my personal collection...

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Troy Division

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I'm going to take an opportunity once a week to post a book from my Personal Collection.
I'll try to share the when, where, and why each book was chosen...depends on if I can remember.

My personal collection is ever-evolving and limited to 49 CGC slabs and 1 raw book.
(but once CGC grades treasury sized books it'll be a solid 50)

Why 50?
Simple.
It is the number of books that fit in two plastic short boxes.
Just enough to grab in case of an emergency or not take up too much room in the car.

Why ever-evolving?
I read a post many moons ago on these boards about making the handling of your collection easy on your family when you pass away.
They mentioned selling 10% of your books per year once turning 40-years-old.
They said the best course of action would be to reinvest the monies various ways.
In closing they stated to continuously refine your books down to a Top 10 that would be extremely easy to liquidate upon death.

Over the past 4 years I was able to reduce my collection from 34 short boxes down to 18 boxes* through donation, selling, and recycling efforts.
12 short boxes of raw comics to be graded
4 short boxes of CGC comics to be placed on eBay
2 short boxes of personal collection

As books are sold throughout the year that money is spent many ways.
A portion does get set aside to reinvest into the personal collection.
If a new book is purchased with the intent to move to the personal collection a different book has to be taken out 'to make space'.

To give you a better understanding, last year I removed the following comics from my personal collection to allow new books to join:
Amazing Spider-Man #50 CGC 2.5
Batman #357 CGC 9.4 SS signed by Ed Hannigan
Calamity of Challenge #127 CGC 9.4
East of West #1 RRP CGC SS 9.8 signed and sketched by Nick Dragotta
Hawkman #4 CGC 4.0
Milk& Cheese SE CGC 9.8 SS signed by Evan Dorkin
New Teen Titans #2 CGC 9.6
Nova #1 CGC 9.6
Spawn 3D #1 CGC 9.6 signed by Todd McFarlane

That is all to say, that at some point some books featured in this thread will not make the cut going in to 2023.
(I will edit posts when a book has transitioned out of the collection)

Without further ado...my personal collection...presented in alphabetical order...

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Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths #1 signed by Alan Moore.

Purchased in October of 2021.
Alan Moore comics will feature multiple times in the weeks ahead.
Being in middle school when The Dark Knight Returns was released was odd.
(yes, I know that was Frank Miller...spoiler alert...his work will appear in this journal as well...)
Suddenly the people older than you at the comic store were talking about comics having the depth of novels.
I couldn't be pushed past reading Punisher War Journal, but at some point in high school I revisited those previously heralded comics and discovered it to be true.
Many Copper Age classics will be posted in the weeks ahead.
Which is my comfort zone for memories regarding comic books.

Truth be told, I have no idea what this comic is about.
It was purchased for the sole reason - to own an Alan Moore Signature Series comic.
I've offered crazy money in the past for a CGC SS Alan Moore copy of 'The Killing Joke'.
No one took me up on my offer.
So I decided to reinvest some of last year's monies to complete an Alan Moore themed mini-collection within a collection.

Yuggoth Cultures #1 signed by Alan Moore.jpg

Edited by Troy Division
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All-Star Superman #1 German Edition signed by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.
Purchased raw via eBay in 2017 to be used for a Signature Series submission.

Lets get this out of the way.
This book is NOT:
My favorite Grant Morrison work...that's The Invisibles
My favorite Frank Quitely work...that's New X-Men
My favorite Grant Morrison / Frank Quitely work...that's Flex Mentallo

This book was chosen as it was a way to combine two creatives that work very well together that I appreciate BUT on a book / character that will be more marketable if I ever wanted to sell it.
I'm always trying to weigh pragmatic with collector...
Honestly, I wish they had just worked together on New X-Men #128 so I could have submitted a stack of those.
(Fantomex FTW!)

I had a previous Morrison SS (Happy #1) that I sold after this one was completed.
This book is on the short list of books to leave the personal collection when a book I have a stronger overall personal connection to comes along.

All-Star Superman #1 signed by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.jpg

Edited by Troy Division
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Amazing Spider-Man #1 signed by Stan Lee.
Purchased raw in 2011.

Sometimes there are certain comics that you cannot imagine purchasing / owning.
You may desire them, but the cost keeps them firmly outside your reach.
Amazing Spider-Man #1 was one of those books for me.

Forewarning, I have never typed this story out and when it is shared in person I give a TL:DR version.
(I'll include one at the bottom of this message)

So...grab a drink, some chips, and get comfortable...as this is going to be a long post.

One day in early 2011 I saw a Craigslist post about a store having comics for sale.
I wrote to them and asked if they were still available.

ONE MONTH LATER!

I got a reply apologizing for the delay as their internet was cut off, they had moved, and that they did still have comics available.
They sent me the address.
I googled and it seemed legit.
Jumped in my red 1993 Ford Ranger with no A/C, manual transmission, and broken tape deck (this part comes back later) to head to the address they gave me.

Upon arrival I discovered it was a consignment shop.
I went inside and was directed to 4 short boxes of comics / magazines.
What I found in the first 2 boxes were complete garage sale drek.
Thinking the drive was a waste of time until I got to the third box and was taken aback by a very familiar cover.
I froze.
Sitting in a bag without backboard with a handwritten $2 on a blue circle sticker in the upper right-hand corner was The Amazing Spider-Man #1.
My eyes widened and then I looked over both my shoulders to ensure I wasn't being Punk'd.
I slowly took the ASM #1 plus the books that were before and after it out of the short box.
Then I placed the three comic stack directly in front of me.
At this point I should have stopped, but I proceeded to look through the rest of the 3rd box and then the 4th short box just in case another key book was present.
During all this my mind was racing.
I began thinking every person entering or inside the store was there for comics and would take the book from me.
Suddenly, fear gripped me in that they may even pull an Overstreet Guide or use their computer to check eBay once I bring the comics to them.

After finishing the last short box I asked the clerk if the prices on the comics are prices they'll charge.
The clerk confirmed that the price on the sticker was the cost of the comic.
I fanned the three issues (top book, ASM, bottom book) only showing the stickers in the top right-hand corners.
The total was $7 for the three comics.
I handed the clerk a $10 bill, said to keep the change and have a great day, and quickly exited the store without another word.
My goal was reaching my truck, placing the comics inside, and locking the door to prove ownership if the police were called BUT I don't remember walking to my truck.
It felt like a dream as I floated there.
The truck seemed to pull further from me as I got closer.
The entire time I expected the shop owner to come outside and yell and chase me down to return.

Upon entering the truck I was overwhelmed with joy.
I had to scream and yell and cheer.
I had to immediately share this joy with someone.
Quickly I called my best friend at work and told them about it.
They were excited for me and couldn't wait to see the book in person the next day.
After hanging up the phone it took me a minute to remember how to drive.
Suddenly, I realized that I didn't want to drive in silence as I felt a moment like this needed a soundtrack.
I racked my brain as to which song in my tiny music library stored on my Galaxy 1 would work best.
Somehow the only thing I thought would work best was Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance".
It wasn't the lyrics or the song itself...it was being able to drive home singing along loudly whilst it played from my phone.

Drove home quickly but safely.
Jumped on eBay for current values of 1.8s / 2.0s and was overjoyed.
Immediately opened the comic and flipped through for missing coupons.
Then it dawned on my that there may be missing pages.
Downloaded a cbr file to check.
Immediately noticed that the 1st and last wrap were missing when comparing the two.
Suddenly deflated.
(NOTE: CGC lists the centerfold is missing. That is not correct at all. Trust me it was the first and last wrap.)
Then I hatched a plan to purchase a complete coverless copy and marry it with my $2 copy's cover but figured I would get caught so I placed it in a mylar with fullback and put it away.

A few months later when Desert Wind Comics announced their next Stan Lee signing I realized I could plus up the value of the incomplete book by adding Stan's signature.
Got in contact with DWC.
Sent them my book.
They confirmed it was received.
And then they lost it for the signing I sent it in for.
Yep...lost it.
At one point they were going to send me a check for the value of the book if they couldn't find it before the next signing.
They didn't know it was incomplete so in hindsight it would have worked out better for me if they hadn't found it.
BUT they did find it and eventually got Stan to sign where I wanted and with a silver sharpie like I requested.

So that is the story of my Amazing Spider-Man #1 signed by Stan Lee.

TL:DR
Bought ASM #1 for $2 from a consignment shop.

Amazing Spider-Man #1 signed by Stan Lee.jpg

Edited by Troy Division
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On 1/20/2022 at 11:33 PM, MattTheDuck said:

That's a great story!  I'm sure the consignor thought it wasn't worth anything due to the missing wrap.  Just goes to show, it's worth it to just show up.

Thank you.
Yes, it does prove to at least try and show up.
(as long as it appears safe)
I was always a little confused by the store / pricing.
Went back the following week as they had received more comics.
I didn't buy any comics but I did pick up some Famous Monsters magazines.
Got to speaking with the clerk and they explained what the shop did.
They cleaned out residences of people who were recently deceased on behalf of family members that are not able to come in from out-of-state to handle such things.
Then the shop would determine what to donate and what to consign on behalf of the out-of-state family.
They charged the family 10% of the total sale price for doing this.
They list the high dollar items on eBay (purses, jewelry, vintage clothing, etc).

Learning this actually made me sad that someone had passed away with no one wanting to handle their comic collection and their ASM #1 ended up in my hands for $2.
I began wondering if they had bought it for that price many moons before it landed it my hands.
The how of it is not something I reflect on often but when I do it makes me realize that we all need to make a plan for our end of life because sometimes the things we love die along with us...
Oh boy, that got way deeper than I expected.

How about a change of pace?

Edited by Troy Division
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