Saturday, July 13, 2013

Things I Wish I'd Never Bought

Doug:  Quite some time ago, Karen ran an Open Forum on things she wished she still had, and I followed it up with a post on things I never had but wished I did.  Today we're going to set that premise on its ear, and ask you to commiserate with us on things you've purchased, but wish you never had.  The door is wide open to all sorts of possibilities -- comics, books, toys, DVDs, music, etc.  We're looking for those wastes of money that have littered your collections over the years.

Doug:  My wife heard a morning crew discussing organization on the radio a few weeks ago, and one of the suggestions they were making was to throw away (or donate, etc.) 10 things a day for 10 days.  By doing that, paring down your junk would become manageable, and once it was done, you could see that it perhaps wasn't so painful to have done it.  Maybe you're a hoarder, maybe you'd call yourself a "completist" -- we all have a story to tell.

Doug:  Right off the top of my head, I'm going to say the first 25 issues or so of Bendis' New Avengers took money out of my pocket that I could have spent on Doritos or some other such pleasurable experience.  Egad, was that horrible.  I ended up giving them away to the Resident Director in my son's dorm last year.  That was the best loss of personal money I think I've ever endured!  As far as something I own and really do love, but will never get any satisfaction from, is the door-sized poster of the wraparound cover to the Crisis On Infinite Earths tpb.  You can see it below.  Now what the heck am I ever going to do with that thing??  But it sure is cool...


david_b said...

Most things I've purchased I didn't have regret over. Early in my collecting days, I plopped down several hundred on a MIB Phantom Captain Action set, beautiful set, but it was only to garner more desired MIB vintage sets from this national seller at a future date (like Spidey and Captain America sets..). Well that didn't happen, and I had to off-load it a year later losing only a hundred out of the deal.., but it did impress my wife that for a new bed set that costed a grand, I could whip out $500 instantly for my half. THAT was kinda cool.

Other than that, most items, thanks to eBay, I've been able to get rid of any huge investments once the aura wore off, like initially collecting those Famous Covers figures, but got rid of them when I started recollecting Megos..

I did purchase a Mego Fantastic Four Baxter Building 3 Floor playset From Dida Displays about 6yrs ago; quite frankly, it's still in the shipping box..!! Never got around to actually setting it up for my Mego figures.

Still a huge Space:1999 fan, I was always thinking about those detailed 12" diecast Eagles released a few years back for a couple hundred, but eh, I still have that huge 24" 1976 Mattel Eagle playset from a few years back, invested in customized stickers from Canada, etc and still loving it, so why would I need more..?

Great topic.

William said...

With very few exceptions, I regret buying pretty much every modern comic book that I bought since somewhere around the turn of the century. Especially Marvel's Civil War, House Of M, Secret Invasion, New Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, anything with the word "Ultimate" in the title (OK, pretty much anything written by Brian Bendis, Mark Millar, or JMS). Talk about a waste of money. Thanks to the modern "decompressed" style of writing, something that used to fit into one or two issues of a comic now takes six to twelve for the same amount of story. And comics don't cost under a dollar anymore. Throughout this time they cost anywhere from $2 to $4 each. As a result I must have spent hundreds of dollars reading comics that I didn't enjoy at all. In fact, they mostly made me angry (but for some reason I kept buying them). Talk about the definition of regret.

However, I remedied this situation by selling them on Ebay or trading them back to my LCS for stuff that I actually did want. For example, I took all the "Marvel Civil War" stuff and made an even trade for a "Frank Miller: Daredevil Omnibus". That was shortly after the mini-series ended and my LCS was happy to make the trade because the Civil War books were "hot" at the time. Well now they are barely worth their cover price, so I definitely got the better end of that deal. Everything else (and I mean everything) I also traded or dumped on Ebay. Now my collection consists only of single comics and collected trades that contain material from the Silver Age, Bronze Age, and some stuff from the 1990's (Is that the Copper Age?).

There is one notable exception to this - "Mark Waid's Daredevil". I've said it before and I'll say it again, that is the ONLY comic book being produced today that is worth reading. In fact, it's so good that I consider it tied with Frank Miller's run as my favorite version of the character ever done. (In both writing and art). If you haven't read it, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The first 20 something issues are collected in 4 trade paperback (or hardcover) volumes. They each feature 6 or 7 issues of the comic and they are cover priced at $19.99, but you can get them cheaper on Amazon and other outlets. Volume 5 is due to come out in August, and I definitely plan to pick it up.

(I'll apologize now for any typos in the above post. It seems no matter how careful I am, one or two always manage to slip by me.) :)

david_b said...

William, thanks for reminding me on those late '80s comics. I had similar pains purchasing post-Perez Titans (Baxter series).. I knew they were somewhat sucking, but purchased 'em out of loyalty each month.., about as bad as Englehart-Milgrom's WCA was. Just tossed 'em all.

Karen said...

I'm so tight-fisted when it comes to spending that I will consider something for weeks before buying it. So consequently there are few things I regret buying, although like William, recent comics do fall into that category.

I do sometimes question buying my replica of Cap's shield. It's totally awesome, and when people see it they go ga-ga over it, but it's the most expensive 'toy' I ever bought and I still wonder if it was crazy to get it. Most of my purchases are in the $20-50 range and this was several hundred dollars, so it really took me out of my comfort zone! Still, it looks great.

But I do question my acquiring of items at times. I think all of us who collect have to wonder when it crosses the line into hoarding. Speaking of which, if you haven't seen this "Batman:Hoarder" comic strip yet, you should check it out. It's a hoot!

Rip Jagger said...

Sometimes all of it. Sometimes none of it. I vary.

I recently realized though I have too many comic books and such like in my house because I spend too long trying to find one thing I wanted to read. Boxes of books I've barely looked at are hidden way under a bed in the room which serves as main storage and any time I get in them, I find something I forgot I had. I've not yet bought a major book I already owned, but it's been close.

I fall victim to bargains, books so cheap I feel I will regret it later if I don't jump on it. That's gotten me stacks of stuff which seemed like required reading at one time, but which seems low on the list today.

Just this week I've begun the migration of material out of the house, making a deal with a local shop for some of my vintage back issues. Hopefully I will be able to get the stuff out the door and off the floor and get some value for them. They are great books, read and enjoyed, but there comes a time when they just have to go.

My wife and kids have made it clear they don't want a big pile of comics to deal with when I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Rip Off

Redartz said...

Like William, most of my regrets concern modern books. In particular, I bought all 52 issues of "Countdown" as we'll as Infinite Crisis. Sure wish I had that money back. I actually made more use of the bags/boards they came in: I took the comics out, piled them in the "get rid of" pile, and put the sleeves on more desirable flea market finds.

Garett said...

Haha--great Batman:Hoarder comic Karen!

I can't say I have purchase regrets. I like to trade in comics/books when my bookshelves get too crowded--I figure it's good feng shui for the bookshelves to have spaces for new books to come in.

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, that comic is indeed hilarious, thanks for the link.

Back in the Bronze Age, there was little that I bought that provoked the kind of regret being discussed here, with the possible exception of the whole run of Team America (I think I mentioned that here before) and the accidental purchase of one of those Spire Christian Archie comics when I was in my Archies phase.
More recently, I have to say I regret buying the tpb of Batman: The Cult a few years back. For some reason, I just thought a story by Starlin with art by Wrightson would be cool. Well, the art was indeed lovely, but it could not save that terrible story. Luckily, I bought an inexpensive used copy on eBay from a seller in the UK, so it didn't cost me more than about $10 total, and it proved easy to resell (I think I broke about even).

By the way, Doug, didn't we have a similar post a while back? I specifically remember you posting pictures of some kind of foil Avengers covers you seemed to regret buying...

Garett said...

I checked out Kerry Callen's blog, the guy who did Batman:Hoarder, and he has some really fun stuff on there, like this Jack Kirby machinery he animated:

Anonymous said...

I have things I regret selling (like all of my X-Men titles back in the 90s), but little I regret buying.

Though in retrospect there are series like Civil War and House of M (and most recently Age of Ultron) that were not worth the money, how would I have known w/o checking them out? I don't ever want to be one of those guys who dismisses new stuff of hand.

I did recently get a complete run of U.S. 1 b/c I wanted to know for myself how terrible and weird it really was. It was more terrible than weird. But it was a small investment and I made it back through resale

I usually make back most of my investment through eBay.

Anonymous said...

BTW, William. I would say that both DC's soon to end Dial H (by China Mieville) and Matt Fraction's hawkeye are both modern comics worth picking up.

Doug said...

Finishing up my 10-day assignment at the Holocaust Museum in Washington today, kids -- it will be good to get back home!

Edo, if memory serves (and we know how that goes), that post you referenced was an addendum to my updated collection posts and I think asked what sort of unique or even oddball things we had in our possession. I'll admit that the uncut holographic covers in question do probably fall into the category we're discussing today.


J.A. Morris said...

I regret buying a bunch of Punisher and Punisher War Journal issues in the late 80s & early 90s. I thought the Steven Grant/Mike Zeck/John Beatty miniseries was good, so I (stupidly) thought they'd be worth something and I bought into the hype and thought they'd get better. Both series were basically just "Punisher tracks down generic thug and/or crime boss & kills them".

While I'm ripping Frank Castle, Esq., I also regret buying 'Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe'.

And I wish I'd quit collecting 'Uncanny X-men' before 'Age Of Apocalypse' and Spider-Man titles before the 2nd 'Clone Saga'. I'm just glad I stopped before Norman Osbourn came back from the dead.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please don't talk about comics we all regret purchasing; I've thrown stuff away out of sheer embarrassment...I don't want them to find that stuff after I die and take me for some kind of complete mental defective.
I bought a Space Ghost action figure once, but I have the good sense to leave it buried in a box in the basement. What was I thinking??

Teresa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_b said...

"Steelgrip Starkey" anyone..?

I loved the art, fresh concept and approach, but even for a 6-issue miniseries, it ended up being totally forgettable.

Teresa said...

I wish I never bought the 2006 Justice League of Talking.
So boring and awful.
They took advantage of my childhood nostalgia for the Satellite Era and stole my money.
I kept hoping it would get better. Nope, it got worse.
15 issues in I finally dropped it.
Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes are the main culprits.
They even brought in the LSH as guest stars and I hated it more. That is a major negative accomplishment.
Infinite Crisis. What a terrible insult. It was OTT gore. read them once and never again.

On the Marvel side: I bought a couple issues of Civil War and was mortified by it.

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