Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Antique Mall Booth

Since I write for AntiqueWeek and set up at lots of collectibles shows, it's only fitting that I opened a booth at an antique mall. My booth is in Lone Star Antiques (near Fort Worth), which I find semi-amusing since I used  to work for Lone Star Comics (and still freelance for their website).

If you're ever in the area, come by and see my "little shop" (as I call it). It's filled with comic books, action figures, laser discs, vintage paperbacks, model kits, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, retro video games, and other cool collectibles.

Lone Star Antiques
5605 Denton Hwy.
Fort Worth, TX 76137
BOOTH 1320

William Shatner in Dallas

Geek is chic, it’s hip to be square and William Shatner is no longer telling Star Trek fans that “It’s just a TV show.”

Shatner, a.k.a. the original Captain Kirk, appeared at the Dallas Convention Center yesterday to help promote the Texas Lottery’s new Star Trek-themed $3 scratch-off game.

Organizers were hoping to break the Guinness World Record for most people dressed as Star Trek characters in one place. Only 561 Kirks,Spocks, Klingons, and other Trekkers showed up, falling well short of the 1,063 mark set last year in London, but the fact that the Texas Lottery would team with Star Trek is emblematic of our culture’s obsession with the classic TV show.

The people gathered were disappointed in the turnout, but they still had a great time.

“Everyone has been so in the spirit of Star Trek,” Guinness adjudicator Michael Empiric told the Dallas Morning News. “And that’s what I look for in a record attempt. But sometimes, the best laid plans just involve getting people in the door.”

Shatner, who will return to the Metroplex May 18-19 for Dallas Comic Con, weighed in as well: “They’re having fun," he said. "That’s why they go to conventions…I used to think they came to see the actors. Then I came to realize they came to see each other.”

They also came to see a living legend.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lone Star Comics to Offer $200,000

DALLAS, TX—North Texas Comic Book Shows, a quarterly mini-con in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, has announced a special guest at their April 13th show: Lone Star Comics, a local retail chain that will be offering to purchase up to $200,000 of comic books from convention attendees.

Admission to the con, which will also include appearances by Deadpool artist Carlo Barberi and Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth writer Victor Gischler, is only $5, and kids under 12 get in free. And, if you bring comics to sell to Lone Star (or any of the other vendors displaying their wares), you may even leave the show with more money than you came in with.

Lone Star Comics owner Buddy Saunders is certainly no stranger to purchasing comics and flipping them for a profit. His first sale was a near mint copy of Fantastic Four #1 for a whopping 25 cents. This was in 1961, just a few months after the issue was new in stores and had a 10-cent cover price. Today, according to the latest edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, a near mint copy of Fantastic Four #1 is worth $90,000.
After selling comics through the mail for the next few years, Buddy opened the first Lone Star Comics store in June of 1977, and he began buying and selling comics online (via in 1997. “We sell current comics all the way back to the comic book forerunners from the 1800s,” Saunders said.
If you happen to have a copy of Fantastic Four #1 (or any other key issue) you wouldn’t mind parting with, Saunders will offer you a fair price for your four-color treasure. “Comics are like the stock market,” Saunders said. “Selling prices rise and fall based on supply and demand.  We track these trends closely and base our offer prices on recent sales activity on our site, eBay, and other auction and retail sites. For more popular issues, we generally pay 60-80% of current market value.”

If you don’t live near the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but are interested in selling your comics to Lone Star, you can do it via the World Wide Web. “Each week we buy over 30,000 comics via our online want list—from every era,” Saunders said. “That’s in addition to the full collections we buy from collectors, and store close-out lots.”

If you have a huge collection to sell—25 long boxes or more (approximately 6,000-7,000 comics)—but aren’t within driving distance of DFW, Saunders recommends that you give him a call and describe what you have. “We will make you an attractive offer and pay the shipping cost and arrange for truck pickup,” Saunders said. “We know how to make the selling process easy and profitable for the seller.”

Chris Latshaw, who runs North Texas Comic Book Shows, is proud of his association with Buddy Saunders and Lone Star Comics.

“We are excited about the show addition of Lone Star Comics and their commitment of spending up to $200,000 for comic book collections,” Latshaw said. “If you have comics that you want to sell, bring them to the show and turn them into cash.”


(817) 860-7827

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Superman at 75

The most storied character in the history of comic books turns 75 this summer. Created by Clevelanders Jerry Siegel (writer) and Joe Shuster (artist), Superman made his official debut in Action Comics #1 (June, 1938), which had an original cover price of 10 cents and is now worth more than $2 million in near mint condition.

The untitled Superman story in Action Comics #1 tells the tale of a scientist on the doomed planet Krypton placing his infant son in an experimental rocket ship and launching it toward Earth. Shortly after the rocket lands, an elderly farming couple—the Kents, who died in the issue, but were later restored to continuity—finds the crash-landed vessel and are astonished to see a child inside. 
The Kents adopt the boy, name him Clark, and tell him to use his powers, which include super strength, super speed, and the ability to leap an 8th of a mile (Superman didn’t “learn” to fly until a few years later), to “assist humanity.” The story, though crudely drawn by today’s standards, is entertaining and fast paced as Clark Kent/Superman speedily grows to adulthood, earns a job as a reporter at the Daily Star (later the Daily Planet), fights crime, and goes on a date with Lois Lane.

Action Comics #1 was a smash success, creating a worldwide icon and single-handedly inventing a new type of character: the super-hero. Batman (1939), Captain Marvel (1940), Captain America (1941), Wonder Woman (1941), and other men and women in tights quickly followed in Superman’s wake, as did a number of Superman media tie-ins, including a radio show (1940-1951), a newspaper strip (1939-1966), a pair of serials (1948’s Superman and 1950’s Atom Man vs. Superman), a feature film (1951’s Superman and the Mole Men), and a TV series (Adventures of Superman, 1952-1958).

Thanks to the campy, yet stylish Batman TV show, Superman took a backseat to Batman during the late 1960s, but his popularity saw a tremendous resurgence in 1978 with the release of Superman: The Movie, which starred the late, great Christopher Reeve in the title role. “The Death of Superman” comics storyline from 1992-1996 was also a big event in the Man of Steel’s life (so to speak), as was the character’s 50th anniversary, which found the Kryptonian on the cover of Time magazine and various other publications.

In the preface to the book, Superman at Fifty: the Persistence of a Legend (1987, Octavia Press), noted science fiction writer Harlan Ellison summed up the long-term appeal of the character nicely: “He is the 20th-century archetype of mankind at its finest. He is courage and humanity, steadfastness and decency, responsibility and ethic. He is our universal longing for perfection, for wisdom and power used in service of the human race…he is our highest aspirations in human form.”

Of course, Superman has been heavily merchandised over the years, probably more so than any other super-hero. Collector Jamie Reigle, a founding member of the Siegel and Shuster Society, owns more than 40,000 Superman collectibles, including statues, action figures, dishes, costumes, posters, puzzles, clocks, trading cards, and just about anything else you can emblazon with a red, stylized “S.”

“I have been collecting Superman for almost my entire life,” Reigle recently told the folks at World of Superheroes (, a site featuring news, reviews, and interviews. “I had hundreds of comics by the time I was five years old…basically anything I have ever come across related to the character I have bought”

Reigle “blames” Superman: The Movie for his addiction, saying he was “hooked” the moment he saw the film. The super collector has turned his obsession into a business, selling Superman collectibles via As of this writing, some of the site’s more prominent offerings include: a Brazilian comic book from 1939 ($7,499.95), an original Wayne Boring strip from 1958 ($249.95), a cookie jar from 1978 ($795.95), and a cardboard standee from 1988 ($99.95).

A new Superman movie, Man of Steel, will be released June 14, with Henry Cavill assuming the title role. If it’s any good, the new film will probably create a new generation of Superman collectors—maybe even one as devoted as Reigle.