Comics standing up

Biff, pow, bang – vintage comics pack a financial punch.

Amazing Spiderman No.121. Right: Captain America Comics No.1.Amazing Spiderman No.121. Right: Captain America Comics No.1.

C­omics hold such precious memories. ‘Precious’ is the operative word here because vintage comics can cost thousands. In February 2010, the lucky owner of Detective Comics No.27 from 1939 sold his valuable comic for €833,000.

And earlier this year, a piece of original art by Canadian cartoonist Todd McFarlane sold at auction for €509,000 having been drawn in 1990, it was only relatively vintage.

In the past two years, the rarest comic books, such as Action Comics No.1 and Detective Comics No.27, in which Batman makes his first appearance, have experienced a boom in their value. But what makes them so sensationally precious?

First of all, there is the element of rarity – for instance, it’s estimated that less than 100 copies of Action Comics No.1 exist, and that only a few of them are in the kind of excellent condition that commands millions at auctions.

Then there’s the fact that historic comic artists such as Bob Kane, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster have all passed away, which makes their contributions unique and rare – it’s like owning a Picasso of the comic world. Modern heavyweights are also gaining ground in value – in May 2011, an original Frank Miller splash page from The Dark Knight Returns fetched €347,000 at auction.

Of course, when you package all this in pure nostalgia, you have a sure seller. Buying a rare vintage comic is like travelling back in time, to when you were a young lad dreaming of one day having your own special powers.


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