Comic books have been part of adolescence since 1932 when the first comic book was printed. Some of the earliest comic books can fetch thousands of dollars at auction and are eagerly sought after by collectors. Is your old comic book collection going to pay for your child's college education? Probably not, but with a good price guide you can get an idea of how much your favorites are worth.
Comic Book Price Guides Online
There are several sites that can help you find out more about your comic books, including their monetary value.
Comics Price Guide
You will need to register for the Comics Price Guide site, but registration is free. There are resources and information to help you grade your comic books according to condition as well as get a value.
Comic Book Realm
Comic Book Realm also has free registration and is an excellent resource for all kinds of information about your comic books, including the current values.
Nostomania allows you to find the value of your comics for free and also has an area where you can buy and sell comics.
Types of Comic Books
American comic books are divided up into eras. Collectors may choose copies from each era or concentrate on just one. The older comics are more rare and usually more valuable.
- Platinum Age: This includes comic strips and other media that developed into the comic book over time. Most experts agree that the Platinum Age lasted until 1938.
- Golden Age: The Golden Age of comics was a time of Superheroes like Superman and Batman. It began in the 1930s and lasted until the early 1950s. During the latter part of the Golden age, the post war years, military and western comics replaced superheroes in popularity.
- Silver Age: Experts named the period from 1956 to 1970. Superheroes were reintroduced beginning with The Flash in 1956.
- Bronze Age: The Bronze Age of comics continued the popularity of superheroes but also introduced macabre, dark, and more mature subject matter and characters to the comic book genres. It lasted from 1970 to 1985.
- Modern Age: Beginning in the mid 1980s comic book characters became increasingly complex. This trend continues today.
Grading Your Comic Books
Like many other collectible items comic books are evaluated according to their condition or grade. The better condition a comic book is in the more valuable it will be to collectors. When you are looking at a price guide, whether it is online or at the library, you will usually see different values given for the same book in different conditions. Be honest with yourself about the condition of your comic book to ensure that you evaluate it accurately.
- Mint: Like new with no defects, very rare
- Near Mint: Almost like new but with minor defects such as a light crease or a small bit of color worn off the cover
- Very Fine: Book has been read but has been handled with care
- Fine: One major defect like minor tears or folds
- Very Good: Book is complete but has major defects like creases, soiling, or tears
- Good: Still readable but with many defects, soiling, tears, and wear
- Fair: Still has all of the pages but has a lot of soiling, taped pages, or is missing part of the cover
- Poor: Pages and parts of pages missing
Examples of Current Values
Some of the most valuable comic books are currently worth thousands of dollars.
- Detective Comics 27, certified: $3,550,000.00 in near mint condition
- Superman 1, certified: $622,000.00 in near mint condition
- Marvel Comics 1, certified: $409,000.00 in near mint condition
- All American Comics 16, certified: $365,000.00 in near mint condition
The value of collectibles changes often. It is important to keep yourself updated with the newest information. Talk to experts at comic book shows and join online forums and groups that enable you to discuss comics with other collectors. This way you will always have an idea of what the current values of your comics are.