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Comic Book Value Guide

How to Value Your Comics in 3 Easy Steps

Find your comic value in three easy steps. First; check the list of valuable comics below, second; lookup the value of similar comic books sold by Heritage Auctions, and third; request a free appraisal of your comics and comic book art when you're ready to sell.

1

What comic books are worth money?

Comics that have the most collectible value are those published between 1938 and 1979. Typically within that time frame, superhero comics hold the most value, with first appearance or origin issues being the most sought after. Read more

Comics that have the most collectible value are those published between 1938 and 1979. Typically within that time frame, superhero comics hold the most value, with first appearance or origin issues being the most sought after.

List of Valuable Comic Books

YES
  • Vintage Comic books before 1980
  • Magazines
  • Pulps
  • Original comic art
  • Illustration art
  • Animation art
  • Comic book memorabilia
NO
  • The vast majority of comics from the 1980s and later have little if any value.

How much is original comic art worth?

Original comic art, the actual original page that an artist prepares for the publication of a comic book, has become a hot collectible over the past two decades. Once considered worthless production detritus, original art was routinely discarded or given away to fortunate fans. In the early 1980s, collectors began to realize that these pieces of art were one-of-a-kind treasures, and an active market was established. Today, original comics and comic strip art can be found hanging in museums such as the Metropolitan in New York City, and the right piece can bring tens of thousands of dollars.

How do I identify my comic books?

Identifying a comic book is not as easy as just looking at the cover. The easiest way to find the exact title, issue number, and publication date for your comic book is to look for the indicia, the block of small type which is usually located inside the front cover or on the first page. Since comic books are usually printed monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly, and some characters appear in multiple titles, it is necessary to consult the indicia to make sure you get all the correct information.

Also, the Heritage Auctions archives contain high quality images of comics, so the archives are also an outstanding resource for identifying your comic books.

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What happened to comic book values in the 80s?

The vast majority of comics from the 1980s and later have little, if any, value today. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the comics industry experienced a speculator boom of collectors who saw potential in an up and coming collectors market. They bought and hoarded large numbers of each issue, not realizing that they were ensuring the worthlessness of the very items they were hoping to profit on. This artificial demand increased comics print runs, making them virtually worthless in the long term. This misuse of the market by collectors and publishers alike led to the virtual collapse of the comic book industry in 1998.

2

How to Lookup the Value of Comic Books?

To find the value of comic books you can buy or download a reference book, or search our past auctions. Read more

To find the value of comic books you can buy or download a reference book, or search our past auctions.

What is the Best Book for Comic Values?

In order to find out more about the comics that you own, a superb reference is the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide by Robert M. Overstreet, available in bookstores. Heritage also sells an electronic version that you can read on your computer for just $29.99. In mere minutes, you can download this book and start to learn about your books. Order and download the electronic version now! Due to changing market conditions this book or any comic book price guide may be outdated before a new edition can be printed. These guides will, however, provide you with superb insight about rarity and premiums.

Search our Auction Archives to Lookup Comic Book Worth

The best way to find out what comic books are worth is to look at what people are paying for them. Heritage Auction archives show actual prices paid in our auctions for many outstanding comic books and pieces of comic art.

Search Auction Archives

What is Comic Book Grading and Why is it Important?

The grade of a comic book is a shorthand description of the book's condition. When buying or selling a comic book, or any collectible, it is important that both parties reach a level of agreement on that collectible' condition or grade, as this will to a great extent determines its value.

In the past, this could be a difficult proposition, as it was in a seller's best interest for a book to be graded as high as possible, and it was in a buyer's best interest for the same book to be graded as low as possible.

Learn More about How to Grade a Comic Book

For more information on how to grade a comic book, please refer to the Heritage Auctions
comic grading tutorial.

What is CGC Comic Book Grading?

Enter CGC (Certified Guaranty Company), a third-party grading service. For a fee, CGC will examine any comic book submitted to them, check it for restoration, render an impartial opinion on that books condition, assign it a grade, and encase the book in a protective plastic shell, to prevent anyone from tampering with the book once it has been graded. As CGC has no interest in the value of the book (they are neither buyers nor sellers), the grade rendered is truly impartial. This service has done a superb job in promoting consumer confidence, thus reinvigorating the industry as a whole.

Should I Get My Comic Book Graded?

Not every comic book is a good candidate for third-party grading. A number of factors are involved in deciding whether or not a comic book should be submitted to a grading service such as CGC. First, of course, are condition and value. If the comic in question is not of sufficient value, it is not in your best interest to spend the money to have it certified.
Heritage grades thousands of comics every year and we have experts on staff to evaluate the conditions and the cost-to-value ratio of sending any book in for authentication. If you have any questions or would like some advice or help with a confidential evaluation of your collection, please call our toll free number at (800) 872-6467.

3

How to Request a Comic Book Appraisal

Ready to sell your comics? Request a free auction evaluation. Our experts will tell you the estimated value when sold at auction. Cash advances may be available when you consign for auction, and Heritage Auctions also buys items outright. Read more

Ready to sell your comics? Request a free auction evaluation. Our experts will tell you the estimated value when sold at auction. Cash advances may be available when you consign for auction, and Heritage Auctions also buys items outright.

Request Free Appraisal

Note on paid comic book appraisals:

For a formal written comic appraisal for estate planning, insurance, or tax purposes, please
contact our Appraisal Services Department.

How Does a Comic Book Appraiser Assess Value?

The condition of the comic determines the grade, and the higher the grade the more valuable. But supply and demand, economic conditions, and even popular movies can influence how much a comic book is worth. These factors plus historical price ranges and recent auction results all go into assessing 10+
comic value.

Sell Comic Books or Consign to Heritage Auctions

We are always looking for quality vintage memorabilia and comic books to purchase or sell at auction.

How to Sell Comics

We'd love to talk to you about your collection, your buying and selling needs, and how Heritage Auctions can work for you. Call or email us today if you would like our experts to help you in determining the best options for your collection. Sell Now or Consign to Heritage Auctions.


Headshot photo of Lon Allen

Meet our expert: Lon Allen

Vice President, Heritage Auctions
1-877-HERITAGE (877-437-4824)  x1261

View Biography

Lon attended Truman State University from 1991-1995, and, while there, entered the comics business part-time. His successful part-time business became a successful full-time business In 2000 when he started J.L.A. Comics. Lon joined Heritage in 2002 and became Director of Sales for the Comics Division in 2005. He is an advisor to both the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and to GPAnalysis.com.


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