Avid comic collector & fan for nearly twenty years, Vic started collecting comics around eight years old. Comic investing since the 2000s.
Investing In Comics? Good or Bad Choice!
A seemingly popular question nowadays is, "Are comic books a good investment?" With record breaking sales records for certain comic books that have broke the 6 figure mark and million dollar mark, this question seems like a good one to ask.
However, the absolute truth is that many who do buy comics for investment won't ever have a single comic reach that mark. This is because of pure hype and a very limited knowledge in the comic book market to begin with.
Many beginning speculators who venture into collecting comic books as investments only see the potential without the facts. If they bothered learning just a little bit of the market and certain factors that attribute to rarity, especially with the newer comics, they would know that Modern Age Comic books are not wise investment choices.
In this hub I'll explain exactly why that is, and a few key points to take into factor when choosing a comic book for investment purposes wisely.
Comic Book Knowledge Today
When I was growing up collecting comics as a kid, only a very few select individuals knew the potential that comic books could end up being quite valuable some day. I wasn't one of them. I read my comics over and over, creased them, bent them, as well as other things I've learned not to do.
Nowadays, almost everyone knows the potential of comics being valuable. The problem with today's comics versus comics that were created back in the late 30s and 70s is that not many knew the potential value of comics.
Back in those days, comics were plainly kid's stuff, and most kids read that Amazing Fantasy #15 1st appearance of Spider-Man over and over. Even worse, they probably folded most copies and stuck them in their back pockets. Often, these comics were discarded and thrown in the trash when these kids grew up.
This has caused rarity among many key issues in Golden Age and Silver Age comic books. Not many issues of the 1st Batman exist, and the number is even more less the higher the grade.
Today is a completely different story with present day comic books being printed. The fact that many people realize comics are valuable has them bagging and boarding most Modern Age comic issues and taking good care of them.
What will be the result of Modern Age comics in the future? Let's say 30 years from now. 30 years from now there will be a lot of well preserved high grade copies of today's Modern Age comic books floating around the market.
While most kids during the 40s through the 60s handled and lovingly abused comics for what they were originally intended - to be read - today is not the case. More people take care of newer issues of comics and store them properly than back in the day. This isn't the only issue of why Modern Age comics are a terrible investment for the future.
Today's Comics Are Geared More Towards An Adult Market
One of the big problems I see with comics of today is that they're darker and more geared towards adults. I started collecting when I was about 8 years old, and there's no way that many Modern Age comic book stories are for children of that age.
So my question is this: If many of the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age comics are being bought by those who have a nostalgic attachment to the comics they grew up on, what does that mean for the new generation of kids who didn't grow up on comics?
Nostalgia plays a big part on the demand of many Silver Age and Bronze Age comic books. The reason why I got back into collecting, even for investment purposes, has a lot to do with the nostalgia aspect of loving the characters I grew up on.
CGC Graded Comics
Okay, CGC was not around back in the mid 80s when I was collecting. If they were, they weren't as big as they are today. What do you think that has to do with Modern Age comics?
There is no doubt that CGC has changed the comic book industry forever! High grade CGC golden and silver age key comic book issues like Action #1 and Dectective Comics #2 have been sold for record prices.
Both of these key issue comics have went over the million dollar mark for rare high grades, and they were both CGC graded. Actually, many of these rare key comic book issues that are selling for record prices are CGC graded books.
Why? Because, CGC confirms the rarity of that particular issue. Dealers in the past could get away with selling a book at Very Fine when it was in fact only a FINE. Every issue that CGC grades is registered in their database.
Trust me, there are over a thousand high graded comics for a particular modern age comic book, while there's only maybe two or three high graded silver age key issues of X-Men #1 at a 9.4 NM (Near Mint).
Well, it's no surprise that many new comics are being routed directly straight to CGC to be graded. That means, a whole crap load of new comics at 9.6 and 9.8 comics being graded and registered by the company.
What else does that mean? That means a whole crap load of very high grade Modern Age comics floating around the market. Now, I know those cases that they encapsulate comics aren't airtight, but they will degrade a lot slower than those comics that are just bagged and boarded.
Just one more factor on why Modern Age comics in the future won't be as valuable as Golden Age, Silver Age, or Bronze Age comic books.
Older Comic Books Are The Way To Go
So we've taken a look at some social factors that play a huge part into why many older comics from the late 30s to mid 70s are more rare and valuable. Yes, demand plays a huge part in it, but the scarcity of higher grade comics during those eras will always beat the scarcity of higher grades of Modern Age comics.
Even the lower grades of Golden, Silver and Bronze Age comics are more rare than the copies of Modern Age comics in existence today. So where do you think your best bet in investing in comics are? I would say silver and bronze age key comic book issues.
Will some Modern Age comics be rare forty years from now? A few will be, no doubt. A high grade of the Walking Dead #1 sold for $10,000 dollars, but how many modern age comics have hit that peak? Very, very little!
Compare high grade key issue golden and silver age comics that have hit $10,000 dollars and above to high grade modern age key issue comics and you'll find that the ratio of modern age comics as investments is not very good!
Also, you have to ask the important question of the likelihood of a particular modern age comic still be in demand in the future compared to a silver age Amazing Spider-Man #1 or Fantastic Four #1? Amazing Spider-Man #1 will be in demand forty years from now. The Walking Dead #1 may not.
Modern comics or Silver Age comics? I think you know the answer by now! It's really up to you, however.
Like mentioned before, not everyone can afford those really sought-after key comics from the Golden, Silver or Bronze Age comics. They do cost quite a bit of money, so I can see some opting for the Modern Age speculation grind.
Nothing is set in stone. Some Modern Age comics do go for some bucks in really high grade, but that depends on demand and rarity.
In my humble opinion, many Modern Age comics are short investments. Well, thats if you can nab them at the right time before they hit a spike in demand.
You can learn a bit more about comic investing or comic collecting, you can visit the hubs below.
More Comic Book Investing Articles
- One Important Secret Tip About Comic Investing! More Investing In Comics Advice!
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