The Comic Speculator is a blog written by WorthPoint Comic Book “Worthologist” Matt Baum that takes a look at each week’s hot new comics and back issues and the comic market place in general. Prices discussed here are taken from the Overstreet Guide to Comics (OVST), Comicspriceguide.com (CPG) and current online auction sales. Sales numbers and rankings are courtesy of ICV2.com. The codes under the prices of new titles discussed are Diamond Comics order codes that can be used to help your local comic retailer in ordering the issues discussed.
The Back Issue Report
It’s time to once again take a look at the fast-paced, action-packed world of back-issue comics.
Sell Out News
These could be the hot back issues of the future, so pay attention and buy now or pay way too much for them later. The sell-outs discussed here are at the distributor level, meaning there may be copies still available at your local comic shop. If they are still there, then go buy ’em!
Female Force: Ann Rice
It’s not often I discuss Bluewater comics, but it did announce two sell outs this week.
Both Female Force: Ann Rice and Political Power: Arnold Schwarzenegger have sold out at Diamond Comics. As of yet there’s no plans for second-printings of either, but the good news here is that neither of the people starring in these unauthorized comic autobiographies are planning on suing Bluewater. If you hadn’t heard; here’s the story on Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber vs. Bluewater. Enjoy your Bluewater comics while you can, because it may suffer a similar fate to Revolutionary comics, which also printed unauthorized biographies of rock stars. Click here for the story of their grisly demise.
Two more sell outs from Image this week and both are blowing up on eBay as you read this:
Morning Glories #2 Second Printing
Morning Glories #2 sold out before the comic even hit the shelves. How does that work, you might ask? Basically, retailers saw how quickly issue #1 sold out so they immediately raised their orders on issue #2 before it shipped. Boom, instant sellout. Look for a second-printing to ship on Sept. 29.
AUG108012 Morning Glories #2 Second Printing
Skull Kickers #1
Image comics also reported that the first-print-run of Skull Kickers #1 has sold out before it even shipped. Watch for retailers to leap on this one, hoping to make up for that Morning Glories money they missed out on. This could be interesting to watch. I’m predicting one of two things happens: either fans and retailers horde the issues or flood eBay with overpriced issue #1s for a series that may or not be successful. We’ll see if speculators can manufacture a runaway hit here. Watch for the first printing to ship this Wednesday, Sept. 20 and second-printings to ship on Oct. 13.
AUG108013 Skull Kickers #1 Second Printing
Gold and Silver News
Action Comics #1
It’s over. The Comicconnect.com Auction for the Action Comics #1 CGC graded at 5.0, that is reportedly going to save a family’s home from foreclosure (I admit I recycled that sentence, yet again) ended on Sept. 20 for $436,000. The family that owned the comic is not commenting on the sale as of yet, but I would guess they’re happy.
On Sept. 13 a copy of Batman #1 (DC; 1940) CGC graded in 8.0 condition (restored) sold for $13,432.80 with two bids. According to the seller, the comic was restored by Fantasy Masterpieces and restoration included, color touch, pieces added, tear seals, cover cleaning, interior lightening and spine reinforcement. Even with the restoration this is a great price for a Batman #1 in 8.0 condition.
Pegigreecomics.com’s August-September Grand Auction ended on Sept. 9 without any record setting results but some serious numbers on some incredible Silver-Age comics. Click here to check out the results. The star of the auction was a copy of Avengers #1 (Marvel; 1963) CGC graded in 9.2 condition that sold for $35,500. The CGC Census lists five Avengers #1′s in 9.2 condition, six in 9.4 condition and two in 9.6 condition, making this comic the ninth-highest-graded copy in existence. Other highlights included an Amazing Spider-Man #40 (Marvel; 1966) in CGC 9.8 condition that sold for $30,000 and a copy of Green Lantern #76 (DC; 1970) in CGC 9.6 condition that sold for $25,000.
Amazing Spider-Man #40
Green Lantern #76
Bronze-Age and Beyond
Star Wars #1 (Marvel; 1977) 35-cent variant
Two weeks ago I wrote a little blurb about a Star Wars #1 (Marvel; 1977) 35-cent variant selling on eBay for more than $1,800 and how rare and sought-after these variants can be. Well, someone was paying attention (not necessarily to my blog mind you), because seven auctions for Star Wars 35-cent variants ended this past week. The highest selling copy, a CGC graded copy in 9.0 condition, sold for $5,000. The only real action here seems to be on slabbed copies of this issue. There were several auctions for loose, ungraded copies that sold for less than $5. Obviously, condition was a factor, but it might not be a bad idea to start looking for Star Wars #1′s regular or 35 variants in good condition to have graded. Especially when copies are going for as high as five grand.
G.I. Joe #155
It’s been a while since anyone asked me about the Marvel GI Joe comics series of the 1980s, but the stock answer is “the only ones worth anything are #1, #21(silent issue starring Snake Eyes, first appearance of Storm Shadow), and #155 (final issue)”. I may have to rethink this statement after seeing an incomplete, but pretty solid, run of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero sell for $399 on Sept. 11 on eBay. The lot was only missing a few issues from the complete run and included G.I. Joe Versus Transformers, the Order of Battle Mini-series, G.I. Joe Yearbook series and the first six Special Missions issues. All in very nice condition according to the seller who, with a 100-percent feedback rating, seems like a credible fellow. The more I look at this auction, the less shocked I am at the final price. $400 might seem like a lot for Marvel G.I. Joe but considering that recently I’ve seen issue #155 sell by itself for $330 (in CGC 9.8 condition) and $102 loose, this buyer may have gotten a pretty smooth deal here.
Bull vs Bear
Buy or sell? Every week I get asked “what’s hot in comics these days?” Well, here’re a few comics that are either moving right now or just begging to be added to your collection:
Morning Glories #2
Sell: Morning Glories #2: Image. Morning Glories #1 first-printings are still selling for $40 and up online and in comic shops everywhere. Issue #2 is a different story. Retailers who paid attention had a chance to up their orders on the issue to keep up with demand, which caused a sellout the same day the comic shipped. Predictably, prices started out high, around $15 online, but seem to have settled around the $12 mark. If you’re looking to squeeze some fan boy for his lunch money on this one, do it now before the next big buzz comic hits.
BUY: Swamp Thing: With rumors of the Alec Holland’s return to the regular DCU, sellers have flooded the market with Swamp Thing comics, most of which are selling for a steal. I’ve been watching complete runs of the Alan Moore Swamp Thing selling for less than $150. Even the first appearance of Swamp Thing in House of Secrets (DC, 1971) is selling for less than $150 in VF condition. Even more shocking, on Monday, Sept. 20, a copy of Swamp Thing #37 (DC, 1982, first appearance of John Constantine) sold for $145. If you’re a Swamp Thing nerd like me, then you better start shopping before others notice how undervalued these comics are.
Matt Baum is WorthPoint’s comic book Worthologist. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact me or post your question below in the “comments” section below. Also, you can follow him on Twitter, where I’m always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming! Want to know what your comics are worth? Join WorthPoint to search its database or use its “Ask A Worthologist” feature. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price. And finally, a word to the Federal Trade Commission; all the comics discussed here are purchased solely by the writer, who receives no gifts or free merchandise from any publishers, even though he would graciously accept them.
WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth