If you are a comic book fan I am almost certain you have some sort of collection. While your collection may and I am sure is unique there are all sorts of ways to collect comic books. I remember having a conversation a while back and telling someone I collect comics, and they said me to, what era do you collect, golden, silver age comics? I just looked at him because I knew he was a real collector and I had no idea what to call myself when it came to determining the era in which I collected.
I have a very odd basic strategy, I try to purchase any and every number one issue for a new series that comes out. The reason I do this is because if you really look back at all the famous or successful series out there it is usually the first issue that is worth the most. However, there are some instances of series that this is not the case such as, New Mutants 87 and 98 both of which introduce new characters Cable and Deadpool. So when it comes to collecting you can either go the first issue route or the new character introduction route. Then there is also the good old fashion route of being a fan and collecting every issue that your favorite character is in. This route is usually not going to make you any money in the long run, which is fine if you are not worried about that.
For me it honestly comes down to the money aspect of it all. Buying an already famous series special issue is going to be expensive. In the case of New Mutants 98 the price of that issue has gone up significantly in the past year or so. That basically has to do with the announcement of the new Deadpool movie. I remember when this issues was selling for about $150 -$200, even as low as $80 – $120 range. Now it is near impossible to get a decent grade for less than $230 or so. When it comes to anything comics or gold for that matter there is still a supply and demand factor. And as far as I can tell there is demand for New Mutants 98 because Deadpool is a very famous character, however, and this is very important, there also seems to be a surplus of supply. That should in theory keep the price relatively low, but it really has not. So taking all that into consideration this book is overpriced, and I would say not to buy this one right now. There are plenty out there and waiting for the Deadpool fever to cool down could save you some major dollars. In any market there is almost no reason to jump into the market when the prices are the highest. Remember the phrase, buy low and sell high. But, there is also the theory that this book could continue to rise given that there will undoubtedly be another movie coming out. So if you can find a reasonably priced book I would say buy it.
This same logic applies for New Mutants 87 which introduces the character Cable. I can remember this book was selling for about $80 or less for a solid grade, even as low as $30 or so (which I passed up on, IDIOT!) Now it is going for about $150, again this has to do with the, somewhat mysterious, announcement that Cable will be in the next Deadpool film. So again for the same reasons as above both of these books are way overpriced given there is no lack of supply.
You must keep that in mind when collecting. What makes someone valuable are a few different things. The first is that it must be rare, that is probably the most important. Age is somewhat important, but if it is one of a kind it is extremely more valuable. However this could potentially backfire, as is the case of the Mona Lisa painting which is said to be priceless. Although this painting is obviously not priceless but it is said to be. I think the second most important thing is that is has to be collectable. If you have a one of a kind thing that no one wants then I would argue that whatever you have is worthless. So it must be rare and it must be collectable. This puts comics in a special category or super collectability as well as rarity. When collecting you must also be careful not to collect things that are sold as collectable such as Beanie Babies, which are basically worthless now because they were sold as such.
Now finding a barging when collecting comics is near impossible as most collectors know what they have and about what it is worth, for the most part. Given all this info, my strategy is somewhat strange and possibly silly. However, I am going to continue my strategy in the hopes that I can buy the next number one that becomes a hit series like, Y Last Man, Saga, or The Walking Dead. All three of these are worth a ton and if you’re lucky enough to have bout in when they were first released then you can make some serious cheddar. Saga is not worth as much as the other two and you can get a decent copy for about $100 or a little more, still though if you bought the issue when it first came out for $3 that is quite a nice profit.
I will also say that that some of the number 1’s that I have bought seem to be somewhat rare or from smaller publishers or have a very limited print run. This is where collecting gets a little convoluted because these issues still sell for about $3 but because there are so few printed because of the small publisher. Then they end up on Ebay selling for $10 to 15 for that first issue, which still is not that bad of a price, especially if it takes off, but of course you don’t know what will happen.
In my few years of collecting I have really only found one bargain, well two, and both times I was extremely lucky. I had a friend tell me about a Star Wars book that was worth quite a bit of money. The book in question is Star Wars: Darth Maul Son of Dathmir. I had not heard of this book before but when I searched for it I found that it was selling for $200 or $300 on Amazon. Needless to say I was shocked. After some quick research I found that it was selling for slightly a little less on Ebay. Still though there were not that many of them out there, so from this it looks like this book is rare to begin with. I didn’t really know anything about this other than it was worth some money so I needed to have it. I did some quick internet searches and actually found a national book store site than had not one but two copies selling at retail price. I was a bit skeptical but I went ahead and purchased both of them for about $30. I only believed I would get them when they arrived on my doorstep a few days later. So I had purchased two copies of these books for their retail price. Now I could try to sell them and make some money!
I was extremely lucky as it is usually near impossible to do this normally. I would also say that the price on this book has come down quite a bit but I am not sure that price drop is warranted. If you truly want the TPB there only a handful of these even available for sale. Which obviously makes this book more rare, so I think this book is somewhat underpriced (and I am not just saying that because I own two copies), my analysis comes from the lack of buying options. Which is the definition of rarity.
For some reason I always thought the movie The 5th Element was pretty cool. I know some probably all will disagree with me, but the overall ideas in the movie were pretty neat especially for a young Spalding Manik. Recently I read that the movie was based on a French sifi comic called Valerian. I was intrigued and I also read that they are thinking about making a movie based on this book. Naturally I wanted to read it so when looked it up I found that it was quite expensive. When I purchased my copy I found one on Amazon for about $70 or so and when I got the copy it was in pretty rough shape. Now I see where again there are very limited copies out there and on average this book is selling for $250 or more depending on condition. Again I knew next to nothing about this book or this story, I guess I pays to read comic blogs and stay involved in the culture.
My next post I will tell you about some of my other prized possession as well as the absolute best find when it comes to comics that I have ever found, along with one dumb decision I made that cost me about $300 or more.