Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Secret Origin of Unattended Baggage

You know, when I named this blog Unattended Baggage, I had no idea how much of it I had. I mean, I sort of knew, but not really.

This past weekend I shipped my entire comic collection to the East Coast from St. Louis. 30 boxes!!! Seeing it all at once, in one place, is daunting and exciting all at once. Daunting in its sheer volume. But it's fun, too. I mean, who among us doesn't love digging through long boxes now and then?

But this stuff is, quite literally, unattended baggage. This was my childhood. The refuge I took from my parents. The hours spent in isolation. It may seem like a cliche, but the physical evidence stands before me. I really did escape completely into comics.

And you know what? I'm still there. Deeper than ever.

So now I'm faced with the monumental task of purging. There's just not room, and honestly, what do I need all this stuff for? I'm never going to read most of it again. And though I had once dreamed it would be worth something, the truth is most of it's mainstream superhero crap. Of course, I loved it at the time, but my tastes have changed so much.

So here's my plan. EBay what I can. Donate the rest. I'm going to go through every box, and I have no doubt that I'm going to blog about it quite a bit. If you saw this post, you get the idea. Incidentally, I found all four of those comics.

I'm still going to do Shelf Life, my Love & Rockets project and the occasional review, but this has to be done.

So tonight I went through my first 2 boxes. The first was a bunch of really old DC stuff, early Silver Age. A haphazard smattering of old Justice League of America issues, including some early 12 cent ones. I pulled out my top 10 that I figured either were worth something or I actually might read again sometime (see folks, denial ain't just a river in Egypt!), or both. The rest I'll get rid of.

There was also a similarly scattered run of Marvel Team-Ups, including some of the classic issues. I had to keep the issue where Spider-man and Jim Belushi team up. And of course, the Byrne issues, which I'm told are beautiful. It's fun to go through random issues and see what great artist did which issues. For example did you know that Chris Claremont and Howard Chaykin did #76 (Spider-Man and Dr. Strange)?

Finally, I found a bunch of very early issues (in the 100s) of World's Finest. There were even some 10 cent issues. Scanning each of the covers, I never realized how many times the comics back then either a) shrunk superheros to microscopic sizes, or expanded them into giants, or b) pitted them against either each other or an evil version of themselves. Some of the covers are hilariously cheesey, too. "The Ghost of Batman" cracked me up.

None of these books are in what I would call anything like Near Mint, but they are readable, and probably rare enough to be collectible, but that's about it. Not worth sending to CGC.

The second box was much more random. Without listing it all out, there was the classic Days of Future Past TB (that I gotta keep!), as well as the Savage Land TP from Marvel Fanfare by Chris Claremont, Michael Golden and Paul Smith. Other highlights include the first two issues of Frank Miller's Ronin (never read it), a couple issues of Jon Lewis' True Swamp, the first 3 issues of Matt Wagner's Grendel from Comico, Daredevil: Fall From Grace (never read but great covers), and Waid and Garney's classic Captain America run (#444-450).

So that's where I'm at. So far I managed to shank about 65-70% on the first pass, and hopefully this weekend I'll get them listed on EBay. If anybody out there wants any of this stuff, make me an offer. It'll save me the trouble of listing them, and I'll be happy to send them to a happy home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with your plight. Nestled in the ground-floor apartment of a three-family house are 27 boxes of comic books. Too many of those boxes contain unreadable 90's trash. Sure, I've got some nice runs of Fables, Y-The Last Man and Transmetripolitan, but, really, who cares?

I'll have to make a move sooner or later. I feel your pain.

Glad to hear you'll be continuing the Love and Rockets retrospective.

Mike Mancini