Bloggers’ Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129

by Norman Robinson III

Coffeehouse-300x157 Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129Pre-pandemic coworkers would meet around the coffee machine for their morning cup of joy and commiserate on all things mundane. Occasionally writers do the same, but instead of the employee breakroom coffee machine we meet virtually email to email. Nowadays, doesn’t everyone? The following is one of those morning ventilations,  at our virtual breakroom. The discussion? Yep, the state of the comic book market cause and effect, with a side of Amazing Spider-Man #129.

We asked some simple questions. Can this crazy expansion of prices and frenzied pace continue? When minor keys from the Copper Age reach into the $1000 range should we be cautious or charge ahead? Keys that have been dormant for quite a while suddenly double in price like Amazing Spider-Man #129, what then?

The following is an excerpt from a “virtual coffeehouse” I had with fellow writer Harry Stone. What did we learn about the comic book market? Furthermore, how does our “discussion” track with comic books like Amazing Spider-Man #129? Pour a cup of Joe and join us…

cup_of_coffee_311479 Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129The Coffee

It was a blend of the Copper and Bronze Age, with the aroma of a well-worn market. Further, it had the stink of adrenal gland response from speculators, sneers from skeptical collectors, and smirks from the comic book investor crowd. Oh, and a dash of amaretto (everything is better with amaretto). The discussion was specifically, “What do you think of the comic book market?”

The Conversation

AOh14Gi-wYsYexgysJwdvBxekVv5_se2nqMSV1Kcb9QNwg=s40 Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129Harry: “What do you think of this market? It’s so unexpected and crazy. I can’t think of too many books I follow that haven’t tripled in price. Great time to sell, horrible time to buy, or our last chance to get keys?” https://blog.gocollect.com/comic-collecting-during-covid-19/

ea23c6d8fb74aa4a520ee640b558f432?s=24&d=monsterid&r=g Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129Nam: “The investment markets aside collectibles are a different beast. I think you hit the high points and I liked your article. Especially, your opinion and skepticism of Modern Age and Copper Age books.
 
When it comes to speculation and investment I’m a big believer in letting people do what they want and suffer the consequences. GME was simply funny as heck see.”
 
ea23c6d8fb74aa4a520ee640b558f432?s=24&d=monsterid&r=g Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129 Nam: “I liked that you used Amazing Spiderman 129. A quality key and a great example of people overlooking the749206c1ca7da69b48ee23e985228081-300x292 Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129 obvious due to exuberance in comic book speculation. You are not wrong about pricing, but at the same time, I think we’re NOT going back to the good old days. I think these prices are going to stay inflated for quite a while. The one good thing about folks focusing on new stuff; is that the Bronze Age is still relatively cheap.”
 
AOh14Gi-wYsYexgysJwdvBxekVv5_se2nqMSV1Kcb9QNwg=s40 Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129 Harry: “Oh man I forgot about the Amazing Spiderman 129 reference, I guess that didn’t last too long. 7.0s were 700 or so last year I think. So much for that.”
Harry continues…
“I have mixed feelings on the market. I really just don’t see how these prices sustain themselves. Are there really that many wealthy investors willing to spend money on these books? Have a ton of speculators just entered the market? I mean the MCU has been around for over a decade now, why are these books suddenly exploding? I’ve definitely seen a lot of manipulation in the market and on eBay but at the same time people are still chasing these books down at high prices at this point so I don’t know what to make of it.” 
 
ea23c6d8fb74aa4a520ee640b558f432?s=24&d=monsterid&r=g Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129 Nam: “I’m currently watching Tom Lee from Fundstat on this show called The Compound. He looks at demographics historically for companies like Morgan Stanley. So from a demographic standpoint for stocks, Millenials are the prime generation and steering the speculative speedboat. I think this is mostly true of collectibles as well. This might explain why the books are exploding upwards.
 
AOh14Gi-wYsYexgysJwdvBxekVv5_se2nqMSV1Kcb9QNwg=s40 Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129 Harry: “I can’t help but think some of the irrational GME behavior is bleeding into comics and collectibles in general. Except with collectibles, there isn’t a shitty hedge fund or a Robin Hood to screw them over.”
Also…
“Now maybe I’m wrong, I find it hard to believe millennials would overpay for a book they have no sentimental attachment to. I might be silly enough to spend 1k on an ASM 316, but would someone in their 20s really do that? Just some thoughts. Mainly I just want my graded 316s on the cheap.” 

Explanation

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImE5N2Q4Y2VlLTkzOTItNGM3ZC1iYzA1LWYwYzFkNGY4YTU4ZS5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119 Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129

We went on like that for quite a few emails, just two investors’ coffeehousing for comic book returns. I hope you enjoyed the discussion. Following is a brief breakdown of Amazing Spider-Man #129 and its jump from 2019 until 2021. It follows the same pattern of our discussion and is illustrative of where we are today. 

Amazing Spider-Man #129

This is a huge Bronze Age key, highly sought after and desired by collectors, investors, and speculators. It is the first appearance of the Punisher. It was written in 1974 by Gerry Conway with pencils from Gil Kane and Ross Andru. The cover is probably the best of any key in the BA. 
 
 
Title Grade Price 2019 Price 2021
Amazing Spider-Man #129 9.6 $5695 $8775 +37%
  6.5 $860 $2050 +96.5
       

punisherheroimage Bloggers' Coffeehouse: The Rise of Amazing Spider-Man #129Conclusion

I never thought the ASM #129 would surpass $2000, insane! But worth it, as I have only seen this particular book go up. I think Harry would probably agree with me on that one. Regardless of the catalyst, whether you believe the demographics are cooking up this market or spurious speculation like the GME behavior is the culprit. The facts are that our comic market continues to percolate profits, to the joy of coworkers and collectors alike.
 

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1 comment

Chris Richmond April 25, 2021 - 11:25 am

I agree that millennials discovering the collectible market are in large part driving this trend and generally a good thing to guarantee a future for this market. But I also believe there are plenty of us who grew up through the Bronze and Copper Age that suddenly find ourselves with spare time to check out our old books, spend a little time on the interwebs to discover what those books we bought for 60 cents at our corner store are now worth, and find ourselves with a fair amount of discretionary income…truly a recipe for the gains we are seeing. I’m curious what will happen in September when portions of the stimulus money are set to expire. If values are maintained through the fall, I think it’s safe to say that this will be the state of things for a while.

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