Monday, June 19, 2006

Anybody in St. Louis want to buy some comics?

Well, it was bound to happen sometime.

My parents, in a rare pleasant chat on Father’s Day, informed me that they are selling the house in St. Louis. This is not only the house I grew up in, but it’s also where the vast majority of my comic book collection resides. That collection, which spans my first twenty-four years or so (I’m 33 now) comprises 4 large file cabinets full of comics (and by large, I mean the kind you see in dentists' offices) as well as about 20-25 long boxes.

Now I live in NYC. I have a fair-sized collection in my small two bedroom apartment, though it’s much more reasonable, along the lines of about 8 boxes and a bookshelf full of graphic novels. It feels like a lot, but that’s due more to space restrictions. There’s no way I can fit all those comics in my apartment. Not if I want to stay married anyway.

My dad basically told me, 'I don’t care what you do with them, but they gotta go.' So, I’m faced with a decision I’ve known I would have to make sooner or later, but thought I wouldn’t have to think about for many years. Do I unload most of these books on some local comic shops in St. Louis? I doubt most shops would even take most of this stuff. Do I try to buy some temporary storage? Seems like a waste of money. Do I ship them back to NYC? I can’t even guess how expensive that would be. Or should I try to E-Bay them and see what I can get?

Just to go through my collection and try to sort out what’s worth keeping and what’s not is going to be a monumental task. While the books in the file cabinets are pretty well organized, the boxes are anybody’s guess. I know there’s bound to be a lot of crap, stuff that I was into as a child that I no longer need or want. For example, I know I have a ton of Ultraverse stuff from Malibu (remember George Perez's Ultraforce?) That can probably go, but who would want it? And I have tons of old Vertigo stuff, too, including a full run of the Sandman.

Not surprisingly I also have tons of Marvel and DC 80s and 90s superhero runs. There’s my complete run of Peter David’s Hulk. That’s an entire box right there. I’d love to re-read that someday, but will I ever actually do it? And what about all those Todd McFarlane Spider-Man books? Or Jim Lee’s X-Men? They were great at the time, but do I really need to hold onto them? And what about all those Marvel Team-Ups I used to love as a kid? I must have at least half of the series. Are those worth anything now?

So I don’t know. Maybe it’s good to just let all this stuff go. Like letting go of the past and moving on and all that. But I have this sinking feeling that I’m going to regret it someday if I get rid of all this stuff. Not because it’ll be worth money, since for the most part, it probably won’t, but rather because these comics, in their way, tell the story of my life. I’ve been collecting since before I could read.

Oh well. I’ll be in St. Louis in July, so I guess I’ll figure it out then.

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