The Savvy Speculator: Amazing Spider-Man #361

by Norman Robinson III

Grotesk-Ms-Marvel-Comics-X-Men-Subhuman-h2-300x142 The Savvy Speculator: Amazing Spider-Man #361The other night I watched John Wayne in True Grit (Western). He played Federal Marshall Rooster Cogburn a tough as nails lawman. At the climax of the movie, he puts the reins of his horse in his mouth, charges his opponents, and with Winchester rifle and Colt Navy pistol blazing he prevails against four outlaws. Rooster had grit and followed his gut and won. The savvy speculator learns to do the same thing; sometimes against frightening odds of incurring speculative losses.

Speculators face many negatives in the industry as well: retailers that are very smug, others who laugh at your off the wall speculation picks, occasional collectors who think speculators are mindless, and some comic book fans who think we are all scum. Why can’t we just enjoy the stories? The truth is, we are just guys and gals, looking for enjoyment in what we do. Yep, the biggest difference between the speculator and others; the speculator wants to make money doing something he enjoys.


gordon-gekko-300x172 The Savvy Speculator: Amazing Spider-Man #361The savvy speculator is one who learns over time to not overreact to every bump in the road. When bad news abounds, the best thing as a speculator is to learn from it. This is not for everyone, you have to have a little gamble in you, a good eye for judging the market, and constant awareness for what is up and what is down. But most importantly you must have the grit to maintain your consistent approach to making money with comics.

In many ways being a speculator is like watching a vertical tennis match; one moment a comic book is hot, so hot it is selling at five times previous prices. Then suddenly that same comic book is back to normal pre-hype price. The price goes up-down-up-down, you get the picture. Meanwhile, the speculation crowd has moved onto bigger fish. Lately, the economic and market news has been dismal. What comics can give us an insight into a possible downturn in the collectible market that has been buffeted by macro-events?


171460_e1e49a430fd60272eb29e16a8e07f9530d5ea8b8-195x300 The Savvy Speculator: Amazing Spider-Man #361Amazing Spider-Man #361

During times of turmoil, it is best to stay with the most popular comics. This is a good way to gauge reaction in our little speculative comic world. I used the comic book Amazing Spider-Man #361 the most popular comic book per GoCollect in this portion of March. It has great eye appeal, a Venom 2 catalyst, and ultimately a big key with the first appearance of Carnage.








Short-Term (18-days in March)

Title Grade Cost Return
Amazing Spider-Man #361 9.8 $400 +5.8%
9.0 $102 +3.5%
8.0 $124 +30.8%


true-grit-rooster-cogburn-jumping-4-rails-john-wayne-well-come-see-a-fat-old-man-some-time-thomas-pollart-300x212 The Savvy Speculator: Amazing Spider-Man #361It appears our friendly neighborhood Spidey is Teflon currently. Amazing Spider-Man #361 has small but manageable returns in upper grades, and in the mid-grades, this book has very respectable +30% returns, just in the month of March! This is great news if you were worried about the macroeconomic impact on comics. If these are solid short-term returns then the long-term must be lagging, right? Wrong, take a look at these equally solid long-term returns: grade 9.8 +27%, 9.0 +12%, and grade 8.0 +22%.


This comic book Amazing Spider-Man #361 is as strong as an old rooster. Top of the heap this month, and a great investment, speculation or even collectible. The fact that this comic has strong returns and has not taken a hit during these uncertain times shows why collectibles can be a superior investment. They can even avoid the dire circumstances of other investments, for a time. Remember, with a little speculative grit comes victory.

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Harry June 14, 2020 - 11:37 pm

Thoughts on the second print as a long term investment versus the first print? There are over 4000 9.8s for the first and only 350 or so for the second. Can rarity make up for the fact that it’s not the first print in the long term?

Norman Robinson III July 3, 2020 - 8:47 am

I am going to try to get to this over the next two weeks, stay tuned. Thanks for reading. Nam

Eddie April 21, 2021 - 10:40 pm

Hello Norman, I was scrolling through some Carnage blogs and came across this one. I am very interested and invested in the character. Not only do I collect as a hobby but also as an investor like most us that are reading these comic blogs. I was very fortunate to have been able to pick up a 9.6 newsstand for $141 on 12/2018. At that time I really wasn’t in it for any investing or speculation purposes. However, over these past few years I have been able to think about comics as true investments and diversify my portfolio. Its a win win for me as I’m doing it for fun and hopefully as an investment. I appreciate reading your blogs and takes on certain characters. This leads me into speculating about Spider-carnage. His first appearance is ASM 410. I actually remember seeing him first on the animated series Spider-man. In the show he was the carnage symbiote bonded with I believe the Scarlet spider in an alternate reality. Reruns can be seen on the Disney+ app. With the Venom movie having a different origin story, due to rights of characters, I feel that they could tie in an alternate reality version of Venom. With Carnage becoming the main villain in Venom 2 why wouldn’t they introduce Ben Reilly and the Scarlet Spider and possible Spider-carnage in another movie. Also, Avi Arad was the executive producer on the animated series and he still is involved with producing comic book movies as he is the producer for venom 2. Any thoughts?


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