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By The Numbers

On July 6th I had the opportunity to attend the Toronto Comic Book Show (TCBS) for the first time. This was the second TCBS after its inaugural show in May. You won’t see any cosplay or signings at TCBS—the show’s organizers are 100% focused on serving those who just want to get their hands on books (both raw and graded). The admission person I spoke with said they expected over 400 people throughout the day. While that’s a far cry from some of the bigger Toronto shows or US shows, it’s a pretty respectable number considering TCBS is a collector-first show. …

In a recent Financial Analysts Journal article authors Elroy Dimson and Christophe Spaenjers provide an excellent analysis of the historical performance of artwork, stamps, and antique violins. The authors label these collectibles “emotional assets.” No, the authors did not include comic books in their study. However, the article offered a few interesting insights that apply to us comic book collectors.…

November 18, 2013 / / By The Numbers 5 Comments

Superhero movies have been on an incredible run. Ever since X-Men premiered in 2000 and Spider-Man two years later, superhero movies have been box office gold. Perhaps even more incredible is the fact that most of them have been well received by critics and fans (Daredevil and Elektra being the standout duds). Over this time, back issue comic book values—and…

September 9, 2013 / / By The Numbers 2 Comments

I wish I had something new and exciting to report but the first six months of this year was just a continuation of what we saw in 2012: a weak Bronze Age, a steady Silver Age, and a stellar Modern Age. The quarterly performance for each Age is summarized below: As a refresher, here’s the performance summary for 2012: New Mutants…

On Saturday, Marvel announced the sequel to their smash-hit Avengers will be titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. Plot details remain scarce. Who created Ultron in the Marvel cinematic universe? Will Hank Pym be in the movie? Will we see Vision? What’s interesting about Marvel’s Age of Ultron announcement is that the comic storyline it’s titled after was released just this year. Unlike…

You’ve probably heard that Apple is the world’s most valuable company. But how do we know that, exactly? It’s actually a simple calculation: multiply the number of Apple’s shares outstanding by its current share price. Apple currently has approximately 940 million shares outstanding and its current share price is around $450. So that works out to 940,000,000 x $450 =…

As a boy I never missed the X-Men cartoon every Saturday morning. Compared to the other buttoned-down members of the X-Men, Wolverine was the dynamic anti-hero with a mysterious past. Despite his inner rage and desire for revenge against those who wronged him, he always remained a good guy. But he clearly had no problem colouring outside the lines to…

Comictrend’s Marvel Modern Age Index was the star performer for 2012, outshining the Silver and Bronze Age indexes. In fact, the latter indexes had ho-hum years. In a year when the Avengers smashed box office records and many high profile Silver Age auctions captured collector attention, the Modern Age ended up stealing the spotlight.  Here’s the 2012 performance summary: The…

Last updated on January 17th, 2013 at 06:25 pmEat This Not That is a popular column in Men’s Health magazine. The authors of the column compare two menu items found in popular restaurants and highlight the nutritionally superior alternative. Now, when I say “nutritionally superior” it’s with a sarcastic tone as usually neither alternative could be considered healthy (for example,…

Last December, in my first article for Comic Book Daily, I argued that high grade Marvel Bronze Age values were likely to stabilize after a few years of steep declines.  Bronze Age values have fallen for three reasons: 1) growing census figures, 2) the bursting of the movie hype bubble, and 3) the general economic turmoil experienced between 2007 and 2009.…

What goes up must come down and what goes down… must come up! That was the story for comic values during the third quarter of 2012. The two hottest Ages so far this year, the Silver and Modern Ages, declined during the quarter. The down-and-out Bronze Age popped 10.3% after falling 2% in Q1 and 11% during Q2. The Marvel…

September 17, 2012 / / By The Numbers 6 Comments

Since starting Comictrend a year ago and my By the Numbers column for comicbookdaily.com, I’ve received a few emails from new collectors asking for a “collecting 101” guide. With thousands of titles spanning over 70+ years, the hobby can be a bit overwhelming to newcomers. There’s no black and white blueprint to follow. Each collector has to figure out what…

We are in a Golden Age for superhero movies. The Spider-Man, Iron-Man, X-Men, and Batman movies have been for the most part home runs both critically and financially. Sure, Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand suffered from too many characters and production issues but their excellent predecessors more than made up for their shortcomings. But not even superheroes bat…

Right now comic fans are descending upon the San Diego Comic Con. By all accounts, the industry is doing very well. Year-to-date orders by Direct Market shops in North America are up 18%. This time last year, sales were down 8% year-over-year. Away from books, fans are being bombarded with awesome movies, animated series, and television series. Marvel’s Avengers movie…

The recent turmoil in the European Union has rattled global stock markets. Greece’s massive debt and dwindling cash reserves threaten to destabilize Europe and potentially all economies around the world. Spain and Italy are hanging on by a thread and will require hundreds of billions in bailouts in order to survive. Even that might not be enough. Meanwhile in comic…

First debuting in 1963, it has taken nearly 50 years for Earth’s Mightiest Super-Heroes to reach the big screen.  By all accounts, it has been worth the wait. The  movie is a smash hit, receiving rave reviews and setting box office records. This weekend it achieved over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales, just the twelfth movie to do so.…

Our Bronze Age Index comprises some landmark titles that feature the first appearances of The Punisher, Hobgoblin, Sabretooth, Wolverine, Phoenix, and Emma Frost. And now is probably not a bad time to get your hands on them, considering as a group they have declined in value by about 50% since 2009. Any collector would consider these Bronze Age titles must…

The first quarter of 2012 is almost at an end—time flies! The theme of 2012 so far has been continued stability. Nothing has rocked the boat on either the positive or negative side. After suffering huge losses since 2009 (which I wrote about here), high grade Bronze Age comics seem to have found a floor. While this isn’t exactly good…

Every collector of CGC graded comics is familiar with the information panel—typically referred to as the label—located at the top of each slabbed book. The most important part is of course the grade, ranging from 0.5 to 10. In addition to the grade, other details that could impact the value of the book such as spine tears, ripped pages, and…

February 13, 2012 / / By The Numbers 0 Comments

Like any financial asset, commodity, or collectible, comic book values fluctuate in the course of natural course of trading. We can measure this fluctuation by calculating its variance or standard deviation. Variance is a measure of how far a string of variables lie from their mean, or expected value. Often it is easier to work with standard deviation, which is…