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.

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]

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.

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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