Sweetie and I went to watch Iron Man yesterday. Enjoyed it. As far as superhero origins, I didn’t love it as much as Batman Begins. But I liked it, and I really like Robert Downey Jr.
As we sat watching the credits, I turned to Sweetie and asked “So, is it cool yet to collect comic books?”
For you see, I am a closet comic book collector. And by “closet” I mean – I literally have closets full of comics. Here in Maui. Back at my mom’s house. You may call it “nerdiness”, but I call it “diversifying my retirement portfolio.”
Not a bad thought considering a comic book like “All Star Comics” # 5, which sold for $0.10 in 1941 is valued today at $6,000 (see www.comicspriceguide.com). Of course, it would have to be in mint condition to catch that kind of money. That happens to be the oldest comic book I own, but mine is worth about $300. All told, I have about 2,000 books and most of them are only worth their cover price. It’s hard to find older books in good condition, but I try and pick up a few when I can. Yes, I’ve attended a couple of comic book conventions. No, not The Biggie. Maybe someday.
Why comic books?
It all started with a little gem of a book called “Sandman” by Neil Gaiman. During college, my boyfriend at the time was a comic book reader/collector. He introduced me to Sandman, and I fell into one of the best written stories and set of characters I’d ever seen. I could go on and on about Sandman and Neil Gaiman. Oh wait, I already have.
Anyway – back to college. After my boyfriend and I broke up, I was left to buy the books for myself to keep up with the story arc. And I guess, once I started, I got hooked. Comic book collectors will advise “Buy what you like to read” when collecting. This is because there are soooooo many titles to choose from – so many books – it’s hard to know what will catch on in the future. So you might as well buy books you enjoy. And so I have, over the years. Plus or minus a few hundred random books. Which is not to say I’ve read them all. No one can compare to Sandman. Although one of my current favorites is Fables created by Bill Willingham. Awesome books.
For someone like me – all these Marvel superhero movies excite me – not just because I enjoy a good movie, but because I’m hoping for increases in my books’ values. Incredible Hulk? Yeah – I got some. Iron Man – Not a lot, but I own a few. Batman? Of course. Ghost Rider? Bring it on!! By the way – did you know one of the most well known comic book collectors is Mr. Nicholas Cage himself? Bet he had a blast playing Ghost Rider. Which enables him to buy books like Action Comics #1, currently valued around $580,000 for a Near Mint copy. Not something I will ever see in my lifetime. But hey, I’m happy with my Marvel Spotlight #5. Yes, I’m a huge nerd.
So, I confess. That is one of my hobbies. I may not ever make a big profit from it, but at least I’ve read some good stories along the way.
Back in the movie theater, Sweetie just smiled at my question and said “Well, I married you didn’t I?” Nice. I collect comic books. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
And – if you haven’t seen Iron Man yet and plan to – sit through all the credits. There’s a little extra suprise scene at the end of the movie that sounds promising. And made me think “cha-ching!”