The (Comics Collecting) Education Continues…

The second book of my Ed Brubaker comic collection arrived some time ago. Detour #1 came via USPS, arriving in (what looks to me to be) great condition.

We took it up to the local comic book shop to have it bagged and boarded to maintain its quality condition. I also wanted to talk to someone who knew about comics about the book I already had. Purgatory, which I’ve had since it was published in 1985, I’d been referring to as a ‘zine, but the owner of our local store told me it was more of what he’d call an ashcan, a term originating in the 30s and 40s, revived later in the 80s to describe first time indy comics.

I told the shop owner I wanted this collection to be displayable, and he suggested that rather than bagging the books, we should board them and put them into frames, giving them the rigidity to hang on the wall, and still preserve them.

Now I’m faced with two problems – the first, is what to buy next. I’ve asked a few folks including the guy who sold me Detour and the comic store owner what the best strategy is in terms of buying for value. I was thinking that there would be some reasoning to buying thematically – that is, sticking with Brubaker’s indy themed comics. Turns out, my assumption was not even 180 degrees wrong. It was about as wrong as wrong can be. For value, I’d be better off buying a first appearance of a popular character than I would buying #1s of all of the noir or autobiographical indy stuff.

The second problem I realized I have is more actually more difficult to overcome because it’s climate-oriented. We live at the beach, on the water, which destroys everything. We think of the pervasive corroding of all our belongings by the wet salt air as paradise tax. Lucky as we are to live here, it’s a bad environment for paper you want to preserve. Displaying these comics in our home is out of the question. For now, the books will go into storage.

Next step is choosing book #3. I’ve been doing some research but I think this is going to take more time than I originally anticipated. Like all things worth investing in, it’s not just a matter of Googling “which Ed Brubaker comic should I buy?” and plunking down some cash.

That’s ok though. As a new collector, I suspect the real enjoyment comes in the hunt. And the learning.


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