Although many collectors would criticize the 1990s era of comic book collecting as being overproduced (e.g., huge print runs, use of gimmicks such as polybags and holograms on covers), nostalgia is still an important factor when investing in comics printed during this period of time. We’ll consider a specific niche of 90s tv comics — first appearances of popular animated characters — below.
Simpsons Comics and Stories #1 (1993)
By most measures, The Simpsons is the most successful television show in history. It is the longest-running animated series and longest-running sitcom in American television history. The show has produced iconic characters and catchphrases, including the use of the word “D’oh!”
The first full appearance of the Simpsons in comic books occurs in Simpsons Comics and Stories #1, published in January 1993. I personally believe that this comic is undervalued, especially for raw copies. While the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of this is approximately $550 according to GoCollect, raw copies that appear to be NM are selling for $15 or less.
This could be a great opportunity to purchase several NM raw copies and submit them to CGC before Disney produces its next Simpsons film (in 2018, 20th Century Fox announced that a Simpsons film was in development). And yes, Disney owns the Simpsons too!
Beavis & Butt-Head #1 (1994)
Unlike The Simpsons and Futurama, the book that I believe has the most investment value is Beavis & Butt-Head #1, the first appearance of Beavis and Butt-Head in standard comic books. Like the Simpsons, these two animated characters (created by Mike Judge) are icons of the 1990s. Furthermore, and more importantly for investing purposes, Paramount+ and Comedy Central have big plans for the snickering duo. Comedy Central has announced a two-season reboot for Beavis and Butt-Head with Judge serving once again as writer, producer, and voice actor for the two characters. In addition, a movie adaptation has been green-lit for Paramount’s streaming service. Once this new content hits streaming services, nostalgia will likely drive collectors to their first appearance.
On GoCollect, the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of this book is approximately is $220 with a recent copy selling for $166 on August 26th. In addition, there are only 318 Universal Grade 9.8s on the CGC census. A 9.8 comic that contains the first appearances of two iconic characters for only $166? In my opinion, the comic book collecting community has undervalued this issue.
Futurama #1 (2000)
Another animation-related comic to consider is Futurama #1. Riding high off of the success of The Simpsons, Matt Groenig produced this animated series in early 1999. Although it could not match the success of its predecessor, Futurama received significant critical acclaim and received several Emmy awards.
Of the three comics discussed in this blog, I might stay away from this one for investing purposes. Surprisingly, according to GoCollect, the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of Futurama #1 is higher than Beavis & Butt-Head #1 and nearly as high as Simpsons Comics and Stories #1. In addition, unlike the Simpsons and Beavis & Butt-Head, there are currently no plans for additional Futurama content.
What do you think about investing in comic books related to animated series? Do you have any of these 90s tv comics in your collection? Please provide us with your opinions in the comments section below!