Posts Tagged FF

A Lucky Find

As published in July 2011 Comics Buyer’s Guide (issue #1679)
Steve Mortensen, columnist since 2004
www.cbgxtra.com

I recently attended a local flea market and picked up a small run of Uncle Scrooge comics, including the 15¢ variant editions released in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1957 of #17-19 and #21-22. Dell was testing the market to see if it could raise its comics prices from 10¢ to 15¢. My copies look to be in mid-grade condition. Recent CGC sales for those variant issues: #17 with no recorded sales; #18 in CGC 7.0 (Fine/Very Fine) sold for $167 in 2007; #19 with no recorded sales; #21 with no recorded sales; and #22 in CGC 6.0 (Fine+) sold for $81 in 2007. It’s fun to come across a flea market find like that. At the time, I had no idea about the existence of price variants — I just bought them because I like Uncle Scrooge. (Many collectors are familiar with Marvel’s price variant issues in the late 1970s; they sell for high prices in nice grades.)

I have also been assembling a collection of the Batman Lego mini-figures, picking them up at flea markets and shows. If you’re not a Lego collector, you might be surprised to learn that they go for about $25 each. The last one I’m missing is Bane. The first appearance of Bane was in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (93). CGC 9.8s of the issue have climbed up to $183 as of March 2011, and a 9.9 sold in 2009 for $305.

Here are this month’s picks:

FF #1 (Jun 11). I mentioned this comic last month and was bitterly disappointed in the copies I received from Diamond. In my case, there was water damage, but the copies I reviewed at this year’s WonderCon in San Francisco also showed significant spine wear. Rather than calling this issue the debut of the new FF, dealers were noting it as the debut of Spider-Man’s white costume. They were selling ungraded copies for $4 and $5 each, but I couldn’t find any gradable copies.

Deadpool #38 and #39 (Sep and Oct 11). These issues feature a Deadpool vs. Hulk battle, which looks to be pretty cool. Traditional Hulk vs. “Somebody” battles — such as Wolverine vs. Hulk battles, Thor vs. Hulk battles, and Thing vs. Hulk battles — have proven to be worthy issues to pick up. Prices for an example of each: Incredible Hulk #181 (Nov 74, vs. Wolverine, admittedly in his first full appearance — which accounts for the price) CGC 9.8 now sells for about $13,000; Defenders #10 (Nov 73, vs. Thor) CGC 9.8 sold for $540 in December 2010; Fantastic Four #112 (Jul 71, vs. Thing) CGC 9.8 sold for $5,100 in January 2011.

Space Warped #1 and #2 (Aug and Sep 11). This is a parody mini-series coming out from Boom! Publishing. It’s in the flavor of Robot Chicken, Family Guy, and other great humor series of recent years. The art is hip and modern and worth a look.

Dark Horse Presents #1 (May 2011). Dark Horse has restarted its anthology series, and the big name in this book is Frank Miller’s Xerxes, the prequel to his 300. Maybe a movie in the future? It might be worth picking up a couple of copies, although the cover price is $8 because it’s an 80-page giant.

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Steve Mortensen owns Miracle Comics and Micurio.com, a free online community for sharing all your collectibles. When not selling comics, Steve works as art director for Santa Clara, CA based biotech firm Affymetrix. He can be reached at steve@stevemortensen.com.

Research data provided by GPAnalysis.com.

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Comic Book Buy-It-Nows vs. Auctions on eBay

As published in June 2011 Comics Buyer’s Guide (issue #1678)
Steve Mortensen, columnist since 2004
www.cbgxtra.com

I’ve noticed a trend on eBay of buyers favoring auctions over “Buy It Now.” In early March, there were 85,617 auctions and 1,689,582 “Buy It Nows” for a total of 1,775,199 comics for sale on eBay. About a year ago, eBay decided to make “Buy It Nows” searchable on the same level as auctions. Personally, I found this overwhelming. Instead of 100,000 or so auctions there were suddenly more than 1.5 million available purchases to be made. (However they now have tabs at the top where you have the choice to only view auctions or only view “Buy It Nows.”)

Before the switch I was selling mainly through “Buy It Now” with a “Best Offer” option, but now I’m selling almost all my comics at auction and finding relatively good results. I find that selling at auction with low opening bids opens up the possibility of auctions ending at lower prices than “Buy It Now.” For instance, I’ve had auctions for Uncanny X-Men #143 (Mar 81) in CGC 9.8 end at $91, $65, $71, and $91. Though that range covers an almost 30% price swing, the upside is that I’m moving product faster and not having to wait around for that “one” buyer to purchase the book at the price I set.

Here are this month’s picks:

Moon Knight #1 (Jun 11). Marvel is re-launching this series yet again with writer Brian Michael Bendis at the helm and Alex Maleev doing the art. The pair has teamed up before on Daredevil with some exciting results. Moon Knight has been one of my favorite characters since childhood. He’s sort of Marvel’s version of Batman with a supernatural twist. Moon Knight’s first appearance in Werewolf by Night #32 (Aug 75) has been a great investment over the years. Only two copies have been graded in CGC 9.8 and neither one shows a record of being sold. CGC 9.6s sell for about $1,500. The CGC 9.6 had a high of $3,479 back in 2009. I imagine it will begin to creep up again as the character becomes increasingly mainstream.

Super Dinosaur #1 (Apr 11). A new series from Image and the mind of Robert Kirkman. It has the premise of a 10-year-old kid and his nine-foot-tall friend, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and their adventures together saving the world. Kirkman has certainly had his big hits like Walking Dead #1 ($530 in CGC 9.8) and Invincible #1 ($250 in CGC 9.8), but he’s also had a couple of duds from an investment point of view — like Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 ($20 in CGC 9.8) and Astounding Wolf-Man #1 ($13 in CGC 9.8). It’s hard to tell at this point where this new series will end up. It might be worth picking up a couple of copies and waiting to find out.

Richie Rich #1 (May 11). Ape Entertainment is bringing back Richie after a nearly 20-year hiatus from comics. It’s a modern reboot with cool art and a fresh take on the characters. Richie Rich’s first appearance was in Little Dot #1 (Sep 53). A CGC 9.0 of the book went for $7,101 back in September 2010. The highest price reached for a Richie Rich #1 (Nov 60) was $29,875 back in May 2006.

FF #1 (May 11). This new series features the new Fantastic Four and is the first appearance of Spider-Man’s white costume. I expect that this issue will be heavily printed but Spider-Man collectors may want to pick it up for the cover alone. Another upcoming Amazing Spider-Man issue with a white costume cover is #660. It will be interesting to see how often Marvel chooses to use that suit for the character and the reaction of fans to the change.

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Steve Mortensen owns Miracle Comics and Micurio.com, a free online community for sharing all your collectibles. When not selling comics, Steve works as art director for Santa Clara, CA based biotech firm Affymetrix. He can be reached at steve@stevemortensen.com.

Research data provided by GPAnalysis.com.

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