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Comics Eye: Comic Books are not a Future Investment

Updated on April 1, 2012

Growing up in the early 60's I got to see an awful lot of history unfold before me, even if I didn't quite understand the significance of it all back then. From Martin Luther King to landing on the moon and the first space walk, I was a part of that generation.

I also was a part of the golden age of comics. A glorious time to be alive and discover the likes of The Fantastic Four, Spiderman, The Hulk, Thor, Superman, Batman, The Justice League and the Avengers to name just a few.

But if I only knew back then what I know now. Of course I'm referring to the prices of some of these first appearances of some of my favorite comic icons and legends. Any of these first issue comics are worth a fortune...if they are in fantastic condition and someone really wants to pay for that comic.

But does this hold true for today's slew of comic creations? I would have to say no that today's comic is not going to be worth what a comic from that era is worth. And the reason why I'm saying this is because I think all too many times people start to collect comics with the idea that it will fuel their future retirement plans, and that's a huge misconception.

The perfect example of this error is the biggest re-launch in comics and that's DC Comics "New 52." If you aren't aware of this major move by DC to re-brand their characters, it may have increased sales of certain titles, but it hasn't made these comics something of value along the line of those first appearances of these heroes from yesteryear.

So what does that mean for you as a comic collector, well in my learned opinion it should be a wake up call if your buying comics for their future potential value. I would say to you that it's better to buy a comic because you like the character in all it's incarnations and not for some arbitrary value that may become attached to a particular comic down the road.

Over the years, the value associated with comics has run the same course as baseball cards. The older, scarcer baseball cards are more valuable, while more recent cards obviously are less valued, and what one collector may find valuable another may not find as valuable, and so that collector may not want to pay as much for the same card as another collector might.

So remember when your getting ready to purchase that new comic book make sure that it's something your really interested in reading and not something that you think may be a great way to fund your retirement.


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    • rjbatty profile image


      5 years ago from Irvine

      I think Johnny's comment is worth some consideration.

      Your assessment about the vast majority of comics is probably correct (sadly). However, I do find that comic book shop sellers have no qualms about adding an extra 25 or 50 cents to a recent "back issue." Sellers on Ebay also attempt to make a small profit.

      From time to time I'll buy a copy of Overstreet and find that certain "hot" titles do in fact appreciate with the years... not tremendously but noticeably.

      Like you, I had a significant collection of comics from the Silver Age, which I sold for a pittance in the late 70s. (Biggest mistake in my life.)

      In the early 90s, I felt I needed something to rejuvenate my existence, so I started buying again -- new stuff from the comic shops and older material via Ebay (mostly 80s material). I also started buying a lot of independent comics and a fair number of adult titles.

      So, now I have a fairly huge collection that cost me a small fortune to amass. I don't really know what to do with it. I'm 60 years old now, so I better think of something since I can't take them with me.

    • animekid profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Upstate NY

      This is a good point. At the moment I'm on the fence as far as digital comics are concerned. I have the "Batman: The Dark Knight" issues 1-5 on digital, but I find the interface cumbersome at the very least. I do see your point though and maybe it's something I should explore in a future hub.

    • JohnnyVanguard profile image


      6 years ago from Texas

      Nice article. I think, though, as digital comics become more prevalent and publishers start producing fewer print comics, that back issues could go up in value.


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