Sean Goodrich, co-owner of DotCom Comics in Freeport, said a shift to a “purchase economy” is at least partly to thank for a recent increase in sales at his comic book store. Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

Unlike many other businesses, local comic book stores saw a sharp increase in sales shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

“Right when the pandemic hit, the economy had changed from a service-oriented economy to a purchase economy, so people started buying collectibles,” said Sean Goodrich, co-owner of DotCom Comics in Freeport, which buys and sells comic books.

And the buying trend has continued.

“We thought it would end when the pandemic started to wane, but it really hasn’t,” Goodrich said. “People are still spending a lot of money on collectibles. Prices are up 100% in some cases, which is unheard of.”

DotCom Comics in Freeport recently bought a collection for $20,000 – the largest amount it ever paid out from its brick-and-mortar store. Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

As an example, he pointed to a specific book, an “Amazing Spider-Man #1,” that sold for $10,000 in 2020 and is now selling for more than $22,000.

His sales have gone up by “double digits” and stayed steady since shortly after the pandemic started, he said.


Comic books and other collectibles are seen as a tangible asset during an uncertain economy, especially with ongoing inflation and a pandemic, according to Goodrich.

Rick Lowell, who owns Casablanca Comics at 151 Middle St. in Portland, said his store’s sales growth over the last few years also reflects the national trend.

“I think that people want to own physical items,” Lowell said.

A June 2021 article in Forbes magazine that cited reports from dealers and collectors said prices at auctions and public and private sales have increased by 100% since the pandemic began. The article suggests that comics and other collectibles are attractive assets for those who would like to maintain their wealth more discreetly, as they can be easily stored and transported.

Goodrich said he was expecting to see an increase in customers that wanted to sell him comics and collectibles from the beginning of the pandemic when everyone began cleaning out their homes or needed extra money, but surprisingly, that wasn’t the case.

“Either they were nervous about shipping and handling boxes (due to concerns about COVID) or they figured since they have the time, they would just sell themselves,” Goodrich said.


Goodrich said people really began selling their collectibles once businesses began opening back up and people were shopping again.

“If there’s a time to sell, it’s right now. If you’re sitting on some comic books in your closet, they might be worth something,” Goodrich said. “It’s a misconception we get where people think their comics are going to put their kids through college. The reality is, most collections aren’t like that. But there’s books that were in the dollar bins last year that are now worth $100. The likelihood someone has a collection that’s worth something is greater now than it was even a year ago.”

Last month, DotCom had its largest payout ever at the store when a customer came in the store with a full 1962-1971 run of Amazing Spider-Man comic books. DotCom Comics bought the collection for $20,000.

“The reality is, we do deals like that all the time, but they never just walk in the door. They always find us through our sister site,, so this was really unique,” Goodrich said.

Goodrich said his store hasn’t sold the collection yet since most of it was sent to CGC, Certified Guaranty Company, which is a book grading service.

“Right now, comic books are a buyer’s market and a seller’s market,” co-owner Ashley Cotter-Cairns said in a press release. “We are paying out more for the same comic books because we know that using the networks we’ve built, we can resell those books pretty quickly at a fair profit, and that’s because more people than ever are buying comics, for whatever reason, and they are willingly paying more for them.”

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