Marilyn Monroe for the win! (Teen-Age Diary Secrets #6 auction)
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Anybody watch this auction on eBay, for a nice-looking (though spine-rolled) copy of Teen-Age Diary Secrets #6?

 

I saw this earlier in the week and thought to myself, "That's an attractive woman and an appealing cover -- I might try to bid on this later." Then yesterday I noticed the bids had skyrocketed to $140, which is astounding for a romance comic. So I looked it up on Overstreet and "aha," it's a St. John comic with some Matt Baker art -- 2 or 3 pages' worth. That must be the reason for the price, I thought. There are some really competitive collectors of Baker art, and those St. John romance comics can be very rare.

 

Then, this morning I looked at the auction.... The price ballooned to $2,355! Turns out there was a bidding war between two people....but why? Let's look a little closer at that woman's face.... Why does she look so familiar... Hmmm, it's a 1949 comic... A certain 23-year-old actress took a break in her stagnant movie career to return to modeling in 1949... A woman originally known as Norma Jeane Mortenson...

 

Yep, it's Marilyn Monroe! Cool!

 

So I checked Overstreet again, and it has no reference to this having Marilyn Monroe on the cover. There is not a single sale of this comic in the Heritage Archives. The Grand Comics Database doesn't mention it being Monroe. There aren't any copies at MileHigh or any other sellers I checked. There's not a single copy of this in the CGC census, though it is a Gerber 5. I ran a few searches on the CGC message forums and as far as I can tell, nobody here has ever mentioned a Marilyn Monroe cover of Teen-Age Diary Secrets. Yet in a Google search there is a 2011 Vanity Fair article that does refer to Marilyn Monroe appearing on the cover of this comic, so apparently it's really her. Plus if you look at the photo of her from the same time period (see below), the hair, sweater and (ahem) torpedo bra are a match.

 

I can only imagine the reaction of the seller, who started the auction at $2.99 and whose previous auctions are primarily for "Vintage Feed Sacks" (!). The brief auction text states, "I found these comic books while cleaning my parents attic." It sounds plausible that this is really the story behind these comics, and this seller was sitting on what appears to be one of the rarest and potentially most valuable of all the St. John romance comics (okay, with the exception of that one with the Baker cover that says "She will do anything to hold ").

 

135011.jpg.766bfedd7ebe9b66cd46eb62c0baa4fa.jpg

135012.jpg.5243f555174a8becda449e50b58864f1.jpg

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Great sleuthing, I'd never heard of her being on a cover either. :applause:

 

So, the implication of the Vanity Fair article is that there is more than one photo cover of her in this series...? None of the others quite look like the same woman.

 

In early, rarely seen glamour photographs by Bruno Bernard, known as Bernard of Hollywood, you see a 20-year-old Norma Jean with an eager smile and wide eyes, doing pinup poses with a very un-pinup expression. It’s hard to believe it’s the same woman who seduced a nation just by whispering through a verse of “Happy Birthday.” Bernard’s photos were used as the covers of the pre-teen pulp series “Teen-age Diary Secrets” (in one, Marilyn wears a snug orange sweater, with the photo caption “I played Kiss and Run”)

 

 

Why does she look so familiar... Hmmm, it's a 1949 comic... A certain 23-year-old actress took a break in her stagnant movie career to return to modeling in 1949... A woman originally known as Norma Jeane Mortenson...

 

So I checked Overstreet again, and it has no reference to this having Marilyn Monroe on the cover. There is not a single sale of this comic in the Heritage Archives. There aren't any copies at MileHigh or any other sellers I checked. I ran a few searches on the CGC message forums and as far as I can tell, nobody here has ever mentioned a Marilyn Monroe cover of Teen-Age Diary Secrets. Yet in a Google search there is a 2011 Vanity Fair article that does refer to Marilyn Monroe appearing on the cover of this comic, so apparently it's really her.

 

I can only imagine the reaction of the seller, who started the auction at $2.99 and whose previous auctions are primarily for "Vintage Feed Sacks" (!). The brief auction text states, "I found these comic books while cleaning my parents attic." It sounds plausible that this is really the story behind these comics, and this seller was sitting on what appears to be one of the rarest and most valuable of all the St. John romance comics (okay, with the exception of that one with the Baker cover that says "She will do anything to hold ").

 

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Great sleuthing, I'd never heard of her being on a cover either. :applause: So, the implication of the Vanity Fair article is that there is more than one photo cover of her in this series...? None of the others quite look like the same woman.

In early, rarely seen glamour photographs by Bruno Bernard, known as Bernard of Hollywood, you see a 20-year-old Norma Jean with an eager smile and wide eyes, doing pinup poses with a very un-pinup expression. It’s hard to believe it’s the same woman who seduced a nation just by whispering through a verse of “Happy Birthday.” Bernard’s photos were used as the covers of the pre-teen pulp series “Teen-age Diary Secrets” (in one, Marilyn wears a snug orange sweater, with the photo caption “I played Kiss and Run”)

Agreed, none of the other women looks like Marilyn. The quoted text is potentially misleading, because it says Bernard's photos were used for those covers, but that could mean the other models were also in Bernard's photos. (Probably the writer was fudging it because he didn't know one way or another whether Monroe appeared on any of the other comics.)

 

By the way, I found another article about Bruno Bernard (which mentions Teen-Age Diary Secrets) in the New York Times archives .

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really nice detective work, thanks for sharing.

 

Edited by kat123

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Thanks for unraveling this mystery. I bid $138, which I thought was reasonable for a spine-rolled copy -- although I also couldn't find another copy in the HA archives or in any of the other usual places, which made me think it was probably scarce despite it's not being broken out as a separate listing in Overstreet. I didn't go back to the auction after I was outbid and was astounded to get the "Sorry you didn't win" e-mail from eBay this morning with the final price.

 

I hope the winner can convince the seller not to mail it to him loose in a manila envelope! :D

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Thanks for unraveling this mystery. I bid $138, which I thought was reasonable for a spine-rolled copy -- although I also couldn't find another copy in the HA archives or in any of the other usual places, which made me think it was probably scarce despite it's not being broken out as a separate listing in Overstreet. I didn't go back to the auction after I was outbid and was astounded to get the "Sorry you didn't win" e-mail from eBay this morning with the final price. I hope the winner can convince the seller not to mail it to him loose in a manila envelope! :D

Yeah no kidding! At $138 you must have been last night's underbidder.

 

It looks like avid Marilyn Monroe collectors have known about this comic for a long time, while the comic-book collecting community has been mostly unaware of it. Online I found a catalog of M.M. memorabilia from an auction in the early 2000's that had this comic and listed its value in the $400-$500 range.

 

I was poking around a little more on Google and found a reference to a low-grade copy of this comic selling on eBay in 2010 for a mere $52.09. I feel sorry for the seller, who made the mistake of listing it with a typo in the main title ("Marilyn Mooe") and probably limited the bidders who found it via a search. Here's what he wrote in his description:

 

"Ultra Rare Vintage 1949 Complete Teen Age Diary Secrets Comic Book with a young Marilyn Monroe featured on the cover. This is one of my prized possesions and I hate to let it go but times are tough. I would grade this scarce issue as overall good condition. The main defect is the cover is detached at the bottom staple. The top part of the cover is still attached and the comic displays very nicely. There is also a crease in the lower right hand corner. I cannot stress enough how rare this early Marilyn Monroe comic is. This is the holy grail so don't miss out on adding this to your collection as I seriously doubt you will find another one anytime soon. Gorgeous early scarce Marilyn Monroe item. Very low opening bid of only $9.99 with absolutely No Reserve. Please be sure and check out my other auctions. Thank you for your bids and your support."

 

Anyway, it has been fun learning about this. Maybe word will reach the Overstreet editors and they'll update the listing in the next edition?

135076.jpg.b730806a6c7c174512f1ccdd33de9bfa.jpg

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Way to do your homework! Interesting info on that comic. I wouldn't have known just by looking at it either.

 

I hope the winner can convince the seller not to mail it to him loose in a manila envelope!

 

I once won a STARTLING TERROR TALES #12 in FN+ condition, and the seller sent it in no bag or board, between 2 pieces of taped cardboard. By the time it got to me the book's spine had hit the tape and ruined the black cover. I returned it and still haven't found another copy.

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Thanks for unraveling this mystery. I bid $138, which I thought was reasonable for a spine-rolled copy -- although I also couldn't find another copy in the HA archives or in any of the other usual places, which made me think it was probably scarce despite it's not being broken out as a separate listing in Overstreet. I didn't go back to the auction after I was outbid and was astounded to get the "Sorry you didn't win" e-mail from eBay this morning with the final price. I hope the winner can convince the seller not to mail it to him loose in a manila envelope! :D

Yeah no kidding! At $138 you must have been last night's underbidder.

 

It looks like avid Marilyn Monroe collectors have known about this comic for a long time, while the comic-book collecting community has been mostly unaware of it. Online I found a catalog of M.M. memorabilia from an auction in the early 2000's that had this comic and listed its value in the $400-$500 range.

 

I was poking around a little more on Google and found a reference to a low-grade copy of this comic selling in 2010 for a mere $52.09. I feel sorry for the seller, who made the mistake of listing it with a typo in the main title ("Marilyn Mooe") and probably limited the bidders who found it via a search. Here's what he wrote in his description:

 

"Ultra Rare Vintage 1949 Complete Teen Age Diary Secrets Comic Book with a young Marilyn Monroe featured on the cover. This is one of my prized possesions and I hate to let it go but times are tough. I would grade this scarce issue as overall good condition. The main defect is the cover is detached at the bottom staple. The top part of the cover is still attached and the comic displays very nicely. There is also a crease in the lower right hand corner. I cannot stress enough how rare this early Marilyn Monroe comic is. This is the holy grail so don't miss out on adding this to your collection as I seriously doubt you will find another one anytime soon. Gorgeous early scarce Marilyn Monroe item. Very low opening bid of only $9.99 with absolutely No Reserve. Please be sure and check out my other auctions. Thank you for your bids and your support."

 

Anyway, it has been fun learning about this. Maybe word will reach the Overstreet editors and they'll update the listing in the next edition?

 

Marilyn Mooe?! You would think he would at least proof the title of his listing, particularly since the rest of his listing appears well written.

 

Overstreet should be updated, but they can be very slooow in making changes, even when multiple people suggest it to them.

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Way to do your homework! Interesting info on that comic. I wouldn't have known just by looking at it either.

 

I hope the winner can convince the seller not to mail it to him loose in a manila envelope!

 

I once won a STARTLING TERROR TALES #12 in FN+ condition, and the seller sent it in no bag or board, between 2 pieces of taped cardboard. By the time it got to me the book's spine had hit the tape and ruined the black cover. I returned it and still haven't found another copy.

 

For that reason, I'm always cautious about bidding on comics sold by non-comic book sellers. They either ignore requests for proper packaging or, as in your case, their attempts to package well do more harm than good.

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By the way, I found another article about Bernard (which mentions Teen-Age Diary Secrets) in the New York Times archives .

 

It would be interesting to try to identify the other covers, as the implication here is that he was photographing several women at the time who would later become well-known models or actresses.

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By the way, I found another article about Bernard (which mentions Teen-Age Diary Secrets) in the New York Times archives .

 

It would be interesting to try to identify the other covers, as the implication here is that he was photographing several women at the time who would later become well-known models or actresses.

 

I'm assuming that the Personal Romances referred to in the article isn't a comic ... or is it? hm

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Well all it takes is two to drive a sale, but not necessarily a market. I don't expect Overstreet to revise their numbers anytime soon!

 

The only credited Marilyn comic book cover that I know of. That Sweethearts run also has a credited Elizabeth Taylor cover.

 

IMG_4704_zpsbcce41d1.jpg

 

 

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Way to do your homework! Interesting info on that comic. I wouldn't have known just by looking at it either.

 

I hope the winner can convince the seller not to mail it to him loose in a manila envelope!

 

I once won a STARTLING TERROR TALES #12 in FN+ condition, and the seller sent it in no bag or board, between 2 pieces of taped cardboard. By the time it got to me the book's spine had hit the tape and ruined the black cover. I returned it and still haven't found another copy.

 

For that reason, I'm always cautious about bidding on comics sold by non-comic book sellers. They either ignore requests for proper packaging or, as in your case, their attempts to package well do more harm than good.

 

Yeah, that's a smart move. This must have been 12-13 years ago, when I was just beginning to get into golden age stuff. Yep, been looking to snag another mid-grade copy of that comic for THAT long!

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Dang! That went super high. I've sold a copy before in the past that I think was a VG- and it only went for $200. Wow, I wish this would have been my comic to sell! I do have a TADS 6 and I would sell mine for $2,300. So, if you were the underbidder and you'd like mine for this price please PM me lol.

 

 

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Well all it takes is two to drive a sale, but not necessarily a market. I don't expect Overstreet to revise their numbers anytime soon!

 

The only credited Marilyn comic book cover that I know of. That Sweethearts run also has a credited Elizabeth Taylor cover.

 

IMG_4704_zpsbcce41d1.jpg

 

 

 

Noooo Marilyn watch out !

 

That Widmark creep is gonna push you down the stairs !

 

 

 

Sorry,Kiss of death scene flashback there.

Edited by montrealfilmguy

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I hope the winner can convince the seller not to mail it to him loose in a manila envelope! :D

 

I won a couple books from the seller a couple weeks ago. They were packed well but it appears that since they didn't have comic bags, each comic was placed in a separate manilla file folder. It did appear that they attempted to handle the books carefully.

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Speaking of somewhat rare romance books. This auction ends in a couple hours if anyone is interested in a GCE 15?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200900338779?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

i been watching this since it posted last week. i sold my 2 copies so needed to add this book again, not bad for $177. sold my cgc 3.0 for $650 private sale.

 

Hello Joanna :hi:

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Non-comic collectors are sometimes willing to pay way more than comic collectors for a cross over collectible book, and are less concerned with grade. I recall in the early days of ebay a low grade Ronald McDonald comic selling for $100, when it had a guide value of something like $3 - though it looks like you'd find one for much cheaper today.

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I've known about that Diary Secrets for some time and had a friend actively looking for it- it is pretty scarce. Since I don't collect MM, I'd never pay the premium it always commanded. That seller was pretty lucky, the 2 right people bid on it.

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