Our community journals
I attended my first convention as an artist over the weekend, so I wrote up a little thing about the experience here, including a short video diary about the con and the comics I ended up bringing home myself:
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
I’ve recently acquired a new piece for my CGC Death and Return of Superman set, Superman #v2 #73 (11/92). Why is this book apart of this set? Because the four Superman titles cover dated November 1992 each had a teaser page at the end, warning us that Doomsday is coming!
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 then, 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"
Won on eBay: 12/16/2012 - $34.05
I picked up MoS #17 right before they exploded in price, I remember seeing 9.8 Newsstand Editions going for over $80 in 2013.
Won on eBay: 2/6/2011 - $49.00
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.
The search continues for the second printings, I only have one so far.
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".
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Dallas Buyers Club - Biography, Drama, Netflix
Damascus Cover - Thriller, NowTV
Damsel - Comedy, Western, NowTV
Dance Flick - Comedy, Netflix
Danger One - Action, Comedy, NowTV
Dark Crimes - Crime, True Story, NowTV
Dark Shadows - Horror/Comedy, Netflix
Dark Minds - Drama, NowTV
The Dark Tower - Action, Fantasy, Netflix
The Darkest Dawn - Sci-Fi, Drama, Netflix
Darkest Hour - Biography, Drama, NowTV
<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.
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.
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.
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.
Call this a rant, if you like. Crom and Mitra, but I'm seeing stupid prices on things and it's dam irritating! Books a little nicer than normal...books I turned my nose up on a couple of decades ago...cost as much as I'm willing to spend on a used car for my soon to be college student daughter. I just don't know that I can enjoy tying that much money up into something that isn't really the very best and/or that I don't find captivating. Kudos to you guys who got in early and avoided the temptation to sell over the years. I really do love books with a vintage look to them. But I can't afford vintage anymore...especially in light of other things I can buy with that money.
I'm having a hard time with the fact that spending $100 can buy me something absolutely beautiful and interesting in other collecting genres, such as vintage video games, but $100 might get me a first appearance of Spidey's black costume in an acceptable grade. Puleez! I just can't get excited about that...it doesn't move me and it's not rare. I want rare, beautiful, interesting things. There comes a point where I refuse to pay big dollars, not even to buy the gems, but (to extend an analogy) not even to buy the agates or the slightly prettier stones. I feel bad about all of the nice books I sold in the past, and the rising prices continually remind me of those mistakes...this stuff is supposed to be fun, right? (not jog bad feelings)
I'm just saying I can have fun going to flea markets and actually finding other kinds of collectibles. But if I want something remotely interesting in the comic book genre, I have to buy it from a wall at a show. There's nothing in the wild of interest unless I have the luck of a lottery winner. Tired of that.
On the bright side, I'm still here. I do love my Conans, and I have a head start on a nicer set of those (I have the keys), so I guess that's what I'll pursue moving forward. I know that the money I spend on them won't be wasted because people collect Conan for the love of the series, not because he's going to be in a movie soon, so maybe if a crash ever comes, they won't take a hit. Holographic covers, anyone? And that Barry Smith Artwork looks so freakin' good! Yeah, that'll be my fix for comics, other than reading low grade good bronze stuff. And best of all, I won't look at my collection, constantly wondering if I should sell, or not enjoying them because I have so much money tied up on them when I have kids needing school books.
So I'll buy Conans and retro video games. Because they are cool and still cheap. I'll be an early adopter in that genre, I guess...
Marvel Thorpe & Porter Indicias (June 1960 ~ November 1964)
Here is a summary of the Thorpe & Porter Indicias that I have discovered hiding in Marvels between the dates of June 1960 and November 1964. If you'd like to know more about them, please click the picture below and you'll be magically transported to the discussion threads in which we talk about them (it's the Marvel Pence Variants thread):
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
Most people with a passing interest in pence copies will know that the early 1960's Marvels had regional UK indicias in them noting that the book in question had been "Printed exclusively for Thorpe & Porter Ltd", a UK based publisher responsible for the distributing the majority of US comics in the UK. The common assumption is that all pence books had them. During my research into pence copies and US price font variations I began to collect examples of the various different types of T&P indicia wording to see if they had any bearing on, or link to, the 'missing' pence copies. As well as finding that link, I discovered five different types of T&P indicia, some telling phases and T&P indicias in cents priced copies!
T&P indicias first appear in issues cover dated June 1960 and make their last appearance in issues cover dated November 1964. Here are the five known types, with the dates of the books you can expect to find them in:
Type 1 - Found in Marvel Comics cover dated June 1960 to August 1960 and October 1960
The Type 1 indicia format is characterised by a large lower-case font T&P distribution detail with the regular US details absent
(No regional T&P indicias found in US 10c priced issues for this time period)
Type 2 - Found in Marvel Comics cover dated September 1960 only
The Type 2 indicia format is characterised by a large upper-case font T&P distribution detail set below the regular US details
(No regional T&P indicias found in US 10c priced issues for this time period)
Type 3 - Found in Marvel Comics cover dated November 1960 and December 1960
The Type 3 indicia format is characterised by a large lower-case font T&P distribution detail set below the regular US details
(No regional T&P indicias found in US 10c priced issues for this time period)
Type 4 - Found in Marvel Comics cover dated January 1961 to April 1961
The Type 4 indicia format is characterised by a small upper-case font T&P distribution detail set immediately following the regular US details
*** Regional T&P indicias found in US 10c priced issues cover dated January to April for issues which have corresponding pence copies ***
Type 5 - Found in Marvel Comics cover dated September 1961 to November 1964
The Type 5 indicia format is characterised by a small upper-case font T&P distribution detail set below the regular US details
No regional T&P indicias found in US 10c priced issues for this time period
T&P indicias do not appear in all books in the May 1960 to November 1964 period:
- The expected Type 1 indicia does not appear in the first pence priced Marvel book, Journey into Mystery #58, dated May 1960. This book has the same standard indicia as its US counterpart. This is odd, given that the only other pence priced May 1960 book - Gunsmoke Western #58 - has a regional 'L Miller & Co' indicia. So Len Miller got a regional indicia printed for his pence book, but T&P did not, starting instead with their June 1960 issues
- I have found no regional T&P indicias in pence or cents copies cover dated May 1961 to August 1961 inclusive
- I have found one September 1961 dated pence book which does not have the expected 'Type 5' T&P indicia - Kid Colt Outlaw #100 which has a standard US indicia
- I have found no regional T&P indicias in any book cover dated December 1964 onwards. Due to a gap in the production of pence copies, the last know T&P indicia in a pence copy is dated November 1964. Pence copies recommenced from August 1965, priced at 10d and with standard US indicias in all copies
Other notable observations:
- Journey into Mystery #60 is the only known 9d pence book cover dated September 1960 and has its own unique indicia with the word ‘Thorpe’ misspelled as ‘Thorp’
- Journey into Mystery #63 bucks the overall trend by having a Type 4 indicia in both pence and cents copies when it should have a Type 3 (there are always exceptions!)
- All Type 4 books have regional T&P indicias in both pence and cents copies - the only exception is Journey into Mystery #67 which has a standard US indicia in both copies
- Every exception is a JIM!
Finally, here are the seven time periods covered by my summary document which show all the books - both in and out of scope - and what I have found to be in them (there are still a handful of book contents to confirm, so the odd tweak may be necessary at some point):
So, not everyone's cup of tea I'm guessing but I don't think you'll find this information anywhere else online. It's an interesting period in comic production and, if nothing else, is helpful in determining which pence books may / may not exist (see discussion thread!)
For those that noted the references to L Miller, those indicias details can be found here
By Stephen Cranch based on v1.1 of the 'Marvel Thorpe & Porter Indicia Summary'
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
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.
Chet Helm’s Family Dog Avalon Ballroom Series #1-30 (147)
FD 37 Buffalo Springfield 9.8 FD 66 Youngbloods 9.8 FD 70 Grateful Dead 9.8 FD 73 Blue Cheer 9.8 FD 75 Moby Grape 9.8 FD 85 Vanilla Fudge 9.8 FD 88 Van Morrison 9.9 FD 91 Youngbloods 9.9 FD 93 Big Brother & The Holding Company 9.8 FD 96 Quicksilver Messenger Service 9.9 FD 100 Youngbloods 9.8 FD 104 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS 9.8 FD 106 The Youngbloods 9.8 FD 110 Blood Sweat & Tears 9.9 FD 115 Steppenwolf 9.8 FD 116 Quicksilver Messenger Service 9.9 FD 118 Quicksilver Messenger Service 9.8 FD 141 Grateful Dead 9.8 FD 142 Velvet Underground 10.0 FD D5 Buffalo Springfield 9.6 FD D6 Van Morrison 9.8 FD D8 Allmen Joy 9.8 FD D9 Jefferson Airplane 10.0 FD D10 Blue Cheer 10.0 FD D11 Other Half and Sons of Champlin 9.8 FD D12 Chuck Berry 9.9 FD D14 Canned Heat 9.0 FD D15 Soul Survivors, Boxtops 9.8
- Read more...
- 0 comments
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
The box has been open and the cat was dead.
I can’t say I’m surprised. I expected a 9.6 to be the highest grade out of the two that I submitted and I’m ok with that. I just have to continue the search. I did hope that I would finally attain that 9.8, but it wasn’t meant to be. I have about six conventions scheduled over the next three months so I’ll be back into the boxes again searching. I even stopped being picky. I just buy them now to have them.
The other invoice I turned over was for a copy of Eerie #39. The top of the magazine showed areas I knew that could be pressed out and CCS delivered. It was some of the spine stress I knew would keep the book grading above a 9.4. Not to mention the front of the cover where the black seems to have been starting to rub. Every time I read “Introducing Dax the Warrior...” I immediately think of Iron Man 55 where Drax the Destroyer was introduced. I know... two totally different entities.
But why this issue? What made me jump outside the realm of comic books and into magazines? Well, that answer is simple. The publishing date for this was April of 72 and is listed as one of the hundred plus books that I am searching for to complete what I dubbed my Birthday Books. And even as I try to complete a 9.8 set of New Mutants, this book is above the 9.2 limit I have set for myself to try to attain. Suffice to say I am happy.
Thanks for Reading
March 10 2019
With C2E2 two weeks away and as of right now I am planning on dropping some books off to get graded and I am still trying to decide how many books I would like to get graded and what books to get graded. Maybe I would say that I would want all of them graded but I must pick and choose which ones I would prefer over others. Do i choose items that are going to go up in value over time due to movies/tv shows, do I choose ones that I like just because of the cover, or do I choose the issues that have the current highest value in my collection. Well I have 2 weeks to decide, good luck to me...
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
Following my journal opener which covered The Walking Dead #1, this entry covers the issue with the second-most variant covers (20) in this series - #100.
The Walking Dead (TWD) issue #100 (July 2012) shipped with a total of 20 variant covers and had a total order of 379,000 copies. This made it the largest selling single comic of the 2010s decade, the #2 highest ordered comic of the 21st Century so far, and the #1 comic of the century for Image Comics. A special chromium wrap-around cover by Charlie Adlard priced at $9.99 had 31,000 copies out of the total order. This was the peak of TWD 'fever' before Season 3 of the TV show debuted.
After #1, this is the TWD comic produced with the greatest number of variant covers - there are 20 variants as noted below in alphabetical order:
- 100 - Adlard and Rathburn, regular cover A
- 100 - Adlard variant cover
- 100 - Barnes & Noble Edition
- 100 - Chromium Edition (wraparound cover)
- 100 - Convention Edition
- 100 - Escape Edition
- 100 - Hero Initiative (LE105)
- 100 - Hitch variant cover
- 100 - Lucille Edition (a Retailer Initiative, LE500)
- 100 - McFarlane variant cover
- 100 - Ottley Sketch Cover (known as the 'Comixology' variant, LE500)
- 100 - Ottley Variant cover
- 100 - Phillips variant cover
- 100 - Quitely variant cover
- 100 - Red Foil Edition (LE250)
- 100 - Second Printing
- 100 - Silvestri variant cover
- 100 - Sketch cover
- 100 - Skybound Megabox Edition (the most-recently produced #100, December 2016)
- 100 - Third Printing (part of the six-part #97-#102 set showing Negan holding Lucille horizontally; the other five each present as Second Printings)
Of these 20 different covers, the Hero Initiative version is by far the rarest and most valuable with just 105 produced, each with a hand-drawn and signed cover. There are also a few, perhaps 10-15, blank covers which seem to have leaked into the market. CGC will not grade these as they are "unofficial". A separate book called the 100 Project was also produced showing each of the individually-drawn/signed covers.
The next most-rare, at just LE250, is the Red Foil Edition showing Negan's baseball bat Lucille on the cover.
The Lucille Edition and the Comixology variant (Ottley Sketch Cover) are also rare and valuable, with just 500 of each produced.
- Read more...
- 0 comments