Weekend Update with Nico

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This is your Weekend Update!
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It’s buying season.  If you haven’t figured that out check out the price drops on live auctions on eBay.  Sellers are unloading books fresh with scores of books that were slabbed onsite in Baltimore and/or following the end of convention season in preparation for the Holidays.  If you have managed to squirrel away some extra cash, be wise with your money, shop around and for the love of God – watch those live auctions.

 

As a quick example of these auction upsets, look no further than the CGC 9.6 copy of Marvel Special Edition #15 that sold on eBay for $1,225.00.  I’ve marveled and the incredible appreciation in value that this book has enjoyed in preparation for the film, but this aberrant auction result is a product of there being not enough eyes on this book and not a product of anything else.  This is a big book to steal in a live auction and someone stole this book. I’m happy for the buyer , but this is truly an unfortunate result for the seller.
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Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 2.24.24 PM
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The 90 day average for a Marvel Special Edition #15 CGC 9.6 is 1,797 with a high sale this year of $2,301.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is a time to flip, a time to invest, a time to speculate, a time to buy, a time to take profit, a time to re-invest.  Do not be confused, it’s buying season.

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It was all a Dream

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If you are a child of the 90’s like me, chances are you are a fan of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.  This week we learned that the cult classic was green lit for a second season. While it is not “official, official” season one is generally understood to adapt the first eight issues of the series, namely Preludes and Nocturnes, which means we will possibly be introduced to the character Death by the end of the first season.  The second season will presumably adapt The Doll’s House (issues 9 through 16).

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Sandman #1 CGC 9.8

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CGC 9.8 copies of Sandman #1 are down to $425.00 a pop.  I sold my last 9.8 when the news hit for nearly $700.00.  The last sale of a Sandman #1 CGC 9.8 was $390.00 earlier this month.  The book has flat-lined and cooled off and now is the time to buy. There are 726 copies on the census. More than issue number one I suggest looking for high grade copies of Sandman #8 which features the first appearance of Death.  Copies of Sandman #8 in CGC 9.8 condition are selling in the neighborhood of $450.00 to $475.00. There are 215 CGC 9.8’s on the census.

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There is also a special edition Karen Berger Editorial Edition Variant of Sandman #8 that I have previously spoken about extensivly. There is one recorded sale of this Sandman #8 Variant in CGC 9.8 condition in 2019 and it sold for $4,560.00. There are 9 CGC 9.8’s on the census and a total of 77 slabbed copies in existence.

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Sandman #8 Berger

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I think Death is going to take the country by storm.  The good news is that the sandman books are out there right now and they are cheap.  The better news is that the Berger variants are in show boxes and they are being sold as the regular cover by people who are unaware or too lazy to open their books.  These books are out there for you to find and keep. They will go down as one of the most important comics of the copper era and when it is all said and done, they may be the biggest book of the copper era.

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Hickman’s X-Men

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Ask yourself when the last time was that you were this excited about the x-men universe.  If you are like me, it was a long, long time ago. I don’t need to tell you that Jonathan Hickman has revitalized the x-men universe and it is time to start focusing on key speculative picks.  While this site and my contemporaries on comicbookwars, our YouTube show, are much more excited about new comics than I am on a weekly basis, this week was an exception. I purchased ten copies of the last printing of House of X and Powers of X #1.  These black and white connecting variants were discussed on the podcast in time for you to pre-order these books and I hope that you listened to Sleepy Jawn in time to order them.

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House of X and Powers of X #1

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They are unquestionably the most rare printings of these books and I believe they have the potential to be the next Batman #1 5th print, Saga #1 4th print and the Hulk #377 3rd print.  That’s not to suggest that the value will or won’t be commensurate with any of these books, but only that these rare later printings were underordered and collectors flocked to them progressively over time.  These books are long term holds for me and I suspect that many other shrewd modern speculators are going to feel the same way about these books. The Brooks artwork pops with Moria and Professor X in color juxtapose the black and white backgrounds.  I suggest you grab these books now while other speculators are looking for $20 flips.

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In other X-Men related news, my gut tells me that we are going to have a robust universe of mutants and that now is the time to be thinking about books that were once highly coveted that did not appreciate in value proportionally to other keys of their era.  One of the books that immediately springs to mind is the first appearance of Sabertooth in Iron Fist #14. The long term trajectory of this book is a small fraction of its contemporaries. There was a time when this book was as coveted as the first appearance of Wolverine in Hulk #181.  That can not be said today. The last sale of a CGC 9.8 was in October of this year for $1,931.

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Iron Fist #14 35cent.jpg

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Like the Berger variant, the 35 cent price variant of Iron Fist #14 is a massive book.  By my calculation there have been two sales of this book in the last year. A CGC 6.5 sold in December of 2018 for $2000 and a CGC 6.0 sold in May of 2018 for $2,629.  To give you an indication of how rare this book is there are 4368 slabbed copies of the regular cover of Iron Fist #14 with 180 of those copies in CGC 9.8 condition. There are no CGC 9.8 copies of the 35 cent price variant and only 61 total copies, in any condition, on the census.  I liken the Berger variant of Sandman #8 to the price variant of Iron Fist #14. It is one of those truly rare books that rarely comes to market, is genuinely scarce in any grade and highly coveted by serious collectors.

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The last book I want to talk about that I think is a good long term spec play although it still may be too early to buy is X-Men #107.  There are a total of 918 slabbed copies of this book on the census and a mere 31 copies in 9.8 condition. This book is the first appearance of the Star Jammers and the first appearance of Gladiator.  We’ve been told by a generally reliable source that Gladiator is a character we can expect to see on the big screen as soon, if not sooner than the X-Men. News of Gladiator’s involvement was reported to us by our insider back when we first heard rumblings about Galactus.  This book has been on an upward swing for months.

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GPA data on this book is incredibly interesting.  These are the the numbers for 9.8 copies in 2019:

 

Oct-27-2019    $6,111

Oct-05-2019    $7,351

Sep-30-2019    $5,100

Sep-13-2019    $9,800

 

By contrast, there has only been one sale of a slabbed copy of the price variant in 2019.  That sale was for a CGC 8.0 copy in September of 2019 and the book sold for $165.00. There have been no other recorded sales.  In my opinion the buyer stole that book. There are only 26 copies of the price variant on the CGC census in total and no copies in 9.8 condition with the one highest graded copy being a CGC 9.6.  If the Star Jammers and Gladiator get a big screen MCU film as has been rumored, there is no telling where the prices of these books will soar to but I hope we are all able to secure a copy before the news hits.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Comic

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For those of you who already hip to these price variants, a lot of this information may be old news.  Remember that not all price variants were made equally. In other words, some are more common than others.  Take everyone’s most recent price variants – the Eternals. There are numerous price variants for the Eternals books.  Most sophisticated collectors are well aware that issues #1 and #2 have price variants. What I do not suspect that many are aware of is that Eternals #13 has a 35 cent price variant.  Right now there are a mere 12 copies on the census and there are no CGC 9.8s. The highest graded is one lone CGC 9.6. Right now a CGC 9.4 is being offered on eBay for the sum of $3,799.99 or best offer.  I will be very interested to see what price this book commands when it sells and it will sell. There is one recorded sale of a 35 cent price variant this year and it was recorded on GPA this month. I am apprehensive to report on books with no sales data and this sale prompted much of this weeks article.  Suffice to say, a CGC 5.0 sold for $595.00. Personally, I suspect that there are a ton of these books out there in long boxes for you to dig and find. I hope you find them all.

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Eternals #13

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Personally, I’m not someone who goes crazy over price variants, Whitman variants, ratio variants, canadian variants, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, I think they are cool, but it’s not something that gets my heart pounding. The reality is that it does the trick for many other collectors.  They absolutely love them.

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What I do love is truly rare books.  There’s more than 4198 copies of Eternals #1 on the CGC census but only 261 of the 30 cent price variant.  There’s more than 1081 copies of Eternals #2 on the CGC census but a mere 89 copies of the 30 cent price variant.  The rarity of these books compared to the regular covers is what makes them appealing to me and to many other collectors. If you are like me and subscribe to the Indiana Jones archaeological school of comic collecting, I suspect that the rarity of these books is what appeals to you too.

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The Big Takeaway

 

Why the hell am I talking about rare variants, price variants and books most average collectors don’t know about?  Because this is the stuff that seperates good speculators, collectors and investors from the elite. If you are committed to being one of the greats, one of the elite minds in the comic community – one of the investors that other can’t help but envy – then these are the kinds of books you have to not only be aware of but actively hunt and find.

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On Saturday I will celebrate my 40th birthday.  It’s been an unbelievable 40 years and I’ve learned a lot about myself, about people in general and about developing good habits.  One thing I know for certain is this – you can’t teach hungry. I can’t stick it in a box, wrap it up for you and give it to you as a present.  I wish I could. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, you can drown a horse in water, but you can’t make it drink.

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Our goal here at comicbookspeculation.com is to make you hungry for the comic game.  To help you cultivate that fire inside you that makes you want to get up early and stay up late because you love it.  We want to help you rekindle that joy you felt in your youth when you got a new comic in your hands and we want you to help others find that same joy.

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I get a lot of grief for the work I do at comicbookspeculation.com.  I’ve been banned from comic shops, uninvited to sales, and lost friends.  I’ve got some of the most loyal trolls on the entire internet (and that says a lot) who show up faithfully to each and every one of our live broadcasts.  None of that is going to stop me or my partners in crime from delivering information to you in an effort to help collectors, investors, retailers, and speculators of all kind.  In the words of Walter White, “nothing is going to stop this train.”

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I hope that you follow that simple mantra when it comes to your efforts to build a better collection, better inventory, to secure better books, make better plays, and have the time of your life.

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I hope you enjoyed this installment of the Weekend Update. That’s all for this week.  I’ll be back next week with more news. In the interim, “Happy hunting You bunch of savages!”
– Nico, Esq.

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