Comic book grading time!
We've been pandemic house-cleaning every weekend for months. This past weekend was our daughters closet's turn which was mostly just our junk. While digging out things I found the two long boxes we had stored all our comics in. Now, I hadn't gone through both of them in a while so I sat down for about two hours and went through and checked eBay for the going prices on a few I knew were worth something.
Today I bubble wrapped and boxed up a dozen comics that were worth the 20-35 dollars it costs to have graded by the CGC. For those who don't know what that is it's a company that takes collectible items like baseball cards, magic cards, comics, etc and gives them an official “grade” which increases their value when you go to sell them later. You basically send off the books and they come back to you in large clear plastic cases with the grade up at the top. Think of it as having a precious stone appraised.
Clearly not all comics are worth much. The most expensive ones are from the Golden Age of comics where wartime paper recycling caused good copies of these books to become extremely rare. That and the fact that these comics were produced in the 100's of thousands on garbage paper. Silver age comics can be worth money depending on who is in them and how rare it is. These are going to be the first editions Marvel put out in the 60's. The Bronze age comics are the 70's and 80's comics that were produced on a much wider scale and by this point weren't going to be rare anymore. By the 80's and 90's people were buying multiple copies of every issue ( one to read, one to keep ) and saw them as future investments the way the older comics were becoming. Modern comics are basically mass produced on high quality paper and reprinted as soon as an issue sells out. Once it's run is done the whole arc gets printed in a trade paperback as well. Honestly if you are getting into comics for the first time and don't want to go digital I highly recommend buying trade paperbacks so you can read the story without ads or having to hunt down all those little issues.
From 2002-2003 I worked in a comic book shop while in art school. While there part of my job was to get acquainted with all the titles and such so when someone walked in asking for a copy I knew what they were talking about. The major comic book movies at the time were things like Daredevil and the X-Men movies so the audience was still older dudes. While there I discovered this thing called indie comics and latched onto those. Luckily I would occasionally buy the odd 1st issue of something if Previews or the managers made a big deal about it.
Fun story, one day a woman came into our shop (we also would buy comics at pawn stars prices) with a ratted dirty copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (The first appearance of Spider Man). We're talking pages falling out, rusted staples, holes in the paper, it was dark brown and just a hot disaster. We gave her $750 dollars for it and you'd thought she had won the lottery. Since it was so bad we graded it in store (unofficially) as “Poor” and that was generous. Given its condition our manager let us handle it and read through it as we would probably never touch a copy of this comic in our entire lives ever again. Another time we had someone come in with EVERY single issue of the first run of the X-Men from the 60's. The issue? The guy's dad had hole punched every one to go in a binder. We couldn't even make him an offer.
So what did I get graded? Batman 608-610 (Jim Lee's) that I got while working at the shop. All 7 issues of NYX, including #3 which is the first appearance of X-23. THOR #1 (Jane Foster), and Paper Girls #1. There were some others I sort of wanted to get graded but wouldn't return enough value afterwards. If a comic is $40-$50 after grading then it's worth probably $5 ungraded. The most valuable ones I dug up being the THOR #1, Batman 609, and NYX #3. It takes a while for the comics to get processed but I'll keep yall updated on what scores they get. I'm worried about NYX because I've personally read through the issues several times back when I got them. The Batmans, THOR, and PG are untouched since purchase. :D