This interview series is with a longtime Facebook Seller and Owner of the Hero's Corner Comics, Louie Arbs. I've purchased several variants from him over the years. His books are always packed and sent securely in a timely manner. And every so often he sends really good a freebie or two as well. Not just some random filler or dollar book but good stuff I would've actually bought myself. I definitely recommend him!
What got you into comics?
- I had seen cartoons of the characters as a kid. I read my first at a friend’s house and liked them. I didn’t know what to buy first or really what characters I liked so when I bought my first comic from the local grocery store, I picked up one that had a lot of characters on the cover. Plus the cover was really cool. That comic? Infinity Gauntlet 1. McFarlane’s Spiderman run was also in full swing at the time and the crossover with Ghost Rider to fight Hobgoblin I believe sparked my love for both characters.
Favorite childhood memory about comics?
- Reading the newest arcs. Trading with my friends. Going to the comic shop to see what they had. Good times.
What got you into selling comics?
- I had a lot to downsize. I was getting to the point with the runs I have been collecting where I was doing better buying in bundles and selling/trading off the ones I already had. Over the years that has grown and with social media, I have helped create several successful comic sales groups and build up a significant customer base.
Biggest mistake you made when you started selling?
- Not completely checking out the comics I was finding. What really gave my sales a jump start was a localish guy (about 45 minutes away) that had inherited all of his dad’s shop inventory. Dad ran a collectible shop in the town from the 70s until early 00s. He would open up the shop to let people go through box sets. I found lots of killer books at steal prices. I didn’t check all of them as well as I should have and missed things like missing pages, detached staples, etc. I wasn’t necessarily as organized or had all the proper tools I have now so many times I was overpaying on shipping or the dreaded label mix ups.
What’s your favorite character or title to collect?
- My top 3 are Amazing Spiderman, Spawn and Ghost Rider. I have Ghost Rider complete from MS5 to current (not including guest appearances but I have started on those). Spawn is near complete with about 40 issues missing. Amazing Spiderman has the farthest to go but only missing about 150 issues altogether.
Next big thing for your personal collection? Your grail?
- My grail would be Amazing Fantasy 15 1st print, first appearance of Spiderman. Though my next bigger purchase will be ASM 122. By the end of 2021 I want to have ASM complete from #75+ and complete the Spawn run.
Most unique or favorite thing in your collection?
- Several original art covers. I'm not really a big on signatures but McFarlane got me into Spiderman with his art then his business prowess makes him one of my idols in the industry. Unfortunately many artists and writers I meet tend to not live up to the pedestal I have put them on as a reader/collector.
Raw or Graded? Why?
- I like both. Graded for preservation. Raw to read. If I find a high grade older key book I want to slab and protect it. I can buy a lower grade copy or a reprint to read. Comics are a great pastime and due to their history and popularity, can be a good speculative prospect if you follow the trends. Most books won't be worth much long term, especially modern, but if you follow the short term trends you can ride the waves and make some extra $. Honestly my sales go to growing our business and filling in our own comic collections. My wife collects with me. Recently we just added the first appearances of Enchantress, Executioner and Grey Gargoyle to her Thor collection.
Best find or score?
- Too many to count to be honest. Two this year were awesome, at least for me. One guy was getting a divorce and needed to sell his collection. Roughly 15k books and a handful of slabs. From golden age to modern.
- The other from this year was a Facebook marketplace local lot. I had originally offered on the books but was turned down. A few weeks later the seller reached out and sold them to me for about $50 less (his offer). I found lots of high grade modern ration variants and indy books like Rick and Morty 1-7 first prints. I sold 1 book and recouped the cost of the 7 box lot.
- There are always steals on the comic groups. Hence you will find me constantly scouring them for finds. I scored a vf nova 1 yesterday for $45 shipped.
Advice to new sellers or collectors.
- Sellers: Keep an eye out for deals. Honor your word. If for some reason something falls through or happens, honesty and a heads up go a long way. Watch for a while before jumping into selling, then wade into it. Start with lower $ books to build your reputation and refine your processes. Different people prefer different methods. I can't stand the live video sales but many people like them and do well with them. Post your stuff everywhere. Ebay is your friend but you need to keep it at arm’s length. Unless you have a super fire book, do buy it nows, with best offer and include shipping in your price. Use ebay sold listings to follow trends, it’s the biggest online database.
- Collectors: Keep an eye out for deals. Honor your word. If a seller is willing to work with you on a larger tab, respect that by following the terms or if life happens, say something before they are wondering what is going on. Most people will work with you if you just be honest and tell them upfront. Buy bulk lots if possible, never miss a dollar sale at a lcs, don’t go chasing all the trends of the day as most will fail. Collect what you like. I love Sleepwalker and just completed my own run. Working on Darkhawk as well. This is a hobby with an extremely wide range of genres and just because someone likes a series doesn't mean you will or vice versa. Those weird books you get in packages, give them a read. You might just find a new series you enjoy.