It’s All Marvel

This week Chris and Walt are joined by long-time Comic Culture producer Shekky Feldstein and someone new to the show Cigarello Jameson, co-host from the Cigar Dungeon Podcast. The fellas try to figure out why the comic collecting market is all about Marvel right now.

Please let us know what you thought of the show in the comments field below.

Also, why do you think Marvels are the most collected back issues?

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1589

17 Comments

  1. All true, my friends. You guys have got a good grip on the pulsating market. Question is, what happens after this perfect storm? While financial markets wait for a more definitive signal regarding inflation, we have to assume it’s all interconnected. With such massive economic and political disruption… what is the new norm? It’s all very interesting… Future scholars will study the present and our response to this change will become fodder for documentaries, movies, books, revised stats and analysis. Savour the days as we are living through history.

  2. Yes, all true, and Marvel comics are readily available. They are not rare but there is high demand.

    I had a big dissertation about movies here but erased it.

    A Batman Adventures 12 just sold for $4,080 in 9.8. ASM 300 has sales in the $4,800 to $6,900 range. But, yes, young boys wore Spider-Man pyjamas back in 2001, and they are now 30 years old. There is the nostalgia. Young boys can be Spider-Man at Halloween but I see moms in the neighbourhood saying no to young girls being Harley Quinn. Get out the Princess costume.

    Have you checked Charlton’s Fightin’ 5 #40. Overstreet #49 has it at $95 in 9.2. It just sold for $3,360 in cgc9.0. And the other lower grade sales back this up. Peacemaker’s first appearance. Charlton – DC character. DC TV series?? A good series can do wonders for values, a bad series (Inhumans) can knock values back down.

    Master of Kung Fu was generally post- Bruce Lee, my favourite Marvel comic, and its success was the amazing story lines (Moench) and art (Gulacy-Marcos). Bring in Sax Rohmer characters, Leiko Wu, references to Over My Head by Fleetwood Mac and you have a hit.

    Some of those Marvels are going incredibly high and some of the first Fantastic Four have almost returned to 2010 values, yes some are not there yet. And some Marvel keys are not flying through the roof they have reached a platform. I would argue that TOS 39 was worth more in 2015 than now. I know that is not the norm for the high bronze age sales being seen. X-Men 1 sales in cgc3.5 are about 3 times last years value, the cgc9.6 that just sold was 1.07 times my forecasted value. There is some caution for the big key books in super high grade. Not applicable to AF 15 or Hulk 1.

    When those two high bidders buy a high value comic on an auction site just remember it takes two. Unfortunately I am number 1,000 on the top bidder list. Collectors now hope, dream, wish, want their similar comic to be that high bid value and follow along.

  3. Alex! Great points. And I would still like to know your thoughts on the movies.

  4. Great show people. Shekky Feldstein once again brings the heat, intelligence and perspective that only a man packing serious amounts of pocket meat can!!!

    My favorite:

    Walter: And what’s the name of that podcast?

    Cigarillo: Cigar Dungeon

    Walter: and is that something people listen too?

    Cigarello: No

    Brilliant!!!

  5. Ultimately it is all about the marketing! Stan did it well in the 60’s followed by his protege Roy Thomas and then Jim Shooter. Toy sales didn’t hurt the momentum either. Then the MCU came around as an invigorating shot in the arm and the cross over integration of the movies ( yes they screwed up with the licensing of its character but thats working itself out) so your correct in the assessment that deep pocket investors are cashing in on the momentum! I know I could not put the collection I have now at todays current prices and even at the majority of mid grades that I own! I feel as far as Marvel Silver and beyond goes I am now priced out of the market! Frankly, since in roughly 3 years my wife and I maybe retiring to Europe… this maybe the time to sell! Hey Chris… still looking fir a fine copy of ASM 129?

  6. Gerald, great points! And your plan to sell the ASM (& the rest of the collection) & go live in Europe…mate, sounds like you’ve got it all under control!!!

  7. Gerald! I hope for your sake I can’t afford your ASM 129. These days I can probably afford a 1.5 or 2. Lol. Let’s hope it’s better so you can get a nice flat in London or Pousada in Portugal!

  8. Portugal is the location we are thinking of… wife is working on her EU citizenship! Thanks to all and I’ll let you all know when I get ready to sell! Well… unless some comics shop owner makes me an offer I can’t refuse… but… hahaha…THAT would never happen!

  9. Gerald, I’ve been to some beaches & baths in Europe…and mate….let me tell you…speedos are much more preferable than ‘no speedos’. Trust me on this

  10. This is kinda interesting… Recent GPA prices are just starting to curve down. Of course this depends on the book and it’s grade but the usual suspects appears to be… at least, levelling off. What does mean? Nothing… yet. For many folks, this was expected as we enter the summer months and the economy slowly opens back up. Questions to consider as we move forward:

    • Is this a trend reversal or a just temporary retracement that allows the market to cool off as it prepares for the next leg up this coming fall/winter?
    • Do we buy or sell? I would say it’s still a sellers market and I would hold off buying anything big right now. The pullback isn’t meaningful enough for it to be considered an opportunity.

    Anecdotally speaking, this is also reflected in my eBay sales. Not only has the number of sales greatly reduced, but I’m no longer able achieve top dollar for the few sales I do have.

    “But Charlie… what if the market keeps going up? Am I gonna miss my chance to pick up an FF#48 at $20k?”

    I’m not your daddy… and if you didn’t buy at $1k, what would compel you to buy now? Action is it’s own reward but there’s also pattern of behaviour. After a very successful year for the market, it just good practice to look forward.

    Good luck and happy trading ^_^

  11. Charlie, since you have some sense of this market, tell me… on a book like FF 48… why are there multiple bids on it in midgrade that are exceeding the same grade in buy it now? Are people more enamored in the competition then in the book?

  12. The market is not consistent and people are emotional creatures. The buying frenzy between 2 or more bidders is what sellers often hope for, that the desire to win or collect something that has no intrinsic value will overwhelm logic or reason.

    The whole idea of being “true” or “loyal” to particular ideology is a marketing ploy, of course, and it’s employed by all kinds of interest groups. It’s not just religious or political fanatics who try and indoctrinate people. In order to keep any interest alive, we need a constant flow of new members to, at least, offset the members who are leaving or dying. In our particular area of interest, veteran collectors like to push the idea of how great the stories are, how great the art is, how fun it is to collect, it’s a great investment, join our community and become a member of the family… etc. Subjectively speaking, none of this is necessarily true… It only becomes true if you believe it. All of which is fine because this is how McDonalds sells their burgers and Apple sells their iPhones. After all, if you feel something, you want others to feel it too for a shared experience… and this is how friendships are often formed. But within the greater context of trying to make the most of your life… I think it’s important to have a broader view. So, if you believe that buying an FF#48 will contribute to this idea of “making the most of your life”… then by all means. If not, you’ll pass, and complain about affordability years later after having 20x-ed. So it comes down to what do you believe today… Can we say another 20x in 10 years? If you believe this, then perhaps trying to snag a copy by outbidding the competition is not such a crazy thought after all?

  13. I think it’s misguided to talk about collectors or people who are nostalgic for the books of their youth being priced out of the market and quoting multi-thousand dollar prices for 9.8 CGC books. The only people that are buying those books are rich people, investors or collectors in name only (i.e. they are really more investors than collectors). It’s ridiculous that prices for 9.8’s are becoming the yardstick by which people measure the market for a book. When you look at something like GoCollect those are primarily the only books that are discussed in their blogs – as if lower grade or un-slabbed books don’t exist. I think that generally, people that are nostalgic for the books of their youth or are true collectors are not buying 9.8 CGC books – they’re too expensive, they can’t be read and many people are revolted by the entire greed driven situation to begin with. It’s a mistake for you to have these discussions and start quoting prices that only apply to those books particularly when you are trying to differentiate between collectors and investors. Sadly, the entire situation has led to a whole new younger generation of people who are obsessed with graded slabs and the prices they realize as opposed to the greatness that lies therein.

  14. Jerry, I think most people here would agree with you, including me… but how do you separate investing from collecting, which are two sides of the same coin.

    I’m not sure what a “true collector” is. Everyone wants the best stuff, even those who’ve denounced CGC still prefer NM over VG. Is one type of collector “truer” than the other based on the size of their wallet, preference or priorities? When we go to the grocery store, do we not try and select the best apples, and leave the bruised fruit for others?

    In the same way that advertising features the top-of-the-line model, sports fans rate the top players… and every other industry likes to focus on the best, the greatest, the fastest, the strongest, the prettiest, the shiniest, the biggest… why should comics be any different? It’s the 9.8’s or the highest value books that make the headlines…

    I think that FF#48-50 is the greatest story in all of comics. But I’ve read these books, multiple times. And because I love these books so much, I’m willing to pay big $$ for CGC copies, because I believe that there are others who feel as I do, who’d be willing to pay even more for them than what I paid, eventually, down the road. And if I ever get the urge to read these again, I prefer to pick up reprints as not to damage the originals. So you see, comic investors are also comic fans. Investors in general tend to gravitate toward some thing they like or understand. And this emotional connection is one of the biggest flaws among investors.

    If you think deeper about what it means to be a “true collector” or “the greatness that lies therein”… you’d would realize that these phrases are the equivalent to being a 9.8 in terms of their elitist connotation… and collecting in itself is a form of “greed” by it’s nature.

    Like real estate, gasoline or dining out… comic prices only seem expensive because the value of money has been dropping. Statistically speaking, wages have been flat since the late 70’s, or early 80’s (due to a law that was passed stating that money was a form of free speech, which allowed political Super PACs to be formed… but I wont go down this rabbit hole). An FF#48 might have 20x over the last 10-20 years… but has your salary also 20x? Contrarily, the average CEO compensation has 350x during this same period. Some as high as 700x! When it seems like you can actually win by working hard playing by the rules… the rules makers change the rules on you. Here’s an example: Banks use to pay you to keep your money with them. Today… you pay them. The switch has been so gradual, hardly anyone notices or cares. This is why it’s better keep your money in comics!

    So yes, be angry. Get mad. Push back… But not at the CGC 9.8 collectors. We’re all on the same team. Get mad at the folks who are pumping you from behind, and want you to thank them for it.

    Addendum: As news of millionaires riding rockets into space circulate, keep in mind that NASA already has this technology but they’re not allowed to simply waste the money. And if you believe it’s all for the betterment of humanity, go watch movies like Elysium (2013). People who build castles in the sky don’t do so help the poor. The whole point of gated communities is to keep us out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWuM4Jyd_sw

    Re: Buckley v. Valeo (1976). Admittedly, it’s complicated, but decades later, the end result is that corporations run America.

  15. If you’re like the rest of us, struggling to keep up… this is why.

    https://www.investopedia.com/thmb/1uMK34aLsaM-ME5EXLUSj5uwCdQ=/2000×1000/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/inflation_color2-216537dd3aeb4365b991b67790765e4f.png

    I remember getting my first back account… the Royal Bank of Canada was paying me 9%. I had that account for decades but instead of rewarding me for my loyalty… I was being charged $20-30 a month, per account.

    I’m no financial genius, but it certainly has helped to close my accounts, and move the funds into stuff that’s gonna help to offset it’s devaluation. It doesn’t have to be comics, and there are easy-to-use online alternatives to traditional bricks/mortar banks.

    Think of the gap between receiving 9% to losing an average of $25 a month x decades. That can easily add up to an FF#48. Cut your cable and use alternative cell services… and upgrade your current FF#48 to a 9.0 copy or better! And perhaps in another 10-20 years… another 20x!

    If you’re a “true” collector… this is the way.

    ^_^

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