"You can't go wrong if you buy what you like."  This is the biggest mistake comic book collectors and investors could make when it comes to the collectibles market.  I have worked with many successful investors, collectors, and certified financial planners during my career as an attorney. The lesson that they have taught me is to invest in what will rise in value and to be flexible with your investments.  You may not like Amazon stock, but that does not mean you cannot invest in it.  You must think outside of your own box.

In the 60s, when comic books began to make a transition from throwaway readables to investment potential, a New York Times article stated, “Old 10-cent comic books that tidy parents either threw away are now being sold, individually, for prices ranging from $2 to $25.” Adults were reconnecting with their childhood by revisiting nostalgic remembrances like comics and were willing to pay above sticker for the reunion.

Today, the comic investment community is booming.  Sure, some still purchase high-dollar comics in order to recapture childhood memories, but many have made buying and selling graded comic books an addition to investment portfolios and the practice has turned into a highly competitive and lucrative industry.

No more are 10-cent books selling for $2 making headlines. Now, we're seeing comics breaking the million-dollar barrier sometimes twice in one week, with records being set on a routine basis. Comics have become a high-end collectible, with first appearances and iconic keys only being accessible to the top-tier of investor-collectors.

What if you had the opportunity to go back in time and grab a Fantastic Four #1 when it was selling for a fraction of what it is now? Would you do it?

What if I told you that that opportunity is taking place right now. Right now, you can get in on a burgeoning collectible market on the cusp of exploding. Right now highest-graded, rare, and iconic pieces are available at a price that won't be attainable possibly within just a few years.  I'm talking about Heritage's The KC Murphy Bindweed Press Collection Music Memorabilia Signature® Auction and Concert Posters Music Memorabilia Signature® Auction, running simultaneously and currently open for online bidding.

Seeing Opportunities Outside the Box

At many auctions I attended, I was known as the "comic statue guy".  I had no real interest in statues.  The reason I bought them is that I conducted my research and knew what they could be sold for on the collectibles market.  In a room full of comic book buyers driving up the price of lots, these items were being ignored. These items could be bought low and sold at a very handsome profit sometimes days later.  This system helped support me during my law career. I saw items that were undervalued with potential that had an established market of buyers.

Years ago, I had a very smart comic book investor come to a garage sale my family was conducting.  He asked if we had any comic books.  My mother came and asked me if I wanted to sell any and I looked out the window and told her no (with a smile).  When my mom went back out and he asked for one other group of items which caught me off guard...He asked for any vintage video games. He was well ahead of the curve and saw a market that had the potential for profit and he wanted a piece. Elon Musk became THE majority shareholder in Twitter because he saw an undervalued asset with potential for growth.  He sees potentials that are outside his comfort zone but fortune favors the bold.   In keeping with that theme, here is my confession...

Skills Translate

I  purchased concert posters.  I was not an avid concertgoer or even a music fan.  The reason I got into concert posters was that my comic book grading abilities translated into the concert poster market. Grade is important in comics.  You want crisp clear corners and vibrant colors.  That also is important in concert posters.

The content of the poster is also important.  Deadpool, Miles Morales, and other characters' books are in vogue with collectors and investors.  The same applies to concert posters for U2, Johnny Cash, and the Grateful Dead.   Early appearances and the artists also are important in both worlds. The same applies to concert posters.

The Grande Ballroom here in Detroit was a mecca for concertgoers.  Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and others played there.  These posters are rare.  Comic books were read and saved, but these posters were advertisements printed in low supply and then discarded.  The Grande Ballroom posters were in such low supply that even damaged copies are extremely valuable to collectors because no one has a full run of them.  A friend of mine actually found one at a garage sale and sold it.  He did not realize the true value of his find, but it allowed him to pick up a very nice copy of Incredible Hulk #180.   This copy could easily hit 9.4-9.6.  The cost of the poster was $3.00

The Infancy of Concert Posters

Comic book fans know that prices are jumping for key books. We do our best to provide you insights into the market and tips to stay ahead of the curve.  One of the greatest things I can tell you is to open your mind to collectibles that are undervalued that can help you get your Incredible Hulk #181 or Amazing Spider-Man #1.  When you are at garage sales, in-person auctions, or estate sales, look for concert posters or handbills (letter paper size advertisements) for concerts.

Often, these items can be had for a few dollars because people are unaware of their value.  Here is an episode of the Antique Roadshow that is proof that people are unaware of the value of original posters. Even replicas and reproductions of rare concert posters can sell for a profit.  Comic book investors know that second printings have value and so do these items.  In contrast, most people have heard that comic books and baseball cards are worth money.  While everyone is fighting over the known collectibles, look to see where you can make money and use those profits to buy your dream books.

There is Gold in those Ads

I listen to experts and have my sources.  Recently, I noticed that Heritage Auction is having a pair of massive concert poster auctions. I know you are thinking, 'but I am a comic book investor, so why should I care?'  The reason is because of diversification.  Investors diversify investments to hedge against loss.  The reason that this may warrant buying some concert posters is that the market is so undervalued right now.

Think of the price that you could have paid for an Amazing Fantasy #15, Detective Comics #27, or Action Comics #1 at one point in time.  Comic books of that magnitude were not as expensive as they are now, but you had to get in on the ground floor.  Initial cryptocurrency investors saw opportunity and weighed the risks.  Small investments turned into fortunes.  Concert posters have a market but are still undervalued; that is starting to change with these Heritage Auctions.

Auction Highlights

Here are a few of the Heritage Auction Highlights that a noted connoisseur of concert posters said I should watch. Many are of note - they're opportunities. Opportunities to get highest-graded, rare pieces. Are some going to be expensive? Sure. But compared to where they could be in a few years? Wowza.

1. Grateful Dead 1966 "Skeleton & Roses" 9.6 Graded Concert Poster

This is what is being described as the Amazing Fantasy #15 of 60s concert posters.  An iconic band and memorable art in high grade.  Does this sound familiar?

There are 60 of these listed in the CGC census. Of those, 43 are universal labels, 12 restored, and 5 signature. The 9.6 is in the top 39.5% of all graded posters.  Like so many, this poster had a low print run and is a hard find.

The combination of The Grateful Dead, San Francisco, mid-60s time period, artwork, legendary graphic artists, and rarity gives this poster a lot of power when it comes to driving the concert poster market.

A year ago, this grade sold for $51,750.

2. Howlin' Wolf Janis Joplin 9.8 Graded Concert Poster

This concert poster's art is reminiscent of the artwork of comics in the late 60s and early 70s on such issues as Nick Fury, Agent of Shield #1 and Dr. Strange #1. The art style was so powerful that blacklight Marvel posters displayed the same type of imagery.  Art styles popular in eras transcend to different mediums and you can see that on display here.

This poster was designed by concert poster royalty Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley. Although the shows it advertises were canceled, this is still a poster becoming very much sought-after by investors.  Even more uniquely, there is no second printing of this poster. The original poster and its handbill were only printed once.

Only 6 copies are registered in the CGC census, all universal labels. Of those 6, two are 9.8s and one is an exceptional 9.9. One might consider this The Promise Collection's 9.6 Phantom Lady #17.

3. Motley Crue 1982 Roxy Theater

This one is both lower in value (for now) and more recent.  One would think of this as a Bronze Age comic with room to grow.  The devilish imagery and eerie red font color are what we are seeing moving in the horror comics of the Bronze Age presently.

This is described by Heritage as "A large cardboard window card made for rock's baddest of bad boys in concert at Los Angeles' famed Sunset Strip nightclub, the Roxy. This was at the beginning of their heyday, as their indie debut album, Too Fast for Love, had been reissued by the major Elektra and they plotted worldwide domination. "Hells Revenge," the big headline in red screams. "From the Boys You Love to Hate.""

This is quintessential 1982 L.A. metal. Long before it was dismissed as hair metal or poodle rock, this was when combining glam, punk and metal felt like a danger to society.

4. The Beatles 1966 Shea Stadium

If you have not heard of the Beatles, I cannot help you.  An appearance by a band similar to the Beatles is enough to make a comic book a semi-key issue. Here, you have a poster where only a few copies exist in this nice grade.

Think of it as a nice Fantastic Four #1 in that it is an early appearance of an iconic group.  How many copies of this poster do you think exist? Only a handful have ever been sold. A copy of this poster recently sold for $150,000.

This is truly the Action Comics #1 of the concert poster world. Rare, iconic, and infrequently sold.

Seeing Potential

As comic book collectors, we educate ourselves every day to gain an advantage.  The problem is, a lot of the time we are in rooms where we see opportunities that are safe.  If we take a chance and see things beyond what we feel, we know then the possibility of finding true treasures exists.  GoCollect has seen this market and has added a concert poster price guide for the readers, which uniquely tracks both graded and raw concert posters.

In the field, we encounter these items when we are looking at comic books but without knowledge of the topic, we ignore them.  Recently some articles and guides have been created to provide insight into original comic book art, video games, and now concert posters.  Read them so that you can see possible opportunities.  A reader recently told me that after reading the Jason Adams article on his father's (Neal Adams) studio's work with merchandise he found some original and copies of specs for licensed products from other artists.  He has had offers that far exceed the prices he paid for those items.

How to Start

1. Risk what you can afford. If you buy posters, start small. This means spending what you can risk.  If you can risk $20 then that is your limit, but if you can risk more, spend more.

2. Get as much information as possible. Use GoCollect, eBay, and Google to research an item as much as possible.

3. There are counterfeits out there. We know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 has been counterfeited. Concert posters have been as well.  Furthermore, there are replicas and reproductions out there.  If you are unsure about the provenance of the item,  see 1. and risk what you can afford to lose.

4. Use your talents in the poster market. Skills translate.  Use what you know about condition, content, and appearances to determine what posters you should add.

5. Take advantage of the infancy of the market. Years ago, key comics could be purchased for small amounts.  As the hobby grew, so too did the prices paid for items. Even Gold Age common items now sell at a premium. These posters are undervalued, but as more people enter because they want to have mementos of their past, that will not remain the same.

6. These are not Beanie Babies. This is a viable collectibles market.  Beanie babies were introduced as being collectible, but concert posters have music, art, and venue fans collecting these nostalgic items.


I wrote this article not for concert poster collectors or investors.  This was geared to comic book investors and collectors.  Sometimes we see things with blinders and stay in the safe zone where we feel comfortable.  We are constantly told to buy what we like because that is safe.  That means you will lose your chances at opportunities.  You may not be a coin collector, but if you are at an auction and a one-ounce silver coin comes to auction and it is selling for below the price of an ounce of silver, you would be foolish not to buy it. Yet, that is what happens many times with comic book investors and collectors.

If you see concert posters at a flea market or estate sale, think about what could be there.  We have all heard of people who have scored books that we could only dream of at these sites.  Have you ever wondered, though, what other treasures may have been there that were passed up on by people because they did not see an opportunity when they had the chance?

Utilize your Resources

Use GoCollect and every once in a while check the other product lines to see what is selling so if you ever encounter it in the wild you can jump on it. Finally, check out the Heritage Auctions and see what the concert posters sold for so you can see what to look for at garage sales and flea markets.  You too may find out like that lady in the Antique Roadshow video that a box of ignored concert posters may allow you to buy that prized comic book that you always dreamed of owning but never could afford.

Fortune favors the brave!!!

Heritage's KC Murphy Bindweed Press Collection Music Memorabilia Signature® Auction and Concert Posters
Music Memorabilia Signature® Auction both close on April 16th. Be sure to take a look at all the lots! You might just find the perfect investment piece.

Have you ever considered investing in concert posters? Let us know in the comments!

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.