NostoNews, February 13, 2022
by Tommy Jasmin
Feb 2022 Comics Market Report
Ok, so that happened. Let's get this one out of the way first, since it gives some insight into just how insanely hot the comic book market is. For a 6.0 to do as well as a 9.0 did a few years back is almost incomprehensible. Especially since the validity of that sale was questionable to start with. Always red flag "anonymous private seller to anonymous private buyer" sales. To be fair, I can understand why some of these folks do not want to draw attention to themselves, but I always give the most weight to open public auctions like these Heritage sales. In fact, our pricing algorithms take this stuff into account, intelligently weighting each sale appropriately - something I highly doubt any other online price guides are doing. It's interesting to me that back in the 70s and 80s, Action Comics #1 and Marvel Comics #1 were much more comparable and in fact many collectors would have preferred to own a Marvel Comics #1. We are at the point today were Marvel Comics #1 sits at the #5 slot on Nostomania's Top Comics list, at 20% of the Action #1 value.
An equally interesting sale to me is this coverless copy of Batman #1 going for nearly 40 grand. Don't get me wrong, a coverless major key would always get some attention, but this much? Too bad CGC does not assign a grade to a book like this, and kudos to CBCS, who would assign it an incomplete grade of INC 0.3. Our code converts this sale to an INC 0.3 in the database, that's the only way we can utilize it as fuel for pricing algorithms. I'm guessing other sites are unable to use this valuable data because they don't know what to do with that "NG". Every comic book has a numeric grade between 0 and 10 - CGC should change this policy in our opinion.
Matt Baker covers, wow, am I right? Meaning, the demand for these the past five years? For certain issues like this one, the demand is insanely strong. There can't be that many hardcore Baker fans - it's a different era and the pool must be somewhat small, but wow do they battle when one of his gems goes on the block. Consider this is only a 4.5, and it still got within a stone's throw of 20 grand. A book that probably could have been picked up for a few hundred bucks not that long ago, if you had the fortunate occurrence of coming across a dealer who had one. Is this the same copy that sold late last year for $16,800.00? Was the owner actually trying to "flip" it for even more money? If so that was a pretty close call.
Seeing the 2nd and 3rd tier Golden Age publishers finally gaining traction is really fun for me. Why are people only now getting really interested in characters like The Black Terror? Maybe just curiousity and digging deeper into comic history and lore? Maybe partly speculation driven? In any case, this sale also tripped alarm bells for Nosto, though to be fair doesn't this book deserve the attention? It goes back to 1941. It's the 1st appearance of The Black Terror, and is a fairly scarce book (a Gerber 7). Watch for continued interest in Nedor titles, similar to how MLJ took off a few years back.
Those who know me maybe could see this coming. How often do I rave about how underrated the Maurice Whitman covers for Fiction House were? Well they are finally having their day. This sale price is truly stunning. So is this copy and cover though. It has always been extremely difficult to find Fiction House books from this era in high grade, partly due to production quality of the comics during that time. They were not the most durable comics - more susceptible to wear from the minute they left the printer. It's no surprise this copy ties for the finest known of this issue. And that cover - the color and mood are phenomenal. Throw in some bondage and the bids start racking up quick.
I'll close with a super cool wartime Harvey. Harvey was never one of the 1st publishers that came to collector's minds when thinking about Golden Age super-hero books. But this thing has the key elements for a wartime book. Put a creepy monster on the cover, associate them with the Nazis, usually a simple well-placed swastika will cover that, add the costumed American hero to save the girl and the day, and you've got a winner. You might be thinking "but $6,300.00 - compared to the other comics in your report, that's not that much". But remember, this is a GD - a 2.0. The current Overstreet value for this comic is only $371.00. Here is the clue though that should tip all of you off - there are only 11, eleven better CGC copies.
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