Collecting & Investing (with Comics)

The original title of this post was “Collecting vs. Investing.” I thought better of it while getting ready to publish. Like most things in this world, while we humans prefer black and white, collecting and investing have more overlap than they don’t.

Why is this important? Because we also have a tendency to grossly misunderstand what we’re doing and mistake one for the other, which can be a real problem. This really hit home recently when I decided to get involved in the world of comic book collectors.

I’d been wanting to start a collection for a while now. For some reason over the last 35 years, I hung on to what I think might be Ed Brubaker’s first book. Ed and I met when we were very young adults. He worked in a comic book store I liked, I knew his roommate and the three of us would hang out occasionally. At the time I knew Ed, he had just made a little zine called “Purgatory” and gave me a copy. I liked comics, especially graphic novels and alternative comics, and I thought it was a sweet gesture.

Fast forward to now. I came across the zine in some spring cleaning and thought to look Ed up online. Turns out, he’s one of the most famous living comic writers, with films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier being based on his work, as well as working on television shows like Westworld. His first published comic series as a writer, Purgatory, was illustrated by my favorite comic artists the Hernandez Brothers, creators of Love and Rockets.

When I realized this, my first impulse was “wow, this zine might be really valuable, I should start investing in these!” which I promptly did. The next night after a couple glasses of wine, I bought Brubaker’s Detour #1, without knowing a single thing about this particular piece of work.

That’s not investing. It’s the collecting equivalent of drunk dialing. While participating in a market is critical for learning how to invest, randomly buying something because it seems cool is the farthest thing from investing there is.

Is buying something because it’s cool wrong? Not at all. Doing things because they’re fun is great. But it’s not investing. And just because we get lucky once or twice when we’re messing around and end up with something that’s valuable doesn’t make us investors.

A longer post today, but it’s kicking off what I hope to be a solid learning experience worth sharing. Detour #1 is on its way and since buying it, I’ve learned that the seller (who seems like a great guy), considers it to be “VF” (very fine), the details of what that means, and also that the book has never been read (I’ve yet to understand exactly what that means in terms of value). I’m excited to take the book to our local comic book shop and learn more about what I do have on my hands, and how to add – in a more thoughtful way – to this new little collection.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More Posts

The Rolex to Invest in for 2021

With summer officially over, and the holidays approaching faster than we might want to believe, now is a great time to peruse this excellent article from Bob’s Watches Blog on investing in 2021 Rolex watches.

classic cars

Time For A Garage Crawl! with Patrick Knight

What’s a Garage Crawl? The guys welcome back Patrick Knight to find out! If the idea of getting together with some fellow gearheads and talking shop at different garages is appealing, this is the show for you. What started as Patrick and three friends talking shop in a shop after lunch quickly multiplied into a popular gathering of enthusiasts moving from garage to garage, swapping stories, information and friendship. Listen and enjoy!

The GearHeadTour Channel with Chase Robbins and Dr. Paul Ranney!

Meet Chase Robbins and Dr. Paul Ranney, two Louisville guys who along with Hannah Marshall and other cohosts created GearHeadTour. This is *the* YouTube Channel for the automotive enthusiast.  If you love cars, trucks and vehicles of all kinds, GearHeadTour is perfect for you.  The crew travels all over the United States, taking their viewers along to see some of the coolest cars that can be found, along with visiting some of the best automotive and truck events, vehicle themed attractions and experiences. Car races, events, car shows, weird, unusual and cool museums, awesome car collections both public and private, racing experiences and automotive conventions like SEMA and PRI, are just a few of the things to catch on this popular channel. Listen in on the fun!

investing in classic cars

Classic Cars – Investment or Collector’s Item?

Once you decide to start your car collection you have a choice to make; are you collecting or are you investing? This is actually a trick question. You can’t invest in classic cars or collectibles. Investing is done for cash flow, and unless you plan to make a business renting out your classic cars (a topic for another book), they are going to cost money to keep up. Collectibles, like cars, Persian rugs, whiskey and wine, paintings, gemstones, gold and classic cars don’t have cash flows in the present or the future.

justin wagoner

A Road Race You Can Join…and it’s all LEGAL! The Rally North America with Justin Wagoner

The Corner welcomes back our friend Justin Wagoner to talk about an event that John, Eric and Jason can’t wait to attend! This is Rally North America. Take one part Cannonball Run, one part scavenger hunt, throw in a deadline to add a little competition, and you’ve got a rally that any car can participate in. Have an amazingly great time, while supporting charities (almost $2M raised to date!). From the RNA website: “Routes are chosen that deliver history, scenic beauty, and a driving experience that will prove to be second to none.” This show got us excited to want to participate in the next rally and we think you will too!

Collecting Oriental Rugs – Why?

…An example of this mindset comes from one of my favorite stories illustrating the nature of wealth and how we work in the present to secure the future, both for ourselves and for the next generations. Tony Deden, of Edelweiss Holdings, believes his job as managing family assets means, first and foremost protecting capital. He has a brilliantly illustrative story about meeting a date farmer who inherited an orchard of nearly a thousand trees. As they’re touring the grounds, Mr. Deden sees a hundred new trees that have recently been planted.  He asks the owner how long it will take for the newly planted trees to bear fruit.