CGC 9.8 Comic Investment Framework

After writing about undervalued modern 9.8 that can reach $1k, my interest in these segments has been increasing. The recent spike of of Black Panther Vol 4, #2 9.8 from $300 to $600-700 further cemented my view that there are still solid investment opportunities for 9.8 buys.

In order to have an more organized view of such opportunities, I am using the below framework to identify potential targets along different dimensions.

Understanding 2 important metrics for CGC 9.8

Before proceeding to the framework, there are 2 important metrics to understand:

  • CGC census number: this refers to the current 9.8 copies on CGC census. This number has the most impact on current pricing as it determines if supply can rise quickly to meet demand or will there be a short term shortage.
  • 9.8 to total submission ratio: for ease for writing, I will refer this to as 9.8 ratio for short. This number affect the longer term pricing for the book as it determines if future supply will increase or not.

For the 9.8 ratio, it is also important to know it changes over the course of time.

  • During the initial phase when a book’s 9.8 price is still low, this ratio tends to be high. This is because there is little incentive to submit comics unless you have a strong chance of getting a 9.8. You wouldn’t be submitting 9.4 for example since they will not be worth any money. As a result, we will see high 9.8 ratios.
  • Once the price starts to pick up and grades other than 9.8s are worth money, the ratio will fall. This is because there is now strong incentive to submit even non 9.8 candidates since they can also be sold for money.

9.8 segments for modern comics

Using the above 2 metrics, we can then segment the comics into different grouping that have rather distinct characteristics.

1. Low Supply 9.8

Below is Group A called the Low Supply 9.8. Comics in this group have the following characteristics:

  • Low 9.8 census number (usually below 300 copies)
  • Lower than 50% 9.8 ratio

Put these 2 factors together and you will have a book that has restricted supply in 9.8.

Issue9.8 copiesTotal9.8 to Total RatioPrice
All New Marvel Point One (Kamala Khan)18776424%USD 950
Amazing Fantasy Vol 2, #15 (Amadeus Cho)14446131%USD 1,000
Adam Legend of Blue Marvel #1 (Blue Marvel)12333237%USD 1,400
Batman Beyond #1 (Batman Beyond)22660138%USD 1,400
Links above are to Ebay. If you buy something, I will get a commission from Ebay as part of its affiliate program. If you want to support my research, using my links to buy from Ebay will be the best way.

Comics in this group can not only easily blow up but are able to breach the $1k mark. The 4 books listed above are good examples of low supply 9.8s and provide a benchmark to against other potential low supply 9.8 candidates.

These books are hard to come by as most modern books are well maintained and have lots of 9.8 copies.

 

2. High Supply 9.8

The second group of 9.8 is called high supply 9.8s. Comics in this group have the following characteristic

  • High 9.8 census copies (in the thousands)
  • Character has high comic appearance ratio
Issue9.8 copiesTotal9.8 to Total RatioPrice
Nyx #3 (X-23)1,9774,92240%USD 900
Edge of Spiderverse #2 (Spider Gwen)2,5564,42058%USD 900
Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3, #4 (Silk)3,0363,77980%USD 300
Links above are to Ebay. If you buy something, I will get a commission from Ebay as part of its affiliate program. If you want to support my research, using my links to buy from Ebay will be the best way.

Comics in this group have really high copies on census. In these cases, the 9.8 ratio becomes almost irrelevant because the census is already filled with 9.8 copies.

Usually, for these books to have a chance of even reaching $1k, the character making his or her first appearance must be really popular. We are talking about the top of the line character such as Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, X-23 etc.

In the case of Silk, her first appearance book has a larger number of 9.8 relative to Gwen and X-23. However, she is definitely not as popular as either of them. Hence, the ceiling for her book is likely to be in the $400-500 range, even with a movie.

If you want to invest in a high supply 9.8, the key here is to have characters that have an ultra high comic appearance ratio. We are talking about characters who, on average, appeared more than 24 times in a year.

Anything less and the character might not have enough demand to overcome that huge 9.8 supply.

Similar to group A, such characters are hard to come by because there is usually only a handful who can become ultra popular.

3. Middle Tier 9.8

The final group is the middle tier 9.8. Comics is this group are the most common as they usually have a few hundred 9.8 copies and above 50 9.8 ratio.

Most of the modern comics will fall into this category, making them easier to find. The downside is that they will have lower ceiling. However, if you have enough of these, the profits can still be significant.

Below are examples of middle tier 9.8.

Issue9.8 copiesTotal9.8 to Total RatioPrice
Invincible Iron Man Vol 3, #9 (Ironheart)32461653%USD 400
Black Panther Vol 4, #2 (Shuri)34761157%USD 600
Teen Titans Vol 6, #12 (Batman Who Laughs)616196031%USD 700
Links above are to Ebay. If you buy something, I will get a commission from Ebay as part of its affiliate program. If you want to support my research, using my links to buy from Ebay will be the best way.

Comics in this category will usually have a few hundred copies. On the low end, the number will be 300-400. The higher end of this group will have copies in the 600-800.

The price ceiling range for this group will usually stopped at the USD700 range.

Here is an example of a Mid Tier 9.8.

All New Ghost Rider #1

Date of Publication: 2014
Sale number: 50,712
9.8 Copies: 128
9.8 Ratio: 48% (out of 266 copies)

Key strengths of this book
1. First appearance of Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes)

This book has been mentioned by me a couple of times now. One is part of my affordable marvel comics to buy as well as 2nd print comics to speculate on.

In summary, this is a good character to invest in because:

  • 14 comic appearance ratio i.e. made 14 comic appearance per year on average
  • part of ongoing comics
  • part of diversity movement

As for the 9.8 of this book, it falls nicely into my criteria for Mid Tier 9.8. While there is currently only 128 copies on the census, out of a total of 266 submission, I expect this number to increase significantly if the price of this book starts to climb.

The 9.8 ratio is currently 48%, which falls in line with what the Mid Tier 9.8 tend to have.

Currently, this book can be had for under $200. If we compare this to the prices commanded by the benchmark books, the gain can up to 350%. If we are to be conservative, 250-300% is definitely doable when he is featured in the MCU.

Conclusion

With this 9.8 framework being set up, I will recommend books for the different categories in future articles. Using the benchmarks, you will be able to know what are their average selling prices and whether is it worthwhile to make an investment.

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