Hits & Misses
Ahh that beautiful Fall air is certainly curious. Welcome to another night in Diesel City.
As stated before, I’ve been buying, selling, and collecting for nearly 15 years. I feel I have a good idea of the market and I can also spot trends. That certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t had my fair share of flops, because trust me, I have.
In the world of speculation you really need to understand the market and understand when to let a book go. Sell a book to soon and you may miss out on the big payday. If you wait even a day to long, you could have already missed it. This rant will be a random assortment of some of my wins and some of my losses, or organized confusion if you will.
As a collector first, I have sold books in the past for the payday and have not been able to get my hands on them since. Take for instance The Walking Dead #1. In 2007 I purchased a CGC 8.0 for $72. In 2012, I sold it for $450, right as the first season on the AMC TV show was premiering. At the time I felt good about this. As much as I love the comic, which I do, I felt audiences would grow tired of the theme and the book would lose hype. WRONG. Here is an example of me not only missing on the real cash (likely could have got another $300 out of it) but I also no longer have it in my collection. This is a prime example of how I collect comics today. Unless I’m in financial trouble … I do not touch anything in my personal collection. That’s not to say that Walking Dead #1 is unobtainable. It would set me back $800-$1000 for an unslabbed copy, but it’s certainly not yielding the cash prime time silver age (in high grade) books do. But with 1k cash, I would rather buy a bunch of hundred dollar books then blow it on one book. So if you’re a collector, I advise you to always think twice about selling a book that you have sentimental attachment too. Money is great no doubt, but sometimes it’s hard to get those gems back.
Next, I have one of my greatest “specs”. In 2003 I was really into 90s Deadpool, so I went to my local comic shop and hunted through the back issues. At the time, New Mutants 98 was only a wall book if you were using it to throw darts at. So as I’m searching through the books, I came to the New Mutants section. Low and behold, there were six copies of #98, all priced at $2.99. Who would have thought that Deadpool would become the (worst) greatest gimmick in comic books. I made just north of a grand on those New Mutants.
A book that I completely missed the mark on selling; Amazing Spider-Man #583. If you don’t remember the Obama Spider-Man book of 2008, then you weren’t collecting books or you were hiding under a rock. This book was selling at $700+ in CGC 9.8 grade. I bought one for cover price and got it slabbed a 9.8. I had a ton of offers but felt because of all the presidential controversy and interest, the book would only gain smoke. Five printings later and hype dying, I sold my #583 for $80. So it wasn’t necessarily a loss, but it was a poor excuse for flipping a book. In this case, you need to see the ceiling for a book. In my opinion, if you buy a book for cover and can turn it for 10X the price in the first month, then do it. If you have no personal investment in the book, take the money while it’s still hot. Most trends lose interest and popularity, so take the money while you can. A brief example would be Uncanny Inhumans #11 (First appearance Mosaic). This book was HOTT for about a week. I was in Boston watching the Sox when a buddy of mine text me asking what I thought about the new character in the Inhumans. I had no prior knowledge to there being a new character introduction. So I picked up multiple copies for cover price at Newbury Comics in Boston, MA and flipped them that weekend for $20 a piece. Just last month at a comic con, my brother scooped a copy for $1.
I also missed the boat on some recent Image titles. My speculation was right on, but my execution was poor. I purchased a number of copies of Seven to Eternity #1 and God Country #1. As you can imagine when I saw intnial sales, I was very pleased with my speculation. But like the greedy fool I am, I turned down $100 offers, expecting one last big jump, and now I’m struggling to get rid of them. That being said, I do believe Seven to Eternity will continue to be a relatively hot book.
Chew #1 on the other hand, I scored on. I purchased it the second weekend for $30. I got it slabbed a 9.8, and sold it for $600 a few months later. Today, you can find a Chew #1 9.8 for buy it now $425.
So there we have a few of my ups and downs in the speculation game. As always thanks for reading and keep your eyes on the skies! Comment below on some of your own triumphs and failures! I’ll enjoy reading them while I’m binge watch Stranger Things 2 and eating pumpkin roll. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Golden Age covers and wish you all a Happy Horror-Filled Halloween!!!
AIRBOY Vol.5 #2 – Published by Hillman Periodicals in March of 1948, “AIRBOY MEETS The Wild Horse of Calabra”. I found this book in the garbage and instantly fell in love with the cover and subject matter. The art work by Dan Barry is absolutely phenomenal in painting a great bold image that screams a different era. Some of you may not be familiar with the book, others may, either way, I hope you like it!