Make Money In Comics Fast #1 by Rich Johnston: A Heavy Bookshelf Of Gold

Make Money In Comics Fast #1 by Rich Johnston: A Heavy Bookshelf Of Gold

Posted by October 13, 2009 12 Comments


Well, what with everyone getting a credited column on this site, I thought I might as well have a go.  And yes I know that almost every article is already written by me. Shut up. It’s my blog, my rules. And yes I know it’s not my blog, it’s Avatar’s, look do you want me to turn around and go home?

That’s better.

Right. Making money in comics. I’ve run a few Speculator Corners that seem to have worked out for people. But with the current economy in the state it is now, we could all do with a few shekels.

Today, we’re looking at your existing bookshelf to make a quick buck. It’s no secret that the desire to own comics with a spine has increased the past ten years.  It’s also no secret that publishers, either by a desire to be prudent, or a desire to present a certain face to the public, let certain collections go out of print. A combination of the two can lead people to pay far more for a collected copy than the original issues in question. And as a result, many people may not realise that the books sitting unread-for-ages on their bookshelves could be earning them a pretty penny, with Amazon and eBay the main recipients for said trade.  So let’s have a look at a few. Remember, on reprinting, the value often drops…

As mentioned in a previous post, Absolute Planetary Vol 1 gets reprinted in the summer when Vol 2 is finally published. But until then some people are paying up to $200 for the book, originally published for $50. I appear to have one on my shelf. Would it really be wrong to sell it for $200 now and then pick it up for $75 (post-discount) next year? No, no it would not.

The Absolute range is mostly in print, with a few stunning exceptions. Absolute Sandman Vol 2 seems to be one of them, with prices hitting $160 easy. DC are bound to reprint this sometime, surely? Get in before they do.

Absolute Danger Girl is the bees knees though, this J Scott Campbell collection was one of the first Absolute collections when it was still a Wildstorm thing, and has been neglected. Expect to get up to $400 for this beauty. You know it will get reprinted if there’s ever a film. And the first Absolute volume of all, Absolute Authority Vol 1 gets a cool $175 price tag right now. When Warren’s films and TV series come out, this may need a reprint, so strike now. Mark Millar’s volume two is a mere $120.

Marvel’s bigger equivalent, the Omnibus range has a lot more out of print volumes and high price tags to match. It’s expense, keeping these massive beauties in print. And Marvel’s loss could be your gain if you have shelf weight issues.  New X-Men Omnibus featuring the whole of the Grant Morrison run goes for $250 each now. The Garth Ennis Punisher MAX Omnibus can fetch $170. And the Alias Omnibus, which is up for reprinting, nevertheless commands $170, while the Frank Miller Daredevil Omnibus goes for $150 . And while its not from Marvel, the Walking Dead Omnibus from Image can set you back a whacking $350. And the Hack/Slash paperback Omnibus has doubled from $35 to $70, with the first TPB up from $15 to $60 on it’s own. And the Powers Definitive Collection has jumped up from $30 to $60.

The $29.99 Marvel Knights Spider-Man book by Millar and Dodson is a $60 title. And the Fables Covers Hardcover seems to have been dramatically underordered and now out of print, commanding up to $90.

Of course these prices can come and go. It wasn’t too long ago that Deadpool TPBs hit $100 each, though reprintings have stopped that. Speculation is a dangerous game, as reprints completely destroy the value of OOP books. And another word of warning – do make sure you take the cost of postage into account. And the cost to your back of taking too many to the post office at once.

But I’ve just taken a look at my own bookshelf and one shelf alone, holding a number of these beauties, could fetch me around $3000.

I know what I’m doing next.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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(Last Updated November 7, 2009 1:13 pm )

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