Lets Talk Comics

This is the post excerpt.

Hello, my name is Tom. I began collecting comics about 8 years ago. So, yes. I am still a newbie. One of the things I learned quickly, was you could spend a lot of money in a short amount of time. I also ran into some folks that were more interested in my money than helping me when I asked questions. Now don’t get me wrong. I also met some good people that helped me out, but there were fewer of them. So I have started this blog in hopes of spreading information to those who may need some. Now, I do want you to remember. What I write here is mainly my opinion and how I feel. By no means is it the rule or an exact science. Read it, and then do your own research and hopefully you will not hit the same pitfalls I did.  Please feel free to comment, ask questions, share stories and knowledge you feel is pertinent. But I do ask there be no name calling or arguing. I can tell you for sure, that I do not know everything and will even be wrong sometimes. I hope you find this helpful and good luck in your collecting. This is an awesome hobby and a lot of fun.


The late great Jeremy Dale Sketch

2nd and Charles

I remember a couple of years ago, you could go into a 2nd and Charles store and buy comics at some of the best prices you have ever seen. As a matter of fact. The weekend I found my first store in Augusta Georgia. Not only were they cheap, but they had a half off sale going on. It was amazing. I spent almost 4 hours in that store going through every box of comics they had. I bought what amounted to $400 in books for $50 dollars. These books included an Amazing Spider-Man 238, the first 15 books of the Vol 2 Wolverine run, All 5 books in the first Punisher run, and a ton of other great stuff. So to my amazement, It was quit disappointing when I came home and decided to check out the store in Fayeteville, NC and after arriving. I noticed there store was different. They actually had an entire area set up like a comic shop and had all sorts of prices on everything. Most being quit high. Even books in not so great condition. So after an hour and a half drive. I spent less than 20 minutes in the store. If I am going to pay top dollar. I would rather support my local shop. I now have to let all of you know. The store in Augusta is now doing the same thing. Some of there prices are even higher than what you might find at your local shops. It is horrible. They have also rearranged the store to accommodate the comics as what seems to be there main income now. So, now I am wondering. If you have a 2nd and Charles in your area. Have they also turned to doing this. If so, please comment and let us know which city you are talking about. So, for now. Back to the little thrift shops and Goodwill stores to find great deals.

Back to Variants

Lets take today and go back to variants. One that we haven’t covered, is the double cover. At times it may even be a triple cover. These are exactly as they sound. During the binding process two or three covers can stick together and be stapled to one book. Now from my research it doesn’t seem to be from any particular book or year. They can cover almost any year and any book. These covers have been found on some of the most sought after books and on books that would be considered filler books. The front cover is still graded as normal, but the second cover can also be graded. So your book can carry two grades. These variants do carry a premium over there regular counter parts. So make sure you take a quick look at your books and make sure you have not missed one of these.

Movies make the Books!

Since I began collecting comics a few years back I noticed a trend in how values were perceived. I don’t really understand it, and do not really agree with it. But it happens and it looks like we are stuck with it. This trend is the value of a book moving upward of 350% or even more just because a character appears in a movie or T.V. show. But even stranger is the fact that it only happens with newer or lesser known characters.

Here is what I mean. When the Garfield led Amazing Spider Man came out, Amazing Fantasy #15 nor Amazing Spider Man #1 moved up much in value. But when the Tom Hardy led Venom movie was announced, Amazing Spider Man #300 began moving up in value again at a brisk pace. Now I admit Venom is a well known and beloved character but still.

Lets take a look at the small screen. Early Flash titles didn’t move up big with the release of the CW’s Flash series. But an unknown character known as Plastique went from $1.45 NM to $17 NM over night for a 10 minute appearance on the Flash show in which she dies in the end. Same thing happened with Vibe, Cupid, China White, and Felicity Smoak just to name a few. It is happening right now with the character Ronin who we will see in the Infinity Wars movies. Ronin just happens to be Hawkeye in a new suit. And just to get out front of it, I would suggest you grab the first appearance of Nomad!!! ( Captain America #180 1974)

So my advice is, even though I do not like the train of thought. If you hear a character is about to make an appearance on a show or movie. Grab their first appearance quick before it goes up. If you are to late, think if you believe the book will hold value or come back down later. If not and you do not need the book. Buy something else and wait. The Fury of Firestorm #7 did not hold its value and is at $4.50 NM right now. (1st Plastique) Again, all of this is just opinion and you should always do your own research and find the best deals possible. But watch out for those trying to get your money. I will say this, Harley Quinn gets more and more popular. So waiting for her books to trend down may take some time.

Another Insert Discovered

It has been brought to my attention that there is a Marvel insert variant that I missed while discussing inserts. I must say, they seem to be fairly rare. In 8 years of collecting and owning over 15,000 comics over that time, I have never seen one.

It is the Marvel Pizzazz Magazine insert. It is an advertisement for a kids Marvel magazine. These variants appear in a fraction of the original print run and sold in a few select markets. A lot of books did come with a full page ad. This is not the variant. The variant is a half page age and are Blue and Red in color. There is a photo below.

Listed below are a few of the books known to have this insert. There are more but I have not been able to verify all of them.

  1. Thor #269
  2. Star Wars #7
  3. Star Wars #9
  4. Invaders #26
  5. Incredible Hulk #221
  6. Amazing Spider-Man #177
  7. Amazing Spider-Man #178
  8. Marvel Team-Up #66
  9. Marvel Team-Up #67

If you know of anymore please let me know and I will add them to the list. These would definitely be worth adding to any collection. So good luck and happy hunting.



Its Not Just Super Heroes

I hear a lot of people say, if comics had something more than just heroes and villains I would probably read them. What!!!!!!! I can not believe how many people out there have no clue of all the different comics issued through out the years. Heck, they haven’t even realized how many of their favorite T.V. shows are actually based on comic books. Since the beginning, there have been Romance, Horror, Military, Western, and Comedy comics out there. Back in the 40’s and up, there have been comics based on T.V. shows and famous characters like Roy Rogers  and Dale Evans, The Rat Patrol, and many more. Even comics re issued based on famous literature works. Moby Dick to Beetle Bailey to Dracula have been in comics. And let me tell you, the very early books are worth quit a bit of cash. Just try and get a mid grade or up Archie #1. Good luck. I can guarantee you that there is something for everyone out there. Even children. You just have to look.

Something Different

Today we are going to go in a little bit of a different direction. We are going to discuss die hard Marvel fanboys and girls vs die hard DC fanboys and girls. And the way they help and hurt their respective markets in the movie and TV industry. First lets get me out of the equation. I do not love one or the other. I enjoy all comic related movies for the most part and want them all to succeed, So we continue to get more. I love Vertigo’s Lucifer on TV. Fox’s The Gifted is pretty good. I really enjoyed Daredevil season 2 on Netflix and Loved Deadpool, Suicide Squad, Spider man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Heck, I even liked Green Lantern with all its problems and holes. But I like them because I take comic movies for what they are. Big Budget popcorn fun flicks. Not Oscar nominated bore fests. But in my opinion it runs much deeper that that. Here are my OPINIONS:

Marvel Fans are much more forgiving. They are not always happy, but usually do not get all bent out of shape over a character if they are changed or a bit different. They kind roll with it and watch before they start cussing and trashing a movie or show. Have they had a few dudes? Sure. Inhumans, some of Agents of shield, Iron Fist and a few others. Now they do get a little more mouthy with Fox and Sony and other companies that are not Marvel releasing Marvel properties. But with pretty good reason. The last Fantastic Four movie was very bad, as was the Daredevil Movie. Marvel always takes their time to find the right director they are comfortable with, the right actors and take their time releasing the products they want. They seem to grab a lot of the greatest actors out there and are able to keep them in the same role through out the series. Exceptions, War Machine and Hulk. And when they have issues with an actor they may choose to release them instead of replacing them, like Natalie Portman. Now don’t get me wrong, they have holes in their stories, sometimes a director wasn’t right, and they do not spend a lot of time building the villains. But overall, it is a well run establishment and the fans know it.

DC fans are what I like to call True Believers! Everything is under the microscope, everything is a problem, nothing is ever right. And DC doesn’t really help their own cause. The make announcements then have to retract them all the time. They can not keep the same actors in the roles. The keep changing their game plan from year to year. Examples: Not one fan I heard liked any of the casting choices for the Justice League. Mamoa probably took the least heat. Gadot was shredded. I remember fans wanting a 50 year old woman to play Wonder Woman because she had been Xena on TV. Oh my god, really. Afflack was next and was probably the best Batman since Keaton. The fans complain about every story, every movie, every actor. DC does nothing to try and keep the same actors. Afflack leaving, Cavill says one more movie. Snyder is now out it seems. The fans want every character to be exactly like the comic pages as well as the stories. They also take it more personal when a characters race or gender is changed. And DC does nothing to really involve their fans in their announcements. Usually hear about it on the internet. While Marvel has Comic Con And Disney show introductions. I do personally like the idea that the Marvel universe is all one. Movies and TV. Not having to keep up with 2 to 3 different worlds is a plus.

Like I said, I love them all, I think 98% of all the castings have been great. Have all the movies? No, but keep trying. I enjoy them. You will notice that I stayed away from Fox and Sony for now. Will discuss their movies later. I just hope new fans will realize that you can like and enjoy all these movie without trying to hold them page for page to the books. If you want more of these shows and movies, you need to support them. They won’t all be great, but beats getting nothing at all.


High Grade vs Low Grade

I get this question quit a bit when talking comics with people. Should I buy only Super High Grade to High Grade books or is it worth my time to buy Mid Grade or even low grade books? I would have to say two things should go into answering that. What reason are you buying and what can you afford?

If you are only buying for investment purposes and want to make a quick profit and turnover books quickly. Absolutely go Super high grade and high grade books all the way. Now you can buy mid grade and even low grade books for investments, but know you will need to probably hold them longer to allow prices on these to move up significantly enough to make a noticeable profit.

If you are buying just for your own enjoyment and love of collecting, then mid and low grade books are probably just fine. Especially if you do not have a budget to buy a graded 9.8 Fantastic Four #48. But even an ungraded 4.0 will continue to grow in value. Just not as much or as quick.

I have had to settle on a variety of books like a CGC 5.5 ASM #129, mid grade Marvel Spotlight #5, a mid grade Hawkman #4, mid grade Ms. Marvel #18, a low grade Silver Surfer #1, low grade Captain Marvel #1, but I do have a few great books like a super high grade NYX #3, high grade New Mutants #98, a low high grade Batman Adventures #12.

If all else fails, buy a low grade book to fulfill your needs and replace it at a later date when you can afford a high grade copy of the same book. There is no shame in buying what you can afford. Not everyone can afford a CGC graded 9.6 Amazing Fantasy #15.

I kind of use the chart below as a reference. It is not written in stone and you can arrange the way you think, but this is the way I try and work off of.

  • Super High Grade 9.8-10
  • High Grade 9.4-9.6
  • Low High Grade 9.0-9.2
  • High Mid Grade 8.0-8.5
  • Mid Grade 7.0-7.5
  • Low Mid Grade 6.0-6.5
  • High Low Grade 4.0-5.5
  • Mid Low Grade 3.0-3.5
  • Low Grade .5-2.5