From garbage to geek gold
Treasure: 1 (noun) a quantity of precious metals, gems or other valuable objects. 2 (geek) a quantity of vintage comics, toys or other valuable objects.
Anyone remember the “Antiques Roadshow?” It was a show where appraisers told everyday people that their grandmother’s bronze toilet seat was worth a fortune, or that their grandmother’s priceless antique porcelain poodle was made in China 5 years ago.
The reason this show and others like it became popular is that everyone dreams of finding treasure, something that they paid little for only to find that it is worth way more.
I am no exception. Over the years I have scoured garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores in search of fame and fortune. I found neither, but here are a few things I did find.
At a McComb flea market, I found a box of comics that contained some very nice gems including Iron Fist No. 1 and X-Men No. 120. I paid $5 for the two books. Total value: $120.
A couple years ago, at the Brookhaven Ole Brook Festival, I happened upon a stand selling comics. Most were junk. With few exceptions, all were old and worn out. But what a few exceptions they were! I found first printings of Frank Miller’s four-part comic series “The Dark Knight Returns” in perfect condition in plastic bags with cardboard backing for $1 each. Total cost was $4 while the total value is $180 now or $600 if I have them professionally graded.
And finally, I bought a collection of comics and toys from a friend sight unseen. I had no idea what to expect. The boxes contained old comics from as far back the 1930s, but more surprisingly I found box after box of unopened, vintage Star Wars toys from 1981-1983. Total I paid was $500 while I calculated the value of the comics at $2,000 and the toys at $2,500 for a total value of $4,500.
Let this be a lesson to parents everywhere. Never throw out your children’s old comic collection. Find a geek willing to buy them instead.