In this interview series I interview Blaine Hafner who sells custom labels for comic dividers. It's actually how I came to meet him as I found one of his posts on Facebook Marketplace. I was looking for comics and he popped up. He made some custom labels for me and kept in contact with him since. If you need some labeling work done, he's your man!What got you into comics?
- I grew up in the 90's, when my Saturday morning cartoons were TMNT, Spider-Man, X-men, Batman the Animated Series, Superman, and The Justice League. It would have been more surprising if I didn't get into comics growing up, as I was submersed in the Marvel and DC universe at a very young age.
- My great grandfather actually owned a gas station, and sold comics there; his daughter (my grandmother) often read them off the rack while she was hanging out at his gas station. My grandmother used to talk to me about my favorite cartoons, and in some cases even spoiled some of the plots for me as a child, it was really nice having that connection with her, to this day she still brings it up every so often.
- I've always enjoyed the grittiness of 80's/90's DC books, and I think I have about 20 storylines I could justify as my favorite. If I were forced to choose, I think that Batman: Hush (The original) would be my favorite. It's iconic, I don't see a lot of flaws or holes in the series , and Jim Lee crushed the art from start to finish.
- I was a huge Jack Kirby fan and didn't even know it until I got older; but I still think Neal Adams is responsible for most of my favorite covers. He just has a way of making a cover iconic, even on issues that have nothing really going on in them. I would say Jim Lee and George Perez is a very close tie for my 2nd favorites.
- I have two favorites, I absolutely love the Justice League of America (vol.1) series. I'm super close to finishing the entire run with about 12 issues remaining (all Bronze Age fillers), I'm trying to savor the hunt, and find the last few books organically, there is nothing like finding that last issue you've been looking for in a box.
- I'm wrapping up my run of the Justice League of America (vol.1) , and I'm truthfully asking myself this question right now... I think I'm going to try getting all of World's Finest, and then probably tackle something on the Marvel side, most likely Daredevil.
- I have a ton of major keys that I got killer deals on, each one I'm either super proud of, or would love to show them off, but I would say my absolute favorite book is Justice League of America #1. It's certainly not the most valuable book in my collection, but it has a lot of sentimental value to me.
- I really only go to one religiously called Packrat Comics in Hilliard Ohio, I went to a few places across the country that were amazing, I would say most of my keys and older back issues are coming from eBay, or Buy/Sell/Trade groups on Facebook.
- My brother had a box of comics from the 90's in his closet, super buried under clothes, containers, and baseball cards. In that box there were a ton of books I would never personally buy, but a few keys that I had to return to him because I felt guilty: TMNT #1, Batman Adventures #12, The Amazing Spider-Man #361
- I feel as if I'm still new to collecting, compared to a lot of people I've met in the hobby. In short, I've learned three lessons; Embrace mistakes, only look forward, and don't let others dictate how you enjoy your collection.
If you're in need of custom labels, I definitely recommend him! Shoot him an email for quotes.