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Comics Guaranty, LLC Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
May 2005  
 
Volume 4, Issue 5  
   
1. The Original Daredevil Comics
   
2. Yes, I know a lot about Star Wars
   
3. The CGC Collector: Glenn Malloy
   
4. The Mightiest of Superman Comics CGC'd
   
5. CGC Mint Analysis from Greg Holland
   
6. Across the Pond Studios Offers CGC Variant Comics
   
7. The Spectre Comes Calling at Heritage Comics!
   
8. Metropolis Aquires 8.0 CGC Graded Batman #1
   
9. Golden Age CGC Gems on COMICLINK.COM
   


UPCOMING EVENTS

June 3-5
Wizard World Philadelphia

Philadelphia Convention Center
Philadelphia, PA
On-site Grading
Moderns Only — 1975-Present


June 24-26
Heroes Convention

Charlotte Convention Center
Charlotte, NC


July 13-17
San Diego Comic-Con International

San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA


Nolan's Niche The Original Daredevil Comics
Michelle Nolan

One of the most consistently under-rated comic books of the Golden Age is Daredevil Comics, which gradually developed into one of the most readable and literate titles of the era.

Daredevil is often considered Lev Gleason’s best title. The first three issues were published by Your Guide Publications and #4-7 by New Friday Publications, followed by the Gleason publisher Comic House for #8-23 and other Gleason connections through #134 (September 1956), which is the last issue produced by the company.

The first issue, entitled Daredevil Battles Hitler (July 1941), is legendary among Golden Age enthusiasts but is well out of the price range of most collectors, considering that it goes for well over $1,000 even in “good" condition. Daredevil Battles Hitler is noteworthy for its crossover appearances, plus of the first comic book biographies of Hitler, a seven-pager called The Man of Hate. Daredevil battled the Nazi dictator along with Silver Streak, the villain, The Claw (TheClaw Doublecrosses Hitler, an innovative seven-page classic), Lance Hale, Dickie Dean, Cloud Curtis and the Pirate Prince.

The Claw’s gory World War II adventures ran through #31 (July 1945) – when the villain died – but Daredevil otherwise emerged as a full-fledged costume hero anthology title for a couple of years. Every Golden Age collector interested in such comics should try to get at least one copy of Daredevil #2-11 (Aug. 1941-June 1942). In addition to 13-page Daredevil feature stories and The Claw, all 10 issues contain minor league costume heroes London, Pat Patriot (one of the first costume heroines) and Real American #1 (aka the unusual Indian hero The Bronze Terror). Daredevil comics featured two other costume hero strips, Nightro (#2-8) and 13 and Jinx (#3-17, with the kid costumed aide Jinx debuting in #5).

Early Daredevils can be pricey, but they’re worth it – if you are a Golden Age fan with bucks. Basil Wolverton’s 4-page Scoop Scuttle strips are a bonus in #12-20 and #22. But if you are on a tighter collecting budget, you can still find plenty of pleasure in latter issues.

The Little Wise Guys, the gang of mostly high school-age pranksters so long affiliated with Daredevil, debuted in #13 (October 1942) and never left. By 1951, they took over the entire book. Daredevil’s stories actually improved considerably with the introduction of the Wise Guys. More often than not, the featured Daredevil/Wise Guys story ran 16 pages or more, and a second story appeared in #35 (March 1946) through #69 (December 1950). The only exception was #50 (September 1948), which featured a 35-page novel – one of the longest non-chapter stories to appear in comics up to that point.

Daredevil was, without a doubt, one of the bloodiest and grimmest of all Golden Age heroic comics, though the Wise Guys also consistently added unusual elements of humor, pathos and human interest. Daredevil stories, noted for especially bloodthirsty and often bizarre villains, were just about the wordiest in comics. In many panels, the word elements – captions and balloons – crowded the art in ways that never would have been allowed by most publishers. But it made for many wonderful, thoughtful stories, with far meatier plot and characterization than in any other heroic type comics.

Although The Little Wise Guys sometimes appeared on the covers without Daredevil, the hero with the unique boomerang always appeared inside through #69 (December 1950). Off on a mission explained at the end of #69, Daredevil returned about a year later in #79 and #80, then disappeared forever.

Charles Biro wrote most of the Daredevil stories and business partner Bob Wood was the primary artist. With the success of Crime Does Not Pay (which Gleason debuted in 1942 as the first of its type), many critics have long considered Daredevil more of a crime title than a costumed hero title. Yet Daredevil, though he did not have any super powers, was still very much a costumed hero in the grand tradition.

Biro even experimented taking Daredevil out of costume in #42-44 (May-Sept. 1947) before bringing the full-fledged Daredevil back.

I’ve always loved the title so much that I collected a complete run of the 1945-50 issues #28-69 because many of them contained such terrific stories. But most Daredevil stories can stand alone; you don’t need to be a completist to enjoy them. Your best bet is to examine closely any issue from #13-69 to see whether the story will seem to appeal to you. If you give Daredevil a chance, my guess is that you’ll like many of them.

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The CGC Collector: Glenn Malloy

The CGC Collector, a new addition to the CGC newsletter, will spotlight a different CGC Registry Set and its owner. If you are interested in being spotlighted as The CGC Collector, please send a link to your Registry Set and a small write up with its contents to plitch@cgccomics.com.

My history with comics is probably a lot like many of you reading this. Sure, I read Richie Rich, Hot Stuff and Archie when I was a kid. Problem is I have almost no specific recollection of any of that.

Then everything changed. In 1968 I broke my leg and I had to go to the hospital for physical therapy.  My Mom walked me into the newsstand area while we waited. Spider-Man 63, with the two vultures flying in the spotlight, seized my attention. I was hooked.  I bought every issue thereafter until about # 160 or so when comics went to 30 cents and I decided I could no longer afford to keep up with the rate hikes. I left the hobby for 24 years.

The advent of eBay and CGC grading created a whole new platform for serious collectors. In July of 2000, I decided to “reclaim” my collection. After 20 years of working I also had more disposable income and so I began. Anybody can see what I have done in the Collectors; Society under the Amazing Spider-Man section. It’s the “4Gemworks” collections.

The irony is that the very price increase that occurred at the time I quit collecting comics, would become the pathway for my next big collecting endeavor: Marvel 1976 30 cent price variants.  Like many collectors I had seen the variants in Overstreet and just shrugged. Who knew what they were talking about anyway? Well one day I went into a comic shop not far from where I lived in Fremont, California. When I got to issue #155 I noticed these strange 30 cent issues. He had them all. Moreover as I began to look around I saw that the store was loaded with them. I bought the ASM issues at 20% off guide and did a little research. I came back and basically stripped the store of nearly every 30 cent issue they had. All at 20% off the Overstreet Guide.

A brief history of the Marvel price variants:

In 1976 Marvel developed a very secret marketing plan to test the effect of price increases on sales. Marvel selected a handful of cities, some have said as few as five or six. These included such places as San Jose and Baltimore, among others. Naturally Marvel would not want kids in these towns to know that they were paying 30 cents while nearly everybody else was still paying only 25 cents.

Most of the 25 cent copies are identified with the starburst saying “still only 25 cents”, though not all are of this nature. The 30 cent variants have a simple 30 cent imprint in the same starburst area. In September of 1976, after an apparently successful marketing test, Marvel raised prices nationwide to 30 cents per copy. Every Marvel comic published between April 1976 and August 1976 had the “normal” 25 cent cover as well as a much rarer variant somewhere. Some speculate that less than 2-3% of all print runs were of the variant nature.

In June of 1977, less than a year later, Marvel chose another 5-6 cities and did it again. This time Marvel raised prices from 30 to 35 cents. They must have learned a lot the previous year as the number of 35 cent copies appears to be materially lower than those published in the 30 cent variety.  In November of 1977 all Marvel comics were raised to 35 cents. Despite the apparent success of their marketing, to my knowledge, this type of price variant was never used again.

Back to my story...

Within weeks I began a feverish search among all the stores near San Jose for price variants. Before I was done I had picked up nearly 150 copies. Many of these original issues I had found were pristine and ultimately a number 9.4’s and 9.6’s emerged out of the group.

I quickly learned the relative scarcity of the various issues. As those who collect well know, the western and horror issues are tough, with the westerns being, by far, the toughest. Kid Colt in particular seems to be the bane of most collectors' collections with many missing one or two of the possible 5 Kid Colts.

I became an “expert” at discovering “hidden” variants on eBay. A risky gamble in a deal with a seller in Texas resulted in my receiving a box of high grade bronze age Marvels with nearly every horror and western copy in the 30 cent run. Another, less risky gamble resulted in my getting a  box full of mid grade comics from a military vet ( some military bases were an outlet for the 30 cent variants) that contained single copies of nearly all the western 30 cent issues, thus giving me numerous duplicates.

Despite having nearly 300 duplicates in all, Kid Colt #207 still evaded me. After months of proactively seeking a collector on the message boards, BigGuy, referred me to a collector that he had sold a copy to years ago. After much back and forth and after trading well to the other collector’s advantage I landed the final link in my collection. Almost two years passed from the first ASM variant to the Kid Colt #207. While many copies had sold on eBay at very high prices, my goal had been to get these on the cheap. While I bought a lot of stuff I didn’t need in order to get the stuff I did need, I paid on average about $5.00 a copy for many of the 180 or so 30 cent variants.

Unlike buying a collection such as Spider-Man, where money is the principal obstacle, with price variants, scarcity is a very real problem. I would guess that only about four or five collectors have the entire run.

I next turned my attention to the 35 cent variants of 1977. These are FAR scarcer than the 30 centers. I immediately determined that I would “buy” my way into this market. Within six months I had unearthed two collections of nearly 100 books each and paying a pretty penny for each. Again, the westerns have proved the toughest. There are two oddballs however: Scooby Doo #1 and The Flintstones #1, both published with variant price copies. These are extremely rare and I personally am aware of only two copies of each.

On a combined basis of 30 and 35 cent variants, I probably own the most complete collection is existent, needing only about eight 35 centers to complete the run. While my 30 cent collection is pretty high grade, it is probably second to that of DarthDiesel. On the other hand my 35 cent collection is probably second to none, consisting of many 9.4 and 9.6 issues including an X-Men #107 n CGC 9.4. In particular I am missing Kid Colt #218, 219 and #220. I am also missing Rawhide Kid #140 and both the Scooby Doo and The Flintstone issues. Fortunately I own both copies of the INCREDIBLY SCARCE Sgt. Fury 35 cent variants (and also own one duplicate). You can view many of the comics in my collections by going to the CGC registry and looking under “Marvel 30 and 35 cent Price Variants”.

I came to believe that my Spider-Man collection would not be complete until I owned these scarce variants. I hope sharing my story with you will give you some incentive to “complete” whatever Marvel collection you happen to be working on.

‘Nuff said!

Click here to see Glenn Malloy's CGC Registry sets.

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CGC Mint Analysis from Greg Holland

The relentless pursuit of perfection.

The unattainable.

The mint comic book.

CGC grades of 9.9 and 10 (or 10.0, depending on the age of the label) represent comics judged to be in mint condition. Overall, mint comics represent 0.7% of all CGC Universal grades to date (about 1-in-135 submissions), but that number doesn't tell the whole story.

For instance, a comic which clearly isn't up to at least the standards of near mint won't be graded 9.9 or 10. Additionally, older comics aren't deemed to be in mint condition nearly as often as comics which were printed in the past few years. Prior to 1965, there are only 13 comics which have been graded CGC 9.9 or 10 out of nearly 100,000 universal submissions. The graphic accompanying this article profiles universal submissions from 1965 to 2004, illustrating the percentage of mint comics (CGC 9.9 and 10) amongst near mint submissions of the most popular submissions, all near mint submissions, and all submissions of any grade.

It should be noted that pre-screening practices may significantly increase the apparent identification rate for mint condition, primarily in newer comics. The specific impact is unclear because the CGC census only includes comics which were eventually graded and encapsulated and not those books which failed to meet pre-screening minimums.

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Across the Pond Studios Offers CGC Variant Comics

Our friends at Across the Pond Studios have released two more new CGC Hologram Variant Covers for sale to the public. The books, Iron Ghost #1 (limited to only 30), and ATP's second issue of the sold-out Armor X series, Armor X #2 (limited to 30), are now available for sale at www.AcrossThePondStudios.com, offering fans and collectors a chance to own a high grade copy of their favorite title.

All comics are available in CGC 9.8, and each one comes numbered, having come from a limited run.  Every comic is accompanied by a reader's copy.  Also still available is Armor X #1 (limited to 30, but very few remaining), the sold-out issue that started it all, available in CGC 9.8.  Make sure to get your copy now, before they're all gone!

Go straight to Across the Pond's online shop by clicking here.

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Golden Age CGC Gems on COMICLINK.COM

Recently listed on ComicLink.com are a number of noteworthy CGC Graded Golden Age books. More Fun #52, More Fun #53 (Spectre 1st appearance and Origins issues), Detective Comics #38 (1st Robin), All Star Comics #8 (1st Wonder Woman), and a slew of difficult to find Golden AgeBatman issues below issue #100 (many scarce issues included). All of the books are free from any restoration.

Aside from the Mile High copy, the More Fun #52 is the best known copy – it is a CGC 7.5 and it is the second highest graded copy. The More Fun #53 is one of only five on the CGC census but the availability is somewhat skewed. There are two ultra-high grades on the census (the Mile High and Rockford 9.6’s) and one GD-1.8, leaving only two nice looking yet affordable copies available for purchase – an 8.0 and this 5.5. According to ComicLink, the More Fun #53 "looks MUCH better than a typical 5.5. In fact, it looks like an 8.0 structurally, and also has striking, vibrant colors. CGC downgraded the book because it has two tears at the bottom left of the cover - not always a bad thing from a collector standpoint as these two tears translate into a price discount from the 8.0 of approximately $10K! In any case, in our opinion, this is just about as attractive as it gets for any 5.5 and considering the great void in the CGC census for More Fun #53, this listing represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a very attractive copy of this great cover for an affordable price."

The Detective #38 and All Star #8 are solid copies in CGC 4.5 and CGC 3.5, respectively. Many of the Batman issues under #100 are the highest or close to the highest graded copies and many have White or Near White Pages. The late 40s/early 50s time period was a tough one for DC, and many of the books that are in what is commonly called "mid-grade" can be considered high-grade here. The Batman #71 in CGC 7.0, for example, is the highest graded copy.

To see ComicLink’s current CGC listings, go to www.comiclink.com.

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cgc registry

Caffrey Chronicles

This month, being that Star Wars: Episode III is out in theaters, I figured I'd talk about Star Wars related books and make some great recommendations. But the funny thing is, if I did, I'd honestly have no idea what I'm talking about. Now, I like Star Wars, don't get me wrong, but I'm not a die-hard fan and I'm trying to avoid misquotes or inaccurate facts about the series. So this month, I'm handing over the Caffrey's Chronicles to one of our Pre-Graders, Josh Hanin to handle this topic. He's known to most as NewtSamson on our CGC forums and to me, he's known for his in depth knowledge of all things Star Wars. So here he is — Enjoy!

Yes, I know a lot about
Star Wars
Joshua Hanin

No matter what your thoughts are on the recent Star Wars prequels, it is very much in agreement that we are entering the end of an era with the opening of Revenge of the Sith which finally completes the saga that began almost three decades ago in 1977. To say people are excited about this is an understatement. Yet people are also saddened. Try not to cry too hard though because although there won't be anymore movies, there will still be the novels, role playing games, comics and an upcoming television series or two to stay excited about.

I’m very happy to say that the continuity between all of these media formats meshes quite well. It would be upsetting if it didn’t because there is a lot of expanded history in the Star Wars universe. There have been stories that have taken place anywhere from 5,000 years before the destruction of the first Death Star to decades after the original movies where Luke is in his late 40s.

Many of you reading this are probably familiar with the Marvel Comics Star Wars series that lasted from the late 70s to the mid 80s. Some of you however may not know Dark Horse Comics now has the rights and has been publishing Star Wars stories since the early 1990s. I know I can’t force you to read them, pardon the pun, but I figured I’d recommend a couple of these stories to you without having to use the Jedi Mind Trick.

What’s great about Star Wars is that there is so much that can be expanded upon.  Those of you who have been watching the prequels probably are familiar with the rule that there can only be two Sith at any given time, a master and an apprentice. You probably wondered why this was. In one of my favorite stories Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith (written by Darko Macan and drawn by Ramon F. Bachs) the rule is explained. The story takes place 1,000 years before the films and shows that at one time there were much more than only two Sith. There is a huge war taking place between the Jedi Army of Light and the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness. Through selfishness and betrayal by the end of the war the Sith are thought to be extinct destroyed by their own selves. But the truth is Darth Bane and his new young apprentice Zannah survive and go into hiding. With only two of them left alive the Sith are much stronger than they were. The dark side is now focused within them and not spread thin. This leads to 1,000 years later the evil Sith Lords Darth Sidious and Vader ruling the galaxy under their evil Empire finally achieving their ultimate revenge against the Jedi.

Another great tale is Star Wars: Chewbacca which is a very sad story where C3P0 and R2D2 record characters telling stories about how Chewbacca affected their lives. For those of you who didn’t know, Chewbacca died in the novel Star Wars: Vector Prime. This comic is a great memorial for fans that will miss the walking carpet.

I also would recommend the new Star Wars anthology Star Wars Visionaries which contains 10 stories written and drawn by concept artists from Revenge of the Sith. The highlight of this book for me was the General Grievous origin story.

Those of you who are curious about how Anakin recieved the scar on his face that he sports in the new movie I suggest you pick up Star Wars: Republic #71. If you want to see Luke Skywalker come face to face with a Clone Trooper pick up the great two-part story contained in Star Wars: Empire #26 and #27. If you are a fan of the Clone Wars cartoons that aired on Cartoon Network I highly recommend you pick up all three volumes of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures.

There are so many other stories I could recommend to you, but sadly there is not enough room in this newsletter to list them all.  But don’t worry folks. Star Wars will be around for a very long time even after this last movie comes out; so enjoy my recommendations and “May the force be with you”, and as always, let the Wookiee win.

For more information on more great Star Wars reads, or if you just want to talk all things Lucas, feel free to drop Josh a line at jhanin@cgccomics.com.

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The Mightiest of Superman Comics CGC'd

Steve Lauterbach, owner of Investment Collectibles has recently purchased and CGC certified the finest run of Superman comic books to date from #1-100. This amazing collection was pain-stakingly put together by a well-know New York collector over a 15 year period, always upgrading to get the finest possible copy of each issue.

Some of the highlights are:

  • #2 (CGC  9.0 Best in Existence)
  • #3 (CGC 8.5 Nova Scotia Pedigree)
  • #5 (CGC 9.4 Nova Scotia Pedigree)
  • #7 (CGC 9.2)
  • #11 (CGC 9.2)
  • #24 (NM 9.0)
  • #28 (CGC 9.4)
  • #30 (CGC 9.2)
  • #32 (NM 9.4)
  • #35 (CGC 9.6 Hawkeye Pedigree)
  • #61 (CGC 9.0)

Many veteran collectors consider the Superman run the most difficult to find in true hi grade. The CGC census (population report) attests to that. This collection also contains approx. 70% of the highest graded copies on the CGC census with most others being a close second.

In addition to this amazing collection of Superman comic books, Investment Collectibles is also proud to announce that we just purchased a large group of super-high grade Timely comic books. Over 80% of the 75 books are the highest CGC graded to date. Many are pedigree issues as well.

Investment Collectibles is adding new CGC’d inventory weekly in addition to listing some great new CGC’d items on their eBay site.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these great CGC certified comic books please do not hesitate to call or email them. These books will not be around for long!

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The Spectre Comes Calling at Heritage Comics!

Landmark issue of More Fun Comics #52 graded by CGC

Heritage Comics Auctions (HCA) will offer an unrestored copy of More Fun Comics #52, featuring the introduction and origin of the ghostly Spectre, in their upcoming Signature auction, to be held May 18-20 at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City.

"This copy of this landmark issue has been graded GD/VG 3.0 with Cream to off-white pages by CGC," said Ed Jaster, Director of Acquisitions for HCA. "On Overstreet's list of the 10 most valuable comic books, it was quite a special day when we laid eyes on this marvelous, unrestored copy."

Read More

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Metropolis Aquires 8.0 CGC Graded Batman #1

“Over the last two decades Metropolis has prided itself in establishing long-term relationships with customers. On my recent trip to the Golden State Comic Convention I met with a long-time customer who had purchased this book from my company years ago. I was glad to see how well the book had performed for him and even happier when we worked out a deal. This copy is tied for the 3rd highest on the CGC census and is a gorgeous copy with rich, vibrant colors and supple, off-white pages. With excitement building due to the upcoming Batman movie hitting theaters this summer, I believe this book will sell quickly,” Metropolis COO Vincent Zurzolo stated after returning from his West Coast trip. “The convention was great too, they are building a strong foundation for future shows.” He added.

The book is available for sale and all serious inquiries are welcome at 800-229-6387 Ext. 14 or by emailing vincentz@metropolisent.com.

NEW METROPOLIS CATALOG FEATURING CGC COMIC BOOKS SHIPS THIS WEEK!

The long awaited Metropolis Catalog has shipped this week! Don’t fret if you didn’t reserve a free copy. Simply e-mail your request with name and full address to orders@metropoliscomics.com. The catalog will be chock full of Golden, Silver and Bronze Age CGC’d comics including thousands of high grade, Pedigree, discounted comics, reader copies and group lot items-sure to please all!

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