I’m looking forward to the weekend, not merely because it’s the beginning of nine whole consecutive days off work – in which I plan to do the square root of bugger all, thank you for asking – but because it will be another Eagle weekend. I have been successful in winning a complete volume of the comic via eBay, which should be delivered tomorrow, and I will again set Sunday aside for a leisurely read from issue 1 to issue 53.
I confess that I can’t remember quite how far back it is I first resorted to eBay to resume my long-interrupted quest to extend my Eagle collection (April 2015 – is it that recent?). At first, it was just picking up where I left off in the Nineties, collecting Volume 11 forward, those issues that I had not read on long, fascinating Saturday afternoons in Manchester’s Central Reference Library, the bound volumes of the first ten years.
Since then, I’ve undergone more than a touch of mission creep and, even though I now have barely more than the space I had when I occupied a bedroom in my mother’s house in Burnage and ignored the chance to buy complete volumes for space reasons, I am gently creeping towards the ambition of one day a complete set. Up to, and not beyond the last original Dan Dare strip, of course. There’s really nothing after that to attract the attention at all.
For well over a year by now, I’ve done eBay searches for Eagle at least twice a week. Once I’ve refined the search to what I’m really looking for, there is always 2,500 items or more, so I confine myself to the first ten pages, which constitutes 500 items. This has never amounted to more than the next four days, hence the frequency with which I repeat the search.
Of course, a lot of these items are a waste of my time. Roughly 50% of them, if not more, relate to the New Eagle of the Eighties/Nineties, which I scroll by with great rapidity. And there are over and again whole pages worth of Eagle centrespreads on their own, which again are valueless for my purpose.
Then there’s the guy whose items come round and round and round and round again, with unswerving regularity, always the same issues, time after time, and they never sell. He’s got the two issues from volume 15 that I need to complete that Volume, which will actually give me a complete, unbroken run from volume 11 to 17.
I’ve never gone after them though, and unless and until I win the EuroMillions Lottery on a multiple rollover week, and am possessed of more money than I could ever physically spend in the years left to me, I’m not going to. You see, for each of these two issues, this seller is asking £19.99. On my budget, you can bugger that for a game of soldiers. They’re not even Fifities Eagle‘s, Frank Hampson Dan Dare.
That’s why these items roll around, over and over again. The guy/girl is asking way over the odds and despite no-one ever buying, has not yet awoken to commercial realities beyond adding a ‘Best Offer’. I’d go to a fiver each, but somehow I don’t think that’s what he’d class as ‘Best’.
Mind you, for the Fifties stuff, he pushes the boat out. He’s currently offering practically the whole of Volume 5 at prices of £29.99 and £26.99 per issue. You want Volume 5 at those rates and you’re looking at the thick end of £1,500.00.
Me, I won’t pay it. Not at that price. And because I don’t need to. As you may by now have guessed, that forthcoming Eagle weekend will have me reading my newly-acquired complete volume 5. Which cost me in total, postage excluded, £23.99. Which wouldn’t be enough to buy even one of this guy’s offers.
Unless he was prepared to give me a generous ‘Best Offer’ leeway…