Monday, May 25, 2009

Garage Sale Comics

This Saturday was the Great Glebe Garage Sale and once again I put out a box of comics I wasn't ever going to read again. I was a bit surprised at what sold and what didn't - not so much at who was buying. It was mostly guys around my age, probably a few years younger (in their mid-twenties) but a lot of early twenties, late teens women flipped through the box (none bought), one gothic-lite woman bought five books "for her son", and two groups of boys flipped through and bought a few books.

The boys were kind of a hilarious revelation. They wanted number ones but ended up buying my run of Infinite Crisis, and a couple of Batman comics. They almost destroyed the box though, but I restrained myself from saying anything - I mean dollar comics I'm selling isn't something I should be overly concerned about. There were a few comics they kind of were interested in but then shied away from - Villains United and some Morrison Batman comics. They bought some of Dini's Detective Comics run though. The reason - they flipped open a random book with "future batman" on the cover and saw this Batman laying in a bloody pulp and they deemed the book "too scary." I'm guessing they just have parents who would be a little pissed if they found them with excessively violent books (and I'm not going to draw that line for other people). Although I seem to recall Infinite Crisis involving at least one decapitation, so at least they avoided Identity Crisis.

It was weird because it happened twice with the Batman books. Another group of boys thought it was too scary as well. Weird.

I ended up selling a run of Ex Machina (12 issues after the first trade), the entire run of Ultimates 2, the three issues I had of Action Philosophers, an Iron Man mini-series (can't remember the name just now) and a smattering of other comics here and there. One kid bought the first issue of Countdown, so I gave him the next 3 or 4 that I had and it made his day - until he starts to read them, I suppose (zing!).

What I'm left with:
  • A bunch of Morrison's Batman run
  • A bunch of Dini's Detective run
  • the first 19 issues of Godland

There is more comics in there but I haven't gone through them just yet so I can't really remember if Identity Crisis went - I think it did. I'm really quite surprised there wasn't at least one Morrison fan who flipped through. I sold Warren Ellis's JLA: Classified a few years ago based on his name being on the cover. And really, have we already moved on from The Dark Knight being in theatres? I'm guessing so. Weird. I thought the Batman stuff would be a lock for sale.

I understand the Godland stuff not going. I think anyone who saw it and was interested would already own them. Everyone else figured it was religious or "lame." The fools.

There were also a lot of guys trying to get the box for $20 or so. Now if there were close to 20 comics in there I'd have been fine with it, but I wasn't going to just get rid of 70 or 90 comics for that. Sorry, I was selling them at $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00, but if you got like 7 I took $5.00. And I was pretty generous if someone picked up 9 or 8 or whatever - I wasn't THAT much of a stickler so would usually take what people offered (within reason). Most people got 2 or 3 extra comics beyond that sixth, and for any younger kids I threw in complete stories if they were buying number three of five or whatever.

It was kind of neat seeing the kids weighing their purchases because most of them only had two bucks or five bucks to spend for the day. If they were digging through and were unsure I'd just say, hey, if you want the Iron Man stuff, I'll give it all to you for a dollar. They kind of looked at me in disbelief and say, "well I only have two dollars" but I'd just pass them the lot and say "don't worry about it, enjoy the whole story." It was they dudes with the fulltime jobs trying to get a bargain that annoyed me for whatever reason.

The last thing I'll mention is that there were twice as many people who would look at the box labeled "comics" and pretend not to be interested. They'd sort of stare it down as they walked by but wouldn't stop because they were with a guy or girl and wanted to look "cool" - even if they had an LP of German Drinking Songs or a ratty stool that looked like a frog. Just as many women did that as men. Okay, maybe they were just thinking "comics, they still make those?" but I saw the longing in their eyes. Just go for it people, it's a neighbourhood wide garage sale - go for the fun stuff - board games and comics.

So, yeah, selling comics is weird.

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