LONDON, UK (CNN) -- It might be something to do with the popularity of superhero movies, but whatever it is, new magazines are attracting new, younger readers. It's the classics that are struggling.
As we speak, the hammer is coming down on an auction of rare British and U.S. comic books. So, are there bargains to be found or are old comic books losing their investment value?
The Beano, the Dandy, Judy, Girl, Eagle, Dan Dare; if these names mean something to you, then you grew up reading British comic books.
For Malcolm Phillips they are also a business. He runs comic book auctions out of his north London home. But British comic books have a limited worldwide appeal. He says, "Do Americans collect British comics in general, no they don't? Comics is all about nostalgia. It's what you read as a kid and the value today reflects purchasing the innocence of the youth."
So while a recent U.S. auction saw the first superman sold for over $2 million, a top grade first issue of a pre-World War II British comic might bring in $6,000 to $7,000 unless the toy which came with it is still attached. Phillips says, "A Number One issue with a free gift, we hold the world for, at $30,000."
That doesn't mean comic books are dead. Blockbuster films have brought younger readers here to mega city comics which just had its best summer. Martin Kravetz with MegaCity says, "Avengers is a massive hit in the cinema and that's reflected in the customers who have not thought about buying a comic for a long time, come back in the stores."
But they aren't buying much from the past. For instance, this 15-year-old X-Men comic used to be worth around $3 or $4 in this shop. Now, it's on for less than a dollar and sits in the sales bins. Kravetz says, "I think people are just buying the next episode and I think the collector side of it is far more minor than it used to be."
Not to mention that the age of those collecting is, well, maturing. Phillips says the days of passing comics down through the family is fast coming to an end. He says, "Inevitably, this will be the fate of all comics. Because it's a genre that is quite frankly, outmoded."
Outmoded but still fun to read if not collect.