Did you throw away your childhood comics? They could be worth millions
When Mark Michaelson bought what he considered the holy grail of comics – Superman # 1, dating from 1939 – he didn’t think of it as an investment. Instead, the comic book fan says he bought it from a private collector in 1979 for somewhere between $ 1,000 and $ 2,000 just because he wanted it.
âEveryone sets a small goal,â said Michaelson, a Houston resident who has worked as a health care executive.
Michaelson’s goal is now likely to result in a huge payout. The comic is currently up for auction and is already receiving bids over $ 2 million. The online event, hosted by auction house ComicConnect, ends Thursday.
Such stunning figures are becoming the norm in the comic book world. This year has already seen sales of over $ 3 million for two comics – a 1962 Amazing Fantasy No. 15, which features Spider-Man’s first appearance, sold for $ 3.6 million. and a 1938 Action Comics No. 1, which features Superman’s first appearance (before the character had his own book), cost $ 3.25 million.
“The United States may print more money to lessen the shock of the health crisis, but “it’s not making more of Superman # 1.”“
Comics from a more recent vintage also sell for significant sums. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles # 1, from 1984, sold for $ 245,000.
In short, these relics of our youth are “now recognized as a legitimate alternative investment,” said Matt Nelson, president of CGC, based in Sarasota, Fla., A company that assesses the state of comics, collectible cards. and other collectibles.
Various factors are at play in the comic book boom, according to industry experts. Some note that even as the stock market soars, investors are looking for tangible assets, especially given all the financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Stephen Fishler, managing director of ComicConnect and its subsidiary Metropolis Collectibles, an online store, said the United States could print more money to lessen the blow of the health crisis, but “it’s not creating more Superman n Â° 1 “.
Another critical element is the growing popularity of comic book characters in the entertainment world at large. Hardly a month goes by without the release of a major superhero film with a top-tier cast. Coming this Friday from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios: Spider-Man: No Way Home, starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei and Benedict Cumberbatch, among others.
““Superman is not going to go away.”“
With Hollywood so invested in the success of these images, it stands to reason the characters will remain as relevant as ever, Fishler says. âSuperman is not going to go away,â he said.
Still, those looking to make money from comics should know the dynamics of the market. As is the case with other collectibles – think baseball cards, a category that has also exploded in recent times, or even Lego sets – it’s all about finding the right item.
Naturally, the first book of any series – or a book with the first appearance of a major character – will command a bounty, experts say. But the condition cannot be ignored. âOne defect can be a difference of several thousand dollars,â Nelson said, citing a half-inch corner bend as an example.
While attention is often given to comics from older vintages – the Golden Age (circa 1938-1956) and Silver Age (1956-1970) eras – experts say this doesn’t mean newer versions aren’t worth looking for, especially for investors and collectors with less money to spend. Nelson says that comics from the ’70s and’ 80s are a booming category and that there are books sold for $ 1,000 and under as of this time period that are worth considering. (He likes GI Joe comics, for example.)
Should comics be taken seriously as an investment like stocks and bonds? Some financial advisers say that even the most valuable collectibles cannot be viewed this way. Patrick Lach, an advisor at his own firm in Louisville, Ky., Points out an obvious negative point: Collectibles don’t generate cash in the same way, for example, that a stock pays dividends or the real estate generates rent payments.
âThe only way Person A can make money with a collectible is if Person B is willing to pay more for it,â Lach said.
But there’s no denying that there are plenty of B people out there for good collectibles, others note. Bart Brewer of California-based Global Financial Advisory Services says collectibles can play a small role in a balanced portfolio. He suggests devoting no more than 5% of total assets to it and considering it as an âexoticâ investment. âI consider this to be emerging market stuff,â he said.
Meanwhile, Michaelson is waiting to see what his comic book Superman brings. Then he can move on to the rest of his 50,000 book collection. âMy wife wants her garage back,â he said.