Successful Movie Comic Adaptations

by Norman Robinson III

173680_fc5541ab2e0c7cf735aca0e805494ab448c3456b-199x300 Successful Movie Comic Adaptations

Raiders of the Lost Ark #1

When the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark first came out in 1981; my whole family went to see it. Everyone loved it, but mainly my father who said it reminded him of the Saturday matinee serials he watched as a kid. Does the movie hype and popularity translate into a successful movie comic book adaptation for Raiders of the Lost Ark #1? Is it worth investing and or speculating in today?

A master art and writing team created Raiders of the Lost Ark #1 (1981): Walt Simonson (script), Gene Day and John Buscema (Pencils) and Gene Day, and Klaus Janson (ink). Unlike other movie adaptations, Raiders had many creative heavy hitters working on it. Therefore, it is no surprise they got the creative boulder rolling on this film to inspire this comic book adaptation.

Let’s peek under the sarcophagus at Raiders of the Lost Ark #1. What is it’s return on investment? Over the last six months, (short-term) mint at (9.8) returned 179%. Outstanding recent numbers to be sure. Unfortunately, with a two-year time frame returns declined in yield to only 18.8%. The longer 6-year time frame shows a significant decline in negatives with -20.3% (GoCollect). That last one is a shocker, watch out for that spear trap Indie!

These returns at first glance look ominous, but on closer inspection, they are anything but. Just like Indie descending into the pit of snakes we need to tread cautiously here; they do show an increase in ROI over time. Sales records are slim but consistent to about ten sales a year. Not great, but far from awful. Another positive, there are only (196) Raiders of the Lost Ark #1 comic books recorded into the CGC Census. In translation; this means more of these copies can be slabbed, and prices can still increase. Like any product, limited supply is a good thing for investors willing to plunk down their pilfered ancient artifacts.

All these sales are for slabbed copies, more for the investor and speculator crowd than actual traditional raw comic collectors. The raw copy tends not to fair well, the price for a Raiders of the Lost Ark #1 is $2.40 for a raw copy (source: MCS). Currently, on eBay, you can buy a raw copy for about $4.99 not exactly heroic pulp results. Like Indiana Jones, you should tread cautiously, purchase only in slabbed format. Purchasing a movie adaptation like Raiders of the Lost Ark #1 is a mixed bag of nuts, sometimes it tastes great, and other times you choke on it.

When it comes to movies, no sequel can match the original. If they make another sequel to Indiana, then it is off to the races. Speculators that purchase this comic know what to do (Let’s all whisper SELL together). Mod-Speculators go out now and find five copies at near mint and try rolling the dice with CGC slabbing; in my opinion, this is the best option given the low entry price of these raw comics. There is no comfortable choice for longer-term investors unless you already own one, then no problemo. However, if you are buying in now; watch your back. Holding this book too long can produce, Nazi face melting results.

Star Wars #1

Star Wars created the franchise and craze for everything sci-fi that we have today. There is still a real desire for Star Wars memorabilia not to mention the devotion for the comic adaptation of Star Wars #1 (1977). This script was by Roy Thomas topped off by Howard Chaykin’s superlative cover. Even after several bad sequels; Star Wars #1 is ranked the 4th most popular Bronze Age comic. Pretty compelling and it has stayed in the top twenty for at least the last eight months (GoCollect).

Disney has already completed the next Star Wars movie Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is due out May 25, 2018. Even though this comic doesn’t need a  movie catalyst, it will give added force to this original movie adaptation comic. Speculation is rampant with original 1970’s Star Wars comics. The first one is no exception making it difficult to piece this ROI puzzle.  But ultimately, the original price has exploded well past your average movie adaptation comic book, and this comic is always on my buy list.

Though short-term profits are down, long-term this thing has paid off. Furthermore, the anecdotal evidence should get your hyperdrive humming. On May 2, 2011, a CGC copy (9.8) sold for $424 while just four days ago (almost seven years later) the same comic sold for $831, no yolk. For all you “laser-brained flyboys” out there who prefer averages hold onto your blasters. The average return for this comic is currently $1134! Not bad (GoCollect).

For all you “Wars” speculators out there; buy and hold. This is a roller coaster ride, but at the end of the decade, it will still be worth more than you paid for it. Sit down, buckle up and get ready for Hyperspace speculation.

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