Riff Raff Riff Raff

American Pickers

So, my buddy Spahr and I drove out to see our friend's uncle. Uncle Louie. He was trying to sell his son's comic book collection. The son, Tommy, left the collection with his dad. And now the dad, Louie, wants it out of the house. Spahr worked forever at a local comic book shop here in town and is an expert in all things comics. And me, well, I like to think I'm pretty good at digging for comic book gold. So, Louie called us to look at Tommy's collection.

Uncle Louie said that Tommy had the collection appraised at $23,000. Eight longboxes. Roughly 3000 comic books. That's about 7 and a half bucks a book.

We looked through all of it and told Uncle Louie that the collection was worth about 500 bucks. Retail. That means a store that buys old comic books would probably offer him about 200 dollars.

Louie was astonished. He showed us old X-Men comics that had $15 price tags on them. Comics that had $20 price tags on them. Lots of them. Spahr looked up one of the comics on eBay. X-Men #137. The death of Phoenix. The last copy, in a similar condition, went for $2. Shipping was more expensive than the book itself.

It's a typical collection that you see floating around now. Classic Bronze Age. A run of Marvel Two-In-One. A run of Micronauts. A run of Alpha Flight. A run of Camelot 3000. Badger. Nexus. Web of Spider-Man. A good selection of valuable X-Men. A good selection of worthless Cloak and Dagger. But nothing interesting like Elektra: Assassin or Slash Maraud. You know the drill.

"How old is Tommy?" I asked.

"42," sayeth Uncle Louie.

"Yeah, that makes sense. See, what's happening is all the guys your son's age are dumping their collections now. They all had the same books. So the market is flooded."

Spahr called the big store in town that buys old comics. They said they were NOT buying right now. So he called the other big store in town that buys old comics. They said they were NOT buying. We explained to Uncle Louie that stores that sell back issues are going to offer him roughly 30 bucks a box which is basically less than a dime for each book.

We discussed "strategeries" on how Uncle Louie could unload the collection. He could eBay it. He could hire someone to eBay it on commission. He could try other stores in other areas. Ultimately, though, he would have to wrap his head around the idea that this collection is, right now, basically worthless.

Spahr said, "It's just like vinyl records. Remember when vinyl was worthless in the '90s? Well, those worthless records are finally worth money again. It came back around. So maybe just sit on the collection and drag it out in ten years and see what's up."

Uncle Louie laughed. "I don't think my wife will let me keep it in the basement for that long! She wants this junk outta here!"


It's funny how looking at old comic book covers triggers one's memory. Some of these covers are burned into my brain. I snapped some photos of some well known books and some unknown books.

Bob Layton cover on Iron Man #138 (below) is an old favorite. Check out those purples!

Iron Man #138


Barry Windsor-Smith hand-colored cover to Kull #9 from 1985 (below). Check out those purples!

Kull #9


Jaime Hernandez would always bug me at shows asking if I had any Skull the Slayer (below) and I'd be like "No, they don't show up much anymore." Well, here was a cache of them in Tommy's collection. It's one of those '70s "time travel back to the dinosaurs but set in the future" type deals (see every issue of Heavy Metal 1977 - present). This is early Marv Wolfman (writing) with art by Steve Gan. 1975. A comic traded around the Los Bros Hernandez household. Or so I'm told. Cover is by Gil Kane? Anyways, when I tell people about Skull the Slayer, they often mishear what I say as Kull. So these pics, Kull then Skull, is my own private joke to myself.

Skull the Slayer #1


Uncanny X-Men #186 (below). This comic has some great art by Barry Windsor-Smith who, unfortunately, didn't do the colors for the interiors. He did colors for the cover though. Nice purples.

Uncanny XMen #186


Barry was one of those guys who could just draw people hanging out by the pool. The figures are beefed up but they look natural.

Uncanny XMen #186


I like this part of the spread. The long panels paired with the zooming in is smooth:

Uncanny XMen #186


I like the framing of this "widescreen" panel (below):

Uncanny XMen #186


Found a few obscure comics up my alley. One of them was Shadow Agents #2  (below). This fine specimen of the post-black and white explosion era is from 1991:

Shadow Agents #2


The tell-tale wide margins at the top and bottom. This usually means that the artist drew the art at the wrong scale. Probably drawn at "magazine" proportions and not "comic book" proportions. Art by Christopher Heidt.

Shadow Agents #2

How did readers stand the 60 day wait between issues?

Shadow Agents #2




On the drive back home, Spahr and I got to talking about the comics back issue market. We were speculating that it could go either of two ways. One way would be like vinyl records where the bottom drops out and it comes around again. Or comic book back issues could be like the baseball card market, where the bottom drops out and never comes around again.

We talked about how it's crazy that there is this generation of comics collectors that basically all have the same collection. Exactly the same. Like the one we just saw. And how it's (basically) worthless. And how those collections were worth real money even ten years ago. Maybe more like 20 years ago. Remember G.I. Joe #2 from 1982? It used to be worth 40 bucks. Now, just a click away, there are 6 used from various sellers starting at 99 cents. Spahr joked that we should have all sold when the market was at its peak in the early '90s.

But then there are other books - like the first appearance of the Punisher or Wolverine - that went through the roof in terms of value. Those are the ones that we sold back then. If we had them, I mean. Bill Boichel tells a story about having a longbox (about 300 copies) of Giant -Size X-Men #1, the first modern X-Men book, and selling each one for 10 30 bucks back in 1985. One of the copies he sold  back then to a friend recently sold for $10,000. I asked Bill if he kept one for himself. "No, I sold the whole box that one convention and made a killing," he said with a wry smile. "Who knew?"

79 Responses to American Pickers

  1. DT says:

    Aesthetic value and monetary value have a pretty tenuous relationship in the comics back issue market, so who knows, but I’ve got to believe all of us 30-somethings with boxes full of early “Spawn” and “Deathblow” ought to just plan a bonfire. We could invite Rob, Todd and the whole gang!

  2. Alexa says:

    The back issue market (at least for the ’80s onwards) is going to focus more now on specific creators (perhaps combined with specific characters), characters’ movie/TV appearances, and also be dependent on reprint/digital availability. Case in point: Gail Simone’s run on Deadpool. Time was, I could never find one of those issues under $15. Of course, the minute I collected them all, Marvel announced that they were finally collecting them in trade, so I expect to be able to find those issues for $5 and under next year. And early Rocket Raccoon issues are going for good money these days, but that will probably taper off once the Guardians of the Galaxy movie is in the rearview mirror. And of course, Golden/Silver Age comics will always have a market.

    Basically, what true collectibility has always been about– finding a rare thing that nobody used to care about and then having loads of people with money start to care about it all about the same time. Sometimes that’s a long-term thing, most of the time it’s a short-term thing. By its very nature, it depends on not really being able to predict what it will be. And it’s never going to be like the ’90s again, thank god.

  3. Machismo Foyer says:

    I decided to go back and collect the entire run of Marvel GI Joe a while back. Of course, I decided to do this right after Devil’s Due announced the reboot, so I walked into a comic book store and said ‘I’m looking for back issues of GI Joe.’ And the guy said ‘Yeah, you and everyone else.’ I decided to start checking outside of comic book stores.

    The interesting part was that as I was buying GI Joe books on eBay, there would be a random issue in with a stack of Image crap, the stuff you are talking about. I loved Wetworks when it came out and I’ll still put WildCATS (all three volumes) up there with some of my favorite books, so I decided to collect those just to read them all. I got them all for a song. I ended up with four long boxes full of comics. One is every Marvel GI Joe book (including GI Joe Special #1 with Snake Eyes as Spidey on the cover) and the other three were just Image XBLADE!!!! type series. I read them all and was tired of dealing with them so I took them to a local store and the guy gave me $.10 a piece for them. I was ecstatic because I knew I couldn’t donate them to a kids hospital or something given the graphic nature of the books. I knew Craigslist wasn’t worth the hassle, and screw listing on eBay forever. When it was all said and done, I got something like $50 in cash back and just bought Absolute Planetary. Which is what I should have done in the first place.

    This is a really, really long way to say that I think the value of comics as a whole is completely and utterly gone. The only reason I bought GI Joe was to read all of them. They have since reprinted them in two different omnibus editions, there are a dozen apps on my iPad that allow me to buy them and I can get them for free on a dozen more torrent sites if I wanted to. As I get older, the last thing I want to do is haul long boxes from place to place when I can fit all of them on an external HD. Awesome article, I love stuff like this!

  4. R. Fiore says:

    Ah, but isn’t the nice thing that the Bronze Age was a long, long time ago? Sort of come to be the meaning of the term, hasn’t ?

  5. patrick ford says:

    Back in the ’80s anyone entering a comic book shop would notice people buying stacks of the X-MEN, or whatever else was perceived as an investment.
    I wasn’t interested in that stuff, and didn’t see how hundreds of thousands of things carefully stored in plastic bags were ever going to be worth anything. The investment idea did have an effect on me. My thought was things like LLOYD LLEWELLYN and JIM were sold in small numbers, and the authors were so good they were bound to end up as major cartoonists with their early work sought after and demanding high prices because of it’s rarity.
    So I have multiple copies (three or five , not a foot high stack) of WEIRDO #1, LOVE AND ROCKETS, HATE, etc..
    As it turned out it was not much of an investment. Out of all the things I was buying I think only RAW is worth anything, and on those I only bought single issues because they were pretty expensive.

  6. Pingback: Why your Bronze Age comics colelction ain’t worth squat — The Beat

  7. Eric Reynolds says:

    I financed my move to Seattle, to work at Fantagraphics, in 1993 by selling about 25 longboxes of this exact same shit Frank’s describing. My dad worked at a horse race track — Los Alamitos — and brokered the deal for me. I sold it all to the track for $1000. The track had a “comic book day” where everyone who came thru the gate one night got a free comic book. There was a time in the 1990s where I kind of regretted it, because per unit it wasn’t like I was getting a great deal. But in hindsight, it was probably the best deal I ever made!

  8. David Bernstein says:

    I’m sorry but in 1985 everyone knew that GS X-Men #1 at $10 was a steal. It was being sold in comic books that year for something like $50 or more.

  9. patrick ford says:

    This could be followed up by “Why Your Silver Age Collection Ain’t Worth Squat.”
    Not exactly true, but I strongly suspect there are more extant copies (average condition) of most Silver Age comic books that there are people who want them.

  10. patrick ford says:

    BTW Frank says the book were worth $500 retail and a shop would pay $200 for them. If it’s not to much trouble I would really like the name of that shop.

  11. Frank Santoro says:

    Bill corrected me that he was selling them for $30 each

  12. Frank Santoro says:

    Well, we called the two shops and they weren’t buying at all –

  13. patrick ford says:

    Yeah, I saw that and was just kidding.

  14. Randolph J Realnamesworthy says:

    as far as the market coming back, it’s worth noting that the market existed back when few comics were ever collected into trade paper backs, now that we have them only fetishists are going to want to tend to long boxes and bags and boards. but back then if your main goal was to READ all of something like Alan Moores’ Swamp thing run you had to go down to the shop and comb through the bins and pick up the run piece by piece buying $2-$4 dollar back issues. maybe eventually you’d splurge the $20 bucks just for #21. or maybe the run of the book you wanted would be reprinted as cheapo monthly re-run title and you’d just get those. which is what they did with those Swamp Thing issues and with Claremont & Bryne X-Men run in Classic X-Men. in my experience, in the 90s, a shop might have had expensive comics up on the wall but they just sat on the wall not selling for months. but when they did something like a new years day 25% off back issues sale, the place would be hopping and finally those “wall comics” would sell. I think that meant that there were more readers than speculative collectors, despite the ballooning collectors market getting all the hype, anywhere you heard comics discussed in the news.

  15. Those collections come in, go to our “3 for a dollar” bins, and go back out almost as quickly.

    The demand is there, but it’s still a buyer’s market on these comics.

    And if you want to bring those longboxes here, we buy almost anything except porn.

  16. Chris Pitzer says:

    I sold a longbox of stuff at the Asbury Comicon for $15. I couldn’t even get $20 out of the dealer. But one less box I had to lug home.

    I’ve never done it, but I hear places like will buy collections, but I guess they only want to offer you trade, or “mycomicshop bucks”, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks for writing these Frankie.

  17. Frank Santoro says:

    I forgot that late 70s stuff and all the 80s stuff is technically called “Copper Age”.

  18. R. Fiore says:

    The question you ought to be asking if you invest in any collectible is “Is this intrinsically worth this much?” Or perhaps more sensibly, is this worth this much to me?

  19. John says:

    Definitely It may take a while to enter the books, but there is still a market and you will get cash.

  20. patrick ford says:

    Jim Shooter had an interesting bit on his blog about that BWS Kull cover.

    A copy of the cover and a letter from Arthur Lieberman (The REH estate attorney as well as Stan Lee’s personal attorney, business partner, and friend) to Marvel’s publisher at the time James Galton:

  21. Mike Baehr says:

    Love these articles. I gotta say the relative worthlessness price-wise of back issues these days is a real boon to readers. A full run of Michael Golden’s The ‘Nam issues in the quarter bin? 1970s-1980s Kirby comics for a buck or two? Comics: Your Best Entertainment Value!

  22. Goodman says:

    What I’m into from that era is picking up runs on the cheap and having them nicely bound into hardcover for around the same cost as buying collected editions published in hardcover. I especially like titles that have been neglected and probably won’t see official collections anytime soon like DC’s Wasteland from the 80’s, and Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children which I just picked up a complete run for peanuts and will make a lovely 2 volume set once I get them back from the bindery. I think that’s the way to go these days…make your own books for the shelf and screw the longbox concept! You’ll be glad you did, and who knows…down the line you might even get good resale on them, cause they do look pretty boss on the shelf…especially if you do uniform bindings.

  23. Lawrence R. Ronan says:

    Apropos of… what?

  24. Pingback: Comics A.M. | Taipei Comics Exhibition draws 582,000 visitors | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  25. Brad Mackay says:

    I agree 100% with Goodman. If you can find a bindery that will do them up cheap ($20) that’s a great way to go. Plus, you avoid the clumsy, amateurish recolouring that mars a lot of the HC collections.

  26. mateor says:

    I have a complete run of those Kull comics I could part with if anybody thinks they can come up with the scratch. I have read/fingerprinted most of them…let’s call them Very Fine.

    Also…Valiant (w/coupons!!!!) Let the bidding wars begin.

  27. Yeah, it’s gonna be hard for those 80’s Marvels to eventually be worth any money. Those books sold really well back when, and they are readily available on the internet and at cons.

  28. Goodman,

    You’re right about Wasteland. I picked up a few issues and they are good.

  29. Jeff Flowers says:

    My philosophy is to simply buy what I like reading. If I buy something I don’t like, I will sell it or give it away. Life is too short to be storing comics you don’t enjoy.

    This article does remind me, though, that I need to find a complete run of Elementals.

  30. Michael says:

    Completely agree with the comments here. As a comics fans since the 70s I was amazed to se 70s Neal Adams Batmans going for US$10 recently in Fine on eBay. I wonder if Overstreet actually reflects the reality of the back issue market as it really is? I get the feeling that those priceguides are simply in denial…

  31. Michael says:

    This article got me thinking: are there any truly rare comics from the last 30 years, so roughly 1983-2013, that enough people actually want, meaning the comic(s) cost a lot? The only one I can think of from my personal comic buying experience is Uncle Scrooge #310 by Don Rosa which cost me US$65 recently (I have seen people charging US$300 believe it or not). Print runs for Gladstone Disneys in late 90s were low (5000) and went lower(4000) around about # 310 after customers baulked at paying the higher, US$6.95 cover price. I’m an old time fan and a Rosa fan so I had to have this issue in its original form…

  32. Frank Santoro says:

    Epic Moebius books – the graphic novels and the regular issue reprints. I can sell those for big bucks and they are truly rare at this point. Same goes for original Horse Press THBs.

  33. Darthque says:

    Love the article. Thanks.

  34. Frank Santoro says:

    Bill Boichel told me today

    “for the record, I was selling those GS X-Men #1s for $30 a few years earlier, like 1980-82; by 1985 I was getting $50-$75…”

  35. mateor says:

    I guess I could part with the coupons separately…

  36. R. Fiore says:

    I’m not sure how germane this is, but I’m dying to tell this. Early this year I’m driving down Arroyo Seco in Pasadena and I see this comic shop with a sign that says “Grand Opening.” I stop for a look and it’s a very mainstream, graphic novel oriented store. It has this little section devoted to “classic” comics and I see this pile of 1950s vintage Walt Disney Comics and Stories marked at $2.95 each. I shake my head a minute wondering if I’m seeing what I’m seeing. I look closer and yes, they are originals, about 30 of them. I grab them all and take them up to the counter. The owner, a young hipster kind of guy, says, “I’ve got more, I’m just bagging them up right now, I bought them earlier today.” I look over and he’s got a whole box of them. Thinking I have found the Lost Dutchman Mine, I buy the whole lot of them then and there, a little over $400. I ask if I can have bags and boards for the ones that are not bagged and he says “Sure.” As I’m walking out he says “Are you a collector?” and I stifle the temptation to say “Well, now I’m a dealer.” When I get home I find out what I’ve got is a near complete run of WDCS from September 1944 to August 1956, missing between 12 and 20 issues, I don’t have an exact count. They are apparently all or mostly all subscription copies, the property of a Paul C. Redin, and I also got the box he used to ship them from Chicago to Great Falls in 1957. On closer inspection and consultation of eBay I found that it may have been closer to a fair price than taking advantage of an idiot. The collection was cherished but not coddled. They are almost entirely intact but have been read many times. The early ones are mostly in Poor to Fair condition, the later ones not much better than the Good to Very Good range. What’s particularly disgusting is that one of the ones in the best condition has it’s whole front cover traced over in pencil, I presume by a friend; it’s not the sort of thing this kid would have done. It’s been sitting in boxes ever since as I haven’t gotten around to the work of cataloging it.

  37. Kit says:

    Crickets #3.

  38. Goodman says:

    ‘Taking advantage of an idiot’ Heh! Bet they smell nice though, eh? That vintage comic aroma? Almost worth the price! Sounds like a good run for a few binds, to be sure!

  39. Lou Copeland says:

    One word that I believe plays a huge part in back issue pricing that has yet to be mentioned here: SCANS.

  40. Lou Copeland says:

    Sorry… Machismo Foyer did raise the point, but it was largely ignored. scans, Scans, SCANS!

  41. patrick ford says:

    I’m not going to research this so if I’m wrong, I’m wrong.
    My early, more than casual, interest in comics was 1970-1975. At that time I was buying old Barks in low grade, trashed E.C.s , Nostalgia Press reprints, National Lampoon, Warren, and various mainstream comics from DC and Marvel.
    The way I remember it was E.C. and Barks were expensive, they were up there with the high priced stuff. They were way more expensive than things like pre-hero Marvel monster and Western books.
    Certainly the prices of E.C. and Barks must have escalated quite a bit since the early ’70s, but I bet if someone worked out the math they would find the increase in prices on a percentage basis lags way behind a lot of other comics.
    I would assume that is because nice quality reprints are available. In fact the stuff has been reprinted over and over again.

  42. R. Fiore says:

    Doesn’t it get wet under that bridge?

  43. Goodman says:

    You might think…but it’s as dry as your wit!

  44. R. Fiore says:

    To answer your snide comment, since the owner of the shop made a quick profit on something he obviously didn’t want to be bothered with, the real loser is the original owner of the collection who picked a bad place to sell it. It’s nothing you’re going to retire on, but the comics are worth considerably more than $3 each on the open market, and it seems very strange that someone who had nothing to do but sell comic books all day wouldn’t take the time to get the maximum return on them. I will undoubtedly make a considerable profit if I decide to make the effort, and if I don’t I’ve made a considerable addition to my collection of a very good price, particularly since I don’t have a fetish about condition. And besides, if I hadn’t bought them, I would spend the rest of my life kicking myself for not grabbing the opportunity.

  45. R. Fiore says:

    The biggest change not only in collector’s comic books but in all secondhand bookselling is the emergence of an international marketplace for books on the Internet. The bookseller can no longer take advantage of local scarcity or uncertainty about supply; the supply is the total of copies of a given book that exist throughout the world and the price falls accordingly.

  46. Frank Santoro says:

    The thing to remember also is, for example, I do well in NYC at shows cuz most stores don’t have a HUGE back issue selection. But in Pittsburgh and the, uh, territories there are lots of shops with HUGE warehouses full of stuff. So when I do shows in Pittsburgh sales are slow cuz the locals know they can get it cheap around here…

  47. patrick ford says:

    I’d like to see a dealer develop a market for nice quality printings of flexographic (Bronze Age) era comics.
    A well printed copy of the SON OF SATAN issue by Russ Heath in good condition ought to be worth more than a mint condition copy from near the end of the press run when the plastic plates were breaking down.

  48. R. Fiore says:

    Well, that’s why you’d want to buy it in person, if they let you open up the little plastic bags . . .

  49. Goodman says:

    Actually my snide comment was only a response to yours. For the condition you describe the books to be in binding seemed pretty reasonable since you made it sound like you didn’t want to be bothered selling them off. I was actually amused by your ‘taking advantage of an idiot’ comment, but you know what they say, ‘fuck ’em if they can’t take a compliment and a reasonable suggestion’…perhaps THAT was a bit snide, but you’re a professional and I look forward to more of your condescending repartee.

  50. Frank Santoro says:

    I think the idea of reprinting most of this stuff is a bad idea. The comics industry has killed enough trees haha

  51. Roger’s Time Machine in NYC on 14th and 7th (above the Donut Pub) has a pretty huge selection of golden/silver/bronze age. It’s easy to miss because it’s a second floor walk up….but, it’s so great. You can go there on Christmas week and Roger serves champagne while people browse…

  52. DBay says:

    in some rare cases, buying the original books can really help with reading them. I have a complete collection of the original Seven Soldiers and it’s way better than the forced linearity of the hardback

  53. Frank Santoro says:

    Yeah, Roger’s IS great. But in terms of space – nothing compares to Western Pennsylvania…

  54. Irene Vartanoff says:

    The DC comics I have kept from the Silver Age are nearly worthless because they are Superman family titles with subscription folds. No one wants to buy those. That means I get to keep them until I die; I call that a win.

  55. Joe McCulloch says:

    Roger’s is awesome.

  56. Walter L. says:

    …Hah , that SKULL cover brought back some memories – In the Bronze ge , it seems stringy long-haird comics writers would reccommend this ‘ The cure for all your civilization ailments is to be stuck in the past , WITH YOUR SHIRT OFF !!!!!!!!! ” . And thus , STS #1 .
    I’m an old-schooler from ” the old ” TCJ board , by the way .(Yeah , yeah , I know…” and THAT and a copy of YOUNGBLOOD #1 , plus the Platinum Edition….”)

  57. David Groenewegen says:

    Miracleman #15 (the one where Kid Miracleman goes to town) still seems pretty pricey if eBay can be trusted. One NM copy there for nearly two grand. And a lot of the other later Moore issues are also expensive. Probably time to sell mine, if the rumours that the Moore run is finally going to be reprinted are true.

  58. Paul Houston says:

    I like cherry picking comics from this era from the dollar longboxes every now and again, purely for nostalgia sake. I picked up Kirby’s entire Eternal’s run for a dollar a piece a few weeks back.

    Plus I donated the worst parts of my bronze age collection to children’s hospitals and thrift stores about 5 years back. I knew they weren’t of any significant value and I would just be storing them in my basement till I was an old man, so why not just get rid of em? I hope they were read by someone after donation, but in all honesty, I have a feeling I just passed on the chore of throwing them away onto another person.

  59. ant says:

    Yeah that, er,….that kind of sucks. And I love his Captain Easy. This looks like it was drawn by a 70year-old-ish Sunday painter.

  60. ant says:

    I recently picked up all the original run of the (Fanta, not self-published!) first “Jim” mag for roughly 4 quid each. Still missing one or two of the later comic-book size series, though……”Dive Deep” has to be one of my favourite stories in any medium ever.

  61. Frank Santoro says:

    Ronin #6 by Frank Miller is pretty rare. There was a big push for Ronin in the beginning. The store owners would have to pre-order (just like today thru Diamond distributors) and guess how many copies would sell. Sales of Ronin were slow so store owners ordered less of #’s 4,5, and 6. Plus DC had overprinted the early issues and printed less of 5 and number 6 especially. Plus it’s one of those mostly black covers that gets fingerprints on it easily. So its hard to find a mint Ronin #6. In the discount bins I mean. You see plenty of 1-5’s floating around.

  62. Daniel K says:

    Out of print Corbens are pricey – the Catalan reprints of his underground work and assorted other stuff usually cost $$$$.

  63. Volker says:

    Can anyone recommend a good bindery in the USA that has a web presence ?

  64. patrick ford says:

    Ask your local library who they use.

  65. steven samuels says:

    First printings of Love & Rockets #1. And the self-published version as well.

    Also: RAW vol. 1. And NON #4, 5.

    The Biologic Show can sell for some bucks on Ebay from time to time. ACME Novelty Library and Eightball of course. Sake Jock, Those eighties Steve Ditko FBI compilations, A Couple of Winos, Aargh!, Jay Kennedy’s Official Underground and Newave Comix Price Guide, Naughty Knotty Woody, True Porn vol. 1.

    Not to mention Crypt of Cum / Weird Sex / Vault of Whores / Bustline Combat.

  66. steven samuel says:

    Just kidding about the last one.

  67. Peter Sattler says:

    So glad my AARGH!s are all NM.

  68. steven samuels says:

    “As it turned out it was not much of an investment.”

    For the time being. Surely at least some of those titles will increase in value. I think it’ll have more to do with growing appreciation for particular artists like Woodring, Sacco or Drew Friedman. Al Columbia and Chris Ware are already on their way there. Of course I’m talking strictly about back issue pricing, not critical estimation.

    Weirdo back issues aren’t necessarily cheap on Ebay. On the other hand, it’ll probably be quite some time before Hate and L&R ever rise in price because of their relatively high print runs and extensive reprint releases.

  69. patrick ford says:

    I wasn’t thinking in terms of $25 or $35.
    My misguided thought was those books would end up as very expensive items. Something like a first edition of CARRIE. That thought was based on the idea a highly successful author’s first book is printed in small numbers and later becomes a high demand-low supply item. .
    I’ve seen interviews with people like Clowes and Gilbert Hernandez recently where they describe their current circulation numbers as being far below what they were in the ’80s.
    It’s supply and demand. There are fewer people who want a copy than there are copies.

  70. steven samuels says:

    “I’ve seen interviews with people like Clowes and Gilbert Hernandez recently where they describe their current circulation numbers as being far below what they were in the ’80s.”

    Interesting. In GH’s case, does that also include all the non-L&R side projects he’s done? The circulation dropoff surely comes from the higher prices for books as opposed to periodicals.

  71. electrogames says:

    Most of this stuff will never be worth all that much. Way too much supply and not enough demand. How many comic books from the 1980’s on up are worth money today? You can count the amount in your head with little effort. Buying modern issues for investment is a fool’s game that is akin to one of the worst forms of speculation ever seen since the 90’s speculative comic book boom and eventual crash.

  72. Kimball Carr says:

    Hi Frank – thanks for the shout out and for checking out Shadow Agents… brings back memories.

    Kimball Carr – writer and co-creator of “Shadow Agents”

  73. ''RAVEN'' says:

    ”What is going on?!-Is nobody talking about the G. I. Joe 3 3/4 inch line of action figures/vehicles that came out by Hasbro,from 1982 -1994?, especially the ever- popular-1986 Cobra Night Raven S3P Black Jet Spy Plane ,that everyone knows looks like a cross between the SR-71 Blackbird, and ”Firefox, from 1982.”-”RAVEN”.

  74. Rach says:

    Looks like the X-Men #137 you reference at the beginning of the article sells for ($10-$20) bucks on ebay. Grouped together in a run or (Lot) and the prices are higher – not ‘retirement money’ but certainly not worthless.

    You don’t say what condition the book was in so … who knows maybe it was worth $2? But, from what I can tell Bronze age comics are selling relatively well online. Depends on the Title / Issue & condition of course, but … yea go ahead throw away your collection & please keep telling everybody else to do the same. 10-20-30 years from now some (not all), but definitely some of those books will be selling for a whole lot more. Guaranteed.

  75. Wayne Ralph says:

    Just came across this page by accident, haven’t read a comic book for a few decades. Anyhow I just dragged my collection out and there’s piles of stuff 3 feet high everywhere. I’ve sorted out a few books to read ( warlock ) but basically just poking through and repacking. Having a great nostalgic time.

  76. Ronald Johnson says:

    I have old comic books for sale I don’t know what they’re worth but right now I’m in need of money

  77. Chris Heidt says:

    Hey there. This is Chris Heidt, the artist on Shadow Agents. I and Kimball created Shadow Agents together, a few years out of high school. You are right, I had no idea what in the hell I was doing. I can’t speak for KB though. Haven’t seen him for years. The truth is the printer we used convinced us to go with a wrong format, and that everything would look comparative to the standard comic books; of course, he had no idea what he was talking about either! Those were the good old days– mostly.

  78. Chris Heidt says:

    One more thing: I colorized some of the original Shadow Agents pages a few years ago, feeling nostalgic and all. I am still a graphic artist and painter. If you want to see those pages they are on my FB page:

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