The Death of the Classic Storyline As a Collectible
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13 hours 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.

What goes around, comes around. Changes in popularity and aspects of collecting change cyclicly.

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11 hours ago, kimik said:

 

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.

 

I don't think I've ever changed my long term collecting habits . . . just my selling habits. :bigsmile:

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11 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

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

 

Indeed. And how do you understand a character's development without reading about his/her origin?

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interesting thread.  collecting keys and hot covers is pretty easy.  a person with a modicum of intelligence and an internet connection could do it and with a few month's dedicated effort, become fairly good at it.

collecting runs takes a much more intense effort from the collector.  they have to be familiar with the character, his/her tropes, the relative influence the story has on the universe in which it exists...as well as know where in the run the thing is in the first place.  this takes a lot of time and experience, for the most part, and is sort of a barrier for entry insofar as the collectibility of story runs goes.

i think what you're describing, RMA, is the explosion of - to use a slightly pejorative term - casuals in the hobby.  seems like many people get into the back issue floppy part of the hobby as a way of finding arbitrage opportunities rather than exploration of the medium.  i mean no disrespect to anyone reading this who might be of this mindset, just trying to - as the man said in the greatest movie of the last thirty years, Miller's Crossing - "(speculate) on a hypothesis."

er...no pun intended 

Edited by Sal

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28 minutes ago, divad said:
12 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

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

 

Indeed. And how do you understand a character's development without reading about his/her origin?

The big problem with origin stories is that they've been endlessly retold and revised for many characters.

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4 minutes ago, Lazyboy said:

The big problem with origin stories is that they've been endlessly retold and revised for many characters.

I agree. When you break continuity, you break the ties that would naturally draw someone to history.

Why would anyone care about someone with the same name as a previous character, but is different in every other way?

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2 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

I agree. When you break continuity, you break the ties that would naturally draw someone to history.

Why would anyone care about someone with the same name as a previous character, but is different in every other way?

This.

One example that's been jangling around in my head is the series of "first Silver Age" Batman villain appearances.

Why should a modern collector care about Lois Lane 70 when that book itself is more than 50 years old and the character's been retconned serveral more times since?

Even for my generation, Catwoman mini # 1 (or even Batman: Year One) had more impact on portraying a current/modern Catwoman than did Lois Lane 70.

See also Batman 155, Batman 171, etc. My conception of the modern Riddler was formed by reading Batman 452-454 off-the-stands. Why does it matter? It's the first time we see a *truly* psychotic Riddler - one that puts Batman in the position of delivering a back-alley tracheotomy to a baby. 

Those "first Silver Age" appearances seemed to matter when the books were 25 years old.

Now that they're 50 years old? Zero relevance - and, with a few exceptions (like Deadshot) the Silver Age versions have far more in common with the Golden Age versions than with today's.

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I also think the "first appearance of a movie villain" thing is one of the biggest scams in comic book speculation.

I will never believe Batman 386 is a legit $450 book in 9.8 just because he's slated to appear in the Birds of Prey movie. Luckily, that one seems to already be on the down-swing -- trending around a (still absurd) $300 today.

But I'd much rather see classic storylines continue to have value than the seemingly endless carousel of 3rd-tier villain first appearances that pop due to whatever comic book movie is coming out six months from now.

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3 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

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.

I think one thing to keep in mind is that X-men 94 is only "languishing" relative to GSXM 1 exploding upwards in value.  It's still a book that goes for more than $1000 for CGC 9.x copies.  That's pretty good money for a comic book.  Collectors are still collecting it.  There is just a ton of new money chasing the first appearances like GSXM #1.  It's still a book I want in my collection, but it is still really expensive compared to other books that I think offer a better bang for my buck.

The idea that comic prices should be trending ever upward in value is part of the problem.  There is more money treating comics as investments these days rather than money treating them as cool items to possess in their own right.  That lends itself to money piling into fewer and fewer "hot" comics like first appearances.  That has created what appears to me to be a pretty standard speculative bubble in those first appearances.  I've watched a few of those play out in my life, and I suspect that this one will end the way they always do-- with the people that got pulled in at the end losing a massive amount of money.  Are we near the end?  Who knows, but I'm going to be selling more than I'm buying of the hot books at these prices.

On the plus side, if you can keep your head about you, there are lots of cool comics to collect that aren't crazy expensive.  You just have to be willing to skip the key books and be willing to accept mid-grade books ( for SA/BA books primarily ).  Just don't expect them to generate an investment return.  You have to buy them because you want to own them, not because you hope that they will go up in price.

I just spent like $4 each at MCS to buy a whole bunch of mid-grade SA Sgt Fury's and SA/BA Superboy's with Neal Adams covers.  These aren't investments.  I'm buying them because they are kinda cool for the price.  Will these books ever have anything that drives their price up?  Probably not ( although never say never.  I never thought anyone would be willing to pay money for the Rocket Raccoon miniseries either :) ).  I'll read them, file them into my long boxes, and once every 5 years I will flip through those long boxes and revel in my hundreds of mostly worthless SA/BA books.

Of course, in that order I also bought a Spidey that someone consigned at a price low enough for me to flip (hopefully), and a few cheap books that I think speculators may suddenly make hot sometime down the road. So I'm not opposed to speculating per se, I'm just opposed to piling into what everyone else is currently speculating on at vastly inflated prices. :)

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I think there have been a few storylines that have seen a bump lately.....Maximum Carnage, The X-Men Phoenix saga, Kraven's Last Hunt, Iron Man 149-150 sell for a bit more.....I am not sure why anyone would expect Silver Surfer 34 to explode. 'First appearance of Thanos in a while!'  Woohoo!  

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1 hour ago, cd4ever said:

.....I am not sure why anyone would expect Silver Surfer 34 to explode. 'First appearance of Thanos in a while!'  Woohoo!  

Well, glad you ask, because I can tell you! It's not because it's the "first appearance of Thanos in a while!" It's because it's the beginning of Starlin's third (and by far most successful) cosmic Marvel saga. It is the genesis of all the events that happened in Infinity Gauntlet and everything that followed. It's where the entire last two...three? four? years of the MCU originates.

Without SS #34, there is no Thanos Quest, no Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, return of Warlock, etc. It all starts with SS #34.

Edited by RockMyAmadeus

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3 hours ago, Hamlet said:

I think one thing to keep in mind is that X-men 94 is only "languishing" relative to GSXM 1 exploding upwards in value.  It's still a book that goes for more than $1000 for CGC 9.x copies.  That's pretty good money for a comic book.  Collectors are still collecting it.  There is just a ton of new money chasing the first appearances like GSXM #1.  It's still a book I want in my collection, but it is still really expensive compared to other books that I think offer a better bang for my buck.

Sure, it's all relative, and no, X-Men #94 isn't a quarter book...but for the first 30-40 years of their existence, X-Men #94 was *THE* book to own, and was always the more valuable book. It's only in the last 5, maybe 10 years at most that GSXM has surpassed it. Relative to X-Men #94, it's now much, much more valuable. That's new.

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53 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Sure, it's all relative, and no, X-Men #94 isn't a quarter book...but for the first 30-40 years of their existence, X-Men #94 was *THE* book to own, and was always the more valuable book. It's only in the last 5, maybe 10 years at most that GSXM has surpassed it. Relative to X-Men #94, it's now much, much more valuable. That's new.

Honestly, I agree with the current market’s relative assessment of those books.  GSXM has the first appearance of several major characters and is the first appearance of the new X-men as a team.  X-men 94 is the start of a run, and a lot of 2nd appearances.  It’s a cool book, but if you are picking between the two it is no contest, IMO.  The market was wrong about this and is now right, IMO.  Note that I am speaking to relative values and not absolute ones.  I think that expensive comics may face rough sledding ahead.  I suspect that even if things correct though, that GSXM will remain more valuable than X-men 94.

There was a time when AF15 and ASM 1 had similar values as well.  That has changed dramatically and rightly so, IMO.  Sometimes the market changes and sometimes those changes make more sense than the market of the past.  Sometimes it does not ( see Rocket Raccoon 1) 🙂

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1 hour ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Well, glad you ask, because I can tell you! It's not because it's the "first appearance of Thanos in a while!" It's because it's the beginning of Starlin's third (and by far most successful) cosmic Marvel saga. It is the genesis of all the events that happened in Infinity Gauntlet and everything that followed. It's where the entire last two...three? four? years of the MCU originates.

Without SS #34, there is no Thanos Quest, no Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, return of Warlock, etc. It all starts with SS #34.

It’s also a pretty common Copper age book.  What does a decent raw copy go for? $20 or so?  Does that seem too low?  How many books are people supposed to be pilling 100s of dollars into?  

Honestly, I think this book’s price makes sense.  It’s the higher priced books that don’t.  

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30 minutes ago, Hamlet said:

GSXM has the first appearance of several major characters and is the first appearance of the new X-men as a team.

No, the new team is formed in X-Men 94.

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17 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:
20 hours ago, Hamlet said:

I think one thing to keep in mind is that X-men 94 is only "languishing" relative to GSXM 1 exploding upwards in value.  It's still a book that goes for more than $1000 for CGC 9.x copies.  That's pretty good money for a comic book.  Collectors are still collecting it.  There is just a ton of new money chasing the first appearances like GSXM #1.  It's still a book I want in my collection, but it is still really expensive compared to other books that I think offer a better bang for my buck.

Sure, it's all relative, and no, X-Men #94 isn't a quarter book...but for the first 30-40 years of their existence, X-Men #94 was *THE* book to own, and was always the more valuable book. It's only in the last 5, maybe 10 years at most that GSXM has surpassed it. Relative to X-Men #94, it's now much, much more valuable. That's new.

I still feel like there's "mass appeal" for kindergarten-level thinking, no calculus involved.

For example, Superman #1 is the first issue of a title which everyone recognizes with a nice #1 to go with it.  It's just a book of reprints.  It's not a big book from calculus-level thinking.  But from kindergarten-level thinking, it's the second-best Superman book of all time.

Giant-Sized X-Men #1 has a "#1" on the cover.  Well, if you could own just one X-Men book, it should probably be X-Men #1.  But if you could own two... Giant-Sized X-Men #1 also has a "#1" (like Superman #1), so kindergarten-level thinking pushes it up to the second-best spot.

Still thinking like a kindergartener... what is a "#94?"  Who cares!?!  If the general public who knows kindergarten-level details about comic books has to choose between two expensive X-Men comics that are the same age and one of them is a #1 and the other is a #94, it's no contest.  #1 wins.

...and here we are.

Edited by valiantman

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To paraphrase:

""No one in this world, so far as I know ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."

-H.L.Mencken, 1926

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18 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

It's because it's the beginning of Starlin's third (and by far most successful) cosmic Marvel saga. It is the genesis of all the events that happened in Infinity Gauntlet and everything that followed. It's where the entire last two...three? four? years of the MCU originates.

Without SS #34, there is no Thanos Quest, no Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, return of Warlock, etc. It all starts with SS #34.

Try fitting that on a slab! :baiting:

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On 11/12/2019 at 1:58 PM, divad said:
On 11/12/2019 at 2:01 AM, kimik said:

the fact that the MCU 1) killed Thanos

They killed Thanos???

 

 

 

:roflmao:

Until they decide that can make some more :flipbait: on him

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On 11/12/2019 at 10:36 AM, RockMyAmadeus said:

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 previous generations of collectors also placed a premium on 1st appearances and #1s, just like the current generation does. The only difference is that the current generation is not chasing story arcs/runs for one simple reason - classic stories and runs are now being reprinted in TPBs or omnibuses or digitally. There are more options to acquire the material now. Instead of buying story arcs book by book you do it all at once with reprints if you just want to read it. 

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