Avid comic collector & fan for nearly twenty years, Vic started collecting comics around eight years old. Comic investing since the 2000s.
There's no doubt that many news headlines of silver age comic books selling for over six figure digits have proved that silver age comic books are good for long term investments. However, this also depends greatly on various factors as well.
Not everyone who plays the comic investing game is going to strike it rich, just like not everyone who plays the stock market is going to strike it rich either. Nevertheless, you can make really wise choices when it comes to comic investments in the silver age era of comics.
This is going to be a long post. If you're really interested in investing in silver age comics then that shouldn't be a problem. After all, you'll need to learn as much as you can about this market before you drop a dime in comic investing. This is especially true if you don't know much about comics to begin with.
So let's start off with some proof of how certain comic books have appreciated throughout the years.
Comic Book Investments Prices Past and Present
Okay, let's start off with a bit of knowledge about the silver age of comics. The silver age of comics are those comic books that were published roughly around 1956 to circa 1970. Those dates are the most popular and many in the comic community debate about these dates. We're not going to get into that. For simplicity, we'll just stick to the most adhered to dates.
The information I'm about to present to you is in the 2011-2012 41st edition of the Overstreet Price Guide. There's an amazing section that illustrates the 1970 prices vs. the prices of today concerning certain comic books. Now many of the comics listed in this section were created before 1970, but this goes to show you just how much comics have risen since then.
Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) 1st Appearance of Spider-Man
So in 1970, 8 years after it's publication date, this comic sold for $16 at a NM price.
Today, fifty years later, this bad boy sells for $125,000 at a low NM
The Avengers #1 (1963) 1st Avengers Team
You could get this comic at NM for only $6 in 1970, which is 7 years after the comic came out.
Today, this cost of this comic at a low NM price is $15,000. Not bad, right?
The Incredible Hulk #1 (1962) 1st appearance of The Hulk.
1970 price was only $14 for a NM copy of this comic book.
Today, a low NM will cost you $75,000
Brave and the Bold #28 (1960) 1st Justice League of America
In 1970, a NM copy of this comic was selling for $5
Now, a low NM costs around $20,000 smackers
Factors of Comic Book Values
Okay, there's some examples of how comics during the silver age has risen in value from 1970 prices to the whopping prices they are today. It must be noted that there are certain factors why these comics have risen in value, and why these are in demand comics to invest in. If you notice closely the comics I did list have similar characteristics.
1. Key Issue:
Yes, those comics listed above are highly sought out key issues. They are not common issues. Not to say that common issues can't be valuable. Some are. Most are not. Most key issues from the silver age are going to be a bit costly.
2. The Grade:
Silver age comics in NM grade are extremely RARE to find today! They are the pedigrees, and most are CGC graded to authenticate it's grade. Even a low NM is an extremely hard catch, and will cost you a lot because of that fact. More common are lower grade books, but even those are getting up their in price as well.
SInce I used Amazing Fantasy #15 (1st appearance of Spider-Man), I'll use it again for this example. A lower grade comic is GD (Good) and VG (Very Good), with the very good being higher than a Good grade.
Amazing Fantasy #15 at a VG grade costs around $7,000 at guide value! However, this is at guide value, and sometimes comics go well above guide prices as I'll explain in the next factor.
Without demand, nothing would be worth any value. Demand or lack of pushes a comics demand up or down. Now, just because the guide says $7,000 for a VG copy of the 1st appearance of Spider-Man, doesn't mean that reflects the current market.
Here's the thing. the new Amazing Spider-Man movie reboot has pushed the demand for this comic past the guide value. That means people are paying higher prices for this issue...probably for all the grades.
There's also a backlash with this as well. While hot key issues are going for guide or over guide, many common silver age comics for many characters and titles are having a hard time selling for 50% of it's guided price in today's economy.
Demand plays a huge factor.
Why Silver Age Comics Are So Hot Right Now?
One factor that has spiked demand for many silver age comics is because many of the golden age key issues were becoming way too expensive. Golden age superheroes like Superman, Batman, Captain America are well over thousands of dollars for a GD (good) copy of their #1 issues.
Batman #1 being $25,000 for a GD copy!
So the demand started going towards silver age comics. Also, the silver age of comics was when the "super hero" genre really started to boom. That's when the comic industry really started shifting it's focus on super hero comics.
Also Marvel Comics came out during the silver age and revolutionized the industry with their characters being more "human" with real problems that kids and teens could relate too. DC heroes were too one dimensional during this era.
With Marvel's presence and it's growing popularity during the silver age, many key issues and 1st appearances of their most popular characters and villains came out during this era. For instance, the Green Goblin is a silver age villain, as is The Sandman, The Lizard, Doc Ock, etc.
However, even though the silver age comic demand is still going very strong, how long will it last? I mean many of silver age key issues are above $100 for VG grades, and many at NM grades are getting close or are already over a thousand dollars. These are key issues I'm talking about.
There are many common silver age issues are still around $14 - $25 bucks, but will those be in demand 30 years from now? Maybe! I know that they will be more rare 30 years from now. Comic books are degradable, remember.
This era is a wiser choice in comics to invest in, as opposed to modern age comic books. Visit the link to learn the factors of why I do not advocate modern age comics as good comics to invest in.
My Conclusion About Silver Age Comics As A long Lerm Investment
My conclusion is that right now, I mainly invest in silver age key issue comics. They'll only get older, more rare, and more expensive to get as time goes on. With all these comic book movies coming out and pushing the demand for these comics at a quicker pace, silver age key issue comic investments are a wise choice.
Know the market...find out which comic book movies are coming out and which characters that movie will include. For example, Iron Man 2 introduced the Black Widow to the silver screen, and now she will appear in The Avengers movie, possible the sequels as well. Her first appearance in Tales of Suspense #52 is still quite affordable and under $100 for lower grades.
However, even though I mainly seek out affordable silver age keys, I don't shirk key issues from the bronze age of comics either. Wolverine is a character that came out of the bronze age, and his first appearances in The Incredible Hulk 180 & 181 are really in demand and getting up there in price. Also the Punisher is a bronze age comic character and his 1st appearance in Amazing Spider-Man 129 is in high demand as well.
There are still great comic investments in the silver, bronze, and copper age of comic books. You just need to do a little research, hunt them down, take care of them, and let time and demand appreciate the value of them.
More Comics To Invest In Advice
- Places Where To Buy Comic Books Online
Looking for where to buy comic books online? Read this hub to learn where you can find those comic book issues you've been hunting for online.
- The Top Investment Comics of 2012 And Why Part One! Comic Investing Advice!
Wondering which comics are the best investment comics in 2012? If you want the scoop on which comics will continue to be hot well past 2012, read this article for the best picks on comic investing.
- Comic Investing 101! My Top Picks of Bronze Age Marvel Investment Comics To Get In 2012 Part 1!
Comic investing 101! Are bronze age comics starting to become more in demand since high grade silver age comics are becoming way to expensive for the average collector?
- More Top Bronze Age Comics To Invest In For 2012 Part 2!
Part two of my top bronze age comics to invest in for 2012. If you're wondering what the best comic investments to make or need a little help choosing investment comics, this hub details exactly why these certain comics will only grow in value.
Vic (author) on September 07, 2018:
Thanks, glad you fellas found this lil piece about comic book investing informative. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Sam Papers from New York & UK on April 03, 2018:
Great information thanks
Robert Pummer from Kentucky, USA on March 10, 2015:
rabbit75, great job with this article. I learned quite a bit from it.
Vic (author) on May 11, 2012:
DS Duby, they are mine as well!
DS Duby from United States, Illinois on May 04, 2012:
I agree completely, comics are my favorite investment.
Vic (author) on May 04, 2012:
Hey DS Duby, thanks for stopping by. I love comic book collecting and investing...and it's a great conversation...most people don't believe it's really profitable, but it's just really about knowing about the market as well as having the right connections.
Thanks for commenting, and I'll be sure to look out for more of your hubs.
DS Duby from United States, Illinois on May 04, 2012:
There was some really great advice in your hub, aside from coins I do believe comics to be one of the best collection investments, not to mention the most conversation worthy. Thanks for the great advice.