The Investment in Comic Books
Steve, who owns A Place In Space, a comic book shop in Croydon, South London, says loyal customers spend thousands for rare editions.
The store has been around for a long time but was taken on by new owners in 2000. Since then, comic book collector Steve has been able to turn his hobby into a career.
Before taking on the store, Steve had been buying and selling comics and had even started supplying to other comic book shops. Now, though, A Place in Space is his own. “Friends said that I had a good eye for products and when we were offered to buy the business, my wife and I decided to go for it,” he said. Although rare comics are a venture a lot of stores take on, this particular outlet focuses on the more popular releases. However, that doesn’t mean some aren’t expensive. Steve revealed he had comics in stock worth between £2,000 and £4,000, and explained comics with characters’ “first appearances” tend to be the ones that are most valuable. For example, last year an ultra-rare near-mint issue of Batman No1, which cost ten cents when it came out in 1940, sold for £1.6million in an online auction.
Steve added: “We have a number of high value customers that have been with us for many years.
“The biggest spend was £4,000 to one customer. We had bought some originally blank covers, which had been sketched on by artists. The shop owner admits that he has given up collecting since opening his business, but confessed to still having a soft spot for one very special character.
He said: “I love old Spider-Man comics, I collected them from 5 years old and hold great memories for me.” The beloved character first appeared in Marvel’s ‘Amazing Fantasy’ No15 in 1962. A copy of that book sold this year, clocking in at $1.1million.
However, Steve has seen sales of rarer books decline amid the cost-of-living crisis. He said: “We can see that customers are changing their buying habits and don’t want to spend a lot of money on one item.