As a newcomer into the comic community, I had to learn on how to deal with packaging books for sale, learning what a slab (a hardcase for graded comic books) is, variant covers, cover swipes, signatures, comic grading and pressing (cleaning), raffles, and independent publishers. I always thought comics were just books that you read, but to a collector, its either a piece of mind or a solid investment. The first comic I ever purchased was an Amazing Spider-Man #1 variant featuring the Cat Burglar and Deadpool. I had no idea wtf I was purchasing but I was a fan of peter parker as a child and thought the cover looked cool, cool enough for $30. NotViktorVon introduced me to the instagram comic family and everything changed.
Every post was raffle after raffle, selling raw books and slabs, trade paperbacks, and I just got lost in it all. I felt heavily overwhelmed at the pace these guys were doing business but one guy stood out to me; his collection was phenomenal and I mean PHENOMENAL.
Dennis aka 4comix from Norwalk has been collecting comics for about 20 years and he gave me the opportunity to sit down with him and learn a few things in a chance to bring the community of collectors together.
knxvvledge: Dennis, you’ve been collecting comics for about 20 years now. I know this might be hard to remember, but do you remember the first comic you picked up, or wanted to pick up that made you go “I love comics.” I mean what book made you the man you are today?
4comix: So I don’t remember the exact comic that was the one that I bought first. I know I was really into pulling Amazing Spider-Man off the shelf which is right around the time of Spiderman 350…but the first big book that I ever bought to me at the time was a Daredevil number 1 that I actually still have. I was to young to know that you were supposed to take care of them and stuff so it was probably like a 6.0-7.0, but after reading it for many years, I had it graded and the slab came back a 3.0. I remember having to save up and everything that I did to hustle and make money back then like sell candy in school, fake Karl Kani sweat shirts, fireworks…whatever a 12 year old kid could do, I did.
knxvvledge: A daredevil…number…1. Hold on. So let’s say a DeLorean popped up right now with Marty McFly and gave you the chance to go back to when you bought it, what would you tell yourself?
4comix: Save up more and buy the whole store! Don’t stop at just the Daredevil 1 lol
knxvvledge: lol it would be a reenactment of Older Biff telling younger Biff to save the almanac. So would you say DD1 is your favorite book you own as a collector? We’re not talking most expensive either. What’s your favorite book right now, regardless of price and popularity.
4comix: I mean, the DD1 means the most as it was my 1st and its amazing that I actually sold it and found it again…TWICE lol. My favorite is probably a tie between Hulk 1 and Amazing Fantasy 15.
knxvvledge: Now did you sell it because you were in a bind or just to flip it and stack money for other books? And don’t tell me you found YOUR copy of DD1 again???
4comix: Yeah, so the 1st time I traded it in for a Hulk 181, but went back and was able to negotiate a deal for both. Then on instagram, I had a buddy of mine investing with me and we spoke and sold it. About a year later, I won a DD1 3.5 in a raffle and the gentlemen that I sold the 3.0 to reached out to me to make a deal. So we traded the books back and now I have it for good!
knxvvledge: Has there ever been a book that you were sad you sold or traded away after the fact that it was gone? And is there currently a book you have your sights set on?
4comix: Ohhh yeah…I wish I NEVER sold my Amazing Fantasy 15 3.0. It was the cleanest 3.0 I’ve ever seen and I should’ve kept BOTH. I would love a Captain America 1 or a Marvel 1 but I’d have to find a low grade non-restoration for my budget.
knxvvledge: F***. 2 AF15’s???? Tell me, because a lot of people today only collect for profit and don’t care about to society. How do you feel about guys that only deal with comics for money?
4comix: I mean that’s their business. Politicians make money selling lies lol so I guess there’s worse things to do. But I think they’re a necessary evil. You need people like that scouring the Earth for these books to bring them to us because lord knows we don’t have the time or the resources for that.
knxvvledge: So what are your opinions on the comic industry right now?
4comix: I don’t think we’re in a bubble but I think high end books are beginning to get priced out of the everyday persons collection. That sucks to me because lord knows when you step in those luxury box seats at your favorite teams stadium, those stiffs don’t know s*** about the game you love. And if you think, that’s how raffles were born.
knxvvledge: Dennis, is there anything you’d like to say to the up and coming comic collectors out there?
4comix: Yeah…keep grinding. Don’t get discouraged. Learn the craft (pressing, grading, buying, selling) and upgrade at your own pace. It’s okay to buy low grades to get started. We all did.
Be sure to give my man 4comix a follow on his instagram.