The $1m comic book


2015-06-26 11:38:09


The $1m comic book

Simple market forces are dictating big prices for rare childhood comic books

Classic comic books can be extremely valuable. First edition comics from Marvel, DC or others which introduced great characters or favourite storylines can be worth thousands of dollars.

For example the introduction of Batman in 1939 by Detective Comics (issue #27) could be worth several hundred thousand dollars if in excellent condition. Disney paid $4bn for Marvel comics earlier this week with good reason.

Recently some drug dealers are alleged to have laundered vast sums of money through classic comics, such is their convenient, transportable value.

But some comics which might be considered classics of thirty years ago might barely coax $100 out of a buyer, no matter how good their condition.

The reason is simple: supply and demand.

Relatively few copies of the original comics introducing Superman and Spiderman were printed, and as they have been damaged or destroyed over the years a mint conditionissue has become exceptionally hard to come by.

By contrast, when the first editions of Watchmen came out, comic books had gone mainstream with big budget films to back them up. More copies were printed and there will be many in existence for a long time to come.

The principle is the same as with money. If the government decides to print twice as many banknotes in dollars, sterling or whatever, the value will go down, whatever the number on the note. But no one can print more original copies of comics - it's just a matter of how many were printed in the first place.

If someone is still really interested in owning a mint condition Watchman #1 in 500 year's time, there may be few enough around for it to command big bucks. For now however, it commands small bucks: $11, despite the movie about them.

So whilst it has increased in value to maybe seven times what it was when introduced in 1986 for $1.50 (let's ignore inflation), the older classic Action Comics #1 which introduced the world to Superman for a not unreasonable 10 cents in 1938 is now estimated at $985,500.

It's always worth bearing in mind that whilst collecting can always be fun for the amateur, anyone investing a substantial amount of money should get advice from the experts, such as Paul Fraser Collectibles.

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