And crap it is.
No, no – don’t fool yourself. That first appearance of Manbot is not worth anything today nor will it be in the future. Sorry, the New Warriors will not be optioned for a movie which means your complete run (including Thor #411) is not going to be the bedrock of your retirement. Yes, the Scarlett series from 1993 did pre-date Buffy the Vampire Slayer but that will not translate into financial security for your children. I know that chromium Ninjak has a cover by Joe Quesada, but that will not bankroll your Ninjak film adaptation.
When the Triplett Family moved recently, I decided it was time to purge the comic collection. And despite having a relatively rational and educated mind, I found it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Much of what I had accumulated over time were titles I had stopped reading, but continued to buy thinking I would eventually have 13 weeks of paid vacation where I could spend every moment catching up with the X-Men. I had no emotional attachment to those issues but maybe the Chuck Austen/Kia Asamiya issues were actually really good.
The turning point for me was acknowledging that I’m buying something that’s greatest value is in its enjoyment. Buying, collecting, hoarding, storing, securing is meaningless unless you actually partake and enjoy in the product.
So gone were the issues never read. But what about the ones that I had read and kept? I decided I would keep whatever had emotional meaning, storylines or titles that I would want to share with someone else, seminal works or titles that I consider “special”, and anything that I knew I could never replace should I ever change my mind.
And now that I’ve trimmed the collection in half, what do I do with it? Bookmans to rescue! The Triplett clan hauled in probably at least 8 long boxes of our rejects, and they took them all. Not only did they take them, but they gave us store credit so we could buy games, puzzles, books, DVDs, music, whatever.
Some lessons learned:
- Critique your crap. If you don’t want to reread or share it with somebody, it’s not worth keeping.
- Assess the true financial value of your crap. Let go of expectations and look up the definition of “sunk costs.”
- Spread your crap around. You’ve got a ton of options to get rid of your unwanted comics – Craigslist, libraries, Goodwill, used book stores, Sequential Swap.
- Don’t buy more crap. Yes, nature abhors a vacuum but you can withstand the pressure to replace old crap with new crap.