With Comic Book Men just finishing up its first season on AMC, and the recent news of a long lost comic book collection selling for $3.5 million, my curiosity about comic collecting has been piqued. My own collection is modest, with just a few graphic novels and random issues, but I recently made my first purchase of a “collectible” for a whopping eight dollars. I decided I needed to talk to an expert about making these first forays into buying and selling comics.
Enter Brandon Zuern, store manager of Austin Books & Comics in Austin, Texas. Brandon is a real “Comic Book Man,” who not only runs the day-to-day operations of Austin Books, including deciding what stock to carry and how to display it, but he also finds the time to curate the new Guzu Gallery next door. A lifelong comics fan, Brandon read comic books before he knew how to read. He recalls, “I remember making my parents read me the same issues over and over again. I started learning to read as soon as I could, so that I could just do it myself.”
Although I do the majority of my reading with digital comics now, there’s something about holding a comic in my hands that still gets me in a store from time to time. When I asked him if digital comics have impacted their customers’ buying habits, Brandon replied, “The collectibility of comics is still a major factor.” I can attest to that. If you’re like me and enjoy having comic books to call your own, here are some tips for getting started on a collection.