Your Best Investment could be Sitting in Your Attic
Updated: Jun 4
SMASH! BAM! POW! KABOOM! BANG! SPLASH! CRASH! SPLAT! No, that’s not the sound of the 2008 meltdown. It’s just the literary sound effects I grew up with from reading comic books.
Comic books have become a part of the pop culture mainstream due to the popularity of movie and TV related characters such as Superman, Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, Flash and Arrow - just to name a few. The highest price paid at auction for a comic book last August 2014 was $3.2 million. That comic book was Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, which was published in 1939 and had a cover price of 10 cents. I can remember buying a comic book in 1979 for 75 cents and selling it about 20 years later to pay for my airfare to Vancouver to attend my cousin’s wedding.
The hobby is still thriving, as evidenced by the growth of the FanExpo Canada, which features comics, sci-fi, anime, horror and gaming. It is the third largest expo by attendance behind only San Diego and New York.
What makes a comic book valuable? There are many factors such as character popularity, the artist, scarcity, condition, first appearances, or just hype. Who would have thought that a talking raccoon in last summer’s blockbuster movie “The Guardians of the Galaxy”, would cause its first comic book appearance in The Incredible Hulk #27,1 to jump in value from a couple of dollars to a few hundred dollars for a high grade certified copy?
Condition is an important factor affecting the value of a book. As with other collectibles like stamps and coins, it is better to keep comics in new and unused condition. Even as a youngster, I would not let my brother or cousin read my comics because they would fold over the cover, bend the ages, or leave dirty fingerprints all over them.
Collectible comics are now stored in mylar protective sleeves with acid free boards to preserve them from the effects of aging. Mylar is the strongest plastic available and the most stable plastic, with zero off gassing. Other hazards that it protects against are moisture, humidity, acid migration, oxygen decomposition, insects, mold and mildew, and oil and grease.
Some of the similarities between securities and comic books can be seen in the chart below:
If you need an appraisal for any old comics you’ve found in your attic, basement, or a shoe box in your closet, or any other collectibles and antiques for that matter, we would be happy to assist you by utilizing our extensive network of professionals. You never know, your best investment could be sitting in your attic.