Friday, December 2, 2011

Market Spotlight!

How about a trio of Marvel books, and an interesting case study this week?

Hulk/Thing: Hard Knocks
ISBN:  0785115765
SRP:      $13.99
Amazon Min:   $22/$30

This is a bit dodgy, as it barely scrapes 2:1 at full retail.  I can't imagine a super strong demand for it, either, but then again I am staring at a 2:1 so I guess we're experiencing a little interest.

This is a classic example of Marvel squeezing a little extra out of the turnip by turning a 4 issue mini into 4 issues plus an old reprint, and not even a particularly in demand Hulk/Thing barney.  (It's Marvel Superstars # 1)  I think they would have been better served by throwing in Fantastic Four # 12, or # 112, but what do I know.

I would avoid paying full retail for this unless it goes higher, but I'd feel pretty safe with a discounted copy.  I can't see Marvel going back to press on this, so supply should stay relatively scarce.

She Hulk Vol 9:  Lady Liberators
ISBN:  0785141146
SRP:      $14.99
Amazon Min:    $22/$38

Of course we've already observed a couple of these volumes pop from the Slott end of things.  It wouldn't surprise me to see the entire series enter a comfortable place of profitability.  It reminds me quite a bit of the Nightwing phenomenon, where a second tier star with a cult following hits that sweet spot where a niche crowd is looking for the material, but not in droves to spur a new edition.

If the copy is in nice shape, I'd advocate paying full retail for Lady Liberators.  Don't panic if it cycles down, either.  Nightwing does the same thing, bouncing up and down.  Target a reasonable price and let the market catch up with you.

Daredevil: The Devil Inside & Out Vol 2
ISBN:   0785122419
SRP:  $14.99
Amazon Min:   $26/$54

We've seen quite a few of the Bendis volumes dry and up then shoot for the stars, and now it looks like Brubaker is taking his turn.

The thesis is pretty strong on this line.  Quality run, quality creative team, demand should stay very strong for this book.  Decent chance your local retailer has a copy of this laying around, and it's an easy buy at $15 and below.

Morning Glories Vol 1 HC
ISBN:   9781607064305
SRP:     $39.99
Amazon Min:    N/A

Image has recalled the original print run for the book, because one of the pages was erroneously issued with no dialogue.  Some of the biggest sources are complying with the recall.  Amazon is waiting for the corrected editions before distributing product, and the same goes for DCB Service.  A good portion of the smaller retailers will send the error books back as well.

Some, but not all.  I was able to score a copy of the "bad" edition this afternoon.  It will be uncontroversial to assert that the error editions will be the most scarce.  What's unclear is whether that means anything regarding the value of the book.

Similar problems have plagued items like the first Bendis Daredevil Omnibus, and the the old Captain America: Classic Years slipcase collection.  Both of those items are quite valuable, but I haven't noticed any consistent premium placed on the scarcer error editions.

The secondary trade market is in its infancy, though.  Just because there's no premium now doesn't mean that future collector's won't be making those distinctions.  I'm not suggesting that you run out and back up the truck on a stack of $40 hardcovers waiting for the market to catch up with you.  But for me, I'm a card carrying Morning Glories fanatic, and I'm pleased as punch to have the original edition in my collection.  Anything else is just gravy.

- Ryan


Stephen said...

I remember seeing that she-hulk trade on the shelves earlier this year when looking for other volumes and then noticing the price on it spike on amazon Canada while it was still low on Amazon US: guess it finally caught up on

This leads me to my next observation: it seems that quite often, the price movement on a book on the Amazon Canada site is something of a precursor for where the price of any given out of print trade will be going in the short term on amazon.COM of course the main variable in the equation is when exactly one can expect to see this price movement follow suit on the US site.

As for Daredevil, I have had mostly frustrstion when selling these books (HC and TPB); I think it was a case of me getting into the Game and still being a newb at it: some of my earliest acquisitions were daredevil books and I ended up moving them at just above cost to get them gone since they were on something of a down swing at the time I had them in my inventory. left me kind of gunshy on them. Also Marvel is now putting out a new series of tpbs of the whole Brubaker run (same as the Daredevil By Bendis Ultimate Collection Books) so the demand will likely be fed by those new inexpensive books.

Stephen said...

Me again. I just happened to spot a copy of that Morning Glories HC for sale at a small card and gaming store that dabbles in comics and trades. I assume that if I see a copy of the HC anywhere at this time it is the 'error copy'?

BTW, it turns out that the error is likely just the words missing from one word balloon at the end of issue six(acc to the bleeding cool comments section) and probably not enough of a flub to production to effect collectibility much... oe maybe it could?

Chronic Insomnia said...


I think your instincts are on target. It helps a collectible if the variance is signficant, a la the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken "Fuck Face" card, or the infamous "butcher" cover of The Beatles Yesterday & Today. It does matter.

Historically, though, the book collecting crowd has been unnaturally obsessed with first print/first editions, even if the only distinguishing characteristics of that virginal run are a fractional difference in the type settings. First matters in that kingdom. And scarcity matters, too. The error editions will definitely be fewer in number.

The question is - does the trade market behave like the book market does? Not really, although it seems to act more and more like a kissing cousin, and I think ultimately it will behave that way. But these are assumptions on my part, and have no bearing on any currently known reality.


Jersey Keith said...

3 Things....

1. Unfortunatly error editions have a very low fan collector base. Intentional errors that are recalled such as the infamous DC 80-page Giant and Recent Scooby-Doo are just to to be sensationalistic or neglect copyright, and can gain press. Collecting action figures is similar. Jango fett missing a head sealed in package is cool and minimal gain can be had yes, but most of the base want the damn head.

2. BR RULES!! Space Vampire episode of Buck it!!!!!!! and shivvverrrr....!!!111@@@1!!!

3. Pea Coats are stylish in the Northeast, Ryan is Metro and and a fashionista living in the mid north. Bring NYC sensibility from one Brooklyn to another Brooklyn!!!!!!!!@@@LLLMMM(((999!