Is PCH down?
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Howdy,

Just felt like starting a post of open discussion. I am not new to collecting but newer to collecting PCH. I started with Atlas Jims, then branched out to other Atlas and now a few CSS. A LB Cole here, working on another there. I felt the horror books are super cool and the art and stories are amazing, but yet I feel like alot of collectors are losing steam on PCH. I see boardies throw them up and they sit for awhile. I see auctions and the books arent commanding what I thought they were and I know some dealers are trading down in value for silver marvel keys because thats what people want. I feel like I even seen some PCH owners getting rid of their books at cost.

Anyone have thoughts on this? Is PCH dying? Is it soon to be like westerns and war books, were there is only a handful of niche collectors and most of the books are extremely cold? Many of those books are still relatively affordable. I hesitate to put 400 in a PCH book when a 400 marvel silver first appearance seems to only go up. I know some people say its because of the movies, but Avengers Endgame was the last movie and there is a two year lul of no MCU, so I dont think people can point to that. 

I just thought I would open a dialogue and let dealers, PCH collectors, and investors chime in. I appreciate you all and can't wait to see the comments.

 

Ref

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Hi there. Longtime collector of both PCH and war books here.  What I am seeing in the PCH market are the key books are still very thermal, but a lot of people overprice the less interesting and lower grade stuff. This can create the appearance of a cold market when in reality, it’s just the same books that we turned down for years at guide, and now people are asking multiples of guide for books we still don’t care about. BCM50, CSS22, etc will ALWAYS be in demand, even though CSS22 has 294 copies slabbed.

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The highs that some of them achieved 2 years ago - SOME have come down a bit from those a bit (but not that much, really).  Especially not when you compare to, say, 4-5 years ago.  However, that might be what you may be noticing. That for SOME of them, the prices got a bit out of reach of some collectors.  And since you mention war books being perennially down for most of that genre, I would say that many of them (if not most) are actually red hot these days.

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It great that we are getting input in on this topic. I agree that some books are still very hot because they always will be. I think its unfair to say the market cant be down people will always want BCM 50 or CSS 22, because people will always want FF1 and Hulk 181. What I am saying is that if I see some books for sale on the board, and its a silver first appearance of a hero that book almost never lasts compared to PCH books. 

@fifties You bring up a point that I think is actually more two point than you realize. You are getting outbid on ebay for PCH books because people are dumping them at lower prices than they were before and so collectors are bidding on them because the price is lower than it has been in the past.

 @IngelsFan I agree with you I think that some of the books are being overpriced and that is hurting it some. I have seen some dealers that are hunting raw PCH because it has an "austere" to it only to try and slab it and sell it to a newbie like me "but less diligent haha" for 3-4x what he paid for it. I have literally seen people pay 100-125 for a Haunt of Fear...slab it then put it for sale for 400 and have it sit on their page or listing.

This brings me to my next question and save all your stones and spears (:. But I feel most PCH collectors to be older more experienced comic book collectors. Just look at how many decades of PCH collecting was thrown around in the messages above. Is PCH a niche? Is that buyer/collector pool shrinking? I feel like if I have a dude with 400-500 bucks...he's at a con, show, or hell LCS and he wants to treat himself; he's going for the marvel spotlight 5, or the Edge of Spiverse 2, or beat up copy of his intro ASM 9. I don't think he's saying oh you have any Cole or Everett Covers.....much less saying got any Baker or Schomburgs? Think about it. I don't think I am that far off. This is a little concerning for me.

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I like and collect PCH books, but one problem with them from an investment standpoint is that they're somewhat interchangeable. There are no iconic characters like Batman or Superman—just random creeps, animated corpses,  and monsters and random victims. There are some classic covers but no important books per se.

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It appears as a genre it may not be as "white hot" as it was a year or two ago, but it's still has strong interest. Teen GGA/humor books are a bit off their highs as well (though there will always be exceptions), but it's still an in demand genre.  

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Horror in general has always been popular. Whether it’s movies, posters or comics there are always fans out there looking for more. Prices are high on almost all PCH books and if there are some posted for sale here that are not selling, I can think of only two reasons why. 1. A lot of average collectors are priced out (this includes me on certain books). And 2. They already have a copy. As Robotman said, a lot of collectors graduate to PCH after they see just how cool the books are. After collecting all my Bronze Age horror books I got interested in finding the original books the reprint stories came from in the BA Marvel horror books. Once I got a taste, I was hooked!

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1 hour ago, Robot Man said:

If you collect them as hard as I do, there are many with just classic stories and contents. People just tend to focus way too much on the front cover. Some with mild covers contain very classic PCH stories and interior art. I find most superhero books fairly boring and predictable personally.

And over the years, I have happily sold or traded a lot of GA superhero stuff for EC's and PCH.

 

I couldn't agree with this more. 

I can't get enough of those old science fiction stories.  I always know the dudes been dead the entire time,  but I keep reading anyway!!!

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5 hours ago, MusterMark said:

The highs that some of them achieved 2 years ago - SOME have come down a bit from those a bit (but not that much, really).  Especially not when you compare to, say, 4-5 years ago.  However, that might be what you may be noticing. That for SOME of them, the prices got a bit out of reach of some collectors.  And since you mention war books being perennially down for most of that genre, I would say that many of them (if not most) are actually red hot these days.

Was going to say, 50s war books was what I was transitioning into when I realized I just couldn't afford. PCH,  and I'm finding even the war books are getting pricey.  I just have to pinch my nose and settle for westerns :( At least some like death valley  2, imo, stand toe to toe  with PCH.

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1 minute ago, waaaghboss said:

Was going to say, 50s war books was what I was transitioning into when I realized I just couldn't afford. PCH,  and I'm finding even the war books are getting pricey.  I just have to pinch my nose and settle for westerns :( At least some like death valley  2, imo, stand toe to toe  with PCH.

Yeah to that. Russ Heath is the new Matt Baker of war. The great Atlas and Farrell books are starting to get out of hand. 

There are a lot less key western covers but other than Dell Westerns, a lot of promise.

Personally, since covers seem to be the main draw in GA, I think funny animal and humor books have a lot of leg. About the only genre that is pretty much ignored. GA Timely, Star with LB Cole and Al Fago covers, ACG titles,  titles like Ha Ha, Giggle and others have some incridible covers and can be a bit of a challenge to find. I love to “cheap thrill” box dive at shows for these. 

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5 hours ago, 956Ref said:

 

@fifties You bring up a point that I think is actually more two point than you realize. You are getting outbid on ebay for PCH books because people are dumping them at lower prices than they were before and so collectors are bidding on them because the price is lower than it has been in the past.

I'm afraid your logic is, well, "illogical".  A book can start off being offered at auction as low as it's ten cent cover price on eBay, but the hammer price, which is determined by bidders trying to outdo each other, establishes the market value (what a buyer is willing to pay).  I have many short boxes of PCH, and when I look at what I paid for them even but a few years ago, the difference in sold prices today is nothing short of astronomical.

And allow me to offer this; I also collect old radios, made from the late '20's to the mid '60's, and am on a collecting board catering to the genre, like this one is for comics.  THAT hobby seems to be going nowhere.  Prices for antique radios are at about the same level now as they were in the '90's, because not that much new blood is interested in the hobby, so there is a lack of expansion -and actually I guess a shrinking- as older members die out- unlike collectible comic books from about the same period in time, that apparently hold a fascination to the younger generations.

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58 minutes ago, fifties said:

I'm afraid your logic is, well, "illogical".  A book can start off being offered at auction as low as it's ten cent cover price on eBay, but the hammer price, which is determined by bidders trying to outdo each other, establishes the market value (what a buyer is willing to pay).  I have many short boxes of PCH, and when I look at what I paid for them even but a few years ago, the difference in sold prices today is nothing short of astronomical.

And allow me to offer this; I also collect old radios, made from the late '20's to the mid '60's, and am on a collecting board catering to the genre, like this one is for comics.  THAT hobby seems to be going nowhere.  Prices for antique radios are at about the same level now as they were in the '90's, because not that much new blood is interested in the hobby, so there is a lack of expansion -and actually I guess a shrinking- as older members die out- unlike collectible comic books from about the same period in time, that apparently hold a fascination to the younger generations.

I think this is a good point, new comic readers are brought into superhero runs, origins, initial releases because of new printings, movies, games, cartoons, toys, etc. So there are ways for new collectors to be groomed. There is a connection of how one collector moves down the chain. I don't know if this is being done the same for other GA genres. A 40 year old man doesnt want in to barnes and nobles and see a teen cosmo and say, hmm... I think ill collect GA teenage dope slaves or other romance books :devil:.

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