I loved conventions (Ok I still do). There is something about seeing different booths displaying comics that I don’t get to see every day. Many Silver Age #1’s and Key Issues were drooled over as I asked to see them up close (don’t worry, they were bagged). Then in 2007 at Wizard World Philadelphia I was introduced to CGC, and I decided they looked even better encapsulated. Every June for one weekend I gawked at all the merchandise. Originally a Comic Convention, Wizard World became a self proclaimed pop culture event. I began to save for this in January giving me a full five months to squirrel away funds. To do this I put away 10% of whatever I made, but then, the Internet got in the way. Sites like eBay, WWComics, and Comics to Astonish were some places I decided to spend my hard-earned money, but which was better?
The choices I have from the Internet are vast. I could get Silver Age books, Bronze Age books, and Copper Age books, graded or ungraded. I could easily jump around on eBay through my phone. I could place bids on HA.com from the comfort of my home, or I could call Comics to Astonish to confirm my order. As a kid I hated to order things through the mail for a few reasons (although I loved getting mail). One was the cost to have it shipped to me, even if that amount was less than the taxes I would pay. The second reason was the wait. As a younger person I was very impatient. I felt if I was paying for it now, I wanted it now and conventions were great to haggle, pay, and own. The final reason I didn’t like mail order is I needed a credit card or check which meant I had to ask my parents’ permission.
Decades later I no longer needed my parents’ permission, I still don’t mind using their credit card and they even give me time to pay them back, now only if I can bring one of their credit cards to a convention (or two). Philadelphia Comic-Con is a small convention that happens about 9 to 10 times a year. Before the Internet this was the one place I relied on to purchase those hard to find books. I am lucky to have 10 stores that I could use as my LCS; some of course are further than others. These conventions were a means to find the rare item or to get a good deal I just couldn’t pass up. In fact I love seeing covers I normally wouldn’t see. I found my Daredevil volume one issue #30 this way.
Wizard World was another convention I started to go to on an annual basis beginning in 2007. I purchased my first CGC graded comic books there which led to my current predicament of trying to have the best New Mutants set. I attended the NYCC for the first time in 2011 and hope to attend on an annual occurrence. I went in 2011 with press pass credentials and was overwhelmed. I wrote a few finished pieces and even more unfinished pieces because I felt I couldn’t do it justice. I will be better prepared next time.
There was so much more at the NYCC then at Wizard World but I hardly spent anything. World Wide Comics was in attendance and they brought with them an Internet purchase which saved me a few dollars in shipping. In this instance I combined both the Internet and conventions, but which is better? How much will I continue to spend at conventions compared to the virtual world? There are pros and cons to each avenue of purchase. At a convention I can see many people dressing up at home I don’t have to dress, it’s just me. Do you get to do both? Do you have the ability to go to some or are you happy enough to have everything you want delivered to your front door?
Thanks for Reading