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Friday, December 12, 2014

Ramblings From A Comic Geek Part 3

That Green Lantern key issues list was enjoyable to write but a pain to execute. Old router keeps dropping connection or, as I like to call it, booting me off the internet after mere minutes of connecting to it. Not fun on that regard.

I haven't rambled in a long time, and my brain needs a good fart. So I've been talking a lot about getting comics graded by third party graders and whatnot. However, I completely forgot about all those in Canada and the U.K. and other places who submit.

Surely, the cost to get comics CGC'd or PGX'd or CBCS'd are a lot more to deal with for those submitting to the U.S. instead of within the U.S. Wiebes sent me an email and brought this to my attention recently.

At first, I think he wanted to give me an idea about an article to write, but his post was already really good that I didn't want to butcher it. So, if you're from Canada and thinking about submitting to CGC, click this link right here to find out all the extra other costs needed to take into consideration when getting a comic slabbed. Even if you're not from Canada, the article's pretty interesting.

It's the holiday season and Christmas and New Years is coming up soon. What does this have to do with comics? A lot! You see, most comic shops are running their holiday sales right now. Well, at least smart ones are.

Usually, they have one before Christmas and then another one around or a little after New Years. This helps to liquidate old stock to make room for new stock. This is the time when you can go and get some great deals at your local if you have one.

I got an Aquaman #11, first appearance of Mera, as a gift for Gerry's birthday for $20 bucks, and a Doctor Strange #169 for around $36 for myself. It was 20% off consignment comics and the Aquaman #11 was a VG and the Doctor Strange #169 is about a FN or maybe a FN+. If that sucker comes back a CGC 6.0, I'd already have some instant return on that as the average selling at the grade is around $135 to $160.

Also, apparently Benedict Cumberbatch was recently confirmed as Stephen Strange, so we shall see some slight boosts for Doctor Strange key issues. As for the Aquaman #11 first appearance of Mera, well, she is the wife of Aquaman and queen of Atlantis. Think she'll be in the Aquaman movie? Good chance.

So they're not all high grade. I've never claimed to be a strict high grade sniper. If there's room for a comic to grow in value enough to make a decent return, and if it looks like it'll be hitting a boost in demand, I'll snag it. Well, it does depend on the type of key issue as well. If the Aquaman #11 was only a GD, I wouldn't have gotten it. VG was my minimum grade, and believe me, copies of that issue aren't easy finds even at VG.

Anyways, thought it would be a nice gift to beef up Gerry's Silver Age collection and watch that sucker gradually increase. Aquaman movie is still quite a ways from being released after all, but once confirmation hits for that character, you should see that comic already up there in price. It's already gaining heat.

On a personal note, I've mainly been snagging comics that I've wanted or ones that I can get for under guide. That pretty much means slabbed or unslabbed, but it's awesome when I can get a slabbed one for well under guide. I consider that a steal and have been pretty successful. I don't care about the grade either.

As for movie speculation and comics, I'm less in the game concerning that currently. There are tons of over-looked comics at certain grades that are growing in value. As I've mentioned before, once certain comics reach a certain price at high grades, collectors start trickling down the grade scale for most vintage comics.

Also, there's this debate about 2nd appearances that's starting to irk me. Some are saying they're not worth it or what not, and my attitude is if you can get them cheap and you know that the demand will trickle down to the 2nd appearance of a character or a team that will get you a $100 return and up (after all expenses) from the price you bought it at, then why the hell not?

Yes, that picture of Brave and the Bold #26 - 2nd appearance of the Suicide Squad - is a hint, courtesy of Mr. Gerry D.

Just look at all the old Golden Age 2nd appearances of popular characters. They're pretty damn expensive now in mid to high grades. 1st appearances of major characters in the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and even Copper Age are becoming few and far between to get cheap at high grades. Unless, of course, you trickle down the grade scale for some.

The market is seeking out more 2nd appearances of major or major supporting characters for Silver and beyond, so what's the friggin' debate about? It's not like it's a new thing, hence my point about Golden Age 2nd appearances. Besides, you can still get quite a few 2nd appearances from the Silver Age and Bronze Age at super high grades for under $250.

Everybody's got opinions about comic investing or investing in comics for sure, but it's the results that truly matter. As far as I'm concerned, 2nd appearances of major or major supporting characters do have a good track record of going up in value. Just compare guide values through out the years. Sure, they may not go up as fast or quick as 1st appearances at the same grades, but a decent return on investment is a decent return on investment. 

And that's subjective at most. High Grade Snipers may think my $300 return on New Mutants #98 CGC 9.4 or Tales of Suspense #52 CGC 5.5,  or the $200+ return on Thor #165 CGC 8.0 or Fantastic Four #52 CGC 6.5 is chump change. No biggie, just the same as I think $30 to $50 return on Modern Age key issues isn't worth my time either.

A positive return is still better than losing money, but it's gotta be fun too. I know I've said many times I've gone over to the Dark Side, and that's true. I did for quite a while, but when it stops becoming fun and just all about the money, it gets tiring and not so fun pretty quick. Least it does for me.

There's so many things to enjoy about comic collecting in general. I love the hunt, and I love getting comics for under guide. If it's slabbed, I'll have a grin from ear to ear. Might even do a happy dance. 

The thrill of having a comic come back from CGC a higher grade than what you expected is pretty awesome also. Giving myself high fives is a usual occurrence when that happens, but hanging out at a comic convention or comic shop with your buddy or friends or family, especially the little kiddies, who all love to geek out on comics is perhaps the best. That's definitely a key issue I highly recommend.


  1. mayhem great article I hope there are lots of people are over looking key character second apperances so I can scoop them up. said awhile back 2nd key issues are a bargin and if you get a couple high grades and sell them then you can use that for the key 1st app. going to a show sunday in char nc. need to get that damn iron man 55. JW

    1. finally pulled the trigger and bought the comic in fine condition maybe better going to send it off to cgc after x-mas and see. JW

    2. Thanks JW. Yep, I remember you suggesting 2nd appearances a while back, a long with LK. Good call, man. Great snag on the Iron Man #55 and congrats!!! Crossing my fingers that it comes back higher. You never know, right? Great to hear from you as always and thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Great Article! ....not to mention that sometimes 2nd appearances are hidden gold like
    Marvel Superheroes 13 which I grabbed because it was offered to me for $5 (9.0) and
    how about TTA 35 2nd Antman (1st time in costume!) or Hulk 2 (1st GREEN Hulk) and they didn't
    even break the bank...but might soon! lk

    1. LK, thanks bro! There are all types of hidden gold in comics now, and while 1st appearances are still coveted comics to own, you were right about 2nd appearances. They are getting more play in the market.

      Good call on the 2nd appearance of Hulk in Hulk #2, I listed it in part 2, and TTA #35 will surely be in a future part as well. I think I recommended that one a while back in the Tales to Astonish key issues.

      Always great to hear from you as well, and sorry to all for the late replies.

  3. I have no problems with 2nd appearances as you know. One of the reasons I picked up Brave and the Bold #26 is because the price for #25 was way out of my price range. For example, there's an auction on eBay right now for a Brave and the Bold 25 CGC 5.0 that's up to $1750.00. That's a bit out of mine and many others price range for that book. It only cost me $55 for a nice unslabbed mid grade copy of #26 and spending that amount of money on it isn't a very big risk to me. With the movie coming out, and if it does well, I do believe that #26 has as much growth potential as #25 since #25 is already quite pricey.

    I also just picked up a copy of Batman 183. It doesn't hurt that it came in a lot that also had Batman 181 in it too.

    Thanks again for that Aquaman 11. It's way better than a new short box like I thought you were going to get for me. I put that puppy right into my key issues box and added it to my growing list of books to be graded.

    ~Gerry D

    1. I thought you made a good call on the Brave and the Bold #26, and the copy you got isn't too shabby looking either. You're welcome on the Aquaman #11. I thought it'd be a nicer gift than a short box. Not like short boxes aren't important, because they are.

      Oh, and the Batman #181 and 183 you recently snagged...MAJOR jealous on that one! Congrats in getting those for a super steal.

  4. I'm in total agreement with you on 2nd appearances and I would argue that for especially popular characters even 3rds or 4ths can be considered good investments. Origins are also on the rise.

    1. I agree on the 3rd and 4rth appearances as well. Only a matter of time before the market goes coo coo over those as well. Origins are heating up as well, so you're right on that call as well. Thanks for commenting, Jesse. Always good to hear from you and appreciated as well.