Toronto Comic Con 2015: Kamandi Search
The first evening of a weekend comic-con is generally a bit more sedate than the weekend days. There are fewer panels and the celebrity guests, whether performers from film or creators from comics, are not as prevalent. It is the weekend days that draw the most interest and the schedulers plan accordingly. Despite this I still thought that I might try something a little different and put the comic back into comic-con. This is after all the reason for the conventions in the first place and it is at the root. While the original comic-cons had other stuff going on as well, they were also packed almost wall to wall with long boxes and fans looking for missing issues. With this in mind I had chosen a few different issues from the past year that I had liked and I was going to search the back issue bins for them and compare prices to see just how much the vendors at the cons can vary in their appraisal of their own stock.
A strange thing happened when I got to the Toronto Comic-Con though, and that was the absence of comics, at least relative to the other things going on at the show. I didn’t mind so much as part of the evolution of the medium is to move away from just the comics and into clothing, other merchandise, autographs and cosplay. There were still a few stalls focused just on selling comics and I headed there to have a look. I noticed almost immediately my problem. The covers and issues that I was looking for were a bit too obscure to be able to find, and frankly were a bit too new. Those people selling the comics wisely pack new material together to sell it all at once for one story arc or longer, which is also easier for those that are looking for material that might not be found in a trade paperback. With my focus gone I was forced to improvise, and improvise I did. I figured that I would just take a look for any one comic and then see if I was able to find others.
My first choice was a dud. I was trying to find some Green Lantern comics from the 1970s, but I didn’t turn up any that I would be keen to track. My second choice was surprisingly effective though. I figured if I was going to do this that I might as well have some fun, and there are no funner comic covers from the 1970s than Kamandi. Set in the post-apocalyptic landscape, the creative team behind this comic saw fit to basically do whatever they wanted as the future world could have contained pretty much anything, but the results were sometimes a bit hokey. I was initially inclined towards Kamandi #6 as the cover is one of the nicer looking ones from the series, but I eventually decided on issue #25, for the simple reason that it has flying sharks, which is a pretty great idea from a certain angle, even if it sounds kind of ridiculous.
With my mission now having a goal I set out to find and compare what I could for the different Kamandis:
Stall #1 – This is where I discovered the flying sharks. This stall was selling this issue for $13 (all prices in Canadian dollars)
Stall #2 – I found another copy of the flying sharks here, and while it was listed at $22, it was also in a 50% off bin which made it $11
Stall #3 – While there was a decent selection of Kamadi titles, #25 was missing, although most of the copies were selling in the same price range.
Stall #4 – I found the flying sharks again, this time selling for $15
Stall #5 – No flying sharks and barely any Kamandi at all, only finding one issue in their entire selection of boxes.
There are some lessons to be learned here, the first that the comics are going to be around the same price, but that it is still worth while to look around. And while the second stall had the best deal, it didn’t look like it on the surface, rather pulling a weird selling technique which seemed a bit disingenuous. It is also important to remember that the comics are still at the cons, only that they take a bit more finding now among everything else. My Kamandi search was over and so went the end of my first day, but I was happy to have taken the time to delve into the past of where the cons came from, before the busy second day.