Comic books are a fun way to invest and enjoy some slight nostalgia mixed with the excitement of finding a key book or heavily discounted collectible. However, the comic book is oftentimes worth very little. Your average non-key book without a spectacular cover or shocking detail like the (ahem) bat-pole, well it runs about $3 in the Overstreet Guide. This is not to say that in a higher grade these non-keys can’t still be valuable, they can. But not like a key book or first of its kind shocker like the Kiss album with blood in the ink; let’s just hope you can’t catch hepatitis off the pages!
My point? Comics are great but they have multiple printings. What if I were to tell you there is another aspect to comics that is a little more expensive but well worth the price of admission to this particular collectible investment? I am talking about comic book art. There is only one copy of the comic book art from your favorite comic book. Essentially in the old days, each page of the comic was its own separate art. It was penciled, inked, lettered, etc. and then mass-produced into the books we all chase today. Yep, comic art is a world unto itself. Little has been written on it from the standpoint of the comic book collector. I will do my humble best to sell this rarity and the value of comic art in a world of digital everything.
Who to collect? Well, the best thing with art is to collect what you like first if it is within your price range. When I buy a piece of comic art to either flip or as an investment I feel better buying if I like the piece. If you like Wolverine, collect some early Wolverine from the 90s, it won’t be cheap if done by someone like Frank Miller. But there are tons of artists who usually run below $100. There are also some well-known artists that are reasonably priced, still here are three of my favorites: Dick Giordano, Sal (not John) Buscema, and Alex Nino. Now some of their work is a little pricey but most are reasonable say under $100 or even an iconic scene only going for $200-300. Giordano has worked on Batman and countless other titles, Sal Buscema was big into the Hulk during the 80s and Alex Nino was big with DC horror some classic stuff like House of Secrets, Secrets of Sinister House, and Weird War Tales to name just a few. His horror is really extraordinary especially now years later.
Dick Giordano worked on the cover of Outer Space #20 for Charlton Comics in December 1958.
Sal Buscema worked on Incredible Hulk during the 80s
Alex Nino worked for DC and did a ton of horror some of his best was Weird War Tales issue #25.
Now with comic art, the old days are long gone. Back 30 years ago the artists were practically giving this stuff away. Now, everyone is in the know and try to sell original art dearly. That said, we are only talking a few $100 here. Just think of it like buying a small box of Modern Age comics without keys, the cost is about the same. Art is one of the most investable collectibles just like anything else. Find your favorite working-class artist and try to buy some of their work. Remember these pieces are literally one of a kind hence the higher price than a comic book. But also the potential for much higher returns and the guarantee of a one and only piece of art.