After recently rediscovering your columns and reading all the ones I’d missed (since October!), one comment/question comes to mind: You mentioned in one that you had catalogued a large number of comics in the DC Library on 3×5 cards, which then got thrown away. How do you catalogue your own personal collection these days? Do you have a custom-written database? Or use 3×5 cards still? Can you recommend any commercially available comics cataloguing database? (I currently use an Access database that I wrote myself, but wondered if there was something out there that others would recommend.)
Jenny in Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I want to organize my comics in a database which will price them. The only two I can find are Comicbase (which updates prices once a year) for $129 and Worth Collecting (updates prices quarterly) for $50. Any insight into which one is better?
John Able (email@example.com)
Since I started collecting comics, I’ve kept track of them the same way… on 3×5 index cards. There’s a card (or more than one if necessary) for each title and the numbers of the issues I own are listed. In addition to the issue numbers, there are different designations to tell me if the book is missing the cover (a problem with a number of books from my early reading days) or if I had a letter published in it or, in later days, if I had written a story in the issue. I’ve never been much concerned with grading the books. The more times they were read – and that number increases with each year backwards you go – the less than mint condition they are in.
I’ve seen a flyer for Comicbase and find some of the features interesting, but I think it is aimed at investors more than collectors. [Frankly, I would classify anyone who is overly concerned with what his comics are worth as an investor rather than a collector.] I’m unfamiliar with Worth Collecting, but I suspect it offers similar features to Comicbase.
Were I starting to collect comics today (rather than when I did, in the pre-computer days), I’m sure my 3×5 cards would have had their modern equivalent: a set of spreadsheets in Excel. If keeping track of which comics are in your collection is your main concern and you have a basic knowledge of Excel, you can easily set up your own tracking system. You can even update the values each year with a copy of Overstreet or one of the other Price Guides.
The key decision you have to make is what you will use whatever system you set up for. Want to be able to go on a buying spree at a convention with a list of books you have (or those you need)? A basic checklist does the trick. Want to sell your collection to someone else? A more detailed description is obviously necessary. Want to track the value of your books like they were stocks or mutual funds? Then you need one of the systems that will update prices regularly.
Just as there are all variety of comic books, there are numerous ways to keep track of them. The decision is yours.
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. Merrie Melodies is the “subtitle” for what?
2. Um, this Archie Comics series featured a band of Pussycats; who was their lead singer?
3. Some may call him the Trapster, but what was this villain originally called?
4. Isaac Bowin used mystic lore and a musical instrument to escape prison; who is he?
5. Color blind painter? Got “prisma-goggles”? Start a life of crime like whom?
6. Actor Basil Karlo was the first to adopt what guise?
7. Nate Heller’s creator is a member of what popular musical group?
8. Decoding the words to his hit song about Superman gave away the Man of Steel’s identity; who is he?
9. Advertising a cameo by what group had the Thing and the Torch wearing moptops on a STRANGE TALES cover?
10. Remember “Sugar, Sugar”? Who sang it?
11. Thomas Peterson and Henry Darrow were aliases for what villain?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Who’s that playing the piano on the “Mad About You” theme? Paul Reiser himself.
2. All of the clocks in the movie “Pulp Fiction” are stuck on 4:20.
3. The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
STILL MORE FOLLOWUP TO PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:
In Barry McKendrick’s question about the panhandling Superman, he may have been mixing two ACTION COMICS stories. As you pointed out, the bulk of what he described occurred in “The Super-Panhandler of Metropolis.” For the bit about all of the heroes being old and powerless, he may have been thinking of the “Immortal Superman” storyline in ACTION #s 385-387 which includes a sequence where Superman is relegated to an old heroes home in the far future and rallies the heroes there to stop a menace.
Mark Katzoff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You’re probably correct, Mark. “The Home for Old Super-Heroes” — part two of the three-part tale – teams an aged Man of Steel with Electroman, Atom King, and the last of Green Lanterns.
Tom Galloway’s reasoning behind his theory that Professor Xavier’s school is a degree-granting institution is sound. As Tom concluded, Hank McCoy must have earned a Bachelor’s degree from Xavier’s school, though he probably earned a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S) rather than a Bachelor of Art degree (B.A.) since he left Xavier’s for a research position at Brand Industries.
Furthermore, since McCoy went immediately from Xavier’s school to the position at Brand Industries, it’s possible that he earned his M.S. (Master of Science) and Ph.D. from Xavier’s school as well. What an amazing school to be so able to grant doctorate degrees with such a small student enrollment and faculty! On the other hand, perhaps McCoy earned his Masters and Doctoral degrees online from Phoenix University.
Thom Young (TYoung@fmarion.edu)
Well, Thom, Xavier’s IS a school for the gifted… so why couldn’t they earn advanced degrees?
I’ve been reading the discussion about magnetic characters using their powers on “the iron in people’s bloodstream.” The first place I’d seen it done was in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #298 (or thereabouts) by Paul Levitz & Keith Giffen. A terrorist had firebombed a city and Cosmic Boy had gone after the guy solo. Anger amped-up his powers (aside from the public devastation, his family was in the city at the time), and he did the “iron in the blood” trick. It amazed me at the time!
And finally, a question: years ago (in the early 80s, I think) I saw a DC text piece that mentioned a Joe Kubert comic called THE REDEEMER. Do you know if it ever came out? Maybe it was released under another title, but I never saw it.
Rob Staeger (email@example.com)
Rob, you sent me digging through the BobRo archives to find the issue you mention. It was actually LSH #297 and the hyper-powered Cosmic Boy does indeed pull a fleeing felon to him thanks to the iron in his blood.
As for THE REDEEMER, I recall that it came fairly close to publication – artwork went through my production department – and then was yanked for reasons I cannot remember.
STILL MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX
I was looking over some old comics this weekend and found various of those infamous DC Explosion ads. I have heard about all of them (or at least all the characters involved) except for one. It was to be titled NEVERWHERE. Any scoop on what it was and who was involved? Thanks.
NEVERWHERE was one of a number of projected DC Explosion features that never made it off the ground. I may be way off-base in my recollections, but I think it was a fantasy series that either Paul Levitz or David Michelinie was involved with.
I have a copy of the No. 1 issue of BATMAN. Is it worth anything?
Michael Fairley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Well, Michael, I suppose it depends on whether it’s the real thing from 1940 (in which case it would be worth anywhere from a few thousand dollars to much more depending on condition), the large-size FAMOUS FIRST EDITION from 1974 (worth $4 to $45, again depending on condition) or the Millennium Edition DC just published last year (cover priced at $3.95).
All the folks whose letters appear above earn 10% off anything they buy from Comics Unlimited through SBC this week.
That’ll do it till next week. See you in seven days.
It’s a music and art theme this week, but then you already knew that from the first letter clue, didn’t you?
1. Looney Tunes
3. Paste-Pot Pete
4. The Fiddler
5. Roy G. Bivolo
7. Seduction of the Innocent
8. Pat Boone
9. The Beatles
10. The Archies
11. Pied Piper
I don’t have to paint you a picture; there’s more trivia at the daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Need some answers from the Answer Man?
Ask BobRo at It’s BobRo’s Answer Board.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.