Rare and first printing comic books are an industry that comprises serious minded individual’s intent on getting their moneys worth. There is a great deal of information that needs to be understood prior to getting into the business. The values placed on comic books are based on rare the comic book is, was it a first edition, and most importantly the condition of the comic book. A good comic pricing guide is essential to determine how much, if any, your comic book is worth.
A prime example of this is my comic book collection. When the Batman’s Dark Knight Series came out, I bought the first issue. I purchased it because I liked the concept of an old Bruce Wayne trying to gain back his lost youth. The streets had fallen to the younger generation. In one segment he fought, and barely won, a young person. In his prime, Batman would have had no problem taking the young man out. However, old age crept in and he had to deal with his lost youth, and his mortality. I never took into the account that it would end up being worth anything. Imagine my surprise when I learned DC had only made a certain number of issues, never dreaming the popularity would ensue. I bought the three remaining first printing issues. They were worth, to me, a lot more than I paid for them. When they were stolen, I was devastated. I was crushed because I loved the comic books and not because they were worth a little money.
The pricing guide’s most famous company is The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. It has an extensive list of every comic book and a guide to its value. Some of the grades of the comic book affect the pricing. Here are a few brief examples.
Mint- Mint condition comic books are probably as good as the comic book will ever be. Everything from the fresh colors, to the absence of rust from the staples, to the different shades of white the paper is. Who can say if such a condition exists, I would love to see someone’s version of a mint comic book.
Near mint-, this condition has somewhat lower standards than the mint. Negligible flaws are to be expected, but none that would hamper the price.
Very fine- very fine condition has outstanding looks that are entreaty in nature.
There are many more categories to take into consideration when buying comic books for their value. The monthly magazine, Wizard, also has a pricing guide for comic books but I do not believe they are as comprehensive as The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.
Rare and first printing comic books can be very lucrative if you know how to play the game. It takes patience and a keen, discerning eye, coupled with knowledge of the market. Without the knowledge of the comic book market, the rest of the objectives become useless. A great deal of research is required. Going into a situation blind is not recommended unless you have deep pockets and a jovial disposition.