What was your most profitable comic collecting find?

Glenn Hauman

Glenn is VP of Production at ComicMix. He has written Star Trek and X-Men stories and worked for DC Comics, Simon & Schuster, Random House, arrogant/MGMS and Apple Comics. He's also what happens when a Young Turk of publishing gets old.

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18 Responses

  1. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    Hands down it would be Bloodstyke!: Cyberforce: Red Rayne in Hell: Deathblow: Suicide Pact… Image Comics, circa 1994. It was the 23rd alternative foil cover. I got it on the 3 for .99 cent rack at a walgreens… and thanks to a little steam from my electric kettle, I was able to peel off the neon green sticker without damaging the book at all.

  2. Paul1963 says:

    I'd say my greatest find has to be Flash Comics #2 (Feb 40), which I picked up at an SF con back in 1982. It was marked at, I think, $80 or $90 (below guide at the time), but I got it for $50 because it was Sunday and it was one less item the dealer needed to pack up for the trip home.Most of my others are only great finds because I've had them for so long that the prices look dirt cheap from a 2009 perspective.

  3. Sean D. Martin says:

    I used to collect X-Men in early 70's and, as the family moved across country, stopped getting comics for a while. Didn't start again until several months after the move when I'd tracked down a new place to get comics. Only issue I have from the gap was this one I picked up from some spin rack mid-trip. An X-Men comic with a bunch of X-Men I'd never seen before on the cover. So, #94 for cover price would be my best, I guess. Oh, and Hulk 180 and 181, also for cover prices.

  4. Russ Rogers says:

    I have a copy of GrimJack #1, signed by John Ostrander when I met him last fall. I'm not interested in knowing whether John's defacing of the cover increased or decreased it's monetary value. That increased it's sentimental value for me. That's all that matters, since I don't intend to sell it.

  5. mike weber says:

    Bought Cerebus #1 off the shelf.

  6. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    If you are on the "hunt" long enough – I expect anyone will eventually make a find or two. Personally, I'm a bargain hunter. That means I don't intend to spend anything close to the "guide" price for any of my comics or books or old magazines. Now – I don't consider myself to be a collector. I'm constantly pawing through my stuff, and I'm certain that I'm diminishing the condition of everything by doing so – but I enjoy it! That's why I consider myself an accumulator. So almost everything in my accumulation was acquired far below the "guide" value. And the only way to pull that off is to just keep looking. And for me, the hunt is the most fun. My wife and I have had many enjoyable adventures and met very interesting people by stopping at yard sales, junk shops, antique stores, book sales, barns and roadside piles of crap.That said – I have had several finds over the years that were items I picked up just because I knew I could sell or trade it for a book I really wanted. The best example for comics would have to be when I was in a used book warehouse in Akron, Ohio in mid-summer. It had to be 112° in this place, and the paper dust was thick enough to give you black lung. The ceiling in this place was at least 20' high and the shelves ran all the way up. Due to my extreme discomfort I was skimming the shelves rather than really hunting. Eventually I gave up and went searching for my wife to convince her that we should return the the air-conditioned comfort of our car. I found her digging into piles of gardening books. And she wasn't quite done. So I started poking through several boxes of old street maps and pamphlets, because they were right in front of me and I was trying to take my mind off of the heat. Soon I came across a comic book sized pamphlet with a plain brown paper cover. A simple typeset title read:Narrative IllustrationTHE STORY OF THE COMICSM. C. Gaines I knew who Max Gaines was. And for some reason a bell started ringing in the back of my mind that there was something special about this thing. The price was only $10. So I bought it. When I got home I did my research and found out that this item is considered to be the very first EC comic book. And the listing I had said that there were only three known copies. While I like my EC comic books, this thing held no charm for me. So I sold it. I sold it for a nice $1000. And I turned around and spent that money on many, many more bargain finds for my accumulation – and some of those I sold or traded to get more! It never ends!

    • Russ Rogers says:

      I'm like you, Mark, I accumulate and read, I don't really collect and preserve. I respect my comics. I hate to see people "break the spine" of a comic by bending it around backwards. But I'm also not poly-bagging my comics with acid-free boards. I got my comics to read and then reread them. Since having children, I haven't had as much time for reading or rereading comics. I still hope that one of my children will take an interest in comics. But I have four daughters and my wife isn't interested in comics at all. So I have a basement room, with eighteen to twenty longboxes. I think that's 6,000-10,000 comics. Some are valuable. Most aren't. Sometimes I think I will try to sell some of them on e-Bay. But I don't know which ones I'm willing to part with.

      • MARK WHEATLEY says:

        Yeah – I guess I should add that I do take enough care with my stuff that I still have the comics I bought off the news stands when I was a kid. I never let anyone throw them away – unlike my dad. My dad's family ran a "confectionery" – a kind of a drugstore without the drugs. They had a soda fountain and a news stand. And it was my dad's job to keep the magazine and comics racks in order. So he got first dibs on the comics each week. And he made sure he picked the copy that was in the very best condition. He told me he had a complete run of CAPTAIN AMERICA, BATMAN, SUPERMAN, ACTION, DETECTIVE and all the SPIRIT sections up to the late 1940s when he joined the Merchant Marine. That's when my grandmother burned all the comics. So I guess I'll have to make a lot more BIG FINDS to make up for that loss.

      • Glenn Hauman says:

        Twenty longboxes is about six thousand books packed tight– maybe seven if none of them are bagged.

        • Russ Rogers says:

          That sounds right. Yeah, they're packed pretty tight. I remember estimating that I there were about 300-350 in each long box. So, probably closer to 6,000 – 7,000 comics. I've got a lot of First Comics. Near full sets of GrimJack, Nexus, Badger, Jon Sable. Plus Starslayer, Warp, Whisper, Dynamo Joe, Mars. I bought a lot of comics from the remainder bins at Shinder's, a legendary News, Comics and Porn purveyor in Minnesota. The comics aren't in bad shape. But if I were to resell them, I'd probably have to steam those $0.25 and $0.50 orange stickers off a lot of covers. Sadly, Shinder's went out of business recently. I think a newer owner had a drug problem.

  7. Delmo Walters Jr. says:

    Superman #17 for $10. Unfortunately it's very fragile. Having read it once I will probably never flip through it again. Luckily I have it reprinted in one of the Superman Archives so I can safely re-read it there.

  8. Michael Peach says:

    I bought about 60 comic books at a yard sell for around $10 when I was in high school around the summer of 88. It was mostly mid to late 80s stuff that I wanted since I was just starting to seriously collecting comics then. I really didnt go thru the stack till I got home because I was buying all they had for 1 price. While going through the stack I found a Bat-Man #23 so I figure 75 cents roughly for a $300 book wasn't too bad a deal.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1 for cover price. Yeah, the one that DC had pulped most of the run on. My attitude towards collecting is a lot like Mark Wheatley's (see comment above) – I never really sell my old comics so the monetary value is not really that important to me. It's more the fact that I found a pretty rare book that few people will ever get a chance to read.

  10. Lord Snooty says:

    Buying my Baltimore Comic Con Comicmix print of Grimjack, The Manx Cat ! or buying signed first prints of Nexus Archives from Steve Rude for $30.00 each, stopped buying comics back the end of 1994 so only really buy tpb now

  11. David Burns says:

    Bought 15 brown grocery bags full of comics for 100.00. In between a Archie comics and a Betty and Veronica was a Amazing Spiderman #1

  12. SpaceMonkeyX says:

    It might not be as big as finding a $1000 comic for $10, but I picked up all 12 issues of Watchmen back in 1998 for a mere $20 (incl. s/h) on eBay. With the movie out it's going for upwards of $150-$200, but I have no interest in selling it.

  13. MemorezGuy says:

    The best find I ever had was a few years ago when I purchased a trunk full of Walt Disney Comics & Stories. While they were certainly nice (and I still have them), the "find" was two copies of the very rare Donald Duck Kite Fun Book which were in between two of the comics. I sold these for a little more than $4,500 – all of which has been plowed back into my collection of course.