How can I get cheap used comics for a craft program?
May 21, 2015 2:29 PM   Subscribe

I want to do a découpage program with cut-up comic books at my library. Where should I look in Brooklyn or Manhattan for cheap used comics, and are there other sources I should be looking at? Is it worth it to get a random lot from eBay?

I'll be using some damaged library discards, but I doubt I'll get enough in the next couple of weeks to get as much source material as I'd like. Is there any better value than getting a random lot off eBay? I don't necessarily want the most comics-pages-per-dollar; I'd rather get 10 Avengers/Spider-Man/Superman/Batman comics than 30 random obscure titles. (I'm all set for manga, probably -- Book-Off has a lot for $1.)

I'd like to keep the total cost under $20.
posted by Jeanne to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
I'm not in your neighborhood, but our library was part of a Free Comics Day on a Saturday in May, and there was the opportunity for surplus. Talk to a few children's librarians to see if there are leftovers, or who was distributing them.
posted by childofTethys at 2:38 PM on May 21, 2015

Can you do an ask via freecycle?
posted by metahawk at 2:52 PM on May 21, 2015

Need they be originals? Could you use photocopies or printed scans?
posted by Ideefixe at 3:00 PM on May 21, 2015

Given how valueless comics are, I feel like just about any comic book shop in New York (isn't that where Mile High Comics is?) would be thrilled if you rang up and said "gimme a longbox of mixed Marvel and DC back issues for twenty bucks".
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:04 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I follow someone over on Tumblr who does crafty projects with cut up comics, and here's what she says about buying comics for collage. I could have sworn she mentioned a specific NYC comic book store she got lots of comics from, but I can't find it on her tumblr now. You can probably send her an ask via tumblr for specific comic book store recs.
posted by yasaman at 3:18 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Are there any used book stores in your neighbourhood? At my local used book store old comics are between 25 cents and a dollar. You could buy a few then photocopy them in colour like Ideefixe suggests.
posted by eisforcool at 4:54 PM on May 21, 2015

Yard sales? Craigslist? Used bookstores/thrift stores are probably a better bet than comic book stores for this (most comic stores I know are super selective about the back issues they take in). I would maybe even post a "wanted" ad on Craigslist and see what happens.

Depending on your timeframe, it may be worth contacting, saying "I have $20 to spend total. I want as many superhero comics as you can give me for this." They seem to be one of the few places that offers comics in poor condition and they may have some things they'd be happy to offer to you. It's worth a try, anyway.
posted by darksong at 8:54 PM on May 21, 2015

Newkadia has comics down to 33 cents each, but they are like "who?" titles.
posted by kschang at 12:49 AM on May 22, 2015

I'd rather get 10 Avengers/Spider-Man/Superman/Batman comics than 30 random obscure titles. / I'd like to keep the total cost under $20.

Most comic stores I've shopped have bins of comics for a dollar or less. They do tend to be crowded with more obscure titles and/or not in terrific shape, but even name superheroes like Spider-Man have spin-offs and imprints that didn't sell well and wind up in the cheaps. It'd be worth your time to root thru them (and for me, anyway, it's fun!)

My local Half Price Books also has a bunch of random comics for 50 cents each, with about the same wheat-to-chaff ratio.
posted by Gelatin at 5:32 AM on May 22, 2015

My local comic shop has 3/$1 bins, and if you mentioned it was for a library program, he'd probably do 5/$1. The selection is all over the place, but I saw some really interesting-looking X-men, Superman, Red Robin, and I think some Fantastic Four and maybe Justice League comics while I was pawing through it earlier this month for Free Comic Book Day.

So if you can find any nearby comics shops, the thing to do may be to call and ask what can be done. I'm sure there are stores that would be happy to help, although you might need to try a few.
posted by PearlRose at 7:48 AM on May 22, 2015

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