Auction Spotlight #11

Walking Dead #1, Image Comics, October 2003, Graded CGC 9.8 with White pages sold for $3,000 on eBay recently.

I can’t believe the legs this book has. I’ve counted Walking Dead #1 out after it went past $1,000 – I flipped every copy I got. I’ve counted Walking Dead #1 out past $2,000 – I flipped every copy I got. Well Walking Dead is now selling in the $3,000 range and I don’t know what to think – not to mention no copies are coming my way anymore.

This has to be the sign of a healthy market for recent keys which has to mean lots and lots of new buyers are coming into the market.

Can we use Walking Dead #1 as a barometer  of sorts for the back issue market? It’s a pretty task specific book, not like say New Mutants #98 or Amazing Spider-Man #300, which both point to some superhero affinity.

I’d like to think Walking Dead #1 buyers will participate en masse but I’m not so sure.

As for this Walking Dead #1 sale? Surely it’s reached its limit.

Advantage Seller.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

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mel taylor
mel taylor
7 years ago

Hey Walt
I’ve been stunned to watch the price of this book increase by leaps and bounds. Sadly for me, I hate zombies, always thought they were the stupid end of the monster range. I could still kick myself for not just picking some up anyway. Needless to say, I didn’t make the same mistake again when Outcast debuted. Of course it helps that demonic possession is not nearly as dumb as zombies. Am I the only person who feels this way about zombies? Obviously not!

cheers, mel

Peter Chin
Peter Chin
7 years ago

Didn’t this issue have a low print run? Surely, the limited supply of copies and the popularity of this franchise is driving the price increases right?

Steve V.
Steve V.
7 years ago

Walking Dead 2003 #1 is rarer than rare.

There are 4,000 copies of the 1st print black mature reader version. There are 3,300 copies of the 2nd print white mature reader version. Thats it!

Because the title is 170 issues long now, #1 is te low print run key of a long title run.

Television shows from 2010 until now made the 2003 first comic book very desired.

Image comics have low distribution and most black mature reader versions have not surfaced making the black mature reader version 3x rarerer than the white in common circulation.

This comic book series turned out to be very successful for Image with the TV series making its debut on Halloween 2010. However, when the comic book series was first published back in 2003 there were only small print runs for many of the early issues making them pretty rare. Once the TV series took off, the demand for the early issues exploded and prices rose steeply.

TV series:
Things got even better during the second TV series with prices rising astronomically on the early issues with #1-6 now all worth over
Guide in NM and other key issues such as #19 (Michonne’s 1st appearance) going for around $double guide and #27 (first Governor appearance) for around double guide too!

The Walking Dead Art
The story centers around the character Rick Grimes, a small-town police officer from Cynthiana, Kentucky, who was shot in a firefight and went into a coma. He wakes sometime later in an empty hospital and has his first meeting with the walking dead. The story then focuses on his search for his family and also to other survivors who have banded together with him.

The Walking Dead #1 CGC cover
Prices seem to have peaked each time the TV show aired with a lot of interest in Michonne who appears in cameo at the end of the second series (from issue #19) and, given the low numbers of these books and their popularity, they are likely to remain as top modern collectibles.

Second print:
The Walking Dead #1 Mature Readers
One last thing: it has been noted elsewhere that the initial print run of The Walking Dead #1 had the colors for the “MATURE READERS” warning printed in the wrong sequence so that the black lettering was printed on top of the white, which disappeared. This was noticed and corrected so the black on subsequent issues adds some shadow/depth to the white letters. However, it is worth noting that the CMYK printing process is subtractive and white is not generally printed (white is starting point i.e. the color of the paper) so it is almost certain that the black printing plate was changed or modified for the second batch.

Sources indicate that there are around 4,000 issues with the black lettering with the rest white, hence the white is rarer (although more white variants seem to come to market). The black lettered issues were printed first hence could be viewed as the first print with the white as the second print; the black lettered variant could also be viewed as an error variant of sorts.

CGC don’t differentiate between the two variants (they probably didn’t spot the difference until many were graded i.e. too late) so this is probably for Overstreet to set a price based on demand.

Walking dead is not dead! It is a phenomina for the millenium!

I could not see values exceeding $300. I was wrong! But $3,000 seems sky high. With the scarcity of black mature reader first prints….i can see a 10.0 cgc going even higher!!

Marc Sims
7 years ago

Prices are way down in most grades other than 9.8. As soon as the show is off the air (which will happen within a couple years my guess) there will be a big drop in all grades. Sell Sell Sell I say! The book will always have value. It’s become enough of a cultural institution that there will be ok demand relative to the extreme scarcity, but I would predict $2k for a 9.8 in 2019.