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Comic Investment 101! The Top Record Breaking Comic Book Sales of All Time!

Updated on February 16, 2012

By now, most people have heard about the strange world of comic investing. Who would've thought - the right comic investment or comic book investments could bring such amazing returns? In the past, my pop sure doubted it for a long time.

"Who in the hell is gonna buy a comic for that much money?" My dad would scoff during those times he took me to the comic shop when I was a kid. The funny thing is I remember the comic my dad scoffed at was a $10 dollar book. Now, he doesn't scoff anymore.

Most of us have heard the news stories of the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics #1 selling for $2,161,000 at a CGC Near Mint 9.0 or Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27 at a Very Fine CGC 8.0 selling for 1,075,000. Those were top stories that the news covered.

However, comic investing isn't just a flash in the pan. Those two comic books aren't the only comic investment books that have sold for ridiculous amounts of money. No way. Comic book sales for certain high grade key issues have been breaking sales records under the radar for quite a few years now.

Some of the prices of these comic investments could buy you a new home, a new car, a boat, or whatever you've dared to dream. Back then it would've been crazy to think so, as I told you the story of my pops. Now, it ain't so crazy and here's the proof!

These are the top record breaking comic book sales ever!

Top Record Breaking Comic Investment Books of All Time

Notes: CGC is a third party grading company that give universal grades. The numbers after CGC correspond to the grade given. If you're not sure about the Universal CGC Comic Rating and grading system just click the link to see my other hub about this information.

I'm going to have to break this up by years, because, believe it or not, there's quite a bit of record breaking comic book sales. These are just the ones that are recorded.

2011 Top Record Breaking Comic Sales

1. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 9.0 $2,161,000 (sold at Comic Connect 11/2011)

2. Amazing Fantasy #15 - 1st appearance of Spider-Man - CGC 9.6 $1,100,000 (sold at Comic Connect 3/2011)

3. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 6.5 $625,000 (sold at ComicLink 6/1/2011)

4. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 4.5 $345,000 (sold at Comic Connect 8/9/2011)

5. Captain America Comics - 1st Appearance of Captain America - CGC 9.2 $343,057(sold at Comic Connect 8/9/2011)

6. Amazing Fantasy #15 - 1st appearance of Spider-Man - CGC 9.4 $325,000 (sold at Comic Connect 9/2011)

7. The Fantastic Four - 1st appearance of The Fantastic Four - CGC 9.4 $300,000 (sold at Comic Connect 5/2011)

8. Action Comics #10 CGC 9.0 $258,000 (sold at Comic Connect 8/9/2011)

9. The X-Men #1 - 1st appearance of the X-Men & Magneto - CGC 9.6 $200,000 (sold at Comic Connect 2011)

2010 Top Record Breaking Comic Sales

1. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 8.5 $1,500,000 (sold at Comic Connect 3/29/2010)

2. Detective Comics #27 - 1st Appearance of Batman - CGC 8.0 $1,075,000 (sold at Heritage Auctions 2/25/2010)

3. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 8.0 $1,000,000 (sold at Comic Connect 2/22/2010)

4. Detective Comics #27 - 1st Appearance of Batman - CGC 7.5 $657,250 (sold at Heritage Auctions 8/4/2010)

5. Detective Comics #27 - 1st Appearance of Batman - CGC 6.0 $575,000 (sold at Metropolis 4/2010)

6. Flash Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Golden Age Flash - CGC 9.6 $450,000 (sold at Heritage Auctions 3/2010)

7. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 5.0 $436,000 (sold at Comic Connect 9/21/2010)

8. Batman #1 - 1st Appearance of Catwoman, Joker - CGC 9.0 $315,000 (sold at ComicLink 2010)

9. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 3.0 $300,000 (sold at Comic Connect 4/2010)

10. The Fantastic Four - 1st appearance of The Fantastic Four - CGC 9.4 $210,000 (private sale 2010)

2009 Top Record Breaking Comic Sales

1. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 6.0 $317,200 (sold at Comic Connect March 13, 2009)

2007 Top Record Breaking Comic Sales

1. Batman #1 - 1st Appearance of Catwoman, Joker - CGC 9.0 $280,000 (sold at ComicLink 2007)

2. Detective Comics #27 - 1st Appearance of Batman - CGC 7.0 $255,000 (private sale 2007)

3. Amazing Fantasy #15 - 1st appearance of Spider-Man - CGC 9.4 $227,000 (sold at ComicLink 2007)

4. Amazing Fantasy #15 - 1st appearance of Spider-Man - CGC 9.4 $210,000 (sold at ComicLink 2007)

5. Marvel Comics #1 - 1st Marvel Comics - CGC 9.0 $205,000 (sold at Heritage Aug 2007)

2006 Top Record Breaking Comic Sales

1. Flash Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Golden Age Flash - CGC 9.6 $273,125 (sold at Heritage Jan. 2006)

2. Action Comics #1 - 1st Appearance of Superman - CGC 6.5 $250,000 (private sale 2006)

3. Superman #1 - 1st Superman Titled Seres - CGC 7.5 $250,000 (private sale 2006)

4. Marvel Comics #1 - 1st Marvel Comics - CGC 9.0 $201,250 (sold at Heritage Jan 2006)

5. Detective Comics #27 - 1st Appearance of Batman - CGC 7.0 $200,000 (private sale 2006)

2005 Top Record Breaking Comic Sales

1. Marvel Comics #1 - 1st Marvel Comics - CGC 9.0 $208,000 (sold at ComicLink Nov 2005)

2001 Top Record Breaking Comic Book Sales

1. Detective Comics #27 - 1st Appearance of Batman - CGC 8.0 $278,190 (sold at Maestro Oct)

2. Captain America Comics - 1st Appearance of Captain America - CGC 9.6 $260,000 (private sale)

3. More Fun Comics #52 CGC 9.2 $207,000 (private sale)

Well there you have it. The top record breaking comic book sales broken down by year. Crazy stuff, huh? It's pretty clear that some very smart people made good comic investment choices back in the day.

however, I'm pretty sure that some of the books on this list may very well be the same one just being recycled and selling for larger amounts each year. Maybe not, though.

Still it's pretty awesome, and I doubt I'll ever get my hands on one of these highest graded comic books from the golden or silver age. Nevertheless, I'm damn sure that the comic investments I've already made will be sure to go up nicely in value in the years to come.

Yes, I've already seen many in my collection go up quite far in value compared to what I paid for them years ago. As always, you can check out links to my other comic investment advice hubs.

You'll discover more about the comic book market, which era comics are good and bad for comic investing, as well as find out exactly my picks of which comics to invest in and why.

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      Domenick Dicce 5 years ago

      Yes, some comics can sell for ridiculous amounts of money but that's because not a lot of people collected back then so there are not that many around and even fewer in mint condition. Today almost everybody holds on to their comics. While it is doubtful the comics you are reading today will buy you a house a few years from now it might get you a little extra spending cash to buy your latest round of comics. I always say buy for the story and that way you wont regret the purchase.

      I love digital comics because it is allowing me to read these old comics cheaply and I am no longer filling up boxes and taking up lots of closet space. Of course, maybe with digital comics becoming popular there will not be a lot of paper comics out in the market making them valuable once again.

    • rabbit75 profile image
      Author

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      Heya Domenick Dicce...thanks for the comment. I've actually been writing many hubs on how modern age comics are really a bad comic investment choice for exactly the reason you stated: Everybody holds onto their comics and keep them in great shape.

      The result is that they wont be rare in the near future. As for these books, these are golden age and silver age books and are a lot more rare and most likely unattainable for the average comic collector now.

      When it comes to comic investing, I don't buy what I like, but the comics that are or will be in high demand in the near future. I guess that's the difference between collecting and investing.

      Thanks for the comment and stopping by.

    • Ironman1992 profile image

      Ironman1992 5 years ago

      I have a lot of comics, but I don't think any are worth this kind of money.

    • rabbit75 profile image
      Author

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      I'm in the same boat, and I think most collector's don't have comics that are worth this kind of money for sure. These are the highest grades of these certain issues. I thought it was interesting, and these high grades are pretty much untouchable now for the average comic collector and comic investor, unless one happens to win the lottery.

      Thanks for stopping by Ironman1992, always good to hear from ya!

    • profile image

      SmittShow 5 years ago

      In response to Dice you are not entirely correct, comic companies are releasing only limited amounts of the comics in first printings, its not like they just keep printing off the same copy over and over again, they print off a number of copies and then stop. If the comic sells well enough they go back to the printer and are then considered a second print and then a third print etc. The value of these comics will decrease exponentially with every printing making the first print comics worth even more then its successors. If you look at DC's new relaunch you can see that many of the first print issues are already selling at upwards of two hundred dollars mere months after their release. The human race overall can act very short sighted in times and if everybody in the 90's thought comics they bought for ten cents or hockey cards they bought for five cents would one day be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a lot more people would be rich today. The point I am making is people do not know what something will be worth thirty years down the line so it's not ideal to immediately write off the comic you buy today as not being worth something down the road. If you are entirely into comics for collecting I recommend going after variant editions, some companies have started to release 1:200 variant copies which are a hefty investment ranging anywhere from 200 dollars to 400 dollars upon release. These are comics which will generate lots of value if you CGC them and put them away for a few years. If you look at the black and white 1:200 Batman #1 sketch variants they were selling for around two hundred dollars when they were first released and now they are being sold on Ebay for upwards of a grand. Any chance you have at picking up bronze and silver age comics at a good price should be taken though. Anyways that's my two cents invest smart and happy collecting!

    • rabbit75 profile image
      Author

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      Some of what you say is true. However, if we're talking about modern age comics and knowledge about comics today versus back then...modern comics are at a high disadvantage of being valuable.

      As I've stated over and over...there are less copies of golden age, silver age and bronze age comics floating around in the market. If you tack on high grades...the amount of these comics are even more scarce.

      Modern comics have a huge number of comics floating around at 9.4, 9.6, and 9.8. Every one keeps their comics in great condition nowadays, because most are educated that comics can be valuable.

      So everyone and their mothers are storing modern age comics and taking good care of them, as opposed to the times before during the golden, silver, and bronze age of comics.

      As for limited run variants? You're right...who knows if they'll be in demand 30 years from now. On the whole, I bet they wont be.

      Why? Because the golden, silver and bronze age produced some of the most iconic comic characters ever! Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Hulk, etc.

      Those characters are pioneers when it comes to the superhero genre in comics. They will always be in demand because they're an iconic to pop culture, but more importantly...to history of art in America and comics.

      I doubt Modern age comics will ever produce as many iconic comic characters that will ever rival those created during the golden age and silver age of comics.

      I still say modern age comics are a bad investment choice based on those facts.

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