The stories behind the stories

Comics Buyer’s Guide

Comics Buyer’s Guide

Published by Krause Publications • Released 1971-2013
Edited by Alan Light, then by Don and Maggie Thompson, later with Brent Frankenhoff and John Jackson Miller, among others

1,699 issues

My involvement: 1993-2009

Comics Buyer’s Guide, or CBG, was published first as a bimonthly, then a monthly, then a biweekly, and a weekly newspaper. My first issue as a reader was #538 in 1984, and as an associate editor was around #1054 in 1993. I worked there with Co-editors Don and Maggie Thompson — Don, until his untimely death in 1994, and then Maggie until I left the company in 2007. I was initially an associate editor; later I was promoted to run the division editorially.

I was long since out of the day-to-day production of the magazine, working on our book projects, when in early 2004 when I was brought back in to help create new designs and workflows for CBG as a giant monthly magazine. Discussions had been under way for the publication to make the big jump to become a mass-market periodical for some time, and with some breakthroughs in our database project allowing a robust monthly price guide, we relaunched in June 2004 with a publication that retained much of its original character while adding lots of new features.

One of those features was my opinion column, Longbox Manifesto, wherein I looked at issues of the day from the perspective of the longtime comics collector — it seems everyone else had an advocate, so it was about time!

I continued the column as a freelancer for a couple of years, before turning my attention to Comichron. The publication continued until 2013, finally ending after 42 years. Read my essay about the history of the publication here.

Comics Buyer’s Guide was originally known as The Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom — and was known throughout the hobby as TBG. It took many years for the new acronym to catch on, and even now some of the original readers recall it by those initials!

In 2018, after Krause Publications folded, I worked with Maggie and with the help of Lone Star Comics to rescue the file copies of the magazine — two pallets’ worth!