If you read these blogs you see so many superhero reports that you would assume that it is the only genre of comic books you can make money on. If you believe that then you are missing out. For this article, I will focus on the most ignored market, but one that is full of passion.
Romance Comic Books… A genre you should love.
One of the disadvantages many collectors and investors experience in buying only through online auctions is not being able to see who is bidding on books. When I attended live auctions I would see savvy investors and collectors purchasing books that many of the room’s bidders never even gave an initial glance. In watching these investors and talking with them I have come to learn that that the romance comic genre is largely ignored because of the perception that these books were meant only for young girls. That is the reason that in the past you could pick up Golden Age Wonder Woman keys for hardly anything but were forced to pay top dollar for secondary keys of minor Golden Age characters. If you avoid the mistake of believing that these books are only “for girls” you will find new worlds to explore and invest in.
For Those who love Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man
I love Spider-Man and yet when I want the early Steve Ditko books I am forced to pay a premium for what I love. Imagine you could instead purchase the first published work of Steve Ditko for a great price. It may not have a Ditko cover, but Daring Love #1 is rare to find making it all the more valuable. With less than 30 copies on the CGC census I would have expected to find this book out of reach in even poor conditions, yet I managed to find a copy online for a price that really shocked me. A piece of history could be purchased for the same price as a common Spider-Man non-key?
This book is a “must-have” for any fans of Steve Ditko. If you find it buy it and slab it or hang it on your wall. This issue is historic and yet for many of you reading these blogs the significance of this book is probably unknown.
I know who Matt Baker is but I could never afford his work
Matt Baker is one of those artists who are not commonly known but people still recognize his work. Baker is culturally important as the first significant African-American comic book artist. The one iconic cover he is known for is Phantom Lady #17 because of Dr. Frederick Wertham’s belief that it corrupted the minds of America’s youth.
His work puts him up there with the great comic book artists. When you look at his most famous drawing you see that the cover has the subtle sexuality and classic bondage theme that makes this issue fly off the shelves. If you want it in a high grade you may have to sell your house to afford a copy. So many of the few collectors and investors who know of Mr. Baker falsely believe that his work is beyond their reach.
At an auction I attended, when live auctions were being conducted, I saw a happy collector win a bulk lot that I could see no reason to justify his level of happiness. I had to ask him why and he told me that in all the common superhero fodder was the last issue of a comic book with a Matt Baker cover. His winning bid put the cost of that book at around the price we now pay for current books. He was happy because he now had Girls in Love #57. Could you identify this as a Matt Baker cover book? I could not either but there are a lot of Matt Baker covers out there that can be bought for less than pennies on the dollar. Do the research and you can find them too because they are more common than you would think.
For Our Marvel Cinematic Universe Fans
Comic book investors seem to flock to movies when it comes to their selection of books. Even the romance comic book genre can have tie-ins to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Night Nurse #1 is the main “romance” comic investors flocked to when it came to the meshing of romance comic books and Marvel, but what about another lesser-known character that also appeared in the expanded MCU?
Patsy Walker has been around a long time and the books in her 1946-65 run can be purchased relatively cheap, but the book that signifies Patsy Walker’s series transformation from humor to romance comic book was Patsy Walker #116. Stan Lee was involved in the scripting of this book so the stories have quality elements. In addition, you have to appreciate a character that has been in existence as long as Patsy Walker. Marvel fans have seen her grow up and watched later as she worked with the Avengers and married Daimon Hellstrom.
This issue is more common than the others mentioned so try to find it in a higher grade. If you find this book most sellers do not know the significance of romance comic book fans, so if you score a good copy there is a demand for this book in that segment of the market.
Feeling the love
Superhero books dominate the comic book markets but those books do not define the entire market. Romance comics were the top sellers for a period of time and many well-known superhero artists cut their teeth on romance comics. While their books sell at a premium in the superhero genre, these artist’s romance comics seem to lag behind in price. I believe that is because for many fans of these artists there is ignorance when it comes to their involvement with these books.
In addition, there is still is a stigma for men to purchase these books. The irony is that this is one of the most passionate markets that is not being realized by many collectors and investors. That leaves the playing field wide open for the savvy investor who often realizes they are the only bidders in auctions who understand the significance of this market. Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, John Romita Sr, Joe Simon, and Jack Kirby all worked in this field and their work sadly is largely ignored in this genre. If you want to find some great books from iconic artists at a cheap price educate yourself on romance comics and you too can find books being sold for a few dollars because others do not know how important and valuable these books are to their fans.