Why you shouldn’t collect comics

January 1, 2015

Read them, yes. Collect them as an investment, no. Short of an unexpected nuclear war that fries the western world I’m sure that 99% of them will never become rare and valuable and will most likely remain worth less than the cover price you paid for them. Anyone starting collecting now is 50 years too late. Although print runs are far smaller these days virtually every comic published is preserved, bagged, boarded and hoarded. All the valuable ones are rare because they are old and were produced in those days when comics WEREN’T carefully preserved despite being produced in the hundreds of thousands. Comics deteriorate unless stored in lead-lined vaults. Exposing them to heat/cold/light/damp is like exposing Superman to kryptonite. It’s too late for me. Take my advice and get out while you still can.∗

covers

A couple of years ago I purchased some software called Collectorz.com Comic Collector 4.7 Pro. My new-years resolution is to begin using it. Eventually, somewhere down the line I’ll have a list/pretty pictures of covers that I or my next of kin will be able to use to aid the disposal of 100+ boxes of comics that despite having a total cover price well in excess of $50000 will no doubt end up being worth perhaps as little as a couple of grand.

stats

The most interesting bit of this software to me is the statistics graphs. The one showing how many comics you bought in a particular year will ultimately prove fascinating/disconcerting. Having only logged down a fraction of the collection it’s early days yet, but interesting trends are already emerging. The plan is to use that dead, non-productive time of day when the dreadful soap “Emmerdale” is on TV to add batches of comics to the database.

∗This applies equally well to excessive coin, beer can, butterfly, barbed-wire or stamp collecting; having more than two cars or motorbikes; rooms full of antiques; fishing (especially night fishing); going to every single home and away match of your favourite hockey/tiddlywinks/football team etc etc infinitum…

4 Responses to “Why you shouldn’t collect comics”

  1. fred Says:

    I started rebuying the Alan Class comics a few years ago. They averaged £1 to £1-50 each but the price seems to have increased somewhat. Same price thing seems to have happened with N64 games, must be retro collectors.
    Anyway I enjoy your site and often pop in, merry new year.


  2. Thanks for the feedback Fred. My “rant” was mostly applicable to american “modern age” comics from circa 1980 to date which are destined to remain too plentiful to become as valuable as people seem to think they ought to be by now.

    British comics may well prove to be the exception to the rule. It’s only quite recently that you’ve been able to get comic bags for 2000AD comics and the like. As far as I’m aware they still don’t do a bag that’s a perfect fit for an Alan Class comic. Like the majority of Beano, Victor, Bunty, Valiant etc comics, Class comics were seen as throwaway items, and their scarcity (especially the pre-decimal 1/- ones) will help their value increase over time.

  3. Dave Roberts Says:

    Good to catch up with “Magic Robot” land after your break. Happy New Year too.

    I can’t help but feel that as our generation dies any value in comics, records etc will reduce as the demand declines. My children or their friends currently dont wish to see,hear, read anything from my era at all as its too dull, boring and simply awful. They have no interest. We had a brief flirtation with old Beono annuals bought from charity shops for pennies but this has been superceded by video games etc .One generations jewels are another generations junk!

    PS My boys do like my original Game Boy Classic games though.

    Dave Roberts


  4. Everything from our era is “dull, boring and simply awful” and we express bemusement or indifference to what amuses the youngsters. Thus we become OUR parents and the circle remains unbroken……….


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