Sales To Astonish #1

September 2022 Market Report

In the era of apps and websites that highlight the latest in speculative trends and sales across the comic industry, other than the annual market reports in the Overstreet Price Guide (and let’s face it most of those are written by American sellers) it’s hard to get a handle on what exactly is selling across the back issue comic market here in the UK on a monthly basis.  So in an effort to let you know what’s been selling in The Unreality Store over the past month here’s the first of our market reports.  Enjoy!

There was a sense of optimism in the air for September as both July and August had been busy months and both featuring a series of Summer Sizzler weekend sales with titles like Conan, Justice League and Green Lantern getting the 50% off treatment and discounts on collections such as First Appearances and Variant Covers

Over the past two years our approach to scheduling in comics to release every Thursday (on what we call Old Comic Book Day) has largely been based on intuition as to what we feel people might want - Spider-man and Batman are always good sellers, as are The Flash and X-Men so if we get new stock of those titles they tend to go to the top of the pile.  During September we looked at trying to coincide dropping new products onto the website with current and future film and TV show releases.  A set of #1-6 of The Boys (Wildstorm editions) hit the store resulting in the sale of #3 for £40, there was a nice a run of Game of Thrones comics for people enjoying House of the Dragon, with #1 selling for #37.50, and a stack of Black Panther in readiness for Wakanda Forever in November.   We also started doing a Monday Mini-Drop which was a perfect way to showcase a particular run, short-lived title or genre.

Batman Day 2022 fell mid-month on 17th September and as has been customary for the previous two years there was 25% off all Batman comics and graphic novels for the weekend, and this year the promotion was extended to Bat-Family titles like Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing.  Sales trickled in over the weekend with the highlight being a sale of the 1:25 ration design variant of Batman #102 for £11.25

Other notable sales from the month included a VFN+ copy of Avenging Spider-man #9 for £70, Ms Marvel Vol.1 #1 in FN+ for £55 and #16 in VFN- for £35 and Akira #1 for #17.50 in FN condition.  It’s also worth noting that Marvel Star Wars, X-Men from mid-late 1980’s and the Flash (any issues from the last 20-25 years) continue to sell steadily. 

We also have a small selection of vintage roleplaying games in store and these sell well, as and when we can get hold of new stock. Role-playing game collections from the 80’s and 90’s are few  and far between as gamers from that era tend to hold on to their treasured possessions. During September we sold an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms boxed set at £40 and a brand new Dungeons & Dragons/Stranger Things starter set at £17.50.  Sales of White Dwarf magazines up to #100 continue to tick over.

Whether it was the end of the summer holiday season, an increasing sense of the rising costs of living or a combination of both, September started flat and remained flat for most of the month despite a late rally around pay day time.  There were clearly other distractions such as the Queen passing away that may also have meant that people’s thoughts were elsewhere and not on completing their wants lists or picking up new titles to read.

One of the major challenges facing The Unreality Store is how to increase our awareness and we spent September investigating a number of flexible retail opportunities and also have booked in for Sheffield Comic Fair and Nottingham Comic Convention in October so activity and sales from those events will be captured next month. 

So until next time - keep collecting and enjoying comics!