Welcome to our weekly newsletter! This week we see how unconfirmed speculation can really move a comic with Batman Beyond. For those of you new to the newsletter, each week our clever CovrPrice crew look over the major movements and news of the week and report what we find.
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NEWS: HUCK #1 had a new announcement from Mark Millar that Theodore Melfi, writer/director of the film HIDDEN FIGURES, is currently writing the script for HUCK at Netflix. A cautious market moved this dollar book to a decent $10 (and has since settled to $7). The B variant is sitting at $10. (Find on eBay)
HOT BOOK/ NEWS: STRAITJACKET #1 has been announced in a recent Amigo Comics press release that it has been picked up for a TV show. This is still unconfirmed, yet the market is moving these from $20 to $30. (Find on eBay)
MOVER/ HOT BOOK: SPAWN #293 Sketch Error Variant is already the hottest book of the week and selling for $25. Copies are flying off the internets. The entire book was solicited as being entirely black & white. However, all copies shipped this week included color pages and are ALL considered error and misprints. Image is reprinting this, so these should retain some long term value. It’s important to note that this error is not rare which should hold back the market value from getting too high. We still want one though. (Find on eBay)
HOT BOOK/ NEWS: BATMAN BEYOND ANIMATED MOVIE – Leaked concept art for “an unknown animated Batman film” has been reported. It mentioned details like when production would begin, possible release dates, and even some casting news. Even that little bit of unconfirmed info sent comic folk rushing to buy copies of Superman/ Batman Annual #4, (Find on eBay) which features the first Batman Beyond in DC continuity. Batman Beyond #1 (Find on eBay) has been getting pricey for a while now. Heck, we even mentioned it in our first newsletter a couple of weeks ago. There is already a significant fan base for this book. However, when news hits, comic folk searched for the cheapest yet still relevant copies available to invest in. The free variant to Batman Beyond #1 jumped from a $10/$15 to $25 (update: and hit a high of $65). Superman/ Batman Annual #4 is another book that has always sold well around $20/$25 and is also hitting $50 (update: hit a high of $68.99). There’s also an awesome red 2nd print that is starting to see sales and is hitting $50. Tread carefully on unconfirmed news though. (Spoiler: Read the “Saturday” section below for more info on this one)
SHAKER: X-23 #15 1:50 Patrick Zircher Marvel 50th Anniversary Variant hit a high of $564.99 for a CGC 9.8. These Marvel 50th anniversary variants were all 1:50 ratios (i.e., stores had to order 50 copies of the standard cover to get 1 of these variants) and are highly sought after. They are also all homage covers to classic/key Marvel covers. This X-23 variant is a homage to Daredevil #181 and is incredibly hard to find. Sales have been increasing as copies come up for sale. It most recently had a raw sale of $229. (Find on MyComicShop) (Find on eBay)
SHAKER: SUPERMAN & BATMAN #7 Panini French Gabriele Dell’Otto Variant is arguably one of the most gorgeous modern Batman covers. It wasn’t too long ago where Panini variants weren’t even a blip on collectors’ radars. Not anymore. While today’s CGC 9.8 sale of $800 isn’t the highest sale ever for a 9.8 (that goes to a sale in July 2018 at $899), it is the highest it’s seen for several months. For some reason, this hit a big slump over the past 6 months and was selling for as low as $385 for a CBCS 9.8. CBCS can see lesser sales compared to CGC, but not half the value! (Find on eBay)
NEWS: BATMAN BEYOND ANIMATED MOVIE – THE WRAP released official word from Warner Brothers that they “are NOT working on an animated Batman Beyond movie.” It’s pretty rare to have a studio directly give a confirmed “NO” on any rumor. This did buyers a great service by getting news out quickly. However, while sales have significantly slowed, copies of SUPERMAN/ BATMAN Annual #4 (1st & 2nd print) are still seeing a few $40/$50 sales. Upon the initial news on Thursday, the BATMAN BEYOND #1 Free (No UPC) variant was cleaned out online and copies dried up. The few copies that are currently listed are seeing auctions with heat. (Find on eBay)
Ok, time for CovrPrice to get on our SOAPBOX for a second:
This is a good time to talk about content development news. Good or bad, it’s a key driver for comic book market values these days. Comic Book content has sharply risen over the years and shows no signs of stopping. With BLACK PANTHER’s and SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE’s award attention, it’s amazing to be a comic fan these days. However, these content-based books are always volatile and frequently see sharp peaks and valleys in pricing. It’s a normal reaction to hear the news and feel that sudden need to get in before it gets TOO hot. For some titles, like ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4 (1st Miles Morales) and EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2 (1st Spider-Gwen), this was the case. For others, it’s a roller coaster. We at CovrPrice pay close attention to trends (c’mon, that’s what we do) and notice how and when the market reacts. Understanding how to decipher news can help you save money. Below we’ll break down the trends we’ve noticed when a comic goes through the “it got optioned” process.
RUMORS: Buying on rumors is a dangerous game for your wallet. If you can search cheap back issues or $1 bins for copies, then go for it. Buying upon rumors is a gamble. This also extends to guessing who specific characters are from trailers (for example, our coverage on SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME had 3 different theories on who the water/fire/rock creatures were in the trailer) which will end in buyers with an overpriced 1st appearance of a character that most likely won’t come up again in the near future.
OPTIONS: When a comic is optioned it simply means there’s an agreement between a company or talent to HOLD the rights for a set amount of time and for a set amount of money. It’s not a guarantee. For example, producers will option properties to shop it around in order to attach themselves to it and, well, basically get paid. Studios generally option a book to lightly develop and think whether or not they want to proceed in actually purchasing the property. Even then, it doesn’t always end up as released content. Always look at who optioned the property. If talent optioned it (e.g. producers or an actor), it has less of a chance of getting made since they still have to sell it to studios and convince them to make it. Production companies tend to be more successful at getting content made, however, they also option multiple properties at a time with the hope of getting at least one or two greenlit. Studios ALWAYS overthink their options and spend a tremendous amount of time researching, writing scripts, and letting years pass before finally feeling confident enough to move forward. Studio optioned properties with attached writers/ directors/ talent almost always have the best traction. Keep in mind that almost ALL options take years to produce content that eventually finds its way to a screen at home or in theatres. Basically, you have plenty of time. Also, entertainment news sources love to report on new options, but rarely report when deals fall through or options expire and aren’t being developed. Has it been a few years since you’ve heard anything on your favorite book? It most likely is stuck in a legal battle, development hell (e.g., rights being held by stubborn companies), or just all parties just simply moved on.
WHEN TO BUY/SELL:
Here are some of our tips on when to buy/sell a comic based on comic news. (NOTE: this is just our experience; based on a lifetime of following these trends… hence the SOAPBOX designation.)
1st Announcement of News: We’ve noticed that the sharpest increase in sales prices almost always happens when this first burst of news. At this point, it’s a great time to sell, but a terrible time to buy. Buying fatigue greatly varies, but prices significantly dip as each month passes from the first hint of news. (CP Tip: Sell/hunt for cheap copies. Buy during the slump and hold)
Development News: More than likely, it’s been a while since you’ve heard about the book that was announced some time ago. Hopefully, you bought a copy during the slump. When new talent is attached (writer/actor/director), this book will skyrocket again. If the development/production track is steady, they should retain their values and even go up. If the news is too spaced out (or stops), the prices tend to drop month by month again. (CP Tip: Hold)
Production News: Surprisingly, when production begins, prices don’t often change. This is mostly due to steady development news. There’s no surprise at this point and the market doesn’t overreact. (CP Tip: Hold)
Leaked Photos/ Official First Looks: The RONIN costume in AVENGERS: ENDGAME was leaked months before the trailer hit, leading to spikes in prices for those first appearances (i.e., 1st Ronin & 1st Hawkeye as Ronin). Gwyneth Paltrow’s tweet of her as Pepper Potts in the Rescue Armor caused a huge spike in Rescue’s first appearance. Any “new” news of an unconfirmed character that no one was paying attention to will create a wave of market increases. These always see a steady decrease leading up to the film’s release, so selling upon this news is key. (CP Tip: Sell)
1st Trailer: An official trailer helps give the market the final confirmation that it’s “really happening” and will add a small bump in value unless there’s a new character/story/item revealed that wasn’t known before. These specifics books (with new info revealed) can see the best and sharpest increases. (CP Tip: Last chance to sell at top of the market)
Subsequent Trailers (2nd, 3rd, etc.): These rarely see any market changes unless there’s a new reveal. (CP Tip: Sell)
Release Day: Oddly, market values tend to decrease leading up to release day. If you’ve been riding the book’s wave since the beginning, fatigue can set in. Collectors who wanted the book have already paid for it and too many sellers all wait until the very end to sell and cause significant market flooding (i.e., too many copies listed at one time that surpasses demand). This is your last chance to sell before buyers go away. (CP Tip: Sell)
Post Release: Some characters can have plenty of room to grow (ie. Miles/ Gwen) and others have plateaued (Deadpool, Harley). If they’re DC/MARVEL characters, values will generally hold but will never see that initial spike again. Most will drop sharply, despite ongoing content (Preacher, iZombie, Walking Dead) and others will completely implode when content is finished (e.g., Kick-Ass, The Strain). (CP Tip: Buy super cheap copies for your personal collection)
SUPER BOWL DAY – Do comics still sell today? Sometimes it’s nice to take a break.
Thanks For Reading!
We hope you’re enjoying the newsletter as much as we’re enjoying making it! Don’t be shy, let us know what you think at [email protected]. We’ll see you next week. Happy collecting!!