Comics have always been a great, and fun, way to invest your money. There has been for a long time Holy Grails such as Actions Comics #1, or Detective Comics #27. These comics can be worth millions of dollars. Many of the books from the Golden age carry huge price tags, and have for some time, but for the majority of us mere mortals, owning these books are just a dream.
Then you have the books of the silver age. Many of these books have also skyrocketed in price over the years. Leading the way were the Marvel comics where Stan Lee and company began introducing the second great coming of the superhero genre. This includes such great book as Fantastic Four #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, Journey into Mystery #83. In addition to those books are the DC reinventions of some of their classic characters, like Flash, in Showcase #4. These books have continued to gain in value each year, so much so that a near mint copy of Showcase #4, can go for over 50K. At these prices books in this category have slipped out of the reach of most collectors too.
Which brings us to my beloved 1970’s and 1980’s comics. Comics in this range had been more affordable for a long period of time. Collecting comics by this time had become firmly cemented as a pastime shared by many. Not only were people collecting and holding onto their books more by then, but a whole industry sprang up to accommodate it. Comic shops began sprouting up around the country catering to the pastime, offer back issues and other merchandise. Bagging and board your books also became commonplace during this time, preserving comics better. Many of the comics in this category have also begun to rapidly increase in value, as have many of the books in the 1990’s. Many of the books in this category have crept up in value to the point that many of the hottest books are now worth hundreds, and even thousands of dollars. For example, Batman Adventures #12, the first appearance of Harley Quinn in comics, which came out in 1993, can go for $150.00 easy. And today demand is higher than ever, ass comics have gone from geek to chic.
Another addition to the industry are companies like Certified Guaranty Company, which grades your comics by professionals, and seals them up for preservation. CGC books are usually worth twice to three times of a non CGC graded comic. For example, the same Batman Adventures #12 I mentioned about, with a grading of 9.2 or higher, can go for thousands of dollars. The before mentioned Showcase #4, the first appearance of the modern day Flash, with a CGC grade of 9.2 sold for over a hundred thousand dollars, which is an increase in value of over 50K more than a non CGC graded copy.
With all of this talk of high priced comics that have come out so long ago, what’s a regular comic book speculator to do? Well, if you don’t have that kind of money to throw around, don’t worry, there are plenty of comics out there going up in price, and are still affordable. The recent explosion of comics on television and in movies has shot up the value of many. The characters featured in these movies and TV shows are not always long established characters. For example, Skye, from Marvel’s Agents of Shield, also known as Quake, had her first appearance in the pages of Secret War #2. This issue, which came out in 2004, was available before the TV show at most comics shops for a couple of bucks. Now it goes from around $15.00 to $20.00 dollars. Not a huge bump, but still a bump. Legends #3, the first appearance of The modern Suicide Squad, and Amanda Waller, not long ago could have been bought for about $5.00 depending on its grade and where you bought it. Today it goes for around $25.00 to $30.00 bucks, and this price will keep going up the closer the movie gets to being released.
There are tons of books like this out there, ones with connections to the movies and the TV shows that you can still find. The trick is being up on the gossip and the rumors of what is happening in Hollywood. There are a number of websites dedicated to this, and just about every comic book website talks about them, but there is one in particular dedicated to it, www.investcomics.com. This site is a great place to find out all kinds of information and speculation on comics new and old that might be worth picking up.
As you can see, there are many possibilities for investments in modern comics that are not outside of the realm of the everyday collector. Investing in comics is not limited to the spandex crowd either. There is a ton of books out there from publishers besides Marvel and DC, such as Image, Dark Horse etc. The Walking Dead from Image is the best example of this. These comics have skyrocketed in value after the success of the TV show.
I know that my collecting is no longer viewed the same way it used to be by friends and relatives. Especially when I tell them that a comic that I bought for $1.95 new, is now worth $500 dollars. The only problem with collecting comics as an investment is selling them. While there are plenty of places online that you can sell them easily through, there is still the pain of parting with them.