MATURE CONTENT: Soaring prices for recently released graphic novels

Gotham's bad girls will cost you more.

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?

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2 Responses to MATURE CONTENT: Soaring prices for recently released graphic novels

  1. Ryan Lee says:

    Some of that is just wishful thinking, although you never know what a really committed buyer will do. I have a hard time believing that anybody is actually going to close on a $150 sale on that Gotham City book. But that autographed Spawn collection? I could see somebody popping on that for $500 at some point, especially if it’s pristine sealed. On items like that, though….I don’t buy them unless I wouldn’t mind getting stuck with it, because those sales often take extended months or even years to make happen. They do happen, though…

  2. dreamscaper says:

    This is true – although I have to admit that for my part, I was somewhat going for the ‘shock and awe’ aspect of resellers going for high end prices on recent trades; I was trying to make a point about how commonplace it has become to look around and see higher above-retail prices on books/graphic novels that the majority of the comic-buying public might just assume are still readily available at retail prices. I think it was amiss of me to not at least address in passing the fact that there are always going to be sellers out there listing such books at arguably outrageous high prices … just in case. After all: you only need one person to want your book badly enough to make your sale.

    On a related note, I have to admit that the high flying increases in price for the recent Spawn Deluxe edition vol 1(Signed & numbered edition) moved me to keep my eyes open for it at my LCS locations: within 24 hours I had located a copy of the S&N edition for retail – $157 CANADIAN at a store selling at the US cover price and decided that if it is good enough for Mr. Lee, it is good enough for me. I bought it and headed home with, “my precious’ in tow. lol I am actually not a huge McFarlane fan these days, and have never been a big Spawn fan. To be honest, the high point for me was waayyy back during his DC days when he used to come to the local comicbook shows and chat with me and my teenage-friends about his latest issue of Infinity Inc., asking us what we thought about his latest efforts.

    Damn I feel old.