30 Things I Like About Comics–#30 Quarter Bins

As my friends and family love to point out, I’m hitting a big milestone–turning the big 30–in thirty days. So to celebrate this, I’m goint to think about thirty things in comic books that I like. And this starts 30 days before my birthday, so you have plenty of time to start thinking about gifts…wink wink 😉

The Longbox

Photo credit Dave Fayram - http://www.flickr.com/davefayram

To the people who feel that the cost of comics is too high, I feel your pain. Reading and liking comics can get expensive. That’s where comic shows come into play.

Like many kids who survived the whole comics craze of the 1990s, Wizard magazine convinced me that a stack of Deathmate comics would be better than a 401K plan. When you go to a comic show, yes there are books that go for a good chunk of money.

But the best place to find comics is in the quarter bin or their other family members, the snooty dollar and two dollar bins, or the slightly more succesful fifty cent bin (he didn’t go to a state college). The condition of these books varies, although at the bare minimum its a readable copy. Most of the time the books are in great shape.

So how do comics wind up in the quarter bin?

Well, there’s a bunch of reasons. Sometimes they’re overstock that a retailers is stuck with. Others have been sitting in the back issue section at full price way too long, and there is no demand for them. Maybe they were part of a collection, or an eBay lot. Who knows?

Ultimately, the reader wins. You can put together full rons of a series relatively cheaply. If buying the Operation: Galactic Storm  omnibus seems like a bad investment, you can buy the individual issues at a fraction of the cost.

I’ve found a lot of stuff in these bins that I’ve wound up loving, whether a full run of Power Pack, every JLI book and related spinoff series, and even the most recent Iron Fist series by Ed Brubaker. The best find from a quarter bin was a Adam Hughes Justice League book, that he signed and sketched on the inside page! Not bad for a quarter!

The experience of going through the quarter bins can be overwhelming. The best thing to do is plan ahead, and make a list of the issues you are looking for. This can save you from buying duplicates, which no one likes.

If you find some beat up comics, you can upcycle them into various craft projects. DIYLife has a great feature on how you can make a wallet out of old comic books.

So what have you found from a quarter bin?