I woke up one morning and had a dream... Could I own every single issue of Detective Comics, Batman and all of the other subtitles in the Gotham universe?
Insane? Stupid? Inspired?
This can only end in obsession and financial chaos.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Buying Comics on the Internet Part 1

Okay, So I'm currently restricted to a handful of places where I am able to buy comic books. This is totally due to the remote geographical position I now live in. My new comic book dealer is based in Lancaster (and this is directly aimed at the new students about to hit Lancaster University: Buy Comics From First Age Comics at the Assembly Rooms Market!) and he's really excellent. And then I have a few other options, but these are based on total luck, whether they have anything that tickles my fancy.

The other option is the internet. Now eBay is the usually the best outlet for all UK back issue collectors. And by and large it is wholly gratifying experience. Although there are a few other dealers that specialise selling back issues online.

The first one I want to deal with is BackIssueComics.co.uk (click here).

When you look and play around the BackIssueComics website you are destined to think that a lifeform lower than a amoeba has designed the site. Also that same lifeform obviously couldn't be bothered to alocate enough cash towards any bandwidth. It's fair to say that if you happened upon this website, and didn't know any better, you'd think that when you handed over you credit card details you'd be getting a phone call from your bank. The conversation would probably be along the lines of...

"Sir, can I take a few details...

"Is something wrong?"

"Sir, are you currently buying Cristal?"

"Crystal, what glasses?"

"Cristal CHAMPAGNE. At £150 a bottle. Like the entire British allocation..."

"No. That's ridiculous!"

"We thought so, but some Nigerian fellow is trying to do so- all over London. With your credit card."

Yes, it's fair to say that invoking trust is the website's core foundation.

Fortunately, before I get sued for defamation, this is a genuine site that I have used a number of times over the years. And believe me, this incarnation of the website is a vast improvement on the old one.

And who are the guys behind this site: one of the biggest players in UK Comic Book retail, Forbidden Planet International. Obviously they belive the internet is a fad...

First the positives.
- The stock is pretty new
- It's very reasonably priced, indeed there are some bargains should you trawl through the site enough.
- And when they turn up are well packaged, and won't cost the earth either.

- Sheer amateaurism. I once got a telephone call saying they actually LOST my credit card details, that went through their secure server. And then actually asked me if I would mind just giving them again to someone random, over the phone! (Yes, I still have the angry email exchange!).
- No guarentee that they are 'Mint' as they won't grade their books. Although that really never bothered me, it might other customers.
- Can be Very Slow. I usually expect three weeks for them turn up.

So there you are. Worth a look, you might get that random comic you've been after.