This interview series is based off a few recommendations from some friends about not only the mystery boxes out of Gotham Comix but good overall service. If you don't know what a mystery box is or have never purchased one, they are a bundle of books sold with the chance of winning a high value book in the box. Now a good majority of mystery boxes that I have tried are not all that good. As some sellers unfortunately use them to unload unfavorable books. And several collectors who purchase them are underwhelmed by them in general. However there are a small group of sellers that do outstanding mystery boxes. I'm super excited to see when the next offering for mystery boxes will be as I've heard nothing but good things about them!
What got you into comics?
- A group of childhood friends introduced me to the hobby when I was 14, and we've been collecting ever since.
Favorite childhood memory about comics?
- Digging through the long boxes and finding key issues for cheap. Every weekend the 4 of us would hang out and look for books that each of us needed for our runs.
What got you into selling comics?
- Eventually you learn through the years that the hobby is an expensive one and to be able to obtain certain books you need to sell books to obtain the books you want for your personal collection. I amassed a personal collection of over 11,000 books over the 30 plus years of collecting.
Biggest mistake you made when you started selling?
- Once again you learn the hard way in this hobby to do your research before you either make a purchase or sell a book . I honestly can't say I've made a mistake since I started selling over a year ago, yes have I sold a book for under GPA or FMV, sure. I started selling my collection off late in life, so I'm pretty educated when it comes to researching FMV on books . Selling too early would be the only mistake, because we sure aren't perfect in timing the market.
What’s your favorite character or title to collect?
- I began collecting in the late 80's and 90's, Valiant titles struck a chord with me, at the time they were the balls, Magnus, Solar, Rai and yes even Turok, which today I use as a coaster at the shop.. Lol. But the X-men characters and storyline hooked me as a kid . Wolverine and Magneto are the characters I enjoy most.
Next big thing for your personal collection? Your grail?
- I go for the obscure and hard to attain issues, there are two: TMNT 1 (1st. Print) & Albedo 2 (1st Usagi Yojimbo). Yeah, I could say AF #15 or an X-Men #1 even FF #1. In my mind those are attainable, available and out there in circulation. Not many TMNT 1 or Albedo 1's floating around.
Most unique or favorite thing in your collection?
- Most unique book I have is the Transformers Unicron book which was given out at a retailers summit, maybe 10-25 copies were handed out. It's considered the grail of grails for any Transformers collector.
Raw or Graded? Why?
- Graded, as both a collector and seller, a graded book provides clear determination of the condition of the book as well as determining fair value and price point for the book.
Best find or score?
- I recently purchased a collection and found 2 long boxes of star wars books, complete run of volume 1-107, along with all the complete runs of the mini series. Knights' of the Old Republic, Star Wars Clone Wars, Heir to the Empire, and on and on, just a massive score.
Advice to new sellers or collectors.
- Be careful of the scammers, let the hobby pay for itself , this hobby can get expensive and will run its course if you're not disciplined enough to maintain a budget and plan for what you're trying to achieve. Buy small collections at first, silver age if possible as those hold good value and will sell quickly. Don't overpay for a collection, the seller is unloading because they need money, the wife is on their ass to get rid of the books or something financially has happened to them, so they need to sell. Stand your ground and hold to the price you're willing to buy them at, 99% of the time they will sell.
- Be honest about the condition of the book being sold, reputation in this community is everything. So try not to over grade a book, just so you can sell it for money because in the end it'll cost you more. Lastly, have fun with it. If you enjoy what you do and have a passion for it, it will come through tenfold.