So, as some of you may know, I collect solely single issue comics. I don't like trades - I consider them cheating. Nothing makes me happier than a room full of long boxes ready to give up their precious treasures. Half the fun of reading comics is the thrill of the hunt. Sadly, today's hunt did not go well. After much careful planning, I decided to visit the comic shops in York, PA. I live in Lancaster which is about half an hour east of York. I was super excited - I had found 3 new stores to check out. So, I saddled up GPS in hand and made my way across the Susquehanna.
First stop was Comix Connection - now I had been here before, but it was a couple of years ago and they were having a buy 2 get 1 free sale so I thought I might be able to get some good deals. I was wrong. After wading my way through shelves of trades, toys and trash I found about 10 short boxes tucked away in a corner. Jackpot! Cracking my knuckles and checking my list I dove in. What I found was merely the shops overage from the last 2-3 years marked about 15% - 20% OVER cover price! While searching, a very young employee came up to me and said, "Can I help you find something?" I asked if they had any other back issues laying around. "Like what?" he asked. 80's Batman, Tom Strong, or Captain Marvel. "We don't sell a lot of that stuff at this store," he said to me in his hipster jeans. Maybe that's because you don't have any for sale I said and walked out. Strike 1.
Next up was Planet X Comics - I thought this one had promise after viewing their website. Again I as presented with a store full of trades and toys. They has shelves of new comics and a couple of short boxes of back issues. I waded through these and equally unimpressed as at the previous store. The staff was much nicer, but I still say comic shops should have comics. Strike 2.
Last on my list was Comic Store West. I walked in and found the same sorry state as the two shops above. Lots of trades and toys, but a very sparse collection of back issues. I did walk out with the first issue of the Spider-man classic Fearful Symmetry and a Moench / Jones issue of Batman, albeit a little too expensive for my tastes.
The day left me with many questions. Is the local comic book scene dead? Is the Internet now the place to find back issues? Am I an anachronism among comic book lovers? Have trades come to rule the Earth? I'm a little sad about my discoveries, but it's better to know that York is not holding any comics that are missing from my short boxes.
So - until next time, keep reading.
1981 - Anatomy of a cover - Iron Man #148 - http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=1057293&GSub=134195
6 hours ago