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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

THOR MOVIE! REALLY?



So Marvel fans and fellow comic geeks, it seems that the Thor movie is well on it's way to be ogled by our comic book-loving eyes. With Chris Helmsworth as Thor, Anthony Hopkins as Odin and the ever so lovely Natalie Portman as love interest Jane Foster, there is no doubt that this is a star-studded production. However, the real question is will the Thor movie deliver?

Don't get me wrong. I'm overly anxious to see what they've done with everyone's favorite golden Norse god of thunder, but the character of Thor in Marvel's realm of comic book superheroes is a bit campy none the least. He's a great character for the comics, but how will he translate on screen is what I'm concerned with. 

While anticipation runs high, the ever growing debate on whether Thor will be just good or, in more blunt terms, really lame still rages on with comic book fans. I'm personally skeptical. No doubt that the effects will be amazing, as well as the scenery, and the costumes, but will the story be some hammed up creation that wont melt in your mouth but in your hand like Transformers 2? 


Another point to bear in mind is that movies based on old mythology have yet to really stick for audiences. The new Clash of the Titans was an utter disaster and painful to even watch. The first was much better, but still fell into that range of campy. There's no doubt that a Hercules movie would make lame movies seem good, and as everyone knows, Hercules, like Thor, is based off old mythology.


The one perk I do see to the Thor movie is of course...Natalie Portman. Who wouldn't be excited to see her in a movie like this. I'm surprised she even signed on to be honest. Actually, who wouldn't be excited to see that gorgeous specimen of female beauty in anything?


So, let's find out what you think? Do you think the Thor movie will deliver like the first Iron Man, or do you think it will drop a dud like Clash of the Titans?


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Iron Man 2


After watching the first Iron Man movie, I was completely blown away, and walked away from the theaters completely convinced that Iron Man had to be Marvel's best comic movie made. With the terrible prior releases of Spider-Man 3, X-Men 3, and my personal least favorite of them all - the sucky of the suckiest - Wolverine Origins, it was refreshing to finally see Iron Man knock me off my extremist, comic-fanatic, butt.


Like most everyone, I knew a sequel was already in the works, and I couldn't wait to see if they could come close to the awesomeness of the original. I had high hopes, up until the part where I read that Whiplash would be the villain in the sequel. My first initial reaction was, Whiplash? Why him? He's undoubtedly a lame and 2nd rate villain in the Marvel universe.




Fast forward to 3 weeks ago when I finally stepped into the theaters to watch Iron Man 2. Yeah, I know, I waited quite some time after it's initial release, but I've never been the one to like overcrowded venues of any kind, minus Disney Land.


When the movie got into the back story of Whiplash and how he is the son of Anton Vanko, I groaned in my chair and my mind muttered, "Lame." If they're gonna even put Anton Vanko - the Crimson Dynamo  - in the movie, even in just name, why didn't they just make him the villain. After all, the Crimson Dynamo is actually one of Iron Man's core villains in the comic. It wouldn't have changed the story line all that much, and lets face it - it would've been so much cooler to see Crimson Dynamo than the lame, whip-wielding Whiplash.


Another beef I have with this movie is that end fight scene was about as quick as a fart. Stinky as one too. It was a reminder of why quickies are so disappointing. You couldn't make the fight just a tad more dramatic. Oh, wait. Nevermind. You have a lame villain starring in the movie.


I do have to say that Iron Man 2 was not as good as the first, but the special effects, the superb portrayal of Tony Stark yet again  by Robert Downey Jr., and even Mickey Rourke's acting was great. He would've made a killer Crimson Dynamo.


Despite my minor beefs and putting my comic purist tendencies aside, Iron Man 2 is the second best movie Marvel has put out to date. At least they didn't screw it up too bad like the X-Men franchise, in which talks of  an X-Men First Class movie, which will feature the early years of Professor Xavier and Magneto and the first students at Xavier's School For the Gifted, is on the drawing board.


Wait a minute! Didn't they majorly screw up the timeline in the first X movie, and if you're talking about early years of the school for mutants, wouldn't that entail the original X-Men line up? Just when the question of how Ice Man would be worked back into his rightful place as an original X-Men, those crafty  hollywooders came up with the only bright idea they could come up with - make up new characters that didn't exist in the original line up.


My response to that? Why even bother making a movie about the original X-Men team when it's not really even the original team?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Short-Term Comic Book Investing Secret!


Well, from looking at the picture above, can you guess what is a simple and effective secret of short-term comic investing? You got it, comic book movies!


With the emerging technologies in CGI, special effects, graphic and multimedia design, comic book movies based on superheroes with extraordinary powers are possible...and most importantly, as Hollywood has found...PROFITABLE! Just look at the Fantastic Four movies or Spider-Man movies, and if you follow comics, you'll see just how the demand rose for certain issues of that comic character.

This secret or tip falls into what Flippers normally do. If you don't know what a flipper is, read my  Tips On Comic Investing.There's no doubt that a comic character's hype will explode with news of a movie in production. It get's worse once behind the scenes pics emerge on the internet and trailers for the movie is released. For example, when Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer trailers hit the airwaves, guess who's demand went soaring through the roof? You got it - Silver Surfer. 

Before this movie was even playing in movie theaters, fans were scouring for the 1st appearances of Silver Surfer, and flippers who were wise to get that golden comic or had it prior before this rush was happening, made nice profits from this investment comic.


But don't let that nugget of knowledge fool you! It isn't as simple as that, my friend. Knowing when to get that particular investment is the tricky part. 

Timing is everything. If you wait too late, you may be just another gold rush digger and pay way too much for a comic who's hype will die down before you can flip it.

Trust me, the hype will die down, and once it does, you may see the value of that comic plummet a little bit. However, when it concerns comic book investing, this is no big deal. Those who invest in comics do it for the long term. With flippers, however, buying and selling at the precise moments are crucial.


Also, not just any comic of the character starring in the movie will make a comics value go up. Selecting carefully is a science as well as an art. When the 1st Iron Man movie was announced to go to production, there were the lame investors who just bought up any new issue of Iron Man, and there were the smart investors who tried to find the highest grade their budget allowed of Iron Man #1 or his very first appearance. 

Then when hysteria about the character was at it's peak, both investors put their investments on the market. Which flipper do think made the most profit?


The trick is to research the movie before the hype really takes momentum. Find out if the movie introduces a villain, like whiplash and Justin Hammer  in Iron Man 2 or Silver Surfer and Galactus in Fantastic Four 2. Get to know the hype. See what people online are saying about it. I really suggest joining a comic forum or group. Check out eBay and see what the prices are going for certain comics pertaining from the information you gathered about the movie.


Learning to strike the iron when it's hot for both investing and then selling quickly is a skill to learn, a gut feeling that can be trained. It wont happen overnight, but it can be attained through the most research you do.


A select few have gotten short-term comic investing down to a "T". It is not easy. Don't get me wrong on that part. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right? However, with a bit of grit, determination, trial & error, time, and patience, you can be part of the select few as well.

Tips On Comic Investing

Ok, so I'm assuming you've read my previous article. If not, I suggest you do so. If you have, then let's carry on. So, comic investing, you ask? There are a few ways to approach this beast. Let's look at a few examples:


1. COMIC RUNS

Usually, this type of comic book investor will pick a few titles, like Fantastic Four Vol 1., and collect issues that complete an entire run. For example Fantastic Four #1 through issue 100 or Uncanny X-Men issue 100 to 300. You get the picture. Usually, a comic run investment will have a variety of grades within that run...comics ranging from good to near mint.


2. KEY ISSUES

This comic investor concentrates only on key issues that are in demand. Key issue investors will track down important first appearances of major characters like the Punisher in Amazing Spider-Man #129 or 1st appearance of Batman in Detective comics #27. 




Condition can be taken into factor or not. Usually, important keys are a good chunk of change regardless of condition, and can be slabbed or unslabbed comic books. However, there are those who collect only key pedigree comic books.

3. THE HIGH GRADE COLLECTOR

These comic investors are considered the elite in the realm of comic investing. These guys will only buy high grade comics. 

Sometimes, they will be key issues...sometimes not, but mostly will be. With the arrival of CGC grading service, many of these high grade comics have wonderfully surfaced, some even hitting the perfect 10 MINT mark! 

It is highly recommended to invest in high grade comics if you want your investment to rise in value quicker than buying comics in very good or fine. Many investors are vying for the rare higher grades of particular slabbed issues, such as Dead Pool's 1st Appearance in The New Mutants #98.

Be wary of many modern books that are CGC graded. Modern books will have more copies of a particular issue in high grades, because they are recent. This is going back to rarity in my previous article. 

If there are 10,000 9.8 CGC graded copies of The New Mutants #98, then that grade is likely not a great investment comic if the demand is not well over the amount of copies available. However, if there are only 3  9.9 CGC graded copies of that issue then you better believe that will make a wonderful investment, especially since Marvel has a Dead Pool Movie in the works. 

Though, highly expensive, this method has the surest and largest return on your investment, if you plan to hold onto the books for a while.

4. THE FLIPPER

Comic dealers are perfect examples of "flippers." They will buy comic books on the cheap and then resell, or flip them. It doesn't matter what the age, though most will look for cheap collections of silver age and bronze age books, but a flipper can speculate an up and coming comic that will be hot, buy up multiple copies of that new release, and sell them well above cover price when the demand for them is at it's peak. 

This kind of comic investor takes a certain eye and skill to achieve. It truly is an art when dealing with modern age books. However, the flipper will study comic market trends profusely. 

It is no wonder why most of these so called "flippers" are comic dealers. In my experience (I'm not a comic dealer), this has been the most risky but quickest investment turn around for individual comics than the others. I haven't been too successful at this and usually stay clear of modern age comics as investments.

Some comic investors will only concentrate on one specific method of investing. Comic investing isn't cheap, no? 

The only comic investor I've seen who has their hands dipped into every one of these methods is the comic dealer. You can dip into more than two methods. There are people who buy high grade comics and then flip them who aren't comic dealers. It's actually not hard if you got the cash and the know-how. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Comic Investing: The Myths and The Truths of Investing In Comics!

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if comic investing, or speculating, was profitable and what comics they should get, I'd be filthy rich. It seems a lot of people now are turning their attention to investing in comics, hoping that it would be a better alternative than the dreaded stock market, as in terms of investments.


So to give you a blunt and to the point answer about whether investing in comics is a wise idea the answer is: It can be. If you think you're going to get rich off of it, the likelihood is pretty slim. If it were that simple, everyone collecting and investing in comics would be a millionaire by now.


Nowadays a lot of people who are just starting off in comic investing think that they can go to a local comic shop, buy a few comics off the rack, bag and board them, and two years from now they'll be worth something. That's a myth. In reality most modern comics wont be worth a thing two years from now or ten or even twenty. Ok, ok, ok. There are a few exceptions like per say the "Kick Ass" comics. 
 
Who woulda knew that some obscure indie comic would be the subject of a movie, and then have the value of it's comics skyrocket? The truth, and the plain truth: No one!


That is purely a hit or miss speculation, and in dealing with indie or modern books, the reality is that you will buy more comics that wont be worth its cover price a year from purchasing it then buying a comic that will just skyrocket in value.

I generally stay away from investing in modern age comics, and there's many reasons for that. When a lot of non-believers say that comic investing is a bad idea, I only agree with the statement when it concerns modern age comics.

Even for the big name titles like Super-man or Spider-man, it's often still a hit and miss concerning newer, modern age comics. Who knew  Spider-Man: Reign would be so hugely popular? Why isn't Amazing Spider-Man issue 529, which is the first appearance of Spidey's armored suit from the Civil War story-line worth more than Spider-Man: Reign? It's because the demand is higher than the supply in the market, and we will see this in the next copper age book that's in pretty high demand.



Let's take a quick look at Amazing Spider-Man #300 (first appearance of Venom). Now, from #300 all the way to #399, how many issues in this run has the value or more than the value of issue #300 (valued at $202 for a NM+ copy according to Overstreet Guide) from this popular title?

The answer is NONE! Out of 299 issues, Amazing Spider-Man #300 is the only issue from 300-399 that goes over the hundred dollar mark at a NM grade. Nothing in that run even breaks a hundred dollars in value, but that's not to say that nothing in that run isn't valuable. However, there's a whole lot of comics in that run that aren't worth your time and effort in investing than there are worth it.


Okay, let's go over some myths about comic collecting:


THE COMIC GRADE
A comic's grade can determine the value of a comic, but it doesn't determine if it is valuable. So what if you have a comic that's CGC graded 10 Mint, but if no one wants that comic issue, then it's not worth a thing. However, on the flip side, a CGC graded 10 for an Amazing Spider-Man #300 will be worth a lot of mulah! A higher grade comic can make a comic worth more than a Very Good or Fine or Very Fine, but it isn't the only determining factor that makes a comic valuable. I have a lot of Near Mint X-Force #1's and you can find those online for .50 cents, well below cover price.

AGE OF A COMIC
Once again, age of a comic plays a part, but it doesn't determine if a comic is valuable. It's true that Silver age, Golden age, bronze age comics will most likely be more valuable than most modern comics, but comics in poor to good condition  from those older eras may fetch the same price as a modern day comic cover price at $2.99 on eBay. Like mentioned above, if you have an old comic that nobody wants, who cares whether it's Silver Age or Golden Age...it's not valuable. 

KEY ISSUES
The key issue myth is a classic example. Key issues are 1st appearances, deaths of, number 1 issues, origins of a character, etc. Yes, key issues are important. 

First appearances of Thor, Captain America, or even Dead Pool in New Mutants #98 are highly sought out investments, but the first appearance of a second class character like Speedball doesn't really make the Ka-ching sound. Just because it's a number one issue doesn't mean it will take off like Ultimate Spider-Man, and even in the Golden and Silver Age era, lots of 1st appearances are lowball characters that never really became integral parts of the title character's overall identity...for example "The Tumbler" for Captain America.

So, by now, you can pretty much guess that all of these factors contributes to a comic being valuable or not. Here's the formula though:


Condition of comic + What type of Key Issue + Age of a Comic + Demand + Rarity = GOOD INVESTMENT!


DEMAND
Demand is probably one of the most important factor in comic investing...period. A demand for a title...per say...Uncanny X-Men is important, but when you add in the key issue element Giant Size Uncanny X-Men #1 (first new X-Men team with Wolverine), a condition of Near Mint, tack on the rarity factor with the age of the comic book concerning how many of that issue at NM is in circulation, then you got a pretty valuable comic book. 


So to sum it up for you, without demand all the above factors really don't mean spit. What helps bring up a comics demand?

Three words: COMIC BOOK MOVIES!

Yes, it's true! With Hollywood jumping on the comic book movie craze and making some really amazing movies based on our favorite comic characters, demand for certain issues have been sky rocketing! That also means the value for certain rare key issue comics are also going up! 


Now, find out some of the best key issue comics that you should definitely be getting as investment comics. Just click the blue links!

MORE ARTICLES ABOUT INVESTING IN COMICS! 

1. Comic Investing Is A Bad Idea? Here's Value Facts!

2. Modern Comic Investing - A Good Or Bad Choice?

3. Where to Buy CGC Comics!