I am constantly providing readers information to help you navigate the comic book marketplace. Part of that information is reporting on comic book auctions outside of eBay and Heritage. These marketplace observations may be useful to the readers.
Free Comic Book Day Books Hitting the Market
Batman Beyond #1 is a hot book. This is because this book contains the first appearance of Terry McGinnis. Collectors are trying to find this book because of interest in recent storylines. In addition, rumors of a cinematic appearance are also driving interest in the book. This book is very hot, and yet I see sellers and buyers ignoring an important publication fact. The fact is that this book has several different editions and yet I see buyers bidding as if there is only one edition.
A surge of variant Batman Beyond #1 issues released a few months after the normal edition on 1999 as free comic book promotions have come to market in recent months. These books are all raw and reported to be in NM condition. The going price for these books has been $150-$200 without the auction premium. This issue has no bar code in the lower left hand corner. A blank white rectangular box appears instead of the barcode on the normal first edition. A 2nd Printing of Batman Beyond #1 also exists. This version has no barcode or white box on the cover. Please note that the 2nd printing rates the second most expensive first appearance of Terry McGinnis, but I have yet to see this book appear in a recent live auction.
Investors should make note of these different variants and printings. Some sellers are not and I have seen buyers pay for these books as if they were the normal first printing edition.
First Issues Spike
GoCollect has reported the incredible prices being paid for Albedo #2. This book contains the first appearance of Usagi Yojimbo. Investors have taken notice of this sale. I have observed an influx of Usagi Yojimbo #1 books come up for sale at non-eBay and Heritage Auctions in recent months. The reason is that many investors have been either priced out of Albedo #2 or they can not find it. As a result, the first issue of his series is now gaining traction. For example, I saw a raw copy sell for $380. This was in spite of the fact that no amateur grading was attributed to the book in the auction item’s description. Another copy of this book sold for less than $10 dollars at a different auction that was again raw and not graded two years ago.
This trend was observed before with Ms. Marvel and the MCU. Her first appearance as Carol Danvers in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 was the hottest book out in the market. Investors who wanted to avoid the price spikes ventured out to purchase Carol Danvers’ first appearance as Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #1. Using my own marketplace observations, I believe we are seeing a similar trend now. Buyers want to invest in the character but cannot find the true first appearance. Instead, they are moving to alternate books. This may be a smart move. I still advise people to take this strategy with Usagi Yojimbo #1. You must watch the market to see the downward trend that could occur. Noting your marketplace observations can help you see trends more easily.
The real question is if this character has short or long term viability.
Star Wars Forces The Market
Star Wars is a force in the comic world. One has to be blind not to see this trend. The problem is what is hot out here. This market segment is not having investors and speculators focusing on books with laser precision like those focused on MCU books. Instead, investors and speculators are going after everything in a FOMO induced frenzy. Investors are seeking first appearances of characters without really focusing on something significant to make the character worthy of investment.
The “fear of missing out” is scary. FOMO makes patterns unpredictable. In one auction catalog, I observed that every first appearance of a Star Wars character was mentioned as if they were key books. I have not seen this done for MCU or DCCU characters and yet for Star Wars’ characters, it is the norm. I am a fan of Star Wars and even I find some of these purchases suspect. Hobbyists should not make the mistake that a minor character’s first appearance is significant only because they appear in the Star Wars Universe. This is not done with DC, Marvel, or Independent minor character’s first appearance. Buyers out here are ignoring that rule. One day they may be sorry for their choices.
So What Does This Mean?
GoCollect is a great tool for investors, collectors, and speculators. The site presents data so hobbyists can see patterns that reflect what is happening in the market place. Our job as bloggers for the site is to sometimes draw attention to market place events that deviate from what the data is showing. Right now what I am observing is that buyers are ignoring rules and going after books to be ahead of the curve. As a result, prices are spiking on books that were once ignored. What savvy hobbyists should do is ask if this is the right move at this time or if FOMO is forcing hobbyists to make riskier moves to realize a profit. Knowing the difference can protect you from making a bad mistake. Hopefully, these marketplace observations can help you out.