Looking ahead he mentioned that eBay has made it possible for collectors to sell to each other “and that’s a good thing.” It’s brought liquidity and better prices.”
As to the future – I mentioned that old and rare books are in a cycle and, at least for the moment, in a downturn and he suggested comics are too. “We are still early in the game although the age of collectors is rising – today 25 to 30. But when he looks at 10 to 15 year olds he sees them moving more into games. “They may never have the comics obsession.”
And as to trends – comic book shops are a good, even a very good business. “There is a comic book community and people come in, not only to buy, but to talk about their collections. It’s a shared social experience and makes the comic shop central to the collecting experience.
But he also expresses concern that Amazon could undercut the field as it already does with books. “It could happen.”
Comics are on top of the world today but, as people in the rare book field know very well, tastes change.
Stay tuned for what’s next. I don’t know what it is but I know its coming.
Here are links to the shops of those who contributed to this article:
326 Fell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
2381 Ocean Avenue
San Francisco, California 94127
1238 Central Avenue
Albany, New York 12205
2855 Piedmont Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30305