Comic books are selling at record prices. Every day, the sales prices of certain books keeps going up. FMV is all but ignored. As an investor or collector, you have to ask yourself, is now the right time to buy books? The answer is yes, but only if you buy wisely. These are some of the rules I follow for buying comics in a seller’s market.
Rule #1: Movie News vs Movie Speculation
All collectors should understand the difference between movie news and movie speculation. Information not previously known to someone that has been verified is movie news. The sources of verification are very important. Two websites reporting that they heard something is NOT verification!!!
In contrast, movie speculation blogs are articles based upon rumors, intuition, and guessing by the writer. Those reasons are why hobbyists purchased Captain America #323 and the first appearance of John Walker long before he was announced to appear in the MCU. It is how you use speculation and news that will be indicative of your success in buying books right now.
Undervalued Movie Books
If you watched the DCEU movie Shazam, you saw a little worm in two key scenes. Usually, you get a character reveal at only the mid-credits scene, but this worm also appeared at the Rock of Eternity during the main film. David F. Sandberg, the director of Shazam and its future sequel, served as the voice actor for this character. Two key scenes with the character are old news. The director of an announced future sequel possibly voicing the character is both fresh news and fuel for intuition.
My thought process involved using old news, intuition, and reviewing the data to get me interested in Mr. Mind. First, he has already appeared in the DCEU film. Next, my research indicates that the character’s first DC universe appearance is in Shazam #2. At the time I am writing this article, the FMV for a 9.8 copy of this book is ONLY $110! I’ve seen fans more interested in Polka-Dot Man and his anticipated appearance in The Suicide Squad film than for Mr. Mind. Finally, I have to determine if the book has a chance for appreciating in value.
Investing in villains is not as lucrative as heroes, but a 9.8 copy of the first DC appearance of Mr. Mind that is over forty years old should be selling for more. I would even state that Mr. Mind’s first appearance in the Golden Age book Captain Marvel Adventures #26 is also probably undervalued, but good luck finding a copy for sale. Even that book, though, is not as undervalued as is Shazam #2. This book is in reach of most collectors right now, but how long will this hold true? Filming for Shazam 2 starts May 2021.
Rule #2 Use the Force
Star Wars-related property sells for a premium. First issues sell for top dollar. If the book is rarer, then it also sells for a premium. The market is crazy for Star Wars, and yet there are books that people seem to be missing out on that you may want to consider as long-term holds.
Undervalued Star Wars Books
I want to tell you all a little secret. Two iconic Star Wars characters have two appearances in first issue books that are over 25 years old and yet 9.8 copies of these books have an FMV less than $120 at the time I am writing this article. Furthermore, the most recent sale occurred the day before I am writing this article and it was the lowest sale of the year. The characters I am writing about are R2-D2 and C-3PO. The two issues I am talking about are Star Wars: Droids #1, from Dark Horse that was published in 1994, and Droids #1, published by Star Comics (Marvel Comics imprint) from 1986.
These books are not canon issues to the saga. These books targeted a much younger audience who were droid fans. That opinion should still not distract you from the fact that these books are affordable older Star Wars books that have long-term potential. At the time I am writing this column, both books combined have fewer than 350 copies total in the CGC census. I believe both books are undervalued, but if I had a choice I would be much more interested in the Marvel comics version. The reason I believe more in this book is that it was geared to younger readers. Mature hobbyists were not buying this book and preserving it with bags and boards. As a result, it may be difficult to find a high-grade copy.
Finally, you will not find these books in dollar bargain bin sections because investors and collectors probably have purchased them already. I mean, these are old Star Wars books we are talking about here. I have observed that more copies have been coming on the market in recent months. Hobbyists are making room for their more in-vogue purchases and thus, these Star Wars books are being sacrificed to make room for inventory and to raise buying capital. You can find great copies raw though for prices that are beyond ridiculous.
Rule #3 Know What You are Buying
Writers here at GoCollect take the time to research and prepare our topics. We then write the articles and get them ready for graphics. Editors then review our articles. We are not a fly-by-night operation that takes an article and writes it yesterday so it can go to print today. GoCollect readers deserve better than that. The irony I see is that investors and collectors sometimes put less time to buy books than it takes me to write an article suggesting books to buy.
I recently observed two auctions where I questioned the knowledge of the bidders. These auctions were not part of the auctions used by GoCollect to formulate their data. In one auction, bidders were going crazy over Batman #181. The problem was that it was Batman #181 (Facsimile Edition). I also observed Silver Surfer Fantasy Masterpieces being bid on as if they were original story Silver Surfer books in another auction. These books were priced beyond what the normal reprints would bring, thus one could assume people were bidding as if they were getting a deal on Silver Surfer books at a great price.
These inexperienced buyers are driving up the prices of comic books’ FMV across the board. Prices are booming and everyone wants to get in on this action because buyers believe there is no way they can lose money. Everyone wants to buy, but you have to be careful not to overspend.
Undervalued Silver Surfer Books
I think Silver Surfer is a great character and there are books that I believe have value. Instead of paying for reprints, I would look at his first series to invest in. I like all the issues in the series except the first, third, and fourth issues if you are a buyer looking for value. What I see as the best value is Silver Surfer #14. This issue features a classic Spider-Man/Silver Surfer cover. I love all the grades to invest, but a 9.4 with an FMV of $525 is not out of reach of most collectors.
The reason I love this book is that I compared it to Silver Surfer #4 with the Silver Surfer/Thor cover. I always liked the Spider-Man cover more. Then I looked at the FMV, and if I wanted a 9.4 copy of Silver Surfer #4 it would cost me $7,000 at the time I write this article. Think of all the great books you could buy with that price difference.
Now is a crazy time to be a buyer. The comic book marketplace is on steroids. Everyone is in a frenzy to buy because investors are afraid to miss out on owning books that “can only” appreciate in value. Books released a few days ago are selling for top dollar. Landmark issues are selling for all-time highs. Everything is in favor of the sellers.
That does not mean that there are not deals out there in the market for buyers. Key books do exist that are not getting the attention that other books are receiving and that can mean long-term opportunities for you. Be smart and avoid FOMO and you can find those gold nuggets others are ignoring.