Saturday, October 20, 2012

When Reprints Attack

In the years I was away from the collectible comic book marketplace, one weird thing occurred that affected my ability to gather up some very old comics that I wanted to collect. And that was the influence of certain reprints on the collectible value of some titles. Specifically, Golden Age Disney comics.

All during the years I was a dealer in old comics, the Disney titles written and illustrated by Carl Barks were among my favorites. I loved finding them and hated selling them. And sell them I did, because it seemed that there was a HUGE customer base for the sale of his classic books.

Fast forward to 2004 when I started to get serious about buying old comics for my own pleasure. One of the things that I discovered was that the old Barks books actually went DOWN in value. Now, this may have bugged the hell out of someone who had invested in these books hoping to see them increase in price, but for me it was a blessing. I found that I could actually afford some of the books that I had feared would be far out of my price range. But now I found that these books were mainly quite affordable. Some of them had become even cheap!

And why was this?

It's because the Disney Corporation has vigorously reprinted almost all of the works of Carl Barks in many different formats. Therefore, if you really want to read his classic stories, you don't have to shell out big bucks for rare back issues. Thus, the market for the old books shrank, sometimes tremendously.

And this made it very easy for me to pick up the hard-to-get issues that I dearly wanted to own.

Since I started collecting again I've seen the prices and market for the old Barks books ebb and flow. Sometimes I have competitors wanting the same books and the prices go up a bit. But usually I find that I can land the ones I want for the prices I feel like paying. For me, it's a boon, and I've been able to slowly build my Barks collection to a respectable level.

Will they once again increase in value? Maybe so. Maybe not. Time will tell.

My copy of Four Color #282: "Donald Duck and the Pixilated Parrot"! One of Carl Barks' masterpieces of wit and slapstick.


Kirk G said...

Confusius say, "Man who buy comics as investment, destined to loose his bank. Fan who buy for pleasure of reading and owning, rewarded many times over!"

HemlockMan said...

I love how I can get these great Disney originals for low prices!