May 22, 2022
FOREIGN COMICS COME TO MOTOR CITY COMIC CON!
Motor City Comic Con kicked off at the Suburban Collection Showcase in Novi, Michigan from May 13th through May 15th with some great guests! Fans had the opportunity to meet Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, along with a great selection of other celebrity and comic book industry guests. There were vendors featuring almost everything in the collectibles world, from the expected comic books, to Funko Pops, to board games, to amazing art and more!
HFQ Comics was one vendor new to the scene and they brought something that your larger comic conventions may not have seen yet: A complete dedication to the world of foreign comic books. Most comic book collectors are either barely aware or completely unaware of this section of the comic book market, but that is changing fast. HFQ Comics is dedicated to educating people in this rapidly growing market and bringing them great deals with accurate information and fair pricing.
The question some of you may have is the same question most have when they learn of foreign comics: “Just what are they exactly and why should I collect them, or invest in them?”
Foreign comic books are largely comic books printed in other countries that have an American comic book translated into their language. Sometimes it is just a simple translation in all the text and everything else remains identical, sometimes it may add or remove a few panels from the story for any number of reasons ranging from personal taste to political pressure, sometimes it may even create all new art for the story, including a new cover as well. There is no real rhyme or reason to how the foreign comic books were published, and every country did it’s own thing with little to no regulation or oversight from Marvel or DC. Sometimes licenses were obtained, sometimes they weren’t.
Sometimes foreign comic book publishers didn’t like where the American story went so they started creating their own non-canon stories. The most famous of these is the La Prensa Spider-Man run done by Jose Luis Duran, who was a big fan of Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man and when she was killed by Marvel in Amazing Spider-Man 121, Duran decided he wasn’t done with her and proceeded to create 45 original Spider-Man stories with Gwen. These are among the most sought after foreign comic books in the world today.
The wild west aspect of foreign comic book publishing also led to some really interesting combinations of issues. Many foreign comics contain multiple issues either in full or in part, and most of the time these issues don’t relate to each other. You might have an Amazing Spider-Man story, followed by an unrelated Iron Man story, followed by a Fantastic Four story. The interesting thing this did is it created some really amazing issues that have multiple key comics in them. Can’t decide if you want a Incredible Hulk 180 or 181? Well there are multiple foreign comic books containing both issues in one comic! Want Daredevil 1 and Silver Surfer 1 together in the same comic? You can find that in foreign comics, and although they were released prior in America, they are the true first printing from that country.
Foreign comic books have been largely ignored by the majority of the comic book community for years, only having a small group of dedicated collectors who either loved the originality of them, saw the investment potential, or just loved the original art. That has been rapidly changing the last couple years as new collectors enter the market and other collectors who were previously unaware learn of this exciting section of the comic book market. Foreign comics that could be obtained less than 2 years ago for $100 or less in some cases are now well into the 4 figure range for prices and the market continues to grow every week as more become aware and join in.
Collecting foreign comic books isn’t like collecting American ones. There usually aren’t multiple copies available for sale online and finding sales data can be tough. While all the data for American comics is largely at your fingertips now online, that is not the case with foreign comics. Print runs are virtually unknown and many companies are no longer around to provide this information. In some cases, we don’t even know the complete number of issues published by a company, and new foreign comics are still being discovered and shared with the community all the time. There is no complete database of all the foreign comics produced, or a price guide listing graded sales of foreign comics. It is still very much the wild west and that aspect is appealing to many collectors.
There are no surprises when you open an American comic, unless you happen to luck out on a signature on the inside page, but surprises are always waiting when you open a new-to-you foreign comic book. You may recognize a panel that no one else has yet and discover a new key, or even find a whole issue in the back of one that hasn’t been widely known yet.
These are just some of the reasons that HFQ Comics is fully focused on bringing this exciting and growing section of the comic book market to conventions. While a few dealers at conventions may have some foreign comic books available at their booths, HFQ Comics has 100% foreign comic books at their booths, making their booth a true destination spot for convention fans who want to see something they haven’t seen before. Many collectors, myself included, still believe the foreign market is greatly undervalued and we are all very excited for what the future holds for foreign comics, both short term and long term.