Over the last several months there has been huge interest in the Preacher #1 comic book with AMC airing the new TV series in mid to late 2016. Some comic book collectors or investors are trying to get ahead of the game by purchasing high grade (9.8 or 9.6) copies now; before the pilot is released. With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to look at Preacher #1 vs Walking Dead #1. Here are the facts.
Preacher #1 (Vertigo/DC Comics) came out in 1995 and had a run count around 20,000. Some have predicted a run count closer to 30,000 but our calculations have it just under 20,000. The run count, actual sales numbers, for The Walking Dead was 7,266. It was the perfect storm for The Walking Dead as the overall economy was in a recession and the comic book industry was in an extreme recession. Image Comics was not willing to print 30,000 copies of a brand new series. This makes the value of The Walking Dead #1 all the more valuable.
The Walking Dead #1 Copies
In February 2016 there are 2398 copies of The Walking Dead #1 CGC graded. There are 823 at 9.8 and 735 at 9.6. Those that are lucky enough to have a 9.9 copy are in very elite company. There are only 23 CGC 9.9 copies with three of them being signature series. When scouring eBay you can find a 9.9 copy for $22,825. Do not expect to find any 9.9 copy under $20,000. Copies of The Walking Dead #1 CGC 9.8 have sold for as much as $2650 in the last few days. The 9.6 copies have sold for $1750. Signature Series of each grade are selling for a premium.
So, we see that 823 copies of a 9.8 grade make the price around $2500 and 735 copies of the 9.6 grade price out at $1750. If we do the calculations, The Walking Dead came out 13 years ago with 7,266 copies. With The Walking Dead being one of the most popular cable TV shows ever we can assume that anyone with a copy of #1 has gotten it graded by CGC. In 13 years we have declined from 7,266 quality copies to 1,558 (about 22% have survived).
Preacher #1 Copies
In February 2016 there were 1433 copies of Preacher #1 CGC graded. There were 406 at 9.8 and 403 at 9.6. There were no 9.9 copies that have been graded. The reason these numbers are so low is because owners of this comic book are not going to have it CGC graded until they know it is worth a significant amount of money. The number of Preacher #1’s being CGC graded in the last several months has gone up drastically.
On eBay you can find a 9.8 copy for $1000 and a 9.6 copy for $400. Signature series of each grade are selling for a premium.
Things are a little different with Preacher because the TV show has yet to come out and many people are likely holding their copies ransom. That said, we can still attempt to compare to The Walking Dead. Over 20 years ago, 1995, there were approximately 20,000 copies of Preacher #1. If we use the same metrics as The Walking Dead we see there are likely 4288 CGC high grade copies floating around. That estimate may be high because Preacher #1 is eight years older than The Walking Dead #1. Either way, there are likely more copies of Preacher #1 floating around.
As we get closer to the pilot, it will be interesting to see how many CGC copies are reported in the census. If the number of 9.8 and 9.6 skyrockets to numbers over 1000 the value of Preacher #1 will decline. If the numbers stay under 1000, and the show is a hit, the price of these comics will likely increase in value. How much will the price go up after the pilot? No one knows.
Collectors will know the value but the common American that gets addicted to the show will only push the price higher. If the show gets 8 million viewers and receives amazing reviews look for the prices of Preacher #1 to go through the roof for about two or three weeks. If you have a copy of Preacher #1 it would be smart to monitor the prices on eBay over the next several months leading up to the pilot.
I would also suggest using Google Trends to look at the search volume direction of “Preacher AMC”, “Preacher TV Show” and “Preacher Comic Book”. If these charts show an increase in search volume over the next several months the price of the comic books will increase. The Preacher pilot will be aired at SXSW on March 12th. Search traffic could sky rocket if there is an interest after the pilot. Check eBay on March 12th and March 13th to see the overall direction of the price of Preacher #1.