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Saturday, January 27, 2024 

Richie Rich comics turning up on the speculator market

Here's another item spotlighting the speculator market. So, first it's superhero comics that made waves on said market. But as this Marketwatch article notes, the classic Richie Rich comics that originally began in the early 1950s (first debuting in Little Dot from Harvey publishing) are also becoming notable on the collector's scene:
But now some collectors are turning their attention to an entirely different type of comic-book character and asking the question: Is it possible to get rich off Richie Rich?

Yes, Richie Rich, the character otherwise known as “the poor little rich boy” and the namesake behind a line of kiddie-oriented comic books that were popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Granted, the character hasn’t resurfaced in the past few years in films or television unlike so many superheroes or even the Archie crowd (think CW’s “Riverdale” series). But those vintage Richie Rich comic books are starting to find a bigger market, according to experts who track the field.

Consider that a new record of $108,000 was set last year for a near-mint Richie Rich No. 1 book, dating from 1960. That was more than double the previous high of $48,995.

And next month, a collection that includes dozens of Richie Rich titles, including that No. 1 and many other prized early ones from the ‘60s, will be part of an auction organized by ComicConnect, a New York-based seller.

The Richie Rich titles will be sold individually, but ComicConnect co-founder Vincent Zurzolo, says the collection as a whole is drawing plenty of attention.

“I’ve gotten multiple calls. People are very excited about it,”
he said.

To be clear, no one is suggesting that Richie Rich is about to give the Marvel or DC superhero universes a real run for their money. Rather, it’s that at a time when superhero-focused collectors with limited means are finding it challenging to buy sought-after titles, the Richie Rich “universe” represents an affordable alternative, comic-book experts say. And because the titles are still relatively low in price, there’s arguably plenty of opportunity for them to increase in value.
Personally, I'm guessing it's got something to do with the waning interest in superhero movies, so now some collectors want to find something new that hasn't gotten as much attention as said superhero comics have. Well I'll give them this - at least they don't seem to be going out of their way to make bids at the auctions based on whether the comic in question becomes the subject of a TV cartoon or a live action movie, as first happened with Richie Rich in the former medium in the early 1980s, and in the latter medium in the mid-1990s. (Which, IIRC, starred Home Alone alumna Macaulay Culkin, in what may have been his last official screen role for several years; the movie was not a big success.)

I guess what this means is that a certain number of speculators have now decided to turn their attention elsewhere, since the superhero phenomenon is on the decline in Hollywood. But, they're still unlikely to be reading the old humor comics of Richie Rich that they're buying at the auction, and no matter how adult they are, it's decidedly still insulting to the intellect if they have no intention of trying to get their children to read them and have some chuckles. If they have any children at all, of course. Hopefully, the Richie Rich series has since been reprinted in archives. Yet who knows if the speculators even care about those as much as they do about the monetary value of the old pamphlets they're buying to lock away in the vault?

Oh, and if Richie Rich hasn't been published as new comics in some time, it may be for the best for now. In an era where LGBT ideology's become so forcibly shoehorned into children's entertainment, no sane person would want to see the poor little rich boy fall victim to a forced tale where he's drag-performing, would they? Let's hope not.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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