I've been giving some serious thought lately to possibly selling off the run down to #300. For one, 544 books in one run is a space issue. I need to make the most out of what space I have for comics right now and these things keep piling up! While having a full run of #1 through #544 would be sweet, I think in the long run I'd be fine with 1- 300. At least until our living situation changes and there is more space for comics. I'd like to have the full Copper Age run as those are the books I mostly started on X-Men with. After 300, things just get a little silly for a long time sadly.
I might not do this, and I have no idea how I'd sell off 244 books if I do decide to change the focus of the run. I'm just thinking out loud.
Anyone else here who started off working on a full run of volume 1 and changed the goal like this? Any regrets?
I can't imagine it ever ever being difficult nor expensive to rebuild the run later if I decide to have a complete volume 1. And it'd be something fun to work on.
On the other hand, I already have the books which is a pretty big point in the "just hang on to them" column, even with the storage space issue.
What do you all think?
Alright, Alright, Alright! Managed to score a number 4 of New Gods at 9.0 for a good price, under $50.
I do not have a raw copy of this issue or even a beat up copy. Good thing I have the black and white trade copy from several years ago.
So far I have two slabbed New Gods issues from Jack Kirby's original run. Debating whether to get the "Return of" issues and in no rush.
I do have a couple of raw issues of the Forever People from the same time but no slabs. That will change soon.
Here is a question: why was there never a crossover with OMAC and the New Gods? This would have been an idea to see where it would go.
I am about half way with my New Gods Kirby run. Have decided to send in my raw books. Not sure about a third raw book but I love the series and will get it slabbed.
There are some readable copies I do have on hand somewhere. Did not realize there were at least three copies of #9 in my possession along with a #7. I will find more as I look back through my collection.
And my OMAC run is slowly closing on the gaps. May find my John Byrne OMACs and get them slabbed as well. That is for a later time.
I have a New Gods 1 graded at 8.0. I am pleased but hoping for a 9.0. 8.0 is good.I have a number 8 graded at 6.0. The seller I bought it from neglected to tell me about water stain on the back inside page. Live and learn. I a couple of issues of 7 that I will look over to see which on is the best to send. That is later this month.
The latest episode of the Classic Comics Forum Podcast is now available:
This time around we're starting a 2 part discussion of the team-up era of The Brave and the Bold, before they settled on Batman as a permanent star. In this episode, special guest MDG and I discuss issues #50-56, as well as his time working as a writer for both DC and Valiant/Acclaim, where he co-wrote X-O Manowar for several issues. Hope you enjoy!
A few months into 1989 and Chuck's NICE newsletters expanded in size, mainly due to more book reviews and the large appetite in investing by comic collectors. All of that while Indie books were starting to cool off
But that didnt stop Chuck from advising us on hot upcoming new indies:
Whats that youre telling me? A new adult line of books, with 2 variants? tiny print run?? lord have mercy, this will HAVE to be the next Cherry/Omaha! Or maybe the next Black Kiss?
And yes, of course, Abyss will naturally the next Aliens! See how this all makes sense?
How amazing is it to read about all these spec books which ended up being complete duds? I cant imagine anyone even thinking of buying any of these books today even for nostalgic purposes. But if you think Chuck ran out of ways to sell you on books, think again:
But Chuck didnt just stop at speculating on comic books. There were also RPG, boxer shorts and mugs:
And Ill end this entry with a little bit of Chuck past spec history, from the man himself:
I would have looooved to see a spec article from him about Marvel's New Universe when it came out. Why, he'd probably push the heck out of those titles and guarantee you a sure premium on Merc and Spitfire!
EDIT: I did want to mention that this month saw the release of Vampire Lestat #1 which became Innovation's first commercial success and soon after launched a series of other Anne Rice adaptations all resulting in a major boost in secondary market prices. And yes, this was another big book that Chuck missed, much like all of them really.
A quick note before we continue. As I was editing the next installment I was thinking to myself, waitaminute A&L, anyone reading this who wasn't actively collecting in the 80s may find this very odd. All of these titles that Chuck recommended didnt just get picked up out of the blue (although some, I have to admit, were rather strange picks). They were mostly referenced as potential investment books based on existing current trends. So lets focus a bit on what was ALREADY heating up on the secondary market at that time period;
Punisher - Punisher's limited series took off quickly and with it boosted alot of Bronze appearance by the character including his first appearance of course. In 1986 ASM129 was a $5. By 1988/89 after the success of the LS and the launch of 2 more ongoing titles, it was a 150.00 book. The limited series was getting anywhere from $20-30 for the 1st issue alone. Also, Punisher War Journal #1 was being speculated due to a reported large quantity of the print run being damaged during shipment.
Marvel Masterworks - Hardcovers and TPB were the next big thing in 1988. And Marvel Masterworks were leading the pack with prices soaring between $70-90
Nick Fury vs Shield #1 was a $30 book and was hot hot hottt
Excalibur #1 12.00 and went to 2nd print, DD #254 15.00, all Groo books were scorching hot at $10-20 for #1s all across the board (Marvel, PC etc)
Indies were absolutely KILLING it. Not to suggest that they were outperforming Marvel/DC in sales, heavens no. They were actually selling very poorly by 1988, but some of the titles published in early 80s-1988 carried a hefty price tag, which resulted in a big interest and in my opinion the main reason why Chuck's spec column was even created. They were the fire that sparked interest with comic book collectors again. Lets look at them closely:
The big three - Cerebus - $500. TMNT - $200 Albedo - $350
Although Cerebus was a Bronze age book it heavily influenced the B&W indie market. TMNT - need we say more. Albedo - the minuscule print run on the 1st issue (#0) was enough to make it very sought after by most indie collectors.
Yes these were all B&W books and all featured anthropomorphic characters. But both trends were actually coming to an end by 1988
The 2nd tier - mostly mature underground and some obscure B&W titles like Love & Rockets ($120) Grendel ($30-80) Quadrant ($130) Flaming Carrot ($115) Cherry ($50) Omaha ($25)
Dark Horse was doing well with Concrete ($20) Aliens ($20)
Gladstone were doing tremendously well with most of their Disney titles but mainly with Uncle Scrooge & Donald Duck ($15-25). Yes I kid you not, Disney was hot back then.
Recent hot series included - Tick ($15), Speed Racer/Racer X ($15-20) Rock n Roll Comics ($50) Black Kiss #1 ($20) Faust #1 ($30)
Japanese/Manga books included Lone wolf cub, Naausica, Lum, Kamui and also Ben Dunn's Ninja High School's series were doing well (although the latter wasnt manga)
Its clear that Batman was the leader of the pack. Frank Miller's Dark Knight was a $20 book almost overnight, and by the time Batman was adapted to a movie a few more titles generated interest in the secondary market. They were: Cult #1 (anywhere from $10-20) killing joke ($25) and of course bats #426-429 which were moving at $100 per set. As I mentioned earlier, HC and TPB were all the rage and had a huge demand, and that reflected in (mainly) Batman books: Greatest Batman/Joker Stories ($60) Son Of Demon ($55) and the biggest one of them all Dark Knight s&n Hardcover Edition ($600).
Watchmen was extremely popular as well, and on a side note I truly dont remember any book other than Dark Knight maybe, that has never stopped being popular since it first saw print.
Also, a new trend was forming with D&D comics: Dragonlance & AD&D were seeing $10 or higher prices. Insane right?
In this newsletter Chuck took his spec column to a whole new level. He was confident in his speculating skills more than ever.
This makes a great introductory to what actually happened with comic speculating in its infant years:
This "magic" that got Chuck all excited was actually the overwhelming response from buyers like myself who were, by now, FULLY into this new hobby - investing in modern comic books!
And those titles he quoted as heating up were nothing but duds. Sure, as a wholesaler buying 10k JLI #1 at cost and flipping them the next week for $3 was probably a lucrative purchase (BTW, JLI #1 never really heated up), but for an average comic book buyer like myself this wasnt even an option since you really didnt have an outlet to sell back then unless you had a store (or a booth at a con). So the only real winners for buyers back then were your long term buy+hold investment books, which so far, havent manifested on Chuck's watch (spoiler alert - they wont in the future either )
On another note, this month was a month that alot of titles were cancelled, Marvel cancelled Semper Fi, DC cancelled C.O.P.S., LOSH & Haywire, and Comico, presumably at the request of DC, cancelled Fish Police, Maze Agency, Trollords, Trouble With Girls & Justice Machine Annual #1. But many flagship titles (Batman, X-Men, ASM) were now offered twice a month. Also notice the increasing titles with a hefty 3.95-4.95 price tag. Yup, the big two were on to something.
On to this months big winners, but not before a word of advice from Chuck: (as always, I've highlighted the more entertaining parts)
My god, he bought 500 copies of Punisher movie #1 at the punishing price of 4.95. Even by TODAY'S standards that is a bad spec, and that says ALOT. I guess he really thought theres a chance for it to be a hit as he said, while on the other hand he ordered only 100 of Batman movie adaptation since he KNEW the movie would fail. I dont think he could've been more wrong
Well, wish I wouldve bought his entire stock of 300x ASM #298 at $3 a pop. But as he says... Not guts, no glory
Till next time
I just wanted to put an update! Nothing crazy in the sales, but got sold some random glassware (haha, with proceeds going towards comic fund) and listed a few small 'lots' on craigslist today. Within 10 minutes got an inquiry for my Wolverine #1-4 (regular series, 1988?). Nice fellow, looked at conditions when we met nearby and paid full price. Very rare to not get a haggler on CL! Hopefully my other sets sell quickly. I plan to put more up soon.
So my goal again is to save up my funds to purchase something that is higher than my normal purchase range. I already have my eye on a comic that I want (possibly within my normal range) on ebay. Resisting urge to purchase!!!
Stumbled upon an issue I have been looking for...oddly no other Swamp Thing comics with it. Unfortunately it has a couple of small flaws to keep it out of the 9.6/9.8 range so won't be able to add it to my Moore Swamp Thing CGC run.
I have roughly 8000 books, mostly bronze and copper age, peppered with silver, and a handful of golden, all completed with some moderns.
First comic I bought was Web of Spiderman 17, at the local Circle K store in denver colorado.
I did some weekend work at the mile hi comics warehouse at one point, and was paid in back issues of web of spiderman.
I immediately fell in love with the X-men, and #207 was my first issue.
Since I purchased that #207, I have completed a run from 94-544, with the annuals, and giant size issues. #94 is CGC 8.5 Universal. Currently working on 1-93, and have only 33 issues remaining, with the main one being #1.
I've managed to buy about 4000 bulk comics, which included a run from 144-350 or something like that, so I have duplicates.
I'm primarily a Marvel fan, but do have a fair amount of DC, with my focus being on the Flash. That run will be probably the next complete set I work on. I went through the Image phase, missed the walking dead, but have a nice set of Peter Panzerfaust, with a #1 CGC 9.8 that I enjoy.
I've recently started browsing again after the divorce was final, and have ventured out to the shops, antique stores and CON's as they happen.
I'm in the bay area now, and my comic shop of choice was Flying Colors. BUT, I don't purchase new comics any more. The last new comic I bought was the Death of Wolverine series, and so now my time is spent filling in the holes from 1963 to a few years ago.
So, I thought I'd throw this up here to keep a running documentation of where I'm at, and to share with those that may be curious.
This was in February of 1989 and Marvel had just been sold to Ron Perelman's MacAndrews and Forbes for $82 Mil
(Taken from Mile High Futures Catalog #49 dated March 1989)
Happy days! So you think Chuck would have made better investment spec's this month? Guess again:
But if you thought that Chuck ditched Batman because it was a DC property and because DC wasnt sold to Elon Musk, I mean Ron Perelman, for 82 mil. Think again.
Needless to say, this was very bad spec, Batman Death in the family was and still is a staple copper Bat book, Batman as a character became much bigger within time, while Marvel would suffer major losses in the near future as a result of this new deal.
Short and sweet - You cannot speculate on comic books, as you do not know what the future holds.
Well tomorrow (3/24-3/25) in Dayton Ohio is the 2018 Gem City Comic Con. It's not a big show but it has grown over the years. It is a true Con not a celebrity sign fest where you can actually buy comic books! I am making my list for tomorrow and plan on being there by 8 am and will spent the extra 5 bucks to get in an hour early at 9. Last year my best buy was in the first five minutes of the early entry hour. So if you are within a few hours of Dayton I would suggest stopping by if you can. In the picture are my two most recent buys. The Thor annual 2 is a 9.4 Boston Pedigree and a Thor 140 9.4. I think I am becoming a 9.4 collector by default as I bid on a lot of 9.6 and 9.8's but come in second a lot. Then I go buy a 9.4 of the same books after the auctions. For a lot less though!
This month ... March 2018 ... has marked the end of my daily new comic book purchases that I had ordered and picked from the LCS every month or biweekly. That had went on for 44 years. Last week I had picked up my last new comic book with my other orders. Only one single comic book! Finished. I think back all the years I went into the store thrilled in getting my daily dose of new comic books, to read new stories and had fun. Not anymore now. It is strange but not disappointed because I can still get my hardcover volumes with reprinted classic stories, graphic novel books and other items at the LCS. So, I can still go visit the LCS a little longer.
But this day marks the beginning of the end on my visits to the LCS. How longer will it last? That, I do not know until I have completed my collection. With the new comic books stopped ordered and closed, what is left for me? Good question. However, this chapter is done and closed, a new chapter begins.
What I know is that it means I am now totally focused on fulfilling my collection in finding pre-1975 books to fill up all the gaps. It means more trips to comic book cons and small shows in my region as far I can go if my budget allows.
So today lets look at 2 months worth of speculation from the Wizard of Mile High. All which were full of blank specs with the exception of one which took off for a few months.. But before doing so, try thinking of what comic books looked like back then, Indie's were still pushing hard, and remember, this is before Image or Valiant, also there were no marketing gimmicks at the same level as there were just a few years later. No crazy #1 reboots, no variants, it was still pretty flat compared to the 90s-today. But still, Chuck was adamant about honing his craft
Wow! Elementals!! I mean, at that time I think that even I didnt like Elementals anymore. And Comico, who was solicited by DC at the time, was putting out such crappy books, I just couldn't believe anyone in their right mind would plug such fluff.
He did make a valid point about TMNT though, although that particular book, nor series, ever took off, TMNT was definitely gaining momentum and remained to be a safe long term investment. Oh and the part about "Every toy manufacturer reading obscure comics for their next animation project" is just bnkers
Lets dial up the following month here:
So admittedly it was a very slow month, and Chuck probably felt compelled to give Bill Black a boost with a title that had no shot at ever making it to a top 100 list. OK
Uncensored Mouse was definitely a book that made a lot of sense to me. And it actually did experience a bump in price after the title was cancelled on the 3rd issue. Good call there!
I wonder if other speculators saw it coming or was Chuck really ordering heavily on it and beat the competition to it. This was a $20 book by the Fall.
But even more surprising was that Chuck missed this bad boy
He sure did write extensively about it in his May newsletter
And by 1990, Rock n Roll history was made and the indie market has found a new gimmick to market to us
So you see? When speculating, you really really have no way of telling which new book, series, or trend will grow popular and become the next big thing. Even when you're in the business for so many years
To be continued....
The year is 1988 (this newsletter was published in Dec 1988) and Batmania is in FULL EFFECT. With Dark knight being a 2 year old book, Killing joke absolutely KILLING it in the secondary market and the Tim Burton movie buzz on everyone's lips. Anything that had to do with bats got collectors very excited. And so, as I was walking home from the post office picking up this month's N.I.C.E. newsletter, this is what I read
I nearly got hit by a truck crossing the street reading this! My first ever lucrative spec has materialized! And it wasnt even thanks to Chuck!
So yeah, my single copies of Batman #426-429 were well secured and thanks to my own intuition I was on my way to financial freedom hitting it big with a whooping $100 profit on this one set!
Needless to say, I blew all of my dividends back to chuck by the time I finished reading his spec choices for that month alone (I circled the most entertaining ones for convenience purposes) :
Oh Em Gee... Theres just so much THERE there
-Those 2 big investment books were motivated by #1 issue hype & Batmania. Following up on his Bats 426-429 write up You already know I bought 10 copies of the latter spec
-But even more entertaining was his MCP #18 spec based on Byrne's return to Marvel. Is that really a 1st appearance? no. Is that a 1st Byrne book? no. But it sure seemed like thats what he was aiming for.
-A new Universe book made the Chuck List? Or maybe he meant he wont buy any, but still wanted to mention that it may be a hit? Who knows..
-Oh didnt you know that Avengers #304 is the next Punisher/Wolverine? Now you know! Go buy 'em!! Quick!!!
-Poor Art Adams, he was such a huge star back then, this really seemed like a safe bet based on his track record.. You know that Art was so hot, that Chuck didnt even bother mentioning McFarlanes ASM 316 which dropped the same month with a 1st Venom on the cover.
... And I just mentioned Spots because I still have my copy
But Chuck wasnt always so bad, here, at the end of his spec column he offered 2 great specs, which ended up (finally) working for me!
Not too shabby!
Whats funny to me is, if you read my previous entry, Chuck was complaining about price hiking with some dealers and overstock which was purchased by those dealers secretively. And here, lo and behold, we have Death Rattle #8 dropping to $2 from being a $15 book almost within just a couple of months AMAZING
So what did Chuck miss on this month.
Well ASM #316 was one book, Crow #1 was another that came that month, and last was this one:
In fairness, Deadline #1 didnt take off until much much later, when Tank Girl got big! In fact Leanne Harper ( who did a great job listing new books for Chuck on the newsletters) didnt even mention Tank Girl on the cover of issue #1, but still thought I'd mention it...
Last, I thought you may find this quite entertaining as well:
Looks like Chuck's not the only one sucking at specing for Mile High
In the next installment, you get not just one, but TWO newsletters worth of speculating!
Before we continue to the next installment, a little introducion to how the pump n dump machine worked back in the 80s from Chuck himself (Taken from Mile High Futures quarterly catalog dating September 1988)
I thought it would be interesting for new speculators to read how hyping books was done back then, even though its obvious from Chuck's own
writing, that the agenda to expose this scam was for him to make more $$$
So even there, nice try chuck, but no cigar
In December 1988 Chuck made a revelation
Give it a try Chuckster, give it a try
-So in Fairness, this was 1988, Cerebus #1 was a $500 book and the indie B&W explosion was in full swing (although didnt last much longer after that).
-Also #1 books were all the rage and to an extent so were Japanese/Manga books... But come on... Havok & Wolverine #2???
-Oh and loved the GSXM & Excalibur special comparisons. Excalibur #1 was a $10 book at the time (which was a really big deal back then in the early spec age) but even if that comparison was relevant, as a speculator I doubt I would put a new hot book in the same bracket as a (then) 13 year old $120 key. And comparing a random JLI book (which in fairness was a hot title at the time, as issue #1 was $12 book back then) to those 2 was a little much
-So Longbow Hunters #1 was a $21 book then and went to 2nd print. I remember missing on that boat and thinking to myself I missed on another Dark Knight Return! However James Bond never took off and that spec was DOA
-Chuck Loved Xenozoic Tales, Im pretty sure that the reason why that book was a $10 dollar book (1st print) was because he pumped it hardcore! Still is a favorite of mine, but alas that spec for the 2nd print never worked .
-Punisher Return to big nothing was Mike Zeck's return to Punisher. HUGE deal! Yup I bought a copy even though I had probably never spent over $15 on a comic prior to that. And hearing chuck say it could be a $100 book was all it took for me to pull the trigger.
Sadly that never panned out.
So Lots of misses and no hits...
Actually there was one hit that month.. Just not one that Chuck speculated on:
Thats all for today, but tune in tomorrow for some more spec fun with even more great misses, and a big reveal on a, back then, HUGE key that Chuck admittedly missed... Care to guess what it was??
My very first comic book was Thor #282. My stepdad got it for me when I was 5 going on 6 in April 1979. I was fascinated with the stories of Asgard and continued collecting Thor until I joined the Army January 5th, 1993. A lot of my collection was lost except for Thor #282. I started back up collecting comics in the Summer of 2000. Last year I sent my beloved book in to CGC to get pressed and graded. It came back a 9.0. I was very happy with the grade considering how long I have had that book in my possession.
Starting my Warren Eerie run. Hopefully you guys enjoy my journey as I fill in this run.
For starters here's the famous Eerie 1 ashcan, this however is the bootleg one.
Here is Eerie #2 which in my opinion is a solid 9.6, just a perfect book.
Eerie #3 Manitoba pedigree , another perfect high grade beauty.
Eerie #5 signed by Al Williamson, and another NM beauty book.
You magazine collectors know how much harder it is to find NM magazines than their comic book cousins.
Here's a very hard book to find in NM in Eerie #7
DeadOne mentioned he had a few Eeries for me to look at, and he wasn't kidding. So without further ado.