The Comic Speculator – Back Issue Report 11/02/2010
Amazing Spider-Man #26
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, once again, for me to click and squint while analyzing sales numbers and auction results in an attempt to understand the wacky world of back-issue comics. Put on your smoking jacket, grab your bubble pipe and join me in my nerdy parlor, won’t you?
Gold and Silver News
It could be the latest Spidey movie news driving sales, but high-grade Amazing Spider-Man issues from the 1960s are selling for record highs. On Oct. 17, a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #26 (Marvel, 1965; 4th appearance of Green Goblin) in CGC 9.6 sold for $5,901 on eBay with 23 bids. This is by far the highest price I’ve seen on a Spidey comic from the mid-’60s. The last time a CGC’ed copy of Amazing Spidey #26 broke $1,000was in 1997 when a copy in CGC 9.2 condition sold for $1,128. The CGC census lists eight other copies of Amazing Spidey #26 in 9.6 condition, which isn’t a lot, but keep in mind: this isn’t a key Silver-age Spidey comic; no first appearances of any major characters (sorry Crime Master); no deaths . . . just an old issue of Spidey selling for almost six grand.
A different eBay seller had a very similar experience with an issue of Amazing Spider-Man #25 (Marvel, 1965) in CGC 9.6 condition that sold for a “Best Offer” of $5,400 on Oct. 21. Again, no big first appearances and no deaths, just an old Spidey comic selling for a lot of money. Why? It could be because the CGC census only lists four copies of this comic in 9.4 condition and only two copies in better condition. Both of these comics guide for $800 in this condition. It goes to show just how much power CGC has over the back issue market.
Bronze-Age and Beyond
Speaking of Amazing Spidey, a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Marvel, 1974; first appearance of Punisher) in CGC 9.8 condition sold for $8,000 on Oct. 23 on eBay. Eight grand is impressive, but not the record. In 2008, a copy of Amazing Spidey in CGC 9.8 condition sold on eBay for $10,000. This was just before “Punisher War Zone” hit theaters (and before anyone knew how terrible that movie was), and speculation on Punisher comics was at a fever pitch. Also, CGC currently lists 29 copies of #129 in 9.8 condition. I don’t have access to the numbers, but I’m willing to bet that two years ago, there were fewer than 25 copies in 9.8 condition. While prices remain very high on Amazing Spidey #129, I don’t see them hitting the $10,000 mark again anytime soon
It’s been more than a month since Image’s Skullkickers #1 sold out before it hit the stands and prices are still going up. It’s not quite as hot as Morning Glories was when its first issue sold out, but first prints of SkullKickers #1 are selling for $17 and up. I was critical of this one when it first sold out, saying that retailers were ordering heavy on Skullkickers because they missed the boat on Morning Glories. But it looks like I was wrong. Issue #2 sold out just as fast as issue #1 and nerds are still clamoring for first prints.
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, fool!
It’s not often that a new all-ages comic featuring a new character sells out but, Scratch9 #1, the story of a cat with the power to call on any of his nine lives, did just that. According to Ape Entertainment Co-Publisher David Hedgecock, Scratch9 was overprinted to meet demand and still sold out faster than expected. No news on a second printing yet, but I’ll keep you posted. Copies are still available for cover price on eBay, but there aren’t many for sale. If you need a copy of Scratch9 #1, you had better grab it now.
Kick Ass 2 #1 second printing
On Oct. 27, Marvel announced that Kick Ass 2 #1 sold out Diamond and would be reprinted with a new cover by series artist John Romita Jr. Look for this one to ship on Nov. 24.
SEP108125 Kick Ass 2 #1 second printing
First printings of issue #1 aren’t selling for much yet, due to heavy orders, and I would guess probably won’t be in the near future. No retailer is going to be caught off guard by Kick Ass this time, so don’t expect to see $40 price tags we saw on the first series.
In other Millar news; Marvel finally announced on Halloween that Mark Millar’s Superior #1 sold out at Diamond and would be going back to the presses for a second printing, featuring a new cover by series artist Leinil Francis Yu that will ship on Nov. 24. I use the word “finally” because most Millar projects sell out the day they ship.
SEP108105 Superior #1 second printing variant
The first issue of Superior was well-ordered, so you shouldn’t have trouble tracking down a copy for cover price. If your shop is out, there’re plenty of copies selling for cover price on eBay as well.
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:
The Goon #1 – #3 (Avatar Press, 1999) and #1 – #4 (Exploding Albatross, 2002). Early issues of The Goon have always been hard to come by, but prices on the first Goon series have jumped to ridiculous levels recently. On Oct. 31 an eBay auction for #1 – #3 of the Avatar Goon series sold for $158.63 with 10 bids. On that same day an auction for the second series, #1 – #4 from Exploding Albatross, sold for $108.26 with 12 bids. I personally can’t bear to part with my Goon comics because I love the character so much, but if you need the cash, now is the time to sell.
Moon Knight, first appearance and vol. 1 #1-#38. Brian Michael Bendis is about to do for Moon Knight what he did for Luke Cage. When Bendis and artist Alex Maleev take over Moon Knight early in 2011, watch for Marc Spector to make the jump to the A-list in the Marvel Universe. Also, watch for key back issues featuring Moon Knight to jump in price. Currently, full runs of the 1984 Moon Knight series by Doug Monech and Bill Sienkiewicz are selling for less than $60. Moon Knight’s first appearance, in Werewolf By Night #32, is a little pricier but is selling for less than $50 in Near Mint condition. I’ve been a vocal defender of Moon Knight and have been railing about how under-appreciated the first Moon Knight series for years now. I’m calling my shot here; by this time next year, a complete run of Moon Knight Vol. 1 will be selling for more than $120. If WorthPoint is still willing to print this blog at that time, I’ll eat my Moon Knight #1 live on the Internet if I’m wrong. [We’ll gladly host that event – Editor]
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 Matt 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.
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