The sky is falling. The apocalypse is here. Comic books will soon be worthless. Heard this one yet? Here’s why you should fear not.
Like I’ve mentioned before, there are always those who are ready to say it’s the end of the world. And it’s always RIGHT NOW. Because let’s be honest, it makes us feel a lot more important if we are the ones struggling at the brink of societal collapse than if we were just living in “the good times.” Has anyone ever lived in the good times? Or is it only when reminiscing that we feel that the past wasn’t that bad? Anyway, there’s always a cultural civil war, a philosophical war, or an actual war, and this is just the beginning of the fall.
Remember Caesar Augustus? Remember Babylon? Remember Lucifer? (First appearance X-Men #9). Yes, we do, and we’re really tired of hearing you tell us about it.
It’s simple. The claim is that the price of comic books has been artificially inflated because of the popularization of superhero movies and now that COVID-19 is causing a global pandemic the prices will fall back to their deserved resting place. That can be good news for some. Bad news for others. But it’s not really news at all.
People will stop buying comic books because they won’t be able to afford them due to the economic situation. Sounds right to me. People won’t be buying comics when they lose their job and have to purchase food and pay rent. That’s logical.
This is not the case, however. Some are claiming the unemployment rate will stay like this for months if not years. Frightening stuff, but it doesn’t make much sense. Will the unemployment rate be higher than pre-coronavirus? Guaranteed. Will it be how it is at this very moment for the next couple of years? Absolutely not. It’ll be somewhere in the middle. Retail is obviously taking an absolute pounding right now, but the service industry will be back. If the demand was there prior to the pandemic, it will certainly be there after. Fortunately, humans adapt.
The Short Term
As a result of sudden unemployment, people will be dumping their physical assets (if they need to). There’s no doubt about that. We can all understand the simple economics of food being more useful than comic books. This makes it very similar to the stock market. If people had a lot of money tied up in the stock market and found themselves unemployed, they’d be selling stock at a loss too.
The Good News
Stocks come up. Comics will too. Alright, alright, before you get carried away, don’t forget that all generalizations are fundamentally false. Is it possible for the whole market to crash? Yeah, sure. In that case, you’d be better off investing in sheep and goats. No amount of Apple stock, gold bricks, or Fantastic Four #1 are going to stave the cannibals away. But we shouldn’t see comic books as uniquely prone to market collapse. Either it all goes, or it doesn’t.
One I’ve heard recently goes like this: People are going to realize just how useless comics are and not feel confident about investing in them. Yeah, okay. The same could go for stocks. The same could go for metals. And the same could go for any other niche market you’ve never heard of ie. antique hand tools, Russian samovars, illuminated manuscripts, etc. There’s no reason that comic books should be the exception. If anything, comic books should be MORE resilient in the collector market because of their continued popularity.
If the market was as volatile and prone to disruption as the claim, wouldn’t it have tanked a lot more than it already has? Sure there are some big money books that have dropped as fellow GoCollect bloggers have pointed out, but lots of stuff is holding steady with a minimal drop if there’s a drop at all. If you want to dump all your keys because you need the cash, by all means. There are plenty of buyers chomping at the bit. But if you don’t need the money at this very moment. Don’t sell your stock, don’t sell your silver, and don’t sell your comic books.