Okay, I know this is stretching the definition of personal finance, but since comic books are such an integral part of my life, and a substantial part of my monthly budget, I'm posting this here. Mostly I'm just going to be thinking out loud, though I do welcome feedback from others.
I collect comics. I don't buy the actual floppy comic magazines, but compilations of older issues. These are great deals in that you can get many old comics for cheap, but the books do get expensive. I'm looking for ways to reduce my spending.
The most expensive books I buy are Marvel Masterworks and DC Archives, which are essentially the same format but from two different companies. Each of these books reprints about ten old comic books in a nice hardbound edition. These books retail for $50, though they can be had for $35 from online retailers, and for $30 or so through eBay. (Out-of-print Masterworks can fetch much more.) I have about 50 or 60 Masterworks and about 25 Archives.
Each company also produces a low-cost line of softcover black-and-white reprints, each volume of which collects about 25 issues. These retail for around $17, though they can be had for about $12 through online retailers.
So, as an example, Spider-Man Masterworks 1-4 reprint the first forty issues of The Amazing Spider-Man
. These four volumes would retail for $200, but could be acquired for roughly $120-$140 through careful shopping. However, by electing to purchase lower-quality paperback books with black-and-white reprints, one could have the same material for $34 retail (or about $25 through careful shopping).
Many people are unwilling to accept the black-and-white volumes. I'm beginning to think they're not a bad idea. Color isn't important to me. I'm a verbal guy. I like the stories. I'm okay with black-and-white comics.
So, the dilemma before me is: do I auction my Archives and Masterworks on eBay to replace them with Essentials and Showcases? I can probably figure a 2.5-to-1 swap ratio. (This may be as low as 2-1, or as high as 3-1.) Or do I keep the Archives and Masterworks I have but begin acquiring the cheaper volumes for the remaining series? Or do I just purge everything?
These are the sorts of personal finance questions I
face. Sad, but true.