Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Best Trade I Ever Made

I was excited when Marvel, via its Epic line, announced it would be reprinting Akira.  This would be my chance to finally read the highly-praised Japanese series.  I was picking up the issues on a regular basis, too.  The comic book store I bought them from, The Encounter in PA, had ordered enough that it was doing store-made three packs of the first three issues at a special low price.  I picked up one of these as an investment.  It's an investment that paid off quite well.

A few months later I found myself at a comic book booth at a local flea market.  The guy had some good stuff, primarily Silver Age and newer.  One of the issues on the shelf was Marvel's Conan #1.  Being a huge Conan fan, this was a find.  It was also over-priced for its condition.  He wanted something like $108 for it. That was insane.

I asked the guy who ran the booth, a man in his fifties, if he could come down any on his price, as it was way too high for its condition. He informed me that was not out of the question.  He would drop it to $100.  Still too rich for my teen blood.

We started the traditional haggling, and in doing so he revealed he was after the hottest series going right now: Akira.  Brilliant.

Yes, Akira was hot, but it wasn't hard to find, and I had the first three issues.  I asked the man what he would give for those issues.

"I'd give you that Conan."

"I'll be right back."

I raced home, fearful that at any given moment he would realize the mistake he had made, or that someone would swoop in and claim that issue for himself.  I had never seen these issue in person before, and I knew it was fairly hard to find in Eastern PA.  If the right person spotted it, and had the cash, I was out of something I wanted in the worst way.

Fortune was with me that day, and three comic books I paid between six and nine dollars for snagged me one of the more sought-after issues of that time period.  I'm fairly sure this will remain the best trade I'll ever make, too.

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