2014 Market Report
The year 2014 had many great moves in the marketplace. Movies, TV, conventions are all buzzing about our industry. We at Pendragon Comics still see new customers on a regular basis all wanting to invest in an old favorite title from long ago, or just a new collector buying for the first time. Its an exciting era we live in for our industry that can only compare to the 1980’s Batmania in recent history. Now on to the review!
NEW COMIC SALES 2014
The new DC52 maintained its leadership in writing and quality overall. Futures End must be the story of the year in surprise sales! DC has a plan I believe tying the pre DC52 (Flashpoint, a future alternate universe, coming out just after Brightest Day) through to the new DC52 reboot, to the current Futures End storyline.
Do not be surprised that it all ties together somehow in summer of 2015 or 2016, and then reverts to the original universe.
Marvel has been better this year. Compared to the bad 2013 year with the NOW relaunch, its a huge difference. The movie GogGalaxy definetly played a role. Many titles are still reeling from the reboot of 2013 like Xforce, Xfactor, Iron Man as examples and are much lower in sales.
It’s the upcoming Marvel Secret Wars and current AXIS storyline that is getting attention.
Independants, Image still leads the way, but Avatar, Boom and IDW are not far behind.
Image has its new titles that many clamour for, but only the few are genuine decent titles that can maintain sales past #1. Titles like SAGA, LOW, WALKING DEAD are such examples. Jupiters
Legacy is great but does not come out monthly and will eventually just fade away.
Avatar has the greatest writer of the modern era in their corner, Alan Moore, and it should be a boon to readers. Avatar brings a different and needed style of stories and art to the industry, and it keeps it fresh.
Booms best is in fact the kids books like My Little Pony, Adventure Time and more. This is great a publisher can meet the needs and interests of the younger collectors.
IDW still puts out the great horror and weird smart storylines as usual. It unfortunately doesn’t have the huge single title seller like Image has, but it still puts out quality work regularly.
Best sales by title would be…..Saga, Batman, Detective, Walking Dead, God is Dead, Uber, Futures End, Amazing Spiderman, anything Spiderverse (Marvel crossover), new Thor.
Best sales for trades, ogn, hardcovers are as usual anything DC especially Vertigo! Marvel has near zero sales in comparison to DC. Why? Simply put, for 30 years, DC beats Marvel hands down in well written stories! You cant beat Swamp Thing, Sandman, Y, Preacher, anything Batman like Killing Joke Hush and so much more!! Marvel has well known heroes, but its hard to find a well written trade with 5-10 issues in sequence that is a good story. Old Man Logan was an exception. Whereas Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars of the 1980’s, though a fan fave for its intro to the symbiote and its importance, is hardly a decent story.
I am glad to see at least Avatar understands a trades importance and does them in proper order and regularly to support its long running titles.
Future…..watch out for the huge disney/marvel output of Star Wars. And also the Secret Wars coming in 2015!
I also suspect the DC reverting with the highly successful and well written Futures End!
VINTAGE SALES REPORT
Golden Age….Timely, DC and Archie lead the way! Yes Archie! It is in the limelight again and most likely will stay along time.
Early issues like Timely are near impossible in even average shape. I sold my usual bit, but nothing excessive or surprising to mention. Schomburg covers lead the way for most desired issues.
Atomic Age…..anything horror or scarce DC sell like hotcakes! There just is not enough to go around. Try to find Spectre in the 1950’s or a run of Eerie. You just cant. Most decent horrors of this time go well over guide, and especially keys in any shape.
WHAT I’D COLLECT…. classic horror covers and any early issues 1952/53. And anytyhing by Ditko!
Silver Age….. as usual, the most wanted period for collectors. Marvels sell as usual, but now… many are noticing the DC minor title keys like Aquaman #1 and many first appearances in Showcase. The room for investment in these DCs are greater than the well known Marvels.
WHAT I’D COLLECT…..all JLA run( this title is far superior to Avengers, have more keys the whole title, and the leadup movie lineup will explode the run), anything Batman and Neal Adams, any Warren horror mag, Brave and Bold (especially 54), Showcase, any girl keys in DC like Talia Batgirl Supergirl Mera….Marvel is too expensive but FF25 a smart buy and any FF associated with Frightful Four Medusa and so on (pre Inhumans FF45,46).
Bronze Age…. still very affordable. The big keys like Hero for Hire #1, Ms.Marvel #18, anything Batman and Neal Adams, any early girl hero or villain key especially in DC and Marvel, are in such demand we cannot keep up. Many of these keys are are getting very expensive, and some collectors have moved onto the more affordable Copper and Modern age to invest.
WHAT I’D COLLECT…..still all JLA, Batman and Neal Adams, but i would add Marvel keys like Luke Cage 1, any Tomb of Dracula, Frankenstein, and Werewolf runs. And watch out for those great Marvel Westerns like Kid Colt….great art and stories, only takes a movie or tv deal and all those marvel westerns are awesome! DC War and Horror are fantastic at this time as well, like jonah hex in All Star Western, Star Spangled War, Our Army, GICombat.
Copper Age….without a doubt, DC Presents #26 and #1, New Teen Titans #1 and #2, and any early TMNT first prints top the most in demand list. This is the Age where DC printruns nearly flatlined, with the New Teen Titans as an exception. I mentioned many Overstreets ago to start collecting these DC keys and its starting to payoff now!!
WHAT I’d COLLECT.…TMNT, DC Comics Presents, anything G.Perez, always Batman and Detective, AMS, all JLA even volume 2, early 1980’s DC titles with ending runs like WF Flash WW GL, GIJOE, TRANSFORMERS and ALL STAR WARS even DROIDS runs.
Modern Age….many movies and tv series are making this period very high demand! Constantine appearing in Swamp Thing 37-40 is a perfect example, or Hulk 271(first comic rocket raccoon). From 1985-1995 the industry had many first appearances and important stories that have gone unnoticed into the 21st century. Now, with reviving old stories like Secret Wars, Infinities, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the demand for these issues are becoming crazy! Legends 3 with Suicide Squad, Silver Surfer 34-50 with Thanos, Carnage in ASM 344,345,361-363 are more example!
WHAT I’d COLLECT….any original long runs of vertigo like Swamp Thing Y Hellblazer Preacher Sandman, any Key that you can remember of DC or Marvel that was pivotal or a great story from the 1990’s. Issues like Thanos Quest 1/2, Hulk the End, SS 34/35, Legend 3, Killing Joke, Batman DKReturns, Hush storyline in Batman, any early Doomsday appearances.
There are many many important issues from the 1990’s that happened after 1993 when comics died in printruns, find those keys and it will payoff in 2-10 years I am sure!
Conclusion…..going after key books to invest is fine. Going after full runs of titles you also enjoy is smart! For example, you like Ms.Marvel but you only collect #1’s?
Well you would have missed #16-18. Same thing with Hulk. Perhaps you collected only early issues and stopped at #200. You would have missed #271.
Many keys will be bought and sold over the next few years that before had no interest(or very little). Partially due to movies but also because
Marvel and DC are placing these characters in new storylines. Next is a short list of highly sought items of recent note…..
Micronauts 8, Legend 3, Marvel Spotlight 32, Ms.Marvel 1 16-18, Captain Britain UK 1 8, Marvel Premiere 47 51, Avengers 196,XFactor 5 6, Daredevil 254, GIJOE 1, Star Wars 1-107 and Droids, Invaders 1, all JLA vol1 and vol2, DC Comics Presents 1 26 47, many Showcase (#25) and Brave and Bold (#54) keys, Marvel Super Heroes 12 13, New Mutants 98, XForce 2 1(Deadpool card), Swamp Thing vol1(Wrightson classic) and all vol2(Moore, Constantine), Superman 233, Batman 251, and so much more! Keep hunting and remember secret gems of tomrrow are hiding in cheap runs today!
And finally a note on foreign reprints and not reprints! Now we know of the Canadian variants of gold key, and the Canadian Black and Whites of the 1940’s-1950’s(very hot, especially if original)….. but do you realize that the UK variants of Marvel of the 1960’s are not reprints and have much lower printruns? Did you know Les Heritages the company out of Quebec Canada for a long time have been doing reprints of key titles and issues from 20-40 years ago? Some in English, though most in French?
Even now many Spanish Mexican reprints are getting in high demand. And there is much more. I wouldn’t ignore them.