After a wonderful evening spent enjoying the closing night of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, I am more than a bit weary today. After attending the late-night super-hero costume ball that ended the film festival, I got up quite early this morning, and drove through the pre-dawn darkness 200+ miles north, up to Dallas. I was in a hurry to get here because I just finished scheduling a visit to a location containing over 1,000 full long boxes of comics, which is about 325,000 individual comics. I no idea if I can actually be able to buy this immense comics deal, as that decision will need to wait on both price, and terms, being acceptable. They are owned by an old friend however, so I at least had to come to Dallas to take a look....
Thomas Tull at Fantastic Fest
In case you missed my previous announcements, I went to Fantastic Fest to participate in the USA premiere of COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE, the new documentary by director Morgan Spurlock. Last night's screening was completely sold out, with quite a few fans viewing the premiere in a separate viewing room. All went extremely well, with not only strong applause and laughter throughout the movie, but also a lively Q&A afterwards. The highlight for me was a red carpet photo-shoot prior to the screening, where I was able to meet Legendary Pictures CEO, Thomas Tull, the insightful and incredibly successful producer of such monster hits as DARK KNIGHT, WATCHMEN, 300, and HANGOVER series, as well as the incredible rock music documentary THIS MIGHT GET LOUD. Thomas's equally talented wife, Alba Tull, was also there. She did all of the celebrity and interviewee photos in the hardback movie book. Between the two of them, they comprise the most talented couple that I have ever met.
Since I had already seen this cool documentary about the 2010 San Diego Comic-Com International at the Toronto International Film Festival, my main concern during my second viewing was to analyze my own contributions to the final cut. I was surprised to confirm what I was told by the editors prior to release, which is that I really do have the most screen time of any of the major participants in this documentary. While my 7-8 minutes are liberally dispersed throughout the 88-minute final cut, the editors use my interpersonal and financial difficulties to illustrate the immense challenges standing in the way of keeping comics as a vibrant part of Comic-Con. After a second viewing, I have to say that I am mostly comfortable having had my four weeks of nearly non-stop filming edited down to these brief moments of struggle and pain. At the very least, I am extremely grateful to the editors for casting me in such a sympathetic light. Simply put, had they wanted to, they could have edited my footage entirely differently, and been far less charitable.
My one regret is that, in the interests of brevity, there is no mention of exactly why I am under so much financial pressure going into the 2010 Comic-Con. The reality (which is never, ever, made clear...) is that a great deal of the financial pressure that I was under in 2010, and am still under today, was self-induced. To explain, I recognized in the year 2000 that I was never going to be financially secure in my dotage unless I took concrete steps to completely wipe out our company debts. With that thought in mind, I began a program that year to aggressively pay off all of our company long term, short term, and vendor debts. Excluding our building mortgage, we owed about $3,000,000 (mostly from the costs of building, and stocking our website...) when I began reducing our debt, and we owe less than $1,400,000 today.
Halving our debts over a 10-year span may not seem like such a big deal, but consider for a moment that that reduction required me to pay not only huge amounts of interest during that entire decade, but also an average of $160,000 a year in principal. That works out to almost $500 a day in principal payments, for 3,500+ straight days. Did that non-stop burden of making endless numbers of payments cause me to be stressed out? Oh, hell yes... But, and this is a very important but, I still managed to put all four of my daughters through college during those years, and also doubled our inventory of comics and books that we keep in permanent stock at Mile High Comics. It was only when the current recession began in earnest during the summer of 2008, that my program of aggressive debt reduction began to eat me alive. It had already been very hard to make those immense monthly payments when business was good, but when our gross volume suddenly dropped by over 30%, I was placed in a completely impossible situation. It was at that point in time that I began the program of very steeply discounted sales that continue to this day.
Red Raven #1
Aside from giving you a little insight of what pressures that I was feeling when I was being filmed in 2010. I am passing on to you this insight about our company finances because I want you to understand my motivations for continuing to offer you even our very best back issue comics, magazines, trade paperbacks, and hardbacks at 65% off. If I can just get us through the next 60-90 days, the proceeds from the November Heritage auction of the last of my personal Golden Age comics (including my complete set of 1944 SPIRIT comics, and my ultra-rare RED RAVEN #1) should knock a big hole in the debt that we have remaining. If all goes well, only our warehouse mortgages will remain to be paid in just 24 months. Many things can, of course, go wrong between now and then, but it is now looking like all the pain and struggle that I was evidencing during the filming will have been well worthwhile.
In a nutshell, that is why I decided on Monday to go ahead and again cut our prices for you to 65% off via the current GREATDEAL! codeword sale. Clearly, I very much need your help in getting through this last wall of flame. I do not ask for charity, however, so you will see some insanely generous bargains listed for you on our website right now. Our New-In-Stock and
Premium New-In-Stock listings are particularly full of great comics, books, and magazine for you right now, so if you'll just follow one of those links, you see an amazing selection of great items that you can purchase from us right now at only 35% of list price. Please do enjoy these great prices during the GREATDEAL! codeword sale with my personal thanks for your continuing support. Without your past kindness and help, I would never have been able to make it this far...
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
P.S. Below is a small sampling of the 500+ Dell comics that we added on Thursday. We also added a nice batch of older Marvel and DC issues, as well as over 50 different CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED 1st printings. All are available to you right now at 65% off. Enjoy!
ANNIE OAKLEY (1948) #9 (MARVEL ATLAS TITLES) Very Good
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #45 Very Good
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #50 Good
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #51 Good
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #73 Fine
GHOST RIDER (1966) #1 Good
GHOST RIDER (1966) #3 Very Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #36 Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #44 Very Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #45 Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #47 Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #70 Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #78 Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #79 Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #91 Very Good
SPIDER-MAN (1963) #106 Very Fine
TALES TO ASTONISH (1959) #82 Very Fine
X-MEN (1963) #68 Fine
X-MEN (1963) #71 Fine
X-MEN (1963) #74 Fine
X-MEN (1963) #75 Very Fine
X-MEN (1963) #77 Good
X-MEN (1963) #78 Very Fine
X-MEN (1963) #79 Very Fine
X-MEN (1963) #81 Fine
X-MEN (1963) #82 Very Fine
X-MEN (1963) #130 Very Fine
DETECTIVE COMICS (1937) #370 Fine
FOX AND THE CROW (1951) #46 Good
GREEN LANTERN (1960) #35 Good
HOUSE OF SECRETS (1956) #42 Fine
HOUSE OF SECRETS (1956) #92 Very Good
OUR FIGHTING FORCES (1954) #85 Good
SGT. BILKO'S PVT. DOBERMAN (1958) #10 Fine
TOMAHAWK (1950) #10 Very Good
BUGS BUNNY'S TRICK 'N' TREAT HALLOWEEN FUN (DELL GIANT) (1955) #4 (Dell Publishing) Fine
DELL GIANTS (1959) #21 (Dell Publishing) Fine
DONALD DUCK (1940) (Dell Publishing) (#1-84) #56
JUMBO COMICS (1938) #116 (Fiction House Magazines) Fine
JUNGLE COMICS (1940) #134 (Fiction House Magazines) Very Good
KATZENJAMMER KIDS (1947) (#1-11) (DAVID MCKAY) #1 (David Mckay Publications) Fair
LIFE STORIES OF AMERICAN PRESIDENTS (1957) #1 (Dell Publishing) Very Fine
LONE RANGER'S GOLDEN WEST (1955) #3 (Dell Publishing) Very Good
MEL ALLEN SPORTS COMICS (1949) #5 (Standard Comics) Very Fine
MICKEY MOUSE (1941) (#1-84) (Dell Publishing) #31 (Dell Publishing) Very Good
MICKEY MOUSE ALMANAC (1957) #1 (Dell Publishing) Fine
MICKEY MOUSE IN FRONTIER LAND (1956) #1 (Dell Publishing) Fine
NEW FUNNIES (1942) #259 (Dell Publishing) Fine
OUR GANG (1942) #14 (Dell Publishing) Good
OUR GANG (1942) #15 (Dell Publishing) Fair
TOM AND JERRY (1948) (#1-212) (Dell Publishing) #98 (Dell Publishing) Very Good
TOM AND JERRY'S WINTER FUN (1954) #4 (Dell Publishing) Fine
TOM AND JERRY'S WINTER FUN (1954) #5 (Dell Publishing) Fine
UNCLE SCROOGE (1952) (Dell Publishing) (#1-39) #8 (Dell Publishing) Fine
WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES (1940) (#1-263) (Dell Publishing) #76 (Dell Publishing) Fair
WESTERN ROUNDUP #12 (Dell Publishing) Very Fine
WILD BILL ELLIOTT (1950) #15 (Dell Publishing) Very Good
WYATT EARP (1956) #13 (Charlton) Fine