While there are many out there who love comics just for the story and have no desire to hoard boxes upon boxes of bagged and boarded floppies, I am not one of them. I have a thing for collecting. (It used to be cards, now it’s comics.) Even so, I made the decision to go all digital about six months ago. The simple fact is that I was slowly being buried alive by my collection. As it stands, I have somewhere between five and six thousand comics, and that is, regrettably, too many. So the question becomes, what to do with all of those books?
Let’s be clear, I am not getting rid of all of those books. If I’m lucky, I’ll get rid of about a thousand or so. I still love collecting; I’ve just decided to focus only on those runs that I want, instead of whatever comes out every week. My process for deciding what to get rid of is less than scientific, so I won’t go into the details of it, sufficed to say that I expect to have somewhere around two long boxes of excess books. That’s a lot of books, and I’ve spent a while coming up with good ways to get rid of them and free up some space in my house.
The most obvious way is to sell them. Since I’m keeping my collection, but just getting rid of stuff I don’t want, odds are that I won’t have any high dollar books failing to make the cut. This means that sites like eBay are probably not going to be much help to me, unless I want to put things together as complete runs, of which I have several. If I were getting rid of all my comics, then sure, eBay would probably be more helpful. I do have some variant covers that might be worth the effort, but they are the exception, rather than the rule. Craigslist is another option, though if I were to do that, I would probably list them as one giant lot and cherry pick some of the best stuff to feature in the ad. To be honest, this is really more of a last resort in my opinion. I’ve sold a couple things on Craigslist before and it was more of a pain than it was worth.
The best way to sell comics, especially stuff that isn’t really worth much is through consignment. One of my local stores is willing to sell the books for a percentage of the profits. The owner likes doing this because it gets new stuff into the store for people to go through, especially if the books are reasonably priced, usually around $1. I might only get a couple hundred bucks for the lot, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Another good option is donating the books. For starters, nothing feels better than donating to a worthy cause; plus there are a couple of options for donation. First is just to donate the comics to an organization like Goodwill for the tax deduction. This is nice and easy. If the books aren’t really worth much then you can usually get a tax deduction of about fifty cents per comics donated. Keep in mind this is not cash in hand.
The other method is similar, though I like to think of it as more fun. This approach involves finding some form of kid’s charity or hospital and donating the books to them. Of course it’s important to verify that they actually want the comics in the first place, but so long as they’re interested, it’s great. I love the idea of spreading my love of comics to others and also helping some kid, who isn’t doing so great, feel a little bit better. Gives me that warm fuzzy feeling deep down.
Finally, there are, of course, geeky arts and crafts. Between what I’ve seen at conventions and on sites like Pinterest and Etsy, there are literally thousands of great ideas that involve old comics. From wallets to lamp shades, the ideas are almost endless. Not only does crafting with comics show off someone’s geek cred, but it’s also recycling. I can be eco-friendly and a total geek all at the same time. Multi-tasking for the win! (There are also some people who, for a fee, will make these geeky items for me. I provide them with books and a little cash and then they provide me with swag. Personally, I feel this is a completely reasonable exchange.)
In all likelihood, I will probably use all of these options when it comes to my old books. I’m certain they won’t all sell, and I can pull out a few that would be good for crafts. All the rest will go to a worthy cause. Personally I’m leaning toward donating to the local children’s hospital. Just because I don’t want these comics any more doesn’t mean they aren’t wanted by someone or they can’t be of some other use. It just takes a little creativity.