Are comics gaining more respect as a valid investment outside of the comic collecting community?
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, FSF said:

And for all of those constantly ripping on beanie babies

Another good example is pogs that always get ripped,but there are actually sets like Jurassic Park,Simpsons, Power Rangers and Dragon Ball Z that can go for over $50. So yeah I guess every at one time popular hobby has its grails.

Edited by ComicConnoisseur

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1 minute ago, VintageComics said:

I disagree.

I think comics have turned a corner over the last decade (due in no small part to the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

The average Joe that I speak to is always amazed at my profession (I sell comics for a living) and then immediately goes on to talk about how much they are worth.

Comics were a funny thing to people in the past. They no longer are.

And that is because people realize they have value and hold their value.

And I would disagree with your perspective.  I don't think they have turned that corner and aren't even that close. 

Let me add this one extra perspective about comics as an "investment".  I have not done the math (and please feel free to chime in with your thoughts), but I would guess that the entirety of all books ever produced may have  a market value of like $5 billion off the top of my head.  Basically, less than 1% of the value of Apple or Amazon or Google.  So in other words, the small amount of decline that Apple suffered on Friday (the likes of which virtually no investor including Apple shareholders bothered to pay any attention to), would probably easily be enough to buy out every comic book in the world twice over. 

Way less than 1% of the gold in the world would buy out the entire comic market.  The art market is hundreds of times bigger than the comic market (and that's based on what little I know of it, it's probably much larger than that).  No, they are not the same things.  (this is in response to Kevin76). Comparing comics to cards may have some validity because they really blew up around the same time and they are by many thought of as "for kids". 

Here's the thing. Imagine being at a charity auction with a couple of hundred well earning people in the room.  If a gold necklace, or a piece of good art, or a classic corvette were being auctioned, everyone would nod their heads in respect and understand what was being sold and that it was of value and a lot of it.  Even something like an autographed Derek Jeter jersey would illicit respect from many if not most of the people in the room.  Imagine them trying to auction off an iconic book like the OP mentioned (a CGC 9.4 Hulk 181).  There might be a couple of people that understands what any of that means.  The rest of the room:

"CG what???"

"Hulk is that big green guy, right?"

"Did I hear them say they want $181 for that flimsy cartoonish looking book???"

You get what I mean.

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Everyone knows comics are worth money. plain and simple.  No point in arguing with FSF anymore, since he has a limited mindset and lives under a rock.   Enjoy your beanie baby.  

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10 minutes ago, ComicConnoisseur said:

Another good example is pogs that always get ripped,but there are actually sets like Jurassic Park,Simpsons, Power Rangers and Dragon Ball Z that can go for over $50. So yeah I guess every at one time popular hobby has its grails.

Agreed.  And I don't know if Magic cards are included in any of that as I was not involved in those things but the Magic cards are gaining major steam with some selling well into the tens of thousands.  Classic video games also.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, FSF said:

And I would disagree with your perspective.  I don't think they have turned that corner and aren't even that close. 

Let me add this one extra perspective about comics as an "investment".  I have not done the math (and please feel free to chime in with your thoughts), but I would guess that the entirety of all books ever produced may have  a market value of like $5 billion off the top of my head.  Basically, less than 1% of the value of Apple or Amazon or Google.  So in other words, the small amount of decline that Apple suffered on Friday (the likes of which virtually no investor including Apple shareholders bothered to pay any attention to), would probably easily be enough to buy out every comic book in the world twice over. 

Way less than 1% of the gold in the world would buy out the entire comic market.  The art market is hundreds of times bigger than the comic market (and that's based on what little I know of it, it's probably much larger than that).  No, they are not the same things.  (this is in response to Kevin76). Comparing comics to cards may have some validity because they really blew up around the same time and they are by many thought of as "for kids". 

Here's the thing. Imagine being at a charity auction with a couple of hundred well earning people in the room.  If a gold necklace, or a piece of good art, or a classic corvette were being auctioned, everyone would nod their heads in respect and understand what was being sold and that it was of value and a lot of it.  Even something like an autographed Derek Jeter jersey would illicit respect from many if not most of the people in the room.  Imagine them trying to auction off an iconic book like the OP mentioned (a CGC 9.4 Hulk 181).  There might be a couple of people that understands what any of that means.  The rest of the room:

"CG what???"

"Hulk is that big green guy, right?"

"Did I hear them say they want $181 for that flimsy cartoonish looking book???"

You get what I mean.

We're not talking about relative size of the market. Of course the comic book market is relatively small compared to some global markets.

We're talking about perceptions.

When I tell people who know nothing about comics that I buy and sell comics for a living they are immediately aware of the large values involved in vintage books.

When I tell people about the 1st Wolverine / Batman / Spider-man / Superman etc they don't know exactly which issue I am talking about but they absolutely know it's a big deal and that it takes big bucks to buy them.

I would absolutely put them on par with stuff like classic cars. Comics along with other forms of American pop culture have come a long way in the digital age.

Edited by VintageComics

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Just now, Kevin76 said:

Everyone knows comics are worth money. plain and simple.  No point in arguing with FSF anymore, since he has a limited mindset and lives under a rock.   Enjoy your beanie baby.  

The OP just started the thread tonight sharing his first hand experiences proving that not to be the case.  Or do you think he is lying?

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1 minute ago, FSF said:

The OP just started the thread tonight sharing his first hand experiences proving that not to be the case.  Or do you think he is lying?

His experience is from nearly a decade ago.

Like I said, a lot has changed in the last 10 years.

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1 minute ago, VintageComics said:

We're not talking about relative size of the market. Of course the comic book market is relatively small compared to some global markets.

We're talking about perceptions.

When I tell people who know nothing about comics that I buy and sell comics for a living they are immediately aware of the large values involved in vintage books.

When I tell people about the 1st Wolverine / Batman / Spider-man / Superman etc they don't know exactly which issue I am talking about but they absolutely know it's a big deal and that it takes big bucks to buy them.

 

I apologize if I'm wrong, but aren't you the dealer that stated that you tell people that you are a collectibles dealer because of the negative perception of telling them you are a comic dealer.  Someone clearly said that not long ago.

I honestly have yet to meet anyone who didn't collect comics themselves that had anything other than a vague idea that comics have large values, and even that was a small minority.  Those are my experiences.  I could see your comment about the first appearance of Spider-Man et al eliciting some acknowledgement or understanding but far from "absolutely knowing".  I think you are projecting your knowledge onto your audience.

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Vintage Comics, the more I think about your perspective versus mine, I think it's clearly colored by what we each do for a living.  I don't know if it's your full time job, but you obviously earn some living, and apparently a pretty decent one, from being entrenched in the comic world.  As such, you spend a lot of your time buying and selling comic books, talking and dealing with comic people all the time.

I work for various corporations.  As a consultant, my experiences are not limited to any one company.  I have up to a dozen clients at any time and those rotate in and out.  And in that corporate world, what we're talking about here may as well be Latin cause they wouldn't have a clue.

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6 minutes ago, VintageComics said:

His experience is from nearly a decade ago.

Like I said, a lot has changed in the last 10 years.

In the movie, "The Accountant", among the cash, paintings, precious metals, and other valuable investment holdings he has in his trailer are baseball cards and comics. An Action 1, All Am 16, a T-206 Wagner, etc., etc.

 

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I probably wasn't lying.

Yes, some comics are investments (mainly high grade keys). The majority clearly are not.

The comics that are investments are gaining respect in my opinion but there is still a long way to go.  

 

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Most hardcover books from the 19th Century are worth less than they were fifty years ago, while a very small percentage of them have skyrocketed.  I expect comics will follow the same pattern. 

A 1970s Charlton and a 1990s Marvel will both be fairly worthless while a small group is highly desirable.  When The Avengers have published some 3,000 issues and it is impossible to collect full runs, does anyone really think Volume 1, issue 153 is going to sell for much more than Volume 2, issue 37 because one is fifteen years older than the other?

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3 hours ago, FSF said:

I apologize if I'm wrong, but aren't you the dealer that stated that you tell people that you are a collectibles dealer because of the negative perception of telling them you are a comic dealer.  Someone clearly said that not long ago.

I've never received a negative reception from telling someone I am a comic book dealer, except from one of my daughters when I switched over from my other day job. She did understand the model and worried that I wouldn't be able to pay the bills. She was young at the time and it's pretty funny now, looking back.

3 hours ago, FSF said:

I honestly have yet to meet anyone who didn't collect comics themselves that had anything other than a vague idea that comics have large values, and even that was a small minority.  Those are my experiences.  I could see your comment about the first appearance of Spider-Man et al eliciting some acknowledgement or understanding but far from "absolutely knowing".  I think you are projecting your knowledge onto your audience.

I travel for a living and meet 1000's of new people every year. They general trend has been that they know comics are huge (again, based on the movies) and almost always follow with some story about how they either wish their mom didn't throw out their comics when they were younger, or that they own some comics now too and ask me about their value.

Everyone that owns 'old' comics think they are going to be rich because of it. Old being comics from the 1990's. lol

 

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3 hours ago, FSF said:

As such, you spend a lot of your time buying and selling comic books, talking and dealing with comic people all the time.

My experiences come from common people in the service industry.

I'm not saying that they all know that an Amazing Fantasy #15 is a hot book, but they generally understand that old comics are like old cars and that they hold value based on scarcity and popularity.

I think the world is starting to generally understand that pop culture stuff is valuable. I mean, it's literally everywhere. On the news, on social media, etc.

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There’s no question in my mind that comics values and the awareness and respect for comics has grown tremendous,y in the past 15 years.  So it’s a straw man argumen5 to c9mpare it to fine art and antiques.  Comics will never be for everyone. To the old money types who gravitate to paintings, artworks and antiques comicbooks and superheroes are childish things.  

But there are plenty of people - and the n7mbers have grown! - for whom awareness has exponentially grown of late, and that’s fine, we see new collectors willin* yo pony up interesting sums for the books they covet.  The question shouldn’t be whether awareness has increased.  That’s a given.  It’s wher do things go from here?

and this is the age old question here on the boards.  Most of us who have been collecting for decades appreciate the gains made in awareness respect and valuse of our stuff,, but still see a cloudy future due to economic and demographic trends.  And I suppose, given the question posed in this thread, that since comics have not yet elevated themselves into the “real money” crowd, whether they are doomed to rise and fall into obscurity someday relatively soon.

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5 hours ago, ComicConnoisseur said:

It has what almost tripled in price since then?

Most collectibles lose value. For comics like Hulk 181 and AF 15 I think they are getting respect. I know it sounds boring,but they both are as safe as you can get post 1960 comics.

 

It should be pointed out that in 2009, AAPL was trading between 11-30.  It's now at ~189.  And that's excluding the dividends and the ridiculous 7:1 split.  GOOG was anywhere between 140 and 310 and is now trading ~1,150.  I made 3x on banks between 2009 and 2013 alone.  Don't like individual stocks?  The S&P500 was trading at 735 in early 2009.  It's now at 2,780.

Yes, it's probably been one of the greatest bull markets of all time, but the gains from the same period as when OP purchased can't be denied.  Additionally, it's far easier (in my opinion) to research a company and estimate a future market value for them than it is for comics.  If you're investing in comics, there are a few "safe" bets and those would be Action #1, AF #15, 'Tec #27.  I agree Hulk #181 is one of the newer comics that should be a safe bet to hold long term.  But to answer OP's question, no, I don't think comic books (as a whole) are becoming more widely accepted as an "investment".  

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3 hours ago, James J Johnson said:

In the movie, "The Accountant", among the cash, paintings, precious metals, and other valuable investment holdings he has in his trailer are baseball cards and comics. An Action 1, All Am 16, a T-206 Wagner, etc., etc.

 

I think a distinction needs to be made between owning something of sentimental value and owning it purely as an investment vehicle.  We buy/collect comics because we enjoy it as a medium.  My primary reason for buying FF48 isn't because I see it as an investment.  I bought it because I like comics and the Silver Surfer is my favorite character.  Any other monetary benefit I gain from it, is secondary to the emotional value it brings me fulfilling a dream/desire that I have had since I was a kid...the dream to one day own a copy for myself.  An investments sole purpose, is to make you money...nothing else.  I owned MO (Altria), not because I liked to smoke, but because I knew I could make money off of it.

I'll admit, I am very particular about the definition of an investment.  I cringe when people say they're "investing in crypto".  And it's the same thing with comics.  There are no metrics or measurable sources of data that can reasonably justify the price of a book today or a year from now.  The action of buying a comic is not an investment, it's speculation.  The definition has to apply across all books in the medium.  That is to say, you can't call buying Action Comics #1 an investment and then not call buying Action Comics #1000 an investment either.  And I think there are very few people who are counting on Action Comics #1000 to help pay their kids college tuition 30 years from now.

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51 minutes ago, VintageComics said:

I've never received a negative reception from telling someone I am a comic book dealer, except from one of my daughters when I switched over from my other day job. She did understand the model and worried that I wouldn't be able to pay the bills. She was young at the time and it's pretty funny now, looking back.

I travel for a living and meet 1000's of new people every year. They general trend has been that they know comics are huge (again, based on the movies) and almost always follow with some story about how they either wish their mom didn't throw out their comics when they were younger, or that they own some comics now too and ask me about their value.

Everyone that owns 'old' comics think they are going to be rich because of it. Old being comics from the 1990's. lol

 

I travel plenty every year and for reasons NOT related to comic books.  No one has EVER brought up comics nor have I EVER overhead such a conversation.  You're telling me you meet thousands of people (not at Cons or anything related to comics)?  I don't think movies have done all that much for awareness of books.  Apart from certain first appearances based on characters that are announced which have driven up those particular issues.  And the ramp up seems to be entirely from the existing collector base and dealer speculation.  If the movies were impacting the books, why is it that the books seem to run up prior to the hundred million of viewers who are seeing these movies and not afterward.  The tiniest tiniest fraction of that viewership base getting into comics would drive the books to insane levels.  It's NOT happening.  In fact, after the dust settles, it appears that these books usually seem to go down after the movies come out, when the people have actually seen the movies.

I'm very confident that the current run up (which has happened concurrently with sport cards) is occurring because of two reasons: (1) the economic asset bubble that has provided so much liquidity to a lot of people and they're just looking to spend money because they have it, (2) the children who collected during the 1970s to 1990s are in their prime earning years and are looking to buy back their childhoods.  I see no convincing evidence that the movies are having an effect on comic collecting as a whole, other than once again driving up specific issues with the already existing collectors and dealers.  Why are new issues runs so low? Why aren't kids buying them them when I see plenty of kids/teens/young adults at all of these movies but never see the likes of them in any of the LCSs?

 

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9 minutes ago, FSF said:

I travel plenty every year and for reasons NOT related to comic books.  No one has EVER brought up comics nor have I EVER overhead such a conversation.  You're telling me you meet thousands of people (not at Cons or anything related to comics)?  I don't think movies have done all that much for awareness of books.  Apart from certain first appearances based on characters that are announced which have driven up those particular issues.  And the ramp up seems to be entirely from the existing collector base and dealer speculation.  If the movies were impacting the books, why is it that the books seem to run up prior to the hundred million of viewers who are seeing these movies and not afterward.  The tiniest tiniest fraction of that viewership base getting into comics would drive the books to insane levels.  It's NOT happening.  In fact, after the dust settles, it appears that these books usually seem to go down after the movies come out, when the people have actually seen the movies.

I'm not saying that everyone knows about comic books.

Conversations generally go like this:

"Oh, and what do you do for a living?"

I'm a vintage comic book dealer."

And then the conversation morphs into various things, but many are aware of how popular they are and how 'old comics' are valuable.

They may not know the details (just like they'd have no idea how to value a Picasso or even recognize one) but they do know that there is a market for them.

 

12 minutes ago, FSF said:

I'm very confident that the current run up (which has happened concurrently with sport cards) is occurring because of two reasons: (1) the economic asset bubble that has provided so much liquidity to a lot of people and they're just looking to spend money because they have it, (2) the children who collected during the 1970s to 1990s are in their prime earning years and are looking to buy back their childhoods.  I see no convincing evidence that the movies are having an effect on comic collecting as a whole, other than once again driving up specific issues with the already existing collectors and dealers.  Why are new issues runs so low? Why aren't kids buying them them when I see plenty of kids/teens/young adults at all of these movies but never see the likes of them in any of the LCSs?

The asset bubble is a combination of two things IMO.

1) cheap money and nowhere to park it

2) awareness of collectibles as being a place to park your money

The movies have increased awareness. Investors have used that awareness to invest in it.

The run up on comics related to movies happens in much the same way a stock runs up on favorable news.

Oh, Apple is coming out with an amazing new phone that will help you go to the bathroom? Hungry investors pour money into the company expecting it to make them money.

 

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5 minutes ago, VintageComics said:

I'm not saying that everyone knows about comic books.

Conversations generally go like this:

"Oh, and what do you do for a living?"

I'm a vintage comic book dealer."

And then the conversation morphs into various things, but many are aware of how popular they are and how 'old comics' are valuable.

They may not know the details (just like they'd have no idea how to value a Picasso or even recognize one) but they do know that there is a market for them.

 

The asset bubble is a combination of two things IMO.

1) cheap money and nowhere to park it

2) awareness of collectibles as being a place to park your money

The movies have increased awareness. Investors have used that awareness to invest in it.

The run up on comics related to movies happens in much the same way a stock runs up on favorable news.

Oh, Apple is coming out with an amazing new phone that will help you go to the bathroom? Hungry investors pour money into the company expecting it to make them money.

 

I think people are generally aware that some small segment of the population (and often erroneously in their minds children) are spending money on comic books.  And I'll buy the notion that some of the random people you may speak with (which are probably are a handful at most over the course of a year) are making assumptions about comic books based on the fact that they see all of this blockbuster films out there and may just assume all the while just making small talk and not really caring.  Not knowing any of the details, as you suggest is primarily the main problem in my opinion.  They have vague notions at best.  I still believe your judgement is biased based on the enormous amount of time and interactions that you have with collectors and dealers.  Not only is it your profession, but consider all of the time you spend on this forum.  That is an entirely different perspective than the vast majority of Americans who don't know or care about comic books and never will.

I agree with your #1.  But #2 would only matter if it were primarily new collectors that were buying up all of these books.  I don't believe that is the primary market by any stretch of the imagination.  I think that group, if anything, came in on the CGC wave and not because of the movies.

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