One Year Later: 6/1/16 Spec Review

What up Uncanny InCHUmans!?! Shawn B., the One Year Later Investigator,  back with another One Year Later round up, where we take a look at some of the comics that Anthony, Mel and Poyo spec-ed on one year ago. Their specs turn out to be quick flips, slow burns, straight up misses, straight up winners and on and on. Sometimes they spec with their hearts out of their passion for comics. Sometimes they spec based on data. And sometimes they spec based off of the word on the street. Either way all of their specs appeal to a few or many collectors whether it is due to them having similar taste in writing or art, or just an opportunity for a collector to flip a book and make money to “support their habit”. So, this is our weekly chance to take a look back at how some of our buys from a year ago are doing today.

TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1ri Kevin Eastman Variant – Mel Pick
Original Value: $30 Current Value: No recent sales but going for sale from $110 – $235. Eastman incentive variants usually do pretty well.

Dark Souls #2 – Anthony Pick
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $9
Still a pretty hot series a year later.
Near Misses

Civil War II #1 Yamine Putri Color Party Variant – Mel Pick
Original Value: $6 Current Value: Still available at Midtown.
Maybe the meanest Gwenpool face I have seen on a cover.

Moon Knight #3 Jeffrey Veregge Variant – Mel Pick
Original Value: $25 Current Value: Still available at Midtown.
Definitely not your average cover.

Killbox #2 – Anthony Pick
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $4
A bit surprising on this one considering it was a decent series and a lower print run. I know that Killbox Chicago is coming out soon. Not sure if that will help. Sold out at on line retailers.

Civil War II #1 Regular Cover – Poyo Pick
Original Value: $6 Current Value: $6 Still available at Midtown.
Poyo picked this as a slow burn so only time will tell.

Moon Knight #3 – Anthony & Poyo Pick
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $4
To me this is a slow burn. Once the TV series starts I would expect a jump.

Batman Rebirth #1 – Poyo Pick
Original Value: $3 Current Value: $3 Midtown was sold out not long after the release but has copies now. These were selling for $6-10 each last summer and a quick flip was the way to go, Midtown got restocked on these and they are listed at $8.50 for first prints.

The Walking Dead #155– Anthony & Poyo Pick
Original Value: $3 Current Value: $3 Still available at Midtown.
There are also copies selling on eBay for $4-5, Mycomicshop has them listed for $6. This issue is part of a good story line. Give it another year and if you haven’t gotten it yet, take advantage of cheap copies now.

Night Trap #1 – Anthony & Poyo Pick
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $4 Still available at Midtown.
That being said, there are sold copies on eBay for $5-6 and it is a Cullen Bunn series. Grower not a shower? Possibly, Cullen Bunn gets books optioned. Give it time.

Strange Attractors #1 – Poyo Pick
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $4 Still available at Midtown.
I don’t know a lot about this one but there are still copies of #1 signed by Charles Soule at Midtown.

Bolts #1 – Anthony Pick
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $4 Still available at Midtown.

Punisher #2 Vanesa Del Rey Variant – Anthony Pick
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $4
Personally I think this is one of the better Punisher volumes and it will be sought after down the road.

Punisher #2 Vanesa Del Rey Variant – Mel Pick
Original Value: $15 Current Value: $11
Same comment as the regular cover.
Unspecced Winners

All-New Wolverine #9 Joyce Chin Civil War Reenactment Variant
Original Value: $4 Current Value: $10
X-23 is bad ass and so is this cover.

51 thoughts on “One Year Later: 6/1/16 Spec Review”

  1. Yeah, CWII and Batman Rebirth also were huge print runs, very slow burns, very slow. These are the type that likely gain after a few years when more supplies run dry and demand picks back up with new collectors hitting the markets.

    1. Strange Attractors is so underrated.. But I think BOOM! was counting on Soule’s good name and overprinted these as well. But it’s also a hit or miss, this was a reprint of Soule’s previously released graphic novel in single issue format.

    2. I don’t see these ever giving a speculator a return on their investment. If they aren’t keys…major or minor why should they?

      1. Just because you don’t see them possibly gaining value doesn’t mean they can’t though. That’s why they call it speculating. It’s all a what if game. Speculators don’t call the market, demand calls the market and no one can truly predict demand, some just get lucky when they’re right.
        CWII could end up as a Marvel Studios movie down the road, increasing it’s value. Lots of story line in that series could make it’s way into the movies. If and when that happens, #1 becomes the likely sought after book.
        Batman Rebirth #1 introduces Duke Thomas in his new costume, that ever makes it to a show or splits off into his own book for his character, this book becomes key to that.

      2. Some things are not about keys. I sold the heck out of Batman Rebirth #1 I paid half of cover price and selling them for $6 to $8. What’s the say a buck 50 became a five dollar bill very quickly

      3. X-Men gold number one is a recent example of a book that will never be a key book but made me a good amount of money. Speculation is not investment investment is not speculation

      4. What you perceive as key today might not have been key yesterday as well! Can’t say it’s key based on your present knowledge. One can easily dismiss a character or story in a comic as nothing important but then later on it becomes important.. or “key” as some would say.. 😉

        1. The book that burns me up more than anything is the Incredible Hulk issue with Rocket Raccoon. I used to see those everywhere in dollar bins and used to pass them up because let’s be honest, it was no key and no one will ever care about a stupid jet pack wearing trash panda on the cover of a ridiculous Hulk story. I shake my head at how much I lost by never getting those issues. Now they are key books.

    3. It will also make a big difference if DC actually sticks with this continuity for a longer time than they did the New52. Since the New52 ended at 52 issues, those #1 issues have been dropping-off in value. If Rebirth remains the new starting point for DC for 100+ issues, it should make these #1’s continue to be sought-out by collectors & new readers.

      1. Exactly. Longer running series = Better chance at the #1 and kickoff issues being sought after years from now when new collectors are seeking them out.

      2. I feel like the return to legacy numbering is a gross manipulation of the fan base….they know that we can resist buying a number one issue of anything. They created this cycle to squeeze our wallets/purses and I hate them for that. Do I feel used…yes…will I still buy…..sadly yes.

        1. I agree with you on the renumbering. It’s just a short term method to boost sales with a #1 issue. Jim Zub tried it with Skullkickers where every issue became a new #1 as a joke and it boosted sales.

    1. Depends really. I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re losers since the market is so unpredictable. Tomorrow we could see news that attracts buyers to pick up copies that were long forgotten.
      Some of the spec market is buy and flip it quickly for sure though, as the heat dies down after the ones seeking out books who missed out on them wears off within a few days of release. I could also say a lot of spec is the rush from people who think they’re local shops won’t get a copy so demand goes up pre-sale, that’s why we see the quick sizzles from books that were sold well prior to release date die quickly on release date.. . but anything could happen weeks, years or decades from now on any book.
      This is why comic book stores have back issues… seek those hidden treasures upon news of a character makes their debut on our screens, etc.

      1. If you look at it like that you’re saying that there is no downside and that we should all let these books collect dust and check prices in 15 years when we’re bored. It’s like hanging on to a stock praying for a rebound at some point. Seems like comic speculation is more of a flippers market. It takes a lot of effort to scour eBay and other websites to gauge whether a book is heating up. You guys make that a lot easier and I give you a lot of respect for that. I just started collecting again after a 20 year break and i have to say that collecting is totally different. The appeal of buying books because they could be instant collectibles is exhausting. Buying one variant when I could use the same money to buy ten books that I’m actually going to read is a horrible choice to make.

        1. By no means is anyone saying buy everything. You have to do your own due diligence. We present the ones we think have the best shot. It’s as simple as that. We look at what is selling out, what has buzz, and what has a history of increasing. I have had a ton of books I spec-ed on turn out to be winners years later after collecting dust. Ultimate X #1 is a great example. I picked up the 1:8 variant for $10 when it first came out and a couple of copies of the regular. Why, because it was Wolverine’s son. Needless to say it was dead up until a few months back where that $20 total I spent turned into several hundred. You just never know. Speculation absolutely is, in many times, about turn over. I like to get them in and cash out as quickly as possible. It is a kin to day trading. Buying long term books for investment is different. I collect horror comics. I buy bronze and silver age books to hold on to long term. I have many early Marvel superhero books (near complete runs) as investment, but the stuff we talk about as speculation is about doubling or tripling up in a short term. Many of the books go down long term but can be a quick $10. I always say, buy and collect what you like, but sell what other people are buying. I don’t recommend buying when the prices are going up, often because it can drop while you are waiting on getting them in. It’s about establishing a place or several places that you know you can pick for recent books and back issues when a book is starting to heat up. I hope this clears things up some. What they are saying about holding is if you buy something and it doesn’t pan out, don’t bail and throw it up on eBay for pennies because, like the Ultimate X books, you never know when something can become valuable.

      2. @Angelo…You should never be chasing every book that may become an instant collectible. Yes, that will exhaust you. There are literally hundreds of books released every single Wednesday. You should be buying the books that you like to read and what you can afford, not what you think you can make money from. That way, if the book doesn’t appreciate in value, then, at least you have a comic that you wanted to read. It’s a win win in that regard.

        1. Yup.. I buy books I want to read. If they heat up, they heat up.
          Then I come to CHU, read what’s hot and if I know I can still find such books at my local shops, I go pick up more to flip if they’re selling above cover.
          Sometimes I’ll gamble though too. Books I want to read and then get that gut feeling they might heat up, I’ll buy extras of.. (like Seven to Eternity, that one didn’t heat up over night but a few weeks later became a $100 book, I bought 6 of each covers A, B and C to gamble and it paid off).

    2. If you sell said book for cover, then it is not a loser. New 52 Supergirl #4 was at same price a year after its release, and it just saw a return on initial investment 5 years later. You can’t use a blanket statement and say every book, still at cover a year later, is a loser.

      1. if it’s a title that I read and enjoy it doesn’t bother me. A spec pick is a different story for me because when you factor in all the trouble to try and recoup money from a cover price you’re losing money every time.

      2. That’s the spec game too. It’s all a gamble to be honest. Just like playing the stock market, you win some, you lose some. Factor in the entire picture of winning and losing to make sure you stay on top.
        Like I won on my Seven to Eternity #1 books but I lost out on Batman Rebirth #1’s.. but out of the two, I still made profit overall. If you find yourself losing out on every spec book you buy to flip and or sell, then you should probably just stick to reading books and not selling them. 🙂

    3. Not at all true. It all depends on the situation. If a book contains a first appearance of a character who is not yet that popular, but gradually keeps gaining attention in future years, the book will continue to rise in value. If 10 years from now we have a Gwenpool Movie, her 1st cover appearance on Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars & her 1st story appearance in Howard the Duck blast off to being worth hundreds of dollars, and you bought them at Cover Price or Less… the book is a loser because a year later those issues were at the same value as they started?

      1. Yeah I hang on to first appearances as well. It’s the no brainer spec pick….just a question of how many copies to buy.

        1. I want everyone to know I took no offense to the entire thread. It has been a very good and very open conversation. Everyone does things their own way and one way is never “more right” than the other. It’s whatever works for you. There are readers (myself included) here, flippers (myself included) here, long term investors (myself included) here, and hardcore collectors (again, myself included). I run my eBay sales and this site as a business. Not a multimillion dollar business, but run it like a business all the same. Not everyone treats their sales as a business, but I have a good record and lots of sales from repeat happy customers to show for it. Even if you are just an occasional seller, it’s all good

  2. I was really surprised that Killbox took such a nosedive. The art on that series is really unique, and the print run so low, I thought for sure that was going to hold it’s value longer. Now that the book is continuing, there’s still a chance it will rise again. I am hoping the same for Wytches. That book was huge when it debuted, and had movie buzz, then completely fell off the face of the planet.

  3. Anthony, I really like the statement you made about speculating and investing. I think a lot of people get the two mixed up or think of them as the same and you showed the difference. Probably because at one time, when all us old guys collected, speculating and investing where the same thing. You bought Jubilee’s or Kitty’s 1st appearance and held on to it for as long as you could to make money.
    Now there’s the flippers market thats all about making moves on the day of release or even pre-release. There’s still a buyers market for buying rare variants or 1sts and holding them and there’s a speculator market that buy’s up stuff that might not be the rarest or the biggest 1st but could be something down the road.

    1. Thanks Robert. I am 43 and started selling comics when I was 13. I bought books and sold them as the price guides came out and showed an increase. I used to buy friends collections for beer money when they got tired of them (ASM 300 and NM 98 in almost all of them). Back in the good old days I would buy exclusives from Another Universe for $1 for 4 packs and take them to the local shop in Delaware and sell them for guide. I bought out the Ultimate Spider-Man Niagara falls edition from the Marvel place that used to be there at $3 Canadian and was selling them for $80 each (bought the last 75 copies). I have sold on eBay for close to 20 years and Yahoo auctions before that. I have been around and seen the market change and grow and have adjusted my strategy to it. The market has changed greatly. It will change again. I “invest in comics” and I also “flip comics” flipping allows me to spend the money on the books I like or desire. I love comics, and love selling them. Not everything I have bought has been a winner, but I do well enough that I report the income on my taxes.

    2. You guys really helped me understand the difference between speculating and investing today and I’m very grateful. I feel like I can classify myself as a long term holder either way. I’m just happy buying the majority of my books for great stories and art. If some of them heat up in the future I can sell them to fund whatever strikes my fancy then. Ive got to get out of this pokemon mentality becau se i certainly cant catch em all.

      1. Lol. For the longest time I was a completist. Trying to get every book possible. I had a hard time with buying stuff for selling, then it would shoot up in value, and I just couldn’t part with it. I finally broke myself of the mentality a while back and now I sell stuff out of my personal collection when I can get good money for it. All the books will one day be sold off anyway, hopefully before I die, but you never know. Might as well cash some out while the books are hot.
        Glad we could be of help!

      2. That’s the golden answer.. you’re not gonna hit every winning spec that comes along.. you win some, you lose some and then you miss some entirely… 🙂

  4. Great thread. In the past couple of months I have gotten away from the quick flip, and I’m focusing more on the long term hold. I’m a collector/reader first, but (compared to everyone else here ) a very small time flipper. As a matter of fact recently I have been switching my PC to mylars and with some of the books I’m thinking why is this in my PC, so while I have been doing this I have also been cutting back on my PC and some of those books I know I could flip quick.

    1. I need to sell some stuff I say on. The problem is I had 500 free listings the other day and was having something akin to narcolepsy because I kept falling asleep in the middle of listing books. Lol.
      Sent from my iPhone

      1. I am waiting for my 500 listing opportunity. I need to off load couple of books from my PC. I tried to sell them to my LCS but they only wanna give me a nickle for every book. Wish there was a LAW that stated if a book”s value fall for under cover price, you can at least get 75% of cover price lol. Aaaaah what a wish lol

  5. Just my 2 cents. After 2 – 3 years I realize that recent Moderns truly are hit or miss as has been mentioned in this thread. I’m not sure what a good “hit” percentage is, but I’m at the point after 3 years that I no longer want less than 100% success of flipping for either slightly more or alot more than I purchased for. Getting stuck with a Modern that I ultimately lose on is just not acceptable for me anymore. That said, I can honestly say I cannot recall ever losing on a key high grade Silver or Bronze book. Never. They just go up up up. Slowly sometimes, but always up.
    My only exception to this is Comicon Image exclusives which are inherently unique to those individuals that attend a show. For the last 5 years at NYCC and SDCC and other major conventions Image seems to limit the Con exclusives to 500 copies and I’ve never lost on these either with the quick flip. People want them that do not go to the shows. Whether they drop later on is not relevant since they’re out of my hands within a week.
    This is the modification I’ve made in my flipping. I just hate being stuck with even 1 Modern that hit the skids for whatever reason.

      1. If one is going to gamble then I agree 100% with moderns. Days; not weeks is the target. It’s just a whole Lotta work, research and time and effort, and one can still lose if not ftm often. Again … I need 100% with as little work as possible. High grade silver and bronze is truly a sure thing for never selling less if you’re willing to wait a year or two.

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