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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Spending Jumps

Who truly tells the people close to him how much you've spent on your collection ? If you don't then chances are you are feeling guilty about spending too much, or just know that nobody will understand why you just have to pay Xamount of money for a bunch of smelly old books printed on recycled newsprint paper originally aimed at a 10-year old.
And spend is wat the collector does, and I'm certainly am guilty of overindulging myself on a regular basis.

But what I've learned from conversations with other collectors is that almost nobody goes out and spends a large chunck of change out of the blue.
You gradually build up to it...making little spending jumps as it were.

The psychology of this is that you set bounderies for yourself, lines in the sand that you will not, never ever, no siree Bob, cross. Until you do just that and draw another line in the sand, this time just a little further.
I remember when I started collecting around 2002 and I was spending on average about $3.00 per book and was completing the Wolverine series.
Somebody offered me issue #1 of the series for $12.00 and I bought it and felt a little uneasy at spending this amount of money on a book.

My next step was when I bought my copy of Amazing Spider-man #300 for the princely sum of $30.00. I emailed the seller and told him I would take it and went to sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night, wondering if I could still get out of the deal. My first case of buyer's remorse.
Once that target was shattered I felt comfortable buying books up to $40.00- $50.00, of course I hadn't yet ventured into that domain called "The Silver Age".

A few months later I bought a copy of Amazing Spider-man #122, one of the uber Bronze-Age keys and I had to cross the $100 line and again it felt uncomfortable and stupid, but again I got over it and drew a new line in the sand. $100 books were now a regular occurrence and for the longest time I stuck to the plan..until Doctor Doom came around messed things up.

I still had no intention of collecting Silver Age (we're talking Spring 2003) but I was and still am a Dr Doom nut and I was offered the opportunity to purchase Fantastic Four #5, first Doc Doom for a little under $300.
It took me all of 5 minutes to decide make another spending jump, but this was a big one, it had now evolved into more than just a hobby. I was deliriously happy with the book (and still am, one of my top-5 favorite books) and oddly enough didn't get the nauseating sensation in my stomach when I woke up the next day. Was I getting immune ?

Sure looked that way,as for the next 6 months or so I was buying sub $500 books left and right (well I was completing the Fantastic Four series and there are some seriously expensive books in there) but I never went over the magical $500 mark. Deep inside I knew that one day I would have to if I wanted to get all the comics that were on my want list, but I kept postponing it until the day where I had complete the entire FF series, save one issue...yes #1 the first Marvel Silver Age book that was ever published.
$500 wasn't going to cut it, and alas neither was $1000, so as a Xmas present to myself I got a nice copy of this holy grail and paid over $1000 for it. The nausea came back and stayed with me for a few days, but this also passed as I was happy as a lark, not only because of getting the book, but also because I had just completed FF #1 - #500.

The next year I completed Amazing Spider-man and again I gave myself a Xmas present, Spider-man #1 and this time the line was crossed at $1500+. This hobby thing was getting out of hand, but the good thing was that there was only one more book that would cause me to raise the bar again and that of course was the key of all keys, Amazing Fantasy #15.

The plan was to purchase this as my 2007 Xmas present, but in the Spring of this year I was offered a copy that fit the bill perfectly and bought it, months ahead of time and not CGC encapsulated/graded like I had always done with my major purchases.
I crossed the $2000 threshold and lived to regret it, what happened to my AF #15 is well documented in an earlier blog entry.

But let's not end on a sad note, on the one hand the line should now never be crossed again, I've jumped as far as possible as AF#15 is the most expensive book to get. Sure I could upgrade some of my books or get a real high grade expensive copy of another book, but that's not the way it works for me. I've reached the end of the line and I don't see myself crossing the $2500 mark for a comic book any time soon.
But then again a few years ago I would have never imagined I could pay more than $30.00 for any book. Live and learn

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Silvio !

Even when I was a kid, I always was more interested in story rather than art, and there were only a handful of artists I would recognise by their style alone...Sal Buscema was always one of those. Don't like everything he did, but when I saw this action page with the typical "Sal Buscema Hulk face" I just had to go for it

Sal Buscema is, of course, the younger brother of John Buscema. He started his career in the mid 1960s, inking his brother's work but pretty much came into his own a few years later.As a successful penciller at Marvel he was one of the fastest pencillers and inkers working there and was one of their top artists for the next 35 years.

Now even though I seem to keep buying Sal Buscema pages, I'm not a googly-eyed fan boy, some of his work I'm really can't get in to. He is one of the very few Silver Age artists who's style evolved to meet the grittier, sharper-edged look of the 90's and not for the better.
Because of his speed, unfortunately he was often overworked and overused and some of his work shows this.
But when Sal loved a project or a character like The Hulk or Captain America he really aced it.

I picked up this latest piece on eBay and like it very much, lots of action, lots of Sal Hulk-love going on and do I really have to rant and rave about the villain in this page ?
I need to check the time lines on this, but isn't the Brood warrior a dead ringer for the famous Aliens from the same-titles movie franchise ? I wonder which came first ?

Oh and the weird title of this entry ? Sal's real name is Silvio

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