By Angelo Virone — Cover price variant collector and historian (Contact by email), October 2022
“A growing segment of the collecting community is discovering the desirability and true scarcity of CPV's and now they want to own a piece of the pie!”
In my opinion, this is the easiest market report I’ve had to write.
Given the global economy, ongoing war, stagflation, housing affordability and stock market downturn during 2022, collectors and investors fear losing their hard-earned money.
Should we buy or sell at this point?
Everyone needs to look at their finances and question whether that extra cash is needed in the short-term. If the situation dictates you need money to pay for household bills or that you might be losing your job then hold off from buying, it’s simply not worth it! It also goes without say that if you need to sell comics in a down market to help fund necessities, then do so, family comes first!
However, if you are financially grounded and have funds saved specifically for comics then this is a great time to buy C.P.V.’s. I’d buy the top 100 ranked CPV’s that dipped in price. Holding these books for about 18-24 months might be very rewarding as an investment. I say “might” because the CORRECTION we are in may drag on longer.
Remember that key CPV’s in top grades come in two tiers, those that seldom get posted for sale and those that come up more often. For the right price, both tiers are worth investing in. See one of my past market reports, where I explain the different categories of CPV’s. Click the following link then scroll to the middle of my report:
Get Them Now or Chase Them Later
Numerous key C.P.V.’s in 9.8 grades achieved record prices during 2022, yet the same issues in lower grades achieved the opposite result. I recall having separate discussions with Jay and Bill a couple of years back when they predicted that the price multiple for a graded 9.8 compared to a 9.6 would eventually widen, and this is what we are seeing more of now.
Despite the global economy and the ongoing war, I see a strong and steady appetite coming from a growing number of buyers determined to own key CPV’s in the highest grades only. Seems like money is no issue with a number of 9.8’s recently selling between $3,000-6000 each; even a 9.9 CGC Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2 found a buyer at $15,000 (www.gpanalysis.com is used to verify many public sales; if you are not already a GPA member I highly recommend you subscribe).
A growing segment of the collecting community is discovering the desirability and true scarcity of CPV’s and now they want to own a piece of the pie!
Tony LeBlanc wrote an article on CPV’s for us a couple of years back pointing out that collectors gravitate towards comics that have a collective ranking of desirability (similar to our top 100 CPV’s). The higher a book is ranked and the more desirable it becomes with each passing year. I do believe a collective ranking serves as an investing guide and thus becomes ingrained thereafter.
When a top graded key issue comes up for sale don’t hesitate to pull the trigger; a dip in price today will become tomorrow’s smart investment! And when 9.8’s become too expensive, the smart money will gravitate towards the much cheaper 9.6 followed by 9.4’s and even 9.2’s. However, if after years of looking at the census, 9.8’s and 9.6’s still do not exist for a particular issue, it’s only natural that 9.4’s and 9.2’s find a higher multiple for comics that remain in high demand!
CPV awareness is expanding year-after-year; we see more youtubers and articles focused on this scarcer segment of the comic book collecting world. Complimentary to C.P.V.’s, CGC announced that as of September 26th, 2022 they will break-out NEWSSTANDS from DIRECT editions on their labels. This news further validates Canadian Price Variants (C.P.V.’s) because they are, after all, newsstands as well!
Without a doubt, as more collectors are getting into this space the one constant I hear is the satisfaction they get when a desirable book arrives in the mail. I see Instagram light up with many CPV pics posted daily in a section dedicated to Canadian Price Variants only. Even CGC posted a pic on one occasion discussing their rarity!!!
For the last year or so, ComicLink has been adding a paragraph describing the scarcity of Canadian Price Variants in their auctions! And just recently, Heritage has been highlighting Canadian Price Variants in a special auction focused solely to Newsstands. Who knows what else will happen this time next year?
In all honesty, if two parties can trade books then it’s a win-win situation because no money was exchanged. Let’s face it, with the pandemic starting to be behind us, many people feel like they have less money in their pockets because the global economy is anything but stable right now.
Who would you recommend I buy from?
I get this question sometimes, and my answer depends on your location, the amount of taxes to be paid and the exchange rate if you’re buying from another country. I do buy from some sellers regularly and avoid a select few for very good reasons. You should of course prioritize buying from those members of the CPV guide team who have stores.
One eBay seller I’d like to highlight this year is Lou from Sweetlous situated in the USA. Great guy to chat with and he’s been selling books for years. He’s always willing to make a transaction as easy as possible; packs and ships as the true professional that he is.
I’d focus on buying first appearances, first and last issues from a series focused on a popular character rumored to get a movie or episode. Just stay clear of 9.8 spec books demanding ridiculous prices that trump even those of 9.8’s from our top 100 ranking! Having said that, there are books not in the top 100 that have tremendous potential and can easily make the cut.
In any slowdown one must stick to characters that have a long history or are in the spotlight for good reasons. The books I highlight below have one or more of these elements going for them. For further technical guidance in seeking the right investment book(s) click on the following link to find my COMIC SCORE CARD (https://www.cpvpriceguide.com/comic-score-card/)
BLIP #1 (1st appearance of MARIO and DONKEY KONG) Movie trailer dropped for an April 2023 release and it looks amazing. Buy this book in whatever grade you can find…it’s a tough one to get!
GREEN LANTERN #201 (1ST KILOWOG) fan favorite soon to be seen on T.V.!
WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #1. 1ST VULTURIANS, FIRST ISSUE of a Spider-Man title and EARLY BLACK SUIT pre-Venom.
G.I. JOE #21 (FAMOUS SILENT ISSUE, 1ST APPEARANCE OF STORM SHADOW). Buy this book now with the recent dip and hold on to it, it will be a great investment!
SWAMP THING #37 and #25 (1st FULL APPEARANCE and 1st CAMEO appearance of CONSTANTINE) Movie was just recently confirmed with Keanu Reeves as Constantine.
TRANSFORMERS #1 (1st Full appearance of the TRANSFORMERS) Movie confirmed and coming soon.
NEW TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #2 (1st VIGILANTE) Sequel coming and Vigilante was the fan favorite in the show.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ADVENTURES #1 1988 (Both DIRECT and NEWSSTAND CPV’s) First appearance of COLORED BANDANAS and 1st APPEARANCE of three very popular villains (KRANG, BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY). Turtles movie was confirmed.
THUNDERCATS #1 (1st appearance of the THUNDERCATS) Movie confirmed.
SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #98 (1st full appearance of the SPOT) Confirmed to be the main villain for the upcoming Miles Morales Spider-man movie sequel. This book is not in the 2022 top 100 but has a really good shot of making it in an upcoming price guide.
STAR WARS #68. A book that needs no introduction. A 3rd season has been confirmed so our favorite Mandalorian will be seen once again.
MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS #7 (1ST JULIA CARPENTER AS SPIDER-WOMAN). Rumors of a Secret Wars movie and Julia Carpenter potentially appearing has definitely placed this book in the spotlight as a CPV).
DAREDEVIL #227 (1st issue to the BORN-AGAIN storyline that the new upcoming Daredevil series is “supposedly” focused on). This is not in the 2022 top 100 but it has all the markings of one if the title gets confirmed.
AVENGERS #267. (1ST APPEARANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF KANGS). This, amongst other books, is the premiere Kang CPV issue.
VOLTRON #1 (1st appearance of Voltron in comics) Movie Confirmed.
MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS #1 (1ST BATTLEFIELD and BEYONDER) A Secret Wars Movie is confirmed; however, we do not have confirmation which of the two series it will draw content from.
SWAMP THING ANNUAL #2, #49, #50 (Cameo, First and Second appearance of the JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK). These books are not in the 2022 top 100, yet they have potential making that list due to Justice League Dark rumors that a movie is in the works.
MASK #1 (12/1985). Movie is in the works.
X-MEN #184 (1ST appearance of FORGE) With the X-Men franchise coming to the big screen Forge is a popular character that many are hoping to see.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #1 (7/1993) AND SONIC THE HEDGEHOG MINI SERIES #0 (2/1993). Unless something changes, going forward, these are the two SONIC CPV books I would focus on! Two movies out, video games and more to come for this very popular character!
ALL-STAR SQUADRON #47 (ORIGIN of Doctor Fate and an amazing McFarlane cover) Dr. Fate is starring in the Black Adam movie. Not in the 2022 top 100 but a book that would easily qualify.
GROO #1. This popular character is finally getting his own T.V. show.
BLADE RUNNER #1. T.V. Series announced.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1 (Both STAR COMICS AND DC COMICS) A HE-Man movie was announced.
BEETLEJUICE #1. It’s been announced that this property will be making it either on T.V. or as a movie. (See Sal's great article this year entitled Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice). If anyone can help me locate a top graded copy of this book please give me a shout.
MARVEL TAILS #1 (1st Appearance of PETER PORKER) Peter Porker should be in the next installment of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie. I see a whole new universe of shows and movies that will draw from this book. We barely touched the tip of the iceberg with these cartoon characters!!!
PUNISHER LIMITED SERIES #1. No news regarding a new Punisher series but I think this year or next a Punisher series will be announced. It’s a no-brainer to me!
Rule #1: Buy ‘quality’ books in the highest grade you can reasonably afford as opposed to buying ‘quantity’ in lower grades when ‘investing’ in C.P.V.’s
Rule #2: Don’t forget rule #1.
— Angelo Virone