Monday, 26 August 2013

Back Issues on the Ration

I read an interesting article by Frank Santoro on, where he suggests that the bottom has fallen out of the back-issue market because everything gets reprinted nowadays, and you can ust hunt for back issues on the internet rather than having to do the legwork.

"We talked about how it’s crazy that there is this generation of comics collectors that basically all have the same collection. Exactly the same. Like the one we just saw. And how it’s (basically) worthless. And how those collections were worth real money even ten years ago."

It's probably not news to any of us. If you were present at the 'On The Ration' panel at Caption a few years ago, we probably mentioned it there. But twenty years ago if you wanted a particular back issue, you had to hunt around for it at your local stores or your local mart. Now, it's generally just a google away. I saw a comic the other week at my local store, and mentioned that I probably had that issue still. He told me it sells for £12, and my reaction was, and still is, one of incredulity.

But anyway, here's where I'm going. Old comics are cheap now, whether it be collections or individual issues, but for the committed bargain-hunter, which of the two do you feel is the best option?


  1. I picked up the first 60 US Star Wars comics for round £55 recently. If I were buying these new, they would have cost me over twice as much, while the Omnibus collections just over the amount I spent, presuming they were still in print. It's made me realise that trawling through eBay on a quiet evening at work can be worthwhile.

  2. The reason comics that were 'worth real money even ten years ago' are now worthless is because, thanks to eBay, everyone now knows that these comics just weren't that scarce in the first place. Stuff that is genuinely hard to get hold of still sells for decent amounts, but most comics from the '70s, '80s and '90s are available in huge quantities and will never be valuable. GNs and digital comics were just the final nail in the coffin.

    Personally, my preference is for GN collections, and I even prefer digital comics to individual paper comics these days. I just can't be bothered with all that tatty old paper hanging around the house, and comic bags, etc. This is a weird time, though. With some of the stuff being collected, it really would be cheaper to pick up the individual comics on eBay.

    P.S. Thanks for reviving On The Ration, Steve! I will try and review something myself soon.