Of late, Neil Gaiman has become one of the hottest figures in modern-day fantasy fiction, with two successful TV series based on his writing currently in production on second seasons, with more on the way or in the pipeline. Sandman, Good Omens, American Gods, Mirrormask, Neverwhere, Stardust, Anansi Boys, Coraline and so much more, people are looking to take those stories to new eyes. DC Comics is bringing back Tim Hunter and potentially rebooting his Books Of Magic as well, with Dead Boy Detectives back on the slab too.
As a result of the Sandman success especially, there has been a boom in sales of collections of the series, as well as a sharp uptick in the value of Sandman back issues, the question is, which other comic book might a keen collector decide might be worth picking up and getting slabbed ahead of everyone else?
1. Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
This has to be the big one, the first graphic novel work by the pair, and originally published in black-and-white by Man At The Crossroads Paul Gravett, of Escape Comics in 1987. It went to at least three publishing at Escape, before being published in colour by Titan Comics, then by Tundra/Kitchen Sink and finally by Dark Horse Comics who more recently published an anniversary edition, and there have been many prints between them. But for speculators, I would look to those first three UK printings. The story is told by the narrator, Neil Gaiman, as a small boy who was taken by his father to be treated by an osteopath once employed by Al Capone, with a child'skind trying to grasp the significance of all this. Copies have sold for £4 to £10 recently.
Violent Cases First Printing, Escape Comics
Violent Cases Third Printing, Escape Comics
Violent Cases American Printings, Titan Comics, Tundra/Kitchen Sink & Dark Horse
2. Signal To Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
Signal to Noise was originally serialised in the UK style magazine The Face, beginning in 1989, and collected as a graphic novel in 1992 by Victor Gollancz Ltd in the UK and Dark Horse Comics in the US. A story of the difference between a global apocalypse and an apocalypse happening to just one man, with a film maker imagining the film he has no longer the time to make. It's already been adapted for radio, the stage and a short film. And for speculators looking for the first version will want The Favce vol 2, issue 9 from June 1989. A copy just sold for a pound on eBay.
3. Mr Punch by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
Again with multiple volumes, Mister Punch reunited the pair on a standalone graphic novel, published in 1994 by proper book publisher Gollancz, in paperback and hardback, before getting the same the following year from DC Comics, recently reprinted in 2006 in paperback by Bloomsbury and in 2017 in hardcover by Urban Comics. The book follows the childhood memories of the narrator, how the natural world and adult world are interpreted by the young mind, while framed with the seaside darkness of the Punch And Judy puppet show. Clearly one for CBBC. You can get a signed copy of the Bloomsbury edition on eBay right now for £30.