Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Clean Break (of sorts)

Since I was thirteen years old I have been what you might term a "serious" comic collector. I had previously purchased the occasional comic from the newsstand, but after discovering specialty shops (after an episode of Simon & Simon–documented here) I took up the hobby in earnest.

In the twenty-eight years or so since, I have accumulated and sold many collections. My first collection of ten or so long boxes I sold to the shop that became my first employer after moving to California. The owner figured that no one would be able to price and highlight my collection better than me, so he hired me to do that and run his sport card department. It featured at least 20 books valued at over $300 each, and this was in 1991. I had a near complete run X-Men/Uncanny X-Men, and all the important Bronze Age first appearance and origin issues like Hulk #180-182, Amazing Spider-Man #127 and more. He gave me $3,000 and a job.

While employed there, I bought a crucial set of key and classic Marvel and DC Silver age books including the Neal Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow series,  complete runs of Tales of Suspense, Journey Into Mystery, Avengers and Fantastic Four. I donated that collection along with a newly acquired run of Uncanny X-Men (Giant Size #1 and #94 to somewhere in the high 260s) to The Boys and Girls Club of America in 1998. It was four long boxes and two short boxes with an Overstreet value of $220,000.00. I needed the $22,000.00 tax write-off badly, and made a lot of kids happy on Christmas Eve that year.

In the 90's I had gotten way into the Vertigo stuff, and when I moved to Chicago in 2005 I dropped off three short boxes of Sandman, Preacher and pretty much everything that Alan Moore and Frank Miller had written, at Meltdown Comics. Through some sort of lack of communication I never got paid for those, and I still bust Gaston's balls about it to this day.

A few years ago an old friend of mine got me back into the hobby. At about the same time, my mother moved from her house in Massachusetts to Arizona, and my sisters found my secret stash of two short boxes of what I considered the really great stuff. Weird one-offs by Alan Moore and Dave Stevens and Bernie Wrightson, and rare undergrounds by Richard Corben and Rick Veitch and Steve Bissette. UK imports of Warrior Magazine and Crisis. Basically, these were the comics that didn't have much price guide value but which I knew would be difficult to track down in the pre-internet 1980s. I had started to read Bill Willingham's Fables, and it launched me back into hardcore collecting. From Halloween 2009 until my birthday (October 17th) this year, I went from guy with no comic books to a guy with nine short boxes. That does not include the two to three dozen Ombnibus, Absolute or other special edition hardcovers that still occupy about fifteen linear feet of shelf space.

On Sunday, October 21st, I sold the entire Pop-Sequentialism collection, with the exception of some recent issues from a handful of series that are currently ongoing and therefore not collected in hardcover yet. Well, those and a literal handful of comics that I treasure too much to sell or give away. I kept a CBG 9.5 grade Howard the Duck #1, and a similar Werewolf By Night #32. The first was the book I always wanted as a little kid, and the second was the first one I actually bought. I also kept a fine condition Haunt of Fear #19, which was a sixteenth birthday present from the guys I worked with at my first after-school job. Those guys were my mentors and if I ever escape a house fire, you can bet that this comic book will be make it out with me ahead of my wallet. The only other two comics I kept were the original Trident Comics edition of Grant Morrison's St. Swithins Day, which almost became a movie in the mid 90s and was a dream project for me as a young actor, and very good House of Mystery #261, which features a brilliant Mike Kaluta cover of the grim reaper, which is an image I redrew with some proficiency in my teens and of which I am still proud today.

Why am I liquidating this important collection? Because I'm moving. I'm also getting married next year and I realized that I have a ton of stuff. Like any mad collector, I've had trouble limiting myself to just one area of collectibles, so I've got a couple thousand DVDs, way more books than space to display them, fifteen CaseLogic binders full of audio and data cds, crates of movie posters and lobby cards, more clothing than I will ever wear, and more shoes than any other straight man on the planet.

And I'm practically hemorrhaging art. I've got more paintings than square feet of walls. I've got way more sculptures than counter top space. I've got guitars that I almost never play but find it impossible to get rid of them. Do you know what I use for a coffee table? Architectural drawers filled with artwork.

Somehow I've managed to limit my toy collection to a single suitcase-sized box.

So what have I given up? The list is below. The collection now resides at Comics Vs. Toys in Eagle Rock, CA. The owner, Ace Aguilera, has been a friend of mine for almost twenty years. He's a fair dude, and his clientele for back issues is well matched for this collection, which represents some of the best work done in sequential storytelling over the past thirty years and more. There are full sets, and obscure runs within titles by great creative teams. There are random issues of forgotten series that feature absolutely iconic cover art from some of the industry's best.

This is Pop Sequentialism:

After Watchmen: What’s Next? 
Airboy #5 (Dave Stevens) 
Alias #1-12
Alien Worlds #2,4 (Dave Stevens)
All-Star Superman collection Vol 1 & #7-12 (Morrison) Anarchy Comics #2 (1st Tales of the Black Freighter)
Animal Man tp (Morrison), and complete Animal Man series
Astro City: Confessions
Back to Brooklyn #1-5
Batman Year One (#404-407 Frank Miller)
Batman #666, 686, 687
Batman & Robin #1-16 (Morrison)
Bedlam #1, 2 (Bissette & Veitch)
Blood: a Tale #1-4 (Kent Williams)
Blood of the Innocent #1-4
Brat Pack tp
Capt. America Reborn #1-6 (Brubaker)
Chaingang #1,2 (Rex Miller)
Cinderella From Fable Town with Love#1
City of Silence #1-3 (Warren Ellis)
Comico Attractions: Rocketeer (Dave Stevens)
King Sized Conan #1 (BWS)
Corinthian #1-3
Criminal: Sinners #1-5 (Brubaker)
Grant Morrison's Dare #1-4
Daredevil #41 (Bendis)
Dave Stevens greeting card (Thanks for a Wonderful Night)
DC Sampler #3 (Bissette & Moore Swamp Thing)
DC Spotlight #1 (1st Frank Miller Dark Knight, 1st Watchmen)
Death Rattle #16
Detective Comics #853-863
DNAgents #24 (Dave Stevens)
Doom Force #1 (Morrison)
Doom Patrol (entire Morrison run)
Dreaming #55
Eclipse Extra #53
Eddy Current v.2, 3
Egypt #1-7
Elektra Assassin #1-8 (Miller & Sienkiewicz)
Elvira's House of Mystery #11 (Dave Stevens)
Enigma #1-8 (Morrison)
Ex Machina (whole series)
Extremist #1-4 (Milligan)
Fables #81,90-98
Marvel Knights Fantastic Four 1,2,3,4 #1-4 (Morrison)
Fantasy Masterpieces #1
Filth (whole series - Morrison)
Giant Sized Man Thing #1
Glueboy #1-4
Golden Age #1-4
Gumby Summer Fun Special (Art Adams)
Hellblazer #1-8, 12&13, 18-22, 25-27, Dangerous habits tp, 53, 61-end of Ennis Run, #134-139 (Ellis Run), #250-268 (Milligan Run)
Heroes for Hope – signed
History of DC Universe #1&2 (Wolfman & Perez)
Horrorist #1&2 (Milligan & David Lloyd)
Human Target – mini series complete, ongoing #1-3, 7-18, 20 (Milligan)
Incognito #1-5 (Brubaker)
Invincible Iron Man #20-27
Invisibles – complete run of all three series (Morrison)
Jack Cross #1-4 (Ennis)
JLA - #1-18 (Morrison)
JLA Classified #37-41 (Milligan)
Joe the Barbarian #1-5 (Morrison)
Johnny Nemo Mag #1-4 (Milligan & Morrison)
Johnny Nemo coll v.1
Johnny Quest #5 (Dave Stevens)
JSA Liberty Files tp
Junk Culture #1&2
Kick Ass #1-7
Kid Eternitiy #1-3 (Morrison)
Kill Your Boyfriend (Morrison)
Kurztman Komix
League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen v.1 tp
Losers Special #1
Losers – complete Vertigo series
Love & Rockets Short Stories & Heartbeak Soup collections
Madman Jam
Mage, The Hero Discovered – complete first series
Merv Pumpkinhead
Mesmo Delivery
Mindless Self Indulgence – signed
Ministry of Space #1-3
Moon Knight #29&30 (Sienkiewicz)
New Frontier – complete series
New Funnies v.1 #126 (1938!)
New Titans #50-55 (Wolfman & Perez)
Northlanders #21,23
Ocean #1-6
100 Bullets v.5 tp
100 bullets #67,82,86-97
One Million #1-4 (Morrison)
Planetary All Over the World tp (Ellis)
Preacher: The Story of You Know Who #1 (Ennis)
The Programme #1-12 (Milligan)
Proposition Player #1-6 (Willingham)
Reid Fleming World's Toughest Milkman #1
Robot Comics #0
Ruins one shot #1
Sam & Max #1
Sandman: Endless Night Special
Scalped #1,7,9,10,11,14,15-28
Sea Guy tp
Sea Guy v.2 #1-3
Sebastion O #1-3 (Morrison)
Secret Origins #1 special (Gaiman)
Seduction of the Innocent 3D #2 (Wrightson)
Shade the Changing Man #1-70 (whole series)
Skreemer tp (Milligan)
Slow Death #8
Sheena 3D #1 (Dave Stevens)
Spider Woman #1-7 (Bendis)
Star Spangled War Stories #151 (1st Unknown Soldier /dbl cvr)
Dr Strange mini series #1-3 (Waid)
Stumptown v.1 #1-3
Sub Mariner #1,2 (coverless)
Superman Annual #11 (Moore & Gibbons)
Superman Batman #60-62
Superman for All Seasons (complete series)
Superman Secret Origins #1-3
Saga of Swamp Thing – #21-64, annual #2 (x2) Alan Moore run, Annual #3 (Veitch), #140-147 (Morrison/Millar)
Sweeney Todd (Gaiman/Zulli)
Tainted (Delano)
Tales of the Teen Titans #41-43 & Annual 2 (Judas Contract issues - Wolfman & Perez)
Tank Girl tp
Teen Titans Lost Annual
Territory #1-4, (Milligan)
Thessaliad #1-4
Journey into Mystery #91, #104, #116, 119, Thor #127, 128, 129, 132, 138, 139, 144, 145 (Kirby), Thor #601-603, giant sized finale (JMS), annual #1
Tongue Lash #1&2
Torso #1-4 Jinx #6
Transmetropolitan #1-60 (whole series)
True Love #1 (Dave Stevens)
Twisted Tales #2 (Wrightson)
Ultimate Avengers #1-3,5
Umbrella Academy #1-6 & free comic book day
Unknown Soldier #1-4 (Ennis)
V for Vendetta #1-10 (whole series - Moore & Lloyd)
Vanguard Illustrated #2 (Dave Stevens)
Vertigo Pop London – full series
Vertigo Preview
Vigilante #17&18 (Alan Moore)
Vimanarama #1-3 (Morrison)
Walking Dead tp v.1
War Story #1-3 (Ennis)
Wasteland #1-18
Watchmen #1-12, Watchmen button set (Moore & Gibbon)
Wednesday Comics (complete set)
We3 tp (Morrison)
Witchcraft #1-3
the Witching #1-10
Wonder Woman #27 (Quitely variant)
World of Wood #1-4 (Dave Stevens)
X-force & X Statix (all Milligan issues)
New X Men (complete Morrison run)
Crime Does Not Pay #46 (classic SOTI)
IT #1 (Gaiman magazine)
Mad Magazine #159 (A Clockwork Lemon)
Neat Stuff #9
Neat Stuff best of
Weirdo #10 (first Peter Bagge art)
Comics Journal #273 (Gaiman), 278 (Gaiman), 176 (Morrison)

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