Clayton Crain Rides Again: Comic Shop Road Tour 2

by Norman Robinson III

clayton-crain-198x300 Clayton Crain Rides Again: Comic Shop Road Tour 2In every generation, there are a handful of artists who simply stun you with the greatness of their work. It is so appealing, that you want to buy every cover these talents produce. This art is of such quality that it makes you want to own the book; even if what is in the comic is unknown. Clayton Crain is one such artist and now he is roaring into a comic shop near you!

The hype here in Rocklin, California is palpable. I expect over 200 people at least at my LCS (Ken’s Comics) on Saturday. The FB messaging boards are abuzz and they are even offering full CGC Signature Series signing for any comic he autographs (at a price of course). What are some of the keys you should be getting signed by Clayton Crain? Further, is this merely fanboy material or can a solid case be made for serious speculation and potential returns?


ghost-rider-1-crain-198x300 Clayton Crain Rides Again: Comic Shop Road Tour 2Ghost Rider #1

This comic is my personal favorite (I am getting two copies signed) probably just sit in my collection. Clayton Crain did the pencils, inks, and colors on this book with Garth Ennis. The fully-painted cover is simply extraordinary and captures the Ghost Rider in his ferocious glory printed in 2005. Is this book profitable and worthy of having him sign it?






carnage-venom-annual-195x300 Clayton Crain Rides Again: Comic Shop Road Tour 2Venom Annual #1 (Crain Variant Cover B)

This Venom #1 Lethal Protector Annual cover homage is literally better than the original it venerates. Clayton Crain did the cover, with interior art by Kev Walker and Donny Cates as the writer. It was published in 2018 to some fanfare and has since weakened over the last year or so. Still, this book does have a notable return long-term and a virgin cover that simply rocks! This is the book to buy for reselling purposes as Carnage will be huge in 2021. How does this book compare to Ghost Rider #1 above?





Ghost-Rider-1-retailer-197x300 Clayton Crain Rides Again: Comic Shop Road Tour 2Ghost Rider#1 (Retailer Incentive Variant)

This is a more nuanced version of the Ghost Rider #1 standard print above. Retailers uptick the price on these incentive variants substantially which is why I tend to stay away. I prefer second or third prints that had a low print run. That is what they call “money in the bank.” This retailer variant goes for around $35 online, and even FMV (fair market value) on GoCollect only has it at $42. It would be quite a while before you made money on Ghost Rider #1 (Retailer Incentive Variant). How does it fare against the two comics above?




Title Grade Sale Price Return (YTD)
Ghost Rider #1 9.8 $60 +25%
Venom Annual #1 (Crain Variant Cover B) 9.8 $61 -2.9%
Ghost Rider#1 (Retailer Incentive Variant) 9.8 $55 -20%


road-tour-crain-211x300 Clayton Crain Rides Again: Comic Shop Road Tour 2Conclusion:

Stick with the basic first print of Ghost Rider #1, obviously as it is an easy bet. It sells for about $10 at your local retailer and has provided a +25% return on your money YTD 2020. This cover artist is about a decade younger than I am. This means he will easily be around for the next 25 years. Bet on Crain covers in the future to continue to increase in value.

His Signature Series could hit the roof and if he is coming to a comic shop near you (schedule pic to the left); what is the harm in having a few books signed? If you are looking for something a little pricier try Shadowman #16 his first professional work, the last sale was $229. This once in a generational artist, Clayton Crain is worth a small gamble that his books continue to increase in price. Given he is on his second Comic Shop Road Tour (website linked) and that means he has enough fans to fuel yet another cross country ride. Grab hold of Crain’s work now, while it is still cheap. This is an opportunity, to own art, autographs, and meet an artist on the rise; don’t let that hog roar past.





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