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
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.