By Bill Alexander, Overstreet Advisor, U.S.-published comic book cover price variant specialist and historian (Contact by email), October 2021
“The gap between certified 9.6 and 9.8 books in what they sell for, is still continuing to grow wider and wider. At comic book auction houses, I have noticed that some certified 9.8 graded copies of popular key books are sometimes bid up three times or more than 9.6 copies of the same book, in the same auction in just the first couple of days of being at auction.”
As most people out there are probably aware, back in January of 2021 we saw something happen that was unprecedented in the comic book marketplace. Comic book selling prices for certified 9.8 graded books began to skyrocket like never seen before, and by late March of 2021 certain key books had literally tripled! in value for what they were selling for.
The bubble apparently burst around the middle of June, as a result of people asking more and more for their certified 9.8 key books, apparently trying to see how high of a price people were willing to pay.
What was a surprise to me, was that even with Amazing Spider-Man 238 skyrocketing in prices that were being paid for it as a direct edition in certified 9.8, not one certified 9.8 CPV copy surfaced for sale that I am aware of?
Two key CPV books to keep an eye on I believe, are Transformers 1 and G.I Joe 21 in certified 9.8 grade. Certified 9.8 direct edition copies of both of those books are currently selling in the $2.5K-$3K range I have observed.
Some noteworthy CPV sales in 2021 were Thor 337 CGC 9.8 $4,301.00, G.I Joe 21 CGC 9.2 $2,104.00, G.I Joe 22 CGC 9.8 $2,136.00, Amazing Spider-Man 238 CGC 9.0 $1,100.00, Marvel Secret Wars 8 CGC 9.8 $3850.00, X-Factor 6 CGC 9.6 $717.00, Web of Spider-Man 1 CGC 9 .8 $999.99, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 1 CGC 9.8 Mini series(Direct Edition) $2,811.00, Amazing Spider-Man 252 CGC 9.6 $911.00, Masters of The Universe 1 CGC 9.8 $1,117.00. One can see the noteworthy CPV sales section of this price guide for further noteworthy sales.
“It’s certified 9.8 with WHITE PAGES and nothing less,” appears to be the theme song with people who buy 80’s and 90’s CPVs. People who are buying certified 9.8 CPVs with less than white pages being stated on the grading companies slab label are not willing to pay as much for the book in comparison to a white page labeled comic book, and will pay a considerable amount less for the book it seems.
I have been asked, what in my opinion is the toughest key CPV book to find in a certified 9.8 grade. I would have to say Woman Woman 9 (1st appearance of Barbara Ann Minerva appearing as the new Cheetah). Wonder Woman 9 CPV has not only yet to grade in a certified 9.8, but in 9.6 grade as well, based on the current CGC & CBCS census. A CGC 9.4 copy sold for $600 back in May 2019. Even among non CPV 75c newsstand editions of Wonder Woman 9, I have only seen a few copies in a certified 9.8 grade.
Another thing I have noticed is that the gap between certified 9.6 and 9.8 books in what they sell for, is still continuing to grow wider and wider. At comic book auction houses, I have noticed that some certified 9.8 graded copies of popular key books are sometimes bid up three times or more than 9.6 copies of the same book, in the same auction in just the first couple of days of being at auction.
Meanwhile, CPVs in raw grades appear to be a harder sell on eBay and in the marketplace lately. I believe the reason for this is that less and less people out there are willing to take a gamble that they are going to agree with the raw grade that the seller has assigned the book. I also am seeing more and more sellers of comic books on Ebay stating that they are not experienced graders, “so please judge the books image for yourself,” and no grade is listed or given by the seller.
There seems to be good selectivity in the hobby when collecting price variants. There are Canadian, UK and Australian Type 1A price variants to go after and collect, as well as a good number of Type 1 price variants out there to collect.
In Comic Link’s October 2021 focused auction I noticed a well needed and very helpful change in how they now list all CPVs in their auctions. Books that were once incorrectly slab labeled in the past as “Canadian editions” instead of “Canadian price variants”, are now correctly being listed in their auctions as CPVs. I tip my hat to Comic Link for their CPV listing change.
Happy collecting everyone.