SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s a weekend to celebrate heroes, at least the ones you find in comic books. SiouxperCon began Friday at the Sioux Falls Convention Center and runs all weekend.

“I have been collecting comic books since about 1996,” Sioux Falls comic collector Jon Runyan said. 

Runyan has been an avid comic book collector for decades and loves to see what he can find at SiouxperCon every year.

“I get my hands on the coolest stuff and I love it,” Runyan said. 

“This is the biggest I’ve seen SiouxperCon since they’ve done the show,” JJs Comics and Art owner Jon Jespersen said. 

This weekend’s booming convention paints a picture of the overall increase in demand for comics.

“For me as a business it’s been the greatest year I’ve ever had,” Jespersen said. “I’m working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for the past 18 months.”

Jon Jespersen started doing JJ’s comics and art full time five years ago and has seen his sales explode ever since.

“What’s happened over the past five years and especially since COVID hit, we’ve been more indoors,  we’ve seen more people investing now in books, so prices have surged and exploded,” Jespersen said. 

While the starting price of new comics is up across the board…

“The prices certainly have changed a lot, but for me it’s well worth it,” Runyan said. 

The high end collectible market continues to see record setting prices.

“Perfect example would be Amazing Fantasy 15, which is the first Spiderman appearance, just sold for a record $3.2 million,” Jespersen said. 

And it’s not just fans driving up the prices.

“What we’re also seeing is a lot of people are now trying to invest in these things as physical properties, assets. We’re seeing Wall Street coming in and developing portfolios where they will buy major keys and put them into portfolios, that way too, so as the prices go up or down, juts like the stock market, its the same with the comic market,” Jespersen said.

Over the past year, the appreciation has been incredibly fast for collectibles.

“We’re even seeing things like video games, a Super Mario game from 1985 that was sealed, had sold for $600,000 graded, then six months later went to heritage auctions and sold for $2 million,” Jespersen said.

“It’s even better than the stock market,” one SiouxperCon exhibitor said.

But for some long time fans like Jon, comics are all about the story, with little thought to investing.

“I actually just read for the characters so I don’t get to sell a lot, I just mainly buy a lot,” Runyan said. 

If you’re looking to get into the comic trade, there is a bit of a learning curve figuring out the gradings and certifications to look for. SiouxperCon is a great place to learn more; it runs through Sunday at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.