Planet Comic Con Kansas City
Overland Park International Trade Center
Overland Park, KS
Big Apple Show
Penn Plaza Pavilion
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
||World's Finest Comics
World's Finest Comics is one of the most challenging
titles for collectors of DC Comics, from the standpoints
of both cost and scarcity.
Even if you are wealthy, you won't have an easy time
completing a set or even a long run of World's Finest,
which ran 106 issues through 1959. Many 1950's issues
are scarce, especially in high grade. Most of the 1940's
issues don't seem scarce but they are pricey.
Since "Nolan's Niche" is dedicated to helping collectors
learn how to get the most for their money, we'll continue
to follow that theme with World's Finest. You'll need
only about a dozen issues for a representative collection.
DC's "Big Eight" monthly anthology series of the Golden
Age, no significant characters appeared only in World's
Finest, which was a second or third home for its major
cast. It's a wonderful title, loaded with many of DC's
best characters. Since the first 70 issues are 15-cent
giants, you get a lot more for your money, just as readers
did in the Golden Age.
The title began as World's Best Comics #1, an undated
1941 issue. The title switched to World's Finest with
#2 (Summer 1941) and was published quarterly through
#20 (Winter 1945-46) before becoming bimonthly.
Superman and Batman were the headliners, with separate
full-length stories for the first 70 issues. When World's
Finest was cut from 68 pages (including covers) to 36
pages with #71 (July-Aug. 1954), it forced a long-running
team-up of DC's two biggest guns.
Several other costume heroes were featured in every
issue of World's Finest, which ran 100 pages through
#9, then 92 pages through #12, 84 pages through #18,
76 pages through #54, and 68 pages through #70. In that
sense, World's Finest was a lesson in how comic publishers
once handled inflation — by cutting the page count
instead of increasing the price.
The original Sandman appeared in #3-5, followed by Sandman
and Sandy in #6-7. The Star Spangled Kid and Stripesey
ran in #6-18. The Crimson Avenger from Detective Comics
appeared in #1-5, followed by a one-shot appearance
in #6 by TNT, a minor hero from Star Spangled Comics.
appeared in World's Finest #6, to be replaced by Green
Arrow and Speedy in #7 (Fall 1942). The Emerald Archer,
who also appeared in More Fun Comics and later Adventure
Comics, shot through a whopping 134 consecutive issues
of World's Finest, last appearing in #140 — a
20-year run! It's hard to conceive of a backup feature
in any comic book today running for 20 years, isn't
Other mainstays of special interest include Zatara the
Magician in #1-51 (except #46) and Boy Commandos in
#8-41. Let's just say any issue of World's Finest through
#18 would be a gem for any collector. You can't lose
with any of these huge square-bound gems, bursting with
the energy of several Golden Age heroes. The drawback,
of course, is that you're probably going to pay well
over $100 even for copies in "good" condition.
The solution? Focus on the later issues! They all contain
Superman, Batman and Green Arrow, including many of
their scarcest (and generally never reprinted) appearances.
Even though 1950-54 issues of World's Finest are scarcer
than their 1940's counterparts, they cost only about
half as much or less!
I especially like World's Finest #49-58 (1951-53) because
they contain the only appearances of Tom Sparks, Boy
Inventor. Tom Sparks may have been modeled on the original
Tom Swift, who was popular in a series of 40 novels
released from 1910-41. Tom Swift rivaled the Hardy Boys
(who debuted in 1927) as the most successful juvenile
series for boys in the post-Horatio Alger era.
I particularly recommend World's Finest #49 (Dec. 1950-Jan.
1951), with the only cover appearance by Tom Sparks,
whose robot is shown playing checkers with Robin as
Batman and Superman watch. That cover was typical of
World's Finest, which featured either playful or symbolic
Superman, Batman and Robin covers all the way through
#70. The only exceptions were serious "rescue" covers
on #51, 53, 65, 66 and 67.
Those World's Finest covers were wonderful; you really
can't go wrong with any of them. Different themes will
appeal to different collectors, of course. Along with
#49, my favorites are #3 and #15 (baseball), #11 (victory
garden), #21 (basketball), #34 (bumper cars), #63 (newspaper
headlines) and #68 (our heroes flee from a skunk).
In my opinion, issues of World's Finest become increasingly
scarce through #70, the last 15-cent issue. Issues #60-70
seem especially scarce, indicating that sales may have
slumped. The saddle-stitched binding began with #49,
making those issues especially hard to find in high
grade, if only because staples tended to pull away.
The Overstreet Price Guide lists #71 as scarce, which
is true if only because so many copies are locked away
in so many collections as an iconic issue, with the
first Superman-Batman team-up in World's Finest. However,
since #71 is a lot more expensive than the surrounding
issues, you can generally find one if you have the bucks.
Finding a copy of, say, #65 might be a lot tougher.
All the first 20 Superman-Batman team-up issues boast
terrific stories, with many among my childhood favorites.
Issue #90 (Oct. 1957) features one of the first appearances
by Batwoman and is among my favorite Silver Age comics.
World's Finest is among the biggest bargains any collector
of 1940's or 1950's comics could want. I heartily recommend
this title — in short, get as many as you can
afford! It's also a great "low-grade" bargain.
Would You Like Your Stake?
started with a conversation about Vincent Price. A while
back, I had purchased House on Haunted Hill (the original)
on DVD. As an added bonus, the disc came with another
Vincent Price classic: The Last Man on Earth. Now, I
had no idea what the movie was about, no indication
as to the effect it would have on my taste in horror,
but after watching The Last Man on Earth, my take on
vampires was forever changed.
Of all horror icons, vampires were my least favorite
because of constant overexposure in film, television
and books. There are only so many Dracula-type movies
one can watch before being overwhelmed by a sense of
familiarity. But watching this movie, a new light shone
down upon me, piquing my interest of vampires once again,
and thus leading to my newest find, which will spend
its immortal days resting on my bookshelf.
During the end credits of The Last Man on Earth, something
caught my eye. “Based on the novel ‘I am
Legend’ by Richard Matheson” flashed across
the screen. “Well,” I thought, “if
the movie was that interesting, the book’s got
to be even better!” I began my search on eBay
and found a few results, one being an adaptation of
the 1954 classic by Matheson, put out by IDW Publishing
in 2003, in hardcover graphic novel format, with content
adapted by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and art by
The adaptation reads identically to the novel by Matheson,
for Steve Niles pulled no stops keeping this tale accurate
to the original, and Elman’s illustrations give
the novel such a chilling view that no imagination is
needed. The story stars Robert Neville, a man alone,
in a world where a mysterious “plague” has
swept across the world and infected all of its inhabitants.
The sickness has mysterious vampire-like effects on
all victims, turning what were once normal people into
nightwalking bloodsuckers that stalk Robert every night
of his lonely and meager existence.
Boarded up in his house, he tries to deal with his loneliness
at night by chasing down his sorrows with whiskey and
cigarettes, and by day going house to house, trying
to rid his town of the vampire epidemic. What started
the epidemic of vampirism? Garlic, crucifixes, wooden
stakes and sunlight…what do they all have in common?
Neville begins his quest to find the answers to his
own living horror movie. Is he really the only one left
unaffected? Will he spend the rest of his life trying
to stay alive or will he end his madness and surrender
to the masses?
Edge-of-your-seat suspense and gripping elements of
horror make this a graphic novel that anyone will want
to “sink their teeth into.”
Back to top
consider myself a Cerebus fan. I love the artwork, I love
that it is not really about an aardvark. I love the monumental
stature of it. I love that this comic can humble a person.
I love the diehard D.Y.I. integrity (and insanity) of self-publishing
for 26+ years. I love the stubbornness of freedom shown not
only by an aardvark, but by its creator as well. I am a fan.
I never would have imagined getting that phone call from Peter
Dixon asking if I wanted to go to the Aardvark-Vanaheim studio
in Kitchner, Ontario to witness a Signature Series signing
and possibly do the Dave Sim File Copies. The first words
out of my mouth, "Is Dave Sim going to be there!?!"
Dave Sim signing the Cerebus #1 File Copies
was a pause. Peter replied, "No, Pauly, I figured I was going
to sign them all myself." I can still hear him laughing at
Fast forward to March 12th, 2004. Flight delays due to snow
in Cleveland delayed me for an hour and a half. Peter and
Kevin Boyd pick me up at the airport and we head off for Kitchner,
an hour away. We had tentative plans to go out that night
with Dave Sim, but I was worried because my delayed flight
put us in Kitchner at 11:30 pm. Luckily, he was still up for
it. Chicken wings, pierogies, fried dill pickles (I had to
try them) and a couple of pitchers and we were all planning
the "Bank Heist" (as Dave dubbed it) for 8:30 in the morning.
We arrived at the studio and I tried to stay focused as I
saw the most breathtaking pieces of framed original art covers
from throughout the Cerebus run hung around the studio walls.
Gerhard arrived shortly after us and we quickly got to work.
Dave and Gerhard sat for the signings while the three of us
un-bagged then re-bagged the file copies. Trying to keep up
with two artists that are used to deadlines is not an easy
The five of us worked in silence for a while. Personally,
I was still stunned that I was there. I could barely control
the fanboy. "You're here representing Comics Guaranty, don't
screw it up by geeking out," I kept telling myself. But Dave
and Gerhard broke into the easy banter of friends and smiles
abounded. Dave asked me many straightforward questions about
CGC, which I was more than happy to answer. He was very excited
about our Registry and the news that we were planning on including
Cerebus the Aardvark into our sets so that collectors can
track and rate their "Dave Sim File Copies." But the best
part was just talking about comics; what we owned, what we
regret selling, who our favorite creators are and were, which
lead to reading aloud some of the tribute letters from CBG
about the late Julie Schwartz.
Peter Dixon, Paul Litch, and Kevin Boyd at Paradise
Comics showing off the Dave Sim File Copies
worked from 8:30 am to almost 8:30 pm with just a soda break.
Peter Birkemoe, owner of the Beguiling, an underground comics
store in Toronto, arrived at midday with a small television
crew. So Dave not only had us to deal with, but he also gave
an interview with, and wrote a three-page scripted scene for,
Book TV, a popular Canadian Cable show. All the while he was
signing file copies between takes.
It seems an understatement to say that it was a busy day.
Dave & Gerhard signed approximately 20 copies of issues #65
to #135. Dave signed approximately 20 copies of #2 to #64.
There are 10 Dave Sim File Copy #1's. He also opted to sign
the other copies of the first issue that he has bought over
time for the Signature Series. Plus they signed 100 copies
of Cerebus the Aardvark #300 that Peter had pre-screened himself
for the best copies. All told, we did approximately 2800 "Dave
Sim File Copies" all signed for the Signature Series.
How did they look? Amazing. So far we have done two copies.
The Cerebus #300 numbered 1/100 was CGC certified a 9.8. We
also certified the highest graded CGC copy of Cerebus #1,
which Dave has chosen to auction off for ACTOR at the Paradise
Comics Toronto Comicon. This copy is an astounding CGC certified
9.4 with WHITE pages. Other issues of the file copies that
stood out in my mind as extremely high grade were the first
10 or so of the run, including some very rare issues like
#21, and the never reprinted #51. The Wolveroach issues were
also stunning and I can't wait to see how they do.
By the end of the day we were all drained and quite amazed
that we had done what we set out to accomplish. Gerhard had
left after his part of the signings and after he had helped
us a bit by taking some photos. The rest of us enjoyed a very
nice dinner with Dave, one of his long time friends and the
new owner of Now and Then Books, one of the oldest comic
book stores in North America. It was a great night and the
end of an exhausting and rewarding day.
One thing kept resonating through my mind the rest of the
weekend. Before all of the chaos that befell us once the day
got into full swing, Dave broke that awkward silence by saying,
"You know, I got CGC right away. I read about it and I got
it. You guys are for people who want the best of the best."
Dave Sim is correct; we are for people who want the best of
the best and the extraordinary. It is an honor that he chose
CGC for his file copies, the best of the best of his life's
creation. Thanks Dave, on a personal level, for allowing this
fan to be a part of it.
Discovered Collection Includes CGC Certified Books
Daniel Greenhalgh, President of Showcase New England, recently
acquired an original owner Golden Age collection with about
250 books, over half of which have been certified by CGC.
This unrestored original owner collection is highlighted by a
Wonder Woman #1 (6.0), a More Fun 101 (VF-7.5) and includes
many comic books that are VF or better. The collection includes
all the major Golden Age titles such as Action, Adventure,
Batman, Detective, Flash, Green Lantern, More Fun, Superman,
World's Finest, Wonder Woman and many more.
The entire collection will be up for auction on Ebay beginning
Tuesday, March 23, and ending Friday, April 2nd. The collection
will appear under Ebay user name "showcase-new-england". All
the books in the collection will be auctioned with no reserves.