Dream a Little Dream of Comics

by Michael Vlachakis

116786_48d5ae9b904d29fb34e99130f95f8a7db9019a99-198x300 Dream a Little Dream of Comics

Just because you are an adult does not mean that you always have to behave like one.  The holiday season is getting into full swing so now is the time to make your wish list and send it off to Santa.  If only there was a giant catalog of comic books, where you could search through every comic imaginable, see recent sales, get an idea of how many exist in the world, and even buy a copy all in one convenient place (ahem, something like GoCollect).  Are you new to comics and trying to figure out where to begin?  Or, are you a collector going through your dream list and trying to kick speculation into high gear?  Either way, let’s see how we transition a comic from a dream to a reality.

Every collector has a method and a madness to their system.  Here is just a quick walk-through using my brain.  Feel free to alter as necessary.

When deciding where to expand my collection, there are a few questions I ask myself.  The first one that newbies and veterans alike should constantly ask themselves is: What type of comics am I looking to collect?  This will inevitably lead to more questions. Do you prefer Marvel, DC, or another publisher?  Are you looking for a certain grade?  Top graded or just any comic you see as having potential value?  A basic set of guidelines can help your collection from getting too inflated to enjoy, or sometime even handle efficiently.   I like to focus on 9.8 graded books, and I prefer first appearance books.  Keys are great to focus on, but as I tell any collector, make sure you collect what you love and you will never go wrong.

Now that you have general guidelines set up for your collection, you can begin to formulate a potential list of targets.  I have a wish list, and I will tell you that it is pretty damn hard to check off some of the books on my list due to a multitude of factors.  The first is the comic market itself.  It can be competitive and add in the rarity of some of the books I wish to own, which tend to not pop up for sale very often if ever, and this market can be brutal.  Using the tools of my collection guide, lets say I am looking to pin down a copy of X-Men #1, I would see that there are 2 copies at the 9.8 grade.  Thinking logically, I am sure whoever is holding those is in no rush to sell them and even if they did sell them, I am probably not going to be able to afford an X-Men #1 on my ballin’ blogger salary.  Timing, pricing, your desire to buy, your ability to buy, seeing the comic first, getting the highest bid–these all require a bit of luck and alignment of the stars.

The best advice I have for collectors is: maintain that dream list and understand that the market is cyclical and often surprising.  When I began collecting, I used to say “I will never see that comic for sale” and I have gleefully been proven incorrect on many occasions.  Enjoy the hunt, be satisfied in your collection, and be ready to make it the best you possibly can.

Is there a certain comic on your dream list that you have never seen for sale?  Is there one comic that you would trade the rest of your collection to own?  Drop your comments and join the speculation!


GoCollect is the #1 comic book price guide for tracking sales data of all graded comic books in real-time. Fair market values are now at your fingertips. Check out all the features at www.gocollect.com

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STEVEN SGUEGLIA November 20, 2019 - 3:52 pm

Tikanis Michael,
Thanks for all your wonderful articles and insightful information
on comics you have given us over the months. Like you i also like to collect
first origins of villains of mostly silver age spiderman in cgc 7.0 or
better if i can afford it at the time.
The very best to you and your family..Happy Thanksgiving.

Scott November 20, 2019 - 5:17 pm

Good post as always! One thing I do is start with a low grade and work my way up. So if it goes up I’m somewhat covered. I just picked up Daredevil #4 for my personal collection, it’s a low grade but I’ve wanted it for a while. Just happy to have it.

I’m trying to get a low grade 1st appearance of Deadpool, but low grade for that is usually an 8.0 and there’s lots of bidding activity when these come up as they’re still affordable for many people. Sometimes I think it’s not much to get into the mid 9’s!!!

Neal Nellans November 22, 2019 - 11:54 am

Great article! I specifically interested in what can be learned from the GoCollect Analyzer tool in helping to assess which comics are a good investment and which might be a ‘fad’ comic. There has been a few articles on market timing for issues, and I’d like to learn about other top collectors usage of the GoCollect Analyzer to further their projections on comic future value.


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