John Cohen: Hi! My name is John Cohen. I am the owner of Beyond Comics here in Maryland. We are Maryland's largest comic bookstore. I am here to talk to you today about how to be a comic book collector. There are four basic kinds of collectors. They are the reader, the collector, the investor and the speculator. They all have differences but the bottom line is they all like to collect and read comic books. First off lets talk about the comic book reader. Comic book reader is a person of any age who likes to read comic books for the stories they tell. They feel that comics are a form of entertainment to be enjoyed as an art form and communication medium. They do not consider value, past, present or future as a factor on their purchase of the comic books. They also tend to have a stronger desire to buy the comic books story more in a complete form like a trade paper bag.
The second type of collector is the one which we actually term the comic book collector. They are comic book reader who not only enjoys reading comic books but gets a greater thrill out of acquiring his many different comics featuring the focus of the passion such as characters, artists, writers, genre or even publisher. The active collecting often experience in the other collectables such as toys, statues or premiums. Any increase in value of the comic books is considered more of a bonus than a necessity. The comic book investor is a comic book collector who focuses on acquiring comics that have the potential to maintain or gain value over time, holding such comics in high esteem. They usually focus on key issues, first appearances, major character developments, number ones, scarcity, current value or popular story lines. The investor understands a long term cultural value intrinsic in comics and shows the patience to ignore the ebb and flow of comic book values. The last area of comic book collecting is what we call the comic book speculator. This is a person who purchases comics solely for the purpose that the comic will escalate in value. They often purchase multiple copies of comics and seek out the hot comic of the moment with little regard to the story, character or creators except when they contribute to the potential value of the comic. They are often left upset when a comic does not generate a profit and becomes disenchanted easily. Those are the four major types of comic book collectors. In our next segment we are going to talk to you about protecting your comic books.