by Zoe Frost
If you ask my husband Lex, he can still tell you the story of the first comic book his mom ever bought him. It's a nostalgic story for him, and his eyes take on an innocent shine as he tells the story. He was traveling with his mom, and their car broke down.
To keep her young son occupied, she bought him his first comic book and began a lifelong affair with characters like Batman, Superman, and his favorite, the X-Men. He introduced me to the great comic world when we met and we started collecting together.
There have always been comics, and while there is some debate on the first comic book, we can tell you the first was published in the mid to late 1800s. Fast forward almost 200 years later, and we now have movies and TV shows based on comic books. Comics growing exposure and popularity have caused their value to increase in recent years.
In 2022, Detective Comics #27 CGC Graded at a 6.5 sold for $1.74 million. That's HUGE! Can you imagine finding your old comics or a parent's and learning your comic books are worth hundreds, thousands, or more?
The next question you’re asking is what does all that mean? There are so many things that go into making a comic valuable. Let's look closer at Detective Comics #27. Most would question why the 27th book would be so valuable. It's not even the 1st in the series! Well, let me tell you. Detective Comics #27 is the first appearance of Batman in a comic book. This is what comic collectors would consider an important and very desirable comic to own.
Next, you have graded and raw books. A few different companies, including CGC which stands for Comic Guaranty Company, grade your books based on their condition and then encapsulate them in plastic.
The higher the grade of a book the more valuable it is. A raw book, is not graded. Graded books are often more valuable to a collector, but only sometimes, depending on their preference. I know quite a few people who prefer their books raw.
That doesn't even scratch the surface of what makes a comic book valuable. The nuances that go into it are frequently more complicated than the stock market. Ironically, some people treat comics like stock and consider them investments. Lex, my husband, and I often joke to our son that our comic collection will pay for his college someday, and it could!
So go on a treasure hunt and find those old comics! You never know what you may have! Most importantly, find a professional that can help assess your comic books. You wouldn't take a valuable piece of jewelry to a pawn shop to get it's value, so why would you do the same with your comic books?