Sunday, March 30, 2008

Captain America # 14: The Floppy Strikes Back!




I am here to report that people have lost their MFing MINDS over all the Brubaker Cap issues. I'm seeing increased interest and price spiking across the run. The big winners here are issues #1-5, and DEAR GOD is Captain America # 14 on fire.
What? The floppy is ablaze and not the TPB??? Yes, folks, news of the floppy's demise is greatly exaggerated.

Results are spotty, which is typical of all runs driven by madmen. This evening I saw an ungraded issue of Captain America # 14 sell for nearly $200. Don't believe me? I don't blame you. Check it out for yourself:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Captain-America-14-Brubaker-Winter-Soldier-NM-M-Marvel_W0QQitemZ200210004899QQihZ010QQcategoryZ32751QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

This book is barely two years old, a quintessential example of 21st century eBay insanity. This would never have happened even 5 years ago. And it is based entirely on bullshit. Let me explain.

I've seen this sort of behavior before, the most recent example that comes to mind is the big run we saw (and in diluted form still see) with Planetary # 19. Interest in a book picks up, and a certain issue gets a reputation as being "the tough one to get". Sometimes it's true. Sometimes I have to scratch my head. This is one of those times.

I'm the kind of sick human who keeps track of comic book sales data each month, so I happen to have good data on the relative scarcity of this "super rare" Cap issue.

Let's take a look at the issues that preceded and immediately followed the barn burning # 14 and see if this phenomenon makes any damn sense at all:

Month/Year....Issue.....................Rank.....Index
Oct 2005 .......Capt. America # 11 ......37.......60.67
Nov 2005 .......Capt. America # 12 ......36 ......64.60
Dec 2005........Capt. America # 13 ......42.......71.18
Feb 2006........Capt. America # 14.......37.......66.28
Feb 2006........Capt. America # 15.......38.......65.24


A few things worth noting here. One is the remarkable consistency of the book. It nearly always falls between # 36-38 on the top 300 list.

I don't have data for actual number of issues ordered here, because the Diamond Top 300 list is compiled by a sadistic retarded orangutan. And that orangutan thought that telling people the number of issues ordered was too confusing. Said orangutan thought it would be a much better idea to call DC's Batman the benchmark by which all other comics should be compared. So the index is a percentage of however many issues Batman sold in that particular month.(around 80,000 is a reasonably accurate guess) That orangutan better not meet me in a dark alley, by the by. But I digest.

The point of that chart is that it is very easy to see that Captain America # 14 is NOT in any way scarce. Only 36 comics in the world beat it that month. It wasn't even the most scarce Captain America comic released that month! If anything, the world should be on fire for issue 15.

What you need to understand is that the market is not ruled by reason. It is fully in the hands of hormone-charged maniacs who want the flavor of the month, and they want it RIGHT. GODDAMN. NOW. And they will pay any cost.

Moral of the story? If you have Captain America # 14, now is the time to dump it. Don't fret. This fever will not last. You can buy it back later for much, much, much less if you want it. Might be a good time to take a trip to the local comic shop and see what they have for Brubaker Cap stuff. Anything from# 1-15 at cover or less is an easy buy.

If this phenomenon continues, we may even see spiking in the trades, particularly Captain America: Winter Soldier Vol 2 which contains issues # 14. My sense is that those are still in print, though, and that Marvel will be able to fill whatever demand flows at it.
I think a tremendous sleeper book here is the Premeire HC edition of Winter Soldier V2. ISBN on that = 0785117083. If you find that sealed in your local shop, pounce on that mutha like it was a Cabbage Patch Doll in December 1983. There aint gon' be any more of those coming out.

Not a bad idea to pick up that Cap Omnibus, either. Just remember - when Marvel goes back to print, the profit go bye-bye. So be aware, and be smart.

Happy Hunting!

-Ryan
PS: Incidentally, you won't be getting this info from Wizard until it's too late, if at all. Sure you have to listen to me talk about the state of my testicles. (Feeling supple, thanks) But it pays to listen to the show and read the blog!

2 comments:

The Fish said...

Listen and hear what I am saying. You want to know how unlucky of a bastard I am? Well let me tell you how un-fucking-lucky I am. I started collecting Captain America with issue #16. Did you read what I just wrote? Issue FUCKING 16 is where I started. What kind of luck is that shit? I feel cheated and I wish I had a time machine cause when I picked up #16 I am sure the shelves were simply lined with #15's and I could have bought about twenty of those fuckers. Shit on me. It's all about shitting on me when it comes to comics that are worth money. I always get the wire brush in the anus when it comes to buying the actual book that might be worth something someday. Go figure I guess deep down inside I love being covered in shit by the comic book industry.

The Fish

Chronic Insomnia said...

That's so hillarious, dude. You couldn't have timed that worse if you were paid. And guaranteed Hot Comics had a stack of # 14s six deep. But wadda gonna do, huh? It's pretty tough to predict a $200 spike in a book like that. No first appearance, no major crossover, no creator changes. Just out of the blue insane spiking for no jolly good reason. It's a brave new world, friend.