A Fisherman’s Tale: Random Variations
I hate to admit, but I have gotten sucked into the variant hustle. When I first started collecting again was right before the new Star Wars comics were coming out. I had bought a few books here and there, but my first appearance in a store on a Wednesday was with Star Wars.
I grabbed the covers I liked and did not think about speculation or print runs. I was always mad when the variant I wanted was double or triple cover price. Ratio was a foreign concept. It took a few months before I understood what it meant to be a Wednesday Warrior. Sacrificing my lunch block to get to the closest LCS in hopes of snagging a variant cover.
I would score my precious variant to put a way in a box, I always forget the other piece of collecting, is to flip a book if hot, immediately. Over the past few years I have accumulated a few variants, mostly because I liked the art, or because this site recommended them.
I now have boxes of 1:25 ratio variants, but few are worth more than cover. Some of this is bitterness, because I was late to the Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and America Chavez ratios. I have high hopes for my Agents of Atlas, Unstoppable Wasp, and Avengers 7 variants, but time will tell which one was worth the price.
But let’s get to a fishing tale. One day I was lucky enough to get to my favorite honey hole and find no one there. The guy hadn’t rotated out the new comics, so I had time to kill. The shop sells tons of stuff so they don’t always straighten their books.
I was helping out, putting books back in their sections and of course fishing in a few sections I rarely search. I hit a small DC section of the letter R books. (Robin has his own section). I came across a nifty Red Hood cover. Red Hood the Lost Years was a 6 issue mini series that came out before the new 52.
I looked it up on comic book realm first and it said it was only a few dollars maybe $10. I liked the art so for a $1.50 it would be worth it. I still had time to kill so I decided to look it up on eBay. This variant was a 1:25 ratio by Mattina. The average sold price was $475 and only a few were listed all for $450 and up.
Mattina was the new hot artist of the moment so collectors were looking for any of his early ratio stuff. I was ecstatic here was a chance to make several hundred dollars with minimal investment. And the most important thing was I had no attachment to the book, in fact the interior art was terrible.
I immediately listed the book for $461 and it sold within a day. I have found and scored some valuable books before, but this was the only time I had a book which the story of the sale was more important than the find. I have since looked up this book and Mattina is no longer the flavor of the moment. The variant now sells for $200. No seller’s remorse here.
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