Other Japanese cultural imports?

The roughly mid-90's and earlier (generally pre-Toonami, pre-anime boom) era of anime & manga fandom: early cons, clubs, tape trading, Nth Generation VHS fansubs, old magazines & fanzines, fandubs, ancient merchandise, rec.arts.anime, and more!
_D_
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by _D_ »

Depends on what you are looking for in old comics. The real problem these days is finding a comics shop that does mail order. Most do not. With the pandemic, many may be looking into doing so but it's not an easy proposition. My boss started his company almost 30 years ago. He has been on the web for a long time, originally writing his own web pages. Now it's done with special software that costs thousands of dollars. Then there is the inventory. Our store stock is computerized, so you can look up all the books whether they are brand new titles, preordered titles or old books from decades ago. It always surprises me to see how poor the stock of old titles is in some very large centers in North America. It also takes years of exposure and building a clientele. You just don't go online and figure you are going to make a million bucks tomorrow. And the work. My boss is now working 70+ hours a week just to keep things going. It's a nightmare. I only work part time and I can barely keep up with the huge number of orders we get from people all over the place. But we DO send just about anywhere. What old books are you looking for? The real nightmare for me these days is in the number of "flippers" I have to deal with. People not really into collecting or reading, just trying to flip books for a quick buck. It doesn't help that there are websites and individuals with access to insider info that then gets out early to certain individuals so they can scan various websites and hopefully grab all the hot titles before we can take them down. I used to get a few locals doing just that but now it's mostly online. That said, I DO find various books that got pulled years ago in storage bins that have accrued in value over the decades. But I have little time to search and even put them on the website anymore. Maybe when everyone is vaccinated and we get back to some semblance of normal. But I think many people will just order their books online from now on rather than go back to the old stores. Many of those stores won't survive this pandemic (unfortunately)...

Fireminer
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by Fireminer »

Just curious: What made comic books jumped in price in the first place and made people thought that they were actually valued investments?

davemerrill
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by davemerrill »

there was a big "nostalgia craze" in the late 1960s and early 1970s as members of the "baby boom" generation became adults and started becoming nostalgic for things they enjoyed as children. 1950s rock and roll, sitcoms like "I Love Lucy," horror movies and film noir movies and gangster movies, and comics. If you were born in 1945 you grew up reading comic books, and if you were still interested in comic books when you became an adult, you'd seek those comic books out. A market in back-issue comic books grew out of this interest, the vendors opened stores, started comic book conventions, and published price guides.

Comics from the 1940s and 1950s are actually valuable; most were read over and over again by entire neighborhoods until they crumbled away to nothing, were thrown away, or recycled in paper drives (a lot of World War 2-era comics ended up in paper drives). So there aren't actually that many copies of these comics left, and even fewer copies in good condition. Once comic books became established as 'collectible', people started taking better care of them. By the 1980s most comics were bought by collectors, or at least readers who might not fold them up and stick them in their back pocket.

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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by davemerrill »

_D_ wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:34 am
Depends on what you are looking for in old comics. The real problem these days is finding a comics shop that does mail order. Most do not. With the pandemic, many may be looking into doing so but it's not an easy proposition. My boss started his company almost 30 years ago. He has been on the web for a long time, originally writing his own web pages. Now it's done with special software that costs thousands of dollars. Then there is the inventory. Our store stock is computerized, so you can look up all the books whether they are brand new titles, preordered titles or old books from decades ago. It always surprises me to see how poor the stock of old titles is in some very large centers in North America. It also takes years of exposure and building a clientele. You just don't go online and figure you are going to make a million bucks tomorrow. And the work. My boss is now working 70+ hours a week just to keep things going. It's a nightmare. I only work part time and I can barely keep up with the huge number of orders we get from people all over the place. But we DO send just about anywhere. What old books are you looking for? The real nightmare for me these days is in the number of "flippers" I have to deal with. People not really into collecting or reading, just trying to flip books for a quick buck. It doesn't help that there are websites and individuals with access to insider info that then gets out early to certain individuals so they can scan various websites and hopefully grab all the hot titles before we can take them down. I used to get a few locals doing just that but now it's mostly online. That said, I DO find various books that got pulled years ago in storage bins that have accrued in value over the decades. But I have little time to search and even put them on the website anymore. Maybe when everyone is vaccinated and we get back to some semblance of normal. But I think many people will just order their books online from now on rather than go back to the old stores. Many of those stores won't survive this pandemic (unfortunately)...
I didn't know you worked for a comic book retailer, _D_. Most of the retailers in Toronto went to online ordering and curbside pickup during the pandemic, and I think it's kept a lot of them in business but it's certainly eliminated the casual browser.

Most of the comics we buy these days are beat-up old horror, teen or romance books from the 50s and 60s, so if you have a pile of coverless Archies that sat in somebody's cottage being read by generations of vacationers, let me know.

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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by _D_ »

Online ordering and curbside pickup. Yeah, the other comics shop in town here does that too...but mail order? Not a lot doing that. A couple outfits in Canada. That's pretty much it. We are swamped everyday with orders. That's how I spend my day...find stuff, boxing it up and mailing it out...

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Drew_Sutton
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by Drew_Sutton »

davemerrill wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:45 am
there was a big "nostalgia craze" in the late 1960s and early 1970s as members of the "baby boom" generation became adults and started becoming nostalgic for things they enjoyed as children. 1950s rock and roll, sitcoms like "I Love Lucy," horror movies and film noir movies and gangster movies, and comics. If you were born in 1945 you grew up reading comic books, and if you were still interested in comic books when you became an adult, you'd seek those comic books out. A market in back-issue comic books grew out of this interest, the vendors opened stores, started comic book conventions, and published price guides.

Comics from the 1940s and 1950s are actually valuable; most were read over and over again by entire neighborhoods until they crumbled away to nothing, were thrown away, or recycled in paper drives (a lot of World War 2-era comics ended up in paper drives). So there aren't actually that many copies of these comics left, and even fewer copies in good condition. Once comic books became established as 'collectible', people started taking better care of them. By the 1980s most comics were bought by collectors, or at least readers who might not fold them up and stick them in their back pocket.
I had no idea it went back that far, Dave. I figured it was a phenomenon that came out of the 80s (for no real reason that I think about it).

I think it's important to note why books from the 40s and 50s were rare and how that drove the cost for good condition books of that era. If you look at the collector's market in the 80s and especially the 90s, people believed (or Marvel and DC's marketing teams made you believe) that books were expensive because it was the first issue, or first appearance of a character, or what not. That same speculator is still alive and well, waiting for Disney or Warner to announce their next line of film characters and then hop on trying to sell those books for huge money now.
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by davemerrill »

Drew_Sutton wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:58 am
davemerrill wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:45 am
there was a big "nostalgia craze" in the late 1960s and early 1970s as members of the "baby boom" generation became adults and started becoming nostalgic for things they enjoyed as children. 1950s rock and roll, sitcoms like "I Love Lucy," horror movies and film noir movies and gangster movies, and comics. If you were born in 1945 you grew up reading comic books, and if you were still interested in comic books when you became an adult, you'd seek those comic books out. A market in back-issue comic books grew out of this interest, the vendors opened stores, started comic book conventions, and published price guides.

Comics from the 1940s and 1950s are actually valuable; most were read over and over again by entire neighborhoods until they crumbled away to nothing, were thrown away, or recycled in paper drives (a lot of World War 2-era comics ended up in paper drives). So there aren't actually that many copies of these comics left, and even fewer copies in good condition. Once comic books became established as 'collectible', people started taking better care of them. By the 1980s most comics were bought by collectors, or at least readers who might not fold them up and stick them in their back pocket.
I had no idea it went back that far, Dave. I figured it was a phenomenon that came out of the 80s (for no real reason that I think about it).

I think it's important to note why books from the 40s and 50s were rare and how that drove the cost for good condition books of that era. If you look at the collector's market in the 80s and especially the 90s, people believed (or Marvel and DC's marketing teams made you believe) that books were expensive because it was the first issue, or first appearance of a character, or what not. That same speculator is still alive and well, waiting for Disney or Warner to announce their next line of film characters and then hop on trying to sell those books for huge money now.
It remains fascinating to me how influential the whole nostalgia craze of the 1960s was in basically keeping comic books alive. Jules Feiffer wrote his "The Great Comic Book Heroes" in 1965 - https://www.vaultofculture.com/vault/gr ... bookheroes - our local library had a copy and we must have checked it out twenty times. Richard Lupoff & Don Thompson's "All In Color For A Dime" came out in 1970. The first "real" comic book convention was in 1964. And of course the Batman TV show appeared in 1966, putting the pop art craze of ironic depictions of pop culture characters front and center. It's been argued - and I agree with this assessment - that the Batman TV show basically saved super hero comics. Meanwhile, artists like Jim Steranko and writers like Roy Thomas were up front about being life-long comics fans and how the history of the medium affected their work. Thomas pretty much invented the backwards-looking continuity driven comic book storylines that are now standard issue; and also what's been driving readers away for 40 years, but that's a different story.

_D_
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by _D_ »

Drew_Sutton wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:58 am
davemerrill wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:45 am
there was a big "nostalgia craze" in the late 1960s and early 1970s as members of the "baby boom" generation became adults and started becoming nostalgic for things they enjoyed as children. 1950s rock and roll, sitcoms like "I Love Lucy," horror movies and film noir movies and gangster movies, and comics. If you were born in 1945 you grew up reading comic books, and if you were still interested in comic books when you became an adult, you'd seek those comic books out. A market in back-issue comic books grew out of this interest, the vendors opened stores, started comic book conventions, and published price guides.

Comics from the 1940s and 1950s are actually valuable; most were read over and over again by entire neighborhoods until they crumbled away to nothing, were thrown away, or recycled in paper drives (a lot of World War 2-era comics ended up in paper drives). So there aren't actually that many copies of these comics left, and even fewer copies in good condition. Once comic books became established as 'collectible', people started taking better care of them. By the 1980s most comics were bought by collectors, or at least readers who might not fold them up and stick them in their back pocket.
I had no idea it went back that far, Dave. I figured it was a phenomenon that came out of the 80s (for no real reason that I think about it).

I think it's important to note why books from the 40s and 50s were rare and how that drove the cost for good condition books of that era. If you look at the collector's market in the 80s and especially the 90s, people believed (or Marvel and DC's marketing teams made you believe) that books were expensive because it was the first issue, or first appearance of a character, or what not. That same speculator is still alive and well, waiting for Disney or Warner to announce their next line of film characters and then hop on trying to sell those books for huge money now.
There is actually a panel on the tape I have with women creators from Animecon from 1991 where they address this. How can a book that prints 8 - 10 million copies ever be a collector's item? Even old first issues of comics like Spawn aren't worth all that much. Don't get me started on that issue of Turok Son of Stone that is totally worthless. Good for starting your fireplace maybe...

_D_
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by _D_ »

davemerrill wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:27 am
Drew_Sutton wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:58 am
davemerrill wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:45 am
there was a big "nostalgia craze" in the late 1960s and early 1970s as members of the "baby boom" generation became adults and started becoming nostalgic for things they enjoyed as children. 1950s rock and roll, sitcoms like "I Love Lucy," horror movies and film noir movies and gangster movies, and comics. If you were born in 1945 you grew up reading comic books, and if you were still interested in comic books when you became an adult, you'd seek those comic books out. A market in back-issue comic books grew out of this interest, the vendors opened stores, started comic book conventions, and published price guides.

Comics from the 1940s and 1950s are actually valuable; most were read over and over again by entire neighborhoods until they crumbled away to nothing, were thrown away, or recycled in paper drives (a lot of World War 2-era comics ended up in paper drives). So there aren't actually that many copies of these comics left, and even fewer copies in good condition. Once comic books became established as 'collectible', people started taking better care of them. By the 1980s most comics were bought by collectors, or at least readers who might not fold them up and stick them in their back pocket.
I had no idea it went back that far, Dave. I figured it was a phenomenon that came out of the 80s (for no real reason that I think about it).

I think it's important to note why books from the 40s and 50s were rare and how that drove the cost for good condition books of that era. If you look at the collector's market in the 80s and especially the 90s, people believed (or Marvel and DC's marketing teams made you believe) that books were expensive because it was the first issue, or first appearance of a character, or what not. That same speculator is still alive and well, waiting for Disney or Warner to announce their next line of film characters and then hop on trying to sell those books for huge money now.
It remains fascinating to me how influential the whole nostalgia craze of the 1960s was in basically keeping comic books alive. Jules Feiffer wrote his "The Great Comic Book Heroes" in 1965 - https://www.vaultofculture.com/vault/gr ... bookheroes - our local library had a copy and we must have checked it out twenty times. Richard Lupoff & Don Thompson's "All In Color For A Dime" came out in 1970. The first "real" comic book convention was in 1964. And of course the Batman TV show appeared in 1966, putting the pop art craze of ironic depictions of pop culture characters front and center. It's been argued - and I agree with this assessment - that the Batman TV show basically saved super hero comics. Meanwhile, artists like Jim Steranko and writers like Roy Thomas were up front about being life-long comics fans and how the history of the medium affected their work. Thomas pretty much invented the backwards-looking continuity driven comic book storylines that are now standard issue; and also what's been driving readers away for 40 years, but that's a different story.
I think those books are in another room in a box somehwre. The one in my bedroom contains a lot of books on film like ones on the old serials or my Tolkien books like The Silmarillion and others or the first edition Star Wars paperbacks or old scifi and fantasy books and pulps. I really need to catalog them all. Probably will all be binned when I die but...ah well...

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DKop
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Re: Other Japanese cultural imports?

Post by DKop »

_D_ wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 8:58 pm
\

I think those books are in another room in a box somehwre. The one in my bedroom contains a lot of books on film like ones on the old serials or my Tolkien books like The Silmarillion and others or the first edition Star Wars paperbacks or old scifi and fantasy books and pulps. I really need to catalog them all. Probably will all be binned when I die but...ah well...
If you got any Lensmen books i'm welcome to take them off your hands. I've been trying to find those in the wild for a number of years with no luck. I'm not even sure when they were last reprinted, like in the 80's?

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