August 23, 2013
Go, Read: Frank Santoro On Worthless Comics Collections
The cartoonist Frank Santoro has a piece up at TCJ.com
about having to tell someone that the comics collection they thought might be worth at least a few grand is probably worth a couple of hundred bucks at best. It's a fun article. There's an interesting shift in the way a lot of comics readers perceive the collecting side of things: from thinking the entire enterprise is a sham driven by those that can profit off of the perception that most comics will be worth anything at all, to thinking that the idea of a lot of these comics being worth anything at all is indeed a sham but that certain comics being worth something isn't a sham at all. In other words, random issues of Defenders
aren't going to be worth $9 or whatever, at least not as a general rule, but key issues of superhero comics might flash at a higher price depending on trade collection or movie roles being cast, and some might even maintain a certain amount of value over time.
I'm actually thrilled as a consumer that a lot of comics have bottomed out, in particular lower-grade but perfectly readable comics by the best comics-makers of the '50, '60s and '70s. It was not possible for me to buy actual Fantastic Four
comics drawn by Jack Kirby in the 1980s; I can buy them now for less than what I pay to buy the current issue of the comic book series starring the super-team. I also suspect that the increased profile of original art as a collectible has had an impact on comics-as-collectibles sales, and that the lack of widespread interest in the more obscure alt- or art-comics from the 1980s and 1990s will continue to make them really hard to find albeit cheap when you find them. Those of us that just want to read them should continue to be well served. The greatest comic book site of all time by 2025 may be whatever exists to fulfill the role abebooks.com has right now.
posted 4:00 am PST
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