Comic book collecting for beginners
An introduction to the hobby of collecting comics and how to start your comic book collection
The hobby of comic book collecting goes much beyond from its simple origin of just keeping the comics for keepsakes.
Although relatively more recent compare to collecting stamps or vintage clocks, it has now turned into a major pursuit of collecting antiquity in par with the fine art, rare jewels and antiques.
People who are into collecting comic books are called “pannapictagraphists”. These people buy rare comic books for various reasons that include personal interest in popular comic book characters, completion of comic book collection, and most especially for financial gain.
The origin of comic book collecting
The idea of starting a comic book collection did not really started during the period of the Golden Age of Comics, which ran from 1938 to 1955.
People at that time bought comics such as the first copies of Action Comics 1, which introduced Superman for the first time in 1938, for only 10 cents and read them to pass the time, but not really to collect them. They might have probably shared the comics to others after reading them, or just threw them away.
The actual rabid pursuit of comic books collecting really took off in the 1960s. The phenomenon can be attributed to the underground comics movement, which offered the readers a more subversive self-published alternative comic books depicting social satires and other forbidden contents not found in mainstream comics such as sex, drugs, and violence.
The rage of collecting comic books became more developed when Marvel Comics promoted its collector’s sensibility by launching its storyline continuity in the 1960s.
The later series kept referring to crucial events that occurred from previous issues so that, if you missed one, you would surely want to find out what happened, and ended up buying the whole comic book series.
By the late 1960s and 1970s, comic book conventions started to emerge that brought comic book collectors, artists, fans, and comic book dealers together such as the famous San Diego Comic Con. Such big events have also offered a perfect opportunity for comic book collection buyers to find copies of rare comic book collection for sale, or compare comic book collection value with other dealers.
Most valuable comic books collections
As reported in various websites and television shows, the most valuable comic books so far in history are the Action Comics 1, in which Superman made his first appearance in 1938, which sold for a new sale record of $1,500,000.
Comic book experts believe that there are only about 100 existing copies of Action Comics 1. The latest sale simply trumps last year’s record of $317,200 paid for a copy of Action Comics No. 1, which is in a relatively lower-grade condition.
The other top-notch and most valuable comic book collectibles include the first appearances issues of popular comic book characters or a team of superheroes such as the following below:
• Detective Comics 27, one of the rarest comics that marked the first appearance of Batman, and which are now worth an approximate value of $1,380,000, in mint condition.
• Marvel Comics #1, which featured the first appearance of Human Torch in 1939 and can pitch an approximate sale value of $420,000 in near mint condition.
• Superman issue 1, the first comic issue devoted entirely to Superman that came out in 1939. It was actually a reprint of the original Action Comics story that only cost 10 cents and is now worth $670,000 in its near pristine condition.
• All-American Comics No.16, the issue that featured for the first time the Green Lantern that came out in 1939. This is one of the high demand and rare comic books that are most sought-after by comic book collection buyers. The comics worth can reach an approximate value of $430,000.
• Batman Comic #1, the first issue devoted solely to Batman, which also featured Robin, and published in 1940 and is worth $350,000 in its excellent condition possible.
• More Fun Comics No.52, a very rare comics issue that was published by DC Comics in 1940 that marked the first appearance of the Spectre. The comic book worth can reach $300,000 in mint condition.
• Flash Comics #1, dated back in 1940, the issue debuted the first appearance of the Flash and was produced in a very limited quantity. This very rare comics is worth $290,000 in near mint condition.
• Amazing Fantasy 15, the issue marked the first appearance of Spiderman that was published in 1962 by Marvel Comics. The approximate comic book worth in near mint condition is $210,000.
• Fantastic Four 1, a team of superheroes called the Fantastic Four debuted in 1961, and published by Marvel Comics and is worth about $144,000 in its perfect condition possible.
Comic book collection value
Before the emergence of reputable comic book grading services such as the Comic Guaranty Company (CGC) and the Professional Grading eXperts (PGX), knowing the real comic book collection value were basically based on individual estimation and speculation.
Thanks to the highly professional services of trusted comic book grading experts, the comic book collecting community has gained more confidence as there is now a much better accountability when it comes to buying and selling comic book collection.
To determine the value of a comic book collection, there are at least 5 important factors that must be considered:
1.) In comic book collecting, first appearance issues of popular characters are the most expensive comic books.
2.) Antiquity is very important. Old comic books such as those rare copies published during the Golden Age of Comic Books are more valuable compare to comic books published in later years.
3.) A first issue comic book worth is also determined by the importance of the character or a team of superheroes.
4.) The first issue’s historical importance when the comic book was published.
5.) Finally, just like all the other collectibles, the condition highly determines the value of the comic books.
Famous comic book collectors
Comic book collectors vary in degree, specific preferences, or the level of enthusiasm. Some would focus on accumulating the entire spiderman comic book collection. Others are just interested in buying and selling comic book collection.
But there are a group of comic book collectors who are not just popular in one particular area, like in the entertainment, but are also famous for their large comic book collection.
Some of the famous comic book collectors are:
Nicholas Cage comes off first among famous celebrities who are into comic book collecting. In 2002 alone, he auctioned a large part of his comic book collection that earned him $1.6 million.
Kevin Smith, an actor, director, a comic book writer and collector, he writes comics that are published by DC and Marvel Comics.
Ben Affleck, known for his portrayal of a popular comic book character Daredevil in the movie of the same title, is a self-confessed comic book reader and collector.
Comic book preservation and proper care
In the world of comic book collecting, the condition of the comics is crucial. A comic book collector needs to be very careful and efficient to protect his or her comic book collection.
The typical way to preserve old comics collection is to use the available products designed specifically for protecting and storing vintage comics. These special comic book protectors and storage include acid-free comic book boards, mylar bags, comic book sleeves, boxes, and comic drawer.
Another important thing to consider in preserving valuable comic books is to use a cotton gloves when holding the comics. A direct contact of the hand may cause discoloration or damage of the old comics.