Beginning of Bull Market for Comic Books
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Has there ever been much demand for those books though?

 

When the Rocket Raccoon appearance exploded, I wasn't sure if I owned it. I went looking for it in my quarter books from when I did a few conventions around 1990. I had most of that Hulk run in there (but not the one that mattered :( )

 

I agree with the gist of what you are saying, I just think Hulk 181 is a bad example. It's the biggest BA key stuck in a run that pretty much no one has ever cared much about.

 

Something like ASM 50 compared to 51 is probably a better example. Looking at GPA, 50 has at least doubled in the 8.0-8.5 range, and 51 is pretty close to flat. So in 2002, a 50 was twice what a 51 was, and now it is more like four times.

 

 

But Hulk #183? #179? #200? #147? #120? They best be priced at $1, or 9.4s or above, or no one, but no one will buy them.

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I know Deadpool's fanbase is huge because people buy other Deadpool appearances besides just NM98. They may not pay big money for them, but they sell. Likewise, Harley Quinn sells plenty of comics aside from her first appearance.

 

I'm not so sure about Cable. If he had a huge real fan base, would RMA be finding his second appearance in dollar boxes?

 

"Its the 2nd appearance of Cable. Drawn by Rob Liefeld.

The amazing thing isn't that it is in the dollar box. The amazing thing is that 87 isn't. "

 

 

We all know how the older demographic of collectors feel about Mr. Liefeld, Cable, and Deadpool.

 

But there is no denying the fact all three have large fan bases, and that there many people who love that New Mutants run.

 

Poo poo it all you want, but for a lot of people, it brings back happy memories.

Me being one.

 

The first comic related words my niece ever spoke was, "Cable! Boom Boom!".

Guy behind the counter about fell down when he heard a 2 year old girl yell those names in his shop, haha!

 

Yes, a copper book with a huge print run and is only a second appearance. You can still find dead pool 1 in dollar boxes.

Edited by The-Collector

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I just hit up 3 stores thru out Ohio and each of them was completely out of anything but the bottom tier hot books. Each of them had boxes and boxes and boxes of common books including a bunch of nice Silver-Age books which appeared to be collecting some serious dust. I'd think 5 years ago people would be hitting the boxes in hopes of finding a nice looking common book but now the shop owners hear is "show me the keys" or so they tell me.

 

It's pretty much a no-win for dealers right now. If you price these books reasonably, they sell out in a day or two. To have a wall of them on display, one has to price them so high that customers then complain you are a *spoon*. There's very little profit on them either... most of the "hot" issues I get in come from existing customers who have multiple copies stashed away... they sell or trade off one now and then for another "key" they want. But they know what stuff is worth... the percentage I can make off a current "hot" book is small enough it really can't cover overhead costs.

 

It's also probably going to force me to change my 30-year business model. We were always the "discount guys"... and a large part of our business is catering to other dealers. In the "old days", dealers would come in with client want-lists of holes needed to fill their runs. We stocked lots of esoteric stuff... so besides the usual silver-age heroes, dealers would have specialized clients for, say, Joe Palooka, Little Lulu, Rip Hunter, westerns, etc.

 

Now all the dealers want from me are "hot" books and "super-keys".... because that's all their clients want. The problem is... I can sell all those books locally... I don't need to advertise, or set up at shows, or send them to auction... so what's the point of me discounting them to an out-of-town dealer? And if the book cools down even ever-so-slightly... they are no longer interested, at any price. I can't blame them... that's what their customets want.

 

But I'm wondering if the era of dealer-to-dealer sales in coming to an end? Plus, eventually, no one can make a living just dealing in 50 or so "hot" issues at any given moment.

 

This.

 

This is what makes this market so radically different from everything that has come before.

 

I, too, wonder how long this can last.

 

hm

 

I go to conventions, and buy from the usual suspects that I like to buy from...and they happily discount the stuff I want, because I'm not buying their Hulk #181s, or their New Mutants #98s, or their ASM #194s, or their Ms. Marvel #1s, or whatever the flavor of the month "hot, must have!" book is...but I don't have an endless supply of money.

 

Have any of you followed the prices for Hulk #181s? The last three years have been complete and utter madness. Every grade, across the board, doubled, sometimes tripled....and still, the demand is unending.

 

But Hulk #183? #179? #200? #147? #120? They best be priced at $1, or 9.4s or above, or no one, but no one will buy them.

 

Wait, the guy who sat on New Mutants #98 for years then sold most of his copies before the official movie announcement was made "wonder how long this can last"? I'm guessing you thought this craziness would wane before Sep. 18, 2014. :grin:

 

 

No, not at all. I had no idea this craziness even EXISTED (and, really, neither did anyone else.) Like I said, this is uncharted territory. When I was selling my copies (for between $225-$375), I saw the declining Copper market and rush to slab and was not wanting to be the last one holding the bag after the bottom had fallen out, and that was over the last 5+ years. I made a ton bunch of money, and I don't regret selling them that much.

 

No one could have foreseen the "movie madness" and the effect it would have on the market. This is entirely new.

 

It didn't happen with X-Men. It didn't happen with Spiderman. It didn't happen with ANY character (not to this extent) before around 2011 or so. A character is ANNOUNCED to "have a film", before the movie is shot, before a single frame is made, before it's even CAST, before it's even GREENLIT in some cases, and the market goes bonkers...? It's never been seen before, ever.

 

 

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I know Deadpool's fanbase is huge because people buy other Deadpool appearances besides just NM98. They may not pay big money for them, but they sell. Likewise, Harley Quinn sells plenty of comics aside from her first appearance.

 

I'm not so sure about Cable. If he had a huge real fan base, would RMA be finding his second appearance in dollar boxes?

 

"Its the 2nd appearance of Cable. Drawn by Rob Liefeld.

The amazing thing isn't that it is in the dollar box. The amazing thing is that 87 isn't. "

 

 

We all know how the older demographic of collectors feel about Mr. Liefeld, Cable, and Deadpool.

 

But there is no denying the fact all three have large fan bases, and that there many people who love that New Mutants run.

 

Poo poo it all you want, but for a lot of people, it brings back happy memories.

Me being one.

 

The first comic related words my niece ever spoke was, "Cable! Boom Boom!".

Guy behind the counter about fell down when he heard a 2 year old girl yell those names in his shop, haha!

 

Yes, a copper book with a huge print run and is only a second appearance. You can still find dead pool 1 in dollar boxes.

 

Huge print run....? Which book are you referring to?

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It is extreme, the relative change is dramatic. I just think the distinction that it is the keys going up and not the non-keys going down (for the most part) is a pretty important thing to point out.

 

People are talking like there is no market for non-keys anymore, and that is definitely not the case. It is just that selling a VG+ FF24 for $40 doesn't get much attention when people are clamoring to pay $2k+ for a 9.0 Hulk 181.

 

It doesn't mean that $40 for the FF24 is a bad price.

 

We'll have to disagree about what constitutes "being ignored." I think a factor of 10, when it used to be a factor of 2, is pretty extreme.

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Has there ever been much demand for those books though?

 

When the Rocket Raccoon appearance exploded, I wasn't sure if I owned it. I went looking for it in my quarter books from when I did a few conventions around 1990. I had most of that Hulk run in there (but not the one that mattered :( )

 

I agree with the gist of what you are saying, I just think Hulk 181 is a bad example. It's the biggest BA key stuck in a run that pretty much no one has ever cared much about.

 

Something like ASM 50 compared to 51 is probably a better example. Looking at GPA, 50 has at least doubled in the 8.0-8.5 range, and 51 is pretty close to flat. So in 2002, a 50 was twice what a 51 was, and now it is more like four times.

 

Ok, whatever floats your boat. Substitute the Hulk example for, say, X-Men #95.

 

#94? Oh sure, bazillions of dollars.

 

#95? THIRD appearance? Pass.

 

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I know Deadpool's fanbase is huge because people buy other Deadpool appearances besides just NM98. They may not pay big money for them, but they sell. Likewise, Harley Quinn sells plenty of comics aside from her first appearance.

 

I'm not so sure about Cable. If he had a huge real fan base, would RMA be finding his second appearance in dollar boxes?

 

"Its the 2nd appearance of Cable. Drawn by Rob Liefeld.

The amazing thing isn't that it is in the dollar box. The amazing thing is that 87 isn't. "

 

 

We all know how the older demographic of collectors feel about Mr. Liefeld, Cable, and Deadpool.

 

But there is no denying the fact all three have large fan bases, and that there many people who love that New Mutants run.

 

Poo poo it all you want, but for a lot of people, it brings back happy memories.

Me being one.

 

The first comic related words my niece ever spoke was, "Cable! Boom Boom!".

Guy behind the counter about fell down when he heard a 2 year old girl yell those names in his shop, haha!

 

Yes, a copper book with a huge print run and is only a second appearance. You can still find dead pool 1 in dollar boxes.

 

 

Huge print run....? Which book are you referring to?

 

Nm 88.

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Now that is a good example.

 

What is even better is that I don't think it will be too long before people start passing on 94 because GS1 is the first appearance.

 

What is 94 really? Just a 2nd appearance.

 

:baiting:

 

Ok, whatever floats your boat. Substitute the Hulk example for, say, X-Men #95.

 

#94? Oh sure, bazillions of dollars.

 

#95? THIRD appearance? Pass.

Edited by Hamlet

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I know Deadpool's fanbase is huge because people buy other Deadpool appearances besides just NM98. They may not pay big money for them, but they sell. Likewise, Harley Quinn sells plenty of comics aside from her first appearance.

 

I'm not so sure about Cable. If he had a huge real fan base, would RMA be finding his second appearance in dollar boxes?

 

"Its the 2nd appearance of Cable. Drawn by Rob Liefeld.

The amazing thing isn't that it is in the dollar box. The amazing thing is that 87 isn't. "

 

 

We all know how the older demographic of collectors feel about Mr. Liefeld, Cable, and Deadpool.

 

But there is no denying the fact all three have large fan bases, and that there many people who love that New Mutants run.

 

Poo poo it all you want, but for a lot of people, it brings back happy memories.

Me being one.

 

The first comic related words my niece ever spoke was, "Cable! Boom Boom!".

Guy behind the counter about fell down when he heard a 2 year old girl yell those names in his shop, haha!

 

Yes, a copper book with a huge print run and is only a second appearance. You can still find dead pool 1 in dollar boxes.

 

 

Huge print run....? Which book are you referring to?

 

Nm 88.

 

New Mutants #88 didn't have a huge print run. In fact, it was at the bottom of the barrel at that point.

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Have any of you followed the prices for Hulk #181s? The last three years have been complete and utter madness. Every grade, across the board, doubled, sometimes tripled....and still, the demand is unending.

 

But Hulk #183? #179? #200? #147? #120? They best be priced at $1, or 9.4s or above, or no one, but no one will buy them.

 

I do not believe that Hulk 181 is a good example here. We are talking one of the most popular characters Marvel has ever created over the course of their history and the character has demonstrated lasting appeal since about a decade before Wolverine first appeared on screen.

 

Wolverine is not a Hulk character so people searching for the first appearance of Wolverine have zero interest in other Hulk books. The surrounding books, 180 and 182, featuring Wolverine have maintained a decent value in comparison. Wolverine has surpassed the popularity of the main character whose book he is in.

 

 

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How low is bottom of the barrel?

 

It was one of the lowest selling titles at the time.

 

Put in perspective:

 

Cap City orders for New Mutants #88: 35,100 (getting an undoubted boost by having McFarlane's name attached to it.)

 

Avengers West Coast: 39,300

 

Silver Surfer #26: 26,600

 

ASM #331: 67,500

 

Uncanny X-Men #260: 77,500

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Have any of you followed the prices for Hulk #181s? The last three years have been complete and utter madness. Every grade, across the board, doubled, sometimes tripled....and still, the demand is unending.

 

But Hulk #183? #179? #200? #147? #120? They best be priced at $1, or 9.4s or above, or no one, but no one will buy them.

 

I do not believe that Hulk 181 is a good example here. We are talking one of the most popular characters Marvel has ever created over the course of their history and the character has demonstrated lasting appeal since about a decade before Wolverine first appeared on screen.

 

Wolverine is not a Hulk character so people searching for the first appearance of Wolverine have zero interest in other Hulk books. The surrounding books, 180 and 182, featuring Wolverine have maintained a decent value in comparison. Wolverine has surpassed the popularity of the main character whose book he is in.

 

 

I think the example is a great one, and here's why: the print run and extant copies for, say, #184 aren't any higher, and probably not much lower, than #181. The extant copies may be a bit lower, but not by vast amounts.

 

And yet...#184, a complete "non-key" can be had for $200 or so in 9.8.

 

#181, on the other hand, is $11,000 or so.

 

You're making the argument for me. That's the point. Everyone is so hyper-obsessed with #181 because of what it is, to the point of not giving a single poop about the others, which aren't any better, nor worse, than #181. There's nothing inherently wrong with #184, or the others...except it doesn't have Wolverine in it.

 

Well...technically.

 

;)

 

It didn't used to be that way. If Hulk #181 was a $35 book, the rest were still $2 or so. The gap now is amazing.

 

Look at it another way: the only comparable Silver Age examples are Amazing Fantasy #15, and the rest of the series.

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How low is bottom of the barrel?

 

It was one of the lowest selling titles at the time.

 

Put in perspective:

 

Cap City orders for New Mutants #88: 35,100 (getting an undoubted boost by having McFarlane's name attached to it.)

 

Avengers West Coast: 39,300

 

Silver Surfer #26: 26,600

 

ASM #331: 67,500

 

Uncanny X-Men #260: 77,500

 

Any idea of total print run? That is relatively small for the period.

 

 

Edited by The-Collector

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How low is bottom of the barrel?

 

It was one of the lowest selling titles at the time.

 

Put in perspective:

 

Cap City orders for New Mutants #88: 35,100 (getting an undoubted boost by having McFarlane's name attached to it.)

 

Avengers West Coast: 39,300

 

Silver Surfer #26: 26,600

 

ASM #331: 67,500

 

Uncanny X-Men #260: 77,500

 

Any idea of total print run? That is relaively small for the period.

 

 

Total print run for the period was avg 289k, with avg sales of 177k (this is the max number of extant copies.) Recorded in NM #99.

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Ahk. Well I would call even half that huge. Not huge for the period but very large overall.

 

That is the AVERAGE. That average is made up of much larger numbers later on down the line (#93, 94, 95, 96)

 

That means #88 was substantially lower.

 

Probably around 125-130k copies extant, which is a miniscule number for the era. And that includes copies in every grade. Early 1990 was still before the "OMG, EVERYTHING MUST BE MINT MINT MINT!!!!" that infected everybody.

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It's pretty much a no-win for dealers right now. If you price these books reasonably, they sell out in a day or two. To have a wall of them on display, one has to price them so high that customers then complain you are a *spoon*. There's very little profit on them either... most of the "hot" issues I get in come from existing customers who have multiple copies stashed away... they sell or trade off one now and then for another "key" they want. But they know what stuff is worth... the percentage I can make off a current "hot" book is small enough it really can't cover overhead costs.

 

It's also probably going to force me to change my 30-year business model. We were always the "discount guys"... and a large part of our business is catering to other dealers. In the "old days", dealers would come in with client want-lists of holes needed to fill their runs. We stocked lots of esoteric stuff... so besides the usual silver-age heroes, dealers would have specialized clients for, say, Joe Palooka, Little Lulu, Rip Hunter, westerns, etc.

 

Now all the dealers want from me are "hot" books and "super-keys".... because that's all their clients want. The problem is... I can sell all those books locally... I don't need to advertise, or set up at shows, or send them to auction... so what's the point of me discounting them to an out-of-town dealer? And if the book cools down even ever-so-slightly... they are no longer interested, at any price. I can't blame them... that's what their customets want.

 

But I'm wondering if the era of dealer-to-dealer sales in coming to an end? Plus, eventually, no one can make a living just dealing in 50 or so "hot" issues at any given moment.

 

Well said Tim, that pretty much sums it up for us over here too.

Had someone in yesterday openly admitting he only wanted first appearances that would go up in value.

This market has self-implosion written all over it.

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