§ October 23rd, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on PROGRESSIVE RUIN INVEST-A-RAMA!

Hey, gang! If it’s one thing I know you folks want from this site, it’s comic book investment advice, and I aims to please!

The primary importance of the comic book collecting hobby is, of course, a return on the money you invest in the purchases you make. Hopefully these tips will help you stretch your comics dollar and increase your wealth, turning you into a savvy investor!

1. NUMBER ONES – Hey, number one on the list is “Number ones!” See how I did that? Pretty cool. Anyway, as I’m sure you all already know, all first issues have high investment potential, and should be purchased in quantity. Which reminds me…you know that old collector’s tip of buying two copies of something, so you’d have one to read and one to keep? Forget that! Keep ’em both, read neither — double your money!

2. ENHANCED COVERS – You know, for a while there I despaired of ever seeing another foil cover. Sure, in the glory days of the late 1980s/early 1990s, they were everywhere, and it was like they’d never stop coming out! But, alas, stop coming out they did, as publishers misread the marketplace and decided that those smart comic collectors no longer wanted foil hologram die-cut covers on our favorite investables.

I mean, look at this cover:

How could anyone not buy this comic? Look how cool it is! This comic will always be in demand. And if any more enhanced covers like this show up on the stands…grab ’em, because they’ll be just as hot and rare and valuable as Namor #37.

3. VARIANT COVERS – Ooh, I do like these. Unlike the enhanced covers of the past, which could be ordered by retailers in whatever numbers they’d like, the new wave of variant covers are tied to orders of the regular cover. For example for a retailer to get one copy of the Civil War sketch cover, they need to order 75 copies of the regular cover. And you know what that means, right? RARITY AND HOTNESS – a comic fan’s two favorite words.

Let the investor beware, however – Marvel Comics has been in the habit of marking their variants as such, with a little “VARIANT COVER” blurb on the cover. Normally, this would be a big help, but they also use that same blurb on covers that are available on a 1 to 1 basis (as opposed to the much more valuable 1 to 75 ratio of the Civil War sketch cover). Also, they used to use that blurb on their freely-orderable reprints, to try to hide the fact that they were trying to unload worthless second printings onto an unsuspecting marketplace. They wisely gave this practice up, probably in response to angry collectors having their portfolios undermined in such a sleazy manner.

4. 2ND PRINTINGS – “Whoa, hang on there, Mike,” you’re probably saying. “Didn’t you just say that reprints were worthless?” I sure did, pals, and they are…most of the time. But sometimes, just sometimes, a second printing can be worth just as much, if not more, than the first printing. This involves “supply” and “demand” and other confusing words, so that should probably be left to ADVANCED INVESTORS ONLY. But, you know, it probably wouldn’t hurt to buy one or two copies, just in case.

5. GHOST RIDER – Ghost Rider always, always, always means BIG MONEY, so if you see him in a comic, snap it up! And now, even more than before, with a big budget hit movie starring Nicholas Cage coming soon, Ghost Rider’s investment potential is going to shoot through the roof! Which leads me to…

6. MEDIA TIE-INS – Comics that tie in to movies or books or TV shows? Always a good investment, since public awareness of big media projects inevitably translate to huge sales on the tie-in comics. Millions of fans of, say, the Anita Blake or Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels clearly mean millions of new potential marks entering the comics market looking for the comics based on these properties. And you, as the smart comics investor, will have your hoarded stock of those books available for sale…at a significant mark-up over your purchase price, of course!

7. DEATH – I hate to say it, but death sells. No, not the death of a comic artist or writer — heck, those guys are drinking themselves to death every day — but the death of people the public at large had actually heard of…that’s where the money is! And you gotta do it while the death is still fresh in everyone’s minds…when Mickey Mantle died, any comics featuring him were hot commodities. Not so much now, unfortunately, so the lesson you learn from this? ACT FAST. The smart investor might even be able to exploit the deaths of folks who wouldn’t seem to have a comic book tie-in…for example, what famous death could you have tied this comic to? …Yup, that’s right! See, you’re learning already!

8. SLAB THAT BABY – You don’t want to take the risk of accidentally letting someone open up the protective comic book cover or, even worse, actually flipping through the comic! Comic investors are no stranger to the horror of finding one of their valuable commodities being read by someone, touching skin to paper, too ignorant to realize that every time a page is turned, or a cover bent back, the value plummets!

The solution? Seal it up! Plenty of companies out there are willing and able to hermetically seal your comic book in a clear plastic case, protecting it forever from the elements or from grasping, dirty hands, ensuring its maximum investment potential for all time! Actual handling or opening or even, God help us, reading of the comic is death to your coming comics fortune.

These tips aren’t all-inclusive, but that should be enough to start you on your way to building your comics investment portfolio. Now more than ever, comics are RED HOT, valuable and collectible, and wisely investing in choice rare items is…is….

…ah, shit. Just shoot me.

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