The Death of the Classic Storyline As a Collectible
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Well, I think it’s a bit more healthy to be honest. There were a few storylines that sold a bit higher because of what they were, kree-skrull, spidey and green lantern drug issues,  dark Phoenix, etc, but a storyline per se never did Carry the weight of a first. Slightly above average sales is better for the market than bubble speculating on a new super hyped rager  imho :foryou:

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People are buying trades nowadays. My lcs is stocks $10k+ in tpb’s. Times are changing. All I have to do to read the entire Infinity Gauntlet story arc right now is to maximize my Marvel Unlimited tab and have at it. The story is alive, it’s just being digested in a different way.

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24 minutes ago, Bonthan said:

People are buying trades nowadays. My lcs is stocks $10k+ in tpb’s. Times are changing. All I have to do to read the entire Infinity Gauntlet story arc right now is to maximize my Marvel Unlimited tab and have at it. The story is alive, it’s just being digested in a different way.

Sure, but my point was about the collecting and collectability of the original books. It would be a shame if the original books were tossed into the dustbin of history, just because the stories were reprinted and no one cares about their collectability.

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1 hour ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Sure, but my point was about the collecting and collectability of the original books. It would be a shame if the original books were tossed into the dustbin of history, just because the stories were reprinted and no one cares about their collectability.

This shift has been going on for around a decade. When I saw the trend picking up steam in the early 00s I adjusted my collecting habits accordingly by dumping the common run books. New collectors want the key, classic cover, or hot variant cover (e.g. JSC, Artgerm, Dell Otto, etc.) to look at, and then consume the stories through the trades and omnibuses. They prefer having the story arc all at once just like their favorite show streaming online. It is the way media will be consumed in the future.

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3 minutes ago, kimik said:

This shift has been going on for around a decade. When I saw the trend picking up steam in the early 00s I adjusted my collecting habits accordingly by dumping the common run books. New collectors want the key, classic cover, or hot variant cover (e.g. JSC, Artgerm, Dell Otto, etc.) to look at, and then consume the stories through the trades and omnibuses. They prefer having the story arc all at once just like their favorite show streaming online. It is the way media will be consumed in the future.

Sure...but why isn't Silver Surfer #34 a key?

Again...talking about the collectability of these books, not how they are consumed by readers.

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Just now, RockMyAmadeus said:

Sure...but why isn't Silver Surfer #34 a key?

Again...talking about the collectability of these books, not how they are consumed by readers.

I think the fact that the MCU 1) killed Thanos and 2) destroyed the Infinity Gauntlet in the movies hurt the collectability of the book. In addition, it is not a really major 1st appearance of a new character, which is much more significant than the 1st appearance of a new cosmic toy. While the story arc is a good read, the lack of a bigger 1st character appearance hurts it. 

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Just now, kimik said:

I think the fact that the MCU 1) killed Thanos and 2) destroyed the Infinity Gauntlet in the movies hurt the collectability of the book. In addition, it is not a really major 1st appearance of a new character, which is much more significant than the 1st appearance of a new cosmic toy. While the story arc is a good read, the lack of a bigger 1st character appearance hurts it. 

So how do you explain SS #34 being ignored prior to the events that unfolded in Endgame...? 

Back in the early 90s...as I'm sure you're aware...whenever something got "hot", it was almost universally the entire "storyline" that got hot, if a storyline was involved.

For example: the second Thanos saga in Warlock. For that run, the entire series got very hot, especially the Thanos appearances in #9-11, and 15. Now? No one cares. Issue #10 sells for barely more than issue #13.

Cable is another good example. Back in the early 90s, when New Mutants #87 was a $70 book, #88 was a $30 book. Now, #87 is a $100 book, and #88 is...a dollar.

Or....the classic storylines of Swamp Thing. Since #21 contains no "first appearance", it's been shoved to the side in favor of books like #37 and #49, even though #21 is the lynchpin of the entire series, and, indeed, for the next 30+ years of Swamp Thing lore.

Another example? Origin issues. No one cares. Origin issues used to be second only to first appearances, and now...? Nothing.

And don't even get me started on "hot" artists....

 

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I am not saying I agree with the trends in the market personally, but it has been heading this way for a while now. I decided to change my long term collecting habits to follow the trend.

FWIW, I expected CGC to have a major impact on collectability of books in the early 00s since all you really focus on with a slab is the front cover. Back then I started collecting books with great looking front covers for the assigned grade since the back cover does not really matter (and you cannot open them). Now that trend is hitting raw books as well, which is evident in the rash of B cover variants across all publishers. 

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I agree, it is sad to see my favorite stories and characters languish in back issue bins. However, the consumption of the story has always been the driving element behind collectibility, unless you were just buying off the top ten list. We had to collect single issues in the past because that was the only way to find out what happened if we missed one. People paid higher amounts for books because it was a key to the storyline they missed, like an origin story or if they missed the first few issues of a new character. Today I can put the entire life of a character on one shelf of a  bookcase, buy a high grade slab of the first app or whatever cover I like, get a matching statue for it, and present my fandom in a very tasteful way in a glass cabinet. If I’m a high roller then I can get some original art to hang on the wall. I now have an exclusive, high value collection that’s easy to get out from under if want. I don’t need a U-haul to enjoy Green Lantern anymore, the entire corps can fit in the back seat of my car.

Edited by Bonthan

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2 minutes ago, Bonthan said:

I agree, it is sad to see my favorite stories and characters languish in back issue bins. However, the consumption of the story has always the driving element behind collectibility. We had to collect single issues in the past because that was the only way to find out what happened if we missed one. People paid higher amounts for books because it was a key to the storyline they missed, like an origin story or if they missed the first few issues of a new character. Today I can put the entire life of a character on one shelf of a  bookcase, buy a high grade slab of the first app or whatever cover I like, get a matching statue for it, and present my fandom in a very tasteful way in a glass cabinet. If I’m a high roller then I can get some original art to hang on the wall. I now have an exclusive, high value collection that’s easy to get out from under if want. I don’t need a U-haul to enjoy Green Lantern anymore, the entire corps can fit in the back seat of my car.

I agree with RMA's assessment and yours, shame about origin issue's though :( I rather enjoyed looking for those! Not everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed getting origin issue's signed much more that 1st appearances; after reading of course (thumbsu 

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4 minutes ago, ADAMANTIUM said:

I agree with RMA's assessment and yours, shame about origin issue's though :( I rather enjoyed looking for those! Not everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed getting origin issue's signed much more that 1st appearances; after reading of course (thumbsu 

Yeah, as a young collector in the mid/late 80’s when I was still saving lunch money for books I would 100% pick an origin story when I was financially forced. It was like being in some secret society that no one else knew about.

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27 minutes ago, Bonthan said:

I agree, it is sad to see my favorite stories and characters languish in back issue bins. However, the consumption of the story has always been the driving element behind collectibility, unless you were just buying off the top ten list. We had to collect single issues in the past because that was the only way to find out what happened if we missed one. People paid higher amounts for books because it was a key to the storyline they missed, like an origin story or if they missed the first few issues of a new character. Today I can put the entire life of a character on one shelf of a  bookcase, buy a high grade slab of the first app or whatever cover I like, get a matching statue for it, and present my fandom in a very tasteful way in a glass cabinet. If I’m a high roller then I can get some original art to hang on the wall. I now have an exclusive, high value collection that’s easy to get out from under if want. I don’t need a U-haul to enjoy Green Lantern anymore, the entire corps can fit in the back seat of my car.

I appreciate your response, but I don't think I've made my point clearly. I'm not talking about the habits of readers. I'm not talking about storage space, or display options. I'm talking about the lack of attention paid by collectors to books that were once considered important because of their "classic stories", that now languish as collectibles, in a way that has nothing to do with the availability of the source material in other formats. 

There's plenty of money in the hobby. Lots and lots of it. When X-Men #107 sells for as much as $9,800 in the very recent past, clearly there's demand. And reprints of books have been around for decades. Marvel reprinted their hot books in the 60s, at the very dawn of fandom, so it's often not been an issue of "I have to pay more to get the story because I missed the books." Someone missed Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962? No worries; within 2 years it was reprinted, and reprinted, and reprinted. 

Here's another example of the phenomenon to which I refer: X-Men #94 vs. GSXM #1. There's nothing much different about the two books in terms of copies extant. As for rarity in very high grade, #94 has GSXM #1 beat. And for several decades, X-Men #94 was *THE* issue to get, and was always just a little bit more expensive than GSXM #1, perhaps 20-25% more. 

Now? #94 languishes in the dust, while GSXM #1 shines...because #94 is just the return of the X-Men to new stories, while GSXM #1 contains all these flashy first appearances.

And it's not because of access to cheap reprints...after all, there are cheap reprints of GSXM #1 all over the place, too...in fact, there are more reprints of GSXM #1 than there are X-Men #94.

Edited by RockMyAmadeus

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Two reasons:

1) Other major collectibles similar to comics don't have "content".  They have first appearances (rookie cards) and they have scarcity (coins).

2) Content collecting requires deeper knowledge of the stories and the (correct) interpretations of what is important. 

Everyone goes to kindergarten (first appearances) and most people learn fractions (scarcity), but few people take Calculus II (combined understanding of fundamental concepts for more complex applications). 

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9 minutes ago, valiantman said:

Two reasons:

1) Other major collectibles similar to comics don't have "content".  They have first appearances (rookie cards) and they have scarcity (coins).

2) Content collecting requires deeper knowledge of the stories and the (correct) interpretations of what is important. 

Everyone goes to kindergarten (first appearances) and most people learn fractions (scarcity), but few people take Calculus II (combined understanding of fundamental concepts for more complex applications). 

True, but characters come with a story attached :shy: I mean coin's the story is considered the grade or providence, much less with comics :) 

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9 minutes ago, valiantman said:

Two reasons:

1) Other major collectibles similar to comics don't have "content".  They have first appearances (rookie cards) and they have scarcity (coins).

2) Content collecting requires deeper knowledge of the stories and the (correct) interpretations of what is important. 

Everyone goes to kindergarten (first appearances) and most people learn fractions (scarcity), but few people take Calculus II (combined understanding of fundamental concepts for more complex applications). 

True....and Calculus was an eye-opener, because everything finally started to come together....but how do you account for the fact that previous generations of collectors managed to figure these things out?

X-Men #94 vs. GSXM #1 is a perfect example of that...

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7 minutes ago, ADAMANTIUM said:
17 minutes ago, valiantman said:

Two reasons:

1) Other major collectibles similar to comics don't have "content".  They have first appearances (rookie cards) and they have scarcity (coins).

2) Content collecting requires deeper knowledge of the stories and the (correct) interpretations of what is important. 

Everyone goes to kindergarten (first appearances) and most people learn fractions (scarcity), but few people take Calculus II (combined understanding of fundamental concepts for more complex applications). 

True, but characters come with a story attached :shy: I mean coin's the story is considered the grade or providence, much less with comics :) 

A coin's story (proof vs. circulation, and the mint mark) reminds me of direct edition vs. newsstand.  :foryou:

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5 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:
18 minutes ago, valiantman said:

Two reasons:

1) Other major collectibles similar to comics don't have "content".  They have first appearances (rookie cards) and they have scarcity (coins).

2) Content collecting requires deeper knowledge of the stories and the (correct) interpretations of what is important. 

Everyone goes to kindergarten (first appearances) and most people learn fractions (scarcity), but few people take Calculus II (combined understanding of fundamental concepts for more complex applications). 

True....and Calculus was an eye-opener, because everything finally started to come together....but how do you account for the fact that previous generations of collectors managed to figure these things out?

X-Men #94 vs. GSXM #1 is a perfect example of that...

The "first adopters" are usually the ones with vision.  Vision generally takes more calculus than single-digit addition.  The "success" of the comic book industry being so accessible "to the masses" means that calculus isn't being used by collectors anymore.

The fact that all of us use electricity all the time, but very, very few can explain how it works is a good summary of what happened (in miniature) to comics.  The visionaries (who see many possibilities) are the core the hobby, but "everyone else" (always a vast majority) only see what they're capable of seeing. 

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30 minutes ago, valiantman said:

The "first adopters" are usually the ones with vision.  Vision generally takes more calculus than single-digit addition.  The "success" of the comic book industry being so accessible "to the masses" means that calculus isn't being used by collectors anymore.

The fact that all of us use electricity all the time, but very, very few can explain how it works is a good summary of what happened (in miniature) to comics.  The visionaries (who see many possibilities) are the core the hobby, but "everyone else" (always a vast majority) only see what they're capable of seeing. 

I don't know if the analogy quite fits this situation, but it's certainly worth consideration. After all...there has always been the "everyone else"...and during the early 90s boom, there were a lot MORE "everyone elses"...and yet X-Men #94 still maintained its edge throughout.

To an earlier comment about readers, I suspect that many new buyers and "collectors" have less interest in the artform than ever before. It used to be that people who were attracted to comics as a means of financial gain would then be exposed to these things, and naturally form an affinity for the artform. I'm a good example of that. 

Now, however, I don't think that most new buyers are interested, and moreover, will ever become interested in the artform. Most of what is being published is so convoluted, it creates no continuity with the past. After all...when you have issue #643, and you know that issue #359 of that title is the first appearance of a current character, you can see that continuity. When it's Vol 43, issue #1....not at all. The past is wiped away. And then there's the whole "you can't open a slab!!!"

So people with no intention of opening a book and absorbing it end up being focused on widgets, rather than works of art, and the "classics" as collectibles end up forgotten.

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11 hours ago, kimik said:

the fact that the MCU 1) killed Thanos

They killed Thanos???

 

 

 

:roflmao:

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