Discovering the Back Issue Bin
In the eighties when everything in the Marvel universe was new to me, I jumped around trying different titles. At the age of thirteen, I purchased as many new books as I could during my first shopping extravaganza. After placing a hefty stack on the counter at my first LCS, the books totaled $36 (not an exact amount) and I still had so much more money to spend. Staying away from the back issues, I purchased more new comics until my tally was somewhere in the $70 range. Marvel published Secret Wars II and I was suckered into buying every single one (I was naive). Besides, the trip to the comic book shop was slightly over a two mile walk and I wanted to make sure I had something to read for a while.
One of the new books I tried was Daredevil. The two issues I picked up were #221 and #223. Quite frankly, I was unimpressed. I didn’t bother collecting the title until about a year later. Secret Wars II was over, and although the story wasn’t as good as the first one, it did help me solidify what I wanted to collect and what I wanted to pass on. I was clambering for something good and asked the proprietor of the store what he recommended. He asked if I liked DC or Marvel. I answered Marvel without hesitation and he took me to the back issue box marked Daredevil. He skimmed through the books, started with a number, and ended a little over 30 issues later. He explained to me if I wanted a good storyline and good art then these were the books. He showed me issues #158 through #191, most notably…the Miller years.
I looked through each one that was in the box (there were two more issues on the wall) and out of what was available I chose the cheaper books first. There were three different ones at $3 a piece, issue #171 was the book I picked up since it had the cover I liked the best. I became addicted and began purchasing each one. I had to purchase them in price order because chronologically issue #158 (one of the ones on the wall) was a whopping $25. I did start to collect another series while I was getting the Miller Daredevil’s. This other series was Longshot. They ranged between $6 and $20 apiece, but purchasing them helped me prepare for the most I have spent on a comic book to date, Daredevil #168 for a hefty $35 price tag. I’ll tell you another time how I had to pass on purchasing a NM copy of Daredevil #1
About 15 years later CGC jumped on the scene and began grading comic books. It was years after that, during Wizard World 2007, that I decided to get a few books graded. My Daredevil #168 was one of them. I was deathly curious on what they would grade it. It returned a 9.2. Not bad for a book that I owned since the mid eighties. Now I want one in a higher grade. In 2011 I started to play around with the idea of purchasing one in a 9.8, which is readily available. But at what price?
This brings us to CGC. Do you collect them, or do you only read comics? Where does your limit end on how much you would pay for a comic book? Next week I will post a revised edition of a rather lengthy article I originally posted on the CGC Registry. To give you an idea, I have already placed a bid as high as $485 for a copy in a 9.8 with white pages. That particular copy I lost, it sold for $579. Is that too much, or not enough? Especially considering the one that sold after it was sold for $709.09. What’s your opinion?
Thanks for Reading