A Marvel State of Mind: Do We Expect a Comic Crash?

by Mike W

Marvel-State-300x157 A Marvel State of Mind: Do We Expect a Comic Crash?Comic books are selling at historic rates, nowadays. Popular titles containing characters such as the X-Men, Thor, Captain America, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man are selling at mind-boggling rates, despite being in a worldwide pandemic. With that, do we believe a “comic book crash” is coming into the near future? Or do we believe the prices will start to plateau? Let’s analyze the signs. Collectors and investors are shelling big amounts of money to obtain key issues for these popular Marvel characters. These individuals are buying them for their personal collection, while others are purchasing the titles as short and term investments. Currently, the sales of popular titles are surging at explosive rates that people could not imagined years or months ago. The influence and expansion of Marvel introducing more television and movies in the upcoming future play a prominent role in the increased value of comic books.

It’s an Explosion, Baby!

AmazingSpider-Man129-201x300 A Marvel State of Mind: Do We Expect a Comic Crash?

Marvel titles have never been more popular and the result is the value of key books is exploding. For example, one comic title that increased in a short amount of time is the Amazing Spider-Man # 129. This issue contains the first appearance of the Punisher. The Punisher, otherwise known as Frank Castle, is a Marvel character that recently had his own television show a couple of years ago. The show was on Netflix and it lasted two seasons. Currently, there is no confirmed news that The Punisher will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Though, the rumors are the primary reason in driving the value of the book.

In the last six months, the book’s value has increased tremendously. Every graded copy has at least a positive correlation of a 15% increase during this timeframe. For example, a 7.0 graded copy’s value has increased at crazy rates. The positive correlation is at 78.7% with about 18 sales. In September, this grade was selling at just over $1,000 and now in March, the book is almost clearing $2500 in sales. I do not believe that this title will crash or plateau until we get confirmed rumors. Otherwise, I feel the expectation of a title similar to this will continue to increase over time.

Let’s Analyze Another One…

X-Men-1-silver-age-198x300 A Marvel State of Mind: Do We Expect a Comic Crash?Another consideration on why a comic book crash might be pending is in this next example. X-Men, called “Mutants” by Kevin Feige, has been one of Marvel’s most successful and popular properties for as long as I can remember. The first appearance of this classic hero group is considered one of Marvel’s grail books to own for fans and collectors.

X-Men #1 is the issue that depicts the first-team appearance of the original X-Men. The team consists of Cyclops, Beast, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel, and Professor Xavier (X). This issue is a silver-age classic and a must-own copy for Marvel and X-Men fans. The book is very hard to find, in general, and even tougher to find in high grades. One can expect to unload a tremendous amount of money to obtain this book in a high grade. Currently, demand is super high due to the movie and television rumors of the MCU.

Soarin,’ Flyin’

The value of this issue is soaring due to the supply and demand of the current market. The print run is not as high as the Punisher book in the first analysis. With that, the value of this book is increasing at such a rapid rate. For example, a low grade of 2.5 has spiked with a positive correlation of 85.4% in the last six months. The grade only had six total sales. The scarcity in sales drives the increase in value of this book. Starting in September, a book in this grade was selling at around $5,000. The last time this grade was sold in March and it went for over $12,000! I truly believe going forward that this grade will consistently sell for over $10,000. The crazy demand and the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) will make collectors andMarvel-Logos-for-upcoming-movies-510x390-300x229 A Marvel State of Mind: Do We Expect a Comic Crash? investors drive the price of the issue. Every graded copy is experiencing tremendous increases in values. If I pulled the analysis from a year ago, I would expect the positive correlation to be even higher. The reality is time is on the side for collectors and the comic market tends to reward people to buy in early on key books.

What do YOU Think?

To sum up, if comic price values keep soaring like X-Men #1, then we could be heading to a comic crash. The rates are unsustainable and being in a pandemic will not make things better for everyone. If prices steadily increase like Amazing Spider-Man #129, then we are less likely to see a comic crash and could see values of popular titles keep reaching new heights. Otherwise, what do you think about the state of the comic market?

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72 comments

Harry Stone III April 10, 2021 - 12:57 pm

My favorite topic. The crash is coming and anyone saying otherwise is pumping books to sell. Minus Key Collector and Comic Tom, I haven’t spoken to anyone that thinks otherwise. All keys from all eras are getting posted for or selling at triple, quadruple or six times their historical prices. This growth wasn’t even gradual, it happened literally overnight in some cases. Classic Keys may not crash, but all of the Copper and Modern books that are hitting the historical prices of Silver Age keys? Crashing if I had to bet my life on it.

Wolverine 1 1982 9.8 was a 250 dollar book not long ago, now its over 1k. Wolverine 1 1988 was 140 dollars, now its 600. Amazing Spiderman 316 9.8 was 300 and now its almost 2k. Amazing Spiderman 238 9.6 was 400 and now its 1500. TMNT Adventures 1 9.8 was 250 and then hit 2k. So on and so forth. Now we’re watching Amazing Spiderman 315 get pumped as the first Venom cover decades later, I’m sure after those pumping grabbed up 30 copies for themselves.

Speculators are always retconning reality for profits. Why are we suddenly debating established firsts decades later? With great power comes great responsibility as the saying goes, and right now were seeing those with bullhorns and everyone’s attention irresponsibly speculate without going into the numbers. It reminds me of a wall street bro saying buy buy buy without every providing any insight as to why or ever telling you to sell. Would you follow that person’s investment advice? I think not. Many of these books were cheap for literal decades with good reason, there are thousands of them graded and hundreds of thousands in circulation.

So my question is, what sparked this explosive growth? What catalyst could possibly make overprinted books increase 6 fold in value? The whole idea that it was Wanda Vision is funny to me considering it was pretty terrible. The MCU has also been here for years and prices didn’t spike across the board until lockdowns. I think its stimulus checks, key collector, and boredom. Its a Gamestop scenario. Its a perfect storm, but storms don’t last forever. Paying 2k for a comic that has over 1000 9.8s simply makes no sense. Winter is coming.

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octoberland April 11, 2021 - 2:06 pm

I might be wrong on this just like you might. But I’m 100% on this mindset. I’ve said for months (now a year) that these prices are not _real_. These were all well known keys and they grew…rationally. I hear ‘deep pocket investors’ and think that’s the new pump-n-dump chant to keep pulling people in. IF this is truly deep pocket investors, those people do their research. They would never walk in and say, “I can buy Google for $XXX? Then it would be smart of me to pay $XXX x 3. Think of my returns!” They would instead look for smarter entry points. That’s how they make money. They don’t set never before seen peaks. THAT is when they sell.

I might be wrong but this is not real. That said, I do not think the bottom fully falls out. After all, they are key books. Many have been undervalued and deserved a bump. My suspicion is they fall back to those levels. I know I am selling into this storm and if I’m wrong, at least I reaped rewards from being in early on books even if I miss the high point.

– Craig Coffman

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Spider April 11, 2021 - 7:08 pm

Whilst I think it’s great we have all these new 30 year old collectors (and their youtube channels) coming into the market and really ‘energizing’ sales I always think back to 2009, now, I’m going to say a lot of collectors talking up books weren’t around in 2009 and the GFC and so didn’t seen what happened to GSX1…put it this way If you bought your GSX1 in 2008 you’re getting excited today because you could be breaking even…but to a lot of these guys they’ve never seen a comic drop value as we say in financial circles ‘past performance is not indicative of future returns’.

How about the great spec event of Capt America 3360 and crossbones? The year was 2015…the spec market was just warming up….same story as today, hunt the $1 bins, find a 1st appearance, watch slabbed copies jump to $250…and now? where are all the buyers putting their 9.8’s on insta? This was the equivalent of hawking penny-dreadful stocks.

How are those Walking Dead #1s going? Imagine paying $10,000 for that one!

my point is that books go down and too many of our loudest voices haven’t witnessed it and so think and speak as if it’s easy money.

When the drop comes though, you won’t hear or see the tears, the youtube channels and insta feeds will be quiet on that front (we don’t hear from all the folks who bought Gamestop at $300 on pure hype).

Read what you buy, buy what you love

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Justin April 10, 2021 - 1:57 pm

Inflation is the only thing I can think of. Collectibles, similar the stock market exposure is certainly one way to keep up with inflation. I feel a bit better currently with my money in collectibles than in the bank.

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:28 pm

good to hear. market is booming in collectibles. Is it sustainable?

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J April 10, 2021 - 2:09 pm

It’s absolutely coming. That doesn’t mean X-Men #1, which is a mega-key, will reach pre-Covid levels, but it’ll drop back down. I think it’s a long term hold book personally (but I own that book, so keep that in mind). I also think 90% of comics and collectibles will crash big time once everyone goes back to pre-Covid life. It’s not a matter of if it happens, it’s a matter of when.

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Harry Stone III April 10, 2021 - 5:48 pm

Preach.

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:32 pm

So you expect a crash or a flatline?

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Harry Stone III April 16, 2021 - 1:44 pm

A crash in price for people overpaying for comics right now, maybe a resultant distaste for comics combined with super hero fatigue and the end of lockdowns that will bring FMVs back to Earth.

Many people want to say that the MCU is to blame for recent spikes in FMV, but the MCU has been here for over ten years. Endgame and Deadpool were the highest grossing movies of all time, you would think that the interest in comics would have spiked a few years ago then no? Even my mother has seen Endgame 10 times at this point. When those movies hit, related keys did spike, which makes sense. But even then Deadpool’s first appearance didn’t hit the 3k mark after two massively successful movies dropped. I think everyone is overestimating the effect of the MCU to raise all keys across the board. Right now we’re seeing almost every key quadruple or more whether it’s a first appearance or simply cover art and whether its silver age or modern. It doesn’t matter if its Darkhawk 1, Spawn 1, Silver Surfer 4, Vengeance of Bane 1, Amazing Spiderman 121, TMNT Adventures 1, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu 19, New Mutants 87 or Ghost Rider 1. Now speculators have moved on to Web of Spiderman 1 this week, a 120 dollar key hitting 40 overnight. The list goes on and on. Are we really suggesting Vision and Wanda are what put comic speculation into overdrive? The comics spiking aren’t even MCU related. Marvel can only adapt so many comics. And what about DC and independents like Something is Killing the Children? Even the Dark Knight Returns 1 9.8 is breaking records. Is that MCU related too?

I was watching a 9.8 newsstand Hulk 345 a back in February. A personal favorite classic McFarlane cover but pretty much under the radar for most of its existence. It sold for 600 dollars or so. An already inflated but fair price if you account for the newsstand seller gimmick, the premium was usually a few hundred dollars for those that remember before all this craziness. The person that bought that comic just relisted it for 5k a few weeks after purchase. And that is exactly what is going on with the market and that is exactly the problem. Rampant speculation and flipping. This person didn’t buy this book because they wanted it, they bought it to cash in on this speculative frenzy. All you have to do is look at the serial numbers on eBay, you’ll see the same books being bought and sold monthly. You don’t need to be Sherlock to notice the same books over and over again. Or the rampant shill bidding and market manipulation as well.

Also, it should be noted that there is a mad dash now to get everything graded which is going to flood the market. There is a reason CGC and card grading companies are backed up right now. If you can buy a raw book like ASM 316, Wolverine 1, or Secret Wars 1 or 8 for 100 or 200 dollars, grade it for 50, then sell it for 1800, why wouldn’t you? I am already starting to see a ton of postings noting that they have “fresh cases” and “just back from being graded”. What happens when thousands out of the hundreds of thousands of New Mutants 98 come back 9.8? Or Ultimate Fallout 4? My expectation is a harsh drop in price for anyone paying 3k. The graded comic market is about to be flooded with high grade post Silver Age comics.

I grew up collecting comics and way too many sneakers in the 1990s. I have seen this before. Nike Dunk Sbs were huge in the early 2000s but they were also accessible. Then you had websites like Niketalk and Hypebeast come along pumping sneakers and Supreme. Next thing you know, people are literally sleeping outside of sneaker shops and Supreme in Manhattan. There were literal riots and people got stabbed. Sneakers that cost 75 dollars were going for 1k on ebay. Then quality went down and it stopped being fun, everyone stopped caring about the monthly sneaker drops for over a decade. The point being, when you have applications and youtube channels consistently talking about a hot new comic weekly, you start a speculation feeding frenzy. Mix in free stimulus money and half the country stuck at home reading up on comics, you have a perfect storm. I frequently point to Key Collector as part of this recent explosion. I just want to be clear, Key Collector is a super useful tool for researching comics, characters, and for quick price checks. Chris from Key Collector is a cool dude and I’ve spoken to him about the market. At the same time, I’m very surprised to see people not discussing the effect the application has on the market. You see it mentioned in listings and buyers reference it all the time. Years ago my local would talk about how people would come in buying anything off of the hot list and how they would call ahead, letting him know to check Key Collector then triple the price. While Hypebeast was similarly useful for reading about sneakers and getting drop information, it still caused a lot of speculation. Robinhood, while useful for making stocks accessible to retail investors, was criticized for making their application fun and like a game, giving people the feeling of being in a casino while investing in stocks. I think we’re seeing some “gamification” of collecting. I know that whenever I see an alert or an article, its a good time to post a book. For instance, an alert when out for the first appearance of spot in Spectacular Spiderman 98, a dollar bin book suddenly sold for 100 dollars. Spot is a literal joke of a character who was so bad that his creation handed the reins of the series to Peter David btw.

So what is the catalyst? Well the only new thing is Covid, the money saved, the boredom, and stimulus checks, The MCU isn’t new. I’m surprised to see so many people dismissing the importance of stimulus checks since they are actually intended to do exactly what they are doing: stimulate the economy. If anyone actually sells comics, they’ve seen a giant uptick in sales anytime a check hits. It might seem like a small amount of money, but I have friends that make 6 figures and have 4 kids. Those 4 kids still get those checks for some reason. That’s over 5k just from the last round alone. They have gotten over 10k in stimulus in the last year they don’t need whatsoever. So yea of course why not blow it on some slabs when everyone is yelling about them like they’re the next bitcoin investment? This isn’t a theory. I know its at least partially if not mostly responsible.

Lastly, and then I’ll stop writing essays in your comments, lets ask what exactly is a crash? Some books like Hulk 181 deserve to have an uptick in price. It makes sense with Wolverine coming to the MCU and being one of the most popular characters in pop culture let alone comic books. This comic will keep going up over the years even if it dips here and there. White Rabbit and Power Broker? Not so much. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 1 is the book where I started seeing the market get weird. I have my full run from when I was a kid but was missing issue 1. I had my eyes on it for a while and it was 250 dollars last September. Graded copies suddenly dried up, then it hit 600, then 800, then 2500 dollars. What caused this? Well Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 from the original series broke crazy records, which caused all surrounding titles like Raphael 1 to start breaking records. Key Collector posted Adventures 1 would be the next book to fly and then boom, we get to 2500. Meanwhile this book had a print run of 100k and frankly no one cared about it until that alert. You could buy NM raw copies for 10 dollars in 2020. Sales have recently dropped from 2500, to 1500 and then yesterday a 9.8 sold for 800 at auction. That’s a 1700 dollar loss in just a few months. Is that a crash? That’s almost a 70% decrease in value after a 1000% increase. What if the other books that have recently spiked with no good reason follow suit? If that’s not a warning sign of a bubble, I don’t know what is. I don’t think retailers are going to get hit like the crash in the 90s if that’s what we mean by crash. I think it will be speculators. If the stock market dropped 70%, people would be jumping out of windows and you’d think we were back in 2009. Wolverine and Punisher’s first might go up and down, but I expect many of these keys to go down and stay down. Personally, I’ll sit this out for a bit, I’m not trying to buy anything that might lose half its value in 6 months. Comics were great investments because they generally steadily increased in prices over the years, they didn’t sporadically go up and down on a weekly basis. I still haven’t read one rational explanation for everything quadrupling in price and then staying there. I think a lot of people in the comments are either sellers pumping the market or new collectors upset that people are telling them their investments are about to lose half their value. Lets be honest, this market isn’t monitored or regulated whatsoever which can lead to a lot of quackery to say the least.

Or, I will be eating a ton of crow in a year. In the meantime call me Mr. Negative.

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J April 16, 2021 - 8:50 pm

You make a great point about grading companies. What’s got their pressing services backed up 4 months? And grading is at 2-3 months? That’s going to be A LOT of comics coming onto the market in the next few months. It’s going to drive down everything, except probably Silver stuff because there just isn’t that much out there.

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Mike W April 16, 2021 - 11:30 pm

The key agreement is that the pandemic is the reason for the surge in prices in general, not just comics, but the collectibles market.
If anything, you could say the pandemic is contributed to many other things, such as the housing market craziness.
Do you believe there will be a plateau once the pandemic settles down?

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Harry Stone III April 16, 2021 - 11:48 pm

Not everyone agrees with us. People are dismissing the stimulus checks and saved income from being stuck at home. The need for dopamine hits from clicking buy while stuck in the house. And yea, its collectibles, bitcoin, nfts, all of that fun stuff. Remember Marvel cards being worthless a year ago? You could get a sealed box in November for 300 dollars. Now they’re 3k. Random cards are selling for 20 dollars. Holograms up to 100. Suddenly one day they just started flooding Ebay and Mercari. Why? Because they’re suddenly in so much demand? No. It’s a speculative frenzy that’s feeding on itself. Eventually it will give out.

Frankly, I think the discussion is silly its so apparent coming. I wrote about whats going on now back in November before it even fully started. Again, still waiting for someone to tell me why overprinted 90s comics are going for thousands. Because they’re hard assets? Comics aren’t gold. If the economy tanks, no one is going to want comics that aren’t remotely rare. Because of the MCU? Most of the books aren’t MCU related. Speculators are going to get caught holding a whole bunch of comics they overpaid for trying to make a buck. I think books outside of grails like Surfer, FF, Hulk 180 etc are going to lose 70% of their value and return closer to their regular FMV values. I should note, I’m just trying to be honest here. Writing all of this is against my best interest.

There’s a saying in investing. Bears get some, bulls get some, pigs get none. I see a whole bunch of pigs right now.

George April 10, 2021 - 3:25 pm

What proof do you have that any crash is coming? Can you compare the current situation to that of other comic crashes? That’s usually the way people try to back up their theories about financial crashes. As for whether the book is sustainable, that will depend on whether the money continues to flow into the pockets of the people who grew up with comics. The amount of money those in the 25-50 year old age group are getting is unbelievable. I can name 30 people who I personally know who have gained about $10 – 50 million over the last year based on their cryptocurrency investments. I know about another 50 people who have made a mint in various startups over the last 5 years. I know 3 others who are early employees in Coinbase who will likely be worth over 500+ million in the next week when the IPO hits (the company has 1200 employees and I hear a good number of them also collect comics and see them as a way to diversify their portfolios.

Honestly, I am a very anti-social person so if these are people I am friends with or have worked with in the past, I can guarantee its just the tip of the iceberg.

These peoples’ wealth allows them to pay whatever they want for a comic. As they pump money into the hobby, longer term collectors make a mint and reinvest back into other comics creating a virtuous circle for the hobby. In addition, these people are not buying the comics to flip them – its not worth their time. They want to put them into vaults, or hang them in the family room or man cave or simply stash them in their library with no intention to sell them. This takes comics out of circulation and thus theoretically drives up the cost.

Sooner or later, EVERY boom faces a reckoning so if you are going to try and call a bust you might as well make an effort to correlate it with other busts or correction and not just by your feelz. As for the idea that things will crash once covid settles down, I don’t get that reasoning. Stimi checks of $1500 does not drive these books into the stratosphere the way they have. I think the event that really correlates with the boom is the rapid increase in new tech and crypto millionaires over the last 3 years. Crypto was partly related to COVID, but its not turning down just because COVID recedes into the background

I just don’t see any correction happening in the near future. And if interest rates take off, it will just pump more money into hard assets like comics. When the inevitable correction does occur, a higher floor will have been established once everything settles down.

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Harry Stone III April 10, 2021 - 5:47 pm

The signs are all there. The people you know getting rich off of crypto are the exception, not the norm. People are becoming poorer decade by decade, not richer. The age group you are describing is actually known as the NINJA generation, no income, no job, no assets. They are crushed by student debt and living with their parents. And that is before the pandemic, which has only accelerated these issues. Many tech companies and crypto currencies are overvalued right now according to most analysts and logical measures.

What proof do you have that one isn’t coming? I do know this, you can look back at the crash in the 90s and see the effects of rampant speculation on the hobby. There was also the often forgotten black and white crash of the 1980s caused by speculating on independent comics after the success of TMNT. Those independent comics went from 50 dollars to dollar bins over night. The current situation isn’t remotely new. Speculation is healthy to some degree, but when prices quadruple overnight? Not so much. People think they are going to get rich off of comics, which they aren’t. People snapped up 10 copies of Amazing Spiderman 361 back then too and it didn’t work out so well for them until this year did it? People who might lose 75% of their investment value in the next year aren’t going to want to wait 30 years for them to rebound.

There is a reckoning coming for all markets whether its housing, the stock market, student loans or collectibles. Our economy is completely propped up right now by printed money and stimulus checks. Do you sell comics? If so, you had to have noticed your sales quadrupled in the last month. When the checks hit, sales go through the roof. People pay more than they should and they buy the most random books that normally sit for months. So lets not discount the effects of stimulus checks. The stimulus checks directly correlate with the inflated prices. If you sell comics, you know that. If you sell sneakers, clothing, books or anything really you noticed your inventory start flying whenever checks landed. Check out Nike and Amazon quarterly earnings last year for instance.

These books are not being stored away in vaults. The market is EXTREMELY liquid right now. People are buying and selling to flip and make a quick profit. When Key Collector shoots out a post, you will see multiple copies of that book hit the market and well over fair market value. Those same books get grabbed quickly. This is eventually going to hit a wall. And when prices start going down, which they already are this week, people are going to be stuck with comics they over paid for. Just like everyone that wanted to start buying into Gamestop after it had already taken off thinking it would hit 10k a share. Stonks don’t just keep going up btw, neither do comics.

A higher floor has been set for some of these comics. I’ll agree with you there, but that’s about it. Also I’m not sure what correlation you are drawing between crypto kids and comics. Are you implying that these prices are solely because of rich crypto investors blowing their money on comics? Sounds a little far fetched.

Also keep in mind, the end of the pandemic isn’t anywhere in sight with the variants we are seeing and vaccination issues. We likely have another year of this ahead of us. It’s a little hard to justify buying at these prices given the current situation and environment.

My questions to you are, are you buying these comic books after they quadrupled in price overnight? If so, can you explain how a comic with thousands of 9.8s and 9.6s is a smart investment right now? You really don’t think some kind of correction is coming?

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frank b April 11, 2021 - 3:44 pm

Don’t believe it is possible to know one way or another . But what I can say is that the people who are buying are well-off people , not ordinary people . There has been massive money pumped into the economy and some investments that are going up are being sold to buy comic books . They are motivated by the movies which will have a strong foundation and legacy is my guess . Maybe there will be a crash but I wouldn’t be surprised if we can 4x the prices or more from here before then . Overbought can become way overbought .

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Harry Stone III April 16, 2021 - 1:49 pm

Frank what makes you say its well off people? I have a neighbor who bought a Hulk 180 with a stimulus check and that’s just where I live. I can go on and on with these examples. Wealthy people buy stocks and homes, they don’t buy Amazing Spiderman 316 or Wolverine 1. Also wealthy people are wealthy because they are good with their money, they don’t pay ten times historical prices thinking that’s a good investment. My two cents.

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FRANK B April 16, 2021 - 2:49 pm

What condition was the HULK 180 ? And Hulk 180 ? That’s nothing to brag about . This whole market did not jump like this because of people like your neighbor that bought a Hulk 180 . Big deal . Sheesh . Not much logic in your argument and I think you know that .

Harry Stone III April 17, 2021 - 12:02 am

Where’s the lack in logic? And I’m not bragging, I’m just sharing what I’ve witnessed and giving an example of someone spending stimulus. The condition was an 8.0 and well under 1k by the way before all this seller echo chamber manipulation started about what a true first is.

I sell a lot of comics. I sold wayyyyyyy more when the checks hit. I speak to my customers. 95% of them are not wealthy. The majority of the comic market is not 10k plus grails. Ordinary people make up the majority of buyers. The majority of books that are widely circulated are relatively common bronze, copper and modern age books. They historically went for well under a thousand dollars. Now they do not. You can’t tell me its not stimulus because I know it is. Can you tell me what makes you think rich people are suddenly investing in Secret Wars 8, Wolverine 1, and ASM 316, 194, 238 etc when they are heavily printed? Wouldn’t they be putting their money into actual blue chip silver age comics which are reliable and not volatile?

The people feeding the market are the same people that were buying fractional shares of Gamestop on Robin Hood with their stimulus checks. Or was that all rich people too?

Spider April 17, 2021 - 12:37 am

Love your thinking Harry. To someone with wealth, Buying a Hulk 181 at $10k and selling at $20k, I don’t want to sound flippant, but so what! That $10k would have been earnt in the stock market in the past 3 weeks in a managed fund without any effort at all. It’s play, excitement in a time of being stuck at home.

Previously the darlings of this market (H181, GSX1) have performed very poorly during the GFC and took massive losses and I can see losses to both blue chip (which will eventual rebound, just like 2008 prices have returned i.e. Hulk 181) and non-blue chip comics may never return to these heights.

moodswing April 11, 2021 - 8:19 pm

A lot of people keep on bringing up the 90s saying the same thing will happen. Times are very different. A lot less collectors, more shops, didn’t have Disney and graded books. Will the market crash? I don’t think so. Will the market correct itself…most likely. Books doubling overnight is not sustainable. Steady increases are fine but already expensive books going for 3x what they were going for is crazy. If you are buying a lot during this time, you better immediately flip it. As a collector, it almost makes me want to sell but I like my funny books.

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Harry Stone III April 16, 2021 - 1:50 pm

Agreed. Speculators are in trouble. It’s already started. Some of these comics that quadrupled are already significantly trending down.

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octoberland April 16, 2021 - 2:33 pm

Do you have a list of these books? I’ve been wondering exactly that but I do not know how to survey a wide swath of books. I’m stuck just one title at a time and then I am only getting data on books I know which eliminates the outliers I’m not thinking of. That would be a great tool for GoCollect, BTW. I love digging in to the non main page for a book, but I’ve not found that feature or I’m missing it.

– Craig Coffman

Harry Stone III April 17, 2021 - 12:09 am

A paid Gocollect subscription is an extremelyyyyy useful tool in follow comics. You can search by time frame and see whether a book has increased or decreased and by what percentage. I highly recommend it.

Also, Ebay saved searches. You can save 200 searches. Just follow the insane prices being listed and the sales.

As for titles I noticed on the downswing, I stated above that I noticed the market get funky with TMNT Adventures 1. Spawn 1 Newsstand as well. Those were the first wave of crazy in this mess. Which led to a bunch of copies being graded which are now flooding the market. You couldn’t find graded 9.8s for a month for both of those, then they went over 2k. Now there are 10 on eBay at the same time and prices have dropped precipitously. There is a massive backlog for CGC. I spoke to Josh from Avery pressing and he had to stop taking submissions for pressing. His pressing services are backlogged three months, then another three months for CGC. 6 months from now is going to be a disaster.

octoberland April 17, 2021 - 7:32 pm

Thanks! FWIW I have been a paid subscriber for nearly 7 years now. I’ve used the analyzer (date range) and modeler tool. I agree they’re very helpful! I was more asking if there was a bulk type search as opposed to 1 book at a time. I’ve been working on more ‘loose’ eBay searches to watch to try and gather many related titles. Unfortunately with everything be a ‘key’ right now that term is nerfed.

I appreciate the thoughts in input throughout this thread. While I like hearing the other side and have picked up a few new angles to help explain this current situation, I am still firmly in your camp as I commented to you initially. Do not get me wrong, I’d love this to be a forever situation as it’s doing wonders for me right now. But I’m taking the opportunity to cash out on many, many books. If I am wrong, I’m wrong with more money than I started with. I can sleep easily with that.

– Craig Coffman

Fred April 10, 2021 - 7:03 pm

My 2 cents. As long as the mcu is popular and making hits the market will increase. You now have millions of people who grew up watching the mcu and have disposable income. This is a worldwide fanbase that is coming back to comics or discovering them for the first time. Look at halloween. Half the kids are wearing superhero costumes. You have a finite supply of high grade gold and silver era books. You have ecommerce and slabs making comics more liquid and that makes a rare comic a good store of wealth with upside. You have a change over from older characters to newer characters. You have the general acceptance of nerd culture. You have people looking for alternative investments. You have a relatively small market that can be easily manipulated by real capital investments. You have decades of ip with moderns coming out every month on top of that. You may see a correction, which is a sign of a healthy market, but i don’t see a crash. I don’t see a sell signal on the horizon. This is all happening during a pandemic. As the economy revs up post pandemic i see blue ocean. As always you have to be careful, invest in blue chips, some moderate growth comics and a small amount in spec. And treat it like any other portfolio. You have to be careful, do your research, and look at the census. Buy what you like and be prudent. I still think you can find value in silver age journey into mystery, tales of suspense and talesto astonish. At least until new collectors figure these titles out.

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J April 11, 2021 - 10:21 pm

Fred, those are all good points. But none of those are the catalyst. The catalyst for all of this is Covid and the various lifestyle changes because of it. MCU has been around for over 10 years and there wasn’t this kind of dump until Middle to Upper Class people unaffected by Covid (remote work, etc.) were bored with freed up income. That’s the catalyst. Superheroes have been popular for 5 years at least–I mean, we’re going on 13 years since Iron Man 1–but it wasn’t just a sea change. It was freed up time, freed up money, and stimulus checks. I’ve personally sold three items, all big money, where the buyer asked for me to wait until the stimulus check cleared. Sure, I can wait. Some keys will stay or drop a bit, but the idea that these are all collectors? Uh uh. They’re speculators trying to get rich quick. And there’s going to be a fallout for those buying into the hype that the sky’s the limit i.e. Gamestop, bitcoin, all other cryptos now worth nothing. I’m all for collecting, but it’s rampant speculation that force a lot of people out.

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Robert H April 12, 2021 - 2:42 am

Wrong Jay, the comic market will not pop, it won’t even correct for 3+years…plenty of people with money, and understanding the amount of product in the sports card world with pop counts that are 100X the world of comic books and way more cards are worth $1,000+ than comic books, there isn’t a damn bubble in sight. Comic fans growing to maybe more than sports cards fans are…and people just don’t realize the 2021 population of the earth, and people ARE NOT POOR. More people than ever and more people than ever with plenty of money,. AND ITS NOT BECAUSE OF ONE DAMN STIMULUS CHECK WORTH LESS THAN RENT DRIVING A MARKET. You bubble dorks need to expand your mind and do better math.

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FRANK B April 15, 2021 - 9:39 am

@Robert exactly man . Everybody is talking “stimulus check” like that is what is causing a $10,000 book to triple in price .

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Mike W April 15, 2021 - 10:25 pm

Well, the stimulus check was meant to bring money back to the economy. Not sure if the majority of people who receive stimulus checks and would use it for savings.

FRANK B April 16, 2021 - 9:37 am

@MIKE W Totally did not get your point . Not sure you got mine either .

Mike W April 16, 2021 - 11:27 pm

Care to explain?

Harry Stone III April 16, 2021 - 1:53 pm

Most comic books are not 10k plus. It depends what we are talking about. Action Comics 1, Batman 1, Hulk 181 etc are obviously going to keep trending up. I think the article is discussing how literally almost every key issue has quadrupled in price. Some have increased as much as 1000%. And these are often obscure characters, dollar bin books, or over printed comics from the 90s. These comics were historically low for good reason. These comics went from 250 dollars to 1500 over night. That’s all stimulus.

FRANK B April 16, 2021 - 2:45 pm

@HARRY no you guys don’t get it . It is stimulus but not stimulus check . One or two stimulus check did not do all of this . The big money is coming from elsewhere . I am done here . You guys can keep climbing the wall of worry while it 4x from here .

Harry Stone III April 17, 2021 - 12:15 am

Are we talking apples and oranges here? What big money? Where is the big money coming from? If we’re only talking about super expensive comic books, obviously big money is entering the market to buy Action Comics #1. But what about the rest of the comics that make up the larger market? Big money is swooping in to grab up Secret Wars #1? What makes you say that? It’s not a wall of worry, I’m not buying anything right now. I could just blog about how the market is never going to crash and sell off my comic books for insane profits but that wouldn’t be honest. I hate to see people buying into something at prices that they shouldn’t. Who wants to lose a few thousand bucks in a couple of months?

Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:34 pm

Do you believe people will have superhero fatigue?

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Matt April 10, 2021 - 11:02 pm

The meat of this article is at, “Collectors and investors are shelling big amounts of money to obtain key issues for these popular Marvel characters. These individuals are buying them for their personal collection, while others are purchasing the titles as short and term investments.” This is where more research needs to be done. After said statement is just obvious data.

Firstly, I do not believe a crash is coming. This is the norm. Simply take a look at the catalyst, Ultimate Fallout 4. Everyone remembers what happened. Practically everyone believed last summer that the $1500 peak for a 9.8 would drop back down. It slipped to around $1000 for a handful of months, but look at it now at $3000+. This right here is all the data anyone needs to know that a crash is not coming.

Secondly, have you guys been paying attention to many of the comic and CGC Facebook groups? How many times have we seen someone say they’re new or returning to comic collecting and would like to know what to buy. There are droves of new collectors and investors that are playing catch up buying up whatever content creator or writer says is their hot top 10 list. These new collectors and investors are a huge reason why prices are skyrocketing. Don’t underestimate the quantity of new buyers.

Thirdly, many collectors can’t handle FOMO, and delayed buying so many cheap keys for many years like the first appearance of Omega Red and Darkhawk 1. Old timers too are playing catch up as prices just keep skyrocketing after liftoff.

Fourthly, go look at the sports card industry and PSA 10’s which are equivalent to CGC 9.8’s. Many rare sports cards command prices in the tens of thousands of dollars and these same collectors are seeing that some of comic book first appearances are less than $5000. They’re looking at 9.8’s and seeing how relatively cheap many are and are jumping at them like it’s pocket change.

Lastly, when many of us think of a comic book crash, we vividly remember the over saturation and depression of the comic industry from the 90’s into the 2000’s decades. Back then there was no internet and eBay sold prices and multiple top 10 lists to obtain industry news and research from. We only had Wizard magazine and our LCS, that’s it. Nowadays, information is readily available and practically everyone knows the price of any book that is sold online in seconds. Technology now will not allow a crash to happen. A plateau, yes, but no crash. This is also why talking about the number of raw or 9.8 copies out there in the wild or any one book is a moot point. Aren’t there over 1.7 million copies of Spawn 1, so then why are 9.8’s commanding over $275? As sellers know this is a hot market and price books higher than the last sold price, new collectors will bite no matter the number of copies printed. Everyone knows everything now, there are no more secrets and deals to be had. Everything is either FMV or “overpriced” due to technology.

I just can’t see a crash happening because for each collector that has the self-control to withhold and let a book drop in value, there will be another collector willing to take the leap and create new record breaking sales.

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:35 pm

I have heard the collectible department has been booming, not just comics. A plateau is a good scenario as money will keep going into the economy.

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Spider April 14, 2021 - 11:54 pm

‘for each collector that has the self-control to withhold and let a book drop in value, there will be another collector willing to take the leap and create new record breaking sales.’

That’s pretty much the definition of a bubble…and then they pop when the finite amount of speculators stop buying

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Matt April 17, 2021 - 6:48 am

Spider: Can you explain further how that is the definition of a bubble? The definition of a bubble is simply when the current quantity of buyers vastly outnumbers the sellers suddenly flips to more sellers than buyers. Do you have data or evidence that proves the amount of speculators will stop anytime soon? I made the argument that the stream of new hobbyists and collectors will continue, contributing to rising prices as they play catch up. How do you know new hobbyists and collectors will suddenly stop?

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Harry Stone III April 17, 2021 - 11:13 am

I’ll give my two cents. I respectfully disagree.

The influx of speculators is due to covid. When everyone is able to go back to bars and go on vacation, they are no longer being given money to gamble with, and all these newly graded books come to market, the game is up. People that have been collecting comics for years will remain along with some that will stick with it. Prices will level out. There is a reason online gambling and retail stock investing has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Freed up money and boredom. What makes you think that the flow of collectors and these prices will keep going up?

Because Ultimate Fallout 4 hasn’t crashed yet, a crash isn’t coming? I’m not seeing the connection there. That just looks to me like the bubble just got that much bigger. When all those graded copies come back from CGC in 3 months, people who bought at 3k are going to get hurt up. Kind of like a stock split that never ends.

As for your Facebook comment, well you’re kind of proving the point of the naysayers. The recent explosion is due to visiting speculators, not collectors that have been around for years. Do you think they’ll stick around when the value of their investments start dropping? Kind of a bad time to jump into buying investment grade comics right now. I don’t know anyone that has collected comics before 2020 that is paying 1k for Wolverine 1 or 2k for ASM 316. We know better. You’ve been a collecting for a while it seems, are you buying at these prices? Why?

As for technology, I think you have it backwards. Technology won’t allow for a crash? Technology is what is going to cause the crash. Everyone glued to their phones getting alerts on speculation while they’re bored as home. Speculation is fun and all until your 3k slab is worth 1k. Out of control speculation combined with an unregulated market is a perfect recipe for a bubble. Like a pump and dump scheme.

Talking bout CGC census numbers and print runs is a moot point? That makes zero sense. Supply and demand is a pretty basic concept. Most of the books flying right now are not Silver Age grails that are rare let alone in high grade. When there are millions of copies out there that can potentially increase a CGC census ten fold, that matters for price. I have heard stories of boxed of NM copies of 90s comics being pulled from storage. That is definitely the case for New Mutants 98. I’ve even heard and read stories about boxes of Xmen comics from the 70s and 80s being found. The point is, if the end of lockdowns and stimulus checks doesn’t drop these prices, the rush to grade comics will drop prices.

There is very little self control right now. People aren’t buying to hold, they are buying to flip. This isn’t some mad dash to store away comics for man caves due to Wanda Vision. Where was this market reaction after Deadpool, the highest grossing R rated movie of all time, and Endgame, the highest grossing movie of all time? Why now? Covid. What we’re going to be seeing soon is the equivalent of a bunch of scalpers outside Madison Square Garden with a handful of tickets and no one to sell to.

Winter is Coming.

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Spider April 17, 2021 - 7:00 pm

Like any boom, you run out of ‘those people willing to take the leap’, it’s herd mentality (the stock market works this way certain times on certain stocks).

We are a community of collectors and we move as a herd (with outliers of course, there’s always that one guy collecting Hembeck sitting happily in the corner giggling). At a point the community sees whats occurring, takes a pause and collectively there is a lack of ‘people willing to take the leap’ (support the current price…or they move onto to something else to ‘leap at’.

Speculation is high reward for high risk in any market, we are no different. So readers only have to concerned about very specific, highly inflated purchases, Harry’s examples are true: I love ASM#316 and have always considered it undervalued (my copies were purchased at $40 and $90) but when you see the graded 9.8 quadruple over a short period of months then it’s easy to see that such a rapid ascent will be matched with a similar decline eventually.

now, excuse me…I have to go bid on these Pip The Troll Warlocks that my friend told me could possibly, maybe be in a future show that someone on youtube told me about (whilst getting income from subscribers and likes)…sounds like a reasonable and sensible ‘investment’ strategy 🙂

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comicbookcollect.wordpress.com April 11, 2021 - 9:21 am

Great topic! Please write a follow-up blog to this in 6 months.

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:36 pm

sure thing man.
What do you think will happen in 6 months?

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Kenloi April 18, 2021 - 5:18 am

World war caused by angry queues of comic hunters morning time that coincidentally concides with new comic book day releases, death of the atmosphere through pollution of speculators burning their comics to keep warm, the return of the messiah that happens to be a superhero that all marketing companies can exploit with a new found superpower, discovery of aliens living in portals in comic shop backrooms searching through issues of hot back issues to hoard, or perhaps the devaluation of monetary paper money and everyone dances around open fires in a pagan circle shouting ‘Stop this nonsense I’m getting off planet earth to start somewhere else…..’ where commonsense prevails… for a while….

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Mike W April 18, 2021 - 11:25 am

right…………. I see the timeline now on why comics are now being graded more than ever….

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Arinya April 11, 2021 - 10:41 am

Not sure if the hobby is going to all out bust but probably most likely correct itself unless we have a huge economic crash which is a whole other subject. Seems that the current spike is a mix of so many things that I don’t see just one thing going away creating an absolute collapse. You have the straight speculation boom. More and more people are joining the hobby so the demand is driving the prices up. You have nostalgia. 80s/90s kids are now adults seeking out their childhood heroes. You have pop culture. For years people have been saying that there is super hero fatigue at the theaters. These movies still draw huge numbers post and pre pandemic around the globe with people seeking out these books. You also have an entire new generation that has greater access to pop culture and comics with some of them seeking out back issue comics. I’m not into economics or pretend to understand how our global economy works but it just seems that the hobby of collecting comics has reborn from the ashes strong and multifaceted. I agree that things will cool down but the reason it’s going full speed is more than one. So if those reasons start to weaken it won’t extinguish the flame entirely.

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:36 pm

Interesting comments. With no crash in sight, when do you expect collectibles to plateau?

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jhgodfrey April 11, 2021 - 1:11 pm

I think you are missing a word in this sentence—an important word” “Marvel titles have never been popular and the result is the value of key books is exploding.”

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:38 pm

Marvel titles are very popular and exploding, but some independent titles have also caught fire. Titles such as Something is Killing the Children, Ice Crea Man to name a few. Speculation is a driving force and collectors will keep searching for the next booming title.

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Spider April 14, 2021 - 11:57 pm

Mike…’more’….you need to add the word ‘more’ into the sentence. 🙂

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Mike W April 15, 2021 - 10:24 pm

More as in More, or as in Much More?

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Jay April 12, 2021 - 4:36 pm

I will say this, I restarted collecting comics heavily last spring. I have created a collection of key silver age books (af15, x1, hulk 1, ff1) and key bronze (181 and gsx1)and copper (tmnt 1 1st print only) using stock market proceeds. 1-3 copies of each book. I use to read comics but barely and haven’t collected anything in 20 years. I also have added some moderns of key characters for the future but not as many. I don’t plan to sell any of the older grails. I may sell some of the modern books but not for a few years. I don’t know what happens post covid but I think for me collecting has been fun and these older books care value as well. Just so much cooler than other vehicles for investment. I like that it is a hard assets also. I don’t really care if they go down in value and enjoy having them and most of it came from me redirecting investment proceeds that would normally go to stocks or profits from stocks. Again others may aim to flip but that is not my goal. I am creating a portfolio and from the 20-30 people I have met this past year alone I don’t get the impression that more than 3-4 of them are doing that most are keeping what they have and enjoying it!

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:40 pm

interesting point of view. Anybody who got grails in the early years is really set up well for the future. What do you think of passing down your grails to your children?

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Jay April 16, 2021 - 7:49 am

I do aim to hold the bigger books that I have collected. I have worked hard to find the right copies of these books so I have no interest in flipping them or anything like that. I am happy to have these books. I also want to point out that the “checks” that have been sent out are not the only form of money being given to the public as a way of saving the economy last year. Right or wrong the government took quick action to help businesses as well as business owners with alot of free money too and those dollars were huge. Also don’t forgot in general people collect things and that brings them joy. I think last year drew out many new collectors and old-sorta-high school-raw-book-collectors-but-now-adults-with-money collectors. Maybe is was the pandemic, maybe sitting at home watching the mcu remind people what matters to them and brings the joy. You collect what brings you joy. I don’t see this receding. The pandemic changed something about collecting tangible items also. I feel like that has been fused into people. It certainly has into me and I doubt I am the only one.

PS – sorry for my ‘hello’ above, that was a test because I didn’t see my other post post.

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Mike W April 16, 2021 - 11:23 pm

lol Hello!
Checks were made to stimulate the economy as a whole and that includes the businesses as well.
I think we are in agreement that the pandemic definitely contributed to this uptick in the value of books, as this would not spiked this crazy due to the pandemic.

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Kenloi April 13, 2021 - 5:23 am

At the end of the day we have the optimists and the pessimists. An obvious statement. Too much of a good thing? Too good to be true? Probably if we put all these opinions together a part answer may occur. From where we are now there are multiple paths branching off and no answers until it happens. A cryptic opinion as usual. Sorry. What we do know so far. Marvel disney and Dc amongst others have grand designs to push into the entire world to maximise profits long term. There seems to be money on the table from the general public. People in extreme poverty are not thinking about buying comics even with government cheques. Their money is generally spent on just surviving day to day. Boredom from the Covid year and more access to the internet could have created a FOMO which did not exist before. A piece of the pie. Everyone wants it. In the 90s the internet wasnt really the animal it was today. Turning hobbyists into business people. Easy money comes more taxes unless you have a clever accountant. Worldwide creates more wealthy investors with money which could be deposable and written of as tax expenses.Massive price rises on comics is certainly due to internet access research and more and more ego announcers telling us what could be hot. FOMO. This is in the form of entertainment which we the people have been soaking up as it can be enjoyable to watch. Be it fact or not. Print runs i dont think are important really apart from a lot of 90s comics with lousy art and stories. Market crashes always happen when we least expect it even when doomsayers have been saying so. Anything is a risk be it the housing market which always recovers to stocks and shares that generally recover with a few exceptions. Comic prices when new were always low, only a few dollars until Ebay dictated otherwise to the comic shop owners. Extra profit is deemed necessary. Leading to bad feeling in the comic buying public. Yet some of this buying public want to buy low to put on the Bay for massive profit and try to avoid paying taxes. As they are not a business. Yeah right. Greed both ways but excepted. All the commentators above are probably speaking wise words from their perspective and true from their viewpoints.There will be a cut off point for these staggering comic prices but not for all comics. So this is not a confirmed crash just a reconfiguration of prices possibly. If a crash happens all that will happen is people will offload bad choice comics ahd they will be snapped up cheaply untill the trigger for the next economic comeback with all new levels of higher pricing.Once again comic hoarders / collecters will have a chesire cat grin. From what i can see here maybe the largest influence seems to be the internet and ebay the main culprit in good and bad ways. Shut down the internet lessen the greed influence.This will not happen so are we all heading for the pit of fire or will progression say otherwise. The as of yet unfigured equation to this story….

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Mike W April 14, 2021 - 11:43 pm

That is the spirit of a free-market economy.
So you do not think a crash will involve sellers getting rid of nice grails?

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Jay April 13, 2021 - 10:09 am

Hello.

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Kenloi April 15, 2021 - 7:00 am

Depends. If a person needs the money they will sell grails if forced to. Others will snap up cheaply. Time normally shows that all grails will rise again from the flames of the pheonix. If they can, wait and hold if a crash comes.(.Many true collectors hold their hard found books dearly to their chests and will go down with them if the ship sinks)

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B the beginning April 13, 2021 - 10:36 pm

lets look at logic , if a comic is worth 1 million, basically people who can afford it are those who have more money. looking at the lower prices compare to 1 million the only way to sustain it is by having more money than whats the price tag. so the question is how many people have that money ?, are you telling us that a lot of people making the % of population are able to divert their resources for them to gain ? how much people are there willing to use money they dont have in buying stuff for possible gain “when” you know the money will stop. to summarize it when the stimulus checks stops so is this circus. the sad thing about comic books their is no regulatory body that oversees this transactions , hey everyone needs extra bucks i get it, i can say a lot are buying comic books that they usually cant afford. it will take a lot of people with normal money and money they have to sustain this. same way as saying if the stock market is such a good place to make money why arent everyone in it ….. so is comic books , the real collectors same as me im sure have already stop buying at this horrible prices , your saying new mutants 98 9.8 is now selling at 3000 usd is sustainable when silver/bronze age comics which have lower print runs and harder to find is cheaper ???? , the defunct logic coming from someone saying this is sustainable is defining everything is fine or will work fine. now when you include movies its dumbfounded not to add the fact that their are flops , tell me ghost rider movies sucks but the comic still are ok, when you look at eternal warrior 1 , bloodshot film sucks the comic book folded. if this aint already showing the real deal is that real collectors in the end controls this market and not some speculators who needs a quick buck. so dont be delusional in thinking this is the blue ocean or good investment whatever , because aside from comic book market is a small market having gone through a lot of diversifying and is still so because of one thing … the need to make money by their creators/owners/publishing rights. you have taken out the most important factor in this equation and that is the collectors , who sees and make this market have value. to summarize the value of a comic book will depend always how much the buyer sees it , venom 3 prices going for 400-500 now but i got mine at 125 just 2 weeks ago …get the logic? when everywhere else is paying much money for what ??? knull? have you seen how the comic ended … so lame for me, are you going to see in the future how knull will rise again being a normal villain.. i dont see it clearly , his run is over for now. then nobody talks about knull till in the end the ones buying are those who collects because …. they like knull everyone else just dont care, you get the comic market??? the end

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Kenloi April 15, 2021 - 6:44 am

To ‘ b the beginning’, interesting comments but i didnt find very logical. Your comments are really just speculation on a few books. I hope you are a collector and reader as well. Every market only happens due to what the public will pay at their fair market value be it housing or other physical products. Anyone can add an extra $50,000 to their house selling price, they may or may not get it. Just because we see a $100 book expensive it doesnt mean it is to someone else wealthier than you willing to pay for the privilege. Also to a person with less will know they would not pay that because they cant afford it. There are always people wealthier and with less. I believe this current market is attractting too many new speculators and are seeing comics only as a making money platform. They have no idea on characters, stories, writers or artists or history. These people are not sustainable and once burnt a few times will move on or dip their toes in slowly next time. Learn from experience. This is due to our current climate. I dont know why we are wrapped up in print runs. Yes it is interesting to know but.are irrelevant really, as n. mutants 98 1st deadpool is 40 years old with a plus 1000000 print run and has deserved its medal for its current price despite being a Liefeld character. We are presently comparing comics with movies as in this media age this equals new movie, buy the comic with that character in, sell, make money. Not everyone feels this way. FOMO is pushing this phenomenon. There used to be the 25 year age for a comic to mature then go up in value. This does not apply to most age comics anymore due to media influence. Some will peak then drop, wait a few years then rise and peak again. We always compare things from our perspective but the next persons experience is totally different to yours. Movie producers are now pushing characters and stories from other eras, silver age etc and people are buying these comics with stupendous comic hikes. Any high grade nm copies can go for astounding amounts and people are buying. So although modern comics are crazy prices this could be due to new speculators (i wont call them pumpers and dumpers today) with smaller amounts of money to burn that i still dont believe are all government cheque money. I except some may. Comics were never meant to be an investment they were meant to be read then thrown away. There is the change in our thinking…. Other commentators will be able to say when this became the issue as i dont know. I believe Action 1 (1ST Supes) was only worth $700 in the 1970s or 1980s. The comic market itself some say is small perhaps it is but with potential for tremendous growth and i believe is growing with many branches and paper printed comics are important. I would not buy only digital comics or whatever a NFT version is, along as a printed copy was still available. Knull is presently only a marketed and promoted villain with hints at the future that is why he is at this price. Writers usually introduce a new character with impact then drop the character back a bit. Then reintroduce them again.Nothing unusal there. Current FOMO. As he could be big in a few years and beyond. I would only buy a venom 3 if i wanted it raw at a few dollars, read and hoard for the future. The buyers control the market be they collectors, speculators, pumpers, government cheque speculators or readers. No buyers no market, no money, no profit, move on…The market will survive as its going global. People love material things until we are convinced otherwise in the far future. Hopefully…….

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Mike W April 15, 2021 - 10:23 pm

I would buyers do control the market to a certain extent. The grading companies have grown to a strong influence since they appear to dictate a character’s value. For example, the first appearance of Wolverine; whether you believe it is issue 180 or 181; it does not matter, since the grading companies dictate that and that is what the buyers go after.
Your thoughts?

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Kenloi April 16, 2021 - 8:31 am

Many die hard collectors are now dictating to the grading companies where a first appearance may be and cgc/cbcs are obliged to research it for a better answer. I believe most characters of age are established by the comic community and the graders would have little influence. Sometimes an answer isnt obvious. Take for example Cap marvel 14. Is that really a cameo of Kamala or just a badly drawn girl. Could be anyone. But has been retconned to say kamala cameo. 17 is the better issue. Until a previous issue in the run can be retconned again to say no this is Kamala. Marketing games between writers, artists and the comic public who will dictate to the grading companies if they smell foul play. The grading companies know they must be careful to get things correct because they dont always and do not want any bad publicity from the collectors on any forums.The graders are influenced by the collectors who buy their services. Cameos are always a strange affair. Even if only a hand, a foot, an arm or voice bubble seen. It is still a first appearance, as in the context of the story the character is there at that moment. But the collectors will dictate the more important comic. I guess wolverine 181 is the better choice with Wolvie on point and more in story. So the balance is about right. Not always clear cut. Usually 1st cameo, 1st appearance and possibly 1st full appearance etc. We decide generally.

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Mike W April 16, 2021 - 11:27 pm

Nice answer and a good point on the influence of collectors on grading companies.
So do we think the prevalence of grading comics will be more than having raw books?

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Harry Stone III April 17, 2021 - 12:16 am

Mike we’re gonna get you that monthly bonus for time spent! LMAO

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Kenloi April 18, 2021 - 5:31 am

To many the comic hunt in an actual store or online is exciting to find raw issues of an underpriced issue. The raw issue is the beginning of the story. Sometimes left to lament. The slab is the finished article. Ready to keep, exhibit on a wall or sell. The end of the process. It can also be exciting to have a longbox of ungraded grails and keys from all eras just sitting there backed and boarded that only you know about……..

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Mike W April 18, 2021 - 11:27 am

I love the hunt for finding raw comics. Whether I decide to sell, hold or get it graded is another dilemma.
Hunting for comics for keys or just cool covers is what still makes the hobby fun itself.

Mitchell W April 17, 2021 - 12:56 am

Is batman ever going to learn that you don’t wear your underwear on the outside of your pants?

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Kenlo April 19, 2021 - 3:52 am

Mike W – “So do we think the prevalence of grading comics will be more than having raw books?” No. You have answered it youself. You can go comic shopping with a few bucks in your pocket and find a raw comic on your list. Slabbed comics you cannot. You yourself know the feeling you get when you find a comic youre after for peanut money. An inner reaction of yeesssssssssss appears, you start sweating, you stare at it, carefully pull it out, check then turn it face down so others cant see and carry on looking with a subtle smile on your face. Can you pass this dastardly deed off to the till? You get to the till and hope the marked price is the price you pay. Success.

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Mike W April 19, 2021 - 9:54 pm

You also have the option nowadays to pick up raw books and ask your shop to facilitate it to get graded.
just a thought.
But yes, the money is still on graded books.

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Kenloi April 18, 2021 - 5:25 am

It saves washing them on a daily basis

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Kenloi April 20, 2021 - 4:14 am

Yes shops can grade a raw for you and can be a helpful service if you trust the shop and its staff. You need to know if the comic is properly insured both ways for full market value and it does take out the confusing cgc/ cbcs tiers of their prices that is till find baffling. The shop takes its profit. A full article on the graders prices wcould be good. As i do own graded copies bought as they are and still find it confusing about insurance costs, pressing / dry clean costs, comic valuation tiers etc.This still sways me from doing it myself. Graded will always be worth more on a desirable book. Junk books not so even if a 9.8.

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