Weekend Update with Nico

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Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.  If you are a first time reader, we are glad you found your way to comicbookspeculation.com and encourage you to review the wealth of content available on this site.

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We  hope that you find this information useful and encourage you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.  I do a terrible job of replying to comments. But I do read all of the comments, and I appreciate most of the comments.

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A very special thinks to those of you who took time out of your day to wish me a happy birthday.  I have about 5,000 friends on Facebook that overwhelmed me, but it is the members of the comic book community that have never met me, but are loyal listeners, avid readers and fellow collectors that continually amaze me with their kindness.  I received private messages from complete strangers on MeWe and Facebook as well as a small thread on the CGC Boards and while public attention often makes me feel completely embarrassed, these gestures were really appreciated. Thank you all for your continued support.  It means the world to us.

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Please share this website with others in the collector community.  Tell your friends about Comicbookspeculation.com. We are on Instagram @cbs_daily and on facebook as ComicSpeculation.  You can also find us on YouTube at Comic Book Wars where we discuss comic book news, market trends, speculation and investment strategies each and every Tuesday around 9:15 pm.  We’ll be back, each and every week to discuss comics, market trends, speculation, investment, sales strategies and more! Remember that this Sunday we are happy to announce that we will be joined by Mike from the Comic Book Fiend Club.  We will also be releasing new episodes of the top 100 modern comics (by value) and we will have special episodes with amazing guests like Matthew Roybal to talk about Foreign Language Comics, Mikey Halperin to talk about Heritage and books I wish I could afford, and Dan Piercy dpiercy’s comics on YouTube.
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Without further ado,

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This is your Weekend Update! 

 

Being a good speculator, investor and/or comic book entrepreneur isn’t easy.  It requires a lot of work, a lot of luck and an incredible amount of perseverance.  One of the most significant stumbling blocks of good collectors is the idea that there is some special formula that they know and that the way everyone else does it is wrong.

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The reality is that there are all kinds of ways to make money in comics.  Some people buy collections, some people hunt for undervalued books, others speculate on books that they believe will increase in value, some add value by pressing, cleaning and slabbing, others dig through dollar bins.  The truth is that people who are great at this are always learning, always growing their skill set and always thirsting for knowledge.

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If I can share one piece of advice that has served me well both in comics and in life, it’s to always remain teachable.  Truly the beginning of wisdom is the realization that there is so much to learn. The guys who think that they know everything, much like the dinosaurs, will soon become extinct.  Model the best practices of others that work. Rather than looking for everything that other dealers, collectors, speculators and investors are doing wrong – look for what they are doing right.  Look for the good in others and begin to cultivate those habits in yourself.

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One of the things I’ve been thinking about this week, is the future trajectory of our hobby.  Over the course of the next several weeks, I’ll be talking about the direction that I see the hobby going, and some of my suggestions on staying ahead of the curve.  As we close in on the end of the year, I will be doing more and more looking towards the future. I will also try and do some reflecting on this year in comics. We may even do an awards show on the comicbookwars podcast if there is enough interest from the community.

 

Increased Interconnectedness

 

The one major trend that I foresee in the next several years is an increased interconnectedness between comics and other media.  What do I mean by that? I suspect that Kevin Feige’s role as Chief Creative Officer at Marvel will spawn increased overlap between projects on the pages of monthly Marvel comics and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (on both the small and the big screen).

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What I suspect is that we are going to see more and more integration of future MCU projects and storylines set up in the pages of comics.  The idea of getting to focus group storylines on the pages of monthly books before those stories get told on the big screen is pragmatic and sound business.  I suspect that we will see more and more of this than we ever have before.

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I suspect that there will be so much content that collectors are going to have to make more educated and shrewd decisions than simply jumping from one TV/film project to the next.  For collectors who’ve been doing this for a long time, it may be more comfortable. For those who have relied heavily on TV/film speculation for profits and investment strategy, it is going to require you to sharpen your skills.
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Either way, I suspect that there will be all sorts of new opportunities.  In that regard, I wanted to dig in and think about some of the projects that we should be seeing down the road on Disney+ and/or in Marvel Phase 5 and 6.  It is well accepted that we can anticipate a sequel to Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It is also highly probable that we will see Namor the Submariner in the Black Panther sequel, Deadpool 3 and Spider-Man 3.  I also think it is well accepted that we will get some iteration of Nova and that there will be overlap between Moon Knight which is coming at the end of phase 4 and Blade. This suggests to me that we are probably going to get Werewolf by Night to accompany Blade.  Finally I suspect that we will see Marvel launch both Fantastic Four and an X-Men/Mutant universe. That means that we will definitely see the Silver Surfer and Galactus but that we may get characters like Star Jammers.

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There are a number of different ways to approach these films.  I know that many of us have been excited for Adam Warlock since the cocoon showed up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but recent commentary by James Gunn is casting doubt on the inevitability of Adam Warlock’s MCU debut.  Whether this is a red herring or cause for serious concern remains to be seen. I fear that if we don’t get Adam Warlock soon, we may not see Adam Warlock on the big or small screen any time in the next decade. One thing is for certain, if these books bottom out at some point down the road as a result of this news, I’ll be a buyer.

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At this stage of the MCU speculation game, many investors/buyers are left trying to picking up books after they get cold, prognosticating villains following TV/film announcements and trying to read the tea leaves to determine who will be the next character to get their own title.  Frankly, there’s not that much meat left on the bone. If you are like me and find that every day there is less time to list books and rely upon a margin of at least 200% in all of your purchases, picking up cold books, villain spec and prognosticating potential future key appearances is less than an optimal strategy.  For this reason alone, the return to story/character driven speculation in the coming years is a breath of fresh air.

 

As far as I see it there are only a small handful of major potential plays left.  America Chavez’s first appearance in Vengeance #1 is one; Elsa Bloodstone #1; Tomb of Dracula #1 which is the first appearance of Dracula in Marvel comics; Adam the Blue Marvel #1; Sentry #1; and Astonishing Tales #25 (the first appearance of Deathlock) are the ones that stick out like a sore thumb.  Other collectors have been gravitating back to Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Punisher and to a lesser extent Jessica Jones in hopes of the Netflix series relaunch.

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250px-Elsabloodstone
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Everything Old is New Again

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One of my favorite things to do is to go back and buy books now that I could never dream of owning when I was a kid.  I’m not sure if I was a more sophisticated collector, had more eclectic tastes, or whether I was just as weird when I was a kid as I am now that I am an adult.  Regardless, I am not necessarily talking about Incredible Hulk #181 or Amazing Spider-Man #129. I am thinking more about books like Faust #1, Evil Ernie #1 and Cerebus #1, or Zap Comix #1 (first print).  I don’t think I’m alone when it comes to books like this. A few weeks ago, I talked about the virtue of snagging Love & Rockets #1, Primer #2, Macross #1, the first appearance of Maus in Funny Animals #1 among others.  The same logic applies.

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Funny Animals #1.jpg

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I think there are a number of other books that make sense to grab now when they are inexpensive rather than a year or three down the road following news of some forthcoming media project that sends collectors scurrying for these titles.  Books like Transmetropolitan #1, Alan Moore’s From Hell #1, Stray Bullets #1, and 100 Bullets #1 are some easy examples of classic stories that are destined for the big or small screen. I believe that soon will be the time to start stockpiling those Akira #1 and Akira #38s as people soon look to unload copies of those books.

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Stray Bullets #1

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Some more recent books that I suspect will ultimately get attention following news out of Hollywood are image titles like Peter Panzerfaust #1, Revival #1, Elephantmen #1, and Chew #1.  I am also fond of the books that Kirkman previously indicated that Skybound intended to develop: Thief of Thieves #1, Think Tank #1, and Nailbiter #1 are some of the examples and/or books like Southern Bastards #1, East of West #1 and Die #1 all of which seem destined for Hollywood.

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The reality is that collecting is always about nostalgia, it’s always about capturing a moment in time, about re-experiencing something magical.  The books that were magic for us when they were released, that are embedded in our brains, the stories carved in our hearts, that we still feel today with the mere mention of the title – these are the books that I love as speculation plays.  I’m confident that you may share a few of those books with me, but that the experience is unique for everyone. These are the titles that are classics to each of us in a deeply personal way, the stories that captivated, the art that astonished, the real keys to your own personal collection.  Go buy those books!

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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!”

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– Nico, Esq.

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 Read more articles from Nico here.

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