The comic book collecting industry is vast. It was huge even before Iron Man hit theaters in 2008. We had million dollar comic books and a vast amount of U.S. collectors. Now, that universe has drastically expanded to the entire world. Even people in totalitarian China have enjoyed American superheroes. The crush of fan popularity has sparked the most prolific movie production with interconnected storylines, and characters ever created. The DC and Marvel companies have participated in this comic book media feeding frenzy like sharks attacking chum in the water.
Nothing can keep that frenzy going like the Modern Age of comics. In the Mods, there are few as outstanding as Greg Capullo’s work they are worth owning. These comic books are just extraordinary, they remind me of Frank Miller only cleaner, crisper, and with a great deal of action included. Such is the case with his Batman #1 created by Scott Snyder (script), Greg Capullo (art) and Jonathan Glapion (art). This team of creators really brought a whole new generation to Batman kind of like Neal Adams in the 1970s I suppose. This Batman #1 issue currently sells at a premium with grade (9.8) running around $140 FMV. If this is too much; you can pick up a copy for under $75 in a (9.6). I see this Modern Age comic more than any other adorning the back wall of my local shop. The returns over time have been positive but we need another Batman movie to light a fire under this eight-year-old comic book. In my opinion, Greg Capullo and his art have staying power.
Comic book signatures are truly untapped veins of profit. When you obtain a signature and add $20 to $200 to a comic books price that is pure profit. Also, it is a great way for newbies to jump in and meet the creators at cons, most of whom do not charge for signatures. Now your book has something a raw copy does not, a unique aspect. Reminder: a rarity in any form has value, let’s be honest you can’t CGC every raw book you own and you can’t get them all signed either. However, selling raw copy with autographs allows additional charges to buyers and new streams of potential income. You don’t even have to have a COA or provenance. To give concrete examples on the value of autographs I have used: CBCS Authentication and CGC Signature Series in this blog. But in all honesty, this is not necessary to make money with autographs. I would suggest while getting the signature you take pictures of the artist signing the book. This is the beginning of the provenance trail and can prove the worth of your signed copy.
The first time I met Stan Lee I stood in a very long line. I decided not to use a key but instead went for the iconic look on the front cover. This Fantastic Four #72 fit the bill. Stan was friendly, signed the book and from that point on my book was blessed. The previous price I could have gotten is currently at $44 FMV in grade (4.5) according to GoCollect (no signature). After Stan signed and CBCS Authenticated the Signature that book has skyrocketed. For comparison’s sake, I looked on eBay which has a restored copy for the grade (6.5) with Stan Lee’s signature. The sale price is $276! That is a six-fold increase in the value of Fantastic Four #72: score! Even though it is a grade (4.5) it is on par with a (6.5) restoration autograph.
If you are still not convinced let’s look at a more modern comic book artist, like the previously mentioned Greg Capullo. This is not exactly on the level with Stan Lee but it does cement my argument for autographed collectibles. Currently, Greg Capullo’s Batman #1 in grade (8.5) CGC Signature Series sold for $100 on eBay. The current non-autograph copy goes for $36 FMV (GoCollect) and the prices have been rising. This autograph adds serious value to the book. It was probably purchased on the rack and then they paid $50 for CGC Signature and grading (possibly less). They doubled the value and have a nice collectible book that is easier to sell online than a raw copy. Bravo Zulu!