Comics was the last of the classic "Big Eight" super
hero anthology titles introduced by National Comics
(DC) in the early days of the Golden Age. For many years,
issues of Sensation also were the least expensive of
these anthology titles, but they have caught up rapidly
in the past few years as interest in collecting Wonder
Wonder Woman was the lead feature in the first 106 issues
of Sensation. Number one premiered January 1942, although
her debut story was printed a month earlier in the back
of All-Star #8. However, five other costumed/super hero
strips were introduced in #1 Wildcat, Mr. Terrific,
Black Pirate, Gay Ghost and Little Boy Blue and the
Blue Boys. The Little Boy Blue strip might well rank
as the worst Golden Age strip DC ever published, but
for some reason it ran in most issues through #82 (October
1948) in what is surely one of the most inexplicable
mysteries in all of comics history. You have to see
Little Boy Blue to realize just how bad that strip was!
Sensation #1 - 17 (May 1943) were the 68-page issues,
and you can't go wrong with any of them, because all
six characters appear except in #14, in which The Black
Pirate is absent. In fact, the contents of Sensation
were so consistent that all six heroes ran through #31
(July 1944), the last 60-page issue before Sensation
dropped to 52 pages.
Wonder Woman is featured in her original star-spangled
skirt/culottes in the first three issues of Sensation.
H.G. Peter did not start drawing the covers until #4
before the Amazing Amazon abandoned the skirt/culottes
effect forever, so that makes the first three issues
unique. The other most sought-after cover is that of
#13 (January 1943), the famous Hitler-Tojo-Mussolini
"bowling pin" cover. That was one of the few patriotic
covers drawn by original series artist H.G. Peter, the
rococo Wonder Woman stylist who tended to focus on situations
involving fantasy, symbolism and humor instead.
really didn't change much until its last couple of years,
when there were some nifty additions, making the issues
from #91-106 generally scarcer and more desirable than
most of the earlier issues from the 1944-48 period.
Wildcat, the last surviving superhero in Sensation,
bowed out in #90 (June 1949), to be succeeded in #91-93
by Alex Toth's wonderful Streak the Wonder Dog stories.
The Streak stories were probably intended for the Green
Lantern comic, had it not been discontinued with #38
After 92 issues as a monthly title making Sensation
one of the more successful and consistent titles of
the Golden Age Sensation went semi-monthly with
#93 (September-October 1949). DC then embarked on an
intriguing experiment with its "all-girl" issues of
Sensation from #94-106, which many enthusiasts consider
to be the most collectible portion in the title's history
after the glorious 68-page run of #1-17.
Wonder Woman, of course, continued to lead Sensation,
which also included a doctor/detective strip entitled
Dr. Pat, Rx. In #94-106; Ann Martin of Romance, Inc.
in #94-105; Headline Heroines in #94-98; and Astra,
Girl of the Future in #99-106. The last Golden Age issue
was #106 (November-December 1951), which was the last
issue with Wonder Woman and also the first 36-page issue.
Indeed, #106 is one of the scarcest of the entire run.
Actually, all the issues from #91-106 are relatively
tough to find compared to many of the earlier issues.
Kindly counselor Ann Martin starred in romance stories,
making Sensation a unique "superhero" comic of its era.
Meanwhile, Astra was one of the earliest female science
fiction characters to be featured in her own strip,
at least outside the realm of Fiction House's long-running
Sensation switched genres entirely and became a weird/mystery
title with #107 (January-February 1952), in which the
only continuing character was Johnny Peril. The concept
of Johnny Peril, which was a good one, continued when
the title was changed to Sensation Mystery for its last
seven issues #110 (July-August 1952) through
#116 (July-August 1953).
So if you want the best of Sensation, try a few of the
issues from #1-17 and then those from #99-105
and compare the difference. It's difficult to believe
they came out only seven or eight years apart.
Back to top
Introduces the First Online Comic Lottery
ComicLotto.com is the first Web site of its kind, offering
continuous daily Comic Book Draws and a Grand Weekly Draw of a
CGC-certified comic book.
The concept is simple: start with a full long box with
250 comics, all valued anywhere from $1-$10 (US) for
each respective Draw, with a randomly placed prize in
each box. Each participant has an opportunity to draw
and potentially win the prize, which is valued at 25
times their original purchase price . It's that simple!
To find out more, click here: http://www.comiclotto.com/cl/CGCreview.htm.
Back to top
Looking for something to do with those pesky non-CGC-worthy
comic books? Want to help secure a bright future for
our nation's children and at the same time become a
part of the newest comic book-based literacy program?
Well, here's a way for you to do all three!
Comics4Kids is a not-for-profit organization that gives
donated comic books to children in hopes of encouraging
them to participate in the comic book hobby and, more
importantly, helps to teach them how to read.
"We'd like to do more than just encourage kids to go
to a comic store and spend Mom and Dad's money. We want
to enable children everywhere to stimulate their imaginations,
and at the same time improve their English skills,"
says C4K President and CEO Dale Moore. "Comic books
are not only a wonderful source of entertainment, but
they are also great building blocks for learning."
You can find out more about Comics4Kids and how to donate
comic books at www.comics4kids.org
or e-mail any questions you may have to: email@example.com.
Back to top
Stevens & the Rocketeer
During my early collecting years, I tried so hard to
collect only the titles that would separate me from
everyone else. There was only one negative aspect to
collecting non-superhero titles. I missed out on a lot
of good artists and stories. But it wasn't until
my employment at Comics Guaranty that I finally came
to that realization. One of my co-workers, Phil Kaltenbach,
found profuse enjoyment in discussing with me all of
the positive things in comics that I had missed out
on because of my single-minded determination. During
the course of a single workday he would introduce me
to artists and stories that went unnoticed by my younger
tastes. On one of those days, he asked me if I had ever
heard of Dave Stevens.
Now, everyone has seen, or at least heard of The Rocketeer,
right? Well, as far as I was concerned, it was a movie
and nothing beyond that. That was until Phil recommended
that I pick up a copy of Starslayer #2 by Pacific Comics.
It was then, and only then, that my eyes beheld something
new and unlike anything I had previously seen. I paged
my way through the Mike Grell's Starslayer story
to page 27, and there it was, "The Rocketeer"
by Dave Stevens. The colors were so bright, and the
detail was unimaginable. His figures had this depth
of realism that made his panels almost like looking
at a collection of photographs and the facial expressions
of the characters made me feel like I was actually living
each panel and taking part in all of the action. This
was better to me than the movie ever would be. From
that point on I was hooked. It took very little time
before I was searching eBay daily until I completed
the entire run of The Rocketeer storyline. Then I read
it straight through in one sitting.
The story begins with the Rocketeer's first comic
appearance in Starslayer #2 and continues into #3, and
from there, goes into another book titled Pacific Presents,
#1 and #2. Now, even though they are different titles,
it continues the same saga of our hero Cliff and his
beautiful girlfriend Betty. It's similar to the
movie, but the visuals are even more effective on paper.
Dave Stevens creates such a beautiful world with his
clean style, unlike anything I'd ever seen. And
his Betty, well, there is no question that the man knows
how to draw women. The storyline goes to it's own
one-shot titled The Rocketeer Special Edition. And years
later, was even picked up by Comico and Dark Horse for
a three-issue series called Rocketeer Adventure Magazine.
In my mind Dave Stevens has joined the ranks of some
of the top artists in the comic book industry, both
past and present. He has a style that would appear to
be Frazetta-like by nature, but brings it to a level
of his own. The line work is clean and completely simple,
but creates an appearance of three-dimensional perfection
that never leaves the paper. Not to mention he also
draws the most jaw-dropping images of Bettie Page. So,
in my opinion, Dave Stevens is the modern day Frank
Frazetta. Anyone whose collection doesn't include
the Rocketeer series, or has never experienced Dave
Stevens' work, should give it a try. No one will
regret the effort.
Back to top
Pop Culture at Your Fingertips
Scoop is the FREE, weekly, e-newsletter for collectors
and pop culture enthusiasts of all ages from Gemstone
Publishing and Diamond International Galleries.
Scoop covers the past, present and future of comic character
collectibles, the latest industry news, important CGC
certified comic book sales, media happenings and so
much more. Scoop gets you tuned into those trends that
shape history and our development as a society. Reminisce
about those characters you loved as a kid, and catch
up with the characters that have everyone talking today.
to check it all out and http://scoop.diamondgalleries.com/signup
Back to top
When my brother Tom and I got back into comic books
in the early 1970's, we found ourselves attracted to
all kinds of titles from both Marvel and DC, even though
we each had specialized some 10 years before. I helped
to reacquaint Tom to Marvels like Neal Adams' X-Men
and Barry Smith's Conan the Barbarian, while he turned
me on to Berni Wrightson's Swamp Thing. We sampled all
kinds of new titles and our collections grew quickly.
Before long, however, it occurred to both of us that
it might be a good idea to buy more than one copy of
especially outstanding books, and to that end we developed
a ritual of which I still have wonderful memories.
One of the first comics that excited us this way was
Jim Starlin's Warlock in Strange Tales #178, (February
1975). The comic had already been on the stands for
about a month when I picked it up, attracted by the
name of the antagonist, The Magus. One of my favorite
novels at that time bore that title: John Fowles' second
novel, published in 1966, which I still consider a fantastic
piece of fiction. I showed it to Tom when I came home
from graduate school for Christmas, and he fell for
it, too. We both bought the next two issues and picked
up an extra copy or two.
A couple of days after I returned home again for the
summer, Tom and I were enjoying ourselves one night
at the local pool hall. Later that evening we went to
a 7-11 next door for a cup of coffee, and there on the
spinner sat a half-dozen or so copies of Strange Tales
#181, the final installment of Warlock in that title.
Excitedly we each grabbed a copy to look through the
story ("A Thousand Clowns", an absolutely incredible
read with astounding artwork). We then decided we would
divide the four nicest copies between ourselves. The
remaining couple had already suffered a bit of rack-burn.
Suddenly Tom made an inspired suggestion. Another 7-11
stood a couple of miles down the road. Why not drive
there and pick up the best copies they had so we would
each have a few more? We did, and now we each had five
beautiful, mint (at least, in those days!) copies of
this knockout comic. Before we knew it, since the stores
were open all night, we found ourselves driving all
over Baltimore until past 3:00 a.m., hunting, like two
crazed Euell Gibbons, the wild Strange Tales #181. I'm
sure we visited at least 10 stores, and bought coffee
at several of them, including several we didn't even
know existed until we went searching for "just one more".
At each stop we each picked out as many pristine copies
as they had, then contrived, with great difficulty,
to pay for the books without allowing the baffled clerk
to touch them. We must have seemed like we were up to
something! By the time we returned to the now-dark pool
hall to pick up my car, each of us had about 25 copies
of that glorious book. What a grand and stimulating
We went on safaris like this several more times during
the next few years. One other book I remember hoarding
was Detective #475; Marshall Rogers blew us both away.
Of course, most of these copies were sold or traded
away over the years, but I still remember and cherish
those four-color all-nighters.
Back to top
Announces World's First Grade-Certified Comic Book Market
Heritage Comics has joined forces with Australian company
GPAnalysis for Comics to offer a sophisticated comic
book reporting and analysis system. For just $6.95 per
month, GPAnalysis for Comics will provide comic traders
with accurate, up-to-the-moment market information,
online, based on actual auction sales of CGC-graded
comics on leading auction sites such as eBay and Heritage.
This new service will help collectors and dealers determine
the best time to buy and sell to maximize the value
of their comic investments.
Consignment Director of Heritage Comics, Fred McSurley,
said that although online comic trading had been booming
for the past five years, there was a significant gap
in the availability of accurate, up-to-date market information.
"It is exciting that the comic trading community now
has access to a service similar to the reporting and
analysis available for listed stocks. For the first
time collectors can determine a much more accurate value
for their CGC-graded books at any time of the year,"
Back to top
in Minimum Submission Requirements
Because of numerous requests from both dealers and
collectors, CGC is changing the minimum submission requirements
for the Economy and Modern service tiers.
Effective immediately, the minimum book quantity for
the economy and modern tier will be as follows:
- Economy tier: The 3-book minimum has been changed
to no minimum. This means you can submit 1
book if needed in the economy tier.
- Modern tier: The 4-book minimum has been changed
to a 2-book minimum. This means you can submit
2 books if needed in the modern tier.
Back to top