CBSI Writer Wars Round 2 : Print Runs, Prices, and Counterfeits… Oh My! by Ruben Najera




We currently live in a world where film and television is determining most of the rise in the value of specific comic book characters finally getting their time in the limelight. On top of that the first appearances of characters that were already household names continue to rise in value!


However, the truth is that not all comic books featuring the first appearances of their stars are created equal. And by that I am referring to their print runs and the actual rarity of the books they first appeared in. For example, Deadpool’s first appearance in New Mutants 98 has a supposed print run of between 225k to 250k to put that into perspective the recent Batman Damned #1 has a print run of 115k.


So that means there’s plenty of New Mutants 98s to go around. Adding to that there are currently a total of 3038 cgc 9.8 graded copies in the census! Heck there’s even 13 cgc 9.9 copies and 1 freaking 10.0!


Now compare this to say Cerebus the Aardvark #1 with a total print run of only 2000 copies made with 400 of those being badly damaged from the printers and the majority of the rest of the copies being mid grade at best!


In fact, the highest grade recorded in this book is a 9.4 which came from creator Dave Sims own personal stash! On the cgc census there are only 5 of these. Now I know what you might be thinking apples and oranges right? Not really though because we are speaking in terms of investment here and what is truly the “rarer” book.


I mean if someone really wanted they could make it their goal to own the majority of the Cerebus high grade copies and essentially run the market on that sole book because there are so few of them. And to make even more of an impact of how rare Cerebus is this book is notorious for having a plethora of counterfeits out there!


As if it wasn’t already hard enough to find in the wild now you have to worry about it being real to begin with! Spotting a real from a fake can be determined easiest by studying the armored soldiers chest making sure that the red doesn’t trail across as seen in the photo below.

So when it comes down to it should you really be paying close to $1000.00 for a 9.8 copy of New Mutants or putting that and a little extra towards something much rarer. In truth the odds are fairly high that you could go to craigslist and look up your local garage sale this weekend and possibly score yourself a first appearance of Deadpool for only a buck!


This conversation doesn’t come up very often but it’s undeniable the possibilities of still finding this book in the wild. So save up those investment dollars and put them towards some older Marvel Keys or some rarer key issues that will truly make your collection unique.


There are so many rare key issues to choose from I just gave Cerebus as an example! Dime Press #4 (2000 copies) San Diego Comic Con comics #2 (1500 copies) anyone? Just saying…




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    I insist that people should buy what they like. If someone is into Deadpool then it is good for them to get a high grade copy of NM 98. Counterfeits are a thing to be careful about, an article on those would also be good info to be out there.

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    Good article. I was a actually going to write about counterfeit comics in my article. There’s still a ton of the fakes from the 90s sitting out in collections on top of all the fake production art and photocopied comics out there today.

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    People put way to much value on print run numbers, the demand side is what drives the price along with available supply not the number that was actually printed, high demand & availability of getting the book sets the price, this why nm 98 is only 1,000 bucks…as there are plenty out there in 9.8… vs asm 300 which had a ton printed but the black cover makes 9.8 harder to get which is why it’s double that of an asm 300 as there are 855 cgc 9.8 and nm 98 has 2613… again how many were printed really is alien to the value formula the real number to use for supply is available when you are buying the book

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