Choosing Comic Books
Choosing Comic Books
Mark Zaid (Owner of Esquire Comics) gives expert video advice on: What are the different genres of comic books?; Which comic book titles should I choose to collect?; What are the most popular modern comic book titles? and more...
Should I choose used or new comic books to begin my collection?
The type of comics that people want to choose when they're first getting into collecting or investing is something you need to decide as with any other hobby. What is it that you like? Why do you want to get into this? Do you want to focus on certain characters, certain types of comics, adventure, or romance? Do you want to look at it for more as an investment so that it doesn't matter what's between the pages as you're only looking at your return? Either way, one would always hope that you are focusing on whatever it is that you love about the comic books. Whether it's a comic book from the 1950s or it's a comic book that was published in 2006.
What are the different genres of comic books?
As with any hobby there are genres that one can choose from, as to whether they want to collect or invest in comic books. And they are, for the most part, somewhat obvious. You have super heroes, you have adventure, you have science fiction, fantasy and you have horror. And these are also just little glimpses into our pop culture history that collectors or investors can decide. That's what I want to focus on, because that's what I like, or because that's what I know other people like. So this would be, from an investment standpoint, a good way to do it. I'm going to collect Superman, for super heroes or adventure. I'm going to collect Mad Magazines, for that type of off-the-cuff humour. I'm going to collect Star Wars comics for the science fiction value. At the end of the day it's whatever you as a collector, or as an investor, have an interest in within comic books.
Which comic book titles should I choose to collect?
There are hundreds, if not now thousands, if you look at it historically, of comic book titles to choose from, and this is also something that just has to be a decision as to what it is you like. Do you want to collect Superman? Well, if you want to collect Superman, you can collect action comics, adventure comics, Superman comics, Worlds Finest, AllStar, and Justice League of America. Or if you want, you can collect a certain title where there's only one of it. So it all depends on you choosing a comic book character, and then you can focus on a title. Obviously, because there is so many, sometimes collectors have to decide on if they going to collect just one comic book title and focus. Then they can decide that they are going to finish that comic book title, and then move on to a next title.
What are the most popular modern comic book titles?
Some of the most popular modern comic book titles are the same popular comic book titles as they have been for the last six decades: Superman, Batman and obviously Spiderman from the 1960s, which is now coming up on 50 years himself. These still have held on to popular culture. And we have, of course, new comic book titles that would come out, many that were influenced by movies--Star Wars, Star Trek--that come from television or movies and switch from one industry to the next.
Are popular comic book titles more likely to be worth more later?
The value of comic books have so many factors that will influence them. Obviously, the popularity of a comic book may indeed impact it's value. The more that a comic book is sought after, the more perhaps somebody might pay for it. But it also depends on something that might be rare or something that was important in a particular book. But certainly, as with anything, the more the comic book is sought after, the more likely the value is going to be increased. Then you have to decide, well if there's a million of the comic book because it was so popular, that issue may not be as valuable as the one issue where there's only six issues that still remain known to exist.
Which comic book titles have the most potential to turn a profit?
The profitability of comic books, if you're looking at an investment stand-point, you're never going to go wrong with the primary main type characters. Superman, Batman, Spiderman and the Hulk. Even to a lesser extent, perhaps Thor and Iron man. Of course there's a new movie coming out in two thousand and seven here. I mean these are the characters that, as they spend decades, generate the interest from one generation to the next, that have been handed down from fathers to sons, from mothers to daughters even. And you also have of course, lesser comic book titles that are lesser known, but some people want to collect the lesser known titles that no one had ever heard of. World War III, that only had two issues published in the nineteen fifty's, or One Shot books that only had one issue published. There are so many comic book titles you can choose from. Then you have to get into the grade of comic books and the higher grade, the more likely the value is obviously going to increase.