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Why are comic books expensive?

Why are Comic Books So Expensive Right Now?

For many years, comic books have been valuable and desirable collectible items. However, the prices have skyrocketed in the past two years, turning comic book collections into huge assets.

So, why are comic books still so expensive in 2022?

This article takes an in-depth look into comic book prices in 2022. Read on to find out whether comic books are worthwhile investments.

Have Comic Books Collectibles Gotten Expensive in Recent Times?

According to NPR news, comic books and collectible prices have doubled since the pandemic began. This is quite surprising because comic books and collectibles are luxury items.

Most people expected the prices to drop in the midst of the financial crisis occasioned by the pandemic.

However, for several reasons we’ll delve into in this article, comic book prices are at an all-time high in 2022.

How Much Do Comic Books Cost?

There’s no standard price for comic books, and it primarily depends on the book’s series, the size of the issue, and where you buy it. That said, the average price for a new comic book in 2022 is $5, up from $3 two years ago.

Of course, these are standard issue prices with little collection value. Collectible comic book prices are all over the place and could range anywhere from $100 to millions of dollars!

Comic books collections

How Much Does a Comic Book Cost to Make?

Printing a comic book costs anywhere from 75 cents to $4 per copy depending on several factors including:

  • The number of pages.
    The quality of paper used.
  • The scale of the printing company.

Large comic conglomerates such as Marvel and DC benefit from the economy of scale and probably spend less than $1 making a single comic book.

Most Expensive Comic Book 2022 

The most expensive comic book in 2022 is the very first superman issue. The superman character debuted in other titles before earning its own title in 1939.

The 60 pages confirm that the comic was intended to be a one-shot before sales turned it into an ongoing series.

A grade 8.0 superman #1 changed hands privately for $5.3 million in January 2022.  This sale smashed the previous $3.6 million record for the most expensive comic book set by an Amazing Fantasy #15 in 2021.

Rarest Comic Books

Comic books date back to the early 20th century. It’s, therefore, not surprising that most of the early issues of popular series are hard to get your hands on. Here are 5 of the rarest and most valuable comic books in 2022:

All-American Comics #16

This particular issue is very important in the DC universe because it’s the first time Alan Scott puts on his Green Lantern ring and decides to use his new powers for good.

It was released in 1940, and only 52 copies are estimated to exist today. The comic has an estimated value of $200,000.

Whiz Comics Vol 1 Issue 2

Whiz comics #2 (#1) was released in 1940 and holds a significant role in the DC universe. In this issue, heroes such as Captain Marvel aka Shazam make a debut.

The comic’s estimated value is $281,000.

Adventure Comics #40

Created in 1939, Adventure comics issue 40 is Sandman’s first major appearance. It is also the Tarantula’s debut as a DC villain.

There are only 36 estimated copies in existence, with their value placed at $63,000.

Detective Comics #1

This is one of DC’s first comic books (it’s what the initials “DC” stand for.) This gives it a special place in hardcore DC fans’ hearts.

There are only 32 known copies in existence, with an estimated value of $38,500.

New Adventure #26

This comic book focuses on a little-known hero named “Captain Jim of the Texas Ranger.” It was created in 1938 and features other DC heroes like Robin Hood and Nadir, master of magic. 

Since this DC book is not widely collected, there are only 9 known copies in existence. It’s estimated to be worth around $11,000.

Why Are Old Comic Books So Expensive?

As we’ve established, old comic books from the 20th century are pretty expensive. Here are some of the reasons: 

expensive comic books

1. Comic Books Act as an Alternative Investment in 2022

Two decades ago, there were limited types of assets (mainly property and stocks.) However, in recent years, investors have devised alternative ways of making their money work for them.

Apart from cryptocurrency, collectible items like pokemon cards and comic books have slowly but surely become forms of modern-day investments.

In fact, unlike stocks and cryptocurrency whose value seems to rise and drop unpredictably, collectible items seem to hold and appreciate in value with time.

Simply put, if you buy a rare collectible today, you’re almost guaranteed to make a profit in 5 years as long as it’s in good condition.

The ease of trading collectibles like comic books has attracted many young investors who don’t have the time, or patience to learn how traditional investments work.

2. Significance of the Comic Book in the Series

As evident from the list of the rarest and most valuable comic books above, books that introduced significant characters in the series are more valuable.

For instance, the most expensive comic book in 2022 is the Superman #1. This was the first time the world was introduced to the now popular superhero.

3. The Rarity of the Comic Book

In the world of collectible items, the rare an item is, the more it’s worth. Since comic books were basically children’s books in the early to mid-20th century, very few original comics from the era have been preserved to date.

Their rarity makes them desirable collector items.

4. Movie Characters From the Comic Books

Most superhero movies are based on existing comic books The commercial success of these movies especially from Marvel and DC also boosts the books’ perceived value.

For instance, whenever there’s a new Avengers movie, Marvel comics prices hike.

5. The Comic’s Condition

One of the most important factors that contribute to a comic’s price is its condition. Companies like the Certified Guaranty Company have devised ways of grading the condition of comics. They use a 10-point grading system, where 10 is a comic in near-mint condition.

As a result, a pristine collectible comic is more valuable than one that has suffered from reckless storage.

Is It Worth It to Buy Comic Books?

Comic books are definitely worth a buy in 2022. Not only are they entertaining pieces of literature, but they are also a solid investment.

To get the best out of your budget, you can take advantage of comic book gift packs. These are cheaper than buying individual books at the current prices. They also feature some valuable classics from time to time.

Are comic books worth it?

Here are two interesting comic book packs in 2022:

Premium Comic Books Gift Pack

MARVEL ONLY - Superheroes Comics Grab Bag

This collection contains 24 unique superhero comics from Marvel. They are all individually bagged and in near-mint condition. Since there are no duplicates, there are high chances of finding an old gem.

Indie Comic Book Collection Gift Pack

Indie Comic Book Collection Gift Pack

It’s important to note that not only Marvel and DC comics hold their value. Indie comics also have a cult following and open you up to a new market.

This pack has 25 unique, independent comic books that will expose you to new stories. The comics are all handpicked to ensure you get the best of the indie market.

Most Valuable Comic Books From the 80S

Here are some of the best comic books from the 80s:

Valuable Comic Books From the 90S

Here are some of the best comic books from the 90s:

Most Valuable Comics From the 2000s 

Here are some of the best comic books from the 2000s:

Are Comics Dying?

Quite the contrary, the comics industry has seen more interest than ever in the past two years. As a matter of fact, the re-emergence of superhero movies and collection culture is set to keep the industry growing.

Read Also: Why Are Yeti Products So Expensive?

Where Can I Sell My Comic Books for Cash?

If you have a special comic book you’d like to turn into cash, 2022 is the ideal time to sell. If you’re not part of a strong comic book forum, you can try traditional methods such as:

  • eBay: The Amazon of used goods definitely has a wide customer base for comic books. You can find customers for both standard and collector comics.
  • Amazon: If you have a wide collection of comic books you’d like to sell, Amazon might be the best place to start. While the registration process might be a bit more grueling than eBay’s, it exposes you to a wider customer base.
  • Facebook Marketplace: If you want more control over your sale, you could always use Marketplace.
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