Wayne’s Worlds: Condition Critical?

I recently attended the Savannah Comic Con in Georgia with friends. I understand this was their second year, and it went pretty well, with media and comic guests aplenty.

One of the topics of discussion there that I participated in focused on the condition of one’s comics and other related items. Everyone agreed on one thing: the condition of your stuff is critical!


I could get into the entire comics grading system, but I won’t since many other websites do that quite a bit. You can Google that subject if you want to know more about that subject.

Even if you are more reader than collector, your family members (including your kids) may not hold the same interests you do. The day may come when reality comes crashing in, and your family may need money for important things like your healthcare or things they want or need.

That’s when the condition of your collection will matter to them more than ever, even more than what you want!

Granted, we all like to have genre stuff in the best condition possible. We want them to last and be treasured as long as they can be. I’m not really that much of a collector, but I still try to keep my comics in decent shape, if not better. I like what I like, and I want to like it like that for years!

I’m not super-picky when it comes to most of the books I buy, though. Nearly all of them will be read, and I do try to treat them well, but the fact remains that reading is the most important thing they provide.

Also, the vast majority of the books I get will not turn into the most collectible of comics. Every once in a while, one shoots up in value, though. It just depends on the issue.


Maybe it’s just that I don’t have family members who worry about the condition of my collection, but it doesn’t matter all that much to me.

I have friends, however, who have relatives or children who eye their collections with the thought that “someday that will be mine.” Some don’t even have the kindness to keep quiet about it, either, especially if they think it will be worth plenty soon!

My advice to those folks is to let your family member enjoy what he or she loves in peace as long as they can do that. The time to sort out who will get what will come sooner than you expect.


One thing collectors and readers alike enjoy is to share that with someone else.

I remember the story I’ve have heard from Geoff Johns was that a relative of his had a comic collection that he would let the future comics creator read when possible. Am I glad he got to do that! It sparked his imagination so he could tell some of my favorite stories ever!

And who knows? Maybe you will find an interest that will make you happy in their collection.


I know some collectors who bristle when I say this, but it is the good reading that often makes comics worth more. If the story and/or art suck, it’s very rare that it’s value increases. Demand is what makes the price rise. I’d venture a guess that maybe 95 percent or more of collectible comics were at one point considered a great read. Even Golden Age comics were thought to be fun storytelling in their day.

Now, I don’t want to even begin to appear that I think collectors aren’t important. They are because they help keep the industry going. But the books have to be valued by fans of some stripes in order to be worth it to others.

This debate about “readers versus collectors” has been a long-running one. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing because both are important to the comics industry.

But again, condition is an important consideration when it comes to how much value is assigned to comics and things comics-related.

However, as I’m writing this, I’m wracking my brain as I attempt to think of a comic that’s worth a lot that wasn’t considered a great or good read. I just can’t think of any!

Granted, maybe you don’t care for Golden, Silver or Bronze Age comics. But others do and probably always will. Until the day that this industry we love crashes and burns completely, I think there will be a good number of people who will.

I’ll probably always be more reader than collector. But I think we can all help the industry grow and prosper.


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