How Will COVID-19 Impact the Comic Market?

by Matt Tuck

FF-48-200x300 How Will COVID-19 Impact the Comic Market?Understandably comic collecting is taking a backseat to the coronavirus and quarantines. Stay strong, and know that our hobby will survive. When this is over, many keys will be more affordable than they’ve been in years.

Remember when I said the collecting market would see a turnaround starting in April? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Fear not; our favorite hobby will endure the global recession, and it may help many of us to finally get those holy grails we’ve wanted for a lifetime.

The reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives no matter where we live. Today, I offer a sliver of hope to help us, the collecting community, during the crisis: when we get through this – and we will – our holy grails will be closer than they have been in years.

Incredible-Hulk-181-interior-212x300 How Will COVID-19 Impact the Comic Market?As I’ve been telling you for months, prices for those major keys, like Incredible Hulk #181 and Fantastic Four #48 just to name a couple, have been lagging behind since the Christmas season. I had predicted that things would get better when collectors got their tax returns, but the coronavirus has upended our entire society at this point.

The stock market is crashing to the point that some experts are speculating that Apple could theoretically buy Disney (but that isn’t going to happen, so don’t get carried away). Safe to say, we’re reaching dire straits here, and most household budgets won’t include comics for a while, especially not for a high-priced holy grail.

As of March 18, some major cities were beginning shelter-in-place orders, which keeps residents confined indoors for anything but essential activities. Many businesses are being temporarily closed, and we have to wonder how many comic shops can survive the closures, but that’s a topic for another post.

For many families, the economic repercussions of the virus are being without a paycheck for an indefinite amount of time. Sure, there is a stimulus package in the works as I am writing this, and it would give adult citizens a $1,000 check. Most of the country will be putting that money toward living expenses, not comics, so I don’t expect it to cause a market-wide spike, though some hot titles will get a brief boost.

Hulk-181-Stan-Meme-300x300 How Will COVID-19 Impact the Comic Market?

Around the time the MCU kicked off its global box-office domination, virtually every Marvel key jumped in value. Most have been climbing ever since. That being said, this global recession isn’t going to drop prices to pre-MCU levels, but I predict that most keys will hit their lowest values in recent years.


First and foremost, stay safe, help stop the spread of coronavirus, and take care of yourself and your families.

As far as collecting advice, hold onto that stimulus check if you have the means. Pick your holy grail, and start saving. Keep an eye on the fair market values and hopefully, you’ll pull through this pandemic with a comic you’ve had on your wish list all your life. If you want to help your local comic shop keep its doors open, buy that key from them.


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Trent Wolodko March 23, 2020 - 10:24 pm

Sell comics, buy stocks. Look to 2010-2011 stock market winners, biotech, telecommute related, telehealth related, autonomous trucking companies, amazon, etc. sell in 2022, profit!

Gary Griffin March 24, 2020 - 5:08 am

I’m in the process of purging my keys.

This will play out in two ways: quick recovery or long tail. I’m betting on the latter.

Small businesses will be closing and Hotels shuttering. The unemployment rate will spike and the stock market will remain depressed. LCSs will close and some may never come back.

The tripling and quadrupling of every marvel key is also correlated to a long, steady climb in the stock market. 2008 financial collapse. Iron man is released. And it’s been up up up ever since.

My 401k just lost 45% of its value. I have job insecurity for the first time in 20 years.

If my experience isn’t commonplace and doesn’t effect such a non-essential purchase as comic books i would be shocked.

Love your site and i hope for the best, but I’m expecting the worst. Stay safe.


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