Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #43

The 43rd edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide has just hit the stands and I couldn’t be more excited.

No comic book collector that calls him or herself a comic book collector should be without  a guide. It’s essential reading and it will open up a world of opportunities. Imagine you are in an elevator with a guide under your arm, you are sharing the elevator with an attractive stranger who also happens to have their own copy of the guide. Voilà instant ice breaker. This is what I’m talking about with the guide.

As I pointed out last year, the first thing I do is look for the Big B Comics ad, and there it is on page 237. Ours is a right side page ad. Some marketing type told me long ago that I should always take the right side of the page on a book ad. I’m not sure why I listened but ever since then I’ve always taken a right side ad. Good thing the guy wasn’t selling anything.

This year we share the spread with the Free Comic Book Day ad, bonus! Obviously nobody told the fellas at FCBD about the right side thing, all the better, we’re happy to share a spread with them.

I think my favorite ad in the Vintage Comics ad, it’s a 2 page spread on page 54/55 and it just has a nice personal touch to it. Great ad!

The market reports this year were great, most of us advisors took the time to report what we saw and felt. Publisher Robert Overstreet was 1st up on page #73, you are preaching to the choir Bob. The Big B Comics report by Marc and me can be found on page 94.

This year I was smart, I read Sulipa’s and Farrell’s reports in the morning while I was still fresh. Both are good Canadian boys and each put in just over 4 pages of report! Some tough slogging but well worth it.

My favorite part is always the Top Comics section of the Guide (Page #170). Here are some thoughts on what I saw;

  • The gap between Archie #1 and Pep #22 (1st appearance of Archie) is now $30k (was 20K last year). This will widen even more. Does Pep #22 crack the top 10 next year?
  • Still think Superman #1 is overvalued, it sits as the 3rd most expensive comic at $720k. Which brings me to the question – what should the 3rd most expensive comic be? I think it should be Marvel #1, or perhaps Pep #22? Cap #1? I don’t think All American #16 should be worth more that Cap #1. I’m obviously wrong.
  • Early comic books did poorly, New Fun Comics #1 gained 2% while Famous Funnies #1 stayed the same. It’s a character driven market right now but surely this is an opportunity with these early books on the ropes?
  • Action #10 and Action #13 were the top gainers in this year’s guide, they gained 32% and 33% respectively and this is really a reflection of the CGC era we live in. These books represent the 3rd and 4th Superman covers. So Superman’s 10th appearance (Action #10) is worth 50% more than his 3rd appearance (Action #3), ahhh the power of the comic book cover!
  • Do you think Detective #27 will eventually overtake Action Comics #1? Poor showing by books like Famous Funnies shows that symbolic books can only go so far, in the end it’s really about the character.
  • Quick observations – More Fun #52, Adventure Comics #40 and Archie Comics #1 should not be Top 20 books.
  • Why haven’t we expanded the Silver Age to Top 50? We really need to do this.
  • Amazing Fantasy #15 is now at $175k, I can’t see anything threatening this books lock on the Silver Age.
  • FYI Amazing Fantasy #15 would be the 9th most expensive book just ahead of Flash Comics #1 but behind Action Comics #7.
  • I still think Fantastic Four #1 should be worth more than Hulk #1.
  • Journey into Mystery #83 shot up 25% and I thought it was overvalued last year. As I’ve mentioned before, Thor is an adaptation into Comics of an existing character. Yes he is done the “Marvel Way” but still…
  • OK what book should be #4 on the Silver Age list, AF #15, FF #1 and Hulk #1 look like locks for the next little while. What should come next? I’m voting for X-Men #1 or Tales of Suspense #39.
  • Yay, one more year and Showcase #9 will not make the Top 20.
  • Bronze Age should go to the top 20, it really should be Top 20.
  • I hate the Star Wars #1 and Iron fist #14 price variants and yet they were the 2 biggest winners in the Bronze Age! I mean one cover says 30 cents and the other says 35 cents. This mental block has probably cost me thousands of dollars as I keep avoiding investing in these on the assumption that the stupidity will end.
  • Hulk #181 should be worth more than Green Lantern #76 and why is Amazing Spider-Man #129 still not worth as much as DC 100 Page Super Spectacular #5? Is it the power of love?
  • House of Secrets #92 does not belong in the Top 10.
  • Which of the books on the Copper Age list is an actual regular release comic book in the comic book format?
  • I turn down Platinum Age books now, unless the guy is willing to sell it for $2 I don’t want it! Then again nobody has ever brought in any on the Top 10 list but still, the later more common stuff is tough to sell.
  • News Flash! Westerns are still dead!
  • I prefer the Amazing Spider-Man #1 to the Showcase #4.
  • How come there is no Top 10 Funny Animal section, they’d all be Ducks except for FC #16 I guess.
  • Do we need Top 10 sections for Crime, Sci-Fi, Westerns, Horror and Romance? Or is it that we need even more sections on top of these? Humor? Fantasy? Current (last 15-17 years), Others?
  •  I think more attention should be paid to the post 90s collapse comics; we could call this the Phoenix era as comics slowly rose from the ash heap of the mid 90s. This era is certainly the most active in trade volume and most likely accounts for more dollar sale than the Copper Age or the Platinum Age.

I want to thank Mr. Overstreet, Mark Huesman,  J.C. Vaughn (who seems to have written half the articles and essays – kudos J.C.) and their team; I also want to thank all the special contributors and all the advisors. Great product people!

The latest edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is available at fine comic shops everywhere.

So? Any thoughts on this year’s guide? I’d love to hear from you.

I present the covers for your enjoyment.

overstreet 43 superman
Hey, what’s with the groin?
overstreet 43 xmen
Essential bathroom reading material
overstreet 43 big
This is the hanking big one with the spiral coil spine, love using this to price up collections


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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Scott VanderPloeg
10 years ago

Walt, the question has been raised in the comments on recent posts as to where or how Overstreet determines comic values.

As an Overstreet advisor are you asked about sales data?

Tom Berry
Tom Berry
10 years ago

I think the Overstreet deserves recognition as “the” standard in comics pricing, while also recognizing the shortcomings. The market will always turbulent – with the possible exception of value placed on the classics – and Overstreet helps to stablize what could become a very unstable market. It provides the best long-term information on comics buying around. If you want to see what’s hot today, log on to ebay. Problem is, it may not be the same tomorrow.

Tom Berry
Tom Berry
10 years ago

Good idea on the template Walter. I do think the actual numbers would be an improvement.

Tom Berry
Tom Berry
10 years ago

Big 10-4 on the stupidity of price variants on Iron Fist and Star Wars. I might add Uncanny X-Men too. That’s an insanity that needs to end. Just don’t get that one.

10 years ago

Fantastic Four 5 might be a consideration, as could Amazing Spiderman 14. Doctor Doom and the Green goblin are comparable to Lex Luthor and the Joker. Superman #1 was a staement that the Character had made it from a back up feature in Action Comics ! Four reprinted stories, 4 pages not published before and a full page poster on back cover…! 1st pin up in comics ! No wonder it is scarce and Gerbers 6 to Actions comics 7. Thanks for the old comic collecting fun over theyears Walt !

10 years ago

I write market reports on the best investment old and new comics at http://www.HoknesComics.com and http://www.InvestComics.com
My favorite day of the year is when the new Overstreet comes out. My ad is on page 1075. The guide is never perfect but its still the bible when it comes to keeping tracking of everything. I agree many of your thoughts in the column but i’m wondering if you are votes for comics that SHOULD rank higher or lower or based on your own personal taste or actual sales.
In terms of opinions on the 35 cent variant covers from Marvel I think of them as the limited “variant cover” comparable to todays comics. The difference being that they are all ratio about 1:200 so the question is how much more should they be worth compared to the common regular edition. In most cases I think the variants SHOULD be worth 25x more than the regular edition AS LONG as there is true continued demand for these variants. That seems to be the price difference ratio on modern comics so i dont see why that wouldnt be fair for comics that are almost 40 years old. You can’t appreciate those variants until a person seriously tries to collect them and then you realize how a good chunk of them are impossible to find.
Superman #1 on one level does seem to be valued too high for how common it is BUT its still a mighty historic book and one of the most classic covers of all time.
Long term debate about whether AF #15 should/could ever be more valuable than Superman #1 and then the top 3 most popular characters would all make the top 3 most valuable of all time.