Years passed. For a long time I didn't so much as crack the covers of a comic book or enter the doors of a comic book shop. If I passed by a rack of comics in any kind of retail establishment I tended to ignore them.
But, somewhere along the way, nostalgia began gnawing at the old bones. So I picked up a few low-grade copies of The Amazing Spider-Man created/written/penciled/inked by Steve Ditko. I got a kick out of the books (I think they were issues #16 and #19), so I figured, 'What the heck? I could probably buy all of the Ditko issues in low to mid-grade without too much trouble'. So, I set about doing that.
Then I decided that I wouldn't mind owning a lot of the pre-hero Marvel comics that Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko created together, and I started collecting those, too. And then, I decided to take a crack at buying a complete set of Fantastic Four, but only the issues created/written/penciled by Jack Kirby.
I was, of course, hooked again on comics. And I've been at it for some time, carefully assembling a collection of the titles that I want the most and having no desire whatsoever to again enter the business of retailing at any level. But one of the things that amazes me is that I got back into it buying lower grade copies of the books I grew up loving. That way I could actually handle and read the books without having to worry about risking my "investment". And I do read my old comics, unlike so many who just pursue it as a kind of pure investment strategy, seeking to keep them in as high a grade as is possible
But something really weird has happened in the past couple of years. And it's that lower grade copies of the Silver Age books that I have been buying have exploded in value. Books that I thought would never be in high demand are just that. People are paying crazy prices for the kinds of books that I would once never have considered selling for anything more than pennies.
It's a crazy world.
|My copy of Strange Tales 89, the first appearance of Jack Kirby creation, Fin Fang Foom. Kirby really liked alliteration.|
|My copy of Kirby creation Fantastic Four #8.|
|My copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #1, created by Steve Ditko.|
|My copy of Strange Tales #114. Captain America returns! (Or does he?!)|