After the initial shock of the Walking Dead coming to an end this summer, values for the final three issues have been caught in a downward spiral as collectors have been abandoning ship in droves.
Only two months ago, the final three issues of TWD were major sellers as I told you about in “Instant Keys: The Hottest Comics Right Now.” But the world of comic collecting is temperamental, and the market for TWD #191-193 has all but dried up.
This was the issue that sent shock waves through TWD fandom when series protagonist Rick Grimes met his end. From June up to the first of August, collectors and investors were clearing out store shelves looking for this issue, and the graded 9.8 routinely sold for between $150-$200.
When it comes to superhero comics, death issues may reach high initial sales, but they don’t tend to jump too much in value because, as the cliche goes, superhero deaths are rarely permanent. That’s where TWD is different. Aside from rising as a zombie, characters stay dead, and Rick’s death had much more of an emotional impact because of it.
Just as soon as TWD was on top of the comic world, it came crashing down last month. On August 3, two 9.8s brought $175 and $180, respectively, but it has been dropping ever since. Eight days later, the price fell to below $80, and it progressively declined all the way to the most recent sale of $41 on September 19.
Back in June and July, TWD #192 was one of the hottest books on the market. After the aforementioned death of Rick, collectors and investors jumped on this issue. Once the finale was announced, the news fanned the flames and made this issue even more expensive.
My how things change.
Whereas this issue was once commanding hefty prices, it has plummeted in recent weeks. After steadily selling in the $100-$200 range for the better part of the summer, prices began to fall by the end of July. Once August came around, it rarely got above $75, although some poor souls dished out $232 and $212, both on August 13.
This month, things have gotten even worse (or better if you didn’t get one when it was first released). These days, it stays in the $50 range and has dropped to closer to $20-$30 at times.
Still reeling from the death of Rick, TWD fans were shelled with another major blow in June when creator Robert Kirkman announced that TWD #193 would be the end of the series. This created even more of a stir for TWD and the past two issues, and it made #193 a must-have for both collectors and investors.
From mid-July to mid-August, this was the issue to get. In the standard cover, buyers were routinely paying $100-$150. Beginning on August 13, prices deflated. Although there are the occasional triple-figure sales, most 9.8s are selling in the $50-$60 range.
On a side note, the convention edition is holding steady for the most part. At a 9.8, it’s taken a slight dip in value, selling for $125 in recent weeks after consistently fetching closer to $140 and $150 in August and the first week of September.
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
This summer was filled with the “flavor of the month” hot comic. Between TWD’s sudden end and the new character boom, collectors were chasing a new “it” comic week after week. TWD #191-193 is a good example of how fickle the market can be and how paying inflated prices for this week’s must-have issue is a short-term strategy that doesn’t play out well in the long run. In the end, if you’re looking to invest, get it for close to cover price or let the ship sail. The better advice is to keep up with what you enjoy reading. It’s much less stressful.
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