Went to the Camberwell Fair at the Camberwell Civic Centre yesterday morning...and there were quite a number of sellers there with comic book stock! Old issues, really really old issues from the Silver Age and new issues as well...I'm sure if I spent more time there and hunted around, I probably could have picked up single issue comic book gold like Amazing Spider-man #129 (1st appearance of the Punisher) and The Incredible Hulk #181 (1st appearance of Wolverine)...not that I could afford it.
I was there with two friends, Marcelo and Kim, so that was a good thing because I'm sure I could have spent AGES there browsing through all the wares. I went to each seller's booth though, just to quickly check out the wares and have a feel for where I thought I could get the best bargain or where I would find something I would purchase. Eventually stopped at the corner booth where they seemed to have the most variety (and the most number of) comics.
The seller was very informative and from chatting to him, he was a true comics fan...who actually read his comics! There are a lot of collectors who simply purchase comics because of the perceived (real or otherwise) increase in value after a period of time and they are more in the business to make money than true comic book fans. This guy certainly was not like that.
I wish I caught his name, but he worked in Evil Empire Comics in Coburg. He definitely knew his stuff though, because when I picked up some X-Men comics, he engaged me in a conversation about going to Armageddon 2008 because Jim Lee was there and we started chatting about the storylines in X-Men. In the particular bundle of comics I was browsing through, he was telling me that it had some valuable issues like issues #1 (still the best selling single comic of all-time with five variant covers...though there was only the gatefold cover),#25 (part of the Fatal Attractions storyline where Wolverine had the adamantium yanked out of his body) and #30 (wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey).
I mean, I knew all that information already, but it was nice chatting to someone who actually knew his stuff! So we talked about Jim Lee being at Armageddon and how, in that bundle, there were only 11 issues or so actually illustrated by him. It was nice that he actually warned me about that in case I thought all the comics in the bundle was illustrated by Jim...as I said, I already knew that, but it was information that was much appreciated.
So how could one not purchase something from his store? I bought the bundle of the first 30 issues of X-Men, which I used to own many many years ago but didn't anymore. There was another bundle for the first 80 issues, but not only was it more expensive (obviously), but I actually owned a lot of those issues already back in Singapore. I couldn't remember which issue I started from exactly so I thought it was probably better just to get the smaller and more inexpensive bundle of single issues...if I were missing out on certain issues from my collection I'm sure I could always obtain them from elsewhere!
So now I've got 30 issues of X-Men to read finish before this Saturday...or at least those issues drawn by Jim Lee, since I want to bring them all for him to sign at Armageddon 2008! I've already got Absolute Batman: Hush, All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder Vol.1 HC and Fantastic Four: Heroes Reborn TPB for Jim to sign.
Only five more days to go. To coin an Australian phrase: How excitement!