark City from 1990. These are probably not worth much with the huge print runs that DC and Marvel were doing in this era, but I really like the Mike Mignola (Hellboy) covers on these, not to mention I’m a big Batman fan. It’s always nice to be able to grab a full arc too so you can read the full story right away.
Second is something I picked up because of the writer, I grabbed Alan Moore’s Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths 1-3 published by Avatar Press in 2003. These are compilations of some interesting Alan Moore stories and poems with black and white artwork. It’s always fun to read Alan Moore’s work whether it’s Watchmen, V for Vendetta, or some of his more obscure stuff. He definitely has an unique mind.
Last but definitely not least is Captain Victory #1 and #12. For those of you who are collecting comics on a tight budget, Captain Victory is probably one of the few Jack Kirby comics that you can still find in the 50 cent bins. These were published by Pacific Comics in 1981. Captain Victory is a character created by Jack Kirby and these comics were written by Kirby and also drawn by him both cover and inside pages. Plus you never know with DC working on New Gods and Eternals movies maybe someone will pick up Captain Victory and try to do something with it.
The rest are comics to fill holes in my collection or to try something I never heard of before. Some of the titles I picked up were: Iron Man, Daredevil, Detective Comics, Savage Henry, Those Annoying Post Bros., Legion of Super Heroes, Hawkman, more Batman, and other titles. The important thing is to just have fun digging.