A Review of mycomicshop.com

I’m always on the lookout for a great deal, especially involving comics! I’ve used and reviewed DCBS and Fearless Readers Online, and now I’ve obtained some comics from yet another online source: mycomicshop.com. I “discovered” mycomicshop.com (hereafter known as MCS in this review) via the comic book database site StashMyComics. Whenever you look up the details of an issue at StashMyComics, there’s a handy Buy link that directs you to MCS. And from there, let the money fly out of your wallet! (Update: Before buying from this vendor, please review the comments below.)

The first thing about MCS that I like is how easy it is to find back issues (or even newer comics). Simply type in the title or portion of the title and you get a list of potential hits. At this point, you can already see if MCS has a complete run or not, or you can click the associated tabs to only see the In Stock books, CGC rated books, or if there are any auctions for issues in that title. Seems pretty handy. When you click the title link, you can then see the issues. This is the part that I really like. For each issue that MCS has in stock and has multiple copies of, you are presented with a quality rating and corresponding price. You can just choose what copy you want and it is added to your cart automatically.

MCS_Avengers177

Be careful with this. It might be very appealing to order that copy of Avengers #177 (1963 series) for $1.10, but in the case of this store, that grade of GD is probably pretty accurate. I bought an issue of Americomics with a rating of VG and was surprised that it wasn’t in better shape. This isn’t a knock at MCS’s graders–I know I have an uninformed view of these grades (in fact, this is something that I need to become much more familiar with; fortunately, MCS helps with that). Plus, considering that I can buy $1 back issues at Fearless Readers Online and the quality of the issues is always really good, I’m more than a little spoiled when it comes to getting cheap, good quality copies. Regardless, MCS usually gives you a choice in obtaining that issue to complete your run.

Once you’ve selected all of the comics that you want, you can review your cart and change the amount or easily remove the titles if you’ve found that you’re spending too much (is that actually possible?!). Again, it’s the ease of use with this site that I particularly like. After you start the checkout process, you’ll be asked to log in or create an account. When you choose your shipping, you are given more choices than is usual for an online comic shop. I went with the cheaper Lone Star Economy option, but you may have to wait 10+ days to receive your order with that one. Keep in mind that they have to process your order, then ship it–the time frame MCS gives is for when they hand your package off to the USPS or UPS, and this is where MCS does get a knock: it took them four days to pull my order and ship it (including a weekend). Realize that MCS is the online presence of a comic shop in Texas. Someone has to process the order, and go find and package the comics. I get that, but I’m also used to the processing of online orders being much faster (there’s that “I’m spoiled” thing). That aside, when you get your comics, they come pretty well packaged/protected.

MCS_Packaging01

MCS_Packaging02

As you can see, my comics were placed between slabs of cardboard, wrapped in thickish plastic (with the exception of one title that came in its own bag with a board), and taped pretty securely. Because of the great selection at MCS, I was able to complete runs on eight different series! And the price wasn’t bad either. The average price that I paid per comic was $2.90 for 16 issues, plus a little more than $4 shipping.

MCS also offers a subscription service, but based on its discount tiers alone, I can’t recommend it. If you want to buy your monthly comics online more cheaply, go with DCBS (and no, I don’t work for DCBS, nor do I get anything from them for recommending them). Also, if you’re looking for those rare, collectible comics, MCS offers an auction service.

All in all, I was pleased with this service and will consider buying from mycomicshop.com again.

A Review of Fearless Readers Online

UPDATE (8/26/14): The website is no longer active. However, there’s an Amazon store front.

I just got some cheap comics from the online retailer Fearless Readers Online. I first heard about this site because it was a sponsor of one of the Comic Geek Speak episodes. Since CGS put me onto the wonderful In Stock Trades site, I decided to try FRO.

The main page is pretty self explanatory. You choose a publisher, then a title, and select the number of issues. The amount of issues available is not huge generally, but the home page does say that the inventory is always growing. Also, if they could get more Bronze (or even Silver) Age stuff, I’d probably spend a lot more money!

The best thing, however, is the price: $1 for every issue they sell–how can you not love that? I was able to get some issues to help complete a title’s run, and I got an 80-page giant that cost $5 12 years ago for a $1. And the quality of the issues are near mint, but I’m getting ahead of myself. They also sell sets, like the 4-issue Marvels series for $10, and trades for $5. It seems that most of the stock is from the 90s onward.

Once you’ve selected some issues and added them to your cart, the page refreshes showing what you’ve ordered and shows a running tally of how much you’re spending. There is a $5 minimum shipping cost for up to 10 comics, and the next jump is $10 for up to 50 comics. I just ordered 10 comics to try the service, but I’ll be sure to take advantage of the next shipping tier price next time (if they have the comics I want). I did notice, however, that the comic database was not always accurate. Some Teen Titans issues I looked for were mislisted under Marvel. That has since been corrected, but who knows what other glitches may still exist? The good news is that you can always search for a title instead of just choosing a publisher.

FRO ships via USPS, and it took 5 business days from order processing to package delivery. I received my comics in a flat rate envelope. Inside my comics were wrapped in a thin plastic bag between two slaps of thick cardboard. I ended up destroying the bag trying to unravel the packing tape, but at least my comics were secure and protected. The comics don’t come individually in bags, but what do you expect for $1? Also inside the envelope was a little printed comic want list that you can fill out if you’re so inclined. I thought it was a nice little thing, though I just use a spreadsheet that I put on my phone.

Bottom line: I will be ordering from this site again. Good quality comics for that cheap? I’d be stupid not to.