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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Short-Term and Long-Term Comic Investing Part 2

In both long term and short-term comic investing, you want to be conscious of demand peaks, but for different reasons and uses. Short-term comics to invest in will be a lot more sensitive to these peaks than to those who invest in comics long-term.

You'll see what I mean as I go through the various demand peaks.

Demand Peaks

The Fan Peak: Okay, technically this is a peak and it does pertain more to the comic collecting realm than the actual comic investing realm. I'll discuss it a bit.

Back in the day, I got McFarlane's entire run of Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk for only a dollar each in the back issue bins. By that time, Todd McFarlane hadn't taken off yet, but it wasn't very long after when he did. This is fan peak, where fans just like the character or artist in a large enough amount and actively start seeking out those issues or key issues.

X-23 has had no movie hype or TV hype, but fans just love the character, and her 1st appearance is a sought after book. This also happened with characters like Venom back in the day. Of course, fan peaks are the absolute best time to snag these issues, and some comics like Hulk #181 and Amazing Spider-Man #129, first Punisher, are continually backed by fan peaks.

For some other characters, though, they never really reach a high enough fan peak to make any of their first appearances worth much, until they somehow mysteriously are chosen to debut in a movie or a television show.

In the case of those other, non-steady, key issues we mainly have to rely on other peaks listed below.

The Rumor Mill: Sometimes, a comic takes off or becomes hot during this peak stage. It's the first peak that happens in the comic investing and comic speculating side of things and it sometimes affects a key issue's value or doesn't.

Adam Warlock's key issues in Thor #165 and Marvel Premiere #1 became high demand and quite valuable during the rumor mill. Actually, Adam Warlock is sort of in-between the rumor mill stage and the confirmation stage.

Although there is no confirmation of when and just which movie he'll appear in, we do know that he will appear somewhere in a Marvel movie. There have been many nods in recent films that point to this and many who invest in comics long-term and short-term got these issues during this peak.

Black Panther and his first appearance in Fantastic Four #52 is another comic that took off during the rumor mill peak, and though a Black Panther movie has been confirmed to be in the works, there is no real confirmation of a release date for the movie.

Whether you're a short-term or long-term comic investor, this is the 2nd best time to snag a key issue or first appearance if you weren't lucky enough to have a high grade copy already. The earlier in the rumor mill peak, the better.

Usually, the comics that you see getting snagged in the market during this peak are sold by those who already had these books during a fan peak a few years back or since the beginning.

Confirmation: Confirmation should be the 2nd peak for most key issue comics in question. However, sometimes this can be the 1st peak.

For example, it was confirmed earlier this year that Cyborg was to be in Batman v Superman and even cast Ray Fisher in the role. Cyborg's first appearance in DC Comics Presents #26 became in demand, but not hot in demand. This comic has been slow to heat up, and I do find it a bit strange.

Iron Fist was a character that was in the rumor mill for a movie quite a while, but the rumor mill didn't really affect Marvel Premiere #15 all that much. It wasn't until the confirmation stage of the upcoming Netflix TV series when the first appearance of Iron Fist in Marvel Premiere #15 got a huge boost in demand and jumped up in value.

In terms of long-term comic investing, this can be another early peak to snag a key issue as a comic investment. Of course, this depends on the key issue in question. As I mentioned before, DC Comics Presents #26 is steaming up slowly while Marvel Premiere #15 shot up pretty quickly in high grades.

In terms of short-term comic investing and flipping, this is the last peak in which you want to snag a comic to flip. Actually, for quite a few comics like I illustrated in the rumor mill peak with Adam Warlock and Black Panther, this peak may already be too late in terms of short-term.

Confirmation could be a casting announcement, or confirmation of a movie or TV series in the works or a release date also. Usually this is not a time to sell if you're short-term investing unless you had this issue prior to the rumor mill stage. Once again, that depends on the comic in question and when these confirmations were announced.

The next X-Men movie premise and title was announced super early, even before Days of Future Past was even released in the U.S. Because it was naturally and rightly assumed that Apocalypse would in the movie due to the title X-Men Apocalypse, the once over-looked X-Factor #6 and first appearance of Apocalypse heated up pretty quickly.

Best time to snag it would've been shortly after Bryan Singer tweeted the news. If you had it prior, this could be a peak time to sell it also.

Trailer Releases: Although the confirmation peak and the rumor mill peak are the best time to snag certain key issues that apply to a movie or TV series, long-term investors still get certain comic investments during this peak.

Sometimes it's okay also depending on the franchise and key issue comic in question. Like Avengers #1 and Avengers #4 was perfectly fine getting at this peak.

Why? It's because everyone knew that Marvel/Disney had plans for an Avengers franchise and each member of the Avengers would have movie franchises that would lead up to the next Avengers flick. Also, those two Silver Age keys are viable long-term investment comics for sure.

If you had those comics prior to the rumor mill peak or confirmation peak, selling during the peak of trailer releases is fine also. If you're short-term comic investing and bought this during the rumor mill peak or the confirmation peak, this particular peak could be a sketchy time for you to sell.

It really does depend upon the comic in question, and it's hit or miss in terms of short-term flippers. Sometimes a key issue just doesn't move up enough to sell and get any kind of real profit during the trailer release peak. Sometimes it does.

Movie Release: Trailer releases is a time period that helps to build up more excitement for a movie, but the movie release can do this also for the back issue market. This peak usually happens when the movie is out in theaters.

For short-term comic investors who bought during the rumor mill or confirmation stage, this may be the best time to sell that short-term comic investment and get a profit back. Of course, this is not concrete, and some comics just don't move up enough to flip.

Comic collectors and even some investing in comics buy during this peak, and I don't get it. Well, I don't get it for some comics. For instance, X-Factor #6 is a key issue comic that wouldn't really be a great one to invest in during the movie release peak unless the movie hints at or establishes that the character of Apocalypse will be set up for a longer and grander scheme within the franchise like Thanos was during the first Avengers movie.

If it's just Apocalypse's one-shot movie and then poof! No more. I'm not quite convinced demand will continue to rise for X-Factor #6. I could be wrong though. After all, it is the era of Copper Age comic investments.

Then again, for books like the Avengers #1 and #4, I can see why they buy at this peak. Perhaps, they were saving up for the highest grade copy they could get or whatnot, but Avengers #1 is definitely no X-Factor #6, which was a Copper Age book that had very little demand before.

Sometimes the demand still continues after the release of a movie like the Avengers or a TV series like with Arrow and the first appearance of Deathstroke the Terminator. It really all depends on the comic and the character. Is he already a well established character like Captain America or is he like Deathstroke the Terminator?

In that case, when it comes to Deathstroke the Terminator, how is the character being used in the franchise and for how long? So far, homeboy is doing pretty good and will appear in Season 3, as well as plans for the character to cross-over into the Flash TV series also.

Most of the time, long-term comic investing only really cares about two peaks if you're buying. Those two peaks are rumor mill peak and confirmation peak. If you did not have a key issue comic before then, these two peaks, and the time in-between them, are the most ideal to invest in most cases.

If your selling long-term comic investments that you already had before any rumor or confirmation, any of the peaks are good times to sell them because you know you'll still make a profit. Like with the Marvel Premiere #15 that I got at least three years before it was announced to be a Netflix TV series, I could sell that during any of the peaks and still profit.

If you're buying comics as a short-term investment, you're going to be sensitive to all these peaks. Of course the best time to buy is to get it before any rumor or confirmation. If that's not possible, the most ideal is the rumor mill peak. Confirmation peak is the last peak you should be investing in and that means early in that particular peak. I'm talking mere days after in most cases.

Trailer release peak is not the time to buy for short-term comic investment. It's the time to study the market for that particular key issue comic investment. Are the trailers garnering a lot of excitement or not? You'll see it in the sales values that are in the sold listings on eBay.

If they're not moving up in a way to where you can make a profit during the trailer release peak, there's a good possibility that the comic as a short-term flipper may be a dud. Demand during this peak just may remain steady. Sure, copies are dropping, but the price really isn't moving up nor down on average.

Of course, there is still a chance that the movie could be a smash hit after it's release and demand could spike greatly for that particular comic you invested in short-term. Then again, key word is "could."

There's a lot of complications when dealing with short-term comic investing, and there's a lot of dangers. That's why I keep maintaining that the best short-term comic investors and flippers are comic dealers who know what they're doing, who are able to get mass amounts of vintage and valuable comics for next to nothing prices.

I know of no one else besides comic dealers who are making a full time living in short term comic investing. Zero. Are some people making money doing it? Sure, but there are also quite a few who are losing money doing it also.

I keep getting questions about when's the best time to sell. You must know the basic demand peaks in order to know the best time to buy and sell for comics to invest in that meets the kind of comic investing you are doing - Long-term or short-term. Also, whether you can make a profit or not off that comic investment.

This post touches upon the subject, but remember that every key issue comic in question is different and subject to different factors as well. Nothing is really a concrete rule, but the information outlined in this post can be a helpful guide. If you're hand is in short-term comic investing, I greatly wish you a lot of luck. 

If you missed Part 1, click the PREVIOUS link below. Thanks for reading and hope this helps.


  1. lol JW, I'm not keeping my asm 361's for the long term just a short term investment :)

  2. lol? I believe the dudes dog died GABE. What a DICK. Andrew love the site by the way

    1. I'll be more specific next time ANONYMOUS!!

    2. I don't think Gabriel was referring to JW's dog dying in that comment or making fun of him because of it. Misunderstanding.

  3. I was reffering to the fact that I'm one of the people hoarding copies of asm 361 for the short term, so don't assume things you know nothing about!!

    1. Before this gets entirely stupid and turns into one of those keyboard tough guy matches, I think Gabriel mistook JW for this writing this article maybe? I'm not quite sure how or why his name was brought up to begin with in this conversation.

      As for hoarding copies, nothing wrong with it. No need for anyone to take offense...that's something that most everyone knows is being done and has been done for quite some time. I have several copies of certain comics as well...namely X-Factor #24, just to use as an example that I used in this article. The amount that have been hoarding ASM #300 is probably other worldly.

      The point of the example is to illustrate the question of whether or not Carnage will be a huge enough character to sustain value after the movie is over and done with. Also, the point is I don't really know as well. Nobody knows what that franchise has in store for the character, so #361 could very well be a good long term investment if Carnage will be used in further movies.

      So JW didn't write this article, not sure why his name was brought up in the first place, and Gabriel was just explaining that he was planning on short-term investing for #361, though using #361 as an example of hoarding wasn't directly referring to him or anyone in particular.

      So just to make this clear, nothing in any of the articles on here is directed to anyone reading them unless I state someone by name. It has everything to do with the comics I'm talking about and the market place in the articles.

    2. its all good fellas think this was all a misunderstanding like mayhem says. but thanks for sticking up for me Andrew. no hard feelings fellas. Jeremy

    3. I apologize on my part as well but I hate when people jump to conclusions about something I say :( so thanks for clearing that up

    4. no prob, kind of reminds me when your kids and the teacher tells the first kid in line a sentence then pass it down and by the time it gets to the end it makes no damn sense. Gabriel by the way sound like you got some great comics in your collection from what I've read from these sites. I had no prob with what was said and I understand what you were trying to say. JW

    5. yeah lol it reminds me of the broken telephone game, thanks I try my best to own keys issues in the prices I can afford to buy them at as my goal is to become a millionaire by selling a million dollar comic. I'm not sure if I'll reach that goal but nothing is going to stop me :)

  4. Glad I found this site. Visited a few other comic investing sites, but this is by far the most explanative of them all