It’s Chaos Out There

I read a story a few days ago about the Target store chain in the States suspending sales of Pokémon Cards because someone drew a gun during some kind of altercation over limited product. The scene got me to thinking of our discussions over these past few months about how hot the collectibles market has become and about how the stuff is starting to cross over from the insular collecting communities into the population at large.

Now, this kind of thing can happen even within the collecting community and I wasn’t there to make any judgements. What I will try to say is that misunderstandings are more likely to happen with a larger group participating in something they may not be well versed in. It’s hard trying to jump into a game you know very little about, into a game where you are unfamiliar with what all your options are and what the real opportunity costs of missing out are. More and more people with less and less understanding of collectibles are really shaking things up in our hobbies.

It’s a difficult time for these newcomers, it may seem to them like they are jumping into a huge gold rush. Unfortunately, a lot of poor decisions will be made by these newbies, sometimes thanks to poor advice and even more times because of a lack of information, something a new collector has some control over. It’s easy for me to sit here and type that you should research more, ask more questions, find yourself some trusted resources be they websites, podcasts, local comic shops etc. It’s impossible to learn what someone with a lifetime of immersion knows but it is possible to understand a few fundamentals.

The collecting community at large should welcome and help these newcomers when and where ever we can, sometimes in comments fields, sometimes through blogs, sometimes at local comic shops and on. We all have a vested interest in making our hobby grow, though perhaps you might want to wait until you finish that Rex Allen run or buy up all those Sasquatch appearances before you start giving away the good advice.

Speaking of chaos, we had another great auction through our internationalcollectiblesexchange store on eBay but again I want to highlight a DC bargain. Teen Titans #2 from March 1966 in a solid CGC 5.5 grade sold for a lousy $37.66. Here’s some advice for new collectors and investors – grad Silver Age DCs. Advantage buyer.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1688


  1. While the bulk of my DC collection consists of Flash, Justice League, and Mystery in Space… guess I’ll hang to them until more love is thrown that way!

  2. So, I bought a copy of ASM#601 for $3 (thinking it was a bit of a bargain due to the J.Scottt Campbell cover of Mary Jane sitting on the couch) and it was a bit damaged, the cover is flaking off near the spine…so instead of sending in all the way down to Australia I told my trusted comic shop to just list it on eBay for me …they note it as a 7.0 grade and note it’s production flaws. Honestly is the best policy.

    Suddenly, within days of listing it’s at $75us!!!

    Wait…What??? Why???

    So, little known to me and High Priest Walter, the comic internet was having a nice little argument over how JSC drew Mary Jane with a v neck t-shirt, with some idiot tried to turn the 12 year old cover ‘Politically correct’, then Campbell fixes that guys art and everyone gets into a fuss about unrealistic woman’s portrayal in comics! So all the PC warriors are up in arms on the internet – cause there is no other problems in the world other than this cover!

    So it just keeps climbing and climbing…and a damaged comic gets sold for $120us.

    It’s chaos out there, you have a $3 damaged comic from 12 years back going selling based on internet arguments.

    Walter, I don’t know to be joyous over the sale, or worried over the state of collecting!

  3. What comes around goes around Gerald, they’ll have another day, I’m sure of it

    Rohan, don’t be worried, books catch fire as yours just did.

    I got so excited when I saw your result I looks at the warehouse Spideys remembering I saw a stack of Campbell ASMs, turns out they were 492s and 493s

  4. Hey Walt- why do you think that silver age DC is doing so poorly all of a sudden? Is it due to the fact that the current DC universe is so completely miserable that nobody can make sense of their books ? I can’t recognize most of their characters any more & have no idea what they are trying to accomplish. Is the sorry state of their current universe driving people away from the old DC universe ? What do you think ???

    If you are trying to get people to discover silver age DC, TEEN TITANS is not the title you should be recommending. This is one of the most bland and uninteresting series to come out of DC at that time & I can find very few reasons for someone to go out and pay even the guide price for many of these books. Your #2 sold for what it is worth and will never prove to be a good investment. My opinion, of course.

    Spider- be EXTREMELY happy that you got $120US for what is essentially,to quote Neil Young,” a piece of crap”. I am sure the new owner will have fun trying to sell it in the future for a profit. Use that money to buy something you love. maybe even some silver age DC’s while they are in a slump. There is a ton of quality material published by DC back in the silver age and now apparently, is the time to buy it.

    You can not go wrong with Infantino Flash or Adam Strange stories- their artistic & cultural value will never die. They will always be entertaining. If the market dictates that they are not HOT right now, this may be your opportunity to add some real quality to your collection at less than market value. Take that opportunity as one day you may regret it. The ASM #601 will be forgotten and ignored in the future, as there is no artistic or cultural value in that unintelligible piece of nonsense and you should take any & all opportunities that come your way to get rid of any copies you may have in your collection as soon as possible.

    Walt- if the newbies want to spend $120US on a damaged ASM #601, I say let them. Newbies can only learn from their mistakes & no amount of preaching from you or me is going to make them change their ways, I say we stiff the newbies for all we can, get rid of all the junk you can find and throw it at them at inflated prices until they cry UNCLE!. They will learn valuable lessons from all the errors they make right now, & that beautiful day will arrive sooner when enough of these amateur investors get stung, lose their shirts, & abandon our ‘hobby’ for ever ! Oh, Happy Day! I hope I’m still alive when it happens !

  5. Boys, I used up my $150cad pretty quickly, got a lovely NM copy of Iron Fist #1 (the TV show/movie was pretty awful, the book has really dropped)…great way to start my next collecting run…Iron Fist 1-15 by Byrne & Claremont! Then I used the left over cash for a few Spectacular Spider-man issues with Black cat. Good fun all round!

  6. Klaus- the Overstreet Price guide lists ASM #601 at $3.00 – thus the ebay listing for $950.00 US appears to be one sweet deal !
    Walt! Quickly !!! Round up some newbies & lets have some fun !!!

    Spider- Good for you, Mate ! No one is gonna harp on you for collecting Iron Fist. Some good stuff in that run. Don’t forget the Marvel Premiere run that preceded it, also good stuff ! Enjoy !

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