The horror genre was prevalent during the Golden Age. One of the favorite titles of that era was Tales From the Crypt #33. It published during the 1950's with a script by Al Feldstein and art by the team of Davis, Evens, Kamen, and Ingles. This comic book is the key origin of the Crypt Keeper. Look out, that gruesome comic is alive and well.
This ghoul has risen from the tomb 251 spots to the 10th ranked most popular Golden Age comic (GoCollect). Any issue that moves that far and that fast is worth a look as a speculator, even the undead. Warning! The current records skew due to only two recorded sales in the last three months.
For the last five years, this comic shows strong ROI. An issue graded very good (4.0) has moved up 159%. Furthermore, a very-fine (8.0) copy advanced 49% in that same time frame (GoCollect). TFC #33 has shown a very positive return in almost every grade but one. This consistency across grade is an indicator of future value and staying power. Get your inner speculative ghoul on and pick up a copy. It won't be cheap however you can get a very good (4.0) copy for about $280 (eBay).
Increasing the Value in Comic Speculation
If you ever go to a comic book convention; then be sure to have some comics for the attending artists to sign. Autographs are worth money but collecting autographs at the con is entirely free. You just buy a comic of the artist visiting that day at the convention; then you ask politely for a signature. These are some great books to have autographed:
Secret Wars #1 art by Mike Zeck, Strange Adventures #212 by Neal Adams, Star Wars #1 with Howard Chaykin, and The New Mutants #100 by the incomparable Rob Liefeld.
How does this relate to speculating on comics and possibly making a return? There are three potential ways to make money off comic book autographs:
First, most artists don't charge, so you are getting a free signature something for nothing, always good. If you are selling a comic online, your comic will move before one without an autograph. If you are lucky; you might meet Todd McFarlane and have him sign a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #301.
Second, the more famous entertainers and artists like Stan Lee are asking for money for their autograph. These signature purchases are definite money makers over time. For instance, I purchased a Stan Lee autograph a few years ago for $50. Years later, he is charging over $100 for the same autograph, inflation or just inflated ego? Because of his price increase, the value of his signature has gone up along with the comic book he signed Fantastic Four #72.
Finally, you can speculate on many signatures and sell them online for a premium to the original cost of the comic. There are parts of the country that people won't make it to conventions and purchasing autographed comics, is the next best thing. When the artist signs the book take a digital photo with your phone, that will be your provenance. Not quite certificate of authenticity (COA) but doubtless someone will pay more for proof that the signature is real. Remember, some comics might need the added value to sell, and speculating on a comic book with autograph and provenance might just do the trick.
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