Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Tale of Two 9.2s

I've been in the market for a 9.0 or better copy of Amazing Spider-man 151 for some time. I recall having this book as a kid -- in fact I still have my beater original copy. It's a pricey book in high grade due to the fact that the dark cover is notorious for showing the slightest spine stress. A CGC 9.8 copy recently sold on ebay for around $1,000. Obviously, that is way out of what I want to spend on this book, but one can occasionally find a 9.2ish copy for a small fraction of the 9.8 price.

So, I ordered a copy advertised as 9.2 from a major metropolitan dealer. At first glance, it looked great.

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But then my eye caught this on the right edge:
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Obviously, a 9.2 NM- can't have a 2 inch thumb crease and a tear. So, I sent it back.

Next, I found a 9.2 copy being advertised by SoCal Comics. A gorgeous true 9.2... I'm not crazy about miswraps, but I can live with this one:
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

High Grade Bronze

I've been thinking about my collecting goals and, more and more, it seems like Silver Age comics are not the way to go. High grade Silver Age is prohibitively expensive to anyone making less than 6 figures a year, and the midgrade stuff just doesn't have much of a future in my opinion. I have boxes and boxes of nice midgrade Silver Age books I bought in the 80s and 90s and I'd be lucky to recoup my original price paid today.

These are not new thoughts to me and this is why I started collecting low/midgrade Golden Age Action/Superman comics a few years ago. There appears to be great demand for these books and one doesn't have to be so grade conscious... a 5.0 is a very respectable grade for these books and my thinking is there will be long term demand for them, unlike midgrade Silver which is just too common.

Another area I've begun focusing on is high grade Bronze books -- specifically the series that I first read as a kid getting into comics. Stuff like 2001, Super Villain Team-Up, Machine Man, and Spider Woman. These books can be obtained in high grade for prices that us mere mortals can afford.

So, the next question is, 9.8 only or 9.4 and 9.6 as well? What is "high grade" in the Bronze Age? I'm going to try for 9.8s, but when nice 9.6 presents themselves for a fraction of the 9.8 price, I can live with a 9.6. Frankly, I believe that 9.6s and 9.8s are very close to being interchangeable and the difference is so minimal that I don't have a lot of confidence anyone could consistently differentiate between the two anyway.

So, let's start off with the latest acquisition: Super-Villain Team-Up #8...

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