Comics – No Laughing Matter!

Alastair Meiklejon, Senior Valuer

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Superman, Ironman, Spider-Man, and Batman…..a multi billion dollar film industry that has stood the test of time and still attracts new fans on a weekly basis. With four Avengers films alone taking up spaces in the top ten highest-grossing films of all time, and Black Panther just outside at number eleven it’s an ever growing franchise with spin off series, merchandise and products every year.
Most fans are aware that originally these characters were invented for comic books published by either DC Comics, or Marvel Comics, with Superman arriving back in 1939 and Batman a year later. However, more recently we are seeing clients looking at Comic Books as an interesting and inventive form of investment with prices of rare and mint comics making well into the millions.
The collecting of comic books is not a new thing, generations of fans have been scouring auctions and trading for years, but in the last 20 years, with the advent of the internet , the comic book has become a fantastically transportable asset with a great worldwide audience – much like the films.
There are three factors to consider when looking at a comic book;
Least importantly is provenance – whilst there are great collections throughout the world, it only attracts a small premium.

Superman #1 (DC 1939) 5.0 graded Valued for insurance £750,000

Secondly is rarity – these were books meant for reading and as such so few survived probably more than a month before the next issue was out with the next instalment depicting the journey of our favourite superhero.
The last and possibly most important is condition – collectors want the best and will pay for that privilege. In most arenas condition is subjective, however in comics it is not – there are rules and standards that dictate what grade it should be given. In the higher echelons of comic books the difference between a 9.4 and a 9.5 can be as much as £50,000 so accuracy is vital.

Avengers #1 (Marvel 1963) 9.6 graded Valued for insurance £420,000

Fashion and the huge film industry plays a huge part in the value fluctuation of certain books, and we have personally seen comics increase in value by as much as 60% overnight when one of the film studios announce their next project with a plethora of new Hollywood superstars. What this does mean is that regular valuation is vital in order to protect these assets, and we would always recommend a 12 monthly appraisal with the higher value comics.

Posted in Books and Manuscripts and Written Material.