CBSI Writer Wars Round 2 : Shreddin’ the Hater Wave by Joseph Zdyrski




There has been a lot of talk lately about the fear of missing out and how real that phenomenon is in our hobby.  Well I’m here to offer a different perspective because in reality there are so many key books and new books coming out weekly it’s absolutely impossible for all but the uber rich to literally buy everything.

And if one chases every hot modern they are undoubtedly ignoring other markets to some extent… GA, SA, early Bronze etc. And some of those other markets are really better long term investments.

Also as collectors we are in a sense defined by our collections.  What we chose to collect but also what we chose not to collect can say a lot about the collector but also in the end a nice well rounded collection featuring keys from all eras and perhaps a few areas of focus … ie: Batgirl/Supergirl books and/or AH!

Covers will always look better and be easier to resell/ hold its value better than a collection of each weeks was hot moderns with little to nothing else of substance.  And as speculators take a look back the fact is clear that only a small fraction of these hot books keep their value or go up.

Meaning chasing every modern is a crap shoot at best. So instead of being afraid of missing out…. be fearless and ride the hater wave with me as I discuss some very hot books I am sure will not stand the test of time.


Batman Damned 1

I’m sure everyone saw this one coming.  This book shot up way too fast and has really little substance to back up the heat.  And mostly it has lack luster covers for for the first issue. Nothing I’d ever want to hang up and display.  And on top of that it’s oversized…. I repeat oversized ie: nor appealing to all collectors. All this equals a 30-40$ book at best by this time next year and that’s if the story and art are as good as I’ve heard it is.


Carnage Mind Bomb 1

Okay the last book just kinda fell into the lap of this hater wave rider.  This book however is the one that originally inspired this article. Carnage: Mind Bomb is quite possible the worst book one could ever chose to invest in … maybe ever.

This book has absolutely no precedent for this book’s value.   For the sake of argument let’s just assume that Donny Cates is the next Frank Miller.  In this scenario he is totally the next Miller hell he’s twice as good so let’s say we find the value of Frank Miller’s favorite Detective comics issue and double it….. wait so no one cares about Miller’s favorite book or ever knows it??? How about Allen Moore’s???

No idea either…. well that’s because no one collects comic book writers favorite books.  Never have and I doubt this is the start of some new phenomena…. just spec hungry newbies overly obsessed with their new favorite writer. After the Cates hype dies down as it inevitably will the people who paid up will have a very hard time explaining why others should care about this book let alone pay 150+ for a copy.

Overall I implore you all to think for yourselves and have standards of your own.  Don’t just follow the market and chase books just because they spike in value. Ask yourself would I be buying this if it wasn’t going up in value?  And if you can’t say yes just let it go and some hate for that book flow.

After all there are always new book out every week and constantly chasing last week’s hot book is not a good place to be.  But overall just don’t let the crazy roller coaster that is the spec game get in the way of enjoying the hobby. Imo there is absolutely no reason to take it too seriously.


Special Thanks to Mel V. For coming up with concept of the hater wave.  



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    Nice, well-written article. Your writing focuses on how you can/should approach purchasing books for your personal collection; not flipping. You wrote only the über rich can afford to buy every “hot book” every week. I agree, but I’m guessing that some of the “missing out” mania is also suffered by the speculator who is purchasing multiple copies of said “hot books” in order to recoup some money so that they can continue to purchase their weekly “reads” as well as purchasing that key silver age or bronze age first appearance they’ve been wanting for their personal collection. My point is that this phenomenon is happening on both sides; the collector building up their personal collections and the speculator/flipper who is hoping to see at least a 100% profit from selling “hot books” on a weekly basis.

    I believe the “missing out” wave is real. But is it a good thing or a bad thing? Batman: Damned #1, Deathstroke #36 Mattina cover, Rags #1, Deadpool #6, any Middleton cover, etc., etc., have made money for collectors in the short-term because these books were ultimately sold to collectors who missed out. What happens if those collectors start to ride the “hater wave”? Will we continue to see books sell for 3-4 times cover price the day after they hit the shelves? If we do, is that a bad thing? If we don’t, is that a bad thing?

    I honestly don’t know what side of the fence I’m on. Last year I was enthusiastically purchasing store-exclusive covers. Mattina, Parillo, Dell’Otto. If they did the cover, I was definitely interested. Then DC started the “B” covers with limited trade dress and I really didn’t feel the need to spend $20-$50 for an exclusive cover when I could buy a Batgirl #23 for $3 or a Flash, Deathstroke, or Suicide Squad Mattina cover for the same price. Marvel has been doing connecting covers and you’re seeing more and more regular priced JSC covers than ever before. Why? Did DC and Marvel see that people will buy a book solely because of a particular artist doing the cover? I think they did.

    The temptation to speculate on books each and every week is a normal thing if you’ve been in this hobby long enough. If you want to flip 6 copies of Rags #1, I say go for it. If that particular book doesn’t seem to be your cup of tea, then skip it. Nothing wrong with that. I didn’t pre-order Rags #1. Saw it when it was released, looked through it, felt it wasn’t for me, put it back, and couldn’t believe how it took off. I have the Carnage Mind Bomb #1. Bought it when it came out. Is it as good a read as an Alan Moore issue of Swamp Thing? No. But back then, I bought everything Spider-man. I bought what I liked. And now, years later, I’m thinking of digging it out of that long box that is buried in the back of the hallway closet and selling it on eBay. If I make a nice profit, so be it. But I don’t think I’m going to run out and over-speculate on a newly released book because it may be the next Carnage Mind Bomb.

    This is an interesting topic. Everyone who visits this site will have an opinion and are entitled to that opinion. I have been a collector since 1972, so obviously my opinion is going to be different than my 28-year-old son who will track down every Sienkiewicz Walking Dead 15th anniversary cover no matter what. Good for him. And I’ll keep purchasing every single Catwoman Artgerm cover he decides to draw; no questions asked. Buy what you like as often as you can. Don’t always buy what you think you can sell for 3-4 times what you paid for it. Balance it out and we’ll all enjoy this hobby for years to come. It’s a hobby, not a 401K.

    • Father_fanboy

      Agreed on pretty much all counts—Occasionally I’ll buy a few copies of a book I particularly like and get lucky, but I mostly try to stick to things I either want to read or really like the cover on. I got super-lucky with Batman Damned and pre-ordered the Lee cover, then saw the regular cover in my LCS that Wednesday (I usually get there when they open) and decided I really liked the way it looked (moreso than the Lee cover, which was your basic Lee Batman over a Pentagram). Two weeks later I sold the Lee cover for enough to pay for all my books for two weeks, so I can definitely see both sides of this.

      I got caught in the “buy multiple copies of everything!” trap a while back and that led to my getting out of the hobby for a while (guess I was re-grouping haha). It’s very easy to get caught up in that wave.

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    Nicely written.

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    Ugh, it’s ‘Alan’ Moore – but nice article!

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    I think that $30-$40 for Damned #1 is not bad for those that bought it at cover price. The book is a good read and both writer and artist are top notch.

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    People want something most when others also have the same desire.
    Investing in weekly releases is like playing the lottery. Not wise but people still do it.
    $30 one year from now? That’s 3.75 times original cover and “If everybody saw it coming” then why isn’t closer to 2x cover or less by now.

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    Thank you for put it out there.

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