Four Events that Rocked Comic Book Values

The following is a small excerpt from the upcoming Comic Book Master Course.

Before we get into the comparison of stocks, gold and comics, there are four major events that had a very serious effect on comic prices. Look at the appendices and you will begin to see some large jumps in prices over different periods of time that illustrate this.

The first event affecting the comic book hobby was the introduction of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. This was the first serious price guide and is known as the “bible” of the industry. In addition to prices there is a plethora of other information about titles, character, artists, writers, first appearances and more. This information in the hands of collectors allowed prices to increase by leaps and bounds in the early to mid 1970’s. It also gave great publicity and legitimacy to the comic book collecting hobby. People realized comic books may be worth something and changed their storage habits accordingly. This return will be hard to duplicate. The comic book market “matured” after this event becoming an acceptable collectable hobby.

The next major event for the hobby was the introduction of Ernst Gerber’s Photo Journal Guides. These guides displayed photographs of covers for thousands of Golden to Silver Age comics. Many of these covers had not been seen by the majority of collectors creating an “age of discovery” when these lost gems were brought into the public eye. A large group of what could be called “cover collectors” appeared. These collectors are looking for the interesting, detailed, grotesque, and other books that are eye catching. Many books that had been overlooked were suddenly highly sought after, giving a price boost to many. One of the best examples of this phenomenon was Suspense Comics #3 and it’s bondage cover. The “good girl” art genre also saw a jump with this publication, since the covers are usually the most important part for this group of collectors.

The next major event was the arrival of the Comics Guaranty LLC or CGC. The CGC is a professional comic book grading company. A collector or dealer sends their comics to be graded by a team of professionals. The books are inspected for restoration, graded and encapsulated in a plastic case. This professional grading has eliminated many of the disagreements that occurred between buyers and sellers in the past. Now a book is sold with a CGC grade and both parties know what to expect. This change has positively influenced the hobby by increasing the prices realized of many “certified” books and also increasing liquidity.

The arrival of the CGC combined almost perfectly with the final major event, the ubiquity of the Internet. CGC created a third party standard eliminating the fear of the unknown regarding comic book condition and the Internet created a medium to facilitate the exchange of these comic books. The Internet also created a worldwide marketplace that uncovered the real supply of comic books.

Before the Internet comics were purchased at local stores, conventions or through mail order catalogs (which for the most part had no pictures). The limited marketplace helped keep prices for common books in average condition higher than they are now. If you were a collector looking for a specific book, your choices for finding it were limited and once found you usually bought it. The Internet, and more specifically E-bay, created a global marketplace where you can find almost any comic book. This revealed how common and easy to acquire most comic books are, and also revealed the true rarity of many others. The convergence of CGC and the Internet made a drastic shift in comic book prices.


10 Responses to “Four Events that Rocked Comic Book Values”

  1. Earnhardt says:

    a lot about how far society has come, and it helps us go even further.Also – Gaga’s atiintton-getteng stunts must be viewed in light of what else we give attention to, namely religious fanatics and political fanatics. I’d much rather look at lobster hats than mosque protestors or Koran burners.

  2. If a picture tells a 1,000 words – ALL of these pictures tell our entire story! Kimi and I are delighted that you (Josh & Niki) helped support and capture our special day(s). Your skills as a professional photographer and your fantastic company are simply spot on! Top Shelf! Our sincere thanks! Mr & Mrs Dillon xo

  3. Tengo un pelo un poco crespo pero observo que si sólo le pongo un buen champú siempre se me queda mejor que si le pongo acondicionador y mascarilla¿Es que a partir de una cierta edad (tengo 60) cuanto menos cosas se ponga una al pelo mejor?Gracias por su respuesta

  4. Interesting piece with some good thoughts. However, one cannot help but get the feeling it comes from a person who's commenting from the outside. It seems to assume the selection committee face no constraints, and are all stupid.

  5. What a beautiful photo of your family! I agree… thereÊ»s nothing sexier than a man and his child. I can’t wait to see my husband become a father! Not anytime soon, tho… Have a wonderful father’s day!

  6. wenn ihr fürs survival n gutes messer braucht solltet ihr euch lieber n altes bajonet zulegen ^^ Kosten nicht viel und man kann mehr damit machen als mit sonnem spielzeug :p ^^

  7. Verkoper van eigen werk is een merkwaardige dubbelfunctie waar niet iedere kunstenaar op zit te wachten. Toch ‘moet’ het, want het is de enige manier om de verdiende aandacht te krijgen. Wordt vast prachtig!

  8. I wanted to spend a minute to thank you for this.

  9. Weeeee, what a quick and easy solution.

  10. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

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