Is the comic book market being manipulated?

Short answer, yes. However, watch this video for the points being made.

I’ve discussed this in the past but the fact is we’re living in an artificially created bubble for comics, and a big chunk of that can be placed at the feet of Ebay and of things like Key Collector App.

Having an app that lists key books is fine, but the problem lies is users manipulating data to artificially create a demand which isn’t there, so you could have an issue which has happily resided in dealers 50p boxes for decades and turn it into a £20-40 book overnight and there’s nothing key about the book at all. For example…

spidey176

Now this happened back in the 90’s when speculators would drive up prices artificially helped by the likes of Wizard who’d push books purely on spec, or if they had connections to dealers who had boxes of the things sitting around.

wizard1

Right now as well if you’re wealthy but can’t afford to invest in a Picasso, you can pick up a Batman #1 for much less knowing that your investment will grow. To make sure your investments do grow, you have to ensure the market as a whole grows which is why Golden Age titles are out the reach of most collectors, and now Silver Age titles are similarly becoming out of reach. Some Bronze Age books are now rising dramatically in value thanks again to speculators. In many cases it isn’t even because of rarity but an intent to create key issues and capitalise on the film/TV boom based upon comics.

If you’re a dealer this sounds great but the problem is if nobody is reading comics outwith of speculation purposes, then the medium suffers. This, like so many other things in the industry, isn’t spoken about seriously as it still is the Wild West in many cases.

Collecting comics is fun but making collecting prohibitively expensive isn’t a great idea to grow the industry, nor the medium and perhaps it’s time for the industry as a whole to confront the issue of speculators and maybe try to avoid the bubble collapsing which would damage the industry just at it did in the 1990’s.

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