That happened to me 9 years ago when I picked up the first issue of a then unknown writer and series called the Walking Dead. I figure I'd give it a try. I liked it, but at the time was working in the field quite a bit and didn't add it to my pull list right away. Well the Walking Dead took off in popularity and I was lucky enough to get a few earlier back issues cheap before prices skyrocketed.
So here we are 2013 and the Walking Dead TV is super hot so is the comic series and issue #1 is worth over $800! This isn't just the book value. I'd been following lots of auctions on ebay and issue #1 ungraded consistently sells for right around $800. The print run for the first print was only a little over 7000 books. If you know anything about the comic industry that is an insanely small print run. I had a choice to make. I'm a realist. If I'm going to make money on this comic I need to sell it now. Not next year, not in 10 years. This book is hot and being pulled along by the popularity the TV show. And while I like the comic the money I could get for it could be put to good use and prices can't hold this high forever.
So my choice was to just list this book raw on ebay and take my $797 profit or maybe send it in to CGC get it graded and make who knows how much. A graded 9.9 copy recently went for over 10 grand. I looked close at my book. To my untrained eye I could see absolutely nothing wrong with the book. I'd had it bagged and boarded and well stored since I bought it way back in 2003. I think my choice was clear. I really don't like the idea of grading comics. Mainly because encasing a comic like you do a graded baseball card takes away every thing that comic was suppose to be, read. As a matter of fact the second post ever on this blog was about why grading comics is bad. But I knew that even if my comic didn't get 9.9 it should still grade very high and 9.8's are going for about $2,500. So I could bite the bullet get it graded, cross my fingers and then triple my money. So I did. I ended up buying a premium membership to the CGC Collector's Society. I was hesitant, but with the $125 price tag you get 4 free standard comic gradings, which are $60 a piece normally. Well I sent my issue #1 off as well as issues #19 and #27 two other key issues in the series and since I couldn't find another comic in my collection I deemed worthy of getting grade I sent off my next lowest numbered issue, issue #7.
Issue #1 of the Walking Dead has reached mythic proportions with it's insanely small print run and popular TV adaptation.
I was lucky enough in my sporadic ability to collect the Walking dead to pick up two other key issues almost by mistake. #19 here is the first appearance of Michonne.
Over all I'm happy that all 4 got 9.8's. I would have been beside myself if one graded higher at 9.9 or the mythical 10.0 as it would have exponentially increase the comics value. But while I would love to keep them I really don't have room or a good place to store them, so they'll all be going up on ebay this weekend. I have a feeling this might be the start of slowly selling off my collection or at least paring it down.