Moderns that are heating up on ebay!
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Just now, RockMyAmadeus said:

:facepalm:

You got me, gogo. I fell for it. Good play. lol

 

That was not my intention.

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1 minute ago, ygogolak said:

See my previous statement. I never said it was 1st print.

:gossip: pssst...if it wasn't a first print...the whole story falls apart and has no meaning. 

:banana:

What maroon speculates on a 4th printing in 1992...? lol He would have made more money speculating on toilet paper.

 

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3 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

:gossip: pssst...if it wasn't a first print...the whole story falls apart and has no meaning. 

:banana:

What maroon speculates on a 4th printing in 1992...? lol He would have made more money speculating on toilet paper.

 

But that's exactly my point. It's people who don't know what they are doing. They are just looking for quick buck.

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6 minutes ago, FlyingDonut said:

If someone told you he ordered a case of Superman 75s from a comic shop in 1992, he's lying. There's no other way to say it. That is, without question, a lie. There was no speculation on Superman 75 before the book came out because nobody knew what was happening. That was the reason why Superman 75 was insane.

He may have (1) a case of Superman 500s - like many many many other people - or (2) he may have bought a case of Superman 75s after the crash, which was very possible. If he had a case of Superman 75s on November 18, 1992, he had $20,000 in his pocket. If he had a case of Superman 75s on November 17, 1995, he had $200 in his pocket..

As Donut and others have said, you can LITERALLY pinpoint the moment that the house of cards started to fall: September of 1993. Specifically Labor Day. That was it, it was over, it just took 4 years or so to fall to the ground. Summer of 1993 was the summer of sheer insanity. After that...it was over.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, FlyingDonut said:

If someone told you he ordered a case of Superman 75s from a comic shop in 1992, he's lying. There's no other way to say it. That is, without question, a lie. There was no speculation on Superman 75 before the book came out because nobody knew what was happening. That was the reason why Superman 75 was insane.

He may have (1) a case of Superman 500s - like many many many other people - or (2) he may have bought a case of Superman 75s after the crash, which was very possible. If he had a case of Superman 75s on November 18, 1992, he had $20,000 in his pocket. If he had a case of Superman 75s on November 17, 1995, he had $200 in his pocket..

That's not my recollection of how things went down.  At least from my perspective there was absolutely speculation on Superman 75 before it came out.  It creeped in at the last moment before the initial order was due.  I think a lot of retailers ordered tons of those books and very few made the mistake of not ordering extra heavy, I ordered tons of those books, some of the re-orders were even honored by Capital City from its warehouse in Columbus, Ohio.  I think by the time FOC was about to hit almost everyone knew it was actually going on.  Who didn't know about that book, the non-collecting public.  Certainly there were guys working with their LCS and speculating heavy on comics hoping to hit it big.  I was a teenager, but I remember the release of that book vividly.  Now was there crazy speculation on that book like there was in the months and years following its release or like there was on Adventures of Superman 500, of course not.  But its not fair to say that people didn't see it coming a mile away.  I did and I was a VERY inexperienced collector with a Capital City account who was basically parlaying my newspaper money into comic book money.  

Edited by Nico Esq

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Just now, ygogolak said:

But that's exactly my point. It's people who don't know what they are doing. They are just looking for quick buck.

The total non-story of your Superman #75 example aside...it's not the people who don't know what they're doing...it's the people who THINK they know what they're doing...like my 18-19-20-21 year old self...who were the problem. And even I was nothing compared to the publishers, who printed and printed and printed like paper was going out of style. THEY should have known what they were doing...and didn't. 

How many copies of Deathlok #1 would you like to buy? All 9.8s. How about Silver Sable #1? Superman #78? Maybe some Ghost Rider #5s? How about X-Men #1? X-Force #1?

I bought, as someone who had just turned 19, 80 copies of X-Force #1 for $1 each...33% off cover!...when they came out. Bought them from Clay at Clay's Comics in Heyward, CA, on "A" street. 

Guess how many copies I still own....?

And think about what I COULD have bought with that money instead, that I would have enjoyed a lot more. Bone #1 was out around this time. So was I, Lusiphur (Poison Elves) #1. Cry for Dawn #4, too. All sorts of great stuff was being published, but I had to have "the latest hot thing"...and wasted $80 on toilet paper.

Now, thankfully printed a bazillion of them, so they weren't in short supply. But what if they were? 6-7 months earlier, I sucked up every available copy my local newsstand had of Superman #50, at midnight the day they were put on sale. Thought I was going to make a killing. But what ended up happening is...I still have all of them, nearly 30 years later, and the people who just wanted a copy to read had to go to a comics store...if they went at all...to find a second print down the road. Did that frustration lead to someone who could have been a collector quitting buying comics altogether...? Dunno. No way to know, really. But that's on me if it did. All because I had to scoop up that book so I could "flip" it later...which I never did.

:facepalm: to me.

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10 minutes ago, Nico Esq said:

That's not my recollection of how things went down.  At least from my perspective there was absolutely speculation on Superman 75 before it came out.  It creeped in at the last moment before the initial order was due.  I think a lot of retailers ordered tons of those books and very few made the mistake of not ordering extra heavy, I ordered tons of those books, some of the re-orders were even honored by Capital City from its warehouse in Columbus, Ohio.  I think by the time FOC was about to hit almost everyone knew it was actually going on.  Who didn't know about that book, the non-collecting public.  Certainly there were guys working with their LCS and speculating heavy on comics hoping to hit it big.  I was a teenager, but I remember the release of that book vividly.  Now was there crazy speculation on that book like there was in the months and years following its release or like there was on Adventures of Superman 500, of course not.  But its not fare to say that people didn't see it coming a mile away.  I did and I was a VERY inexperienced collector with a Capital City account who was basically parlaying my newspaper money into comic book money.  

I don't think that's precisely true. Remember, "FOC" as a concept didn't actually exist in 1992, and ordering was done by mail and phone. You still had the 2 month lag time between last orders and shipping. I was working for a distributor at the time in the Bay Area, and we had 400 copies sitting on the counter after hours on Thursday, waiting for the delivery next day. I asked if I can have ONE...and I was DE-NIED. 

DC printed the hell out of it....4 million or so copies....and it still sold out nationwide that first day (Friday, Nov 20 for the West Coast.) 

Now, to gogo's point, that Superman #75 was the cause...there's a case to be made for that, but only in that it was the catalyst for the entire industry to lose its mind. X-Men #1 the year before was confined to X-Men #1. It didn't sell out, and it didn't trickle into everything else. Orders for other stuff remained about the same.

But with Superman #75, you had a book that was $25 by the end of the week, and $100 by Christmas of 1992. And that was for a book with FOUR MILLION copies printed! So the floodgates were opened. Print runs for everything went insane. The top 10 books for 1993 all had print runs over 1,000,000 copies. Between December of 1992 and July of 1993, it was a madhouse.

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4 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

The total non-story of your Superman #75 example aside...it's not the people who don't know what they're doing...it's the people who THINK they know what they're doing...like my 18-19-20-21 year old self...who were the problem. And even I was nothing compared to the publishers, who printed and printed and printed like paper was going out of style. THEY should have known what they were doing...and didn't. 

How many copies of Deathlok #1 would you like to buy? All 9.8s. How about Silver Sable #1? Superman #78? Maybe some Ghost Rider #5s? How about X-Men #1? X-Force #1?

I bought, as someone who had just turned 19, 80 copies of X-Force #1 for $1 each...33% off cover!...when they came out. Bought them from Clay at Clay's Comics in Heyward, CA, on "A" street. 

Guess how many copies I still own....?

And think about what I COULD have bought with that money instead, that I would have enjoyed a lot more. Bone #1 was out around this time. So was I, Lusiphur (Poison Elves) #1. Cry for Dawn #4, too. All sorts of great stuff was being published, but I had to have "the latest hot thing"...and wasted $80 on toilet paper.

Now, thankfully printed a bazillion of them, so they weren't in short supply. But what if they were? 6-7 months earlier, I sucked up every available copy my local newsstand had of Superman #50, at midnight the day they were put on sale. Thought I was going to make a killing. But what ended up happening is...I still have all of them, nearly 30 years later, and the people who just wanted a copy to read had to go to a comics store...if they went at all...to find a second print down the road. Did that frustration lead to someone who could have been a collector quitting buying comics altogether...? Dunno. No way to know, really. But that's on me if it did. All because I had to scoop up that book so I could "flip" it later...which I never did.

:facepalm: to me.

Good luck finding a Bone #1 first print back then (I think Hulk #181 would have been a better example), but I get the point you're trying to make.  I think it's important to note that at least some of the incentive variants these days are a completely different animal because they are genuinely rare (good luck trying to get one of these Marvel Comics Presents #4 1:50 variants - for example).  I think this parleys nicely into my earlier point, that more experienced collectors have a real opportunity to help younger/newer collectors avoid the mistakes that we made.  I don't think we're going to see a lot of decisions made by Marvel, DC or others that are premised on short term losses to promote long term fiscal health and stability.  Therefore, we are going to have to take care of one another - not bludgeon one another.  

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

I don't think that's precisely true. Remember, "FOC" as a concept didn't actually exist in 1992, and ordering was done by mail and phone. You still had the 2 month lag time between last orders and shipping. I was working for a distributor at the time in the Bay Area, and we had 400 copies sitting on the counter after hours on Thursday, waiting for the delivery next day. I asked if I can have ONE...and I was DE-NIED. 

DC printed the hell out of it....4 million or so copies....and it still sold out nationwide that first day (Friday, Nov 20 for the West Coast.) 

Now, to gogo's point, that Superman #75 was the cause...there's a case to be made for that, but only in that it was the catalyst for the entire industry to lose its mind. X-Men #1 the year before was confined to X-Men #1. It didn't sell out, and it didn't trickle into everything else. Orders for other stuff remained about the same.

But with Superman #75, you had a book that was $25 by the end of the week, and $100 by Christmas of 1992. And that was for a book with FOUR MILLION copies printed! So the floodgates were opened. Print runs for everything went insane. The top 10 books for 1993 all had print runs over 1,000,000 copies. Between December of 1992 and July of 1993, it was a madhouse.

There was a deadline when you had to order.  I think it was 2-3 months out - I'm calling that FOC.  I can only speak for Capital City not Diamond too so perhaps a lot of our differing recollections have to do with that.  I used to call in my orders using item numbers and used a previews catalog that was comparable to Diamonds catalog, but I think Capital City had a different previews catalog from Diamond if my memory is correct.  Come to think of it, this was damn near the end, perhaps Capital City was attempting to accommodate its account holders in an effort to hold their market share?  I don't know.  I weathered the transition so I may be conflating some of the details.  It's been 25 years.  lol  Look at us showing our age.  :facepalm:

Edited by Nico Esq

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Just now, Nico Esq said:

There was a deadline when you had to order.  I think it was 2-3 months out - I'm calling that FOC.  I can only speak for Capital City not Diamond too so perhaps a lot of our differing recollections have to do with that.  I used to call in my orders using item numbers and used a previews catalog that was comparable to Diamonds catalog, but I think Capital City had a different previews catalog from Diamond if my memory is correct.  I weathered the transition so I may be conflating some of the details.  It's been 25 years.  lol 

Cap City published "Advance Comics" and yes, you had to call in your orders. Boy was that a thrill. If you were a store, you could get a dedicated company rep to handle your account. Online ordering wouldn't start for another...5 years? Maybe? And by then, everyone else was dead, and Diamond the last man standing. 

548157.jpg

8 minutes ago, Nico Esq said:

I think this parleys nicely into my earlier point, that more experienced collectors have a real opportunity to help younger/newer collectors avoid the mistakes that we made.

I agree...if they listen. A lot of the time, they don't. Why would they? We didn't. 

:D

PS. Bone #1 was generally available in the Bay Area, which was a hotbed of indie comics, and had been since the 60s. I never really appreciated how much material I had easy access to until I moved to Phoenix in 1997. lol

 

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Oh, and variants...? Books made specifically for collectors, where the regular version is available to readers...? Totally on board with speculation on those, because they were never meant to be sold to readers in the first place. So long as readers can get their hands on a regular copy while it's still a new issue, without having to go to any extra effort...it's all good.

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51 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

The total non-story of your Superman #75 example aside...it's not the people who don't know what they're doing...it's the people who THINK they know what they're doing...like my 18-19-20-21 year old self...who were the problem. And even I was nothing compared to the publishers, who printed and printed and printed like paper was going out of style. THEY should have known what they were doing...and didn't. 

How many copies of Deathlok #1 would you like to buy? All 9.8s. How about Silver Sable #1? Superman #78? Maybe some Ghost Rider #5s? How about X-Men #1? X-Force #1?

I bought, as someone who had just turned 19, 80 copies of X-Force #1 for $1 each...33% off cover!...when they came out. Bought them from Clay at Clay's Comics in Heyward, CA, on "A" street. 

Guess how many copies I still own....?

And think about what I COULD have bought with that money instead, that I would have enjoyed a lot more. Bone #1 was out around this time. So was I, Lusiphur (Poison Elves) #1. Cry for Dawn #4, too. All sorts of great stuff was being published, but I had to have "the latest hot thing"...and wasted $80 on toilet paper.

Now, thankfully printed a bazillion of them, so they weren't in short supply. But what if they were? 6-7 months earlier, I sucked up every available copy my local newsstand had of Superman #50, at midnight the day they were put on sale. Thought I was going to make a killing. But what ended up happening is...I still have all of them, nearly 30 years later, and the people who just wanted a copy to read had to go to a comics store...if they went at all...to find a second print down the road. Did that frustration lead to someone who could have been a collector quitting buying comics altogether...? Dunno. No way to know, really. But that's on me if it did. All because I had to scoop up that book so I could "flip" it later...which I never did.

:facepalm: to me.

I bought 500 copies of John Byrne's Man of Steel 1.

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37 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Cap City published "Advance Comics" and yes, you had to call in your orders. Boy was that a thrill. If you were a store, you could get a dedicated company rep to handle your account. Online ordering wouldn't start for another...5 years? Maybe? And by then, everyone else was dead, and Diamond the last man standing. 

548157.jpg

I agree...if they listen. A lot of the time, they don't. Why would they? We didn't. 

:D

PS. Bone #1 was generally available in the Bay Area, which was a hotbed of indie comics, and had been since the 60s. I never really appreciated how much material I had easy access to until I moved to Phoenix in 1997. lol

 

I remember that catalog ^^   Now that's a thrill from my youth.  Thank you! (thumbsu

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To be fair, it wasn't entirely speculation that nearly killed the industry, but a particular type of speculation, or speculation paired with other things. 

• Speculating by ordering multiple copies in advance didn't prevent potential readers from buying a book. But the go-out-and-grab-them-all type of speculator may have

• Speculation paired with Extremely late books (pun intended) was a problem. Many retailers tied up their capital in Image books that were solicited and took forever to ship, if they shipped at all, preventing retailers from recouping their costs, because they had no product to move, or from ordering more books that did ship on time

• When the speculator market fell apart, many retailers were left with books that customer requested but never bothered to come back for. Less of a problem if a store took deposits, but in my area, I don't think any did that. They just ordered what they were expecting to sell based on customer pull lists and previous sales but then the books sat on the shelves

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1 hour ago, Nico Esq said:

That's not my recollection of how things went down.  At least from my perspective there was absolutely speculation on Superman 75 before it came out.  It creeped in at the last moment before the initial order was due.  I think a lot of retailers ordered tons of those books and very few made the mistake of not ordering extra heavy, I ordered tons of those books, some of the re-orders were even honored by Capital City from its warehouse in Columbus, Ohio.  I think by the time FOC was about to hit almost everyone knew it was actually going on.  Who didn't know about that book, the non-collecting public.  Certainly there were guys working with their LCS and speculating heavy on comics hoping to hit it big.  I was a teenager, but I remember the release of that book vividly.  Now was there crazy speculation on that book like there was in the months and years following its release or like there was on Adventures of Superman 500, of course not.  But its not fair to say that people didn't see it coming a mile away.  I did and I was a VERY inexperienced collector with a Capital City account who was basically parlaying my newspaper money into comic book money.  

What I recall is that there was at least SOME pre-release hype, because my LCS was taking pre-orders specifically for this book, and this book only, for non-"holds" customers, at least a few weeks in advance of release. I didn't have a "holds" folder at the shop back then, I was in high school and didn't even have real job. But I did make it in to the shop every few weeks with money picked up from chores and recycling cans, stuff like that, and at least a few weeks before it came out, I went to my LCS and they were taking Supes 75 pre-orders, so I ordered one each of the bagged and non-bagged versions.

On the day of release, I went to the shop, and it was a madhouse. When I picked up my order, there was an extra copy of the bagged version in my order. I told them I had only ordered one copy, and they said I didn't HAVE to buy it, but considering that they were sold out other than pre-orders and demand was already crazy, they recommended I take it if I wanted it. And at cover price, too! So I bought all three of my books, took them home, opened one up, wore the armband to school the next day. I think I eventually traded my extra copy for nice copies of Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn and regular series #1. I think all three books, the Supes #75 included, are $1 bin fodder these days. Oh well, it was fun at the time.

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4 minutes ago, F For Fake said:

What I recall is that there was at least SOME pre-release hype, because my LCS was taking pre-orders specifically for this book, and this book only, for non-"holds" customers, at least a few weeks in advance of release. I didn't have a "holds" folder at the shop back then, I was in high school and didn't even have real job. But I did make it in to the shop every few weeks with money picked up from chores and recycling cans, stuff like that, and at least a few weeks before it came out, I went to my LCS and they were taking Supes 75 pre-orders, so I ordered one each of the bagged and non-bagged versions.

On the day of release, I went to the shop, and it was a madhouse. When I picked up my order, there was an extra copy of the bagged version in my order. I told them I had only ordered one copy, and they said I didn't HAVE to buy it, but considering that they were sold out other than pre-orders and demand was already crazy, they recommended I take it if I wanted it. And at cover price, too! So I bought all three of my books, took them home, opened one up, wore the armband to school the next day. I think I eventually traded my extra copy for nice copies of Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn and regular series #1. I think all three books, the Supes #75 included, are $1 bin fodder these days. Oh well, it was fun at the time.

I love stories like that.  I imagine that people who had good account representatives and/or relationships with their distributor knew what was going on.  I don't know if they took really good care of me at Capital City because I was a child and they thought it was a cool and wanted me to do well or what precisely, but it's really great to hear a story about a good hearted retailer.  We so rarely hear them.  It's much like the news, bad news sells papers - stories about the amazing retailers who are out there kicking butt and taking care of collectors and fans are few and far between on our online forums but thankfully I think that is the experience of most collectors.  I had a horrible experience at a local this weekend, but that's the rare exception.  

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There was definitely pre-release hype, as I knew enough to pick up extra copies of the Doomsday cameos and the first 5 parts. Maybe it wasn't far enough in advance for the orders, though? Didn't someone post sales info in one of the Death of Superman threads a while back that indicated a sales spike prior to 75?

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43 minutes ago, Nico Esq said:

I love stories like that.  I imagine that people who had good account representatives and/or relationships with their distributor knew what was going on.  I don't know if they took really good care of me at Capital City because I was a child and they thought it was a cool and wanted me to do well or what precisely, but it's really great to hear a story about a good hearted retailer.  We so rarely hear them.  It's much like the news, bad news sells papers - stories about the amazing retailers who are out there kicking butt and taking care of collectors and fans are few and far between on our online forums but thankfully I think that is the experience of most collectors.  I had a horrible experience at a local this weekend, but that's the rare exception.  

That shop has been my shop since I was about 9 years old. I even worked there briefly when I was 19/20. I'm 42 and still go there, and to this day they still sell the variants and hot books at cover price. They're the good guys, for sure.

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The impact of Superman #75 cannot be overstated. Sure, there was a little hype beforehand. But if the pre-release hype is, say, a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10...the actual release was 56,283 on that scale. There had never been anything like it, and there's never been anything since. It is not an overstatement to say that this book was selling for $100 by Christmas...a month later...for a book with a reported 4 million copy print run. 

It was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

DC's "ha-ha, just kidding! Did you really think we would kill off our flagship character? Suckers!" several months later was a kick in the cajones, but the event itself? Madness.

 

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1 hour ago, F For Fake said:

What I recall is that there was at least SOME pre-release hype, because my LCS was taking pre-orders specifically for this book, and this book only, for non-"holds" customers, at least a few weeks in advance of release. I didn't have a "holds" folder at the shop back then, I was in high school and didn't even have real job. But I did make it in to the shop every few weeks with money picked up from chores and recycling cans, stuff like that, and at least a few weeks before it came out, I went to my LCS and they were taking Supes 75 pre-orders, so I ordered one each of the bagged and non-bagged versions.

On the day of release, I went to the shop, and it was a madhouse. When I picked up my order, there was an extra copy of the bagged version in my order. I told them I had only ordered one copy, and they said I didn't HAVE to buy it, but considering that they were sold out other than pre-orders and demand was already crazy, they recommended I take it if I wanted it. And at cover price, too! So I bought all three of my books, took them home, opened one up, wore the armband to school the next day. I think I eventually traded my extra copy for nice copies of Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn and regular series #1. I think all three books, the Supes #75 included, are $1 bin fodder these days. Oh well, it was fun at the time.

I had a somewhat similar experience as there definitely was some pre-release hype on the Death of Superman. A local shop was offering pulls of all the issues leading into Superman #75. I ordered a set. They did not ask anyone to pre-pay. I remember going in hoping to get my books and was told they decided not to hold the books for anyone, and all the books leading into and Superman #75 itself were already jacked up in price the week it came out. Needless to say, I didn't go there after that and they quickly went out of business once the balloon popped. My Dad bought into the hype and bought a couple copies of Superman #75 black bag for me for $30 each or so. I'll never sell those books, not because I'll never get the money back, but because it meant a lot that he went out and bought those books for me. Those were crazy times and I do see a lot of the same thing nowadays.

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