Wednesday, August 12, 2020

DON’T TELL MY WIFE, BUT I’M ACTUALLY BUYING COMIC BOOKS

My Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales have two purposes. I’m trying to reduce the VAOS to the point where I can again call it a collection and, for the first time in nearly three decades, be able to catalog, manage and enjoy it. That’s job one.

Job two is to make some money through this extensive reduction of stuff. I’m pricing books, comics and other items around 70% below their cover and market prices.

One of the most consistently popular areas of my garage sales has been my quarter boxes. Besides giving customers the opportunity to come away from these sales with large stacks of comic books for a relatively few bucks, the quarter boxes are where I get the basic foundation for my equally popular ten-dollar mystery boxes. Every one of those boxes starts with a base of at least 20 comics from my quarter boxes. So, right off the bat, you know each box will have $5 worth of stuff even before I add other comics, magazines, trade paperbacks and other goodies.

At the end of last year’s sales, I used all of my stock of quarter comics to make over two dozen mystery boxes. At the start of this year, I took last year’s unsold dollar comics and put them in new quarter boxes. That stock of quarter boxes has not lasted as long as I had believed it would. Hence...

I’m buying short boxes and long boxes of comic books. I’m paying $15 for a short box and $30 for a long box. 

The only conditions I put on these purchases are these:

The comic books have to be in decent shape. They do not need to be bagged and boarded.

You have to bring the boxes to me. That way, there’s a chance you will end up spending whatever I pay you and more shopping my garage sales. Insert evil laugh here.

The boxes can not contain sexually explicit comic books like, for example, Naked People Having Naked Sex Adventures. Yes, I totally made that title up. No, surprisingly, it’s not on my bucket list of over three hundred things I want to write before I kick the bucket.  If I write sexually explicit comics or prose, they will be ever so much more classy and filled with keen insight on why people enjoy rubbing against each other while, you know, naked.

If you want to sell boxes of comics to me, e-mail me so that we can arrange a date and a time for you do that. I will have to limit how many comic books I buy. A friend of mine once bought 13,000 comic books and they were delivered to his house on a pallet. I have had nightmares about that ever since he shared the story with me. Not to mention it would be hard to hide a pallet of comic books from my Saintly Wife Barb.

Am I afraid she’ll read this blog and find out I’m buying comics? Hey, she’s been listening to me through our 36 years of marriage and the ten years we dated before that. Do you think she reads these bloggy things? “Saintly” only goes so far.

There we have it. I’m buying comic books.

God help me.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF GARAGE SALES: AUGUST 14-15


Most of my recent blogs have been related to my world famous Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales. I apologize for that. I have a couple more days of taking care of business and then I’ll get back to far more entertaining fare.

There are two different ways to shop at my “comics and pop culture garage sales.” The first is to come to my home at 840 Damon Drive  in Medina, Ohio on Friday and Saturday, August 14 and 15, between the hours of 9 am and noon. Those are my open to the public garage sales. If you come, you’ll find Isabella-written books and comics, dollar comics, other comics priced at more than a dollar but with many amazing deals, trade paperbacks and more. There are bookcases of DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video games and VHS tapes, all selling for a buck each. You’ll find a table filled with manga, also at a buck each. While the supply lasts - they go fast every week - there will be amazing $10 “mystery boxes” stuffed with, well, that would be telling now, wouldn’t it?

I’ll sign any Isabella books, comics and posters you purchase from me for free. I’ll also sign Isabella items that you didn’t purchase from me as long as you are cool about it. I define “cool” in this case as you have spent some money at my garage sale. If you’re only coming to get comics signed for free, you’re being kind of a dick.

Common safety sense means I will only allow two shoppers into the sale at any given time. I’ll have socially distanced chairs set up in my driveway so you can wait until the current shoppers are done and you can enter the garage. Don’t worry about getting in. I will keep the sales going each day until every customer who arrived by noon has had a chance to shop.

The other way to shop at my garage sale is to make an appointment. You can schedule appointments by e-mailing me with your requested date and time. Appointments are available Monday through Wednesday from 9 am to 7 pm and Friday and Saturday from 2 pm to 7 pm. I’ll schedule you for an hour.

One thing I can’t/won’t do is answer questions about any specific items. I’m adding around 100 new items to the garage every day as space permits. Answering specific questions would slow that down. All I can tell you is that most everything in the sales is priced to sell. I think it’ll be worth the trip.

There are some important rules for my customers:

YOU MUST WEAR A MASK.  If you absurdly find this to be some sort of infringement on your freedom, don’t come to my garage sale. I will not make an exception for you.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING AT ALL TIMES. Try to keep six feet away from any other customer. Most of my tables are six feet long, which will give you a good idea of what that distance is.

USE THE HAND SANITIZER OR WIPES. I’ll have hand sanitizer and wipes as you walk into the garage sale. I’ll have also have a few extra masks in case you forgot yours at home.

CASH ONLY. At some point in the distant future, when the world is a little safer and conventions are again possible, I will be able to take credit cards. Not this year.

NO WEAPONS. Unless you are an on-duty police officer or member of the armed service, you will not be allowed to bring any gun, rifle, bazooka, sword, bow and arrows, etc. onto my property. Don’t try to “outfox” me trying to bring something not included on this list as I have a wide range of what I consider “etc.”

NO RACIST GEAR. No Confederate paraphernalia, no white supremacist paraphernalia, no Trump or MAGA related stuff. It’s a garage sale, not a platform for your political, religious or social bullshit. My property, my rules. Don’t test me on this. You’ll fail.

That’s all for now. I have two more blogs of business coming your way. Then I’ll be back with the aforementioned more entertaining stuff. Be safe, be sane, be wonderful to one another.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Monday, August 3, 2020

GARAGE SALES UPDATES

Last week, I had my first week of “by appointment” and “open to the public” Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales. As I usually do, I set myself a fairly modest goal I didn’t actually expect to make. You might have heard about the pandemic that’s going around. Much to my surprise, I reached 84% of that goal.

However, I’m not taking any appointments for this week, nor will I have any “open to the public” hours. I want to rethink some of what I do in these garage sales with an eye towards achieving the goals I set for them.

I am making appointments for the week of August 10-15. You can make an appointment by e-mailing me or by sending a private message via Facebook. I’ll respond as quickly as possible. If you make one of these appointments, you are allowed to bring a second guest.

My next open to the public garage sales will be Friday, August 14, and Saturday, August 15, from 9 am to noon each day. Because I am only allowing two customers in the garage, I will keep the garage sales open as long as there are customers waiting to get in.

This week, in between catching up on some odds and ends and writing projects, I’m doing a major restock of my garage sale stock. I’ve moved the DVDs, Blu-rays, VHS tapes, video games and CDs to a more compact display in my bookcases. This frees up room for the return of my $1 manga volumes. 
 
I’ll have numerous Isabella books, comics and posters. I will sign any of these items that you purchase from me for free. I will also sign Isabella items that you didn’t purchase from me as long as you are cool about it. I define “cool” in this case as you have spent some money at my garage sale. If you’re only coming to get comics signed for free, you’re being kind of a dick.

I’m hoping to add many more dollar comics, magazines, hardcovers, trade paperbacks and older comics to the sales. I would love to add more quarter comics, but my supply of those has run perilously low. Unless I come across some new boxes - which, given I don’t really know everything I have in my storage unit and my Tardis-like house is a fair possibility - I could be out of them before next week’s appointments and sales.

It astonishes me to write this, but I am interested in buying boxes of comics. I’ve crunched my numbers a bit more since the last time I mentioned this and am now willing to pay $15 for a short box and $30 for a long box full of comic books in decent conditions. I’ll take pretty much any more or less suitable for all ages comics. If you’re interested, email me to set up a date and time when you can
bring them to me. Please note that these comics are for my quarter boxes and mystery boxes. I won’t go higher on the prices I’ve set for such purchases.

Speaking of mystery boxes, I’m going to do my best to put together a whole bunch of them. Knowing how popular they are, I’ve limited their sale to one per customer. I’m working to hard to be able to raise that to two per customer.

Another possible change is that I’m considering taking out a small classified ad in the local newspaper. Though these have not brought many customers to my sales in the past, I’m planning to do a bare bones notice in the hopes of reaching potential customers who don’t catch my Craig’s List announcement or read my social media.

There are important rules for my customers:

YOU MUST WEAR A MASK.  If you absurdly find this to be some sort of infringement on your freedom, don’t come to my garage sale. I will not make an exception for you.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING AT ALL TIMES. Try to keep six feet away from any other customer. Most of my tables are six feet long, which will give you a good idea of what that distance is.

USE THE HAND SANITIZER OR WIPES. I’ll have hand sanitizer and wipes as you walk into the garage sale. I’ll have also have a few extra masks in case you forgot yours at home.

CASH ONLY. At some point in the distant future, when the world is a little safer and conventions are again possible, I will be able to take credit cards. Not this year.

NO WEAPONS. Unless you are an on-duty police officer or member of the armed service, you will not be allowed to bring any gun, rifle, bazooka, sword, bow and arrows, etc. onto my property. Don’t try to “outfox” me trying to bring something not included on this list as I have a wide range of what I consider “etc.”

NO RACIST GEAR. No Confederate paraphernalia, no white supremacist paraphernalia, no Trump or MAGA related stuff. It’s a garage sale, not a platform for your political, religious or social bullshit. My property, my rules. Don’t test me on this. You’ll fail.

I think that covers everything. If you have any questions, I’ll try to respond to them as swiftly as I can manage. However, I will not respond to any questions asking me exactly what I have for sale and wanting me to photograph it for you. Honestly, I have a life and it doesn’t involve jumping through hoops for anyone.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more stuff. Be safe, be sane, be wonderful to one another.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

BLOGGNG WILL RESUME SOON

This is my week to catch up on this and that. I'll be posting new blogs, possibly as early as later today. The first couple will discuss my garage sales and related matters. After that, you'll get more varied content. There are so many topics I need and want to cover.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

BUYING OLD COMICS AT LOW PRICES

Now there's a headline that makes you want to do business with me, right?

Here's the skinny. I'm looking to buy comics in decent condition for my garage sale quarter boxes and mystery boxes. But since these are both loss leaders, I can't pay a lot for them. In addition, I need these comics to be at least arguably suitable for all ages. In other words, I can't use your copies of Naked People Doing Naked Things to One Another.

I'm willing to pay $10 for a short box of comic books and $20 for a long box. I know that's not much. It's the best I can do.

If you're in the area and looking to reduce the comic-book footprint in your house or apartment, send me an e-mail and we'll arrange for me to buy your books. And, yes, this offer is open to comic-book retailers as well. Obviously, there will be limits on how much I can spend on this in any given week.  

The price isn't negotiable. It's what I can pay for your comics. If you're interested, get in touch with me. But, always, always, contact me before showing up at my garage with boxes of comics.

Stay safe, stay sane and be wonderful to one another.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF GARAGE SALES UPDATES

Today’s bloggy thing will seem familiar to you because I covered a lot of the same territory a week ago. I’ll put the most pertinent stuff up front.

My next open-to-the-general-public Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales will be Friday, July 31, and Saturday, August 1, from nine am to noon. They will be held at my home: 840 Damon Drive, Medina, Ohio on the corner of Damon Drive and Bradley Court. There will be a lot of cool comics and pop culture related stuff on sale...and I’m adding over a hundred items every day between now and then.

Only two customers will be allowed in the garage sale at any given time. Don’t fret if you’re still waiting to get in at noon. I will keep the sales going until all my customers have been able to shop.

There are some other rules as well, but I’ll get to them after I’ve given you some idea of what you’ll find at the sale. Here comes the quick tour:

There are a couple boxes of comics priced at a quarter. I’d love to have more, but I haven’t come across a fresh supply of such items as I search through the Vast Accumulation of Stuff. How vast is it? I just this week came across the books I had promised to send one of my dearest friends in exchange for an item he sent to me. That was a year ago. It’s good to have patient friends.

I have a couple dozen PlayStation and Xbox games on sale at a buck each. There may be a few more before the end of the summer. I also have a couple dozen CDs at a buck each and there definitely will be more of those as I go through the CDs amassed by Saintly Wife Barb and myself during our 36 years of marriage.

There are hardbacks and trade paperbacks throughout the sale. You won’t believe the prices on some of these. I just sold two volumes of Russ Manning’s Tarzan for fifteen bucks each.

You’ll see some collectible items. As my search continues, you’ll probably see more. Over the years, I’ve sold over a couple hundred collectible Monopoly games and collectible phones. I don’t think I have any more Monopoly games but some more phones could turn up as the summer progresses.

I have several boxes of comic books priced at a dollar each. These will be restocked throughout my “garage sale season.” I anticipate running garage sales through the end of September.

I have DVDs and Blu-rays at a buck for single discs and two bucks for TV season sets. Normally, I have stacks of the British comics war digest Commando at just one buck each, but my first appointment customer cleaned me out of them. As I read the several dozen unread issues I have - Commando publishes eight issues a month - I’ll have more copies to sell.

Posters? I have the rare double-sided Superman poster created for Cleveland’s 1988 International Superman Exposition. Priced at $20, these gems have been a consistent seller for years. I don’t think my remaining supply will last the summer.

I have other posters for sale at $10 each: three different Black Lightning posters, a Misty Knight and Tigra team-up and a Hawkman poster. I also have Daredevil and Luke Cage mini-posters at just $5 each. My supplies on most of these are low.

Tony Isabella fans will find comic books and other books written by me. They’ll also find copies of my script for Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1.

As always, I will sign any Tony Isabella items you purchase from me for free. In a slight change from previous garage sales, I’ll only sign any Isabella items you didn’t buy from me for free if you have already made a purchase of $10 or more.

I have a couple of boxes of older comics from the 1960s and 1970s, all priced to sell. You’ll find Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane and Thunder Agents to name but a few.

My $10 mystery boxes will be in short supply initially because it does take quite a bit of time to put them together. I’m limiting sales of mystery boxes to one per customer until I can build up a decent supply. I’m shooting to put together one mystery box every day. I currently have four in my garage.

Here are the important rules I mentioned earlier:

YOU MUST WEAR A MASK. If you absurdly find this to be some sort of infringement on your freedom, don’t come to my garage sale. I will not make an exception for you.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING AT ALL TIMES. Try to keep six feet away from any other customer. Most of my tables are six feet long, which will give you a good idea of what that distance is.

USE THE HAND SANITIZER OR WIPES. I’ll have hand sanitizer and wipes as you walk into the garage sale. I’ll have also have a few extra masks in case you forgot yours at home.

CASH ONLY. At some point in the distant future, when the world is a little safer and conventions are again possible, I will be able to take credit cards. Not this year.

NO WEAPONS. Unless you are an on-duty police officer or member of the armed service, you will not be allowed to bring any gun, rifle, bazooka, sword, bow and arrows, etc. onto my property. Don’t try to “outfox” me trying to bring something not included on this list as I have a wide range of what I consider “etc.”

NO RACIST GEAR. This includes (but is not remotely limited to) Confederate paraphernalia, white supremacist paraphernalia and anything Trump or MAGA related. It’s a garage sale, not a platform for your political, religious or social bullshit. My property, my rules. Don’t test me on this. You’ll fail spectacularly.

If you can’t make it to my garage sales on Friday and Saturday, you can make appointments to shop at other times. Except for Sunday, I’m open to morning, afternoon and evening appointments from 9 am to 7 pm. This is, of course, conditional on whatever else I have going on in my life. E-mail me or send me a private message on Facebook to make an appointment for you and, if you want, one other person. I’ll do my best to accommodate you.

I think that covers everything. If you have any questions...I can tell you right now I can’t/won’t answer questions about whether or not I have a specific item...I’ll try to respond to them as swiftly as I can manage.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more stuff. Be safe, be sane, be wonderful to one another.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Monday, July 27, 2020

BLACK LIGHTNING STUFF

BLACK LIGHTNING FUNKO POP update for 7-27-20.

The lowest open auctions currently stand at $107.50 (4 bids, 4 days) and $130,50 (12 bids, 6 days).

The BUY IT NOW offers range from $180 to $450.

The complete listings show the lowest sales were for $99 and $120. I think that's the proper range for this figure, not that I can influence the market.

The complete listings show the highest sales were three figures that each sold for $399,99 from the same seller. Something's wrong with the process when one dealer is able to get multiple figures.

I still hope Funko does a larger, non-exclusive release of this figure. Write them and let them know of your interest. They are a good company that makes a great product. (I just bought their four cancer awareness DC figures for my Social Justice League.) The more people contact Funko, the better chances there are of getting a general release.

For that matter, do the same with Warner Bros and their Black Lightning season collection. Tell them you want Blu-rays of Seasons Two and Three...just like they do for all the other DC/CW shows. Tell them you want general releases of those sets. By making only DVD sets available and making them manufacture on demand, they are self-fulfilling the nonsense that Black heroes don't sell. We know better. We know there's a large audience that is being under-served by Warner Bros and so many other companies.

In fact, if you want to see authentic Black Lightning comic books that are again written by me, contact DC Comics in enormous numbers. Contact Jim Lee. Contact editors. Find out who oversees DC Comics from Warner Bros or even AT&T and tell them what you want. Hell, if those individuals would give me an hour, I could explain to them how much money they are leaving on the table.

It's up to you because, as we've seen, the comics news sites aren't interested in Black Lightning or any positive stories about me.

That's my Monday morning message.