Disclaimer: Recent spikes in the secondary market prices of relatively new graphic novels may shock and disturb some viewers.
You know it never really fails to amaze me just how fast and how high the prices on some newly released graphic novels can go. It does not seem to matter whether we are talking about hard covers or paperbacks, the trades seem to have reached a point where the demand on a book raises the asking price not just for a book that was released years ago and is now out of print, but also for something that you would expect to still be in decent supply because it is barely a year old.
Some example of this more recent phenomenon: Batman and Spawn.
Of course there are numerous Batman-related series out there and they are constantly being collected into trade formats. Some have a more niche or smaller following but very dedicated nevertheless. For example, both the Gotham Central and Gotham City sirens series have their smaller core of fans who really enjoy the books and who apparently wanted enough of the collected editions to make some of them very hard to come by. Perhaps this is a result of DC only printing the hard cover editions to cover minimal demands which it would appear were underestimated, but I don’t really know. Perhaps it might have something to do with not going back to press for hardcovers once the print is done regardless if there are still fans out there wanting that format? I don’t really know.
what I do know is that if you go over to Amazon.ca, you will be lucky if you can find the first volume of either series (Gotham Central and Gotham City Sirens) at anything near cover price; At last glance, Sirens volume 1 HC was going for over $50 Can, while Gotham Central Volume 1 HC was going for a staggering $150 Can! Even the paperback edition of the Gotham Central book will cost you some coin above cover. Ouch.
The modern trade craziness continues with Spawn. Just last summer, Todd McFarlane released the, Spawn Origins Collection: Deluxe Edition Volume 1, in a nice slipcover package for around $125 Can, and an autographed limited edition for around $190 Can. Well, that was then and this is now, and now that same HC book will cost you over $400 to buy on Amazon.ca-ca, while the autographed book is going to set you back over $700 Can! Again, ouch.
Just to give you the heads up: the second volume of the collection came out in December and is still available at retail or better, so if you want it you better not procrastinate too long, eh?