Wow! Now, this was an exciting set of auctions to watch last week. YOU get a Wolverine Limited Series #1, YOU get a Wolverine Limited Series #1, and YOU get a Wolverine Limited Series #1. I have never seen so many copies of one comic book sold in one day. So for that fact alone, this caught my attention, and I took notice. It is always interesting to see the same comic book, in the same grade, sell in the same auction because you would imagine they would sell for around about the same price. But that’s not always the case. I wanted to see what sold for more.
There seems to be a growing consensus that newsstands are rare and will always deserve a premium. Each collector has particular tastes and wants. Page quality and direct edition vs. newsstand are always factors. Let’s look at the auction results together.
We all collect how we want to collect; raw comics or graded “slab” comics. It’s what makes this hobby fun. Some collectors like to keep their collection raw and be able to read their comics, while other collectors like to preserve their comics through 3rd party grading companies for monetary or aesthetic reasons. To each their own.
The purpose of this article is not to tell you what you should do with your comic books, but rather show you what is going on in the market with recent sales on certain “graded” books. People say the page quality or newsstands does not matter. As this series continues, we’ll both find out how true or false this is.
I’m not going to spend too much time explaining page quality or the rarity of newsstands in comic books in specific eras. For the most part, I think we are all good here. But if you want a refresher on comic book newsstands, you can find it here. If you want a snapshot of grading and page quality, you can get it here.
WOLVERINE LIMITED SERIES #1 (1982)
Let’s talk about a bunch of recent sales that made me take a double-take when I saw it. What was once a $500-600 comic book just last year is now $1,300 +/- according to recent sales on GoCollect. As we already know, Wolverine Limited Series #1 is the 1st appearance of Yukio, a female ninja of Japanese origin and a supporting character of the X-Men, particularly associated with Wolverine.
Wolverine Limited Series was a 1982 4-issue mini-series created by Chris Claremont with art done by Frank Miller. It is the first solo Wolverine title and deserving in anyone’s collection.
Try to get a copy for $500-600 nowadays is almost impossible, as it seems the price is continuing to go up with the popularity of other Wolverine titles. In ComicLink’s May featured auction, Wolverine Limited Series #1 was available 5x in the grade of 9.8, four direct copies with one direct being off-white/white page quality, and one newsstand CGC graded copy. Let’s look at the results:
So four copies sold on the same day. One CGC copy sold for $1,100 with a bid count of 34 bids. Just 18-seconds later, another copy sold for $1,399, and 30 seconds after that, a 3rd copy sold for $1,330. Wow! Talk about a condensed auction. You blink one time, and you could have missed your opportunity to own this comic book.
Somewhere in between those three sales was the newsstand copy. It sold for $1,900 with a bid county of 39. That’s a big jump? We’re talking about a 600 +/- difference between a direct edition comic vs. a newsstand. Wow!
The 5th copy of Wolverine Limited Series #1 sold four days later for $850 with a bid count of 23. Why so low? Well, it had a lower page quality. It was a CGC 9.8 but with off-white/white pages hence its lower sales price. Interesting indeed.
Numbers don’t lie. Collectors know what they want, and, as a result, sellers should be aware of what can sell for a premium and what cannot.
You would think all 9.8 copies are equal, but they are not. Despite what some consider a niche market, newsstand comic books are definitely a hot commodity.
There you have it. Just another small (tiny) sample size of recent sales between varying CGC comic books in the same grade but different descriptions. Stay tuned for more of these examples to come as they happen. For the most part, I think this is what is happening in all auctions when it comes down to 9.8 copies with different page qualities. Newsstands are another variety and are hot. I don’t remember them being hot like this five years ago, but they are now, and they’re selling for bank.
As a result of collectors’ interest, newsstands and page quality are selling for a premium. Whatever type of comic you collect, I wish you luck in your comic book collecting endeavor. Until next time you comic book junkies…
Please share your thoughts about these CGC sales. Have you seen the same difference during your buying experience? Are you seeing the gap closing down or widening even further between direct and newsstand copies? Are you collecting more newsstands or direct comic books? Why? Let me know in the comments.
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