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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

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

image of a stack of comic books

I often see other fellow comic collectors discourage others when it comes to comic investing. You can read these comments all over the web from some people who state that investing in comics is a bad choice like it was the gospel truth.

The thing is that most don't mention just modern age comics as bad investments. Their statements encompass all comics aren't good investments.  

I believe one even expressed his opinion about comic investing as "retarded" and one should only collect comics for the pure enjoyment of the stories and artwork. And that's all fine! 

I think it's perfectly cool just collecting comics for the pure love of the amazing stories and artwork. That's how I started, and I still love the comic art as well as the stories.

However, just because one doesn't know how to invest in comics does not make comics bad investments. Of course, absolutely none of the nay sayers had a bit of fact or evidence that comics are a bad investment. 

The only thing they did mention was the comic crash of the 90s, and that is factual. Yes, there was a comic crash of the 90s, but did that event make comic investing a bad idea in the long run?

You know me. When I find B.S. from people who are trying to dress up opinion as fact concerning comics as bad investments, I'll be all over that like stink on doo doo. So let's see just how "retarded" I am.

New Mutants #98 image
New Mutants #98 
(First Appearance of Deadpool)

I had bought this copy from Comic Ink quite a ways back. I think maybe three years ago.

It was unslabbed, and I remember asking Derek the owner if he had a copy. He told me he did, showed it to me, and I asked how much.

"$40 bucks," he said, after thinking about it for a while.

I didn't have to think about it at all. It was at least a NM- or Low NM copy. I told him I'd take it. I had no doubt that this comic was going to be a good investment. I just knew.

I'm not even a Deadpool fan, nor do I really care for the New Mutants all that much. I'm not a big Rob Liefeld fan either. I knew that I had to get the first appearance of Deadpool before the demand got overly crazy for this issue.

How has this New Mutants performed over the years?

Overstreet 2002-03 Guide 33rd Edition:

Near Mint: $5.00
Very Fine: $0
Fine: $0
 Very Good: $0
Good: $0

Overstreet 2012-13 Guide 42nd Edition: 
Near Mint (low): $50
Very Fine: $24
Fine: $12
 Very Good: $8
Good: $4

RECENT SALES OF NEW MUTANTS #98 $152 (CGC 9.2 NM-) Mar 2013 $140 (CGC 9.0 VF/NM) May 2013 $140 (CGC 9.0 VF/NM) Jun 2013 
ebay: $311 (CGC 9.8 NM/MINT) Jun 2013
ebay: $224.99 (CGC 9.6 NM+) Jun 2013
ebay: $156 (CGC 9.4 NM) Jun 2013
ebay: $120 (NM 9.0 to 9.4 unslabbed copy) Jun 2013   
ebay: $125 (CGC 8.5 VF+) Jun 2013 

Looks like a "retarded" bad idea to me. If I get this graded and it comes back a CGC 9.2, I would've more than doubled my investment.

Tales of Suspense #52 image
Tales of Suspense #52
(First Appearance of Black Widow)

Once again, my local comic shop Comic Ink had a CGC graded copy of this issue back in 2009. It was a 5.5 (Low FINE), and I immediately snagged it for $85 bucks.

Why? Because word was that The Black Widow was going to be in Iron Man 2. At the time, I didn't foresee that she would also be in the Avengers movie as well, but how could I resist the first appearance of The Black Widow, Natalia Romanov? 

Overstreet 1982-83 Guide 12th Edition:

Mint: $12.00
Fine: $6.00
Good: $2.00 

Overstreet 1990-91 Guide 20th Edition:

Near Mint: $45
Fine: $19.50
Good: $6.50

Overstreet 2002-03 Guide 33rd Edition:

Near Mint: $225
Very Fine: $125
Fine: $51
 Very Good: $34
Good: $17

Overstreet 2012-13 Guide 42nd Edition: 
Near Mint (low): $1200
Very Fine: $359
Fine: $138
 Very Good: $92
Good: $46


ebay: $225.75 (CGC 5.5 FN-) Apr 2013
ComicLink: $1,012 (CGC VF 8.0) Apr 2013
ebay: $229.95 (CGC 5.0 VG/FN) May 2013
ebay: $394.00 (PGX 7.5 VF-) May 2013
ebay: $274.05 (5.0 to 5.5 VG/FN to FN- unslabbed/raw) May 2013
ebay: $116.05 (CGC 4.0 VG) Jun 2013

From the data above, this silver age key issue is even going above guide on ebay! Ebay of all places! 

Even if my copy wasn't CGC graded, this issue is still dropping around $200 dollars for unslabbed copies. And on ebay. Yep, I made a terrible investment decision on a comic that has doubled it's value since I bought it.


Amazing Spider-Man #6 image
 Amazing Spider-Man #6 (First Appearance of Lizard)

Here's another comic I suggested readers to get the minute it was announced that the Lizard would be the main villain in Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man reboot.

I did, and my copy just came back from CGC. You can read more about by my Amazing Spider-Man #6 by clicking the blue link.

The movie hype for this silver age key issue has well died down already, but let's look at this book to see how it's performed over the years before there even was a movie to boost the value up for the first appearance of the Lizard. 

Overstreet 1982-83 Guide 12th Edition:

Mint: $90
Fine: $45
Good: $15 

Overstreet 1990-91 Guide 20th Edition:

Near Mint: $340
Fine: $145
Good: 38

Overstreet 2002-03 Guide 33rd Edition:

Near Mint: $2300
Very Fine: $1185
Fine: $417
 Very Good: $278
Good: $139

Overstreet 2012-13 Guide 42nd Edition: 
Near Mint (low): $5000
Very Fine: $1500
Fine: $537
 Very Good: $358
Good: $179


ebay: $830 (CGC 7.0 FN/VF) Jan 2013
ebay: $198 (GD unslabbed/raw) Jan 2013 $460 (CGC 4.5 VG+) Jan 2013
ebay: $440 (CGC 5.0 VG+/FN-) Feb 2013
ebay: $460.50 (CGC 5.0 VG+/FN-) Apr 2013
 ebay: $325 (CGC 3.0 GD/VG) Jun 2013 
ebay: $760 (CGC 7.0 FN/VF) Jun 2013 

Jeez, if comics are bad long-term investments than I'd love to see what really bad long term investments are. So a $200 dollar investment that ended up being worth around $400. Not a super great investment comic, but not a bad one either.

It's a good thing I listened to those guys and didn't invest in comics. I am being sarcastic. Then again, why so many people open their mouths about a subject they know little, if anything, about continues to boggle me.

As for the 90s comic market crash argument, the 2000s bounced back even stronger for many values. I suppose I really should thank them. After all, they did give me the idea to do posts that tracked the values of comics as investments throughout the decades, as well as to see what they are actually being sold for.

So, and let me state this as clearly as possible, the long term investment values of comics look pretty friggin' good to me from the data and facts.

But, I guess data and facts are "retarded" too.


  1. My name is Jimmy Torres I come here and read your blog often and I to think comics are very good investments. Iv bought books and only one year later they have doubled in value.The key books of the silver and bronze age 40 years from now are going to be very expensive. I think the books to watch out for are House of secrets 92,strange tales 110,but the book I really think that will be a wise investment is Primer 2 there are less than 2,000 of them and a movie is almost certain.

    1. Heya Jimmy, welcome and thanks for reading. Great choice with the first appearance of Grendel in Primer #2. It surely is a bronze age goodie. A Grendel movie has been kicked around since 2005. It would be a cool movie, and I'm not quite sure why Hollywood has yet to take a serious approach.

      As for Strange Tales #110, first appearance of Doctor Strange, that book has already shifted into pretty high gear in terms of demand since Marvel/Disney announced that a Dr. Strange movie will be part of phase 3 onscreen.

      House of Secrets #92 with the debut of the Swamp Thing is another great early bronze age key issue to get. However, as for a remake of Swamp Thing the movie, that, along with other DC/Warner comic book properties for film, are kinda in limbo.

      Great choices and thanks for bringing them up!

  2. 10 of my comics were awesome investments. 100 are great and another 900 were pretty good. It's the other 14,000 that are taking up the spare bedroom I'm not so sure about...

    1. Hi Gary, good to see you again. I have to admit that I do have those kinds of comics taking up space in my closet, but I'm in the process of selling them off to get some investment comics I'm sure about.

  3. Great post! Comics are definitely a good investment, especially when it comes to the keys. I recently purchased an Amazing Spider-Man #50 (1963 series) at a decent grade, and here's hoping the value will continue to increase on that one.

  4. Thank you and thanks for joining the conversation. ASM #50, first appearance of Kingpin, is a great investment comic. Congrats on that snag. CGC or unslabbed?

    1. Thanks for the reply! I got it unslabbed but hope to get it CGC'd. I bought it at a local comic con and had the dealer go through every page to make sure everything was okay. On top of that I negotiated a little and got a great deal on the price.

      Keep up the great posts!


    2. Of course! I love comments and talking to others who love comics as well. Great job on haggling with dealers at a convention and getting a great deal on a great silver age Marvel key issue. Most can be haggled with and I'm not sure most realize this or even try to.

      Also good job on making the dealer show the comic to you as well. I'll be sure to keep up the great posts if you keep reading and sharing.

      What else are you gunning for on your want list?

    3. I'm mostly looking for key silver age issues of Spider-Man and X-Men (thanks for the key issue post on X-Men, by the way!) to name a couple titles. Though, there are a few in the bronze age that are at the top of my list, such as (no surprise)Amazing Spider-Man 121. A true classic. I hope to get it soon before the price goes up even more.

    4. Amazing Spider-Man #121 is a classic key issue to get. The prices have really gone up for that issue when it was announced that Gwen Stacy will be in the Amazing Spider-Man movie last year. Now, that comic is even more on it's peak since we all know that Gwen Stacy will die in either the sequel or the third movie. Hey, I hope you get it, too. A great ASM key issue to have.

    5. Thanks. I still haven't gotten ASM 121...but I did recently manage to snag the first appearance of Gwen Stacy (ASM 31). That was on my list too.

    6. Another awesome ASM key issue silver age comic! Congrats on that snag! Did you find 31 at a comic convention also?

    7. Actually, I bought it from NewKadia (in about a VF minus)and got it at a discount since I was a first-time customer. Great deal! As for the comic con, I also got a Captain America 117, the first appearance of Falcon. I got it at a Fine (I wanted at least a VF), but it was too good to pass up. The dealer also had an Incredible Hulk 1, the first appearance of the Green Goblin, the first and second issues of X-Men, some Golden Age Superman, and more, all at pretty good grades. Ahh, if I only had a little more cash on me then...

    8. That's a great thing about Newkadia. They're always having sales and deals with coupon codes. I got a Daredevil #7, first red costume, from there and need to get that sucker graded.

      I hear ya on the cash part...I almost always think the same thing after leaving a comic con.

  5. Hi

    I am wondering if the first appearance of Hawkeye is a good investment to make right now. The thing I don't really have a handle on is how to determine is whether I am buying on a peak or is there any further room for growth.

    Any advice?

    1. Ahh, determining comic book peaks. Right now Tales of Suspense #57 is on a peak. The easiest indicator is checking how much that issue is selling for on ebay and then comparing it to guide prices.

      Are CGC copies selling way above guide for that issue? And, are unslabbed copies selling around guide or above for the grades advertised. If the answer if yes to both, that issue has hit a peak. Remember, ebay is the worlds biggest flea market to get things cheap and get ripped off as well from sellers who know very little about comics. If you cannot get it on ebay cheap, that issue is in high demand.

      I will tell you that there really isn't a simple answer to your question. If there was, every comic collector would be filthy rich. The most you can do is try to catch a comic before it hits a peak or a new peak. I've written countless articles explaining how comic book movies affects comic values for certain issues and why.

      It also depends on what grade comic you're thinking of getting for a particular issue. Certain low grade key issue comics go up in value a lot slower, but they do have more potential for growth, of course.

      Higher graded comics go up faster, but are a lot more expensive, especially CGC copies, which are, whether you like it or not, completely changing the comic market in terms of investment value.

      However, if we're talking about the first appearance of Hawkeye, you could wait for the peak to be over, but what happens if it continues to go up then goes down just a bit? For example, a VG CGC 4.0 is selling around $200 dollars (which it is on ebay). That's around a hundred dollars over Overstreet Guide.

      Let's say you wait for the peak to end, but then Marvel changes their minds and decides to spin off Hawkeye into his own solo movie (which is not happening), Tales of Suspense gets another jump in demand and the issue goes up $75 more dollars.

      Let's say the peak ends and the comic and it's grade at VG only goes down thirty dollars. You now have to pay an extra $40 for that issue.

      That's just a scenario, but if you look at the data I presented in this post, the comics have all gone up in value over the decades and remained higher than its cover price or the value from its preceding decade.

      Everything fluctuates in life...the stock market...good times...bad times, comics, etc. The difference is evaluating a comic as an investment long term. I really don't care if one of my investment comics goes down a little next year. What I'm concerned with is how it performs 10 years after I bought it.

      In all honesty, I can't really say what Marvel plans to do with Hawkeye, if they all the sudden decide to confirm that he gets his own movie franchise or not. Right now, they may recast Hawkeye as Jeremy Renner has expressed he is not satisfied with his role as Hawkeye (though, I think it has more to do with the hope of his own Hawkeye movie is looking really bleak is the real cause), and Marvel/Disney has talked about either recasting the character or not having him in Avengers 2 and making way for other Avengers to assemble on screen.

      Do you think the character is a strong enough character that will keep enough interest in him over the years? If it were me, I'd buy it as soon as I could afford it simply because I'd rather not pay more it 5 or 10 years from now.

    2. Great answer. Comparing against the guide price would serve as a good anchor on whether it is over or under valued.

    3. Thanks! That should help you to find out comic peaks. Thanks for reading and the question. If you have any more, feel free to ask.

  6. I agree that comic books are a good investment. I too had many boxes laying around mostly modern age until decided to be a serious collector focus on my collection. Short story is I sold all my modern and bought a silver age Fantastic Four #10 for $200. Had it signed by Stan Lee at a comic book convention and CGC'd. Came back a 7.5. Have more than doubled on my investment.


    1. Now that's a story I like to hear, RG. Congrats on that one, and wouldn't it be awesome if that happened a hell of a lot more? What con were at?

  7. Several years I too purchased a New Mutants #98 for $50 and left it in my box for the longest time and little by little as the years lingered on I pondered about getting it CGC'd. Now, its a Signature Series by Rob Liefeld and CGC'd at 9.6. I was so glad that I bought it. Comics are NOT a bad investment but rather a GREAT investment. Just need to do your homework on which ones to buy. I have definitely doubled if not tripled on my investment.


    1. Heya Ren, good to hear from you, and I love hearing stories like that! Good call and congrats on the 9.6 CGC as well as Liefeld's signature! You made a great comic investment choice! I still need to get my New Mutants #98 CGC'd, and that's definitely on my list next time I submit.

      Thanks for chimin' in on the convo!