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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:

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.

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's not valuable. 

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 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?


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!


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!