7/18/05 -  Firstly...let me apologize yet again for not having the time to focus on this site as much as I want.  For those that have continued to regularly frequent the site, and it's much more than it deserves, thanks...and for all those that have taken the extra step to send me e-mails encouraging me to get off my ass and write a few paragraphs, your suggestions have not gone unnoticed.

The reason I haven't updated the site recently has little to do with being lazy and all to do with preparing to send the family back to the States. Not to mention, getting my affairs in order for my year in South Korea.  While being separated from the family for any period of time can be drag on a relationship, my wife and son are used to me being gone for extended periods. Never for as long as a year but long enough to know what they need to do in my absence.  Military families have it tough at times but they also form special bonds that only come about due to experiencing situations a normal civilian couple never even contemplates.  And I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world... 

As a result of being separated from the family though, I will more than likely have more time to devote to this site.  And I expect it will even make the separation less stressful...at least to me.  

I am taking a short box of comics with me to Korea.  Some of the box is already spoken for to assist me in finishing the Mark Jewelers series started in what seems like ages ago.  Right now, I see it being a 6-7 part series once completed.  I have it all mapped out in my mind but that doesn't do you all any good.  I intend to knock out the remaining chapters shortly after arriving to Korea and getting my Internet connection set.

That leaves the rest of the short box to fill.  That's where you all come in.  What topics, comics, genres, or just general discussion are you interested in me covering here in the near future?  With my main collection available, it was always easy to find a topic or two to talk about.  Now that I actually have to be selective on what comics to talk about, I'd rather focus on articles that you readers are interested in.  Sure I'd also have to be interested as well, it wouldn't make for an engrossing article if I had nothing to say, but I'm pretty flexible and it may give me new ideas to talk about.

So help me fill the short box!  Just send me an e-mail using the "Contact Me" link on the left and get me rummaging through my remaining long boxes in search of gems for you all.  Got to be quick though...the rest of the main collection is due to be gone in a little over a week.  So using some sound advice from my faithful readers..."get off your ass and write a few paragraphs"...your suggestions will not go unnoticed...


6/18/05 - A couple blasts from the past.  Advertisements in comics have always been fondly remembered by collectors.  You can't talk about the subject without Sea Monkeys, 6 Foot Nuclear Subs, or that novelty everyone wanted, X-Ray glasses, coming up in the discussion.  Been going though some comics recently while updating my National Diamond Sales/Mark Jewelers insert database and came across a couple interesting ones...

From Marvel Comics covered dated November 1974:

Count Dante was one bad ass looking guy!  I remember seeing the ad as a kid and thinking I needed to get some tips from this "Supreme Grand Master of the Fighting Arts".  He indeed had the look of the "Deadliest Man Alive".  Or looking at it now, maybe all he was extremely constipated.  Regardless, I never did send in for any tips and the ad didn't last long as I recall...

From Marvel Comics cover dated September 1971:

Well looky here.  It's none other than an uncredited Arnold Schwarzenegger pimping himself out for Joe Weider (the "Trainer of Terror Fighters") in his pre-Conan/Governator days.  I don't remember ever seeing this ad before and don't believe it ran for long.   The ad strikes me as extremely cheesy.  I doubt many comic readers bought the claim the bracelets would increase anything but your isolation from girls.  Regardless, it's interesting to see Arnold before he became the megastar/political force he is today.  And to find it in a comic is equally surprising.  I suspect though that Arnold isn't putting this ad on his resume...

When I come across other interesting ads I'll make sure to share them with you...


6/11/05 - As mentioned below, the Stuttgart Comic Show occurred last weekend and as normal it was blast for all involved.  

Arrived early as usual, with my ready and willing helpers, wife and son, to notice most of the regular parking slots in front of the Gewerkschaftshaus were blocked off due to construction.  This forced me to park around the corner and farther than I'm usually accustomed.  To compound matters, I found out at the last minute my two tables were at the end of the aisle perpendicular to each other.  This resulted in me losing about 25% of my normal space behind the tables.  With the wife in tow this trip it made for some cramped room.

Regardless, I set-up my inventory, with some display modifications, and was ready to sell within 15 minutes.  And how was my sales?  Pretty damn good thank you very much.  I really can't give you a specific title or genre that sold as most everything sold equally well.  Even comics which haven't shown much movement in the past.  Case in point is the 80s Silver Surfer series.  Other than a couple issues here and there most of the run has sat in my boxes unsold for the last two years.  This show nearly cleared me out.  Four different collectors bought nearly the whole run at 2-3 Euros a pop.  I'm not sure why (is there a new series out that I'm not aware of?) but it's nice to see as the series was entertaining.  The same thing happened with all my Conan back issues a couple of shows ago but at least I could attribute that to the new Dark Horse series.  Some other notable sales:

X-Men Annual #1 VF 40 Euros

Strange Adventures #219 NM- 28 Euros

Man-Thing #1 NM 42 Euros

Tomb of Dracula #10 VG 35 Euros

Fantastic Four 125-140 AVG VF- 14 Euros each

Avengers #110 VF+ 40 Euros

Avengers #116 NM- 35 Euros

 

On the buying front, it was a typical Stuttgart Show.  Since I first started setting up at this Show a year and a half ago, the amount of US comics has grown considerably.  At my first show, there was only myself and one other dealer that were selling US comics (and his inventory was mostly late-80s to mid-90s comics).  This show there were at least 5 dealers selling US comics.  The amount they had was usually very small but anything is better than nothing in my opinion.  And this was the first show, anywhere in Central Europe, in which I saw a German dealer with CGC comics for sale.  He had three; a 9.2 Flash #203 (60 Euros), 5.0 Jimmy Olsen #1, and a GA Crime Doesn't Pay (didn't get prices for either or a grade on the last).  None sold during the show.  My pick-ups were exclusively focused on comics with the Mark Jewelers inserts.  I ended up with over 50 such comics ranging from Bronze to the early 90s when the insert campaign was canceled.  Included in these was a number of FN/VF Byrne X-Men in the #120s for 4 Euros each and a run of VF/NM Ghost Riders in the #70s for 2-3 Euros.  Anytime I can buy a number of insert comics I'm happy with the show...

 

Overall, another great show.  And sadly my last in Germany.  My collection will be packed up and sent Stateside in the next couple of weeks.  I've truly enjoyed selling in Germany and meeting all the collectors and dealers (Hi Roland!) whose enthusiasm for comics rival anyone I've ever met in the States.  I wish all of them well in the future.  Comics in Germany are facing the same pressures as seen in the States with dwindling readership and an aging collector baseline.  With the great people, both in front of and behind the tables, at these shows I'm confident comic collecting in Germany will do well.  Hope to return one day to confirm my prognosis...


6/3/05 - A quick line to remind all those German and Central European dwellers that tomorrow, 4 Jun 05, 0900-1600 hours, is the next semi-annual Stuttgart Comic Show at the Gewerkschaftshaus, Willi-Bleicher-Strasse 20, downtown Stuttgart.  As I've mentioned in the past, this show is the closest you've find to a typical US Comic show in Central Europe.  I'll be there again with a wide assortment of new stock as I just finished, yesterday actually and the one of the reasons posting here has been light recently, updating and regrading my entire comic collection.  And as a result, I've found additional duplicates and comics I just don't need anymore that'll be added to my existing comic show inventory.  

Also, this will be my last comic show in Europe as a seller or buyer.  I'll be leaving in August and the collection will go much before that.  So if there's anything you've been meaning to pick up from me, now is the time or forever hold your peace.  Hope to see you there.  It's always a great time had by all...and as usual I'll have a show report up by the end of the weekend...