This interview series is with long-time seller Mark Buckingham. About three years ago I got back into comics pretty heavily. It lead me to trying to find books anywhere locally and that's when I came across a comic garage sale in my area thrown by Mark. And it was one of the best ones I've been to! And I look forward to it every year as he always has great stuff. He had half of his books organized and the other have were all random, which I enjoy thoroughly, as I love digging and finding good books. So it was nice to be able to get a chance to interview him for the blog as he in essence got me back into comics.
What got you into comics?
- When I was twelve years old, my dad took me and my brother to the annual Sporting Expo in Cleveland. Since I really had no interest in fishing, hunting or wilderness fun at the time, I just aimlessly wandered the Expo floor. For whatever reason, there was a comic book vendor there in a 10x10 booth with long-boxes of comics. I had a few dollars in my pocket and decided to purchase the DC Comics mini-series "Legends" after diving into the boxes. I then went to the food court area and spent my time reading a fun mini-series and opening my mind to the world of comic books.
Favorite childhood memory about comics?
- Purchasing a copy of Giant Size X-Men #1 at a comic book show inside of Chapel Hill Mall in Akron in 1988.
What got you into selling comics?
- I simply have too many comics!
Biggest mistake you made when you started selling?
- Failing to keep track of all of my expenses.
What’s your favorite character or title to collect?
- Since my first comic books I purchased was the "Legends" mini-series, Superman and the Justice League hold a special place in my heart. I also cannot leave out the X-Men. As part of the LGBTQIA+ family, the underlying themes of the X-Men speak to me.
Next big thing for your personal collection? Your grail?
- I would love to own some original comic panels from the Master of the Universe 1980's comic book series. I grew up collecting the action figures (which I still have), so having the original comic book artwork would be awesome! My goal is to have a sizeable collection to leave for my nephew and niece.
Most unique or favorite thing in your collection?
- Giant Size X-Men #1
Raw or Graded? Why?
- I lean towards raw just so I can go back and read a book or look at artwork. However, I would never rule out grading an older or more rare book just so it could be protected.
Best find or score?
- I have to go back to that Giant Size X-Men #1
Advice to new sellers or collectors.
- Collecting 101: Collect what you enjoy and love! It will never lose value. Also, make friends and connections with others in the industry. Having a great network of comic book friends provides you more enjoyment and additional knowledge and resources.