A day late but hey, you can’t rush greatness…
This week Chris and Walt let the cat out of the bag and talk DC’s rising stock in the back issue markets.
Please let us know what you thought of the show, I’ll let you leave a comment in the comments field below if you promise to keep it civil.
So? Are you looking to buy some DCs?
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts
So I’m on Instagram and one of the accounts I follow sell books in groups of four, all books are the same price, lets say $15 each for any of the four…I double look and he has a X-Men #282 with spine cracks at $15, sure it’s Bishop….then next to it is Green Lantern/Green Arrow #77 in really nice condition!!! We now think the 2nd book on a major arc exploring society’s issue with Neal Adams art is worth the same as Dazzler#1 and a beat up Bishop???
Moral is that there are major DC books going for silly low money.
Discussion of generational shifts is so interesting and I think anyone with a considerable collection and an exit strategy that isn’t handing it down to children really needs to consider. Those 30-40 year olds that are getting in, as Chris said, they hit the McFarlane ASM, 90’s Jim Lee X-Men…a wise man once said the first 50 issues of Spawn would be a good long term hold. Things like 90’s holo covers (venom: lethal protector) are really warming up, what I used to cringe at in my boxes is now selling very easily as a new generation comes in. We know things will be officially weird when people start wanting Rob Liefeld books (hol up, anyone heard of New Mutants #98!!!).
first suicide squad is in brave and the bold 25 . c’mon guys , please get it right !!!
I enjoyed the podcast Lads. a few thoughts.
Since the college/University wisely kicked you off their airways, shouldn’t you evolve, and turn this into a podcast?
And the content was great, but it is too short. I was just warming up to it all, and it was over. I knew Walt doesn’t have any legs (Biking boy) but you Chris, you ?
Thanks for the Show Chris and Walt.
As a Marvel fan for just over sixty years, I have only strayed to DC for the really interesting projects with great art or writing. Batman has proved the most appealing with many solid creators over the years. For that reason alone Batman will always be a big seller. In the early ’70s I was on a DC roll with the Kirby books, Kubert’s Tarzan, Wrightson’s Swamp Thing (and, later, Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing) and Kaluta’s Shadow. Beyond that, there was Sandman, which had a broad appeal across many genres, and Watchmen. That’s only a very thin sliver of the DC pie, and, out of all of those, I only still own Watchmen, two favourite issues of Sandman (out of 75!), and a smattering of great Batman issues.. I think maybe prices are so low on DCs compared to Marvels because nobody wants most of them.
Its funny how things have changed Mel. In the 1990`s there was an old saying…..people sold their Marvels when they were getting married. People moved their DC collection after they died.
Sadly, I loved DC Marvel Fawcett Harvey Dell CDC Archie …… When I go to the great comic store in the sky, or the convention in the Deep, its gonna be a good day for some Dealer or collector.
Listening to you guys talk about DC is like watching old people trying to do a TikTok dance. I really appreciate your trying to send some love to DC, but beyond that it’s pretty much embarrassing.
Look, you guys (and our dear friend Mel) don’t like DC and hence know very little about it, so why are you making calls? If you generally believe DC is heating up, get somebody who really loves DC to make some calls for you. Poking around like this is like me trying to pick which issues of ASM to buy. I don’t care about ASM and I wouldn’t know what to buy. You guys not even knowing which title Suicide Squad showed up in is enough right there.
Walt’s decades-long attack on Hal Jordan hasn’t borne fruit, and I think it is ridiculously off-base. Exactly how many Ms. Marvels have there been now? I guess nobody values those reboots, huh? So send me all those Kahn first appearances as dollar books, please.
As far as “heating up” goes, I did a very simple long-term comparison. Showcase #22 got whacked by the GL movie (similar to Eternals – yow!), so to compare appreciation you really need to go back before that. I looked at 2007 to present for a “mid-grade” Showcase #22. I take that to be a CGC 5.5, which sold for $700 in 2007 and now sells for about $7k. Now look at Hulk #181 around $7k (8.0) and X-Men #1 around $7k (2.0 – yuck!). What were they selling for in 2007? Around $700. So much for the “beaten down DC” (at least in this case). I think the Marvel fan boys just haven’t been following any other market. If you want to see other big DC numbers, look at this weekend’s Heritage auction. DC is alive and well at the high end, thank you very much. (You can tell how lousy the Spectre is by how cheap those More Funs are – come on.)
This also throws out Walt’s idea that somehow young people can’t tell the difference between Ages. Hogwash. What I will accept is that the “Ages” are arbitrary, and what people really care about are the scarcity fluctuations. People started collecting DC around 1958 and never stopped, and so there are a lot of mid-grade DCs from then on. So these are lower-priced. Nothing surprising there. But any DC above 5.0 before 1958 is worth something. And people are routinely spending four and five figures for really nice old scarce DCs.
After all that kvetching, I’m willing to agree that post-1958, DC is weak relative to Marvel, particularly in very high grade late Silver Age and Bronze Age. Walt pointed out his recent bet in this space, and I think it is a good one. However, whether DC or Marvel, you really have to pick and choose when playing this game, because the immense number of cheap mid-grade copies of the same issue that are out there make paying a lot simply for grade a different kind of game. I am far more comfortable paying for a highest-graded 8.0 from 1952, where there are twenty graded copies in the population and no decent ungraded copies, than paying for a 9.8 from 1968 where there are a hundred graded copies, but thousands of mid-grade copies too cheap to be worth grading.
I started as a DC fan because I got complete beat-’em-up stories in one issue, rather than a fight or two in a continuing soap opera where I had no idea what was going on, and nothing was resolved. I stayed a DC fan for many reasons, but Neal Adams was one of the biggest. Spider has it right – those GL/GA books are gold, and I hope he snagged that one. The earlier ones (up to the drug issue) are not trivial to find in nice grade. I wiould buy them all day long for $15. Adam’s Superboy covers are amazing. Etc. and etc. Like I said in an earlier comment – for the collection I get to keep when I have to sell the rest.
Tough critique Meli, most of it wasn’t wrong either but I won’t get fooled by your your data, there are a lot of slow growth examples I can pull up on the DC side. And again Meli you are right in that there are a lot of DC fanboys out there, I think I’m pointing the current DC run more to the speculators, those rushing into books and segments because they see an upswing, the DC market is now less and less driven by DC fanboys. And I still know I’m right about young people not making a fuss about the age difference, Gold, Silver its all ancient to them, its not just scarcity, there are not that many 9.9 ASM #300s but you won’t see one going for $250,000, too much of the money chasing that book are connected to the book as a contemporary, perhaps 80 years from now the only 10 CGC ASM #300s will be 40% as much as the top 4 AF #15s?
Don’t lump me in with these characters, but I am happy to be a dear friend. If you check out what I said, for one thing, nowhere did I say that I “don’t like DC,” and then rattled off a bunch of my faves! I didn’t even get started on Enemy Ace…and I don’t know “very little about it.”
SO! To demonstrate just how much I DO know, I have a great bit of trivia for you and all of your Green Lantern friends. Notice, I didn’t say “fan boys.” A couple of days before the First Battle of Manassas,during the American Civil War, Major Sullivan Ballou wrote one last letter to his wife, just before the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry had their butts handed to them on a platter. Among his last words were the following: “…if the dead can come back to this earth, and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you in the garish day and the darkest night.”.
Also its important to note…DC top titles out sold Marvel 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 in the decade of the sixties. Hell, Casper the ghost did better as well. So there are way more DC books out there.
All the Superman Books, Batman Books were selling 500,000 to 850,000 copies a month.
Touching on the “big growth” comics over the past ten years (thanks CM for starting this) there are winners and losers among both companies.
First off I am a DC fan, more so than a Marvel fan. I, too liked the complete package comics that DC put out, as opposed to the heroes with “problems” (I interpret “dumb”) punching each other and “continued next week”.
I recently picked up TOS 95 for $4 and note that the Continued Next blurb at the end of the issue was full page wide by 2.5” high. What??
I just re-read DC’s Kamandi #2 and now understand where Skyrim and Fallout 4 get their ideas (dirigibles, Khajit, etc.) And then I drooled over the Shazam ad, and the film noir Shadow ad. DC all the way.
The top gainers for the last 10 years among DC and Marvel (post 1956) are TOS 13, Linda Carter Student Nurse 1, Sherry the Showgirl 1, Showgirls 1, Showgirls 4. Yes Marvel has the top 5, but probably not what you expected.
Next: WW 98, Aquaman 11, Rawhide Kid 17 (Walter called this!), Detective 233, Batman 121, Archie’s Madhouse 22.
The biggest losers: Showcase 11, Daredevil 7, Fantastic Four 12, Flash 107, Incredible Hulk 6, Mystery In Space 53, Batman Annual 1 all of which lost money. Also losing money, but not as much, were Atom 1, FF8, Star Trek 1, FF3, Batman 171, Avengers 1, Our Army at War 81, Showcase 23, JIM 88.
There will always be a generational shift, but if you look at the biggest gainers since 2020, the biggest single gainer is 1952’s Battle Cry 1, up nearly 2,000%. The real top gainers are peppered with Matt Baker and LB Cole covers and disturbing comic covers.
This type of buying has nothing to do with generational shifts but with an appreciation of a great comic and the internet allows collectors to check out stuff beyond their affiliation with Disney movies.
The best gainers 2021 to 2020 for post 1956 comics are Detective 244, 239, Cerebus 1, Detective 276 and World’s Finest 90. Four out of Five DC.
And let’s just say that Millie the Model 71 is outperforming X-Men 1 and 4, ASM 1 and AF15. Happy Marvel comics buying!
Alex, thank YOU for that – I am impressed by the work but not surprised by the conclusions. There is a lot of action out there away from the usual titles/keys.
The key theme that I see above is female characters:
While Sherry and Millie might not be “strong” female characters, they are main characters who aren’t about good girl art. Sabrina might be a humor character, but I think you can characterize her as “strong”. Batwoman is a really strong character these days, and she is on the cover of three of the issues you note (Detective 233, Detective 276, and World’s Finest 90). I am one of your data points for 233, I think that is a super-key book. I also have nice copies of Aquaman 11 and Madhouse 22. I just took down a whale in this vein because I have always loved it, think it is a phenomenally important cover, and have continued to be outbid at lower levels. And back to the DC subject: note that three of the four “serious” characters in the list are DC. Wonder Woman has made good gains in the market, but I am betting the future is even brighter.