Trash Vortex

We’ve had three auction closings to date in this young 2024 and though it’s early I’m buoyed by what I see as an overall good start. Our icecollectibles eBay auctions deliver a good mix (always trying to make it better) of old and new, of raw and graded and of high and low grades. There’s just enough data available from our auctions now to allow me to make some foot in my mouth statements. Here’s one pattern that I’ve spotted, and I don’t think I’m putting my foot in my mouth with this one, high grade comics that probably should never have been graded are doing terribly: they’re selling in the $15 to $35 range. These results don’t even cover grading costs let alone selling feels and the actual cost of the books. There is now this big pile of CGC books floating around the hobby that are and will be trading at below costs, the good news is that only the first guy is going to lose big percentage wise, the second time one of these sells might actually make the seller a few bucks. I’m not sure what percentage of the CGC stock these books represent, how many of those Copper and Moderns were sent down in that 2020 to 2022 period, hundreds of thousands for sure, maybe more. Books like these will always pop into the market, usually through mistakes in judgment by the submitter but in market conditions like, let’s say, today, so few pop onto the market and those that do represent a small sliver of the value of a submitters stock that we just sweep them under the rug so to speak. That massive pile though? Can I compare it to that big pile of plastic that’s collected out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? That pile of books represents the toughest market correction we are seeing, percentagewise at least. It’s going to take a while to dislodge all big pile too as there are too many of us still holding on to the hope that someone will hit the “Buy It Now” at $175 even though the last three copies sold on auction for less than $60. Eventually most of these will find happy homes to collectors that bought them at “bargains” and who knows, maybe a small sliver of these climb their way back up into contention?

Let’s get back to discovering the gems coming out of the “going to eBay auction” piles. This week my favorite cover was this beauty from Jungle Comics #121. has Jack Kamen credited but with a question mark. It’s obvious this guy didn’t know what he was getting himself into, perhaps next time he’ll try flowers and a bottle of wine?

On this post we’ve often questioned why advertisers threw certain ads into certain books, some seemed like such mismatches when you considered the comic content versus the target audience of the ad. I think they got it right on this back cover ad to Jungle Comics #121, have a look at that front cover then think about the type of guys who’d be picking that up off the shelves, money well spent – well for the advertiser at least!

In my almost four decades of selling comics, I’ve come to have an instant aversion, almost an allergic reaction, to certain books that come into my possession as I play the buy and sell game. One book that comes to mind is Anthro #1: I can’t tell you for how long I held the hope that the issue would catch, that it would be worth the money I put on it only for it to disappoint me time and time again. I’ve sold countless dozens and almost all out of the half off bin or heaven forbid, even the bargain bin. Howie Post’s art is an acquired taste, to me it looks like he does it effortlessly. I’ve always liked his cat fight cover to #6 and it was in #6 that I found this two-page spread that ends the book. All of a sudden, I’m an Anthro fan, what a lucky stiff.

Our latest weekly icecollectibles eBay auction ended last night with some thrilling finishes. I was intrigued by out Detective Comics #325 offering, the book was only a CGC 6.5 and it was well past the tough era of the title, if anything it was in that dead zone between the late 50s hard to find stuff and the late 60s high demand stuff featuring Neal Adams art. I checked GPA is I was surprised to see how tough it is to pick one of these up, there have only been three sales across all grades over the past two years, ours was the 4th sale and it fetched $108, beating the CGC 7.0 that got $104 back in 2022.

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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Chris Meli
Chris Meli
4 months ago

Your analogy with the plastic island is really good. Those books will gum up eBay and cons for the foreseeable future. More junk to have to scroll/flip past. And with the plastic they weigh about twenty times as much as just the book. Let’s hope they end up in the same place as the Atari E.T. cartridges.

That Jungle cover is off the hook. No swipe there – never seen anything like it.

Anthro #1 dead forever. Anthro #6 is cool but will never be what it could because it is Anthro.

I am glad you got a good sale out of that Detective, but those 12-cent pre-327 Detectives are dead meat as well. That’s not MY Catman.

4 months ago

I love Fiction House books.
I’ve bought 135 and they are all raw except for 3 because its all about the interior 😉

Publisher themed auctions for genres and titles would make a Great themed auction.
Both US and Canadian Editions of Fiction House books here I would love to see and not only buy but want to sell books on too.

I hate almost all my DC graded books because none of them are my original collection books and just add on purchases to some other books I bought.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x