Collecting High Grade Newsstand Editions for Investing in Comics

Remember when you could go to the grocery store with mom and get a comic book?  Or maybe the pharmacy?  You could even go to these ancient bookstores called Waldenbooks or B. Dalton Booksellers and could buy a comic book off the spinner rack!   That was a long time ago.  If you are a comic book collector now, in 2017, you buy your comic books on ebay, an online retailer, or even at a local comic store. In almost 30 years, this is what happened to newsstand edition comic books:

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers

Because of all of this, I would be mindful and watchful for any 1992 or newer newsstand edition comic books that feature a UPC bar code on the covers – especially if they are high grade. Specifically, any comics that are in a grade of 9.4 or higher and newsstand edition are selling for significantly more money than regular market value. Examples include Batman Adventures 12 Newsstand Edition, and any other modern day key issue book:

1993 DC Comics BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 Newsstand Ed. CBCS 9.4

1993 DC Comics BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 Newsstand Ed. CBCS 9.4

For earlier titles, there are exceptions to the rule. Some comics have the bar code on the back, like Marvel Comics Presents #72.   Any books post 2002 would have a UPC barcode on them no matter what now, but the difference is they all state “DIRECT EDITION”. You are looking for 2002 and newer comic books that have UPC Barcodes that do not show the words “DIRECT EDITION” in bold letters above or below the bar code.

Okay I broke down some maths. Let’s look at Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane.

1992 Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane

1992 Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane

That’s a very publicly well known number having a 1.7 million copy print run in 1992. 15% of comics in 1992 were allegedly newsstand. 225,000 (1/4 million copies) I estimated the newsstand edition to be a 1:1000 ration of rarity. So 1:1000 is not accurate, that was hand grenade accurate. 32 is more accurate. I think it’s even more accurate to say it’s a 3:100. Or, 30 in 1000, if you will. That’s still a very low number. Still rare. But not even a 1:100.

In summary, here’s what you need to know about High Grade Newsstand Collecting for Investing:

  • High grade. 9.4 or higher is ideal. Pressing services for comic books helps greatly!
  • The years for comics in 1972-1990 doesn’t really matter. It was a 50/50 ratio split in distribution of direct editions over newsstand editions.
  • Search for comic books from the years 1990-2001 with UPC bar codes on cover.
  • Search for comics from the years 2002-2017 with bar codes that do not say “DIRECT EDITION”.
  • Newsstand Edition error or recalled books are also wise investments.

You can experiment with this with your own Spawn #1 Newsstand search terms on ebay.  Try it!  This is the new hunt, people!  Have fun! The only place where I can find modern day 2016-2017 newsstand edition comic books is:

  1. Barnes and Nobles bookstores
  2. Books-a-Million bookstores
  3. Wal-mart
  4. Toys R’ Us

Good luck!

Here are some examples of high grade newsstand edition rare covers of J Scott Campbell with his run on Amazing Spider-man. This is some of his earlier work, too:

Amazing Spider-man 476 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 476 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 492 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 492 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 493 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 493 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell-newsie-001

Amazing Spider-man 601 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell Very rare

Amazing Spider-man 601 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell with rare $3.99 cover price.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

2016 TMNT Universe #1 Eastman inspired B&W sharpie fan art sketch by KaptainMyke.

2016 TMNT Universe #1 Eastman inspired B&W sharpie fan art sketch by KaptainMyke. I thought it'd make a great cover art piece.

2016 TMNT Universe #1 Eastman inspired B&W sharpie fan art sketch by KaptainMyke.

The 2016 SDCC IDW Mega Bloks #1B TMNT Time Capsule from Kevin Eastman!

I’m about to unleash something to the world FEW have seen. I am excited to share it here with you all, whom I consider colleagues of elite collectibles and highly sought after gems. Sometimes historical pieces are what get me really excited. Most Time Capsules sold at auction by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle co-creator  Kevin Eastman go anywhere from $300-$500 tyically. This one however is for a comic book of a very very small print run for the attendees of this years 2016 San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) convention only. Without further ado, here we go…

I received my 2016 IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Bloks #1B Time Capsule today via FEDEX. Let’s take a journey shall we? Here’s what a $960 sheet of paper looks like:

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Bloks #1 Original Cover Art 8 1/2″ x 11″ Sheet of Paper Drawn by Kevin Eastman

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art 8 1/2" x 11" Sheet of Paper Drawn by Kevin Eastman

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art 8 1/2″ x 11″ Sheet of Paper Drawn by Kevin Eastman

Here’s the time capsule package:

Here's the time capsule package:

Here’s the time capsule package:

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ Drawn by Kevin Eastman with Time Capsule containing a gold signed edition of the IDW Comic Book Issue #1, an unsigned copy of the same comic book, signed photos and a Turtle Tracks letter of thanks.

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2" x 11" Drawn by Kevin Eastman with Time Capsule containing a gold signed edition of the IDW Comic Book Issue #1, an unsigned copy of the same comic book, signed photos and a Turtle Tracks letter of thanks.

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ Drawn by Kevin Eastman with Time Capsule containing a gold signed edition of the IDW Comic Book Issue #1, an unsigned copy of the same comic book, signed photos and a Turtle Tracks letter of thanks.

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ Drawn by Kevin Eastman with Time Capsule containing a gold signed edition of the IDW Comic Book Issue #1, an unsigned copy of the same comic book, signed photos and a Turtle Tracks letter of thanks.

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2" x 11" Drawn by Kevin Eastman with Time Capsule containing a gold signed edition of the IDW Comic Book Issue #1, an unsigned copy of the same comic book, signed photos and a Turtle Tracks letter of thanks.

2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ Drawn by Kevin Eastman with Time Capsule containing a gold signed edition of the IDW Comic Book Issue #1, an unsigned copy of the same comic book, signed photos and a Turtle Tracks letter of thanks.

Original 1983 Press Release introducing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Original 1983 Press Release introducing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Original 1983 Press Release introducing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Signed 8 1/2″ x 11″ Photo of Kevin Eastman with David Forman who played Leonardo in the 1990 Jim Henson Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie.

Signed 8 1/2" x 11" Photo of Kevin Eastman with David Forman who played Leonardo in the 1990 Jim Henson Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie.

Signed 8 1/2″ x 11″ Photo of Kevin Eastman with David Forman who played Leonardo in the 1990 Jim Henson Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT Time Capsule containing a copy of the original drawing of all four turtles together in a group shot for Press Release Packets in 1983.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT Time Capsule containing a copy of the original drawing of all four turtles together in a group shot for Press Release Packets in 1983.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT Time Capsule containing a copy of the original drawing of all four turtles together in a group shot for Press Release Packets in 1983.

Turtle Tracks letter of thanks signed by Kevin Eastman.

Turtle Tracks form letter of thanks signed by Kevin Eastman.

Turtle Tracks form letter of thanks signed by Kevin Eastman.

I got a frame made for it before it arrived. 2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ Drawn by Kevin Eastman inside custom blue matte with custom white frame.

I got a frame made for it before it arrived. 2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2" x 11" Drawn by Kevin Eastman inside custom blue matte with custom white frame.

I got a frame made for it before it arrived. 2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TMNT SDCC Mega Block #1 Original Cover Art Sheet of Paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ Drawn by Kevin Eastman inside custom blue matte with custom white frame.

IMG_4827

IMG_4828

OKAY, so now here’s where it gets REALLLLLY interesting. I mentioned via ebay to Fiona his office assistant that I bought on presale order Heavy Metal #281 which is Kevin Eastman’s first solor cover on his own magazine. I told her I wanted a signed copy but there wasn’t one offered. She said Kevin told her to put one in the capsule via ebay messages. Well, to my astonishment, here’s what I ACTUALLY got:

I didn’t get the magazine. Instead, holy schnikes, I got a 2016 Heavy Metal #281 Color 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ ARTIST’S PROOF signed by KEVIN EASTMAN and his wife, COURTNEY EASTMAN! SUPER MEGA TURBO RARE! (Kevin Eastman’s first solo cover of his own magazine) Courtney is the model by which April O’ Neil was conceived and now the model on the cover of this magazine! (By the way, google her, she is extremely beautiful)

OKAY, so now here's where it gets REALLLLLY interesting. I mentioned via ebay to Fiona his office assistant that I bought on presale order Heavy Metal #281 which is Kevin Eastman's first solor cover on his own magazine. I told her I wanted a signed copy but there wasn't one offered. She said Kevin told her to put one in the capsule via ebay messages. Well, to my astonishment, here's what I ACTUALLY got: I didn't get the magazine. Instead, holy schnikes, I got a 2016 Heavy Metal #281 Color 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" ARTIST'S PROOF signed by KEVIN EASTMAN and his wife, COURTNEY EASTMAN! SUPER MEGA TURBO RARE! (Kevin Eastman's first solo cover of his own magazine) Courtney is the model by which April O' Neil was conceived and now the model on the cover of this magazine! (By the way, google her, she is extremely beautiful)

2016 Heavy Metal #281 Color 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ ARTIST’S PROOF signed by KEVIN EASTMAN and his wife, COURTNEY EASTMAN!

2016 Heavy Metal #281 Color 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" ARTIST'S PROOF signed by KEVIN EASTMAN and his wife, COURTNEY EASTMAN!

2016 Heavy Metal #281 Color 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ ARTIST’S PROOF signed by KEVIN EASTMAN and his wife, COURTNEY EASTMAN!

2016 Heavy Metal #281 Color 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" ARTIST'S PROOF signed by KEVIN EASTMAN and his wife, COURTNEY EASTMAN!

2016 Heavy Metal #281 Color 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ ARTIST’S PROOF signed by KEVIN EASTMAN and his wife, COURTNEY EASTMAN!

And LAST BUT NOT LEAST….

The crown jewel, icing on the cake:

2016 TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle UNIVERSE #1 Color 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ ARTIST’S PROOF signed in gold by KEVIN EASTMAN before the comic book is even released to the public!

And LAST BUT NOT LEAST.... The crown jewel, icing on the cake: 2016 TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle UNIVERSE #1 Color 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" ARTIST'S PROOF signed in gold by KEVIN EASTMAN before the comic book is even released to the public!

2016 TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle UNIVERSE #1 Color 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ ARTIST’S PROOF signed in gold by KEVIN EASTMAN

Shh don’t tell anyone I showed you the TMNT Universe #1 Eastman cover yet.

Did Dr Manhattan just…Time Travel in real life and reset the DC Universe?

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A big rumour or theory circulating the ‘net is that a page in Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #4 “reveals” that Dr. Manhattan created the DC Comics New 52 or the DC Comics Rebirth’d Earth. Dr. Manhattan creates the new DC Universe 4 years before the 2016 DC Rebirth event!

(2011) Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan #4 displays this in glorious blue panels on the interior pages

(2016) end of DC Universe: Rebirth #1

(1986) Watchmen #12: between Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias.

[DROPS THE MIC.]

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collection of KaptainMyke

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TMNT #1 Second Printing. Peter Laird's personal copy from the Mirage Studios Archives. Mirage Studios, 1984.

TMNT #1 Second Printing.
Peter Laird’s personal copy from the Mirage Studios Archives.
Mirage Studios, 1984.  
Signed and Sketched by both creators, Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

I’ve been collecting for many years.  My comic collection is somewhat a scattered one of various titles and publishers.  My most complete collections are Amazing Spider-man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman, and Walking Dead.  All others can be considered hobby reading or investment collecting.  In the past 10 years however, the turtles collection has gotten serious.  With that said, it’s become my primary focus of collecting in the past 2-3 years.  You can burn all my other stuff, but Turtles and Spider-man would have to be buried with me, or sold for a fortune to benefit my wife and only son.

The Turtles collection has gotten much more valuable with the recent additions from Mirage Studios’ eBay account, and Kevin Eastman Studios Fan Club.  Because of these 2 operating headquarters, I’ve been able to snag super rare gems, signed by the co-creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.  Mirage Studios is closing their doors and winding down operations in the past 5 years as everything was placed under acquisition from Nickelodeon and Kevin Eastman/IDW.

With the rapidly growing wave of popularity sweeping through the current IDW comics and the new hit cartoon on Nickelodeon, vintage 1984 Mirage Studios B&W turtles comics and 1988 Playmates action figures are rising FAST.  Toy auction prices in 2010 are now DOUBLE in 2016.  TMNT Scratch action figure from 1993 would sell for $200 loose and $600 carded in 2010.  Now, on ebay as you read this, an ungraded carded Scratch goes for astronomical prices in the $1100-$1400 range now.  He’s not even that rare!  The real rare toys are the Shogun Triceraton, Undercover Leo with cloth trench coat and gold coin, or the original soft head 1988 turtles with the fan club inserts.

View the collection hosted here on my site: www.kaptainmyke.com/tmnt

KaptainMyke’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection on Pinterest
and on facebook:
KaptainMyke’s TMNT Collection on facebook

Raphael #1 micro series from 1984 Mirage Studios First Printing, Peter Laird's Personal Copy

Raphael #1 micro series from 1984 Mirage Studios First Printing, Peter Laird’s Personal Copy.
 Signed and Sketched by both creators, Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.