Welcome back as we dive into more chat on foreign comics. In this installment, we will be focusing on the different markets and their pricing. 

 When we think about adding anything to our collection, generally we are likely to head to eBay for availability and different price points. Sure those references sound completely solid. However, when we are looking to sell foreign comics it’s usually American eBay is the venue where the world puts items with a higher price point. Let’s face it, American eBay guarantees exposure to the market with the most disposable income. You may find what you’re looking for there but you will pay likely the highest premium. 

Other than eBay, this Facebook group- https://www.facebook.com/share/YQrjmB4siPzP2MPL/?mibextid=UIerB5 is the best medium for the community. Members are very helpful and willing to find in their respective countries what you may be trying to purchase. There are lots of sales posts and discussions here. It is the venerable heartbeat of the community. I recommend beginning here in this group if you are looking to add foreign-language comics to your collection. This community will also have better deals than eBay. The best way to purchase is through bundling and negotiation. But there is still a markup and possibly a finders fee. 

Aside from the aforementioned venues, our best source for books in other countries would be the particular countries’ online auction sites. You will pay much less for individual comics but shipping is expensive from the country of origin. I find the best way to really get your money’s worth is to buy in bulk. More shipped actually saves on the cost per item. 

All that being said. Let’s talk trends and higher-priced items in this niche. If I were to answer the question “What’s the biggest trend?” I would state that it would be typical to collect one comic cover in every known language. That comic would usually be a key book of some kind. But to talk about higher priced items then there are lots of factors that come into light. Think about it. A foreign country’s pop culture is imported. What would be the sentiment towards such things? Would the general population even be interested? If so, would they collect such items and keep them pristine for future generations to enjoy? All those questions have a variety of answers that all depend on which country we talk about. 

Spawn 1 Foreign Language

To me, that’s what is so interesting in regards to this type of collecting. There are so many factors in the background that put pricing into context. Culture, climate, political unrest, and so on. 

A quick example is Spawn 1 which was printed in Afghanistan. There are only a few copies left because the Taliban burnt piles of pop culture items. They cannot be sourced from the country of origin. They do not exist outside private collections. If you want to collect the Spawn 1 covers, you’ll need to pry one from someone. It will take lots of money.   Here are some Spawn 1 Issues on Comics Price Guide.
Spawn 1 Australia
Spawn 1 Italy
Spawn 1 Netherlands
Spawn 1 Germany
Spawn 1 Spain

Last week a sale for Star Wars 1 from the Philippines. It’s a stunning copy. The books from the Philippines are interesting. There were (are) few sources to buy books. Military bases or the national book store. But to understand why they can be expensive you need to understand what the sentiment is like towards American pop culture and the climate also comes into factor. 

Comics were typically produced in the Philippines for American service members stationed there. Most collectors (American and Filipino) had more interest in the American version. The Filipino printings were given little or no attention. As for the climate, it’s very wet and humid. If you add those two important factors. Books in high grades almost don’t exist. Most comics from there are mid-grade with some level of rust on the staples. To find a key in beautiful condition like that indigenous Star Wars book is rare. Subsequently one of the highest in grade. The asking price is(was) 5k USD. 

What do you think about this type of comic collecting? 

Comment below and maybe we could get a topic going in the forums if we have enough interest! 

Stephen Shepardson

Picture of the Filipino Star Wars 1 is used with permission from J Patrick Krat