The Little Investor
Comic investing is nothing new to the industry.  And when Valiant and Image became big, it took off like never before.  I would see many regular customers buying two or three copies of a first issue.  While I never encouraged investing as I think comic books are not the safest investment, if someone wanted to do it, so be it.

But one investor came in that caught my attention.  This young boy would come in with his mother every week on the new comic day (which was Wednesday).  He came in dressed in a suit and tie and carried a brief case.  He would pull out a list of comics, go over the shelf and pull out the entire stack of books.  He would look over each one until he found the two or three copies that he thought were the best shape and then he would carefully put them in a plastic bag and board.  He did this the whole time while wearing gloves so as not to get fingerprints on the books.

His mother used to smile and tell me how impressed she was of her son and how he takes great care of his investment.  I just smiled and was polite.  I did ask the kid if he ever read his comic books and he said "No, that would ruin their condition."  I then asked him how he knew what books to buy.  He said he used the Wizard magazine and bought what they recommended.  I told him by not reading them, he would miss out on introduction of new characters, new artists and writers and great storylines that many times were under the radar.  He said that Wizard would tell him what was hot.  I said that there are many books that become hot before Wizard mentions it and by not reading them, he is missing this.  I told him about Platt's Moon Knight issues and the early Valiant books, stuff that became popular and went up in price after they hit the market.  It just didn't sink in.

To give you an idea of how off the Wizard could be, some of his great picks that he invested heavily in were the first issue of books like Turok, Deathmate and other overprinted books that you can now find in the quarter box at almost any comic show.  But at least he has the best condition and best preserved quarter books.

The moral of the story is that any wise wall street investor would not buy stocks without doing research.  They read up on companies and check track records and look for reasons why a stock may have a breakout year.  Same with comic books.  If you want to find the books that will be worth the big money and not the same stuff that everyone else is buying, you need to actually read the books.  How else can you know about a  new character like Cable who goes on to be huge or that Neil Gaiman's Sandman was going to be a hit?



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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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