Comic Book Speculation Chat Summary #7

This week’s chat was pretty much everything under the sun, with topics ranging from the usual music/movie recalls as well as discussions on Star Wars trading cards. We even talk about the downfall of Valiant comics and how many of us were caught with hoards of comics that nobody wants lol.

1. Comics heating up

Crow #1

One of the desired copper age books, a copy of Crow #1 9.8 SS series sold for a whopping $5000 this week.

Interestingly, this book is not the first appearance of the Crow but seem to be more desired than Caliber Presents #2. I guess cover art is indeed important to a collector, key or not.

Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures FCBD 2004

This book is the first appearance of General Grievous, the multi light saber user we saw in the prequels.

For some reason, its is getting some heat at 9.8s of this book has broke through the $200 mark.

2. Comic book speculation

2.1 Variant investment

There was a short discussion on what makes variants a good investment. Specifically, we wanted to spot the next Ms Marvel #2 Molina variant or America #8 variant.

Doctor Aphra was used as a potential character to screen for good variant investment but we found none.

From the discussion, the general rule seems to be the following:

  • Low print run: in the hundreds will be the best
  • Avoid store variants due to its high print run of a few thousand copies as well as uncertain market reaction
  • Covers that jumped out. This is pretty difficult to judge but it usually involves some kind of hero pose. Look at Ms Marvel #2 Molina variant or America #8 variant as examples.
  • Female characters only?

Is there other criteria you will factor in when considering variant investment?

2.2 Later printings

The market for modern later printings have really exploded recently. Now, almost every later printings of significant character’s first appearance has become a 3 digit book.

In the past, later printings that got heated usually features a different cover or has the first cover appearance such as Captain Marvel Vol 7 #17 2nd print. Nowadays, any later printings has gotten heat, even with same cover with just a color change.

Will this trend last? My gut feel says not but I have no evidence to back that up. One thing these later printing have so them is their scarcity. However, there are plenty of other books which are hard to find and are still cheap.

My advice is this: it is ok to gamble a small pot of money on cheap 2nd prints. If one of them hits like All New Marvel 2nd print, you can probably take back all your capital and then some.

3. Tips and tricks

I feel that this week’s tip is one of the most useful, along with last summary’s tip on how to spot trimmed books.

3.1 How to grade a 9.8 comic

Ross and Sean gave some very useful tips on how to tell if your comic is a 9.8 candidate. Below is their criteria for determining the difference between 9.8, 9.6 and 9.4 books

  • No color breaks
  • One or two extremely small spine creases could be permitted if rest of the book is perfect
  • The smallest manufacturing defects permitted
  • A small color break will land the book in 9.6 category
  • 2-3 spines ticks will land the book in 9.4 category

Here is more advice on when to submit for a 9.8 candidate

  • If you see a flaw such as those mentioned above, assume it is a 9.6 to be conservative
  • However, there are exceptional cases when such flaws are allowed due to production errors. To know this, simply look at other 9.8s with familiar flaws. Another example of this is Thanos Vol 2 #13 Albuquerque variant’s back cover rub.

Finally, Sean gave this advise when examining books

  • You really need to take a book out of the bag, and look at it from all angles.
  • The light will reveal small creases or dimples/indentations that could be passed over if you look at the book straight on.


This week’s summary is a bit short. There was a lot of discussion on books that have been mentioned numerous times so I didn’t want to include them in the summary again.

9 thoughts on “Comic Book Speculation Chat Summary #7

  1. How come you never talk about comics and long term investing. It’s always about buying then selling within a few months to a few years. Please do an article on the best books to lock away and sell right before retirement.

    1. Hi Joe, this chat summary is mainly about what the community is talking about. And the above is what was being discussed. If you want super long term, simply buy any blue chip books listed in the overstreet and hold. That is pretty straight forward.

      Personally, my time frame for most books is between 2-5 years. Anything longer is hard to project so only the blue chip books are the safest investments.

  2. You like to research comic data and if you could answer a dilemma on Copra 1 1st and second print. Both have a 400 print run but 1st print seems slightly rarer and higher priced. Why?

    1. Since it is a first print, I would assumed it will be more demanded, thus leading to higher price?
      The rise of the later printings is only a very recent event and primarily affect modern books.

      1. Hello Aaron. Do you believe the Sandman 8 Karen Berger Editorial Variant will become a big time book sought after as i am trying to find a raw one

        1. Depends on your definition but in my mind, it is already a big book. Do you have an even higher price target in mind when you asked this question?

  3. Could you do and article on black modern day covers that are currently undervalued. Spiderman 36 and new xmen 133 have been mentioned in your columns.

  4. I wish I had read this article sooner. Two weeks ago. I bought a bunch of store variants for Venom 27 and Thor 6. I know a made a mistake two day after but I could not figure it out. I added all the hype, reveals, and marketing. Too late return them now.

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