Comic Book Craze is Here to Stay

Comic Book Collecting
 This 1966 DC Comics Batman comic book sold at auction for $700. Photo credit: Jimmy Garcia/EJ’s Auction & Appraisal.

Comic Book Collecting Craze?

When it comes to collecting entertaining, imaginative pop culture, the world of comic book collecting can be intensely competitive. If you’re selling a collection, that’s a good thing. If you’re just starting to collect or want to add to your collection, the more research you do before making a purchase, the better.

To understand this craze, it helps to review the history of comic books. A Swiss teacher, cartoonist, and caricaturist is believed to be the first creator of comic books. Rodolphe Töpffer created The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck in 1837. Comic books exploded in popularity here in the United States in 1938, when National Publications released the first issue of the Action Comics series, introducing Superman, a superhero who fought evil forces.

Considered the Golden Age of Comic Books, this period introduced iconic characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America, who was featured on a comic book cover punching Hitler. After World War II, the Silver Age of Comic Books brought us even more incredible characters for a span of about 20 years, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Panther, Flash (Barry Allen), Brainiac, Green Lantern, Batgirl, and many others.

This Marvel Comics The Incredible Hulk comic book sold at auction for $1,200, while a higher-grade version sold for $3,500.
Photo credit: Jimmy Garcia/EJ's Auction & Appraisal.

Comic book characters and storylines have continued to evolve over the years, and the adaptation to television shows and blockbuster films has helped fuel a passion for collecting that is enjoyed by several generations.

While most people are familiar with the rivalry between DC Comics and Marvel Comics, collectors may get into a bidding frenzy over other popular comic books, including Hellboy, Black Hammer, and The Mask by Dark Horse Comics. Image Comics, founded in 1992, is another popular publishing company that is known for popular comic books, such as Spawn, Youngblood, Saga, and The Walking Dead.

Like other collectibles, age, rarity, and market demand affect the value of comic books. But collectors are interested in other factors, including writers and illustrators, the first appearance of a character, and specific events in a character’s storyline. Grading, or condition, also is important to collectors.

Our auction house has been selling a large collection of comic books over several dates. On May 19, a 1966 DC Comics Batman comic book realized $700. One of the reasons it did well was because the issue included the first appearance of the character Poison Ivy. On June 16, a Marvel Comics The Incredible Hulk comic book sold at auction for $1,200 due to condition. A previous high-grade copy sold for $3,500. The bidding was strong because it was the first issue where Wolverine was introduced. And on June 23, a 1961 Atlas Amazing Adult Fantasy Magazine realized $325.

There’s global interest in comic books, too. Earlier this year, a Deadpool fan from Ireland broke the Guinness World Record for having the biggest collection of the Marvel comic character’s memorabilia, with more than 2,250 items.

With so many heroic characters to love and evil characters to loathe, it’s easy to see how a comic book fan can accumulate a large collection. Whether you’re on the hunt for a rare comic book or you’re ready to sell your collection, spend time researching past auction prices and evaluate current market demand. If you need help, consult with a professional appraiser.

Erik Hoyer owns EJ’s Auction & Appraisal in Glendale. Contact him at erik@ejsauction.comwww.ejsauction.com or 623-878-2003.

Auction
Highlights

1936 Pre War Colt Government Model 1911 SOLD $10,000

1933 Rare Mickey Mouse Big Little Book #717 SOLD $6,000

Shell Porcelain Enameled Advertising Aviation Sign SOLD $850

Marvel Comics The Incredible Hulk #181 SOLD $3,500

Antique Dooling Tether Car W/ Brown Jr Engine SOLD $6,500

Toko Shinoda (1913-2022) Ink On Paper SOLD $11,000

Philip Richard Morris (1836-1902) Oil On Canvas SOLD $25,000

1957 Ford Thunderbird Coupe Convertible SOLD $25,000

1909- S V. D. B. Wheat Penny SOLD $650

Levi’s 501 & 517 Denim Jeans SOLD $1,500