Market Manipulation

Here we go again. I’ve got to do it. It wouldn’t be fair to the people who trust writers and YouTube personalities to let this irresponsible trend in comic books continue. That trend being market manipulation.

Love my opinion or hate it, my knowledge on the subject matter is indisputable. I may give a HOTT take from time to time, but I will never lie to my readers or the comic book community. There is one thing to give an honest opinion or thought on speculative comic books, there is another thing entirely to create fake news about a comic, or begin questioning a comic books historic pedigree. So I welcome you PC bro…come at me.

This fad of market manipulation through social media and YouTube is getting ridiculous. Tricking people who aren’t in the “know” into buying dime or dollar books for stupid money is weak and irresponsible, and will surely cause the next crash in comic books. Take this new silly argument that I’ve seen for instance.

We literally have people campaigning that Hulk #180 should be the expensive comic book. Seriously, these people are pretty much saying that comic book value should be pre-determined, based on their own personal interest. Never mind that Hulk #181 is the first legitimate Wolverine story, has Wolverine on the cover, is the most iconic cover of the 1970’s, and is a comic book that is swiped 10 times over.

Never mind that history has proven that this is the more sought after of the two. And certainly never mind that dealers and big time players of the game have bought into this as the hot key. Instead let’s let these social media hacks trick new collectors and readers into buying the wrong book. I’ll gladly wage literary war on the phonies and charlatans of this game if need be.



You are the one choosing to take the gamble. You lost on the book, get over it. It’s the whiny millennial culture where everything needs to be their way. Hulk #180, sure by definition is the first appearance of Wolverine. But why does a first appearance HAVE to be the hot book? There’s no legitimate rhyme or reason to the secondary market, and they’ve deemed #181 to be the hottest of the pair. Deal with it. Attempting to undercut and undermine Hulk #181 in favor of the cheaper of the two books is a Cthulhu type of mad.

We live in a comic book world where literally second printings are more valuable than firsts. Want to know why? THE COVER! Not because anyone is actually reading the damn things. But let’s just go back in time and “correct” the market in Wolverines case. It’s not only Wolvie, he’s the beginning. Any of these characters whom had a brief one page appearance in the preceding issue, the new-school cultist are going to campaign for which book “should” be the more valuable. It’s simply a futile argument.



The comic book community of CBSI deserve truth, history, and legitimacy. It would be a disservice to the community if I didn’t write this article. Market manipulation is for lack of a better term, “wack”. My articles provoke thought and genuine conversation. It’s not clickbait. It’s not “run to the LCS and raid the dollar boxes”. Understand this my friends. I’m a blue collar guy. I wear ripped jeans and band t-shirts. I didn’t come from money.

Comic books and understanding the market has immensely helped me with the following-

  1. Put a down payment on my home
  2. Buy my wife’s engagement ring
  3. Help pay for my wedding

You see, the difference between me and these new school comic book goofs is simple. When I walk into a comic show, the dealers rejoice, they marvel, they phone their wife, because they know that for the right price, big boy money is going to be spent at their table.

When these YouTubers walk into a show, you can hear a mouse p!$$ on cotton. Dealers know that these are the people looking through the $1 bins for Amazing Fantasy #15, and inevitably walking away with a Blade #1, which they’ll run home and put on eBay. I’m the kind of guy that gives you insight on a book BEFORE it gets hot. That’s what speculation is. Consider potential hype, buy cheap, sell big.

I tell you what to buy, not what you already missed out on. If Hulk #180 is hot right now, it’s just following suit to the hotter Hulk #181. For goodness sake, I’ve snagged two copies of Detective Comics #168, and I wasn’t even trying.



Believe me, I truly hope that this gypsy movement of the first appearance takes off. To the victor comes the spoils. The market will saturate with Hulk #181s, ASM #300s, even New Mutants #87 for that matter. People will begin fearing “Sell! Sell! Sell!” They will then take that cash and buy the “true” first appearance of those characters.

I then will respond by purchasing all of the legitimate keys on the cheap. Then once the Manson family drinks the kool aid, and the movement runs its course…I’ll own stock. You cannot rewrite the market. If you could, I would be prostituting WildC.A.T.S. #1 as the new Mecca. Grifter is the bomb!



These people that are avid believers in the first appearance movement are the same people that believe Kurt Cobain and Tupac are sipping Pina Coladas near Mt. St. Helens. There is no sense or rational thought and they’re only going to believe what they choose too. Facts and history aren’t real life to this bunch.

So before you drink the funny juice, realize this. Hulk #181 is a big book. It’s always been a big book and always will be. For whatever reason the market deemed this to be the book in demand. So second appearance or not, people prefer a full story and great cover over a one page teaser.

What these first appearance goofs are really doing is tricking you. You’re being duped. You’re buying wolf tickets. Sure, you’ll go on eBay and see Hulk #180s have been selling as of late. That’s because the select few, the ones who have already drank the juice, and are trusting these “experts” are buying them up and competing with each other. Thus, manipulating the market, and fooling people into seeing action on these types of books. These are the same people who will lose confidence in the market when they realize they paid too much and there is no return. Too many smart people have invested and believe in Hulk #181 for it to ever be out shined by #180.

That being said if you’re a completionist or want these for your PC, then by all means buy them! They are good second tier books and good stories. What frustrates me is when new readership/collectors are given misguided information. The market has already decided what’s hot and what’s not.

Arguing and complaining as to why the book you own should be expensive as opposed to the books I own aren’t going to change your fortune. So buy comics. Speculate on comics. Just don’t be the person who tries manipulating the market. It won’t work, and you’ll just be left looking foolish. So to new speculators and collectors…even though #181 is more expensive, there is a much better chance at a bigger return down the road.

Sure you’ll have to dish out some cash, but Wolverines “second” appearance just keeps on appreciating. I was lucky to have purchased two of them in my teens at $500 for the pair. It pays to get tips while working at a golf course, and it pays even better to have legitimate knowledge of the market.

As always, I’ll leave you with some books to keep an eye on. These particular books are books that already have value, but prepare yourself for the next big jump, which is coming as streaming television and comic book movies get more stones. Buy now, and you’ll be happy that you did.


Cry For Dawn #1-#9 first prints


Sex sells…doesn’t it?


The Crow (Caliber) #1-#4 first prints


Last but certainly not least, Halloween is coming. If you’re anything like me, you love this time of year. Brady throwing touchdown passes, the smell of burning leaves, and pumpkin roll! Hell, I’ve got a fricken jack-o-lantern tattooed on my arm. Elviras House of Mystery #1 #11 is a series that should definitely get you in the mood. Focus on #1, #5, and #11 … but to be honest, every cover of this series is stellar. And the story, well that’s pretty wicked too.


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