Welcome to SBC’s The Panel, a chance for you to put your burning questions – comics-related or otherwise – to a group of comics professionals.

The Panel lives or dies by your contributions; please email them to panel@silverbulletcomicbooks.com and we’ll add them to the list…

This week’s question comes from Rob Williams and is as follows:-

“Is it worth collecting comics anymore?”

Egg Embry writes:

It’s up to the purchaser. Personally, I have tons of comics (literally) and they only have a value if my house burns down… oy vey. But, I bought them to read and maybe reread in a decade or three so I’m satisfied. Now, some books may end up with some value in the long run, but they likely have “literary value” now. I mean, many comics have print runs of 3,000 or less (even some Marvel/DC books are coming in at south of 15,000) and that says to me that they will have value due to their scarcity. So, I believe you can do both collect and read if you want to.

Egg Embry edits Dead Men Tell No Tales from Arcana Studio.

Kev F Sutherland writes:

They’re meant to be horded, if possible sealed in plastic, and never ever sold to anyone ever. And any Mum who has ever thrown out their kid’s horde the moment they went off to University should be burned as a witch.

That said, passing them on is cool too.

Writer and artist on most genres of comic from (currently) The Bash St Kids in The Beano, thru Tarquin Hoylet He Has To Go To The Toilet in Viz, to Star Trek and Dr Strange for Marvel, plus Dr Who, Red Dwarf, Gladiators, Goosebumps and heaps more.

Sean O’Reilly:

I’ve always collected comics but I’ve turned into a read and pass on guy. As you can imagine I get a comic or two at a convention and what I’ll do is read them, and give them to my LCS (Hourglass Collectibles).

Si vales, gaudeo!

Sean Patrick O’Reilly is Editor-in-Chief of Arcana Studios, and the writer of their book, Kade.

Bart Thompson:

Comics are made to be read first and foremost. Enjoy the story and enjoy the artwork. What you do afterwards is all up to you. You’re a saint if you can pass the comics on to others… we need the word spread to people who don’t read comics to try to lure them in. We need the word spread to other comic readers about new titles they may not know about. But if you save your comics, that’s fine, too.

Bart Thompson is the founder of Approbation Comics and creator of “Vampires Unlimited”, “the Metamutoids”, “ChiSai”, and “Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs Zombies”. The Myriad 6-issue anthology will be released early 2006, so be sure and pick those up!

Vince Moore:

Comics are meant for whatever you, the reader, want for them to mean. If you want to collect them, then do so. If you want to just read comics and pass them along to others who might enjoy them, then do that. I’ve done both, mostly collecting comics but giving books and trades to kids and adults I thought might enjoy the comics. Please, we don’t to make this into the next in-fight: collectors vs. readers vs. givers. Blah, blah, blah.

Vince Moore is the editor for DarkStorm Studios, a comics company started by Kevin Grevioux of Underworld fame.

Donna Barr:

“I would think that would intend on the intent of the authors and companies. If the author and/or company is concerned with the collection scam, then they will be designing the book for collection, even to the point of putting different covers on different editions of the same book.

But of course drawn books are books. Books are meant to be read.
And with POD, there will no longer be books out of print. All those Desert Peach’s and Stinz’s that are out of print? The Gods have given me an intern this June, and she has offered to do scanning and layout as part of her project (and have her name on all the indicia pages — what a resume!).

They will be printed through the good sales deals at www.dimestoreproductions.com for shipping through Diamond (and once sold out — if sold out, considering Dimestore’s good short-run prices — will go on to www.lulu.com/desertpeach.

I’ve always signed my books without fees and sold backstock at cover price. The dead tree copies aren’t what’s important — the content is what counts. And it’s always saleable, especially with the help of today’s expanding printing technologies.”

Donna Barr has books and original art at www.stinz.com, webcomics at www.moderntales.com, www.girlamatic.com, and has POD at www.booksurge.com Nothing she won’t try, at least once…including writing a column for SBC at this link!

Jesse Leon McCann:

Yes, read them, definitely! Collect them only to read them again later–not to speculate. If you want to invest, two words: real estate. Pass them on? Perhaps, I like to let friends borrow from my library, but I’ll ask for them back when finished.

Jesse Leon McCann is a New York Times Best-selling Author. He’s currently writing KRYPTO, THE SUPERDOG for DC Comics, as well as LOONEY TOONS and CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY; editing the fifth SIMPSONS TV Episode Guide, and writing BART SIMPSON stories for Bongo Comics.

Vito Delsante:

I’m all for the reading and passing theory. That’s what I love about comics…their portability. If you’re lucky enough to live in NYC, and you’re lucky enough to find a comic on a train…I’m the comic gnome you should be thanking.

I don’t believe in collecting, personally. I find it hard to keep up with everything I love. I tried comics, toys, dvds, and I’m never fast enough to keep up. But, if it makes you happy, then sure…collect to your hearts content.

BTW, I don’t believe that everyone who collects is “saving it for their kids.” Bullshit. They want it for themselves, and there’s no need to be ashamed of that!

Vito Delsante’s creator owned mini-series, “The Mercury Chronicles”, with artist Jim Muniz, is now in development with Image Comics and will hit stands late this year.

The views and opinions expressed on the panel are solely those of the panellist who has written them. They do not reflect the views or opinions of silver bullet comic books or myself. Freedom of speech is great isn’t it? – James

Collecting Comics… keeping them bagged and boarded (is that the correct phrase?)… is it healthy? I do it and I’m not sure. I keep wanting to get more people or kids to read to comics and see why I love them so much, BUT I find myself not wanting other people to touch my comics in case they ruin them!

However that was year ago – now I don’t really care. What has changed? Well lots of things, some private – some not. I guess I really don’t have the time to bag and board all the comics I get and I like Egg Embry said, my comics only really have value if my house burns down. I toyed with selling some comics or giving them away, the selling price was not worth it and if I gave them away, who would I give them to?

I’m also starting to be interested in buying trades, I like having the whole story in a collected edition that I can pass onto friends and family and that I don’t have to worry about.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting old… I dunno.

I will always read and collect comics, and I will probably have my collection buried with me!

We need your questions, send them to me marked “Question for The Panel” at j_redington@yahoo.com

Next Week The Panel will Return with “Is it worth trying to submit your work to a comic company (those that accept submissions) given the recent movements at Diamond about titles that don’t sell enough copies?”

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