|Copyright MARVEL COMICS
I'm constantly surprised by the sky-high cost of some comics on the collectors market, and I bet I'm not the only Crivvie who feels that way. Whether or not some of the high asking prices are ever realised or whether the mags languidly linger in limbo is probably known only to the sellers, but it takes just one buyer to fork out a huge and unrealistic sum for one issue and, suddenly, just about every seller with that same comic will suddenly hike up the price of it.
I can understand Action Comics #1 going for a fortune, and Detective Comics #27 and the like, because these issues in any kind of decent condition are scarce and truly fit the description of 'rare', but why do some single issues have stratospheric figures attached to them when the ones either side of them are seemingly not worth anywhere near as much?
Introduction of a character or storyline, death of a superhero, etc? So what? There were just as many numbers of that issue printed as the ones before and after so they're far from hard to find. Some of the proffered 'reasons' for the increased value of certain comics therefore seem a bit arbitrary to my mind. Take Giant-Size Thor #1 (above) for example. I'm not quite sure why a copy of this comic has an asking price of over £1,000 on eBay at the moment, but the seller seems to think it's worth that amount.
There are several other copies from around £15-£20 up into the hundreds, but considering it's a reprint comic that re-presents the main stories (in reverse order) from the first two Thor King-Size Annuals/Specials, it surely isn't worth anywhere near some of the asking prices (even some of the lower ones) - especially as the reproduction of some panels and pages is markedly inferior to their initial printings and have some shoddy retouching to boot. (I'm of the firm opinion that one of the reasons why inker Vince Colletta is much-maligned by some Kirby fans is due to numerous dodgy reprints.)
I don't have the energy at the moment to give you more than one example, but that should surely suffice. Above, on the left-hand side of the 'page' is the first printing, on the right-hand side is the reprint - see the difference? Who'd fork out a fortune for such inferior presentations, especially as there are better, more recent reprintings in other publications, such as Volume 2 of the Thor Epic Collection?
Well, me, I sadly have to admit - but not anywhere near the examples I've just mentioned. I can't claim superiority though, because there are instances when I've paid far more than I'd have preferred to for certain comics and toys, but only because I wanted to own them far more than I wanted or needed the money for anything else. I'm therefore just as guilty as anyone of potentially upping the market prices of some items for the next buyer, in my quest to acquire certain collectables.
I suppose that if it's not something we particularly want, we'll scoff at the mentality (or envy their funds) of those who fork out extravagant sums for things, but when it's an item we feel we can't live happily without, then cost is no hindrance if we can afford it without having to live on beans for a decade.
So which category do you fit into? And have you ever paid a huge amount for something that you felt you simply had to have and later regretted it, or are you glad you finally acquired it at whatever the price? Whichever, contritely confess or gleefully gloat about it in our conspiratorial comments section.
(And I will get around to properly answering the comments left on the previous post before much longer, never fear. I want to do them justice however, and that means having to carefully consider my response.) [Now done.]