Top five suggestions for new comic books collectors

The big two aren’t the only publishers who make quality comics.

There are a lot of great stories to read that are produced by publishers other than Marvel and DC comics. It is the age of the indy artist. And when you choose to limit yourself to those two you are going to be missing out on beautifully done stories and new ideas that the big two are too scared to try.

A pull list is “the” way to go. 

You must understand that most stores only get so many of each comic cover. So if you want a specific one, there’s a chance that you won’t get it by just going to a comic book shop. Especially if it’s a key issue or a popular variant. Pull lists get priority. They aren’t saving a certain amount for the public. You should also be aware some people wait out on release days for the stores to open. So you’re getting what’s left.

Storytime: When White by Blackmask came out the quantities of the comic were so limited that the pull list had to be rotated so that each of us could occasionally get the 1st print of the comic. This meant that if you were looking for the 1st print of that comic in store, you wouldn’t get it.

Look up any comic price before buying because of these three things:

  1. Age alone doesn’t equal high value or rarity. Old≠valuable.
  2. Some comic book stores overcharge to the point that their sales are just average price at other stores.
  3. If you’re buying comic books from a reseller. There’s a good chance that many books are under and over prices depending on the employee’s comic book knowledge.

If you can buy a comic for under $1, do it.

The market is only going up over time. I remember early in my collecting days I would commonly find comics for $.15. The market has changed a lot since the 2000s. If you look online, even Free Comic Book Day Comics start at $1, so you can’t go wrong with buying cheap. As long it’s something you’re actually interested in.

You can help build your comic book collection for free by participating in Free Comic Book Day and Batman day.

The comics are free and many stores have some of their biggest sales on those days. So every year you can get a free stack of comics. Not to mention that certain ones do go up in value. My most expensive FCBD comic is selling online for about $80. Besides value, these comics will often highlight popular comics, cartoons, and/or manga from the year. As well as give you a little peak into what comics or books will be coming out later that year.

Black Comic book Key issues vs 1.4

1st appearance of Aneka, Black Panther #8, 2009

1st appearance of Ayo, Ultimates #1, 2015

1st appearance of Batwing(David Zavimbe), Batman Icorporat4d #5,2011

1st appearance of Batwing(Luke Fox),Batwing #19, 2013

1st appearance of (Lucas) Bishop, Uncanny X-Men #283, 1991

1st appearance of Blade(Eric Brooks), Tomb of Dracula #10 1973

2nd appearance of Blade, Tomb of Dracula #12, 1973

1st solo title of Blade, Blade: The Vampire Hunter #1 ,1994

1st appearance of Black Lightning(Jefferson Pierce) , Black Lightning #1, 1977

1st appearance of Black Panther(T’Challa), Fantastic Four #52 ,1966

2nd appearance of Black Panther, Fantastic Four #53 ,1966

1st appearance of Blood Syndicate(team), Blood Syndicate #1, 1993

1st appearance of Blue Marvel (Adam Brashear), Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #1 2009

1st appearance of Bumblebee(Karen Beecher), Teen Titans #45 1976

1st of appearance of Captain Marvel(monica rambeaut), Amazing SPider Man annual #16

1st appearance of The Crew(original group), The Crew #1,2003

1st appearance of The Crew(group), Black Panther #6 2016

1st appearance of Cyborg(Victor Stone), DC Comics Presents #26 1980

1st appearance of DMZ, Blood Syndicate #1 1993

1st appearance of the Dora Milaje(team), Black Panther #1 1998

1st appearance of Duke Thomas(Signal),Batman #21,2013

1st appearance of Elijah “Eli” Bradley (Patriot) Young Avengers #1

1st appearance of the Falcon, Captain America #117

1st appearance of Holocaust, Blood Syndicate #1 1993

1st appearance of Icon(Augustus Freeman I/II/III & IV), Icon #1 1993

1st appearance of of Isiah Bradley , Truth Red,White,and Black #1 2003

1st appearance of John Stewart, Green Latern #87 1971

1st appearance of Luke Cage(Power Man),Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 1972

1st appearance of Malcolm “Mal” Duncan(Guardian) Teen Titans #26 1970

1st appearance of Miles Morales ( Ultimate Spider-Man), Ultimate Fallout #4 2011

1st solo title and 2nd appearance of Miles Morales, Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1 2011

1st appearance of Misty Knight, Marvel Premiere #21,1975

1st appearance of Moon Girl (Lunella Lafayette), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, 2016

1st appearance of Nakia, Black Panther #1 1998

1st appearance of Naomi, Naomi #1 2019

1st appearance of Nubia, Wonder Woman #204

1st appearance of Okoye,Black Panther #1 1998

1st appearance of Riri Williams(Iron Heart) Invicible Iron Man #7 2016

1st appearance of Rocket(Raquel Ervin), Icon #1 1993

1st appearance of Shuri, Black Panther #2 2009

1st appearance of Spawn, Spawn #1 1992

1st appearance of Spider-Punk (Hobart “Hobbie” Brown),Amazing Spider Man#10 2015

1st solo title of Spider-Punk, Spider-Punk #1 2022

1st appearance of Static, Static #1 1993

1st appearance of Steel(John Henry),Adventures of Superman #500, 1993

1st appearance of Storm(Ororo Monroe), Giant Size X-Men #1 1975

1st appearance of Superman (Calvin Ellis) Final Crisis #7 2009

1st appearance of War Machine(James “Rhodey” Rhodes), Iron Man #118 1979

1st appearance of Zuri, Black Panther #1 1998

(I am slowly but surely making this as long as possible starting with a lot of the books I own . In time there will be a lot more.)

Three things to be realistic about when you start a comic book collection

You may never be able to afford old-school first appearances of silver and gold age characters.

I’m not trying to count your pockets. You could be rich. But for regular investors like me who don’t have hundreds to thousands of dollars to spend on comics. Most key issues with characters we love are expensive. Unless you are a very niche comic book fan. Anyone that’s a well-known and loved character could cost you hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.

This is why I advocate buying new keys or recently released ones. You can’t lose when buying comics for $4.

Don’t expect your keys to go up in price immediately. Give five years to a decade, if not longer.

It can take a few years, if not longer, for a comic to appreciate in value. Don’t be a scalper, hold out, that’s how you win. If I am being honest, most of the key issues that I have that are worth money. I bought from people who sold too early. I paid under $50 for the first appearance of Miles Morales. Now it did take probably five years, but the price went up quickly. After a movie and video games, this comic is easily worth more than $500, on the low end.

Understand, you cannot expect an increase like that on every comic. But it’s not odd for you to pay the original $4 and in just a couple of years for it to go up to $30. Sometimes in less than six months. And if it is popular like Miles or Gwen , and is featured in a movie, the price will be on a slow uptick. The trick is, that it’s hard to say what will and won’t be popular.

Some comics will never be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars.

I have a lot of comics, though the majority of my comics and modern and bronze age. I still have a few silver and gold age ones, but most will never be worth much. About 60% of my collection regardless of how old they get, will never be the hundred to thousands that my key issues are. It’s true for most collectors and collections.

The comics I bought when I first started my collection are valuable to me. Even if the market never agrees. Many collections are like this. Not every issue is going to be a key .

 Not every issue will add significant value to your collection. Especially if you enjoy reading your comics. Sometimes I would much rather have a full volume than one key issue.

Should you subscribe to a series or just collect keys as a beginner collector

Easy.

Start collecting one series or mini-series that is just starting is the best way for a beginner comic book collector.

Why?

When starting a collection, you want to make it fun without stressing about key issues and making money. Especially if you want to read the comics you buy.

What’s the benefit of subscribing to a series?

A collection with every issue is worth more, and you have the added bonus of having the whole story. By getting a full run of a comic book you are almost guaranteed to get at least two key issues, and that’s a low estimate. If you have a pull list for a particular series; you are almost always guaranteed every issue. Which is pivotal when a popular key comes out. Occasionally a key issue will come out and many people will request it, but if you already have an occurring pull for this comic every month, you’ll be the priority. Unless it’s one of the rare occasions of a comic being under-published, but that’s very rare(I’m looking at you BlackMask).

What should I start with now, June 2022?

I would suggest putting in a pre-order for Edge of Spider-Verse and the new Spider-Verse series that will be released later this year.

Why?

Because not only is this the end of the Spider-verse, but it is a series that you’re guaranteed to have multiple first appearances, and most Spider-verse characters end up being very popular. And I think it will be a fun read as well.

I would also suggest A.X.E.: Judgement Day (Avengers vs. X-men vs. Eterernals), because it is a pivotal event in the marvel universe, and should be a good read. There’s honestly no telling what might happen in it.

Should I not go for the key then if I’m new?

No, I’m not saying that at all. It just takes a bit more research to figure out what you should get. It’s a hit and a miss sometimes, even for seasoned collectors. So let me give you a few suggestions for some keys that I’m interested in that are coming out soon.

Keys that I’m interested in:

Amazing Spider-Man #900 [ first appearance of Sinister Adaptoid]
Venom #11 [first appearance of Sleeper Agent]
Edge of the Spider-verse #1-3[first appearance of Spider-Rex, Spider-UK, Spider-Laird, Night-Spider, and Hunter-Spider]
Power Rangers Unlimited: Death Rangers #1 (Foil)[first appearance of Death Ranger]

The best way to start my comic book collection that appreciates with value PART 1: Current keys

Starting to build a collection of comics that will appreciate in value is a quite specific thing to do. But I have managed to do it for over a decade now and my collection is worth a good chunk of money and I want that for you too.

Tip #1: Start with current keys.

When I say current, I don’t mean modern age, I mean comics that are coming out next Tuesday and Wednesday. The best way to start a comic book collection that will appreciate in value is by knowing what is coming out this year and buying the comics as soon as they come out.

The best practice will be having a pull list at a comic book shop so you can get to comics before they’re sold out.

How do you learn about what’s coming out?

I find out through two apps, Key collector Comics and Comic Geeks. 

Key collector Comics

A screenshot

Key collector comics isn’t free it’s $2 and I can easily say that it easily makes me the $24 a month back rather quickly. Just with two comics.

Comic Geeks

Is an app that tells you every comic that is comic out from all the mainstream publishers every week, including the multiple variants for each cover. The app also allows you to make a collection of all the comics that you have.

Why is this the best route for new collectors?

Because it’s the most cost-effective route. When new comics come out they cost between $4-10. If you get them as pull orders at a comic book shop you don’t have to worry about paying extra money for them because they’re keys.

It doesn’t require research or you knowing anything about what movies and TV shows are coming out or what comics are just growing in popularity. It just requires speed and a little bit of seed money.

Starting a comic book collection on a budget part Part 1: How to start a comic book collection

The trick is there is no right way to start your collection.

You could walk into a comic book shop and buy a comic off of the wall and BOOM that one comic is the start of your collection.

Regardless of what anyone might say, this journey is simply started by buying your first comic.

That’s it.

It may feel daunting and you may not no where to start ,but don’t worry , it’s really ease read the additional post.I’m here to help. There is no right way to be a collector

Starting a comic book collection on a budget part Part 2: Where to buy comics

Is this a Trick Question?

I know your immediate answer will be comic book shops and you wouldn’t be wrong, but here’s some other places.

Auctions

The first comic books I ever received were won by my uncle at an auction house. They were hidden inside a wardrobe that he.That’s the fun thing about auctions, you might win a little bit of anything.

Thrift shops

Thrift shops do have a little bit of everything and sometimes they’ll have comics. I have gotten polybagged sealed comics at Goodwill.

Yard sales

A lot of people have no idea what they have and are STILL selling their kid’s comics. Most of the older people I know that collected as a kid, don’t have their comics because of their parents doing this.

Bargain stores like Ollie’s

Ollie’s is a rare kind of discount store . They sell small packs of comics and also single issues.

Used Book stores

Many stores that sell used books, often sell used comics as well. It’s not every used book store, but many will surprise you,

Online

I want to say a good thirty to fifty percent of my collection comes from eBay. But there is also Midtown Comics, My comic shop, and so many others sites you can use.

Walmart

Yes, DC has had multiple partnerships with Walmart. So if you are at one of their selective Walmarts you can find packs of comics there.

Starting a comic book collection on a budget for beginners Part 3 : Key issues 101

Before starting your collecting you should know about key issues.A key issue is just a comic in which something important happens.

Types of Key issues

1st/2nd/3rd appearance of [fill in character or fill in team]

1st in comic book appearance of [fill in character]

1st Cameo appearance of [fill in character]

1st cover of appearance of [fill in character]

Anniversary Issues

Controversial Issues

Death of [fill in character]

Errors

Final issue of a comic

Iconic Covers

Important Event[battles/suit change/changes of leadership]

Origin of [fill in character]

Key issues are divided into two types Major Keys and Minor Keys. A major key would be the 1st appearance of character a minor key would be a suit change of a character.

BUT

Here’s where things get tricky when value is concerned, though a first appearance will always be a “major key” that doesn’t mean that it will defiantly be worth more than a “minor key”.

Popularity of a character weighs heavily on what has value and what doesn’t. Knowing and predicting what is and will be valuable is what makes collecting difficult and fun.

EXAMPLE:

1 st appearance
Controversial Issue
???????

The first one is X-Men: The End #1 is the 1st appearance of Aliyah Bishop. The daughter of Warbird and Bishop from an alternate timeline. It is not worth as much as Batman Damned #1. Why is it controversial? It is DC’s R-rated label, and they had Bruce was naked and drawn anatomically correct.

BUT

This issue is not worth as much as Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #2. This issue is not a key issue, but it is from a comic book series that had a limited run less than 13,000 copies were ever made. So though not a key issue, it is still a rare and valuable comic.

Keys are important but watching for variants and limited series,can be just as important.

Starting a comic book collection on a budget for beginners Part 4 :Take advantage of publishers giving away free comics

Free Comic Book Day(FCBD)

[Click above will take you to the official FCBD site so you can find shops in your area that will hosting it ,and will show you the comics that are being released this year.]

You may not be aware, but once a year comic book publishers come together and give out free comics away to bring in new readers. There are somewhere between twenty to forty different titles that are distributed between local comic shops(LCS). FCBD day put their comics in different tiers of Gold and Silver.

Types of comics they often give are:

  • One-offs
  • Tie-ins
  • Popular Webtoons
  • Things based on popular TV shows
  • Anime based comics
  • Comics based on popular media
  • Reprints of popular comics

Suggestions for make the most of the day

Go to the website and get an idea of which comics are coming out that you are interested in. Get to your local shop early, maybe thirty minutes early. There will be people there waiting, early.

Why?

Because many shops only allow you to get a certain amount of titles. And when they run out. That’s it. So not only would I suggest going to your main shop early I would suggest that you go to a second shop.

Why would they do that?

The publishers like to distribute comics over multiple shops To ensure you often won’t get everything from one shop. To combat this, I would suggest going to two shops. It makes sure you get some of the titles you want and stops you from being a scalper. Two very important things.

What to do at the shops?

First, you want to get the comics that you didn’t get at your first shop. Secondly, get a second copy of the ones you are interested in reading.

What will you do with two copies?

If you have two copies that means you can read one, and the second will be kept in pristine new mint (NM) condition.

Can a FCBD comic be valuable?

Yes.

One Punch Man FCBD 2016

This is my most valuable FCBD comic. It’s selling on eBay for a low of $16 to $60. To be honest, I still don’t know why.

Batman Day

Yes, every third Saturday of September is Batman Day. A “global” holiday dedicated to the Caped Crusader. DC releases one or two free titles for Batman fans.

You may not love Batman, but you have to understand that free comics are free comics even if you don’t love the titles.

Are they valuable?

They tend to be at the same price as lower-end FCBD comics. But that is still quite valuable because they were free.

Are they worth anything?

Immediatly after each comicbook day

If you click the link about it will take you to

Take advange of free comic book day and batman day.

So every year comicbook publishers have one day in which they give out free comic book to their patrons. There are normally more than twenty to forty different comics that distributed between different comic book shops. Most shops will all have similar comic books,but I would always suggest to go to at least two shops.Because there will always be at least a couple of comics that shops wont share.

Some of these comics will be a free reprint

Comic book variants for beginners: Part 2 : Printing variants

What is a (subsequent) printing variant?

It is a 2nd,3rd, or 4th etc etc printing of a popular comic that is now out of print.

Is it hard to get?

Well that depends on how popular the original comic was. If it’s a really popular comic, you might not get it until the third or fourth printing. But as I said, it really depends on how you are trying to get it. Are you putting it in your holds box at your local comic book shop, going on eBay, or are you trying to just walk in a store and buy it?

Can they be expensive?

Sometimes,but probably not, honestly.

If multiple prints are done for a comic, that means the comic is popular. Normally, because of it being a key issue of some kind or the first issue of a comic. Though there are exceptions.

But you must understand that if the second printing does retain value , the value normally stops there.

BUT

The rule of thumb is often that the second print is where the value stops. BUT, there are always exceptions. There are some comics in which the third and even the eighth comic still retain their value.

Why do people buy these?

For Reading .

Sometimes people like me would much rather read a comic series as it comes out rather than wait for the graphic novel to eventually come out. And it only takes one forgotten email to miss out on a key issue, and in that case, you’re stuck. Yes, you can buy the next issue. But it’s like skipping a chapter in a book. To move forward you must read that chapter. So for people like me, this is one of the easiest ways to continue is to get a second printing.

Unless you have the money to shell out around $25 for a comic you could have gotten for $4.

Completion

There are some series that I just buy. Rather it is to support the artist, the series, or just because I like the character.

This isn’t about money as it is about collecting.

I will eventually read them. When I do, I don’t want to have to hunt down an omnibus or volumes. I just want to go to my shelf and read.

Looks

This is Edge of the Spider-Gwen #2 1st and 2nd printing, and you’ll notice that as slide between the two other than the blue at the bottom of the second printing they are for the most part the same.

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 1st print vs 2nd print

Comics too expensive for my wallet.

Although I didn’t mention printings being the same, that is normal, but is not always the status quo.

For example Black Panther #3 1st print vs Black Panther #3 2nd print.

The one on top is the 1st print.

Occasionally this happens when the prints are very different. I bought the 2nd print, because of my inability to procure a variant of the 1st print.I wanted something different from cover A.

Why can it be so difficult to get a first print?

The key issues above went out of print rather quickly. And now with the existence of the MCU, scalping within comics is at an all-time high. It has affected the comic shops so much that some shops won’t allow you to buy more than one of any single issue at a time.

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