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Moderns heating up... In the late 80s

Entry posted by Aweandlorder · - 374 views

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;

Marvel:

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)

Independent     

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)

DC

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?

 

 

 

 


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I started collecting the summer of 1989, so this resonates with me.

Kills me how much the market's changed since.

I went to a convention in DC last weekend and passed on Nick Fury vs. Shield # 1 and # 2 at $1 apiece, as well as copies of the Excalibur Trade (1st appearance) for $2.

One book I did buy was Faust # 1 (first printing) signed by Tim Vigil -- for a whopping $8.

Good times...

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1 hour ago, Gatsby77 said:

I started collecting the summer of 1989, so this resonates with me.

Kills me how much the market's changed since.

I went to a convention in DC last weekend and passed on Nick Fury vs. Shield # 1 and # 2 at $1 apiece, as well as copies of the Excalibur Trade (1st appearance) for $2.

One book I did buy was Faust # 1 (first printing) signed by Tim Vigil -- for a whopping $8.

Good times...

Yes I did too (when it first came out). Faust was another book that Chuck missed out on but I ordered because I loved Vigil's work. And every time I think about it I get mad because Chuck had shortages on that issue and I was sent a 2nd print months later by the time it was a $30 book instead of the 1st print which I ordered. Of course I can get it now for $5-10 but I will never forget how angry I was when I finally received it back then and it was a 2nd print... Shame on him! (but I still love him anyways)

Come to think of it, Im pretty sure I also ordered Caliber Presents #1 and was never sent this book because of shortages. I just loooved Vigil back then and cant imagine I wouldnt order it from him when it came out 

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Yeah - I hadn't looked up prices for Faust in about a decade and was shocked that raw 9.0s now go for less than $20 on eBay.

I just assumed that # 1 first prints would have kept pace with increases of what I consider similar books -- like Crow 1 and Cry for Dawn 1.

Also, wondering how much earlier your Chuck newsletters go.

Asking because I'd be curious to see what he recommends for Nov. 1988 (Wolverine # 1 and Punisher War Journal # 1) and how much he hyped PWJ # 6 prior to release (as I remember his in-comic ads offering it it for $.99 (limit 5).

My first issue of Comic Buyer's Guide came in spring 1989, and it noted that, after months, neither PWJ # 1 nor Wolverine # 1 were available for re-orders; and that PWJ # 1 had the highest print run of any modern book (before it was de-throned by Legends of the Dark Knight # 1 a year later).

Just curious to read contemporaneous confirmation of those facts.

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On 4/9/2018 at 12:50 PM, Gatsby77 said:

Yeah - I hadn't looked up prices for Faust in about a decade and was shocked that raw 9.0s now go for less than $20 on eBay.

I just assumed that # 1 first prints would have kept pace with increases of what I consider similar books -- like Crow 1 and Cry for Dawn 1.

Also, wondering how much earlier your Chuck newsletters go.

Asking because I'd be curious to see what he recommends for Nov. 1988 (Wolverine # 1 and Punisher War Journal # 1) and how much he hyped PWJ # 6 prior to release (as I remember his in-comic ads offering it it for $.99 (limit 5).

My first issue of Comic Buyer's Guide came in spring 1989, and it noted that, after months, neither PWJ # 1 nor Wolverine # 1 were available for re-orders; and that PWJ # 1 had the highest print run of any modern book (before it was de-throned by Legends of the Dark Knight # 1 a year later).

Just curious to read contemporaneous confirmation of those facts.

I started subscribing to Mile High and NICE around late 87. Up until Dec 88 (the date of which I started archiving this journal) Chuck didnt really rant too much other than on his quarterly Mile High Features Catalogs. The newsletters prior to that date were very short (around 10-12 pages) and mainly consisted of entries put in by Leanne C Harper, which continued highlighting special books even after Chuck started his Guts & Glory columns, in a section called "From The Clubhouse". She nailed all of them though, even New Mutants 98 (although she didnt think it was anything special). 

I remember ordering Wolverine 1 & PWJ 1 from MHC when they came out and thinking those were very smart buys back then. In fact I subscribed to both titles through Chuck and remember being pleasantly surprised when I received Wolverine 10, not knowing it had Sienkiewicz work and Sabretooth in it. That was a huge book for me back then. As far as PWJ6, I did cover it HERE although I didn't highlight it 

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Good insights.

Here's the thing, though. Everybody I knew bought New Mutants 98 (and 99, and 100) off the shelf -- with most of us buying more than one.

Cable was the hottest thing going and that was coming right after his two-parter with Wolverine (my first issue off the rack), then X-Tinction Agenda (which was a must for anyone collecting Uncanny at the time).

And by then we were hooked. New Mutants 98-100 were orders of magnitude more common than say...86-89, and we all loved them.

Then again, nobody cared about Deadpool -- he was fun, but NM 98 was important because it was the first appearance of Domino.

Same thing -- I hate myself because I bought five copies of NM 100 at a show this month for $4 apiece.

I'd previously bought three off the rack -- _everybody_ bought in to that book since it was known as the first appearance of X-Force.

 

Just strikes me as funny -- nobody speculated on X-Men 266, but in my area folks speculated on New Mutants 93-100 and Amazing Spider-man 361-363.

 

 

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Just started reading some of your journals, lots of great insight. I liked your intro opening up with what was already hot at the time. 

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