CGC Journals

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  1. ARCHIE COMICS #95 - Classic Artists of the Era

    Whenever I find these early Archie Comics issues, especially pre-1960 in the $1 books, I HAVE to pick them up. Honestly, it's where they belong as there is only a handful of people who love and appreciate them. The Riverdale crowd isn't interested in this stuff and none of the artists are really 'hot' with the majority of collectors. Archie Comics is just kind of its own niche and I'm glad.

    I mean... I look at this Harry Lucey cover and I'm so in awe of its perfection. Lucey was a smidge less cartoony than Dan DeCarlo, thus you get the attention to detail on Veronica's feet and sandals, Archie's feet, the stripes on Veronica's swimsuit (and Betty's) and the pattern on Archie's.

    Even the radio and the lifeguard's chair. Man, I LOVE this cover.

    Archie95a.jpeg

    (ARCHIE #95 cover-dated September 1958, on newsstands June 4th, 1958, with cover art by Harry Lucey)

     

    Inside, his art is more in the 'house style' that Archie Comics incorporated, first introduced by Bob Montana, updated and modernized by Harry Lucey, then streamlined and perfected by Dan DeCarlo. Either way, Lucey's Betty and Veronica had smaller waists than any of the other Archie artists gave them...

    Archie95b.jpeg

    (ARCHIE #95 cover-dated September 1958, on newsstands June 4th, 1958, with art by Harry Lucey)

     

     

    What more could you ask for in an Archie comic, than a Harry Lucey cover, a Harry Lucey story and then a Dan DeCarlo story? By this point, DeCarlo had been drawing at Archie Comics for 7 years, and even though he was still the 'new guy' in the bunch (Vigoda and Lucey had been there, at this point for over 15 years), he fits in perfectly with the look of the line of books. 

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    (ARCHIE #95 cover-dated September 1958, on newsstands June 4th, 1958, with art by Dan DeCarlo)

     

     

    It's rather amazing that really, in Archie Comics' long history with the characters, there's really only a handful of artists who worked on the book consistently. DeCarlo and Lucey were two of those legends. I'm not as big of a fan of Bill Vigoda's work, but he was there through the transformative years, and was the first to try and emulate Bob Montana's house style in the comic, so I'd include him (and of course Montana).

    Archie95d.jpeg

    (ARCHIE #95 cover-dated September 1958, on newsstands June 4th, 1958, with art by Dan DeCarlo)

     

     

    As sultry as Harry Lucey drew Betty and Veronica, Dan DeCarlo (who certainly had his past experience drawing bad girls) gave the two a more wholesome look, that was still sexy, but with a sweetness that fit the whole idea of Archie Comics and what they, especially post-Code wanted to portray. 

    Harry Lucey is my favorite, but man, DeCarlo is amazing. 

    Archie95e.jpeg

    (ARCHIE #95 cover-dated September 1958, on newsstands June 4th, 1958, with art by Dan DeCarlo)

     

     

    In 1958, Harry Lucey was THE artist of Archie Comics as a brand in the Comic Books (Bob Montana had long since gone to 100% making the newspaper strip an iconic part of Americana), and here's a good example of one of his ads. 

    Archie95e2.jpeg

    (ARCHIE #95 cover-dated September 1958, on newsstands June 4th, 1958, with art by Harry Lucey)

     

     

    Every so often I'd see a panel by Bill Vigoda and think, "Now THAT is really good!" This is one of those panels.

    You have to give the guy credit, he was like the energizer bunny who kept going and going and going, taking on anything the company would give him to do. He started with MLJ in 1943, did his first Archie story in 1944 (a Betty and Veronica story in Archie Comics #10) and worked all the way through until 1973. 

    I just realized, the guy doesn't even have a Wikipedia page... I need to do something about that...

    Archie95f.jpeg

    (ARCHIE #95 cover-dated September 1958, on newsstands June 4th, 1958, with art by Bill Vigoda)

  2. This year has been a series of kicks to the junk, but luckily, it's nearly over!

    And I do have a couple cool announcements. Tomorrow, I'll be appearing on a Disney YouTube livestream to discuss my comic and how the latest issue was influenced by Disney theme parks! And this weekend, I'll be appearing at the NorthEast Comic Con in Boxboro, MA, so if you're at the show, stop by and say hi!

    I made a little video about these announcements:

    https://youtu.be/WJlXIn03IAo

  3. Charlton Canadian Price Variants

    Hello Reader :)

    Here is a summary of all the Charlton Canadian Price Variants that I have captured hiding between the dates of September 1983 and July 1984. If you'd like to know more about them, please click the picture below and you'll be magically transported to the discussion thread in which we talk about them:

             Pointer.png.10e85c166201dac57fe688c086c2e32c.png  613763997_Haunted71(Vol.14)January1984(75c).jpg.6ff99a6f0164bbce913947b1bf02db50.jpg

    Meanwhile, here is an up to date summary of what I have discovered so far, which I hope you will find interesting.

    Notes and Observations

    My research shows that Charlton Canadian Price Variants exist for the indicia months of September 1983 through to July 1984. Others have attempted to document what copies exist down the years but I believe I am the first to gain agreement on a firm set of dates (previously, many researchers have suggested the books date back as far as February 1983 but no such books have ever materialised)

    There are twelve titles in scope between the revised date range (September 1983 to July 1984 inclusive) and each has at least one CPV confirmed. The 12 titles are:

    • Attack
    • Battlefield Action
    • Beyond The Grave
    • Fightin' Army
    • Fightin' Marines
    • Fightin' Navy
    • Ghost Manor
    • Ghostly Tales
    • Gunfighters
    • Haunted
    • Scary Tales
    • War

    Here are the current confirmed issue numbers:

    2055262661_ConfirmedNumberList09_11_19.thumb.PNG.72c7792d4a942bf66b9afbd1d4918c84.PNG

    From August/September 1984 (all titles are bi-monthly and staggered), 8 of the still running 11 title's issues have dual US/Canadian prices indicating the end of the experiment (the other 3 become dual from October). So July 1984 cover dates provide the final CPVs.

    Every example I have found so far is priced at 75c (versus the US 60c copies) - I have found no other prices and no annuals or 'specials'

    If I am right about the dates, there will be a maximum possible 64 CPVs across the 12 titles and the most any one title will have is 6 issues. However, we believe that no one title will have more than 5 CPVs as, for the four titles that could have six issues, all of their missing September 1983 cover dated issues were all coincidentally on sale prior to the 9th of June 1983 according to Mike's Comic Newsstand. This indicates that they may precede the CPV experiment dates and explains why not one of the four have materialised. Accordingly, the maximum number of issues may settle on 60, five for each title, which makes sense. Please see the discussion thread for more on this (link above).

    At the time of writing, 54 of the theoretical maximum of 60 issues have been confirmed. I own 32 so far and hope to complete the set in the future.

    Some of the confirmed books are fairly hard to find, so happy hunting if you decide to build a set yourself! Only time will tell if the remaining 6 books exist....

    15/11/19

    By Stephen Cranch based on v1.5 of the ‘Charlton Comics – Canadian Price Variant Summary’ 

     

    Here are some examples from 10 of the 12 titles:

    34309784_Attack43(Vol.9)November1983(75c).thumb.jpg.d6fce75f1ea95d513217564c9e6042f1.jpg 1942937197_BattlefieldAction83(Vol.6)October1983(75c).thumb.jpg.6f3170bd28a798ed8a8bfc16a72ee4a3.jpg 114356897_BeyondtheGrave14(Vol.4)April1984(75c).thumb.jpg.36aefcc0dfe9f6aa3c0379804bba73ef.jpg

     

    816960744_FightinArmy167(Vol.15)December1983(75c).thumb.jpg.55964cf5d7ebe7d8898b5d87da8fb6f3.jpg 1466713102_FightinMarines173(Vol.16)March1984(75c).thumb.jpg.c572c15e6f7179b66db737d31313f833.jpg 1115691568_FightinNavy130(Vol.14)April1984(75c).thumb.jpg.64463e784c25349dc8b903280946322f.jpg

    1192315026_Gunfighters82(Vol.10)January1984(75c).thumb.jpg.c3d8a98dbeeb53539c46078c9bb76777.jpg 593742467_Haunted71(Vol.14)January1984(75c).thumb.jpg.234c59b43c1dc09891904926c43e4ba2.jpg 575264282_ScaryTales44(Vol.10)May1984(75c).thumb.jpg.639d9cd8ed464984811ffaa6f99f57dc.jpg

    156238624_War43(Vol.9)February1984(75c)CopyB.thumb.jpg.eeaf77ca8d24b2813aa1b4a4f210370f.jpg

  4. So, I've been enjoying my quest for Bronze.  But I've pretty much backed off the pursuit of all titles but Smith Art Conans.  I might attempt some early Savage Swords.  I've also snagged a few minty early appearances of Iron Fist...I'm thinking about going  after the keys of that series since the hype-train has slowed down on that character.   Essentially, all of the material I'm pursuing is "anti-cinematic universe speculation" and I'm snagging them in higher grade.  And why not!  They're so beautiful!

    But just recently, after being disappointed on my strict want list at a small regional show, I stumbled across a few good deals on a couple golden age books.  And I found myself intrigued.  It's occurred to me that (with the exception of a few titles), there is a whole bunch of golden age stuff out there that is completely immune to cinematic hype!  So being a contrarian who likes rare stuff, I'm genuinely intrigued.  I had a brief daliance with golden age material about 20 years ago, so this stuff isn't entirely new to me.  I still have my Gerber Guides, but I didn't get very far.  The thing is, Golden Age material is practically like a new country to me.  So I've stuck my toe in the water with a couple of ECs, one of those odd 50's book where it's transitioning from a super hero title to a horror title (I find those interesting) and I accidently made a spectacle of myself  in the buyers area when I pulled the trigger on a Speed Carter Spaceman #1 and gushed about how I always wanted that book.   It's such cool stuff!

    So now, I'm going to continue pursuing my high grade Conans (in the NM/NM- range), but I'm going to explore the cheaper side of the Golden Age.  I'm going to try to be patient with the GA stuff...letting the deals find me since I have an entire universe of books to consider.  Right now, I'm captivated by the stories in the EC titles, but i also love 50's sci-fi covers and I can't understand how  low grade golden Sci Fi books can be so cheap compared to pedestrian high grade silver and bronze!  I'd also like to snag some cool war covers from less popular characters and maybe grab one nice book to represent each of the more popular characters who managed to endure through the dark times of the late golden age and into the silver age.

    One thing I do know is there is a lot to learn and make sense out of.  The market for some Golden Age books doesn't always make sense to me.  Why is one book so expensive when it's not necessarily rarer than another comparably rare book with a comparably rare character?  It's like the GA collectors have favorite books that they all agree are desirable, but there are others that seem just as cool to me that are cheaper.  I'll figure it out eventually.

    Anyway, I'm steering clear of the cinematic hype and just trying to find good value for my money.

    Steve

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    Can you please expand the listing for Magnificent Ms. Marvel (2019). Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

     

  5. bane
    Latest Entry

    Dallas Buyers Club - Biography, Drama, Netflix                                Django Unchained - Action, Drama, NowTV

    Damascus Cover - Thriller, NowTV                                                   D.O.A. - Neo-noir, Mystery, From TV

    Damsel - Comedy, Western, NowTV                                                 The Do-Over - Comedy, Netflix 

    Dance Flick - Comedy, Netflix                                                            Dont Go - Mystery, NowTV                                     

    Danger One - Action, Comedy, NowTV                                             The Domestics - Action, Netflix 

    Dark Crimes - Crime, True Story, NowTV                                         The Doll - Horror, Netflix 

    Dark Shadows - Horror/Comedy, Netflix                                           Don't Knock Twice - Horror, Netflix 

    Dark Minds - Drama, NowTV                                                            Don't Look Now - Thriller, NowTV

    The Dark Tower - Action, Fantasy, Netflix                                         Don't Worry Baby - Drama, Netflix 

    The Darkest Dawn - Sci-Fi, Drama, Netflix                                       Double Jeopardy - Crime, Drama, Netflix 

    Darkest Hour - Biography, Drama, NowTV                                       The Devils Tomb - Horror, Action, Horror Channel 

    Darkness Visible - Horror, NowTV                                                    Down a Dark Hall - Supernatural, Netflix 

    Daughter of the Wolf - Action, NowTV                                              Dragon (Wu xia) - Crime, Drama, Netflix 

    The Dawn Wall - Documentary, Netflix                                             Dracula - Horror, Horror channel 

    Day of the Dead: Bloodline - Horror, Netflix                                     Drive Hard - Action, Netflix 

    Dayveon - Drama, Netflix                                                                 The Drop - Crime, Drama, Netflix 

    Dazed and Confused - Comedy, Netflix                                           The Drowning - Thriller, Netflix 

    Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) - Black comedy, Netflix      Dublin Oldschool - Drama, Netflix 

    Dead Man Walking - Drama, Netflix                                                 Due Date - Comedy, Netflix 

    Deadly Expose - Thriller, Netflix 

    Deadly Impact - Action, Netflix 

    Dean - Comedy, Drama, NowTV

    Death Race: Beyond Anarchy - Action, NowTV

    Death Wish - Action, Thriller, NowTV

    Death Wish (2018) - Action, Thriller, Netflix 

    Dead Rising: Watchtower - Action, Comedy, TV

    The Debt Collector - Action, Comedy, Netflix 

    Deceit - In the U.S. its called "Where is Kyra?" - Drama, NowTV

    Deepstar Six - Sci-fi, Horror, From TV

    Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War - Documentary, Netflix 

    Deliver Us From Evil - Horror, Mystery, Netflix

    Delivery Man - Comedy, Netflix 

    The Delta Force - Action, Netflix

    Den of Thieves - Action, Crime, Netflix 

    Deadly Detention - Horror, Netflix 

    Detroit - Factual, Drama, Netflix 

    Devils Gate - Sci-fi, NowTV

    Did you Hear About The Morgans? - Comedy, Netflix 

    The Dilemma - Comedy, Netflix 

    The Dinner - Drama, Netflix 

    Dirt - Action, Drama, Netflix 

    Dirty Harry - Action, Thriller, From TV

    The Discovery - Sci-fi, Drama, Netflix 

    Disney's A Christmas Carol - Animation, NowTV

    Dismissed - Thriller, Netflix 

    Distorted - Thriller, Netflix 

  6. Phelps27

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    Phelps27
    Latest Entry

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  7. john ivic
    Latest Entry

    Won this in the recent Comic Link auction. The Glob was a character you could call a precursor to the Swamp and Man-Things, I suppose. Don't see this book turn up on the market very often. Had this issue when I was a youngster along with several other Herb Trimpe Hulks from that era. Enjoy.

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  8. Added a pedigree comic to my collection and I was stoked that it was a Thor book that was the one.

  9. Ad-Doomsday-Is-Coming-720x1024.jpg.c2c508e8457fcca33f324c06158ecd69.jpg

    I’ve recently acquired a new piece for my CGC Death and Return of Superman set, Superman #v2 #73 (11/92). This book completes a set of four, which serves as a bookend to a much larger set. Why? The four Superman titles cover dated November 1992 each contained a teaser page, the last page, warning us that "Doomsday is coming!"

    FCTC_Ep_117-horz.thumb.jpg.faf2515bec33931d1e4770586fcebda9.jpg

    While the stories for each of these books had nothing to do with the forthcoming "Doomsday!" storyline, beginning in Superman: The Man of Steel #18 (12/92), the last page for each issue showed a mysterious arm, pounding through a metal wall. 

    1285464594_DoomsdayTeasers.thumb.jpg.f5a96a28faee5690b3bee87763c9fb85.jpg

    The four teaser issues have always been hard for me to find. I started when I was a kid, I only found two of the four, Superman: The Man of Steel #17 and Action Comics #683, both second printings. I did manage to finally find nice raw copies of Superman #73 and Adventures of Superman #496 as a twenty something in the 2000s, I thought then I had completed this special set within a set, but I decided to go for a CGC set. I guess you could say the nice raw copies I found were only teasers...

    Finally getting Superman #73 in a CGC 9.8 holder marks the end of an 11 year search, now I have all four issues in CGC 9.8 holders.

     

    "Here Be Monsters"

     2502181828361.jpg.0a951b4fce02e6d524d41b24bf3009d5.jpgDoomsday-is-Coming-1-687x1024.jpg.ed4048c434ae6a0f4316843994c7a4ef.jpg

     Won on eBay: 12/16/2012 - $34.05

     

    "Time Ryders!"

    P1030305.JPG.cc2c4efe8a86b50bd6b4a9498338ffb0.JPG Doomsday-is-Coming-2-684x1024.jpg.c0871f2f0a1e4805bc2082cdf08d4fe9.jpg

     

     “Truth and Consequences”

     P1020771.thumb.JPG.c3aeb76cc0dba5724a7ecb650efbc083.JPGDoomsday-is-Coming-3-687x1024.jpg.05a7f5c93e7b939e5cd990ee0dbf5260.jpg

    Won on eBay: 2/6/2011 - $49.00

     

    "The Trial of the Jackal"

    P1020774.thumb.JPG.f506e712da8c98e48b83df6bf8d5e164.JPGDoomsday-is-Coming-4-708x1024.jpg.d8a5dcd38ad5889dae553b04a5c74b97.jpg

    eBay BIN: 11/26/2008 - $29.99

     

    I really enjoy all four covers, Superman #73 and Action Comics #683 are tied for my favorite. I still search out raw copies to this day, I rarely see them but snag them when I can.

    Update: 10/27/2019

    The search continues for the second printings, I have two so far. Thurns out this set of four is really a set of eight. As of this writing, Superman #73 has two copies in the CGC Census at 9.8 and Action Comics #683 has yet to make the grade. 

    P1030368.JPG.f226fad20cdffaf53ab611dd3ea439bc.JPGP1020769.JPG.d87cff9dfd1bd01efd6e5d7af2123002.JPG

  10. Well I've been M.I.A. but we set up the office. The wife and I are posting a ton of the collectibles, got all of the comic books we have in, built the shelves to display, and tore the house apart. I will post some pictures so everyone can see the chaos. I decided to keep all the Batman Animated Series and have started posting the rest. Once I can get to the end of that... I will start working on the "Funny Books". 

  11. Swingwitme
    Latest Entry

    how long does it take for cert# to be in the system after on site grading at a con

  12. Since everyone else apparently gets a journal, maybe I should claim some space too... 

    I'm just another schmo that has a lot to say about things that most nobody cares about.

  13. Jradical

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    1138563042_IMG_20190808_1950482.thumb.jpg.f1f6f8e96c13127c527e75d446a5a43a.jpgHere is an indie key in high grade signed that I picked up today. I think it is worth holding on to long-term. Thoughts?

  14. Hey,

    I got your message. Please go to your account, and then to email settings. Click on the tab that enables you to receive messages. Welcome to CGC

  15. <h3>Just plain don't get you silver/bronze only collectors...<h3>

    <p>I believe that that the content of classic comics before 1978-72ish is so inferior to today's  that the value that builds on their rarity is not structured logically. Now, I'm not saying that modern comics transcend the fact that they are ultimately cartoons (opinions aside). However, the content that makes up: artistic value <h7>(the drawings and ink jobs)<h7>, dynamics of dialouge <h7>(events, stories, relationships)<h7>, or initial exclusivity of <h7>(variant covers, dealer incentives, 9.x cgc/cb slabs<h7>, cant seriously be rivaled in terms of: <li>entertainment and enjoyment<li> <li>production value<li> <li>economic footprint. <h7>(at the time of the initial release of the book)<h7>.<li><p>

    Spoiler

    Please excuse my dear aunt markdown.

     

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    Liza761
    Latest Entry

    hello thought id tell you were i found my next lot of comics, i found it in the very last place in the loft i was clearing out the comics were inside a deteriorated old carrier bag underneath the loft door i was about to climb down from the loft when that was  when i saw them.

    Look at this last lot of treasure i found by chance. not quite the holy grail but very nearly.

    WIN_20190723_22_40_48_Pro.jpg.6c71c95f6f1b53bfd99f0cc9c51f5f48.jpg 

    WIN_20190723_22_22_48_Pro.jpg

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    WIN_20190723_22_11_31_Pro.jpg

  16. On July 19th, 2019 the CGC announced the winners of the annual CGC awards.  I was very excited to see who would win.  I have a few sets that i constantly work on to keep on an award winning level, i was extra- pumped this year because i felt a few of my sets had a pretty good chance of getting some recognition.  I started checking to see if the awards were posted around noon-  i know that is a little early- but i was very excited. 

    At around 1pm i looked at my custom set that i was hoping might get an award-  i scrolled down my set description, and low and behold- there it was- the little award seal for "Best Custom Set 2019"--  i was at work, so i nonchalantly got up from my desk- went outside into the hot afternoon air- and began to cheer loudly at my victory.  After i calmed down- i went right to work showing everyone at my workplace the award i had won-- everyone where i work knows i am a comic junkie- so they were all very happy for me.  I then sent a link of my set (with the award stamp on it) to a few artist who helped with my books- they were very happy for me and congratulated me with much enthusiasm.  I sent the link of my set to my wife- she of course was over-joyed that all my hard work had paid off.  My friends and i decided to have a celebration dinner- we all met up and ate Mexican food and cheered for my award.  It was an awesome afternoon-  getting an award on my set was a big deal, i was over-elated to say the least. 

    The day of celebration was winding down- when i got home from all the partying and carrying on- i went to my CGC account page- and there was a box i had to click that said "claim award"-  With a giant smile i clicked that button-  and i was sent to a link that didnt exist.  When i went back to my set-  the award stamp for best custom set was gone.  I checked the 2019 winner page and my name and set were not on it, someone else's set actually received the award.  (the winning set is amazing...but what happened to my award?) (I've never seen the CGC put stamps on nominee sets either- nor is that something stated anywhere on CGCs website???)(and if that's a thing-- it is a really crappy thing to do)

    SO if you are reading this- you can only image the complete drop in my stomach and the giant pile of utter disappointment that washed over me when i realized that i actually didn't win anything- and my set must have been accidentally marked as a winner.  Not winning the award was one thing- but the total embarrassment I felt for acting so excited sort of bummed me-  and the look of shock that i received from ALL the people i told about my win to, and then not actually winning..- people who actually looked at my set with me- and saw that award stamp was there was pretty deflating. 

    So for a few hours on 7/19/19 i had the best custom set- and then it was gone.  Im not sure if this was an accident on CGCs part, or if someone was playing a funny joke on me- but either way it was a very confusing and sad situation.  So i feel like a fool- I'm not sure what kind of attitude I  should have toward the CGC right now-  but it was pretty crappy thing to have happen- very embarrassing, a little humiliating-    I've never went from feeling like such a winner to such a loser-  Thanks a lot CGC-

    I didn't take a pic or anything because i didn't realize that my award was a farce and would be stripped from my set- so all my proof is gone (with the exception of the 20 or so people that actually saw my award with their own eyes-)

    Im trying to keep a good attitude and laugh about it----- but its really not too funny- and i was/am pretty devastated.   BUT- for 7 or 8 hours- I WAS A WINNER!-  at least i know what my set would look like with an award stamped on it.

     

  17. I just returned home from Buckeye Comic Con. It's a small show in a hotel. Just like back in the 70's when I attended my first cons.  I like it because it is dealers loaded with comics. There are some small press writers and artists in attendance.

     They say the attendance is 400 for the one day event and that looked a little low to me. Very busy. It is held every four months and I plan on being there in November for the next one. I picked up some high grade Swamp Thing , pristine Spawn 1to 7 ( $40 bucks for those).Wolverine 10 and a Spawn 9. The Thor 134 looked to be a 3.5 but it was cheap and finally a Spiderman 129 CGC 8.0. It wasn't cheap but a decent price.   I stopped going to Mid- Ohio Con a couple of years after it became a Wizard World. I would rather spend $4 to check out 20 dealers in a hotel than $50 to shop a few in a convention center. All and all quite pleased with this show.

  18. June 6, 2019

    It's been a long time since I posted a comment or written a journal.

    I've been on the sidelines watching the world of comics vicariously through the movies, TV shows, the internet, and auction houses.

    What brings me back is the sad and dissapointing news that the DC Universe has pulled the plug on the new Swamp Thing series after having only aired one episode. It's a head scratching decision since the show was given absolutely no chance to succeed, yet it has drawn glowing critical reception from fans and critics alike. What were the suits at AT&T thinking?

    Sure... there's talk about a new Warner streaming service to debut sometime soon, which may mean all Warner related media gets scooped up and thrown-in a central service blender, including all things DC, but then why not keep the show going until then and simply allow DC Universe subscribers to migrate over after the consolidation is complete? Why not allow this high-quality show to keep going and gain momentum and be the anchor show the DC universe really needs? I'm sure if it was ported to the Warner platform, DC fans would follow.

    Apparently the high production costs, lack of faith, and changes in the direction of the entertainment division killed the Guardian of the Green, as well as the Doom Patrol... which is really a bad move considering there are so many remedies to get the DC Universe profitable and  get the cash flow moving towards producing more and more content to keep suscribers happy and attract new ones.

    I for one was about to subscribe, because of Swamp Thing, until today. I was hopeful to see Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and perhaps hundreds of other heroes and stories that deserve to be told. Imagine an Animal Man series, or Gaiman's Sandman, or Kirby's The Demon, or Ditko's The Creeper, or Moore's Hellblazer? Imagine Vertigo's line of comics finally made into live action series. Imagine a Green Lantern's corps, or a Dr. Fate, or Deadman, or hundreds of others?

    James Wan, Len Wiseman, Gary Dauberman, and Mark Verheiden need to be congratulated for producing the best looking Swamp Thing to ever grace the silver or small screen. Quite frankly, the costume is breath taking. It's a shame all this artistry won't be given a chance to blossom.

    It's so very sad.

    SW3D

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  19. axiom94
    Latest Entry

    Some bronze CGC's. I love HTD.

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  20. Just got this book. It was in utterly in horrible shape. But i am super super happy to have it. I repaired spine with as minimal tape as possible but i had to use more than i wanted to just do to books condition. Cleaned what i could without damaging book or tearing it. Fixed interior. Pressed and very happy with results.  Now i have an adequate place holder.  This was an absolute blast to see this book change. 

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  21. I am a collector of Superman One-shots, but I am stumped by this one:  Superman: The Album nn

    This is not a slot for Superman: The Wedding Album -- that's already accounted for.  Nor is it a slot for the "Superman Record Comic," a comic that accompanied a 1966 LP.  There's already a slot for that, too.

    I'm stumped.  Looked on-line for some ideas, but came up empty.  There evidently are some -- at least one -- graded copy(ies) out there.  Anybody?  What is this?

     

    A census search comes back only with Superman: The Wedding Album.  So maybe a mistaken entry?  Maybe it doesn't exist?

  22. Sellouts in the comic book industry...historically...had always been fairly rare. In the decades prior to the the 1990s, there were very few sellouts in comics. Because of the method of comics manufacture and distribution, in which publishers would print far in excess of what they needed to sell, and vendors could return the unsold copies for credit, you almost never had sellouts. This was especially true after World War 2. You had books like Superman #1 and #2 (1939) and Marvel Comics #1 that were demand reprinted....but after that, not many, as publishers followed the newsstand model: print far in excess of what might actually sell, since printing past a certain number meant per copy costs went way, way down.

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    After the introduction of superheroes, then, in the late 30s, there weren't very many sellouts. Essentially, you had Conan #1, Amazing Spiderman #121-122, and then Star Wars. Star Wars took everyone by surprise, and was such a monster hit, Marvel didn't really know what to do...as evidenced by the haphazard markings on many of the reprints. Is it on the cover, is it in the indicia, is it a square price box, is it a diamond price box, which is it?

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    After Star Wars #1-6 were reprinted out the wazoo, things quieted down a bit. While Marvel started a reprint program of bagged comics in the 80s, these were not related to sellout demand, and were usually printed months, and often years, after the original books came out, and usually focused on licensed or tie-in properties, like GI Joe, Thundercats, Secret Wars, and the like. 

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    In the 80s, we'd essentially see a handful of instant sellouts: Thor #337, ASM #252, Batman #428...plus the prestige format books and graphic novels, which don't *really* count in this discussion, as they were produced under different rules and circumstances. For the purposes of the discussion, we're talking about plain ol', standard format comics.

    At the time, Marvel seemed to have forgotten what they did with Star Wars, and they didn't reprint either Thor #337 and ASM #252...a move they probably regretted. The 'Nam #1 was an oddball, in that it sold well enough in 1987 to prompt an immediate second printing..the first since 1977, by the way...it was the only standard Marvel comic book reprinted (in the same format) in the 80s based on demand from a sellout, and that second printing wasn't identified in any way on the cover.  More on that in a minute.

    Batman #428 was another monster hit, with everyone wanting to know the results of the infamous phone call, and the TPB reprinting all four issues of Death in the Family was announced before #429 even hit the stands, and was published shortly thereafter. 

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    Interestingly enough, DC would strike twice with Batman in a very short amount of time, resulting in their next sellout issue, Batman #436, the first part of the four part "Year Three" storyline. Instead of waiting, however, to issue a trade paperback, they did what they hadn't done since perhaps 1939: they immediately reprinted the book in the same format. While the book does say "second printing" in the indicia, the only indication of its status on the cover is a green, rather than blue, DC "bullet" in the upper left hand corner.

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    In any event, as we move into the 90s, with a dying (but NOT DEAD YET!) newsstand, publishers started to trim the fat, as it were, and didn't print to excess as much as they had in the past. With the success of the Direct market, publishers didn't have to print as many excess copies; they could print much closer to order than before. As a result, you start to see books like Ghost Rider and New Warriors and yes, even Spiderman, selling out. This was essentially uncharted water for the comic book companies, so they did what they thought they should, and reprinted the books. Ghost Rider #1 was second printed without much fanfare, and very little in the way of identification, aside from a Ghost Rider skull in the UPC box, instead of the original Spidey head.

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    Spiderman #1, however, was an interesting case. Even though it had record orders, it apparently still sold well enough to prompt Marvel to make a second printing, and this they did, with the novel idea (at the time) of changing the metallic ink on the cover from silver, as on the first printing, to gold, thereby making a striking change to the book that sent everyone scrambling to make sure they had "the complete set." Marvel continued to repeat this procedure, mostly in gold, sometimes in silver, for their reprints throughout the first 1/2 of the 90s.  

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    DC had a similar reprint program for their best selling books, reprinting recent issues and bundling them in 2- and 3-pack carded sets. These, as with Marvel, had only minor changes to the cover to note their reprint status. After Batman #436, DC didn't have another sellout until Batman #457 and Superman #50, which, oddly enough, both came out on the same day in October of 1990. Both were instant hits, and instant sellouts, so much so that it inspired DC to go back to press and issue second printings for both of them.

    DC's method of identifying reprints at this point, however, was much more subdued than Marvel's: they added an additional blurb at the top of the cover, but were otherwise indistinguishable from the first printings.

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    Collectors quickly learned to avoid the "HISTORIC ENGAGEMENT ISSUE!" and "NEW ROBIN ISSUE!" as "worthless" second printings...as, indeed, prior to the 00s, reprints were avoided like the plague by the entire collecting community; to be shunned and discarded, or perhaps donated to a local Goodwill or a younger sibling as the trash it was. 

    As luck would have it, the very next month, DC published the first issue of Robin's solo mini-series...the first such series in the character's 50 year history...and it, too, was an instant sellout. This time, however, they not only changed the cover blurb, they put a stately Roman numeral "II", in Times New Roman font, to identify them as second printings (perhaps because of backlash from customers who didn't know they were buying second printings of Superman #50 and Batman #457.)

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    Robin #1 was such a hit, it even went to a third printing, with the addition of a Roman numeral "III" and the changing of the starburst near the comics code seal from white to black.

    So what does any of this have to do with the newsstand? Well, the newsstand was different from the Direct market in a number of crucial ways. One of them was that individual newsstands had absolutely no mechanism by which to order books. None. They simply "got what they got", with distribution generally determined by the local or regional magazine distributor that serviced them. This would include, by the way, not only the traditional sidewalk news vendors, but also the expanding book market, like Waldenbooks, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and the like. 

    So, while the Direct market could (and did) order these new second printings in whatever quantity they wanted, the newsstand market had no way to do so.

    Enter Wal-Mart.

    (Probably.) 

    The leading theory is that someone at Wal-Mart, noticing the tremendous sales of Spiderman #1 in June of 1990, contacted someone Marvel circulation and said "we need more!" Marvel, which obviously could not send Direct copies through the newsstand distribution system, decided to call up the printer (in this case, Ronalds, a division of Quebecor in Montreal), and ordered what seems to be 10,000 or so copies of the gold second print of Spiderman #1...but with a UPC code, so they could be sold through the newsstand system.

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    And the rest...at least for Spiderman #1....is history. These were noticed fairly quickly by the collecting public, and scooped up and saved in droves. After all...these are books that theoretically should not even exist...again, there was no mechanism by which, through the normal course of things, anyone in the newsstand distribution system could order these. But, because someone asked to have these specially made...and again, the leading theory is Walmart, since that's where most of these were found...a book that should not exist came into being.

    And you'd think that would be the only time that special exception would happen. But, a scant six months later, lightning struck again, and Bats #457 and Superman #50 also became instant sellouts, and were reprinted. And just as before, someone, somewhere, this time notified DC that they had to provide additional copies for these sold out books. And so, DC sent the books back to the presses, not just for second printings of the Direct version, but second printings of the newsstand version...again, totally unprecedented in all of comics history.

    Keep in mind that these books should not exist. They could not be ordered through routine ordering; there was no mechanism by which to do so, and they only exist because someone, somewhere, decided they could use more copies for the newsstand distribution system and contacted the publishers directly to make them happen.

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    As luck would have it, the next month, Robin #1 would continue the streak, and also be an instant hit and sellout, and the process was repeated. The format would be repeated as with Batman #457 and Superman #50, and the Roman numeral "II" would be left off the cover.

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    But, this time, unlike with Spiderman #1, nobody noticed that Batman #457, Superman #50, or Robin #1 had these second print newsstand versions, or didn't care if they did notice. The mercurial nature of the comics market being what it is, and since there was no way to chronicle these things easily pre-internet, the first printings had shot up in value, then fallen back to earth just as quickly, so that by the time these second printing newsstands actually showed up, demand had evaporated, and they quietly slipped into the channels of commerce, unheralded by all. The vast majority of them would have, almost certainly, remained unsold and "returned for credit" (aka destroyed) at the end of whatever sales period to which they belonged.

    And, because of the stigma against reprints, already strongly emblazoned on the hearts and minds of collectors everywhere, it's unlikely that, even if they were known, there would have been a rush to find them, as there was with Spiderman #1. They weren't dynamic enough, they weren't different enough and...after all..they were "second printings! GROSS!" There were no throngs of collectors rushing out to save them; it's likely that not a single collector even knew they existed to be saved. Those that survived, then, did so by pure chance, bought by readers who wanted a copy, and happened to be where they were, at the right time and place, and then happened to save them. And that's where they remained, unknown to anyone.

    Then, somewhere in the mid 00s, the existence of the Batman #457 was discovered, and, without much fanfare or notice about how rare it might possibly be, it hung on the fringes of the collecting world for several more years, too scarce for any sort of realistic market price to be established, or to inspire others to search for them. It had turned out, in the ensuing years, that publishers could do interesting things with second (and third and later) printings, and some later printings were, in fact, worth more than the first printings! What an amazing turnaround! No longer were reprints shunned and discarded; now they were avidly sought by collectors, precisely because they had been so shunned and discarded by previous generations of collectors! And so, slowly but surely, on this site and others, more and more copies were documented, a few high dollar sales occurred, and by 2016, the book had achieved fairly widespread popularity.

    But what of Superman #50 and Robin #1? No one had noted them, or even theorized as to their existence. One morning, in late 2016, I was sitting at the computer, pondering the unlikely existence of such books like Spiderman #1 gold UPC and Batman #457, when it hit me like a freight train: Superman #50 came out the same day as Batman #457, and had a second printing just like it...so there was a chance, at least, that a UPC second printing of that book could exist, too! So, my search began. While Batman had always been a popular character, Superman struggled to do so in the 90s and beyond. Batman #457 would be a much likelier candidate for discovery, and, in fact, that is what happened. Superman #50? A bygone book in a time that had moved on. Superman hadn't even maintained the numbering that Batman had, so it was much less likely for people to be looking for it.

    So, I looked and looked, and one day, while perusing eBay, I found a copy, hidden amongst a lot of other books. I couldn't believe my luck! I crossed my fingers, bought the book, and waited for it to arrive. I was sure it would be a regular second printing, but lo and behold, what showed up was an honest to God second printing UPC! So, I did quite a bit of research, to see if anyone had mentioned it anywhere, on any website, or in any publication, and...nothing, nada, zilch. I had made a new discovery, unknown to the collecting world, 26 years after the book was published! I did a short writeup for "The Comic Book Forum", and that was when the information became public.

    BUT...the search wasn't over. Because, of course, I also remembered that Robin #1 ALSO had a second printing, and a third, so it followed that it had to be out there, too. And, as it turns out, of the three, Robin #1 looks to be the most common. I published that additional information, and the comics world took notice...now there are several eBay listings for Robin #1 second newsstand, and, as of this writing, even a listing for the third or fourth known copy of Superman #50! 

    Are there more...? Well, as it turns out, just about two years later, DC would have an even more monstrous hit with the "Death" of Superman in issue #75. That book sold an estimated 4+ million copies, and the demand was so intense, DC immediately printed up an additional 3 printings. But, more astonishing, they'd apparently forgotten what they'd done with the newsstand two years prior, and printed up special UPC stickers and stuck them to the covers of regular 2nd printing Direct copies. Well, they fixed that, and there are printed copies of the 3rd and 4th in newsstand versions.

    Any after that? Who knows. There are some good suspects, but nothing's panned out so far. Some of these books...like Ghost Rider #5 and X-Men #270 and the like...can't possibly have UPC versions hiding out there, or someone would have discovered them long ago, as they did with Spiderman #1. And at least one, X-Factor #71, was second printed with a UPC already, even though it never went to the newsstand, and there is no "Direct" version. 

    So, of the known newsstand later printings, we have:

    Spiderman #1 (gold UPC)

    Batman #457

    Superman #50

    Robin #1

    Superman #75 3rd

    Superman #75 4th

    And that's it. Just a small collection of 6 books, that, due to time and circumstance, managed to survive despite the odds. Are there more? Time will tell. Are there examples from other publishers? As of yet, no one knows. There are similar versions of these books from the New 52 ( @Cpt Kirk can fill you in on those), but they're not quite the same, in my mind, as these books that were made in just a small window in the early 90s.

    They are interesting little artifacts, these comics that shouldn't exist at all. And it's amazing that they were discovered, long after the era of the internet, quietly hiding in tiny numbers throughout the land. It's amazing they survived at all. By rights, they could all have been destroyed, and no one would have ever known they existed. It remains endlessly fascinating that such things exist, waiting to be discovered, in an era of massive overproduction and glut. If these can be discovered, decades after they were made, then there's no reason there aren't others out there.

    I guess we'll see!