Golden Age Collecting on a Budget – Part 2

by Douglas Ohlandt

040523A-1-1024x536 Golden Age Collecting on a Budget - Part 2While we all dream of the great attic, garage sale, or flea market finds, that rarely happens for any of us. Instead, here are some quality comics to target if you’re looking to start a Golden Age collection without spending more than you budgeted.

Setting the Rules

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OK, let’s get started. Here are the rules for our first Golden Age comics collecting game: 1. We have a $1,000 budget and we have to stay within 5% of that budget. 2. We must select 5 Golden Age comics. 3. We must select comics across different genres – no loading up on funny animal, western, or romance. 4. No copies graded below 4.0 – we want some decent looking comics. 5. There must have been a sale within the past few years – hard to gauge the prices if there haven’t been any sales. Those are the rules. Now, let’s play Golden Age Collecting on a Budget!

First – A Superhero Pick

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We’re starting off strong here with a 7.0 graded copy of Plastic Man #3. Published by Quality Comics in 1946, it’s an early issue in the series with artwork on the cover and interior by Jack Cole. There are 25 graded copies, meaning we have a better chance of finding one than most Golden Age comics. A 7.0 sold in an August 2022 Heritage auction for $288, so we’ll set that as the price.

Total spent: $288

Second – A Funny Animal Pick

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For our second pick, let’s go with a 5.5 graded Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories #28. While it’s not a Barks issue, it does have art by Al Taliaferro, well known for his work on the Donald Duck newspaper strip. It has a great timely cover with Huey, Dewey, and Louie ushering in 1943 while Donald says goodbye to 1942. There are 35 graded copies – a solid number. A 5.5 sold in a May 2021 Heritage auction for $216, so that’ll be our price. We’re a little overbudget at this point, so we’ll have to start looking for some deals.

Total spent: $504

Third – A Western Pick

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For the third pick, a 5.5 graded Kid Colt Outlaw #4 looks like a great choice. Published by Atlas in 1949, it’s an early issue of the series with a nice Syd Shores cover and interior artwork by Russ Heath. The CGC census is a little low with 17 graded copies, meaning this one will be a little harder to find. A 5.5 sold on eBay for $190 in May 2021, so that’s our price.

Total spent: $694

Fourth – A Romance Pick

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We’re in the mood for love, so we have to pick a romance comic. How about First Love Illustrated #1. Published by Harvey in 1949, it’s the first issue of a series that would last into the early Silver Age. There’s even a story with artwork by Bob Powell. Our only dilemma is that there are only six graded copies, so it’s definitely going to be a bit of a hunt. But for this price for a Golden Age first issue, we have to go for it. A 5.5 sold in an eBay auction in March 2021 for $114. Sold for a bargain!

Total spent: $808

Fifth – A War Pick

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One of the biggest comic genres of the 1950s was war comics and one of the most prodigious publishers was Atlas, so we’re going to go with the first issue in one of their best known series. It’s a 5.5 graded copy of Battlefront #1 with a Russ Heath cover for our final pick. Published in 1952, there are 13 graded copies, so we’ll have to work hard to find one. Based on the price, though, we have to try. A 5.5 sold on eBay in December 2022 for just $200. Sounds like a winner to me.

Total spent: $1,008


We went a hair over our budget, but we stayed within the rules. We picked up two first issues and a nice early issue of Plastic Man. We didn’t do too bad on grade with one 7.0 and four 5.5 graded copies. The trickiest thing about building a Golden Age collection within a budget is doing the research. It took me roughly two hours to come up with these five comics. Next time, we’re upping the ante to $2,000.

Which five Golden Age comics would you select with a $1,000 budget? Let us know below!

000080221A_Posters_2-Footer Golden Age Collecting on a Budget - Part 2*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Alain April 8, 2023 - 10:51 pm

3 of those 5 books you took prices from 2021. Seriously? Golden age has been climbing, good luck finding those prices from 2021.

Douglas Ohlandt April 9, 2023 - 1:53 pm

This was just a sample, Alain, to show that, with some research, you can find Golden Age comics within a budget. While some Golden Age has been rising, others have been falling. I encourage everyone to do their own research before making a commitment to a price. You may be able to find prices lower where you purchase comics; they may be higher. Which five comics would you select with $1,000, Alain?


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