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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.