The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, 39th Edition Paperback – Apr 7 2009
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The ads in the Guide are also interesting. You can find just about anything related to the hobby of comic collecting in here. Whether you're looking for long boxes, original art, buying or selling, CGC information, Pedigree comics, the ads in the Guide offer just about anything and everything you need and are just fun to look at.
It is the final word on rarity, grading and value.
It's an excellent way to cross reference character appearances, and to find key issues to own. It tells which characters debuted in which issues and titles as well as who did the art on the covers and the interiors of that issue. It contains a guide to grading that is helpful to those new to the hobby as well as to those that have been collecting all their lives. It has a section on top sales for comic books for the year and what they sold for.
I found this years Overstreet Market Report to be particularly interesting as it goes into how the industry was affected by the collapsing economy. I'm sure next years edition will have even more interesting things to say about what effect the current economic situation will have on the comic book industry. The Market Report also has great insights on how things like Ebay, and internet sales have on the industry, on comic book stores and how sellers deal with back stock. I found this years Market Report very informative and entertaining to read.
It contains sections on Big Little Books and Promotional Comics. It covers comics for The Pioneer Age (1500s to 1828), The Victorian Age (1646 to 1900) The Platinum Age (1883 to 1938) and The Golden Age (1938) and beyond (Atomic Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Copper Age). It has a color gallery that shows rare and classic comic book covers, a section on Price Guide values (yes, in this hobby, even the guides to pricing comics have become collectable) as well as a Hall Of Fame section that showcases specific artists work. There are usually several articles of interest in the guide each year. This year there is an article on comic books and the movies, as well as an article on Batman in comic books. I think what speaks for this book more than anything is how you can just go to look up one thing and end up spending literally hours looking at it. There is a hardcover and soft cover edition as well as three different covers, two for the direct market, and one for the book stores.
I would have to give the Overstreet Guide 5 stars no matter what year it came out or what articles were in it or what the cover art was. Why? Because of the astonishing amount of painstaking research that goes into this each year. It is really amazing the amount of information that the Guide contains and it is definitely worth the price. At over 1100 pages, it leaves no stone unturned. Whether you've been collecting for decades, or if you're just getting into the hobby today, this is something worth owning. It's an invaluable source of information on comic books.
The great aspect of comics is that you have choices: war stories, romance, science fiction or funny Disney characters. However, that dusty stack of comics your grandfather left behind could be worth thousands.
When you first open the guide, you'll be struck with how thick and heavy it is. There were a lot of comics published since the 19th century, ya know. And you'll note tons of ads from reputable dealers who want nothing better than to have you buy from them.
It's been said that collectibles are a better investment than the stock market -- which a lot of things are, anyway: gold, art, Treasury bills and -- hey kids, Comics!
The new edition has a great article on Batman's beginnings, long before Robin, when Batman carried a gun and had no problem blowing away very evil bad guys in the late 1930s and 1940s. Much different than the campy Adam West character in the 1960s.
A lot of the book is the same as in past editions as well; An overview of the past year, what's selling and what's not, what are the top comic books and the comparison of percentage of increase of worth. This comes in handy when you're attempting to invest or appraise a collection.
Example: Green Lantern 76 went for $700 in 2008 and now goes for $1,200, a 71% increase. It may or may not further increase in the future, but is a book to look for. Naturally, the book can't be the beat-up version out of your attic or closet to pull in that kind of change.
Near the back of the guide there are great comics covers from all decades, really punching home that pop art of the past is quite admirable to today's standards.
So pick this up -- start investing and collecting. After all, you're not a kid anymore!