Equifax settlement decisions

After first seeing the news about the big Equifax settlement, I kind of breezed past it, assuming that it was one of those things that would mostly just enrich some lawyers and not result in any real money trickling down to consumers. But this morning, a friend posted a link to this article on Facebook, so I decided to go ahead and file for the $125. First, $125 is enough to make it worth spending five minutes filling out a web form. And, second, their argument that it’s the right thing to do, to make sure that Equifax pays for their mistake, is a good one.

Of course, a little later in the morning, I found this article, indicating that the free credit monitoring might be a better choice than the $125. And this one, pointing out that I probably won’t get anywhere near $125. So, yeah, my initial impulse to ignore the whole thing was probably the right one. I’ll probably wind up getting a check for 37¢.

My time on the internet is probably better spent watching Patrick McGoohan drum solos on YouTube. (OK, so McGoohan wasn’t actually playing drums in that clip, but it’s still a good drum solo.)

Cory Booker at SDCC

One more bit of San Diego Comic-Con news: Cory Booker Goes to Comic-Con.

I’m pretty darn jaded at this point, especially with politics, but this is kind of a nice thing. Cory Booker isn’t perfect, and I’m not sure he’s ready to be president, but, hey, wouldn’t it be nice to have a legitimate Star Trek fan in the Oval Office?

The last time I remember an important politician showing up at the con, it was John Lewis, cosplaying as himself, in 2015. (That was also hard to view in my usual ironic, detached, jaded perspective…)


more on SDCC and eBay

It’s been a very hot day here in New Jersey. I’d much rather be in San Diego today, but I’m doing my best to entertain myself and maybe even get a few useful things done here at home. Some of my eBay auctions ended, and I actually sold a reasonable amount of stuff, at almost reasonable prices. I had one TPB sell for $1, which was weird, since I thought I’d set the minimum bid on everything at no lower than $3, but I guess I screwed up on that one.

The highest prices I got were on the Akira TPBs, which all went for slightly more than my $12 “buy it now” price. It’s always a bit funny when auctions end up going higher than the “buy it now” price, but it can happen. One guy bought all three books, so now I’m faced with the problem of finding a box that can fit all three. I found a Priority Mail flat rate box that’s the right size, but I only planned on using Media Mail. I don’t seem to have any other boxes that are the right size. So I might go out and buy a plain box in the right size tomorrow, or I might just punt and use the Priority Mail box and take a hit on the shipping.

If I was trying to make a living at this stuff, I’d be doing a horrible job. Selling stuff for $1, shipping Priority Mail because I’m too lazy to buy a plain box, and so on. But since I’m in it just for the sake of clearing up space in my apartment, it’s fine.

I haven’t spent too much time today looking at SDCC news, but I did look at the list of Eisner winners. Tom King won in several categories, and his work is honestly about the only stuff on the list (both winners and nominees) that I’ve read. I’ve read the Ed Piskor X-Men stuff, and that was good. I have Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight, but haven’t read it yet. I’d like to read some of Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer stuff someday. And I’ve read a lot of the Brubaker/Phillips stuff, but not My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies. So there’s plenty of stuff there that I’d like to read eventually.

This short NPR story covers a bit about the history of the con, which is now 50 years old. And there’s some other mildly amusing coverage of the con up at the NPR site. There’s a playlist of videos from KPBS up on YouTube, including interviews with Scott Shaw! and Mark Evanier. (Though they call Scott “Stan” and omit the exclamation point he uses at the end of his name.)

not at SDCC 2019, day one

Once again, I’m not at SDCC. Instead, I’m suffering through a heat wave with the rest of the unfortunate souls stuck in New Jersey this weekend. It’ll only be in the 80s today, with some rain, but it’ll be back into the mid 90s tomorrow through Sunday.  Getting out of New Jersey’s summer heat and humidity for a few days has always been one of my favorite things about the San Diego con. (And the weather in San Diego looks pretty good this year: low 70s every day.)

I realized yesterday that my eBay auctions will be ending during the con, on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not sure if that helps or hinders things. On the one hand, anyone at the con probably won’t be looking at eBay. On the other hand, everyone not at the con (a much larger group) might be seeing more comics coverage in the news than usual, and might be more likely to check eBay for comics-related stuff. I have bids now on 6 out of the 31 books I’ve listed, and (assuming everyone who wins pays up), I’m guaranteed to make at least $20. So, that’s not great, but it’s not horrible either. It’s enough to buy a couple of sandwiches, I guess.

All three volumes of Akira that I’ve listed have gotten bids, and were the first items to get bids. I just noticed that I finished reading those volumes four years ago today, and blogged about it. Akira remains popular, possibly because of the upcoming live-action film. That’s apparently on hold now, but it’s still likely to happen, maybe in 2021 or 2022.

I haven’t had much time to look at today’s news out of the con, but I did read a bit about the DC Meet the Publishers panel. Most of the current stuff I’m buying and reading right now is DC, so it’s always interesting to see what’s going on with them.

selling some more manga on eBay

After yesterday’s work, posting a bunch of graphic novels to eBay, I decided to dig out some old manga and set up some more listings today. I started with the last nine volumes of the Rurouni Kenshin manga. (I’d already sold or given away the first 19 volumes. I posted about reading the last few volumes in 2017.)

This time, I decided to try eBay’s “multiple listing tool.” That worked out fairly well, but with a few bumps. The tool is fairly hard to find. It’s available from eBay’s Bulk Listing Tools page, along with a bunch of other tools. But you really have to look for it. They don’t really advertise its existence. It lets you set up a template listing, then duplicate it a bunch of times, then edit the copies. So I used it to create a “Rurouni Kenshin Vol xx” listing, then went through and replaced “xx” with 20 through 28, and uploaded photos for each listing. The main issue I had with the tool is that, if you accidentally navigate away from the page, you lose all your work and have to start over. It doesn’t seem to save your work at all. Nor is there any obvious ability to save the listings as drafts rather than posting them right away. Aside from some obvious problems like that, it was definitely easier than if I’d had to set up nine listings from scratch through the default interface.

I have a bunch of other manga volumes I might also post, including a complete run of Ai Yori Aoshi. I’m not sure if I’ll do that today, or wait for next weekend. Maybe I should do it today, while I’m still motivated.

Selling some comics on eBay

I haven’t sold anything on eBay in a long time. The last time, I think, was in 2008, when I sold some video games. So that’s a little more than ten years.

I just recently put together a pile of about two dozen trade paperback and hardcover graphic novels that I want to get rid of. I’d gotten to the point where my accumulation of completed graphic novels was getting a bit out of hand, and I really needed to clear up some space.

I initially thought about giving them away to charity, but I thought they were probably worth too much to just dump them on Goodwill, and I couldn’t find a comics-specific charity that I thought could make good use of them. Then, I thought about selling them all at once to a dealer, but I didn’t think I’d get much money out of that, or even get that much interest from anyone.

So I, somewhat reluctantly, decided to go with eBay. Since it had been so long since I’d sold anything there, I had to figure out how things work nowadays. There used to be a couple of freeware or shareware programs you could use to easily set up a bunch of listings and upload them all at once to eBay, but it doesn’t seem like any of those are around anymore. There are some web-based services that help large sellers manage their inventory and auctions, but they’re not really for guys like me who are just posting a handful of items, and not making a living running an eBay store.

I initially tried to set up the listings using eBay’s mobile app. The app lets you scan UPC codes, then tries to find a matching item, and sets up a listing for that item that you can customize. For me, I think that was a waste of time. It only found about half of my books. I went ahead and saved those as drafts, intending to clean them up on my desktop PC and post them. But I found that they were mostly miscategorized and fairly useless. By the time I was done cleaning them up, I would have been better off starting from scratch.

Well, anyway, I was working on these listings on and off all day, and I’m finally done. I have two dozen books up on eBay now. You can find them all on my eBay user page. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of interest I get. Listings are free now (up to 50 a month), so it doesn’t cost me anything if nothing sells.

I also have some more manga volumes I want to get rid of. I might dig those out and list them tomorrow, if I have time. After that, if things seem to be going well, I’d like to get rid of some individual comic books, probably by selling them in sets.

It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t go to Garden State Comic Fest last month, and that I’m not going to San Diego Comic Con this year. At either show, I probably would have brought home a bunch of new comics and books that I don’t have time to read, nor space to store! (Oh, and, holy cow, SDCC starts next week! I didn’t realize it was so soon!)

MoMA closing and related museum stuff

MoMA shut down for renovations in June, and will be closed until late in October. I still have a MoMA membership, but hadn’t gotten in to see it much lately, so I really wanted to see it once before it closed. I made it in, on June 15, the last day that they were open to the general public. (June 16 was a “member day,” and I wanted to go in for that too, but didn’t make it.) I’m glad I went in. The museum was pretty crowded, but it was fun.

The Times had a few good articles about the closing, including this general overview, which links to a few other articles. This one about staring at Starry Night for 30 minutes is light (and mostly pointless) but kind of fun. And this one, where the Times talked to a bunch of random people who were in the museum on the last day, is also pretty good. I identify with the guy from NJ who says “I’ll sit in front of a Pollock for 20 minutes.” Me too!

I’ve been curious about what they’re going to do with some of their more famous works while the museum is closed. I’ve had no luck in finding any information about that online though. Starry Night, in particular, seems like something that probably shouldn’t just go into storage for four months. I thought maybe they’d loan it out to another museum, but I’ve found no indication of that. (There’s an exhibit called Van Gogh and Britain at the Tate in London right now, and it has Starry Night over the Rhone, but that’s not the same as Starry Night. Looks like a great exhibit though!)

Or I thought maybe they’d set up a mini-MoMA pop-up at MoMA PS1, but they’re not doing that either. The Frick will be moving into the Breuer building while they’re closed for renovations, in 2020. I kind of thought maybe MoMA would do something like that, with PS1 or another space somewhere, but I guess not.

I also haven’t gotten in to the Met in while. I’m interested in their new exhibit Apollo’s Muse, which is an exhibit about the moon, tied in to the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. (There’s probably a bunch of cool stuff going on related to that anniversary. I should do some more internet searching and make some plans.)