Collectors, Stop Choking the Breath out of My Beloved Medium

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Over at Comic Book Resources Greg Hatcher has written an article called “Friday in the Bank Vault.” However, it should really be titled “What is the Most Valuable Comic I Own.” He writes about comics he owns, some of them worth 20, 30, and even 88 dollars!

Whoop-dee.

No offense to Mr. Hatcher but I find the whole idea of discussing the value of comic books to be ridiculous. I really wish the industry would stop talking about resell value. It gives us a bad image (pun intended).

Focusing on the collectibility of comics in the 1990’s is what almost killed this industry. The slew of variant and holofoil covers, sealed comics and trading cards were silly gimmicks meant to cash in quick. Comics were selling in the millions, but story started taking a backseat to spectacle. What was the end result? How about Marvel going bankrupt and thousands of comic shops across the United States closing.

I personally blame the comic industry of the 1990’s for today’s low readership. When little kids would go into comic shops everything was bagged and sealed and expensive. On top of that, store owners around the country shouted unanimously “DON’T TOUCH!”

Kids being kids, followed the fun. Abandoning comics they went to video-games and Harry Potter.

Now, were there any good comics in the 1990’s? Of course! Hellboy and Madman were created; and they shined. New and veteran creators like Grant Morrison, Scott Lobdell, J.M. DeMatteis, Chris Bachalo, Peter David, and John Romita Jr. all gave us great work.

Look people, comic books are a storytelling medium. That should be the primary goal of our industry, creating good stories. I imagine the real professionals know this and do this. That’s why we love their work.

Does anyone say “what’s your most valuable dvd, book etc…?”

Only a small percentage of movie watchers and book readers give a crap about resell. I think it’s time for us to do the same. In the long term everything material loses value. My plea is that we can stop collecting toys and start living life. With that life lived we can then tell some amazing stories. Stories are myth, and myth is eternal.

The late great, Joseph Campbell. Do yourself a favor and look up his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”


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