Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Searching Through the Darkness

I really want to find a copy of Karl Edward Wagner's Gods in Darkness.

Just not enough that I'm willing to pay the going price, apparently.

There are some things that I want badly enough that the cost becomes almost secondary to my obsession to find them; when I got my Marvel Masterworks collection complete sans three volumes, I paid a premium price for them because... well, to put it plainly, I wanted them more than I wanted the amount of money that I had to give for them. (Ultimately, isn't that the basis for any purchase?)

Well, I want this collection of Wagner Kane novels from Night Shade Press, but the going price on this one appears to be $125-$150, and I just don't want to spend that much. This one falls into a different category: items I'm willing to hunt down at a bargain price.

I once had a complete collection of Fantastic Four #s 1-100. I sold that collection for $500 in the early 1970's... a fortune for the time, and money that Susan and I really needed while I was in college. A little over four years later, I wanted those issues of FF, plus the fifty or so that had come out subsequently. I ended up re-acquiring those books for a total investment of $300; I bought a Daredevil collection plus some Amazing Spider-Man issues, which I in turn traded for some early issues of Flash and Green Lantern, which I traded (along with some cash) for the FF run I wanted. Net cash outlay on my part: $300, along with some searching and footwork.

And two years after that, I sold the FF run for $1000. That should be the end of the story, right?

Nah.

In 1983, I wanted those issues of FF again, along with the issues that had been published between then. I don't even remember how I put the deal together, but at a single convention I managed to leverage eight different purchase/trades into a complete-to-date set of Fantastic Four. I spent two full days working the dealers' room, finding out who had what and who wanted what; then, on the final day of the show (the best deals always occur on the final day), I invested a little cash, started the comics-trading dominos, and within two hours I had the collection... and I had spent about$3 shy of $200 to do it. Yep, each time I sold the collection, I managed to replace it even cheaper than the time before. More time, mind you, but less money. It had become a game to me, and I saw myself as the champ.

Problem is, I didn't see any way I'd ever get a complete Fantastic Four collection for less than $197. So I never sold that last set; still have 'em, in fact, although I haven't actually read 'em in years.

And that's where I stand with Wagner's Gods in Darkness. I'm in the bargain mode right now; I'd like to have the book, but I'm looking to get it for far less than market value. Will it happen? Who knows? But if it doesn't... well, I've read the books, and I think I still have the original novels in paperback, so I won't be too bothered by the failure.

When it comes to bargain shopping, though, I rarely fail...

1 comment:

Charles said...

Gee, I can't beleive you'd get rid of a collection and then want it back. Um...have my Savage Sword of Conan mags arrived...?