CBS channel KFVS-12 in Cape Girardeau, MO has a report on Free Comic Book Day, of the kind of comics allegedly seeing increases during the continued Covid19 pandemic. First, there’s what’s presumably the better choice, the comic that jump-started the Silver Age:
In honor of free comic book day, local shops gave free comics to customers. However, some are opting to pay for older issues in hopes of seeing a big return.
A guy spent $5,000 on The Fantastic 4 No.1″ Andrew Johnson, owner of Comix Strip said.
People waited at the Comix Strip’s doors to get their hands on free comic books.
However, Johnson said customers are skipping the newer comics and going for where the money is, vintage ones.
Certainly, going for a lot of the older stuff is wiser than pursuing the newer stuff since the turn of the century. But how does it substitute for actually reading what they’re buying? If all they’re purchasing the early gems for is speculator investments, then it only reinforces my opinion all this collecting is amounting to little more than a blatant disgrace and a blight upon the medium.
And there’s also people who’re buying according to certain political trends:
Johnson said the jump in value over the years is because of the transition from print to broadcast.
“I think it’s the movies, then you’ve got the tv shows and they have really been getting people interested in comic books again,” Johnson said.
Plus, he said certain comics are seeing a spike in value, as special events and characters are introduced or reintroduced.
Scott Thorn with Castle Perilous Games and Books in Carbondale says that includes the Marvel character Kang. Who’s reported as the new villain in the next Avenger’s movie. Or the recent announcement of DC character Robin as bisexual in new “Batman Urban Legends” comic.
“One guy bought like 3 copies of it yesterday. He’s hoping to hang onto it and see if it increases in value,” Thorn said.
I doubt this Batbook retconning Tim Drake will see much value in years to come. If previous Marvel/DC stories with politicized themes are so reviled, like the heavy handed Captain America volumes written during Axel Alonso’s regime, then there’s not much chance the Robin retcon will fare any better. Yet this news does say quite a bit about the sad situation the Big 2 have influenced, one where people are now buying all sorts of comics based on ideological themes alone. Author Sean Howe, noted for his Marvel biography from a decade ago, once made clear that buying a comic because of LGBT themes is an awfully dumb reason for doing so. And he’s right.
The real reason some ideologues may be buying these items for the speculator market may based far more on said ideologies than because they believe the finished product has artistic merit, and also because they find the notion of corrupting all that made the creations work in the first place so appealing. And that’s surely the saddest thing about the fuss you see such ideologues make on social media sites today. It’s not that they ever cared about entertainment value. They solely care about destroying everyone’s favorite literature and other products to suit their degrading belief systems.
There’s only so many mainstream comics produced today that won’t see much value on the speculator market, which suffered from such mania in the mid-90s. One of the reasons I firmly believe the time’s come to retire the monthly pamphlet format, because that’s how the medium’s being exploited for tasteless ideology.