First let me start by saying that we all buy or shop on the internet, weather it be via sites like eBay or Discogs, or from Instagram sellers and there’s nothing wrong with that. As a full-time collector, there’s nothing more satisfying than finding things in the field or real world regardless of blindly stumbling upon something or walking into a boutique shop that’s already done the digging for you. This past Sunday while attending an old school comic con in Philly, it reinforced my feelings on real world digging even more in so many different ways. There’s just something about walking into a show with a room of dealers and boxes comics (records or any other collectibles) and wall displays filled with an assortment of books and magazines that buyers would love to add to their collection. But seeing with the eye only goes but so far which is why buying online isn’t exciting. There’s something about browsing the boxes, pulling out a book and inspecting it to make sure that the condition is to your satisfaction. Or asking the seller to see a book that’s hanging and he gives you the spiel about the condition and it being a key issue or how the prices have gone up recently. It’s also that face to face conversation that often times leads in other directions where the seller may also recommend a book that you may not have in your collection the same way a good record seller could recommend an artist or album that fits your tastes depending on what you’ve already bought.
Unlike buying online where whatever record that you’re looking for most likely can easily be found and depends on what you’re willing to spend to obtain it, real world digging is much different. Of course the shop or show will have holy grails but the chances of you finding everything that you’re looking for is slim which reinforces the statements, “the thrill is in the hunt” and “once it’s obtained, it’s slowly forgotten”. Where’s the fun in everything just being at your fingertips especially when there’s so much out there to be discovered. As collectors, we all share the same camaraderie even if we’re in a friendly game or competition with each other, conversations are always had amongst fellow collectors which opens up a whole another avenue of digging when you’re looking for something.
While out at the comic con, I not only found a few pieces that I was looking for but also a few that I didn’t know existed as well as being turned on to a few and their backstories by the homie who I was digging with. Regardless of how you get your collectibles, there’s nothing more satisfying than getting up off of your couch and from behind your computer and being in the element of a shop or show while taking in the intoxicating smell of old comic paper or record covers that gets us high.
Regardless of how you “dig”, just continue to dig for yours and never let the impersonal factor become a thing. Communities and scenes have been built by recognizable faces and in person social interactions either locally or traveling abroad. Meeting someone in the real world that you’ve only briefly had conversations with on social media is part of the larger picture of being a collector.
Leaving 2019 they same way that I’ll be beginning 2020 and the new decade, digging for mine so dig for yours! Happy New Year!