Whoever said print is dying in the digital age has never tried going gaga for comic book collecting. Juan Paulo Romabiles, 31, has been collecting comic books for nearly a decade now. He says, “Nothing beats the experience of holding the comic books in your hand, turning the pages and all that.”
As years went by and his interest in this medium of storytelling grew, he managed to pick up a few hacks along the way. So whether you’re someone who’s tight on the budget but still wants to collect or someone who has yet to get his first fix in comics collecting, here are nine tips to get you started:
1. Stick with the comic books that have/had a connection with you. “It can be a part of your childhood that got you interested in the first place or perhaps through other forms of media. If you somehow felt like there’s this longing or curiosity to know and follow their stories and adventures satisfying your fascination and love for a character/group/franchise, then stories from their comic books might be the one for you.”
According to comic book collector Paulo, “Nothing beats the experience of holding the comic books in your hand..."
2. Stick with a genre/category. “If you wanna go and follow those established or tried and tested superheroes over at Marvel/DC/Dark Horse/Image/IDW/etc, or just looking for other reads in the form of creator-owned stories from various publishers (I think Image Comics has the most creator-owned books? Correct me if I’m wrong), you can always feel free to mix and match what you go on collecting.”
3. Research. “There are comic book-related sites on the Internet that offer previews and news for upcoming comic books. Use it to your advantage.”
4. Manage your budget. “Set a limit on how much you’ll spend and on how many comic books you’ll pull in a month. With tips 1-3 in mind, pretty much you’ve decided and settled on what/who to collect.”
5. For everything else—trade paperbacks. “If you still want to follow the other comic books or story arcs that you don’t collect monthly, you can opt to buy the trade paperbacks of a particular comic. In that way, you still stick to your monthly budget of pulls since you can plan and save on what to buy.”
Breakfast of champions: black coffee, cookies, and comics.
6. Go to Comic Conventions. If there is one from where you’re at. “If you have time and schedule permits, attend one. There might be a couple of booths set up selling comic books and TPBs at a lower/bargain price. Take for example, the “Gothic” story arc that my brother had before that was lost. I managed to get a complete set again from a comics convention for a reasonable price.”
7. Join online comic book groups. “This is another avenue on getting comic books/TPBs. There are those who are willing to let go of their books, and you might get what you want for the same or at a cheaper price.”
Perfect combination? What do you think?
8. The Internet is your friend. “If still your budget is really tight, then the last option is the world wide web. From character bios, to synopsis and summaries of a storyline—the Internet is a huge place to search upon and catch up to any comic book story that’s out there.”
9. Enjoy. “‘nuff said.”
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Photographs by Juan Paulo Romabiles