Sunday, 8 May 2011

Another Manchester Mart...

It always make a huge difference to a Manchester Mart when we get to meet up with friends. On Saturday Colin and I were at the Mart in the Thistle Hotel, and it really is a Mart in the truest sense with all other stalls being purely retailers, and we had the good fortune to meet up with Marleen Lowe (artist on Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man ?) and Gary Crutchley, who has contributed to many of our Anthologies and is always far too generous with his time and talent.
Marleen's visit was a fleeting one, but she did drop of pages of her artwork for me. I aim to get pages from all of the books that I write and it's great to add pages from Marleen to those I have of Andy's work on The Wolfmen.
Gary was able to stay longer and we ended up having a burger and larger after the Mart (we didn't take him to McDonalds!!) and talk comics for... well who's counting.

Once we finished on comics we moved onto books, films and even TV shows before coming back to comics again. It'd be great to do this after every Mart, so next time we're in Manchester pop in if you're in the area, and hang around afterwards for a beer and comic chat. It always amazes me how the comic book back issue market seems to have almost collapsed in recent years. I can remember to days when Valiant was hitting its stride and whilst their titles were demanding astronomical prices, there was good demand for all manner of back issues and so pretty much all of them cost more than when they first appeared on the shelves. Today, the Marts are full of 25p and 50p boxes, and there are plenty of bargains to be had.

Whilst the Silver Age titles still seem to retain their value the same can not be said for those comics that have followed. I guess it must be due to the Trade Paperbacks that collect even the hardest to find issues and present them in a nice, affordable, package.
I think now, more than ever, comics should be seen as something to enjoy rather than as an investment... unless they are Accent UK titles of course :o)


  1. "I think now, more than ever, comics should be seen as something to enjoy rather than as an investment..."
    Well said, Dave. I've been buying up boatloads of Alpha Flight comics out of the quarter bins (as we call them here). They're not worth any money obviously, but I'm really enjoying them. Same goes for a lot of indie stuff I'm trying to get read.

  2. I think that as more and more comics history becomes available through downloads the back issue market will be hit even harder, although that said it will actually be much cheaper to pick up these in 'quarter bins' (I like that phrase) than through download sites. Download sites will however make it much easier (if less fun) to track down missing issues, especially those 'hard to come by' independent titles.
    I used to love sifting through long boxes of comics at Marts looking for those missing issues, now I find the prospect quite daunting, which is a shame. And anyway, I don't have long runs of titles missing the odd issue anymore. In fact I actually own very few comics now. I've got a good number of hardcover collections, and some TPBs but very few actual comics are left ... and I've only been actively moving from one format to the other over the last two or three years. If you look at those wonderful Hellboy Collected editions, the only reason to get the comics is that you don't have to wait so long, same with Walking Dead. Speaking of which, that TV Series is great.

  3. But that smell when you open an old comic.
    You can never replace that.
    Everyone of those silver age comics I bought on Saturday, Dave, has that old paper smell.
    Lovely!!...Or is it just me.

  4. Ah ... do you mean the smell of stale old cigarettes ... or that musty old paper smell ?;o)