On Reselling Comics

At Comics Workbook we are testing what it means to be a new kind of learning institution for comic book making. Among the many activities engaged in by Comics Workbook is the selling of comics we publish ourselves and the reselling of comics we have purchased from others.  The collecting and reselling of older and out of print comics has been – and continues to be – fundamental to the creation and maintenance of the comics ecosystem through which the medium has advanced and developed over the last half century.  This activity laid the groundwork for the creation of the “direct market” for comics, which in turn enabled the establishment of the market for independent, creator-owned and self-published comics that all of us now take for granted and without which Comics Workbook could not exist.

We employ a curatorial approach to buying and selling comics.  Generally, we comb old mainstream and independent comics offerings wherever we find them – looking for those that contain exemplary work that inform and/or showcase the comics values promulgated here at Comics Workbook.  We then display and sell them in a curated fashion, focusing on the work of individual artists – whether they be pencillers, inkers, colorists or, yes, even letterers – and, of course, those artists whose work combine some or all of the aforementioned skills – in order to document the amazing richness and diversity of work in the various comics traditions that it is difficult to successfully parse for the purposes of study without guidance.

Among our wares, you’ll find old mainstream and independent comics, rare mini-comics and zines, along with work by contemporary cartoonists and comics makers. When it comes to contemporary work, Comics Workbook often buys comics from individual artists, with the dual intent of both adding the works to the Rowhouse Residency collection and supporting the artists – and small press publishers – from whom we purchase the work.  In addition, it is worth noting here that we do not knowingly sell work by contemporary, independent, small press and/or self-published creators that is still readily available from the creator and/or original small press publisher – unless it is by arrangement with said creator or publisher.  Otherwise, on those occasions when we resell these works, our intent is to make unavailable works available.  Our goal in selling the work of contemporary creators is the same as that of selling older work:  to connect comics readers and, particularly, comics makers with works the quality of which we value here at Comics Workbook.

On those occasions we choose to resell a comic, we normally sell it at a higher price than paid in order offset the costs involved with maintaining, storing and organizing the collection, as well as the costs associated with connecting readers with these comics, particularly at shows, where set-up costs are often significant, but also online, where listings of individual comics is time consuming and labor intensive.  Any profits made over and above these expenses go towards funding our workshops, residency expenses and publishing costs.

If you have questions or concerns about our resale policy please address them to Sally Ingraham and Juan Fernandez by emailing sally.ingraham42@gmail.com or fernandez.juan.j@gmail.com

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