Saturday, March 17, 2012

Market Spotlight!

Some stuff I've tripped over lately....

Orc Stain
ISBN:  160706295X
SRP:     $17.99
Amazon Min:  $75+

James Stokoe is a special talent, and Orc Stain is a special book.  It's really hard to pin down exactly what this book is "about", but mostly its an examination of orc culture as created by Stokoe from mostly whole cloth.  Obviously there are influences, from Tolkein to....I don't know, Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China?  But mostly this is James Stokoe running wild with a very potent imagination.  Orcs don't have names, and spend a good portion of their day collecting orc penises, seeing as how that's the prevailing currency.  That kind of imagination.

More importantly, Orc Stain contains some of the most singularly stunning images in the medium.  I don't know anything about art, and I can see that.  If you did know something about art, Orc Stain might melt your face off.  You could profitably spend an afternoon just picking out all the little details. It's crazy.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I can really see this pulling in some long term interest and developing a legitimate cult following.  Stokoe might go back to press at any moment, but I don't really see that happening immediately.  I don't know if the book actually trades at the $75 mark, but it is exceptionally difficult to find, and I can see a segment of the population that simply HAS to have this book.  It's a winner.  Easy decision to buy whatever you find, even at full retail.

52 Volume 4
ISBN:  140121486X
SRP:  $19.99
Amazon Min:  $20/$50

This was kind of a surprise for me.  I considered it a weird thing to dry up, but then again, it's about 6 years old now, and does anybody really want to go back to this stuff now that it's largely old news?

Apparently somebody wants this stuff, because it's trading at pretty lofty levels, and it's pretty tough to find.  I looked for it at four comic shops this week and couldn't scare up a copy.  Matter of fact, of the four volumes I found zero copies of the first volume, one copy of the second, three of the third volume, and no copies of volume four.  If you look on Amazon right now, even volume one is about set to dry up.  The whole series is primed to blow.

It's an interesting phenomenon on price, though, and I'm seeing this more and more.  Back in the day, trades retailed for $10-$15, and I would wait for the books to hit $30 and worst I was 2:1.  That's not the case any more.  I'm still selling most of my books in that $25-$40 sweet spot....but the newer books are now retailing at $18-$30.  And now you've got a situation where the best you're looking at is 2:1, where before that was the bare minimum.  Bigger risks for smaller returns....yechh.

Of course there are other ways to get books than to pay full retail.  I do it every day.  But the game....she's getting tougher.  C'est la vie.

Gotham City Sirens Vol 1:  Union
ISBN:  1401225713
SRP:    $17.99
Amazon Min:   $44/$27  (no, that's not a can get a new copy for less than a used one currently)

This just in, folks - Harley Quinn is the real deal.  Harley Quinn is DCs version of Deadpool in terms of hardcore obsessive interest, only she's better.  She's better because she isn't nearly as overexposed, and because she does better with the ladies than she does with the men. 

Ms. Quinn is a member of the Sirens, of course, and I can't prove this scientifically, but that's why this is popping.  The HC version of Union made it to the audio podcast Market Spotlight ages ago, and is still doing quite well.  Better now then when I first recommended it, actually.

Now the softcover trade is climbing toward profitability as well.  If you can snap up a copy at less than retail, it's already profitable.  And yeah, eventually I expect DC will go back to press and ruin this party.  But before that, I expect this book to continue to climb.  Cuz Harley Quinn is the real deal.

Suicide Squad # 6
SRP:  $2.99

Hey, remember that Harley Quinn chick?  Suicide Squad # 6 begins the New 52 retelling of her origin story, and it was severely under-ordered.  A second print is coming down the pipe, but collectors are going to want the first print, and I really like the short term on this comic, and sorta like the long term.  If Wizard was still doing their thing, this would have made the Top 10 hot books, that's for sure.

It's not trading at crazy levels yet, ($6-$10) and may never do so.  But if you've got copies available at your LCS, I would grab a couple and wait for the fireworks. 

1 comment:

Web Wreckage Stephen said...

Hey Ryan,

Some thoughts:

-Stokoe is a local boy and just one of a growing number of local talents who I feel almost ashamed not to have been already following (*ahem* Brandon Graham, you too are on that list, Sir*ahem*) but lucky for me local means that books like Orc Stain are more likely sitting around for my eventual perusal and seizure. I read on a Graham's blog that he even created bookmarks to stick in the copies of king city sold at hos local LCS (yep, same LCS I go to)

- 52 v.4? Geez, I remember you mentioning that one before and I even scored adecent used copy at $10 but I cant yet get it to move at just double that up here in ca-ca land - someone even move a used one in lesser shape on amazon ca-ca for $.50 recently! (I kid you not)

-the sirens HC; I kinda backed the truck up on that one over a year ago at around retail and thought I had made a mistake until months later it started moving at just less than double cost. Not sure what I would move copies at now (if I had them)

My above experiences have been balanced out by great overachievers (any old batman books or new xmen childhoods end books, for example) but I have come to accept that the Canadian market is a mostly 2 to 1 kind of animal for the most part for books bought at retail.

Something else, if you are looking for recent hot back issues at prices between cover and ebay, it seems as if amazon is now becoming a better place to find them, of course the trade off there is that I cant move singles for much on there yet due in large part of their weird listings for comic book single issues...

Thanks for the Yankee perspective on these different books! ;)