Sunday, March 02, 2008

Obsolete Treats On Ebay!

It has been many years since I sold anything on ebay. It's been about eight years since I last used ebay to sell my original color guides online. If you don’t know, “Color Guides” were a throwback from the days when comic book colorists hand-painted guides that were used in the printing process. Those days are long gone, and the “color separation” phase of the process has been put into the hands of the artists, instead of technicians or craftsmen. This is good thing, but one sad side effect is that colorists don’t have any “orginial art” to sell. It’s too bad, because colorists could really use the extra cash these days, given how far page rates have dropped in the past decade. Back in the "good old days," I used to earn at least twice what I now earn for a page of coloring.

Here’s a typical color guide:

The image on the left shows the hand-painted guide. The one on the right is the same guide, but with a tracing paper-overlay that has ‘codes' written on it. These numbers callout what colors the separators should use and where gradients appear. It was a messy process with mixed results. Often painful!

I’ve been thinking about getting back into the world of ebay for a while now. I stopped not because I ran out of color guides, but because the ebay market had become flooded with them. Not only were color artists selling their work, but collectors & dealers were buying them up, and immediately selling them again. The glut drove down the value of the guides. Maybe it’s time to try again. Also, my interest has been piqued by some artists who sell original art & sketches on ebay. I think I will be trying that out in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, in my never-ending quest to clear out my garage, I’ve finally decided to get rid of my collection of laserdiscs.

What is a laserdisc? Why it’s the forerunner of the DVD, of course. A format that was much loved, that never caught on with mainstream consumers: the digital movie-going equivalent of the 8-track tape. These LP-sized discs pioneered many of the features DVDs have today; special features, director’s commentaries, etc. The Criterion Collection were the elite packages of digitally re-mastered and restored films. They, like everyone else, finally abandoned the laserdisc format years ago.

It was a sad day when I finally decided to give up on laserdiscs and began replacing them with DVDs. I’d invested a lot of money and time building up a collection of over 100 films. That was a few years ago. But it was not until this weekend I finally went through them all, splitting them up into five “lots” to sell on ebay.

It was nostalgic. Not unlike digging through my old color guides. Relics of a bygone age, or whatever. Unfortunately, laserdiscs aren’t like art or other collectibles; they don’t increase in value over time. This week I’m selling my collection for pennies on the dollar. But bad news for me might be good news for someone out there. I think my collection of discs is pretty cool. A couple of junky films in there, but mostly great stuff. As I sorted through them, I wished I still had my laserdisc player hooked up so that I could give some of them one last play before selling. I’d forgotten about some of these great films, most of which I never replaced on DVD, some of which are unavailable on DVD.

Later this week I plan on putting my laserdisc player up on ebay also, along with a special treat as a buying incentive. So, if you’re reading this and you want an instant, cheap library of films and the means to play them, you should check out the links below! Oh yeah, the laserdisc player also plays karaoke discs. Isn’t that awesome???

Anyway, here are some links, if you want to check 'em out:

Lot A

Lot B

Lot C

Lot D

Lot E

And can you believe it’s March already? Yeesh!


Simon said...

Interesting post, Steve. But depressing, so I hope your sales are successful. I'd enjoy seeing more of your color guides posted.

Don Hudson said...

I think the color guide should go quickly and I think that Lot B of the Laser discs is the best Lot. Not that I want them or anything. Good luck!

Marie said...

You were feeling "quotey" today!

Steve Buccellato said...

"Yes," he agreed.

Funny you should point that out, Marie. I was thinking the same thing when I re-read the post this morning: "What's up with all those quotation marks?!"

Excessive punctuation. I think that's why Simon found the post depressing. It gives the whole post that Snarky Feelin.' I promise to be more upbeat next time. And to post more old color guides.