Devildog's Comic-Con Report (and Hawaii Journey Thread)

After essentially a year of no comic shows, I finally had the opportunity to attend one. I thought I’d share some of my observations and finds. Fully realizing a single show isn’t indicative of anything when it comes down to it.

I know some folks aren’t ready for cons. That’s fine/a personal decision. I’ve been vaccinated, my family has been vaccinated & I’ve had Covid already.

I’ve shared that I’ve been on a comic journey relative to buying/selling comics/toys to fund a trip to Hawaii for my amazing wife. I’m not in a hurry though, and I tend to only sell graded books. I tend to only sell when I feel the time is right as well.

My system thus far is: get books graded, sell them, and use a portion of the funds for additional grading, portion for new purchases, and a portion into the trip fun. For me personally, the grading fees absolutely pay for themselves on the books I choose.

This comic con purchase trip was funded largely by the sale of prior graded books I’ve show in this forum. 2 copies of Venom #3 9.8, Clone Wars #1 9.4, and Heir to the Empire #1 9.8. Some saving as well of course lol.

  1. Attendance and enthusiasm was high. It was packed from the start and stayed that way. Masks were in effect, but I saw no limits on people inside.
  2. Very few “blue chips” keys and frankly, very few silver, bronze, copper keys or popular runs such As Byrnes Xmen, etc. Not saying they weren’t there, but the really popular books weren’t plentiful.
  3. I saw one copy of Strange Academy–the Campbell copy…ONE!
  4. No copies of SIKTC #1 and just a token handful of any other issues.
  5. Zero copies of Ice Cream Man
  6. I saw many graded copies of different store variants/retailer variants that we often discuss here, but they sure weren’t selling. People liked to look at them/talk em up…but they sat.
  7. The cheap boxes of comics were the biggest hit and most crowded areas as always.
  8. The Calvin Ellis and Val-Zod books were selling like crazy. Like em or hate em,they were hot.
  9. Wandavision keys were a constant them at booths, but they were always overpriced and sat.
  10. Many vendors had tons of random graded books and they weren’t moving. I don’t know why people grade some of the books they do. Don’t grade dumb shit.
  11. Star Wars books are still on fire—however, one vendor was a shining example of the fact they just aren’t very rare. Dealer had about 5-10 copies of every single expensive/hot Dark Horse comic there is. I certainly bought some, and got some amazing deals from him, but still.
  12. Didn’t see many copies of ASM #300 and everyone was asking for them.
  13. Very evident that folks like “us” tend to be more of a minority with regards to awareness of spec books/keys, etc. I just don’t think there are as many people out there pay attention to the stuff we discuss. I could have spent another $1000 on easily on easy to flip spec type books. I just didn’t have the funds.
  14. Cash is king in my opinion. Some dealers (surprisingly) didn’t even accept cards. Bad move on their part but whatever. I saw many lost sales because of it.
  15. To the point above, I found dealers very receptive to cash offers and deals overall. I made it a point to always buy more than one book, let them know I’d pay in cash, and ask them “What can you do on these?” versus “Will you take xxxx?” I think this placed the ball in their court and yielded results. I really got some incredible deals.
  16. At the same time, I’d watch folks make offers on comics while trying to point out flaws, argue condition, use ebay comparisons, etc. This was always met with poor results. I think comic books are like children. You don’t mind pointing out your own kids flaws…but nobody else better do it.
  17. Only found one vendor who didn’t have his stuff prices. I’m not waiting around while you search ebay for prices. Absurd…he lost some sales for certain.

So, I had a pretty decent haul as pictured below. Please know, I saved and worked really hard to have funds for this show. I’m not a look at me type. I hope nobody feels my post is about that. I just want to share this journey I’m on. I had an absolutely amazing time digging and finding books I know I can flip, but also books I’ve really wanted and just can’t ever seem to find. I’m over the moon on the Tomb of Dracula #10 and Tales from the Crypt. They are absolutely beautiful copies.

I think I’ll slowly update this thread and I receive CGC shipments, and sales…end goal being at some point, you’ll all get to see me and Mrs. in Hawaii sipping cocktails on the beach. Thanks for putting up with the long read. :grinning: I sure appreciate all of you. Many of the books I have purchased and ultimately sold have been because of your tips and assistance.


Nice pick-ups on those Marvel horror books from the 70’s. I had a pretty good collection of those books in my original comic collection, and will eventually work on re-adding them to my current PC. Thanks for the report!

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No post that has a thorough review of a con and critique of dealers and how things can and should be done, followed by a few pictures of some grabs would be considered a brag post. Well written and excellent advice. Especially on the “what can you do on these point”. Many dealers don’t take cards because they don’t report their income. I have been at some shows where they have to declare their sales to the con at the end and say, I didn’t sell a book all day when they were handed cash in gobs.


Nice review. I can’t wait to go to a show comic show later this year. Nice way to let the hobby pay for your trip. I have been doing the same with buying & selling toys at the shows.


Keep showing off books you have or buy! In part that is what this site is all about! Good stuff BTW!


Incredible man!! Just gave me motivation and the Hope’s to attend my 1st con.


For marvel horror comics or characters if you don’t have a Marvel Premiere #10 (first Shuma Gorath) they are are starting to heat up a bit. Still time to shop around and find it a decent price. there are still rumblings and rumors that he(it) may show up in Doctor Strange 2. A bit of a long-shot but worth a buy in if you can get it at a good price. Personally I think Shuma Gorath has been mostly overlooked for years. A very nasty, evil and powerful elder demon. Fugly too.


Just received a shipment back from CGC. I have one more still there and another ready to head to the presser. With the completion of those, and my hopes that the spec on most of them pans out, I’ll be good & sipping Pina colada on Maui.
I had no issues and was happy with the end product. I personally have had no issues with CGC. Some of these were for my own PC though. I’m starting to feel good about my grading ability also. Frankly, no surprises. A few did a grade better, a few a grade under. Was hoping for a 9.8 on a Darth Vader #3 but so be it. Pretty eclectic variety lol!


Congrats on that awesome collection! :+1:

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Gimmie dat 9.6 Vengeance! Lol. Maybe the Point One 9.4…

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thank YOU so much for posting this! I have not attended a con in 15 months and I’m dying, no idea when I will find one in my area or driving distance to attend. Happy to live vicariously through you.

May I ask how much you got the Tales from the Crypt for?

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@Louie The dealer had it priced at $450 and after some talk (and saying I’d pay cash), settled on $400. I felt like that was a great deal. It’s really a very nice book. Thinking 7.5 range perhaps.
While I love every single one of those pre-code horror books and covers…this one sort of called to me. He had about 8 really, really nice issues, all one owner books. It was very tough to make a call on “which” lol.
Dealer was super kind, patient, and loved talking about all of his golden age books.
He had an absolutely gorgeous copy of the 1955 Timely comics Black Knight #1. I believe it was a CGC 9.0 as I recall. I felt lucky just to see it.
Regards and thanks for reading my lengthy diatribe lol.

That’s a good deal! I love the pre-code horror. Always a solid investment as they hold their value so well, but the downside is their expense and hard to talk people down on price lol

That’s awesome about Black Knight 1, I don’t recall ever seeing one in the wild

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Yea all marvel silver age keys have doubled price or more since September. Very slim pickings everywhere including online. I have a stack of cash and looking to knock off one of the remaining 4 books to complete my collection AF 15, Hulk 1, Jitm 83, showcase 4 but not liking prices for the grades that are available.