Randall Dowling

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About Randall Dowling

  • Boards Title
    If you have a dream about out-posting me, you better wake up and apologize.

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  • Hobbies
    Acquiring unusual things
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    The Four Headquarters

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  1. You're certainty about things you can't know makes it difficult to continue this. You're entitled to your opinion, which ultimately, is all this is.
  2. This is not something you know. This is something you believe. Many have claimed this but it's not well supported from experience of the time. These books weren't available at the same time as newsstand copies and then kept on the shelves for months. They didn't even show up for sale until months afterward.
  3. Thousands of years of facts can also be dissembled and repackaged for a new narrative that is false, just to suit a new group that want to legitimize their perspective. History is rife with examples of this. Just because it's been known for a long time doesn't mean it's wrong. And I don't know what you think is clear to see about the Whitman reprints. I haven't seen any proof that these are like Mark Jewelers variants or price variants. All I've seen is a bunch of supposition, guesses, hearsay, and amazing leaps to conclusions that aren't supported by any new information. What am I missing?
  4. They changed the price mark at the top of the cover to make them look different than typical newsstand copies, they released them many months (or even a year) after they were initially for sale on newsstands, and only sold them in 3 packs. If you don't want to call those reprints, fine. Call them whatever you like. For 4 and half decades they've been recognized as Whitman reprints but sure, call them something else if it feels better. I think you're splitting hairs.
  5. Okay. Here we go. Buckle up because I went on something of a spree. As you look at this, the little game will be "can you guess which book was the most expensive?" I'll give you a hint as you look and consider. When I go to a con or a shop that I don't get to often, I usually seek out one or 2 big books, a few mid-level items, and a bunch of small things. Kind of like a buying pyramid. Today was no different. First right answer wins a stack of 5 vintage paperbacks (of which there will be one Maguire cover and one Fixler cover), conditions will vary greatly but all complete, and I will pay shipping so will just need your address. One guess only per person. Game ends Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. CST at which time I'll disclose which book was the big boy and how much I paid. Until then, I won't respond to any of the guesses in the interest of keeping it open for all that want to play. @Pat Calhoun I'm really interested which of these you feel is most valuable/more difficult (not necessarily highest paid). All books are in really remarkable condition, FYI. So... First, I was shocked at the number of high grade Monarchs were there with awesome covers (including many new Maguires!). One of these is probably a duplicate but who cares! Here's my haul from those! And there was another Monarch that was so cool so I grabbed that as well as a classic Midwood: Then there were the digests... so many digests... after going into a deep dive, this is what I came up with: Also, I found another nice copy of Gulf Coast Girl at the right price so... Then, there were these excellent titles. The Pyramid is just so inappropriate in today's world. I'm almost scandalized owning it. Almost... (actually it's not as bad as another title I have but let's not go there). And then last, but certainly not least, these 2 rarely seen titles emerged from the stacks and I had to snap them up. Good luck, all! I hope you like this little assortment as much as I do. So much fun discovering all these new titles!
  6. Yes. They have some of their inventory there. I was shocked to see how much more was in the store.
  7. Neither. The distinction between direct and newsstand is just pretty artificial. Always has been. Your argument of scarcity would suggest that early direct market books that were sold to comic book stores must be worth a lot more because at that time, there were many more sold at newsstands. And yet, nobody really cares about that. The issue I have is with trying to rewrite history and retroactively declare the Whitman/Western books to be the same as or on par with early direct market books sold at comic stores. They are not. And that's not a bad opinion. It's a fact. I don't like to disagree with you, Greg. And I just saw that your most recent blog entry is about ASM 300 Direct vs. Newsstand so this is probably a sore point. What I'm saying is that both the direct and newsstand copies are the same book that came out at the same time. The only real distinction is one has a bar code and the other doesn't. The price is the same, the cover art is the same, the interiors are the same. That's a pretty superficial difference to me. But if that's what some people like and are into, fine. Live and let live. There shouldn't, however, be any need to muddy or distort or spin or otherwise redefine what has been well known for decades by all collectors. If it's a legitimate thing, it should be able to stand on it's own without that.
  8. Pleasantries and polite parlance to my paperback peeps! Today was a very special day for me. Here in Minneapolis, there has always been a store that stood outside of all the rest in regard to diverse stock of novels, comics, paperbacks, gaming accessories, and assorted other ephemera. It's called Dreamhaven Books, Comics and Art. I've visited the store off and on over the last 30 years and had great conversations with the staff and the owner (Greg Ketter). The last time I talked to Greg was a couple years ago at the local FallCon, and I told Greg the new direction some of my interests were taking. He encouraged me to stop by and check out his stock as he had a lot of what I was after... Fast forward to several months ago, my friend @Stevemmg was in town for business and being the thorough box diver that he is, called me and said I really needed to get down to Dreamhaven and check it out. Well, busy with work led to the advent of the pandemic and then the George Floyd protests happened... Dreamhaven is located literally down the street from where the George Floyd memorial and is also blocks away from where the police precinct that was burned down stood. Unfortunately, a group of kids used the protests as cover to break into the store and smash glass cases, vandalize, steal, etc. This combined with the burning down of another decades old bookstore in the area, Uncle Hugo's, was very painful to see. These shops are gems that have managed to survive the onset of Border's books, Barnes & Noble and Amazon to maintain the zen like joy of perusing shelves that went to the ceiling, filled with books of all kinds- Mystery, Sci-Fi, True Crime, Romance, Fantasy, Teen Love. From all eras and virtually all genres. At any rate, Greg decided to put it all back together and managed to reopen a couple weeks back and today I made a point of driving over to give him my business and do my part to help them get back on their feet. It was so exciting and truly refreshing to see the store back up and running. I haven't had that much fun hunting for material in many years! If you're interested, there's a gofundme set up to help them offset the damages- https://www.gofundme.com/f/dreamhaven-restoration Later tonight, I'll post the bountiful harvest of amazing books that I picked up today (and maybe set up a little game). Their grading is very solid and their inventory is... enormous! If you live near here or are ever in town, I highly recommend you check these guys out.
  9. Whitman was a subsidiary of Western Publishing. Sorry, but that's a distinction without a difference. I know people really want these to be special but to all of us that were there, these are reprints and not desirable. But you guys are the same ones chasing 3rd printings of Hulk 377 and newsstand versions of ASM 300 (Talk about artificial scarcity!). Go ahead and keep going as you like. Just don't expect everyone to value them the same as you do.
  10. I thought I'd memorialize this recent sale in the last ComicConnect auction. This price seems pretty durable for 9.2 Vampi 1s.
  11. These. Are. All. Whitmans. Anyone that says otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about. And they are different than the direct market editions that would be sold to comic book stores with a skinny diamond for the price. It's really not that complicated. These all came out of 3 packs and were not sold in stores separately.
  12. I won this in the last ComicConnect auction for what seemed like a super good deal to me. I've always wanted a copy and soon this will be a keeper for my collection. Such a classic!!