Collector Spotlight Series: Aimee FritzMarch 30, 2015
In the final edition to this months Collector Spotlight Series there are a few things to reflect on. As discussed in the first of the series, the comics business is booming, partly thanks to the emergence of big superhero blockbusters. Comic companies have also opened their eyes to female fans as well, realizing the untapped potential for a generally marginalized group. Personally, I remember growing up and never talking about comics and the nerdy shows I watched for fear of being made fun of. But now in adulthood, I will proudly wear and discuss to great lengths my passions to whatever ear will hear them, often times at bars and parties.
This week we talk to a newcomer collector named Aimee Fritz from Denver, Colorado. She discusses the important value of cherishing the artists behind the work and how collecting comics fits into her life.
What do you collect?
I collect comics and comic-related items.
When did you start collecting?
I would say maybe 3 or 4 years ago. I am fairly new to the game.
When you started collecting, why did you continue doing it?
I think it has to do with more of a sentimental value for me. I collect signed memorabilia because it is connected to the memory of meeting someone so incredibly influential in the comic medium. I think that part is the motivator. Just being able to meet someone and find out what inspires them is a really cool experience.
How long have you been collecting?
I mean I started reading comics as a kid so I guess you could say I started collecting around age 10 but I really jumped on the band wagon around 2011 when I went to San Diego Comic Con for the first time.
How many items do you suppose (or know) are in your collection?
Unlike many comic collectors, I rarely purchase physical issues just because the reality is that keeping them in mint condition is very difficult. I collect trades (collections of 6-8 issues) and graphic novels. As far as those go, I probably own no more than 100. I have a massive digital collection however and issue-wise it would probably number in the thousands. The most valuable to me are the 10-20 prints, original drawings or signed books that I have and I plan to grow that collection as much as possible.
How much do you reckon (or know) your collection is worth?
Probably a few thousand dollars.
What is your most sentimental/valued item in the collection and why?
There is a drawing that George Gladir did for me at San Diego Comic Con inside a Best of Archie book and it is definitely my favorite. He is one of the original writers for Archie and created the character Sabrina the Teenage Witch. When I approached him, he asked me who my favorite character was and I said Jughead so he drew me a picture. He died a year after I met him and it was really cool to meet someone so talented who had been involved with comics since the dawn of their existence.
Where do you purchase/receive most of the pieces in your collection?
Conventions are the best place. I find they are the cheapest place to get valuable items and they afford you a chance to meet the artists or writers. It also means the signatures are 100% authentic because you watch the person sign it. It would be sad to buy something expensive only to find out that it is a fake.
How do you decide what you want in your collection?
I am pretty picky. Most of the things I collect are from stories I really have loved and enjoyed. I don’t just collect whatever seems the most valuable.
What was the hardest item to get and why?
I haven’t really ever fought tooth and nail to get something. I think the hardest item to get was a Fiona Staples original drawing because I stood in line for a long time to meet her but it was worth it. I personally believe Saga, the comic Fiona Staples draws for, is going to be one of those comics that blows up because the story and imagery are so incredible.
Do you have any crazy stories on attaining an item?
I think the craziest story to me is that at SDCC, easily one of the biggest comic conventions in the world, attendees were walking by the people that created iconic stories and characters because it has become more of a Hollywood type thing instead of being about comics. When I acquired that book signed/sketched by George Gladir, there was no one in line. I was shocked that people were more concerned with going to a panel for their favorite TV show than meeting some of the older artists/writers who made those shows and movies a reality by creating their characters.
How does your collection make you feel?
It makes me feel happy. I always have to explain why I have it and it is nice to have a reason to talk about comics.
Why do you collect?
It’s nice to have a piece of creative history and I can support the artists and writers I love so much.