Friday, January 14, 2005

My Church Experience

So in the comic collecting world, the legend of Chuck Rozanski is well known for his discovery of the Church collection. For those that do not know what this is, I will briefly explain. In the 70's a teenage boy by the name of Chuck Rozanski who dabbled in buying and selling comics, received a call about a collection of comics in Colorado, where Chuck lived at the time. So Chuck goes to investigate the collection. What he finds is an immaculate collection of every imaginable old comic in mint condition. He is so taken with the collection he buys them all for a small fraction of their actual worth. Apparently the seller was the wife of the owner of the collection, as the owner, Church, was terminally ill. So anyway, Chuck quickly sells off the collection to the highest bidders and makes a fortune. In the process he builds a chain of comic books stores, known as Mile High Comics. To this day, Chuck is an icon in the comic field.

On to my story.

On the CGC message boards. A new user posted that he had a collection of old books that he had to sell right away. He lives in the area and needs to sell fast. So I contacted him with dreams of finding these mint copies of rare books. I was thinking of how I could quickly sell them for a profit and what I would buy with the money. Then I started to think that maybe this was a scam to get me to go to his place to see his "collection" with a lot of money. He might then rob me of my money, and leave me forlorn.

He seemed polite enough and helpful. So we arranged a time when I could see the comics the next day. I went there fully expecting to get robbed. I hide my money in the car along with wallet, and for security I took a pocket knife with me. Not that I felt the pocket knife afforded any sort of protection, but at least I wasn't empty-handed.

I had no need to be afraid of the seller, he was genuine in needing to sell his collection. There were no thugs awaiting me behind the door to waylay me. Of course in flipping through his collection, which was very neatly laid out upon the floor, I saw several books that I would love to own and keep for my collection. However most of the books were lower grades and not the mint copies that I had dreamt of. When I asked how much he wanted for the books, he told me he would accept 50% of guide. This depressed me, because I knew that even at 50% of guide the books would be a significant amount of money. So my dreams of leaving with boxes of comics, was reduced to the reality of leaving with 4 comics. My total spending ended up being $23.00.

I guess this should teach me a lesson of some kind. Yet, if I receive another tip about a old collection of comics, you can bet I will dreaming of my own Church collection.


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