Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

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Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by Collector » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:03 pm

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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by DeadPoolX » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:43 pm

Doesn't really surprise me. Back in the 90s, the idea that comics are collectibles was massively pushed.

That's how Marvel and DC got away with releasing the SAME comic book with multiple covers; some of those covers were even made of reflective foil.

That led to just about every comic book reader to take up collecting them for future monetary gain. Of course, something is only worth a lot if it's scarce (at least as far as collectibles are concerned), so when tons of teenagers horded these comics, the value plummeted.

Sure, Action Comics #1 is worth a ton, but that's because it's hard to come by nowadays. When kids read it back in the late 1930s, they didn't wrap them in plastic slip-covers and keep them hidden away to sell decades later.

I'll admit I fell for it as a teenager in the mid-to-late 1990s. Sometime in my early 20s, I realized the whole thing was ridiculous. After that I only bought graphic novels (which is what you call a large group of comic books collected into one book, usually following a single story arc) and nowadays I just take them out of the library.
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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by gumby » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:02 pm

This is one of the reasons I donated my entire collection to charity. No hassle & probably got as much out of the tax write-off as I would have if I attempted to sell them.

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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by Collector » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:52 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:Sure, Action Comics #1 is worth a ton, but that's because it's hard to come by nowadays. When kids read it back in the late 1930s, they didn't wrap them in plastic slip-covers and keep them hidden away to sell decades later.
And, to be honest, the market for these rare ones is pretty limited. Few can spend thousands on a comic book that will not last indefinitely. The pulp paper that they are printed on is far from archival. It has little to no rag content and is not pH neutral. This is why they are yellowing and becoming brittle with age. They will crumble into dust over time. A plastic sleeve will be of no more use than to collect all of the dust that used to be paper.
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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by Tawmis » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:52 am

Comic book collectors who collect as an "investment" are idiots. Plain and simple really.

As DPX mentioned; there was a HUGE comic book craze in the 90's - and the comic companies made several "special edition" covers. And often times, as he said foil covers, or multiple covers. I admit, sometimes I enjoyed the multiple covers. (For example, one of my favorites is: X-Men #1 with Clairemont and Lee - here's the covers - Cover A, Cover B, Cover C, Cover D and then the wrap around cover). Did I buy all these as an investment idea? Hades, no! I bought them because I enjoyed them.

I have a very, very, very, very massive comic collection. I have some extremely old comics that are worth some money. But never, even now, do I consider them any form of an investment. They're a hobby, just like my Sierra games, my D&D books, my LEGOS, etc.

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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by BBP » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:59 am

You know, just a few years back, at the book fair, they were selling hard-to-shift Douwe Dabbert-comics at half price. I love Douwe Dabbert and bought a few.
Trying to get all of the stories together. But the weird thing is, over the 5 years since the book fair, most of his comics never had a re-print and are therefore very sought: a book you may have paid 5 guilders for when it was new, five years ago you'd have paid under €3 for a second-hand copy, the same copy'd now cost 20 euros if you buy it at a specialized dealer. It's... odd to say the least, having watched it happen overtime. Also because the old booklets smell very bad. It's cheaper and more pleasant to collect the Donald Duck magazines they were pre-published in.

Nothing is as unpredictable as prices. The current situation is there are a lot of hoarders getting rid of their collection, thinking to get rich quick by cashing in on their hobby and shops dealing in them (luxury goods so they're not going to sell what they buy as easily) less likely to pay such amounts: it's very well possible the prices will go up again in a few years when the economy recovers.
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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by Tawmis » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:34 pm

BBP wrote: Nothing is as unpredictable as prices. The current situation is there are a lot of hoarders getting rid of their collection, thinking to get rich quick by cashing in on their hobby and shops dealing in them (luxury goods so they're not going to sell what they buy as easily) less likely to pay such amounts: it's very well possible the prices will go up again in a few years when the economy recovers.
The problem is those who collect with the intent of "investment." What happens, for example when Image Comics took off - it was during the hype of the comic craze. So a bunch of artists breaking off from Marvel Comics (one of the "Big Two" - Marvel and DC) - it was a "huge" deal - and so all these "investment collectors" gobbled up multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) copies of all the #1 issues of Spawn, Cyber Force, Youngblood, Savage Dragon, WILDCats, etc - to the point, where when the comic craze was dying down - they were trying to sell their collections and cash in. So now all these #1 issues are worth a dollar; because EVERY comic store has like 30 copies of it.

The current popularity of comic based movies (especially coming out from Marvel and DC), has created another surge in "investment collectors" who see dollar signs in comics again. But the same cycle is about to repeat itself. Comics will only find worth when there's hardly anyone collecting them, and they become difficult to find. (Or if for some reason, a character that first appears in that issue becomes extremely popular). Such a case as in my copy of NEW MUTANTS #98. It was in a box with the rest of my NEW MUTANT comics, all of which are pretty much worth $1 to $5 depending. However, NM#98? It's worth anywhere from $200 to $400 dollars to a comic store (though they rarely pay this price, as they need to make money off of it). Why? Because Deadpool appeared in that issue, and he's extremely popular. So back then, not many people were collecting New Mutants (or didn't care about the condition of their comics), so finding an uber great copy (such as the one I own) is now a rarity and makes this comic worth something.

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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by DeadPoolX » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:23 pm

Another problem with collecting comics (or really, collecting any item) is that the amount you'll gain from them depend heavily on the economy.

In a good economy, people are less concerned about how they spend their money.

Unfortunately, a bad economy is when people often try to sell their collections to earn extra money.

What ends up happening is unless they have an item so rare that very wealthy individuals are willing to spend thousands to get it, they'll take a loss because fewer people have the disposable income to buy collectibles.
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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by Collector » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:50 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:Another problem with collecting comics (or really, collecting any item) is that the amount you'll gain from them depend heavily on the economy.
This is very true. I have a friend who is a professional painter. The likelihood of him being able to sell a piece is directly proportional to the economy. During harder times, people are not as likely to buy a painting for investment purposes.
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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by Tawmis » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:20 am

Collector wrote:
DeadPoolX wrote:Another problem with collecting comics (or really, collecting any item) is that the amount you'll gain from them depend heavily on the economy.
This is very true. I have a friend who is a professional painter. The likelihood of him being able to sell a piece is directly proportional to the economy. During harder times, people are not as likely to buy a painting for investment purposes.
That very thing is happening to my friend, Lindsay Archer. She's a painter as well.

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Re: Those Comics in Your Basement Are Probably Worthless

Post by Rudy » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:43 am

By the way, the Barry T. Smith in the article is most likely the same Barry T. Smith who worked as an animator at Sierra On-Line.
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