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. Lists of new comics are courtesy of Previewsworld.com and Comicslist.com. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. The codes under the prices and next to the new titles are Diamond Comics order codes that can be used to help your local comic retailer in ordering the issues discussed..
Back Issue Report:
It’s time for another quick romp through the back issue market to see what’s blowing up and what you can still afford.
Gold and Silver Oldies:
Fantastic Four #1
Fantastic Four #26
Comiclink.com‘s April featured auction closed last week with some pretty impressive sales. Most notabl, a copy of Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel, 1961) in CGC Universal 7.0 condition sold for $16,051. Not a bad price, considering the fact that a copy in GC 9.0 sold for $111,000 in 2002. Sixteen Thousand is right about what FF#1 guides for in 7.0 (Fine to Very Fine) condition. I’d say the winner of this one got a pretty smokin’ deal.
More impressive was the sale of Fantastic Four #26 (Marvel, 1964) which features the second part of a battle between the Hulk and the Thing (not their first fight, I don’t think), in CGC Universal 9.4 condition, selling for $7,400. The comic guides for $1,200 (in 9.0 condition) and is sought after like all the Hulk vs. Thing fights, but I’ve never seen one sell this high.
In other Marvel Silver-Age news, a copy of X-Men #1 in CGC Universal 9.4 condition for $100,000 on April 18 on Pedigreecomics.com. This issue was sold on consignment just a few hours after its listing on the site and sold for the second-highest amount paid for an X-Men #1. The highest was for the Mound City Collection copy of X-Men #1 last November (2009), which sold for 106,050, but that total includes a buyer’s premium. This copy is listed in the CGC Census as the fourth-highest graded copy with one copy in 9.6 and two copies in 9.8 condition, all three of which are part of the Pacific Coast collection.
Amazing Spider-Man #5
Amazing Spider-Man #14
Pedigreecomics.com Grand Auction for April ended this week and featured a run of early high-grade Amazing Spider-Man issues. Most of the Amazing Spider-Man issues were in CGC Universal 9.0 grade or above and sold for some pretty impressive prices. Here’s a brief list of the highlights:
Amazing Spider-Man #5 NM+ 9.6 Off-White; Sold for $17,320
Amazing Spider-Man #8 NM 9.4 White; Sold for $4,050
Amazing Spider-Man #15 NM 9.4 White; Sold for $44,042
Amazing Spider-Man #17 NM+ 9.6 Off-White to White; Sold for $11,451
Amazing Spider-Man #19 NM/M 9.8 White; Sold for $7,350
Amazing Spider-Man #23 NM+ 9.6 Off-White to White; Sold for $20,755
The list goes on from here. This is one of the most incredible runs of Amazing Spider-Man I’ve ever seen assembled in one place, let alone sold. Of course, auction results like this just concrete the fact that not only will I never own any of these comics, but I’m a financial failure of a man. Sorry Dad . . .
Bronze-Age and Beyond:
Remember that seller I told you about a couple months ago that was trying to sell a CGC’ed Walking Dead for four grand? As we get closer to the AMC Walking Dead TV series based on the comic, collectors are paying more for the issues. Not four grand, but on April 15 a run of Walking Dead #1-#70 sold for $999 on eBay. The fact that the first 16 issues were signed by series artist Tony Moore may have inflated the price slightly, but another nearly complete run with several CGC graded copies also sold for $1,000 on eBay on April 21. Starting to see a pattern here? Three days later, on April 24, an unsigned, ungraded run of Walking Dead #1-#70 sold for $850. A lower price, but not far from the $1,000 mark. Sales like these beg the question; is it better to take the chance and have your first issue graded and then sell or just put up your whole run? Of course it’s not a question I have to worry about, as I sold my run years ago for relatively next to nothing (kicking myself still, and hard, too).
In a true testament to the power of graded comics, a copy of the Black-and-White Retailer Incentive cover of Spawn #1 CGC Universally Graded in 9.8 condition sold for $750 after a “Best Offer” on eBy on April 17. Here’s what blows my mind here; I know this was a Retailer Incentive in 1997 and it’s hard to find, but CGC lists 20 copies of this comic in 9.8 condition, 46 copies in 9.6, 37 in 9.4 and another 29 in 9.2. My point is, how rare is this comic in high-grade condition really and is there still a demand for Spawn comics? Since this auction ended six more copies of the B&W Spawn #1 have gone up on eBay with prices anywhere from $159 to $2,000. I’m going to watch these auctions, but as of now I’m calling the $750 sale a fluke. It seems hard to believe that there’s a lot of interest behind Spawn at present when entire runs of issue #1-#184 are selling for $250 and copies of issue #1 in CGC Universal 9.8 condition are only selling for $70.
Bull vs. Bear!
This is a new section where I take a look at some back issue comics that are selling for a steal and others that, if you’ve got them and are willing to part with them, you should be selling now.
Walking Dead complete runs (Image Comics, 2003-present): Buy: I know this sounds like I’m undermining what I just said about Walking Dead comics just a paragraph ago but I’m not. Yes, the $850 sale of a WD run was impressive, but since that sale the price has been going down. Most recently a run sold for $600 on eBay on April 28. I’m not saying $600 isn’t a lot of money, it is, but It could be a steal for a run of comics that is just going to get hotter in the near future. Keep in mind issues of #1 CGC Graded in 9.8 condition are selling for $500 and non-CGC’ed copies are selling for $300 and up by themselves. If you’ve got the money. now is a great time, and maybe the last time, to pick up an affordable run of The Walking Dead.
Hulk #16 1:200 Deadpool Variant (Marvel, 2009): Sell: Deadpool’s 15 minutes of fame aren’t up yet but they’ve got to be ending soon. Copies of this 1:200 Hulk variant are selling for anywhere from $75 (ungraded) to $300 (CGC 9.8). If you picked one of these up from your local shop last December and didn’t spend more than $50 on it initially, it might not be a bad time to part with your copy. That is, if you’re feeling silly for dropping 50 bucks on a variant cover. If you spent more than that, then here’s your chance to get your money back and maybe look like a comic speculatin’ genius. I’d sell soon, though, because with four Deadpool titles hitting the stands monthy and a horde of guest appearances, it can’t be long before nerds are struck dumb by DP-overload.
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 he’s 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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