Top 20 Things Every Comic Collector Should Have in Their Collection

     As a collector since I was a kid there's quite a lot of things everyone can have on their lists of must haves for their personal collection.  I myself, am a big believer in collecting what you like but also respecting what others choose to collect.  Everyone has their own personal tastes and I think it's bad for the hobby when people critique what others collect.  To each his own.  Here are what I personally would like to have in my own collection.  There's no right or wrong way to collect in this hobby.  There is a wrong way to store your collection but that's a topic for another time.  Here's my top twenty things that should be in a collection:

  1. Comic signed by your favorite writer/artist - Now some people don't like signatures/autographs on their books and some prefer it to be signed inside vs the outside.  I've always wanted Stan's signature, won in a raffle.New Mutants #98 CGC 9.8 SS Stan Lee Signature
  2. Comic you read as a kid - I'm extremely lucky to have the books I read as a kid still with me.  There's been so many horror stories I've heard of comics thrown out by parents or destroyed by flooding.  For me, there's nothing like that physical connection to that book to bring you back to your childhood.  Below are the G.I. Joe comics my Dad bought for me off the newstand.G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero - 80's Comics
  3. A good location to store your collection - Ideal conditions for a collection are a cool, dry environment and away from sun exposure.  Preferably stored at a consistent temperature to slow the aging process.
  4. A key issue with a first appearance of one of your favorite characters - The first appearance of your favorite character can be a high value book that a majority of people are unable to purchase.  So high grade facsimile covers could be an alternative.  Or finding the book at a lower grade or other key books in the series can be suitable keys to add to your collection.  Below is my copy of the Incredible Hulk #181.                 Incredible Hulk #181 - First Appearance of Wolverine
  5. A graded book - It's worthwhile to find a book you really like at a high grade to ensure it's close to your expectations.  For me, I want to add a 9.9 and 10 to my collection.
  6. An app to organize your collection - Several collectors use CLZ.  However when I tried it out I didn't like how it was setup so I use Zapkapow to catalog my books.
  7. Bags/Boards/Boxes/Storage Rack - A system to store your collection is essential to protecting your investment and your books.
  8. A book that you saved up to buy - There's few things that are satisfying for a collector and one of those is finally being able to purchase a big book you spent time saving up for.  Below is a copy of a limited variant, graded and signed by one of my favorite artists, Clayton Crain.     Spider-Man Annual #1 Virgin Con Variant CGC 9.8 SS - Clayton Crain Signature
  9. A comic with a cool cover - The 90's gave us so many options for covers not only including variants but covers made with chromium, gold, silver, and other types of paper/materials.  Below is a copy of Bloodshot #1, which is said to be the first comic with a chromium cover.Bloodshot #1 - First Chromium Cover in Comics
  10. A high grade newstand comic - Since they're rarer than direct editions this is something highly sought after by collectors.
  11. A comic with a Mark's Jewelers insert - Back in the day before the internet these inserts were put into books that were shipped overseas so servicemen and women could buy jewelry via mail order.
  12. A book associated with the toy you used to play with as a kid. - GI Joe was the book that got me into comics and my favorite toy I had growing up.  What was it for you?
  13. A comic or blank variant with a sketch or remark 
  14. A copy of a Wizard - This was the internet before the internet, these mini magazines had price guides along with juicy gossip and all comic related news at the current time.  Below is a random copy from the 90's.The Wizard Comic Magazine
  15. A copy of the Overstreet Price Guide - This is the grand daddy of price guides.  It was the basis that everyone used for valuing their books and pricing.  Some dealers and collectors still use it til this day.  Below is an old copy I used to page through so many times as a kid.The Official Overstreet Comic Book Guide Price Book
  16. A comic based trading card - One of the biggest trends that came about in the 90's were trading cards that were comic based.  They were a huge thing, but the bubble burst quickly, and now they're not worth that much at all nowadays.
  17. A comic with multiple covers - This is another rare thing in the comic book world.  Every now and then a comic will be made with an additional cover and I've heard up to three additional covers!
  18. A complete run of a series - The original purpose of collecting is to finish a run or series of your favorite character or title.  This can take years and even a lifetime.
  19. A pedigree comic - When a large collection is found that is kept in ideal conditions and a majority of books are high grade, they are assigned the status of a pedigree.
  20. An intricate statue - There are several different small companies that make large scale statues where the craftmanship is brought to another level.  And they're a great addition to compliment not only your collection but office or room.

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