"I love money! All money! To handle! To touch!" – Eric Idle (Monty Python’s Flying Circus; The Money Programme)
The advent of comics being perceived as an investment more than just a collectible became a cash grab for publishers. And the burgeoning direct market hitched its collective wagon to that falling star. Millions of people who never set foot in a comic shop in their lives were overnight collectors with dollar signs in their eyes. The
birth and inevitable death of the “collector speculator” was just one facet of the madness. News stories about genuinely rare comics (less than five known to exist) fetching millions led people to perceive their comic boxes as safe deposit boxes. Newly made collectors clamored to snatch up multiple copies of X-Men #1 or the “Death of
Superman”, never realizing that comics published in the millions would never appreciate in value like those once published in the thousands, the bulk of which now belong to the ages.
In this issue Andrew and Cole discuss how comics became a commodity and comic shops were once their own little stock exchange.