August 2015 Comic Market Report: I Guess a Cover is Worth $173,275 (Also, HULK SMASH!)


This month is about my post-Heritage hangover. I'm mostly going to focus on the Suspense #3 result, but I've also got the Hulk to talk about. I love the Hulk.

Read on!

Suspense Comics #3 Pennsylvania pedigree CBCS 9.0 sells for $173,275



To be clear, this result is within the range I expected for this book. It's just at the very top end of the range. I thought it would sell for between $125,000 to $175,000 or so. That said, just because I had some sense it could make it this high that doesn't mean this isn't strong result. It's still a little bit crazy to me.

I've long had a hard time coming to grips with the value of any Suspense #3 and the absolute value of this particular copy has been especially hard for me to come to grips with.

After thinking about it for a while, I've decided that attitude is silly. While the absolute number gives me pause ($173,000!), in the grand scheme of things, that's not all that crazy. The comic market has grown so much that $173k makes sense for this book.

For starters, the relative value hasn't really changed all that much from when the Crippen copy sold for $47,800 nine years ago. In fact, it might have decreased. At that time, the record for a comic book sale was only $350,000, so that $47,800 was nothing to sneeze at. Now that the record comic book sale has increased to over $3,000,000 and more than 60 public transactions have happened at $200,000 or above, $173,000 doesn't seem like that mighty a sale.

Basically, it's a lot of money, but in a world where the first appearance of Ant-Man (Ant-Man!) is a $200k book, $173,000 for a tough-as-nails Golden Age classic cover by the Golden Age's most iconic cover artist is not that much money.

CBCS scores

One of the sidelights of this sale is the fact that the book was in a CBCS holder. Clearly, based on their turnaround times and presence in all the big auctions, CBCS is doing very well, but this was the first time that the premiere book in a round of auctions has been in a CBCS holder. There were some other nice books for sale over the past few weeks but the plain fact is no book compared to this Suspense #3 in terms of pure hype and excitement. With the overall scarcity, the grade, the pedigree and the general mania surrounding this book it's a real coup for it to have been sold in a CBCS holder.

Kudos to Steve, West and the rest of the CBCS team.

Incredible Hulkamania

The beat goes on for Incredible Hulk #1. While it hasn't achieved parity grade-for-grade with Amazing Fantasy #15, it's getting closer with every sale. As I mused last month The Incredible Hulk #1 CGC VF- 7.5 is a $50,000 book now. It's doubled in two years at that grade. The question is- where does it end? Is this a run like the one where Detective #27 briefly overtook Action #1 as the top book in the hobby during the late 1980s Batmania? Or is this something else- a permanent transition based on the over-sized presence of the Hulk in the globe-conquering Marvel Cinematic Universe? We'll see, I guess.

I'm rooting for the Hulk.

I'll say one thing for sure, I wish I'd bought a Hulk #1 three years ago.

Looking Ahead

The current Comic Connect Event Auction is a lot of fun at the top. There's a great run of early Detectives, a CBCS 8.0 Incredible Hulk # 1 and a sweet All Star Comics # 8.

Further out, the November Heritage Comics Signature Auction looks insane for Silver Age marvels. Some of the books are just awe-inspiring examples. I can't wait to see some of those Fantastic Fours up for auction. A Fantastic Four #45 CGC NM/MT 9.8 with White pages.? Yes, please.

That's it for now, next month we'll deep dive into the ComicConnect results and whatever else tickles my fancy.

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