Graded Comics: Are They Worth It?

Still riding high after Heroes Con in Charlotte, let’s take a look at graded comics. Fellow LRM writer Mike Connally and I were discussing graded comics while at Heroes Con. Most conventions have them for sale. A majority also have grading companies for those to bring their comics to be evaluated. While many love to have their comics graded, and purchase other graded editions, are they good for the genre? Now in no way am I hating on individuals who choose to have their comics graded, or purchase them. It is a main staple in the collection world. However, is it worth it in the end?

Purchase Prices

We know their is a lucrative business for comic buying, selling, and collecting. Some because of the first introductions of our beloved characters. Other times, some comics can often be something that did not initially seem popular. The close crash of the industry boosted the value of numerous titles. Mainly due to so many getting tossed away (makes me sick to think about). The rarity of a comic, plus time,  obviously boosts their value. Having comics graded increases their value, which again, can be extremely lucrative.

However, comics packed in the traditional plastic sleeves also sell for large amounts. Definitely saw a guy drop $2000 in cash at Heroes Con for a non-graded comic. Many go for much more. So while graded comics can produce larger monetary prices, that doesn’t mean that non-graded comics will not do the same.

Missing Out

As we know, once a comic is graded, it is sealed. This seal can be broken, however, this will change the grading. What if there is a specific page of the comic you want to see?

For instance, my dad remembers the comic he used as his inspiration for his first drawing of Batman. He even remembers the exact page and panel thanks to some Omnibus searches. However, once the comic is graded and sealed, we can no longer see the stories or favorite panels that made us fall in love with a character(s).

The Best Part

The best part of comics is reading them, especially multiple times. Being able to see the visual masterpieces over and over. Once a comic is graded, this is no longer an option. If you are a collector for the sake of collecting, then it makes sense. However, being able to read comics numerous times adds to their life and the magic they bring us. My dad and I used to read older comics under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. We would not be able do that if the comics are sealed. Sure, we could read current issues. But, part of the nostalgia of the holiday was reading past classics.

My dad and I have a few comics worth a decent amount. They are in plastic sleeves, cardboard backing, and in a firesafe lock box. I do not want them graded because every so often I enjoy going back through them. They bring back not only a sense of nostalgia, but magic every time I read them. These feelings are limited when a comic is graded, and sealed away for good.

Toys As Well

We know that graded comics are here to stay. And that is fine for some collectors. We see this in the toy industry as well. Maybe not “graded”, but boxed in the original packaging. I have a large amount of TMNT and He-Man toys. They would be worth a small fortune in their plastic and carboard backings. Even some of the boxes themselves are worth a good amount. However, I spent hours of imagination and fun when I was younger playing with them. Breaking them from their seals. Taking out the weapons. The smell of the new plastic. Hours, and years, of fun.

So while they still may be worth a little, not nearly as much as if they were in their original packaging. However, just like with graded comics, I will take the experiences with them outside of their sealed casings anytime.

ALSO SEE: Heroes Con 2022: The Economic Future Of The Comic Industry Looks Bright

Again, this is no hate towards those who choose to have graded comics. To each their own. However, I prefer to have the experiences of reading them whenever I want. Maybe one day I will sell them. But, until then, I will have them for my viewing pleasure whenever I want.

What are your thoughts? Do you prefer graded comics, or keeping them unsealed? Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!


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