10/12/18: Baltimore // New York Comic Con In Review

It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through October, but with the whirlwind of the past few weeks, you could have told me it was 2019 and I might believe you.

Our journey started more than three weeks ago when the Reece crew was faced with Baltimore and New York Comic Con being back to back this year. Our mantra for the whole stretch was “one day at a time”. We started on that Wednesday before Baltimore loading up our 12 foot box truck with more than 130 long boxes, piles of Copper and Bronze age books, and about 30 short boxes of graded books. Note to self for next year: a 12 foot box truck is not big enough. 

Any dealer will tell you that Baltimore’s load in/load out process is less than fun, but this year we actually started out on a good note as we were told to go to a Marshall yard off site to receive a placeholder ticket for when we would load in that morning. Although waiting around is never fun, it’s always good to have a ton of your buddies hanging out in a parking lot.

As is tradition at this point, we loaded into Baltimore to set up our $2 booth which featured books from all era’s, but was heavily focused on high grade Modern/Copper. We also set up our traditional booth with all of the high end material. A quick note to say that this whole process was made much quicker with some help from Dom, Sam, Josh, and Yaniv- thanks guys! 

Baltimore kicked off to a great start on Friday with the halls quickly filling with eager attendees. We did very well selling vintage material with tons of requests for books such as: Werewolf by Night #32, Fantastic Four #48, Marvel Spotlight #5, and of course Incredible Hulk #181. We also had strong numbers selling books from our $2 booth, with more than one collector telling us that we helped them finish their run!

With CGC doing on-site grading at the show, we had a good opportunity to buy some books on Saturday and Sunday. While there was nothing earth-shattering in the group of books we bought, we certainly needed it to replenish the stock before New York. Overall, most of the people I talked to were happy with the show, with the only lament being that there weren’t enough Golden Age books in the room. On all other fronts, I believe Baltimore to be one of the best comic shows in the country, perhaps coming in 2nd only to the wonderful Heroes con held in Charlotte, North Carolina every year. If you are a comic collector, these two shows are a must attend at least once in your life.

With the show part of Baltimore done, we continued our “one day at a time” attitude as we drove home on Sunday night to unload our box truck into our regular sized van. By the time it was all said and done, we finished right around 10:00 p.m. with expectations to wake up early on Monday to finish listing The Oasis Collection.

Monday morning came fast and we were back in the office at 8:30 a.m. to catch up on mail order from the weekend, continue listing the Oasis Collection, and answer any phone calls and emails from the weekend. What we thought would be a long day turned into a longer one as we hit some unexpected troubles. No worries as Ginger made dinner and brought it to the office! Nothing to get you through a 12 hour day like a fresh chicken caesar salad and some red wine- thanks Ginger!

Tuesday morning came even earlier than Monday as the whole crew woke up at 5:30 a.m. to start heading into New York. Alex and Austin were in the van, while Greg and Ginger had to drive to Baltimore to catch a Megabus. Aside from an accident that threatened to make Greg and Ginger miss their bus, the trip went pretty well until we actually got to the convention center. By the time we had arrived, we were scheduled to be loaded in “in about 3 hours”. After waiting an hour with no movement, we decided we were better off self-unloading from the front of the convention center. Although the Javit’s Center notoriously only lets you use 2 of your 4 dolly wheels during load-in, we still managed to beat the majority of people waiting in line. It’s always nice having your material in earlier as it gives you the time to set up your booth without the stress of having a deadline.  Here are some pictures of what we arrive to and what we make out of it:

While NYCC has been our best show for the past several years, this year managed to be even better still. With four full days of show hours, it’s hard to imagine that one would be busy the entire time. Reed Pop did an excellent job promoting the show and selling tickets as we were busy within 15 minutes of the doors opening on Thursday. From 10:00 a.m. to about 6:30 p.m. we were completely swamped. We saw this process repeat itself every day with most other dealers in the room echoing the same sentiment. Similar to Baltimore, vintage keys were the hot tickets in the room. Books that were being heavily asked for (as best I can remember) include: Werewolf by Night #32, Amazing Spider-Man #1, X-men #1, Fantastic Four #1, Incredible Hulk #181, Daredevil #1, Amazing Spider-Man #300, Iron Man #55,  and House of Secrets #92’s, along with a bunch of the other regular suspects. Daredevil #131’s got bought up quickly as news of Bullseye appearing in Daredevil’s 3rd season was announced at the show.

With every passing year, I believe NYCC further cements itself as the best show in the world with record breaking attendance numbers, a high number of international collectors, and continuing the expansion of show experience outside of the Javit’s Center. For example, many buildings along the side streets of the Javit’s featured murals of super-heroes, restaurants started featuring specialized Comic-Con menu’s, and there were after party events long after the show floor had closed. When the expansion of the Javit’s center is complete, I wouldn’t be surprised if NYCC further separates itself as the best show in the world. Remember, I already named Baltimore and Charlotte as the best comic related shows in the country, but for the casual convention attendee, nothing comes close to New York. 

As the weekend came to an end, so did our traveling “show season”. We spent the year traveling the country and now it was time to head home, complete the weekend’s mail order, and sleep. I would like to leave you with the same words I wrote on our social media on the drive home from New York. In short: thank you.

“It didn’t feel that long ago I was writing a similar post to this. New York Comic Con is in the books and that makes it a wrap for the year! Although tiring, it was amazing seeing how big NYCC has become. In my mind, it’s the greatest comic convention in the world. But this year we didn’t just hit New York, we went to New Orleans, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, Charlotte, Detroit, San Diego, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and many many places in between. Being able to sell comics for a living has allowed us to see this country and meet the amazing people living in it. To everyone who came and saw us at a show, bought a book online, had a beer with us, or stopped by to say hello- thank you so much. We couldn’t do what we do without you all. And while that’s the end of Con season for us, we still have a ton of things planned to make your experience with us continually better. Thank you all for everything and see you next year! -Reece’s Rare Comics”