9.8; The Modern Standard…Plus Contest Winner Announced!

Sorry for my three week hiatus, but I’ve come back with another Diesel City Dreams to announce a winner and give some insight on the modern day 9.8 certified grade. The random winner of the Spawn #1 is Dandelion. I’ll email you directly and send the book your way my friend.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a guy who likes getting books slabbed. If for no other reason than just nicely displaying great books, I’m a fan of slabs. I’ve got my own membership to CGC and I’ve sent close to 100 books to CGC this year. As a guy who doesn’t cash in on his personal collection as much as I should, I have some extremely low grade comic books as well as a wide assortment of 9.8s.

What I feel most new speculators and investors are struggling with is understanding the distinction between graded books from the modern age vs. any other age of comics. Collectors, not speculators, not re-sellers, but COLLECTORS for the most part want 9.8 grades for modern day comics (sans big keys that they’d like in any grade), because we understand what a modern comic book is. These books are overprinted, on much higher quality paper, and are rarely read in comparison to days gone by. As the game goes on with less collectors and readers, and the dealers and re-sellers are buying in bulk to make a buck, supply and demand askew.

The big kicker is now more than ever you don’t have to read the comic book to find out what happens. Thanks to social media platforms and websites much like the fine site I write for, information is more easily accessible than ever before. You can be a fair-weather fan, see something on social media, and rush to the store and scoop as many copies of a first appearance as possible. Some casual readers don’t have the luxury or means to be able to compete.

If one person does that at your store, several people are doing it everywhere else. Then these copies are either shipped to a grading company or delivered personally, most of which come back in the 9.6-9.8 range. The market then gets completely over-saturated with graded copies, and when there are so many graded copies, and in high grade, people want the best. I’m sure most of you have seen the big differences in sales between modern day 9.6s and 9.8s. This is because collectors understand the game, and EXPECT a book that just came out last week to be a 9.8. Thus, most people not being interested in a grade lower.

Comic books are handled far differently today than they were in the 80’s, the 70’s, and certainly the 50’s and 60’s. A lot of collectors buy for cover. Some collectors buy for completion. Others for appreciation. And the dying breed; readers. What’s keeping the market ablaze are the eBay re-sellers. They typically have no interest in the subject matter and treat it like a business. That’s not hating by any stretch, as who am I to tell someone how to make some quick scratch.

What I’m trying to state in this long diatribe is that if you’re a new collector, comic books today are different from even 2005. If you want to get a Batgirl #23 graded or another current key book, make sure it’s a 9.8. Otherwise you’re simply killing the value of your own book, and raw copies often fetch similar prices to 9.4s and 9.6s. As everyone continues to get books slabbed right off of the newsstand, the difficulty to find a high grade copy is erased.

Thanks for coming back to the City that is Diesel. Sorry for the short write-up, as I’ll definitely be giving you all some great material come December! Also anticipate a sick free giveaway over the Christmas season, so keep your eyes OPEN!


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