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Fantasy World in Real Places

Artist Omer Agam, aka Omerika manipulates pictures by adding a dose of fairy and fantasy. In her collection entitled Whismical, she stages characters and object by miniaturizing them of by incorporating touches of supernatural. A lovely travel in a dreamlike and enchanted world, that could remind everyone who would going there, in his old dreams.

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The incredibly imaginatively named game, Chaos, immediately provides this imagery if you look up how to play. By itself is bad enough to be prime BABD material even without us having the conversation about why is the Paladin (a known of renown chivalry and heroism) half naked and looking away from the fight… but then it manages to get worse.

Yup… a swordsman can be the almighty emperor… but not a paladin… well not dressed like that. (Again developers, if the outfits you give your female characters mean you can’t take them seriously… maybe redesign, just a friendly suggestion)

Of course, the other thing the site really wants to show you about the world you’re going to be the almighty emperor of is… apparently double standards in dress code are a universal standard there:

Also there’s someone with a horn but since they’re off to the side we should infer they’re nowhere near as important as the mystic lingerie display.

- wincenworks

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Hordes is a game about groups of giant monsters led by someone with magic, beating the every-living crap out of each other for glory and profit.

So naturally Privateer Press want to release these as their convention only special/novelty units - they’re such a great way to encapsulate the game!  Anyone who comes across these at a convention is going to immediately understand what Hordes is about… right?

- wincenworks

The cheesy names on those figures… they hurt almost as much as the shameless fanservice.

~Ozzie

PSA for Selling Comics

We just had a person come into the comic shop to sell their collection. They had been to a competing comic shop previously and the guy there bought five comics out of their collection for $75. Included in those five comics was a first appearance of Deadpool, which is worth around $500, and a first appearance of Gambit, worth around $100. The owner had to break it to them how badly they got jipped.

So I decided to write a PSA for those of you who are thinking about selling comics that you either collected yourself or inherited from someone.

1. The Honest Truth – When you go to a comic book shop to sell your stuff, it’s just like going to a pawn shop or dealing with one of the American Pickers guys. They want ‘meat on the bone’ because they are going to resell the comic at full price to a collector. Ideally they want a 35% profit but it’s often negotiable. So while the New Mutants #98 (Deadpool) may be worth about $500, a decent person is going to offer you $250 to $300, expect you to counter up, and back out around $400. If you want full market value for your comic, then you’re going to have to sell to a collector, which takes time and effort in locating and negotiating with. So this is a decision you have to make.

2. Prices are Constantly in Flux – So I said that Uncanny X-Men #266 (Gambit) is worth around $100. I use ‘around’ because of mitigating factors. One being that the demand for a particular comic can cause the price to flux. Marvel Team-Up #95 is the first appearance of Mockingbird, a comic you could get for like $5 bucks two years ago. Once she appeared on Agents of SHIELD, the book started cresting $100 before settling in the $30 range. Once the Gambit movie comes out, if it’s a good film, UXM #266 could easily double, if not quadruple, in price. Now, like all things economic, there will be a spike in the price of the comic, but once hype die down, then the price could fall. Perhaps not back to pre-film or event levels, but it could still fall. The first appearance of Roz (Thor: God of Thunder #12) started to go up when people thought she was going to be the new Thor. Spoilers, she isn’t, and so the price dropped again. The point of this is that just because you paid so much for a comic in the past, doesn’t mean it’s worth that now. Could be more, could be less. Research is key and I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

3. Condition, Condition, Condition – The condition of a comic affects the price. You could have an X-Men #1, but if it’s been through a meat grinder, you’re not going to get anything for it. So here are things to take note of that can decrease the price of the comic:

  • Bends vs Color Breaks – Bends are when the comic has been bent and it creates a crease. Color Breaks are when this crease actually causes the color to break and you get a white line. Bends can often be pressed out (using a professional pressing machine – don’t try this at home) but color breaks are permanent and affect the price more.
  • Color Luster – Color gets leached out of everything, and not just by the sun, but also by regular light bulbs if something is kept out on display for a long time. A faded comic, especially one that is faded irregularly, decreases in value.
  • Broke Spine – If someone is picking up your comics by the spine, break their fingers. A bent up spine, missing/detached staples, all decrease the value of a book.
  • Roached – Ever seen a book that looks like it’s been eaten on by a mouse? This is roaching. Generally if you are missing pieces of the book, the price point goes down.
  • Water Damage and Mold – Should be self-explanatory.
  • Writing – Lots of comics were given to kids, kids like to draw/trace pictures, ‘nuff said.
  • Original Plastic – Comics don’t have ‘original plastic’. A very very small percentage of them might have been put in a plastic baggy because it came with a trading card or something, but this would be a single issue of a title, not all of them. If this is someone else’s collection, then what you are seeing is what we call a ‘bag and board’. You buy these separate to protect your comics. Yes, being in a bag and board does help keep comics in good shape, but it doesn’t mean that the comic is ‘new’ or ‘never been read’ or that kind of thing. Bags and boards, by themselves, have no affect on the price.

For a comic with a really high value, like an Avengers #1, you can still get enough money out of them even if they have some damage to be worth it to try to buy/sell. But some comics, even if they are worth $100 in good condition, just aren’t worth it if they’re roached.

4. Key Issues – As a whole, most comics, even old ones, aren’t worth more than cover price, if that. This why we have the term “Key Issues”. These are the first appearances of characters, or famous events, such as Uncanny X-Men #141 & #142 which are the Days of Future Past issues. If someone only pulls out a couple of issues from your collection, then these are the high dollar key issue comics. They know they can resell them and the rest is just filler. Don’t let yourself get cheated, know what you have. Granted, if you have a hundred-plus comics, it is a pain to go through each one to do research. If you Google the title followed by Key Issues you will get several websites that list the key issues. You can then look and see if you have those particular issues. If you do, then you can research the current market prices (see point 6).

5. Collections – Like I said, most comics aren’t worth much. It’s up to you if you want to sell those comics in a bulk throw-in, or if you want to hold on to them in the off chance that one could turn into a Key Issue. Keep in mind that you can also use your collection as a bargaining tool. While the individual issues aren’t always worth that much, there is money to be made in selling a run (i.e. a consecutive run on a particular title). So if you just want to get rid comics that are taking up room, and you have a nice run of something, then use that fact as you negotiate. If you have all of New Mutants 1 through 100, there are a couple of key issues in there. If you negotiate right, you could basically sell the key issues for more than what you’d get on their own and get rid of comics that are taking up space.

6. Pricing – There are several price guides, such as Overstreet, but right now, with this being the Golden Age of Live-Action Superheroes, prices can skyrocket or fall overnight. Unless you want to delve into dozens of websites and cross-referencing everything, your best bet is to simply look on eBay and see what the comic is going for. This will give you a price range to work with, but keep these things in mind:

  • Sold Listings – You can find this button on the left side and it will list all the sold listings for that item. This is what people are actually paying for it, not what people are trying to sell it for. Sometimes there isn’t much different, sometimes it’s a stark contrast.
  • Condition – See Point 3 above.
  • Shipping – Some people will put a lower price on the comic to catch people’s eyes, but then tag on a large shipping cost to make up for it.
  • Bids vs Buy It Now – Often a book will be listed small in hopes of bidding wars. Again, see sold listings and what people are listing as Buy It Now.
  • Graded Comics – There are companies that grade (determine the condition of the book on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest) and encapsulate comics. These cost more simply because they are graded. If your comic is not professionally graded, then you can’t expect it to fetch a graded price.
  • Variant Covers – Especially lately, companies are selling ‘variant covers’ of the comics, such as the Skottie Young Babies Variants. These are often 1in25, 1in50, 1in100, etc. This means they are rarer than the regular covers and often fetch higher prices. Make sure the price you’re looking at is for the same cover.
  • Second Printing – The comic companies only print as much as they think they can sell up to a cut-off point. If the issue does exceptionally well, or better than expected, they will send it to a second printing with a new cover (though usually by new that means they changed the color background or something). This is same as a ‘first edition’ of books. First printings are almost always worth a lot more than the second, third, etc printings.
  • Reprints – Key Issues have been known to get reprinted in later years, but they are usually noted as reprints, given special covers, that kind of thing. These can be worth more than cover price, but are often not high-ticket items. They are basically reader copies.
  • Trust Selling – eBay sellers know that comic collectors are not as trusting of online sales because you can’t see the comic to know for sure that what you’re getting is the condition they say it is. Therefore they sell a little lower than what a shop owner can. I kid you not, men from out of state come in all the time because they are in town on business and want to see what’s available. They would rather drive around an unfamiliar city, or spend money on a taxi, to go to a comic shop, than trust an online seller.

7. Negotiate – If you’re like me, you don’t like negotiating. If the price sounds reasonable, I go for it. This can be bad and I am very lucky to know a shop owner who is my friend and who I know will give me a fair price while I understand he still gets his 35%. But for most of you, you are walking into a store and you don’t know what kind of person is behind the counter. They could be a good person, or they could try to cheat you. Or they could simply low ball expecting you to counter their offer. So if you aren’t good at negotiating, grab a friend who can. Tell them how much things are worth and let them go to town on the shop keep. Never feel bad about wanting a reasonable price for your comic. Yes, you’re not going to get full market value, but like hell are you only going to get 15% of that market value.

8. Shop Around – Don’t be afraid to shop around, if that’s an option for you. If you live in or around a major city, there is going to be more than one comic shop. Comic specific shops are typically going to give you a better deal than general collectibles type shops because comic shops know better what things are worth. If you live in a more rural area, then comic shop owners will sometimes even come to you if they think it’s going to be worth it if you have some high ticket key issues.

Well, I hope this helps if you’re ever planning on selling your comics. Just, above all, please be civil with the buyer. He’s trying to run a business and you’re trying to make some money. These are conflicting objectives. Getting belligerent with a shop owner is only going to get you a worse deal. If the shop owner gets belligerent or condescending to you, walk away.