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OT: Comic Book Sells for a Million


ProfD

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The first copy of Superman sells big. Clearly, the recession is not an issue here.

 

Well, that comic book was published in 1938. Unfortunately, I don't have that much time to wait for my collector items to mature. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Wow, I didn't realize it had come down in price that far!

 

Just a few years ago, second issues and "lesser" titles were fetching 1.5 million or more.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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The first copy of Superman sells big. Clearly, the recession is not an issue here.

 

Well, that comic book was published in 1938. Unfortunately, I don't have that much time to wait for my collector items to mature. :laugh::cool:

 

I have a neighbor who tried ( for a few years) to sell vintage comics on ebay.

 

He flamed out 2 months ago and has been trying to unload his collection. No takers.

 

The economy has pretty much turned south on several of these vintage categories for resale. Beanie babies is another example.

 

I have another ebay acquaintence who has enjoyed a nice run on vintage

records for resale. There might be other niches like this for resale.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

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Well, one over zero equals infinity. :-)

 

I forget whether SUPERMAN's first appearance in Action Comics #1 is generally worth more than the first issue of his own title, but I seem to recall that it is, as it is older (just slightly) and also features the debuts of other characters.

 

BATMAN's first appearance in Detective Comics #27 may have surpassed SUPERMAN's first appearances by now, due to the relative popularity and "coolness" factor in today's mythology.

 

DC Comics took its name from Detective Comics. DC itself was the result of the merger between All-American Comics (which, if I recall correctly, published Wonder Woman and Green Lantern), and the entity that published the Supes and Bats titles. They were known for a long time as National Periodical Publications and were co-owned with EC Comics (the Gaines dynasty).

 

Some other titles probably worth a lot are the first appearance of Captain Marvel (Whiz Comics #1 from Fawcett, more or less forced out of business by the bizarre lawsuit claiming he was a rip-off of Superman, based mostly on the alter ego also being a reporter -- hello Spider-Man?). Now part of the DC Universe. :-)

 

DC also absorbed Will Eisner's (of The Spirit fame) Quality Comics and inherited all of those titles, in the 50's(?). Some of those are probably up there in value as well, such as Plastic Man #1, Military Comics #1 (Blackhawk), and Police Comics #1 (Plastic Man and other characters).

 

I've never checked to see the value of Golden Age Atlas Comics (known then as Timely Comics and later as Marvel Comics). The original versions of Sgt. Steel, Capt. America, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, and others, are considerably different from the revised versions that Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko introduced in the 60's.

 

Collecting comics for money is a risky proposition, but interestingly there was an article last year saying it's one of the wiser things to "invest" in during a recession. But don't count on current fare amounting to much over the years. That bubble burst a long time ago, after too many copycats of Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles and too many relaunches of titles at #1.

 

It is debatable whether the increased availability of archive editions of older material has grown the market for the actual originals, or shrunk it as people can just buy the compendiums (although they are not always cheaper than buying the original comics). But there are those who buy to read (such as myself) and those who buy to collect and invest (definitely not me).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I forget whether SUPERMAN's first appearance in Action Comics #1 is generally worth more than the first issue of his own title, but I seem to recall that it is, as it is older (just slightly) and also features the debuts of other characters.
Considering this sale set the record for a comic book, I'd say it's worth more ;)
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Ebay's given the industry some visibility into what's really out there for stock. This is not always good for collectors.

 

Like autos it's all about condition. The average top collectors Golden Age Comic with a condition of 7 to 8.5 only gets $10,000 to $75,000 with maybe one or two exceptions that will hit $100,000 (Action and Detective).

 

If you're selling one of the the best 3 in existence (condition wise) or 9.5s or better then add a zero to the price.

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Not to take this too far OT, but this is a timely topic for me since I just inherited from my dad (who was cleaning out his house in anticipation of him and my mom moving to a smaller place) a comics collection. My dad doesn't want the comics, and I don't either, so he and I cut a deal to split the proceeds of whatever I can get for them on eBay. The problem is that I have no idea how to value this stuff.

 

Most of the comics are from the late 40s / early 50s, and although I flipped through the collection, there are no Superman #1s in there (although there is a Superman #37 from Mar/Apr 1949). Also, the condition for most of them is only fair -- the inside pages on most are in great shape, but there are varying degrees of issues with most of the covers, which I imagine is the most important component driving value.

 

Can anyone give me any ideas on where to go to get this stuff valued? I'm not sure I trust my local comics store, but perhaps that's the best answer? Is it worth it to pay someone qualified to appraise the collection?

 

Since some of you seem knowledgeable in this area, I'd welcome any thoughts.

 

Noah

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Hey Noah,

 

Go to a local comic shop and pick up a copy of the current Overstreet Price Guide. It will give you an idea of what they are going for in various conditions, i.e. Good, Fine, VF, NM, etc.

 

My earliest comic book is Batman #18 from 1943 (with Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini on the cover no less!) and it's gone up considerably in value since I bought it. I have about 3,500 comics which isn't much by some collector's standards but it's not an investment for money as much as for pleasure.

 

Comic books have had some amazing talent in them over the years. Earl and Otto Binder, Bill Finger, Neal Adams, Gardner Fox, Jack Kirby, Jack Cole, Lou Fine, Harlan Ellison, Alan Moore, not to mention Ira Schnapp. (It was Schnapp who carved the Trajan-style inscription to be carved into the Manhattan branch of the United States Post Office, designed and hand engraved stamps for the US, and also designed title cards and lobby cards for many famous silent films).

 

Despite the derision over the years (and attacks by those like Dr. Frederick Wertham) they are an artform that has grown and matured over the decades.

(Sorry for this last rant; I've been reading The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu and it the story of McCarthy-era persecution it relates gets my hackles up!)

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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My brother does this all the time, and warns me that you had better know your stuff before you grade them yourself.

 

OK, I finally dared click on the link in the first posting (I rarely click on name-abstracted links unless I can tell in advance what they're going to do), and see that it was for Action Comics #1, which makes more sense than Superman #1 as the top price item.

 

I'm not sure I believe the story though, which is AP-sourced. They have not divulged what they consider to be an official sale figure, merely suggesting that there are criteria for what is considered a public sale.

 

Amongst us comic book geeks, knowledge of rare comics exchanging hands for a million or more is old news. I guess those were considered private sales and thus don't rate according to AP.

 

Whatever the case, that puts it right up there with paintings and sketches by famous artists, I suppose.

 

Rumours abound in the comics world about mint or near mint condition copies of sought-after titles, that people are holding onto in secret and timing for release to auction houses when they see fit. It's a bit of a game to not divulge the existence of something so that the surprise element elevates its price, vs. watching the ups and downs of prices over the years.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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As I predicted, Batman kicks Superman's booty:

 

http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/26/news/economy/batman_comic/index.htm?cnn=yes

 

Looks like the race is on...

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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