Profile Picture

The history of comic-book speculation

Posted By pmadreenter 3 Years Ago
Author
Message
pmadreenter
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
M. Vieux Bois

M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)

Group: Moderators
Last Active: 10 minutes ago
Posts: 7,187, Visits: 28,169
It started slow, a long time before the 80s bubble. The first example of speculators latching onto a comic that I am aware of is Howard The Duck #1. There was a HUGE buzz about that title, and it seems like they printed fewer copies than they needed; the word on the street was that you should snag as many copies as you saw. Three-four months after it came out, copies were going for 10.00, as I remember... which was a really big deal back then.

Are there earlier examples of speculators latching onto an issue? I'm thinking something similar might have happened with Conan The Barbarian #1, but it was before my time. It's even possible that Marvel's new-titles boom of 1968 (Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Nick Fury AOS etc) triggered some of that kind of action.

I'd like to hear from the collectors older than myself, see what they remember on this subject.

"You're the one that got out the damn saran-wrap and the rubber cement and the... duct-taping their hands to the table? You told me that was COOL!"

"Punching apes in the face since 2011"


youfoundjake
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
Forum Sensation

Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)Forum Sensation (2,814 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: Last Year
Posts: 310, Visits: 5,084
Sadly, the first real experience of speculation I can remember is probably the Death of Robin.  I saw collectors go wild about that. Books were reaching $150 shortly after the release.

My Uncanny X-Men scans.

I have that.. and that, but not that, and I need that...

I need X-men 1-93, any condition, prefer trades.

oxbladder
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
M. Vieux Bois

M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: 6 hours ago
Posts: 7,811, Visits: 22,923
IMO there has always been speculation of some sort because copies of the oldest books were kept and saved, even if it was only by a few people here and there. Whether they kept them because they had emotional value or they felt they would have monetary value is moot. That is why I am starting to have a different opinion of the "speculators" of the 90's. It's not like a whole bunch of new people came into the hobby at that time and then left. Everyone here that was around then were the "speculators" and are to blame for what happened. Publishers were just trying to fill the demand. Sure there may have been some outsiders but the majority of the people that hold the blame were collectors already in the hobby (and maybe still here even if fewer in number now).

-------

My Website

http://www.oxbladder.com/images/lots-of-bunnies.gif


sclingerman
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
M. Vieux Bois

M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (14,590 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: 2 Months Ago
Posts: 2,119, Visits: 4,398
I'd like to hear from the collectors older than myself, see what they remember on this subject.


I thought I told you kids to Get Off My Lawn!!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Oh please, you couldn't even turn into Bill Bixby.


higgsboson
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
Forum Star

Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)Forum Star (4,052 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: 3 Months Ago
Posts: 454, Visits: 2,131
I started collecting in the mid 70's as a young kid, at that time I obviously wasn't speculating, but by the late 70's (when I was about 9) I already bought my first overstreet and became aware that condition=value. Luckily I was a pretty obsessive kid about caring and storing my stuff (unlike the total unorganized and clutter filled adult I somehow transformed into, but luckily not before I had carefully bagged and boxed my entire collection before I hit the late teens and used a comic as a surface for separating stems and seeds. I remember when I saw Firestorm #1 and thought cool a new character I should buy a bunch, especially after he joined the JLA. Well that didnt work out too well. After that the only time I bought speculatively on new issues where in the 90's, which obviously also didnt work out to well. Issue #1 of the new Griffen JLA I bought a ton of. I was a great book (and still is, the humor was great but still fit the characters (like the classic Batman knocking out Guy Gardner) and an interesting mix of characters after the dust settled from the first crisis mini series to allow doc fate, blue beetle, martian manhunter, booster gold, mister miracle, and batman to be on the same team. Next was Spider man 252, which was probably the only speculative book I bought in the 90's that was actually worth it, albeit meager in price now, certainly worth the 60 cents investment at the time. I stopped buying new issues by the dozens every month after about 1986, and damn am I glad I did. about 8 years later when I got interested again, I bought the trade to catch up on the titles I liked and started discovered stuff like old and new Sandman,Invisibles,Y last man and really crazy stuff like Cat Empire (I read it about 4 times in a row it was so brilliant), Poulet aux prunes, Bily Potok "Alois Nebel" by Jaroslav Rudis (i'm really loving the new stuff coming out of the Czech Republic).

oh it's almost 4am so excuse my tangents.

doom's methods
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
Elite Collector

Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)Elite Collector (767 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: 3 Years Ago
Posts: 61, Visits: 162
ahem...  Publishers got GREEDY.  "Comic book Stores" got greedy.  By comic book stores I mean the sports card stores that had rapidly expanded into comics and had no real understanding of the culture of comic books.  They had huge store front windows to yellow all of the displayed back issues and handy price guns that could slap a near mint price on anything, no matter what the condition.  This greed crept into the buyer, who wanted multiple copies of the same issue so they could try to unload them at a profit.  I'm sorry, the publishers didn't get greedy during the 90s,  they were just a heck of a lot more bold faced and obvious about it.  The publishers have always tried to saturate the market.  If there is enough demand for an additional title,  they will push out three.  I'm not sure if I speculate,  I have some signed comics that I plan to display, and some "reader" copies of the same issue, I don't plan on selling them, but anything can happen.  Is the criteria for speculation just owning multiple copies?   The evil speculators were the business owners who jumped onto a niche market, and got burned five years later.  Look at coffee houses in the early 90s,  trendy business, not that many of them around today.

"Doom's Methods are his own. Do not question them."

nevermind
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
M. Vieux Bois

M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (10,180 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: Today @ 1:19:45 AM
Posts: 1,146, Visits: 7,091
You can say everybody in the industry got greedy but ultimately it was the fault of the consumer for providing the demand. The 90s had a lot of consumer mistakes. How many now defunked .coms sprang up over night because people thought anything that starts with www. would be an instant success. Just my 2 cents. -Steve

masterlogan2000
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
Forum Star

Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)Forum Star (3,456 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: 3 Months Ago
Posts: 238, Visits: 3,648
So I can't speak of anything earlier than 1984, this is more of a recent comic...

Remember Wolverine #145 the Nabisco variant?  Everyone really missed the boat on that promotion, with copies even now selling for $100+.  Fast forward a couple years later and what you have is the Doritos promo comic Wolverine:  Son of Canada.  Everyone thought this was the next Nabisco variant, and everyone made sure to pick one up.  In the early days of it coming out, copies sold for $30-50.

The problem was that this was no Wolverine #145.  The story was only 14 pages and not part of any continuity.  The book wasn't even about Wolverine, they just had his name slapped on the title.  "Everyone" speculating that it would be worth big bucks picked up a copy.  There were 65,000 printed, and not one was ever sent to the incinerator.

You can pick up a copy now for a modest $5 (including shipping) on eBay if you look around.  Around 3 years ago, I bought 10 of them for $12 total.


-ML2K


Edited 3 Years Ago by masterlogan2000
pmadreenter
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
M. Vieux Bois

M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (55,453 reputation)

Group: Moderators
Last Active: 10 minutes ago
Posts: 7,187, Visits: 28,169
But nobody has anything to say about speculating or "hot" titles before 1975? As interesting as all this is, I feel like people are missing the point of my OP.

"You're the one that got out the damn saran-wrap and the rubber cement and the... duct-taping their hands to the table? You told me that was COOL!"

"Punching apes in the face since 2011"


oxbladder
Posted 3 Years Ago
View Quick Profile
M. Vieux Bois

M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)M. Vieux Bois (74,207 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Last Active: 6 hours ago
Posts: 7,811, Visits: 22,923
Yeah I said it had always been there. There were a few collectors by the sixties but by the 70's the hobby was established with speciality stores, price guides, grading (as basic as it was) and peoole paying premium prices for hot, old or rare books. Why else keep the books around or a fix value to them if not speculating that people would pay that price? Who is going to deny that the fact that their books have more than just sentimental value or could have value is not at least part of a motivation for collecting? Why did those first collectors save books when most were chucking them? While values are not of huge concern to some, like myself, I would never deny that value or possible value of my books helps keep me from just casting my books aside or drives my desire to try and get the best condition book in my collection I can afford. If I was just collecting based on sentimental attachment or just to read alone I would think I would not be so picky about the grade of a book ... or I would buy more TPBs and digital books because it is WAAAAY cheaper and you get more for your dollar.

Collecting is value driven and some of those values are monetary in nature. Where ever money is involved there is "speculation". When publisher detect demand they will work to fill it until their numbers tell them it is done. They only make money on the front end and to make the most money they need to jump on and exploit every trend. If you don't like what they are doing then don't vote with your dollars Wink 

-------

My Website

http://www.oxbladder.com/images/lots-of-bunnies.gif


Edited 3 Years Ago by oxbladder


Reading This Topic