PORTAGE | Kids of all ages came to the Northwest Indiana Comic Book Convention on Saturday to look for cheap comic books to read and pricier ones to collect.
The convention, held Saturday at Holiday Inn Express in Portage, drew a steady stream of comic book enthusiasts.
Lake Forest, Ill., resident Pete Przysiezny came away from the convention with a Superman issue 76 from 1952. The comic book, which originally sold for 10 cents, now goes for $325. If it was in better shape, it would be worth $5,000, he said.
"It's kind of a key issue," he said.
Przysiezny, who buys and resells comics online and at shows, also found about 250 other comics to buy. He said he looks for things like the first appearances of certain characters and missing issues he could use to make a full set.
"Every show I find a little bit here and there," he said.
Convention organizer and comic book dealer Alan Morton, who lives in Illinois, said he does shows from Toledo to Omaha, said even a small show like the one in Portage has about 50,000 comics for sale, everything from 50-cent ones to rare ones that fetch several hundred dollars.
"There are some that are more sought after and higher priced than others," Morton said.
The next show is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Holiday Inn, 6161 W. Grand Ave. in Gurnee, Ill., and people can visit epguides.com/comics for a full list of conventions.
Morton said in the 1970, people realized that few pre-1945 comic books remained and those that did were valuable -- some worth as much as a house. So, people started saving and taking care of the newer comic books, and as a result the plentiful supply means they aren't as valuable.
He also said comics like the new Barack Obama/Spiderman may be worth a lot now, but could go down in value.
"You shouldn't buy comic books just to invest in them," Morton said.
"Buy them because you like them and if, ten years later, they're worth more, great."
Morton said the advent of buying and selling comics on the Internet has been both good and bad. But he believes comic book shows still have a place because people can inspect before purchasing, and because they can buy inexpensive comics that a dealer wouldn't expend the time or money to post on-line and ship to a buyer.