Yes, I know you are worldly, knowledgeable, a smart investor in the contemporary world of art plugged into who’s moving up who is out of fashion, but you’re going to have to call your parents. Yes that’s right and find out where they stored your old comic books along with the toys (they’re worth looking at now). Well the good news – if you find them they might have more value than the high flying stocks that you have that will crash and burn to the next bubble. Loved by adults (the Big Bang TV series is an example) and children comics are still bought and collected in comic book stores worldwide. So lets begin.
The artists that produce original pages for the publication of the comic books has risen dramatically. At the beginning most of these works were discarded or given away to friends. In the 1980’s collectors began to see that these one off drawings were art pieces and an active market was established. Today original comic strip art is found in galleries and museums. Robert Crumb was recently featured at the 2013 Venice Biennale. There are smaller auction houses like Illustration House in New York or Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas who specialize in comics and artists. The larger auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christies have started to sell the drawings under “collectibles”.
Here below are ten famous comic artists with their Auction prices
Who has not read a Tintin comic and not been captivated by the drawings of Hergé. For a comprehensive list of international artists/cartoonists Wikipedia has a huge list that includes: political cartoonists, animations, comics, comic strips, TV, and of course Walt Disney. The list is long but it could get you started.
The comics that have the most collectible value are those published between 1938 to 1979. Superhero comics hold the most value. Unfortunately the vast majority of comics from the 1980’s well, people bought and hoarded large numbers of each issue hoping to profit. This artificial demand increased the comic print runs making them worthless in the long run. The market collapsed in 1998. Price point is Nicolas Cage recently sold a comic of his for
$ 2,161,000.00. It was a 1938 Action Comic No 1 (only about 100 examples exist). It was sold by the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC). The first German Micky Maus comic from 1951 is worth 15,000 Euros.
RESEARCH AND GRADING
Catalogues like the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (USA) or Trésors de la bande dessinée (France) or German Comic-Preiskatalog are available.
There is a comic book grading system for the condition of the comic book. The company CGC is a third party grading service that for a fee will examine any comic book and put a plastic shell on it to preserve it. They are not buyers or sellers. The grade is from 0.5 to 10 with the grade 9,0 very fine near mint.
Golden age (1938-1955) Super Hero Action Comics 1
Sold 2013 $388,375.00
Detective Comics #27 1939
Sold in 2010 $1,075,500.00
Original comic art cover
The Amazing Spiderman #328 Marvel 1990
Sold 2012 $657,250.00
Note: Two women artists treating comics in a painterly fashion are Leslie Lew and
CALL YOUR MOTHER!