MARKET REPORT from Douglas W. Sulipa (Doug’s Comic World)
Although we are Located in Canada, we have in stock a large selection UK / BRITISH Hardcover Annuals (1500 ), Marvel-UK Comics (8000 ), UK War Digests (3000 Battle Picture Library, Commando, War Picture Library, etc), DC Comics Related, plus a decent selection of Alan Class & other UK Comics(1000 ); We actually have a better selection of these than most UK Dealers, and over 50% of our buyers are from the UK & Overseas.
Our bestsellers are all the Various Marvel-UK publications. These have been picking up in demand with American Buyers. Many buyers have favorite characters like Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, Conan, Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe & are now looking for additional new items they have not seen before. American buyers like the look of these strange publications & we have hooked a bunch of new buyers on them. Especially popular (when identified) are the comics with all-new UK-Only cover art.
Example; Spider-Man Comics Weekly have Original UK Cover art (not seen in USA) on Most issues #1-22, plus #51,53,55,59, and more (#3-7 have been identified as new early Cover are by JIM STARLIN); Issues #500-666 all had Low Print Runs & are all Scarcer; Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain, with New material UK only stories = #231-253 are very popular; PLANET OF THE APES are a Worldwide CULT favorite & are always in steady demand, including; POTA #1-123, the issues that Combine with DRACULA LIVES & the POTA issues of MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL (#231-246); Many issues have new POTA Covers, photo's & article, not to mention the bizarre issues that take Killraven stories & turn them into Apes stories. The Annual Specials (Summer, Winter etc) are always in higher Demand (usually in the $8-12 each price range); But by far the biggest demand is for issues with Bonus Insert Gifts (Stickers, Holograms, Paper-Planes, Masks, etc) that are still intact & present. While we sell most 1975-1984 UK Marvel weekly comics in the $3-$6 price Range, we sell the insert issues for $8-$12 range. UK-Marvels with popular Artists are in bigger demand & sell better when identified (Example; Byrne, Perez, Kirby, Steranko, Adams, Smith, Starlin, Miller etc); UK-Marvels that have all-new UK Stories of Popular American characters, are in high demand when identified, Even the all-new Nightraven stories are in demand as compared to all-reprint issues. The 1980-1982 UK MARVEL Pub British POCKET BOOK /Comics Digests (Chiller, Classics, Conan, FF, Hulk, Spider-Man, Star Heroes, Titans, X-Men & Young Romance) are getting scarcer & sell well to Marvel collectors who like oddball items.
1950's to 1970's Comics that carry mostly reprints of American Comics by Alan Class, Miller & Misc other UK publishers have been harder for us to stock, & seen to been scarcer in the UK lately too. The prolific Alan Class issues that went well into the 1980's are the only ones that are more common. 1950's issues in particular are in short supply, mainly because they still have a relatively low retail value as compared to their Original American Counterparts. The HORROR comics by Alan Class, Miller & others, are among our bestsellers (Vintage USA Horror & SF titles from; Atlas/Marvel, Archie, ACG, Charlton, DC,etc); Alan Class 1950's-1980's sell for $7-$12, with early issues higher. Miller issues from 1960's sell at $12-$30 each;
The original material UK War comic digests (Battle Picture Library, Commando, & War Picture Library, etc) are in demand & still rising in value. Most 1970-1980's issues sell in the $2-$6 range, with 1950's/60's issues in the $6-$20 range, with 1950's #1-10's in the $25-$100 each price range; American WAR fans are beginning to like them as they discover & sample them, as they contain many realistic stories, of various wars, battles, campaigns, regiments, etc.
All UK comics with stories by ALAN MOORE are in High Demand at 150% to 300% of the Value of surrounding Non-Moore issues. Other popular creators that are well know in USA are also in bigger demand including; Brian Bolland, Bryan Talbot, Grant Morrison, etc. WARRIOR is destined to be one of the all-time Classics (1982-1985 B&W comics magazine; Bolland, Bolton, Alan Davis, Gibbons Alan Moore, Morrison, with Marvelman / Miracleman) are always in demand at $8-25 each; The classic 2000 AD weekly (Bisley, Bolland, Dan Dare, Dillon, Alan Davis, Fabry, Gibbons, Grant, Alan Moore, Nemesis, JUDGE DREDD, Robo-Hunter, Rogue Trooper, Slaine, Strontium Dog, Stainless Steel Rat, Bryan Talbot, & more) is a must for UK collectors, but little known in the USA; (#2 features the 1st app of Judge Dredd & sells for $200-1000); With Miracleman, Judge Dredd & top notch UK Creators, These 2 Titles are perhaps the best of the entire Bronze Age.
The UK Classics Illustrated with All-New Stories & Covers never seen in USA are in very high demand in the $25-$150 each range (#158A James Bond Dr No brings $500 in High Grade & became DC's Showcase #43); We have sold a good amount of the UK MAD Magazines (They sell better once Spoof Contents of TV & Movies etc are Listed)
UK British PENCE cover Price VARIANT Editions have been picking up in demand, mainly to Marvel Completionists at this point. These Marvel's were printed in USA & originally ONLY for sale in UK. They appeared periodically from 1961 thru to the 1980's, with many interruptions. The 1960's UK Price Variants were printed simultaneously with the US Editions & are now Officially Considered "VARIANT" Originals (See Overstreet #41 Article on pages 1010-1038). UK editions of expensive books like Amazing Spider-Man #1 and TTA #27 as still harder to sell, as buyers still lack the knowledge to realize they are perhaps 20 to 100 Times Scarcer than the original US printings. There were many "ND" (Not Distributed) periods in UK, where NO copies (USA Printings or UK Printings) were DISTRIBUTED & thus those issues are scarcer overseas. (best Referenced in the 1997-98 McAlpine guide); The bestseller UK Variants this year are those Bronze Age Comics with the "MARVELALL-COLOUR COMICS" Banner across the top of the front cover, mostly in the 1974-1980 era, at 120-135% GUIDE.
I have found that most UK Dealers & Guides do NOT Grade according to the 1.0 to 10.0 point Condition Scale now in widespread use by both Overstreet & CGC. This is a huge mistake, as it alienates most American Buyers and Investors. Serious Hard-Core collectors expect & demand serious grading. It is well known for example that most 1975-1985 Newsprint cover Marvel-UK weeklies (because of the inferior printing format) are Scarce in STRICT VF, 8.0 and rare in VF/NM, 9.0 (almost Non-Existent in strict 9.4 or better). Yet many guides & Dealers list these items as MINT (Which is 10.0 on the current Grading scale & applies to perhaps 1 in Million pre-1990 Comics), when they really mean VF, 8.0; Just as Overstreet lists NM-, 9.2 as the TOP grade for RAW (Non-CGC Graded) comics in the Guide, all other Guides need to do the same to be taken seriously. In fact UK Comics, Newsprint comics, Digests and annuals are so very Scarce in TRUE NM 9.4, that most should have VF/NM as the TOP Price Listed in the Guide. Most existing 1950's UK comics are in strictly graded FA/G to VG Condition range; Most existing 1960-1974 UK comics are in strictly graded G/VG to VG/FN Condition range; Most existing 1975-1990 UK comics are in strictly graded VG/FN to FN/VF Condition range; If some the World's Best examples surface, they should sell at MULTIPLES of the VF/NM, 9.0 Guide Prices (Just as the do worldwide with American CGC Graded comics). Once UK Dealers & Collectors realize their publications are indeed collectible worldwide & start to Grade them as strictly as CGC, collectors worldwide with begin to take them seriously, price will begin to rise & they will become the "new" worldwide comics collectibles with Unlimited Potential.