How To Start a Comic Book Collection
Our How To Start a Comic Book Collection guide will help you take your first steps in this most enjoyable, and potentially rewarding of hobbies.
What to collect? Specialising is a great idea. It enables you to quickly build a good area of expertise, while developing a collection that will be attractive to other collectors, should you want to sell in the future. Most comic book collectors have a particular title they like more than others. Some concentrate on a particular publisher’s output, while others limit their efforts to a particular period.
Golden age and silver age comics, produced between 1938 and 1950, and 1956 and the early 1970s, respectively, are generally the more valuable items. For fans of the art as opposed to the storylines, there are opportunities to collect original art used in the comics – although this line of the hobby can get expensive very quickly as several artists achieve eye-watering sums
Which comics are the best investments? Rarity and condition are two of the key factors when determining a comic’s value. And then there is desirability. Collectors have a range of tastes, so generalisations are difficult. Vintage editions of Spider-Man or Superman are usually good bets. Titles by Marvel and DC Comics in general are sound buys.
Where to find comics? There are numerous comic fairs throughout the year. The range of titles on offer at the bigger events can be bewildering, but it’s a great place to unearth some gems and discover comics you’ve never heard of. There are innumerable dealers, and several auction houses (mostly online) devoted to comics or who have comic book departments.
Buying through a reputable dealer or auctioneer: Buying through a dealer or auctioneer who provides you with a lifetime guarantee gives you the confidence that the comics or comic book art you are buying are genuine. Forgeries, while extremely rare, are not unknown.
Preserving your collection: Polypropylene bags, which are available in different sizes, are an inexpensive way of preventing dust and grime from accruing on the pages of your prized assets. Placing the comic on an acid-free backing board prior to bagging is also a good idea to help maintain its shape.
Learn the jargon: Know the difference between a bound copy and a bondage cover? Comic book terms can be bewildering to the uninitiated. Our List of comic book collecting terms will set you straight.
Join the online community: There’s a large online community that can help you expand your knowledge and make new friends in the sector. These communities also offer opportunities to sell and trade. Supreme caution is advised, however, before parting with your comics or cash.