Tuesday, August 30, 2011

End of an Era?

     Next week's comic books arrives on September 7th.  That also happens to be the 10th anniversary of me picking up all of the comics for five of my friends and dropping them off every week for 520 straight weeks, since my schedule has always allowed for the time.  Like a mailman, through heat and rain and sleet of snow I was always there.  I mean what the heck, I was getting my books anyway and they all lived close to me when I started this.

     But with a decade passing, not to mention my recent near heart attack, ensuing emergency heart operation, infection scare and pneumonia all in the span of 16 days, well suffice to say I'm letting my pals get their own stuff from now on.  We'll still talk about our favorite hobby on the phone and at lunches and such, but from now on, I'll mosey on over to get the comics when I feel like it and rest my aching heart more.  This should also give me more time to blog.  Yippee!
     Well, take care and adopt a comic today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


     Lately I've been getting into reprints of comics, you know trade paperback collections of stuff I either already have or things that I'm missing a part to and can read all in one sitting.  But mostly I've been reading a lot of comic strip reprints.

     Some of my favorites lately have been Dick Tracy, Buz Sawyer and the upcoming Johnny Hazard, all adventure or detective strips.  Yesterday (comic book day) my order of another strip reprint book came in.  Modesty Blaze was a collection of English comic strips gathered together in book form by Titan Publishing from England.  They also collect the James Bond strip which I collect.

     Collecting old comics has enough built in problems for the true collector, finding dealers with decent stock, the right price and the book in decent shape.  But strip collectors need all of that plus a run of 42-70 dailys and Sundays just to get one whole story.  So these collected long runs of comic strips are the greatest thing for a collector like myself.

     This new trend of collecting complete runs of popular strips started a few years back with the Complete Peanuts, that started the whole 50 year run of that great strip.  And yep, that's something else I collect.  But I guess if you've never seen or read the comic or the strip, it's not a reprint.

     Take care and adopt a comic today.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sold to the Man Not on the Phone!

     Well, according to the title of the blog today, I lost out in my bid (no pun intended) to own some more original comic book artwork in last week's auction.  Truth be told, I didn't lose, I got creamed.  I normally would have seen the signs, but with this auction they weren't there.

     Normally if an item is going to go big, so to speak, it's already at a high starting point before the auction date.  But both my first and second choices were very low.  Then choice one must have spiked the morning of the auction while I wasn't watching, for bidding began at $1100. and closed thirty seconds later at $1200.  I was all set to be in a heated contest that would open around two or three hundred dollars and close between four and five, but I barely had time to introduce myself to my proxy bidder before it was over.

     My back-up choice did go the way I figured though but the bidding quickly jumped into the six, seven and eight hundred dollar range, way too steep for my blood.

     I guess I'm going to have to re-think my bidding strategy, learn to like cheaper artwork or make more money.  Still, it was fun.  I can't wait for the next one in November.

     Take care and adopt a comic today!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Going Once, Going Twice...

     Yes, that's right, according to the title of today's blog, I'm going to be involved in a high priced auction this week with the Heritage Auction House in Dallas, Texas.  Of course since this blog is about comics and not rare wine,coins or paintings, I'll be setting my sights on some comic related materials.

     Actually, since I have just about every comic book I ever wanted (and on my budget I guess I haven't wanted much) I'm going after original comic art.  You see, for every page of a comic book, there has been an original coinciding page of art that has been pencilled, inked and lettered.  So these items are literally one of a kind.

     Starting about twenty years ago I have been very lucky, predicting the trends and making purchases before the items of my choice got "hot" and the prices started soaring.  So I was winning one or two items per auction for about the first ten or twelve years.  But the last three or four I haven't been able to win "squat."  But I like trying and I've been lucky enough to be on Heritages' V.I.P. list for a while.

     The fun now is all about watching the auction live over the computer while being hooked up to my bidder via phone, as I see the auctioneer bellow out, "I have one seventy-five on the floor, do I have two hundred on the floor or on the phone?"

     That's when I give my bidder the verbal permission to stop or to continue, whereas I go back to looking at my monitor while conversing with my bidding agent on the floor.  So even though I haven't won anything in a while, it's still exciting and loads of fun.

     This Thursday I'm bidding on a painted cover to one of the old Space Family Robinson, Lost in Space comics from the 1960's.  The television show was based in part on this comic which featured art by a friend of mine, Dan Spiegle with painted covers by George Wilson.  I already have two of Wilson's "Twilight Zone" comics covers and reaaly love his stuff.  Stay tuned later this week to see how I did.  Gotta break this winless streak.

     Take care and don't forget to adopt a comic today.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Christmas Was Just The Other Day!

     I picked up my new comics (after all, it was Wednesday) a few days ago and boy did I hit the jackpot!  All of the magazines that deal with my wonderful hobby like, Alter-Ego, Back Issue, The Kirby Collector (all magazines that I've written for in the past) and more all arrived in one day at my comic shop.

     Also, three different hardcover collections of great 1960's stuff like Space Family Robinson, Daredevil and Boris Karloff Presents came in on comic day.  So boy did I get a wad of cool stuff.  And even though it was a fairly expensive week for me comic wise, it was so great to open the box my comic shop prepared for me.  And maybe that's what's still great about my hobby, the fact that every week I can still get filled with a sense of wonder...just like Christmas.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dog Days of August

     With all of the heat recently, the title of this blog ran through my head and of course super dogs ran through my mind.  Of course most people know Krypto, the super dog that hangs with Superboy and sometimes even (it's a time conundrum type of thing) Superman.  But how many of you are familiar with Ace-the Bat Hound?

     He was introduced in the late 1950's and has been around in one form or another ever since.  But my one question is this.  Why does Ace have to wear a cowl like Batman's, hiding his features?  Is it to protect his loved ones from reprisals from the criminal element?

     Take care and remember to adopt a comic today!