Comic Book Speculation Chat Summary #9

Apologies in advance for the long pause between Summary #8 and this one. Truth to told, the chat was repeating the same books so there wasn’t much new stuff to report. Even this summary took a bit of time to squeeze something from.

1. Comics heating up

Darth Vader #3 4th Print

A 9.8 from Ross sold for $600, beating the regular copies by 140%.

I have asked whether this 4th print can be the next ANMPO #1 2nd print here.

If such prices continue, the answer might be a yes.

Chamber of Chill #19

Sean bought this book to the chat’s attention. 3 years ago, a 2.5 will cost around $1,000.

A recent auction closed at $4,600. That is an impressive 360% growth over 3 years, averaging 100% per year.

While modern comics can match such growth, the power lies in the consistency of doing the same growth rate for 3 years.

Amazing Fantasy Vol 2 #15

9.8 of this book are starting to breach the $1000 mark. This is within expectation as Amazing Fantasy Vol 2, #15 has an even lower print run than Adam Legend of the Blue Marvel #1.

I expect more to come from this book.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 2nd/3rd print

What is said about Chamber of Chill #19 applies to the copper blue chip: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle #1.

However, instead of just the first print, latter printings are seeing record prices as well.

DaBears4 shows us that second print 3.0 broke $1,000, while a 9.4 Third Print sold for $1,800

2. Comic book speculation

2.1: Understanding variant speculation

Ross had a great summary on why we need to be careful when it comes to speculating on store variants.

  1. Deceptive print numbers that allude to less than 3,000 despite 3,000 being the minimum for a Marvel variant.
  2. Cherry picking copies for 9.8.
  3. Delayed shipping ensuring the sellers are first to market/Ebay with them. This is done through variety of ways, claiming damages need to be replaced, late shipping from distributor, etc.
  4. Trickling supply that continues to show up on Ebay months to years after release.

While the above are valid points, do note it does not apply to every single store. However, before you part with your cash, make sure you are confident that store you are buying from has done the above before.

Related to the above is a question on the difference between store and incentive variants. Sean offered a useful breakdown of the different variants in the market.

  • Incentive/ratio variants are incentives for the LCS to buy more product, and have to be “earned” from buying a pre determined number of regular issue to qualify for the ratio variant 1:10, 1:25, 1:50….
  • There are also ratio variants that are 1 per store (instead of based on a preorder number). (This is) usually a special thank you from the company to stores that have bought product before.
  • Con variants (are) small batch variants exclusively for the purpose of selling at a convention.
  • Store variants (are variants that ) stores can go to, say Marvel, and put in a request to have a store exclusive. There is a minimum initial order of 3,000 copies a store must order (when dealing with Marvel). Then that store gets this particular “exclusive variant” to sell.

3. Tips and tricks

James offered useful investment tips on PCH books. He has posted this before but I wanted to included this here so that it will be easier to refer in the future.

  1. Cover is key: gory, weird makes these. Skeletons, women in distress, GGA are also sought after covers. Bondage and torture are super-hot. Shot in the head or chopping ahead off etc are usually super hot.
  2. Black or dark covers – they look great when in decent shape and usually cause the book to be rarer because they get so beat up, and are rarer.
  3. Popular artists of the time are a bonus. So is a book used in SOTI.
  4. Decent shape, with good cover appeal – many of these books are very beat up, rare, and just not available in in higher grades, so you don’t need or are not going to find a high grade (and if you do its mucho bucks). I want a cover that looks presentable. Many of these collectors like to slab even the lower grades, so the low grades with the nice covers will be more sought after – even if the back cover and inside has major flaws. I normally avoid books with tape – but not with these – they sell well too with a good cover.
  5. IMPORTANT: A book with some sales (i don’t buy ones that have alot of issues for sale which aren’t selling – some of these do have a decent supply). I also look for those that don’t have any available, or I’ll buy one that buy is significantly better than those being for sale. Note: This applies to regular GA books too. I want to make sure there is a demand or it will sell. And here is one I forgot to add: 5. SOTI (Seduction of the Innocent) Comics.


We are at a point in the cycle where everything is very speculation driven due to the Covid situation. There isn’t new TV show or movie coming out so all of us are trying to second guess our way into things. It can be fun or can also lead to overspending.

Our departing advice is to split your spending between speculation and blue chips carefully.

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