Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"The True Friend"

Today I looked thru a collection of comics a guy had for sale that I just might as well get them out-of-my-mind of actually buying , 'cause I can see that I probably won't be able to afford to (altho' Lord knows I'd LOVE to have them all).

A guy showed me 7 or 8 boxes crammed full of comics, mostly from the mid 1960's to the early 70's. The boxes were of various sizes, but I'd low estimate the number of them at (at least) 1200-1300 books. The average conditions were from Fair to VG as none had ever been bagged/boarded; just stacked into boxes after being read a few times off and on over the past 40 odd years.

Every company I can think of was represented in them: DC, Marvel, Charlton, Dell, Gold Key, Tower, ACG, Classics,Harvey,misc.companies. There was 2 big boxes just of DC's, another 2 boxes of Archies, another 2 of Harveys, another of Gold Keys, a box of misc. mixed; not that many Marvels (maybe 100 or better). A LOT of humor stuff; maybe 1/3rd. super-hero stuff. There was also one HUGE box of coverless,damaged and "pieces" of comics.

The problem was that he wouldn't give me any sort of "opening price" on the lot. He said he had never been an impulse buyer, so he wasn't going to be an impulse seller. About all I could do was tell him approximately what I bought lots for and leave him my name and phone number and not try to appear overly anxious about acquiring them. Maybe he'll get back in touch with me, and maybe not. But it sure was a Mother-Load!

But, I think in the future, when someone tells me they have any of these large lots of comics I'll just pass on even looking at them. I mean, it was great just seeing them, but knowing that they will either be out of my reach financially, or of ever having them for my own, is simply down right depressing! And I have to be careful about getting in such a mood because the last time I got depressed about my collections, I ended up selling them (something I've regreted ever since).

A bit over fifteen years ago a "friend" (former friend I should add) and I went in on a large collection. There were only a handful of comics from it that I actually wanted just to complete some silver-age sets. My share was only 1/3rd., with the other guy carrying the rest of the balance. This other guy went to pick up the collection and went thru them, and then wouldn't give me the books to which I was promiced, saying he couldn't afford to to make back his share of the money on the deal, or that those particular books weren't actually IN the collection (even tho' I knew they were). I ended up with books that my personal share in the deal could have bought outright, but for full book value, while my so-called "partner" made a killing on the remainder.

This deal soured me so much about comics and buying them, that on an impulse I sold nearly my entire collection and swore to never collect again. Of course, anyone that's a true comic book collector gets the "bug" again after a few years, and I started back re-buying books, which naturally cost me more this time around because I had gotten a lot of them before in "lot" deals. And my collection now isn't anywhere as good as before; all I can think about is how much money I'd have to shell out to ever make it that way again.

But I did learn a very valuable lesson in all of this, which was: No matter how good a friend you think you have, they may not be when there's money involved. That a true friend will never rip you off. One really needs to think about any experiences closely regarding those they deal with whose interests paralell your own.

I feel fortunate that today I do have a handful of true friends; ones that I could give a thousand dollars to and they'd never think a second thought about being honest with me. I only hope they know they can feel the same way concerning me.

P.S.: (BTW, what de heck is up with my Counter and Photos not showing up??? Please, Lord, don't tell me I'm going to have to go back thru and fix all of that again!)


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