What To Know:
When buying comics you always want to know that you are paying the correct price for the correct printing. Nothing like paying for a first printing only to find out later you have a fifth printing.
Depending on the publisher and the year, there are a couple of ways to tell what print you are getting. With older books you will need to open the book. Somewhere around the first page or so, or the last page there will be an area with all the information about the book and the publishing details. If it does not list any mention of the printing edition, then it is a first printing.
How To Know:
With newer modern books you will need to use the bar code. Or should I say the last five numbers of the bar code. These digits will tell you everything.
- The first three digits will tell you the issue number.
- The fourth digit is the variant number.
- The fifth digit is the print number
The first example reads: Issue number 4, First variant (original cover), First printing.
Now open the second photo and see what you get from that code.
Don’t Get Fooled:
There are other ways in which companies release different printings.The color of the books cover may be different. A great example of this is New Mutants #87. The first printing is a red cover. The second printing is a gold cover. One highly collectible book to watch out for is, Batman: The Killing Joke. It has multiple printings and everyone of them has a different color cover. There are many other key issues as well as fillers that will fall under this method. Having the right printing can mean the difference in hundreds of dollars for investors. So do your home work and know what you are looking for before you spend your hard earned money.