The last few weeks have seen a real return to the speculator market in comics of the nineties. But rather than concentrating around high profile franchise brands with specialist covers, instead what is drawing attention are creator owned comics, with relatively low print runs thanks to conservative orders from retailers, and a tendency for these to be adapted into movies or TV shows. Here are five examples of that, looks at what else those hot books may affect – and what may be next.
Written by Joe Hill and drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez, this series drew initial attention after Bleeding Cool revealed that the author was Steven King’s son. But what has brought greater attention is the quality and originality of the comic book, and recent multi-media attention. For those who want to get in on the ground floor, Hill’s Kodiak #1 shipped last week from IDW and suffered some print problems along the way. Get a decent copy and sit on it.
Issue 2 only came out last week and people are already actually selling it for $15. Yet most people still don’t have a real clue what the book is about, a school that has picked high performing students all with the same birthday, wiped the world’s memory of them and has… plans. The first issue was double sized for $3.99, the second one-and-a-half sized for $3.50, a pleasant change in this $3.99-for-22-pages world. Of course now, you pay a lot more…
Well, they made a movie of it (and a sequel on the way) but that first issue, going through multiple prints, was way underordered considering the talent behind it – and the media manipulation of Mr Millar. Nemesis and Superior were ordered far higher and as a result are likely to be less of a bet than the original, Nemesis #1 currently at $8. However one side-issue is that Clint #1, with copies filling the UK newsagent shelves, is still unreleased in the US and as a result has been getting a certain demand too…
Turned down repeatedly by Vertigo and other publishers, this is the comic that changed things. An instant smash with increased prices a week after going on sale, hitting $40 off the block, this is the model that changed the speculator comics market. That you can buy a comic one week and sell it for ten times the week after, we hadn’t seen that since Silver Surfer #50. That it concentrated on content rather then silver embossedness was a plus too. And now the upcoming TV series has just given it another burst.
The biggy. Already a hit, the upcoming TV series took this to new levels. While not an immediate smash, this is probably the godfather of the modern creator-owned speculator boom. With even a hundred thousand issues of the $1 Reader version not denting its appeal (and, hey, try finding those for $1 any more) those with copie are umming and awing over selling now, or waiting till the AMC show hits.
6. And then there’s Skullkickers #1. Which has not even launched yet, yet copies are selling in advance for 100% markup, with copies on sale for a massive $20 plus shipping.
But smarter speculators may look to the Popgun collections, volume 2 and 3 from Image, which both featured Skullkickers stories, currently going for well under cover price.
WARNING: But be warned playing this kind of game. Turf is a comic that should have fit this pattern. Creator owned, with a prominent comics artist and a cult-favourite writer with good reviews and previewed in Walking Dead – and it currently sells for half cover price. Sometimes you just never can tell…