Are you a True Believer?

by Norman Robinson III

724338_true-believers-amazing-fantasy-starring-spider-man-1-200x300 Are you a True Believer?Arguably the biggest Silver Age success for Marvel is Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) the first appearance of good ole Webhead. This launched a comic book character of incomparable achievement in the world of pop culture. Spider-Man is the high water mark for Marvel success. I believe it was Picasso who said, “great artists steal.” In that case why not simply reprint these classics for a dollar and resell classic key books for a whole new generation of fans? That is exactly what Marvel started doing in 2015 under the title True Believers. Stealing old stories and key books and selling them on the cheap in comic shops across the nation. Now Amazing Fantasy #15 is the first appearance of Spider-Man created by Stan Lee (writer) Steve Ditko (artist). Knowing that today’s fans like a little extra in their comics they also republished the entire story of Amazing Spider-Man #6 as well in this True Believers: Amazing Fantasy Staring Spider-Man #1 reprint. It seems inevitable that reprints would go up in value like anything else over time. I have noticed that many of the earlier reprints from the 1970s and 1980s were equally successful, and have increased substantially in value. These key book reprints are catching on with the collecting world. It seems they go hand in hand with owning original keys. These reprints don’t cost much, and apparently, they are not reproduced in huge enough quantities to decrease prices and flood the market. It is shocking that a reprint that barely sold for one dollar is valuable today. Are these reprints a good investment?

 

The good news is you definitely can make money, the tough thing is knowing what to buy and what to avoid. But I believe the big keys even as reprints are pretty safe investments. In fact, this last month True Believer: Amazing Fantasy Starring Spider-Man #1 has reached the top twenty-first book in overall comic book popularity in the month of October. Good lord, it is a reprint! Let’s see if we can deduce some reasons for this reprint mania. The current CGC Census has a total of 528 books outstanding, that is very low for any one comic book. The average is usually a couple of thousand copies for a modern age key book. The current return has been meager for the grade (9.8) with positive +4.3%. This grade had fourteen sales and the last one in November. The price for this last sale was $100 now that is a pretty fair return for $1 worth of risk. Despite the low recent return on this book, if you purchased one in August of 2017 now you have a C-note in value, not bad.

Amazing Fantasy #15 (limited Edition Spider-Man DVD Edition)

In comparison to the recent True Believer reprints the Amazing Fantasy #15 (limited Edition Spider-Man DVD Edition) is also a big favorite and pulling down a similar amount of cash. This comic book was included with a limited edition Spider-Man DVD boxed set again a reprint of Amazing Fantasy #15. The price on this reprint from (2002) is $154.16 as recently as the month of October. Big shocker here, we are only talking about a (9.2) near mint comic a high grade but certainly easier to get than a (9.8). Which begs the question, what a (9.8) in this book would actually go for? Additionally, the (9.2) has returned positive +23.3 % ROI to date. Again, reprints are victorious. Now I have come across many reprints over the years. They don’t all pay off. A good rule of thumb is to keep fundamental first appearance keys, like a reprint of ASM #1, or Amazing Fantasy #15. The large returns for such little risk is a big part of why I love comics as an investment and collectibles in general. I am definitely one True Believer, are you?

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