by Alan LaMont
Awhile back, Nicolas Cage sold his comic book collection for $1.68 million. That’s right $1.68 million! And yes, that Nicholas Cage!
This article lays out 4 secrets to his success that hardly anyone knew about — but could do — even if they didn’t have a million bucks laying around.
For those living in a cave, Nicolas Cage is an actor and producer whose movies have raked in a billion dollars. He’s a versatile actor and his movies appeal to everyone. He has been in action, drama, and comedy flicks. He has a number of film starring roles to his credit. Including: Windtalkers, Gone In Sixty Seconds, The Rock, Con-Air (my personal favorite!!!) just to name a few.
And he is a comic collector. And a very shrewd one….who not so long ago made a lot of money selling his collection. Among the highlights of the collection that Nicolas Cage sold was a 1940 Detective #38 comic that featured the debut of Robin, for $120,750 over a price guide list of $45,000. A 1940 Mile High Copy of All-Star #3 featuring the first Justice Society of America sold for $126,500 against a value of $45,000. It included Action Comics #1 (first Superman from 1938) which sold at $86,250.It also included the Allentown copy of Detective #33, as well as the Mile High Adventure Comics #48, the first appearance of Hourman, and Captain America Comics #1. So clearly his collection included a treasure-trove for any collector of high-quality Golden Age material.
However, Silver Age material was also well-represented. He also sold his personal copies of Amazing Fantasy #15, featuring Spider-Man’s first appearance, Brave and the Bold #28, which introduces the Justice League of America, Fantastic Four #1, Green Lantern #1, and X-Men #1, among a total of 141 comics he sold.
Nick reportedly made the decision to sell his collection after watching the market and deciding to when he wanted to sell. Indeed. Now that this collection has changed hands, Cage plans to move into other areas of collecting, and he has a nice nest egg to bankroll that move.
What you can learn from Nicolas Cage? Here are a four tips you can learn from Nick, even if you don’t have a million dollars laying around to play with…
(1) Invest in proven,, low-risk comic books. He invested rare, old comics in great condition that have have a proven track record of being high demand and whose value has risen steadily, though slowly over the years. Nobody can question his decision to invest in Action #1, Amazing Fantasy #15 or X-Men #1.(2) Condition, condition, condition. He also bought them in the best condition possible. The lesson here continues to be to invest in comics in the best condition you can find, that have proven in-demand track records. He specialized in what he knows about — not what he doesn’t know about. As you look at the comics described earlier, 95% of the comics Nick sold were first issues.
(3) Specialization. In all of his collecting, — whether comics, coins or cars — Nick specializes in first editions. He’s researched first issues and he personally likes being or having the first of anything he deals with.
(4) Re-invest…but in what you know. It has been reported that he will take some of the profits that he’s made from his $1.68 million sale in re-invest them in first editions of comics from the 1970s & 1980s because he believes these will be the hot areas for comic investors in the next few years. If this is true, it does look like he’s willing to take more risks now, and will be looking to re-invest in some “undiscovered treasures” but will still stick with what he knows — which is first editions. He sold as soon as he was able to profit. It has been reported that Nick made a net profit of $615,000 from this collection — based on his original investment and what he paid the auction companies.
Could he have made more by waiting for the economy to improve and for prices to go up higher? Sure. But he cashed in as soon as he could make a good profit…and he didn’t look back. Good rules for anyone looking to make money from their comic collection…even if you don’t have a million dollars to play with.