This interview series is with a good friend I met through selling comics and the community. And as he elaborates in the interview it's a good idea to build relationships when you're doing business. This can lead to lifelong friends that can help each other in a multitude of ways. Plus there are not that many people that understand the dynamics of buying/selling and finding a key book. He's a top notch seller, that knows how to pack books extremely well!
What got you into comics?
- My mom! She has always been a reader and it started with comics for her in the early 60's she told me that her brother, who was 19 years older than her, gave her his old Batman and Detective Comics books when she was little. And she kind of passed all of that to me when she started letting me read her comics when I was a kid.
Favorite childhood memory about comics?
- Being allowed to ride my bike to the newsstand, that was called Main News in Urbana, Ohio, to pick up the newest Amazing Spider-Man comics. It was a huge highlight when I was allowed to go on my own lol.
What got you into selling comics?
- In short, BUYING comics got me into selling comics LOL. I never intended to sell at all. About 4 years ago I sold my Star Wars Collection to get back my Amazing Spider-man collection. I started getting them starting in 1984 and had the complete run through 1992! 16 year old dumbass me, sold it to get a car stereo! Once I started doing that i always ended up upgrading a book I already had, so I had no need for it...TIME TO SELL!! 1st couple FB sales were fairly successful so I bought a couple SMALL lots I'd find here and there on FB Marketplace and it kind of boomed from there. I made my largest purchase this May, 16 long boxes, and am still selling those off lol. But doing this has allowed me to buy the comics I want without having to touch any money in my checking account. I like to think of it as a self-sustaining hobby. I don't do FB sales very often anymore, I used to do them exclusively in CBL under the hashtag #IveGotBackIssues. I recently started my own ebay store, you can check it out here https://www.ebay.com/str/flatoutcomics. Shameless plug :D
Biggest mistake you made when you started selling?
- Thinking I knew wtf I was doing LOL. Honestly I don't really know as far as the biggest, I mean I had a few people complain about packaging in the beginning (that shit is on lock now! bombproof packaging!). I guess, not really knowing much about how to grade would be it. It's a whole gigantic world and we're all just stumbling through it learning from mistakes.
What’s your favorite character or title to collect?
- Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, The Walking Dead, Sandman. I also collect Batgirl (for my daughter).
Next big thing for your personal collection? Your grail?
- My next target/big thing is a high/mid-grade Detective Comics #359, 1st Appearance of Batgirl. My Grail??? Well, other than the obvious ones ASM #1, AF #15, etc etc I mean, really, I don't know. I have a bad tendency to talk myself out of big single book buys, it's a curse lol. But really it changes for me somedays it's the Sandman #8 variant, some days it's a 9.8 Spawn #1 printing error. But Amazing Fantasy #15 will always be the goal lol.
Most unique or favorite thing in your collection?
- Unique, It's gotta be this. Was done by one of my best friends from high school, Gary Church. We used to write and draw comics together all through school. He went on to start his own publishing studio! Check it out!
- So for my favorite, it's 2 books. Only a few of my moms comics survived, moves, growing up, etc., but these did.
Raw or Graded? Why?
- Ah the eternal comics question lol. Honestly, I don't really care one way or the other. For resale value, obviously graded will usually give you the best return. And I know there are some people who have very strong opinions about both. I think for me it comes down to affordability. I can't always afford to get them graded. So, I generally just keep them raw, unless they are Key books or special to me personally. I've sent a total of 30 books to CGC and CBCS since I got back into the hobby, and that shit gets pricey lol.
Best find or score?
- I've been lucky enough to find 9 high-grade ASM #361's over the past couple years for $1 -$5!!!! It's one of those key's that I always seem to stumble into, so much that it's become my wife's LEAST favorite comic book ever HA!
Advice to new sellers or collectors.
- DON'T! IT'S A TRAP!!! LOL But for real, the biggest thing I think would be, once you start buying/selling, take the time to get to know the people you're buying or selling from. To me, that's worth the effort and it will pay off for you in the end. I would personally want to buy/sell again from/to someone who took the time to have a short chat. It's really easy to just send that message with your paypal info and never speak to someone again after that. But that's not what it's about for me. I like to get to know the people. What they collect, what they're looking for. That's how I met you Joe. You bought a bunch of ASM's from me in one of my sales and over the course of the next few we got to know each other even met up at Gem City a couple years back! But it pays off! Once you get that comradery they're more apt to make deals, or work a payment plan, help you find exactly what you're looking for. I've gotten to know several people this way and it's been great! I'm a wordy bastard, I know. But in the end, i know it's cliche, but buy what YOU like!! Don't let an app determine what YOU want to collect.