How To Collect Comics The Nix Way #1
On November 29th, at the Nix Comics one day Pop-Up shop, I will be premiering my newest zine: How to Collect Comics the Nix Way #1.
(whew! That's a lot of typing. "HTC" from now on, dig?)
HTC is a sister publication to my Tales from the Crate zine about record collecting. It will be the same in some ways: Every issue will be about a trip to a comic shop or fair and the comics that I buy given a $50 budget. (This first issue was a trip to the Longview Mini-Con, held in a barbershop around the corner from my home!)
I'll also keep up the tradition of my covers paying homage to another classic comic cover. This time around it's George Evans's cover to Shock Suspenstories #16. I like the original a lot... I can't help but look at it and think that Neal Adams borrowed a lot from Evans. Same body language and facial expressions for the characters and a freal similar style of drafting furniture/background material.
HTC will differ from Tales From The Crate in a couple of notable ways.
First, I'm not big on condition in the same way as most collectors. In fact, part of me likes them a little beat up. It's a sign that at least one person loved that comic to read and reread it, scrawl their name on it or even roll it up and stick it in their back pocket for a bike ride. To reflect that preference I will be using the following grading system:
Loved (L): A comic that has been read a few times, but treated respectfully. It would take some close inspection to catalog all of the little dings if you were going to resell it.
Well Loved (L+): A comic that has clearly been around the block a couple of times. There are immediately obvious signs that one or multiple readers have dug into it with little regard for the kind of damage that collectors care about.
Loved to Death (L++): A comic that has not only been around the block, but probably beer run over by a car and left to die in the storm drain. It’s still readable, but would have to be really rare and desirable to have any collectible value.
Unloved (L-): A comic that has apparently never been read.
Fucked (F): A comic that is missing parts significant to the story or art due to use and abuse. No collectible value and only readable in parts.
Fucked if I know (F-): A comic that has been “slabbed.” Only has value to suckers who don’t realize that part of “condition” for collectibles is the ability to use it for its original purpose.
My thoughts on slabbing are part of a larger view on comic collecting that lead to the second way in which HTC will differ from Tales From the Crate. Instead of writing opinions and reviews of the comics themselves, I am writing a short fictions and drawing one panel cartoons about imagined previous owners of the comics I bought. About where and how they got it. About why it was (or wasn't) important to them. Basically, comic books in my mind serve functions to the readers that they don't to collectors. Collectors see only the value generated by popularity, scarcity and condition and not the impact that they can have on people's lives.
Btw: I have set up some combo packages where you can buy the comics I discuss in HTC with a copy of the zine or the original art for the cartoon that accompanies my short prose. Any orders ship in December or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for pick up at the Nix Comics Pop-Up Store in November!