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The Comic Speculator – The Yearly Comic Shopping Apocalypse

by Matt Baum (05/01/13).

An army of nerds, collectors and, of course cosplayers, have converged on McCormick Place, where hundreds of retailers for everything from comics to steampunk goggles and wooden mustaches have booths set up to sell their wares.

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, back issues and the comic market place in general. Prices discussed here are taken from 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 Comiclist.com. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. If you want to hear what this nerd sounds like you can catch me on my podcast, the Two-Headed Nerd Comicast, where my friend Joe and I discuss the latest comic news, review some new comics, and answer your questions.

I held this copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) in my hand not five minutes before writing this… anyone have an extra 12 grand I can borrow until payday?

The Yearly Comic Shopping Apocalypse

Welcome back, true believers. C2E2 is here again. For those who don’t know, C2E2 is Chicago’s largest comic book and entertainment convention… well, nerdy entertainment, anyway. An army of nerds, collectors and, of course cosplayers, have converged on McCormick Place, where hundreds of retailers for everything from comics to steampunk goggles and wooden mustaches have booths set up to sell their wares. But I’m not cramming myself into tiny isles full of wannabe-Laura Crofts and Stormtroopers to talk about replica swords and glittery boots. No, buddy, I’m here for the comics.

The retailer area of the show floor features more than 775 different exhibitor booths and the vast majority of those are hocking, you guessed it, comics. Anything you want is here. I held a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) in my hand not five minutes before writing this and am still trying to come rationalize why I shouldn’t punch out the dealer that handed it to me and run. He was super nice and I’d feel like a real jerk. Still…

I was looking at a Daredevil #2 (Marvel, 1964) in what I would call 7.0 condition for $500, also at the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find booth, where I held the first Spidey (still shaking). Not sure I can pass this one up. And this is just two of the Silver-age comics that are currently trying to make me think of a way I can explain this kind of purchase to my wife.

Over at the Graham Crackers booth, I salivated onto an Iron Man #1 (Marvel, 1968) in at least 8.0 condition while having a conversation with another collector about Silver Age Frank Frazetta western covers for EC. It just doesn’t get better than this for a comic nerd.

And it’s not just the big name retailers that have great stuff here. There’s a legion of smaller comic shops that show up with their highest grade back issues in tow. I looked at beautiful copies of Superman #22 (DC, 1943) Batman #2, (DC, 1940) and was afraid to even ask to see a copy of Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939). But I did stare, longingly. For a while…

Is there a particular Gold-, Silver- or Bronze-age comic you’ve been pining for? You can probably find it at C2E2.

I’m writing this on day two, Saturday, typically the day I scout out all my purchases in preparation for Sunday. It is also known as my yearly-comic-shopping-apocalypse. Come Sunday, the dealers are exhausted and ready to make deals. The less they have to pack the better, and poacher like me… I’m looking for the tired ones. I’ll scout them by looking for the bags under their eyes and they’re general loss of well-being, and then I’ll pounce. I’m telling you right now, I’m coming home with a beautiful copy of Daredevil #2.

Viva La C2E2!


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 Comic Book Forum in the WorthPoint Forums, located in the Community tab. You can also reply to this article in the “leave a reply box below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers And keep the comments coming!

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One Response to “The Comic Speculator – The Yearly Comic Shopping Apocalypse”

  1. Eric Miller says:

    I remember the days when convention season ended with San Diego. On Sunday of the final convention dealers would just blow out comics at insane prices to avoid packing and transporting them back to their store. However now that we are no longer the end of the line dealers seem not as anxious to steep discounts, as they know if not sold here then at the the next stop of the convention tour.
    The key is to find the dealers who are not moving to the next site but giving up and returning to their stores. And to do that you pretty much have to spark up a conversation with almost every dealer, even when they are busy handling the crazies visiting their booth, to learn what the plans are. I spend most of Thursday and Friday trying to pry this info out so I can better plan my Sunday attack.

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