The "Newsstand Edition" Phenomenon
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9 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Oh God. 

http://jonmcclurescomics.com/history.html

There aren't enough face palms. 

Why does the serious scholarship, research, and quest for the facts get shoved aside in favor of hype, nonsense, and lies?

Answer: $$$.

I can't believe what I'm reading, here. It's just total nonsense. Here's an example from the above, of a call Mr. McClure claims to have had with no less than Bob Overstreet:

"I told him I had discovered several hundred Marvel comics that nobody knows about. His response was immediate: Thats impossible! Marvel is the most heavily-researched comics company ever, he said. I offered to have proof on his desk the next day. I asked him if I was right, if I could join the team, and he said, Absolutely. When I called the next day he was genuinely surprised and I have been an advisor to the Overstreet Guide ever since."

Except this isn't true. It's never been true. How do I know...? Because this information has appeared in the OPG since almost the time these books were published. MANY people knew these books existed, INCLUDING the very same Bob Overstreet who Mr. McClure claims he was talking to.

What wasn't known was the SCOPE of these variants. What wasn't known was that these variants encompassed every single book Marvel published for standard distribution. THAT'S what wasn't known. Not that nobody knew about them AT ALL.

And the way these people throw around their credentials, as if that makes them immune to error. Sadly, it works. Ever question your doctor...? 

I liked this part:

"The best definition I know for a Variant comic book is (2) anything reprinted for distribution under the same title with some changes to the cover and/or contents"

I knew he wrote an article on variants for the OPG and I know it didn't catch on. Now I know why... :facepalm:

You should definitely love this part, in which he contradicts his discovery claim:

"Marvels 30 and 35 cent Cover Price Variantsare now among the hottest of all Bronze Age comics.The 30 cent Variantssell at 300% of the price of regular 25 cent editions at a minimum,and up to 1000% or higher in some cases. The scarcer 35 cent Variantssell at 600% of the price of regular 30 cent editions at a minimum,and up to 2000% or higher in some cases. The scarce horror, war, and western reprint Variantssell for a premium in any grade. Strangely enough, despite mentions in fanzines of the day, no one cared. The Comic Reader #128(3/76), p. 5, reports that certain test areas of the country have been receiving 30 cent Marvels for a couple of months already[the] Grand Rapids, Michigan area is one. Marvel Review, a fanzine from mid-1976, begins in issue #1 reviewing May 1976 Marvels, and issue #2 reviews June Marvels, showing covers in B&W, including Inhumans #5 and Ka-Zar #16, noted on p. 19 as: the first of the 30 cent books from Marvel. Both books were another experiment within an experiment, as all copies have 30 cent covers and are not Variants. Collector/dealer Dan Cusimano publicized a letter from Sol Brodsky confirming that the Star Wars #1-4 Variants were indeed experimental."

I found this:

"Beginning in January 1981 and sporadically continuing to at least March 1983, DC published comics with 4 page slick ad inserts in some titles, and because the ad inserts were in all of the Newsstand and Direct Market Editions, they are incomplete without the inserts and thus not Variants; regular paper inserts exist outside of this time period that are also not Variants."

to be amusing when compared to his notes on ASM 238 in the 2018 Price Guide on the rarecomics blog:

"Jon notes: This book is NOT incomplete without Tattooz. It was printed in a standard, old fashioned way, independent of the Tattooz inserted later just like Mark Jewelers ads from the 1970s were inserted. Should we call Incredible Hulk #181 without a Mark Jewelers insert incomplete? I believe this problem originates from the fact that the comic’s cover mentions Tattooz, as does the cover to Fantastic Four #252."

20 hours ago, shadroch said:

McClure says he told Bob about hundreds of books that didn't exist. You say its impossible because everyone knew a few of them existed, but admit no one realized the extent of how many variants actually existed.  Same you pull everytime someone posts something you don't agree with.

Anyway, as I said. It was a fun thread for awhile. 

McClure may have been responsible for popularizing them, but in no way did he discover them.

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50 minutes ago, Lazyboy said:

"Marvels 30 and 35 cent Cover Price Variantsare now among the hottest of all Bronze Age comics.The 30 cent Variantssell at 300% of the price of regular 25 cent editions at a minimum,and up to 1000% or higher in some cases. The scarcer 35 cent Variantssell at 600% of the price of regular 30 cent editions at a minimum,and up to 2000% or higher in some cases. The scarce horror, war, and western reprint Variantssell for a premium in any grade. Strangely enough, despite mentions in fanzines of the day, no one cared. The Comic Reader #128(3/76), p. 5, reports that certain test areas of the country have been receiving 30 cent Marvels for a couple of months already[the] Grand Rapids, Michigan area is one. Marvel Review, a fanzine from mid-1976, begins in issue #1 reviewing May 1976 Marvels, and issue #2 reviews June Marvels, showing covers in B&W, including Inhumans #5 and Ka-Zar #16, noted on p. 19 as: the first of the 30 cent books from Marvel. Both books were another experiment within an experiment, as all copies have 30 cent covers and are not Variants. Collector/dealer Dan Cusimano publicized a letter from Sol Brodsky confirming that the Star Wars #1-4 Variants were indeed experimental."

This is wonderful information, thank you for finding and reprinting it here. I'm tucking that one away in the notes. 

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I quite enjoyed the early discussion yesterday about what we should call things and sharing information and our views. I don't mind friendly banter or even seeing the odd ego poked once in a while, mine included, but this thread has turned very sour now. So many threads seem to go this way lately. :frown:

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13 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Is he related in some way? 

I hope @The_Investor will return to answer the question of whether he is connected to that blog in any capacity, since I apparently am not allowed to do so. meh:eyeroll::facepalm:

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5 hours ago, shadroch said:

When it comes to companies like Image, were newsstand editions distributed widely or only regionally? 

Image newsstands were widely distributed.

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8 minutes ago, Lazyboy said:

Image newsstands were widely distributed.

True, particularly in the early days of Image, however, they are a small fraction of the copies in existence.  As a result, I'm curious whether you believe there should be no difference in the market prices for Image direct editions vs. Image newsstand editions, or whether there should be a difference... and how much?

A specific example:  If Spawn #1 direct exists in quantities 20 times higher than Spawn #1 newsstand, what should the price of a Spawn #1 newsstand be if an identical Spawn #1 direct edition sells for $8?  How would the price change if the ratio was 40 direct for every 1 newsstand?

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5 minutes ago, valiantman said:

True, particularly in the early days of Image, however, they are a small fraction of the copies in existence.  As a result, I'm curious whether you believe there should be no difference in the market prices for Image direct editions vs. Image newsstand editions, or whether there should be a difference... and how much?

A specific example:  If Spawn #1 direct exists in quantities 20 times higher than Spawn #1 newsstand, what should the price of a Spawn #1 newsstand be if an identical Spawn #1 direct edition sells for $8?  How would the price change if the ratio was 40 direct for every 1 newsstand?

That depends. How many people seek out defaced comics?

What if only 1 in 50 Spawn #1 collectors are specifically interested in a copy that has a white box filled with a bunch of black marks that covers part of the art that is visible on other copies?

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5 hours ago, Lazyboy said:

That depends. How many people seek out defaced comics?

What if only 1 in 50 Spawn #1 collectors are specifically interested in a copy that has a white box filled with a bunch of black marks that covers part of the art that is visible on other copies?

Nice dodge.

Some people want Spawn #1 without the barcode and some want it with the barcode.  Some want both.  If the outrageous supply of direct editions still garners $8 a copy, and there are significantly fewer with the barcode... is it that painful for you to admit it's perfectly reasonable that the barcode one deserves a premium?

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I've mentioned in the moderns heating up on Ebay about Image newsstands and others have brought up other company newsstand editions such as Malibu and Now. I've been buying any issues I find of Image and Malibu that I can find with barcodes. I believe there will be a market for them in the future and there is some activity on many newsstand versions. Print runs are scarce and if there is a difference, like paper quality and/or price differences, the collectors who need to own everything will jump on these issues. That also goes for the Marvel and DC. Books need not be from the 2000s to have activity. 1990s saw many lower print runs overall and that meant newsstands were even sparser. Throwing a buck or two at these books is no biggie, and I'm sure I'll get my return on them, even if it's not a fortune. I see several people on here seem to only justify buying/selling so called variants if there is a larger reward, meaning hundreds of dollars. To me, if I can buy something for $1 and get $10 for it, that's fine with me. 10x return on an investment is great.

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Did Columbus discover America? Plenty of people knew about it, some even lived here but he certainly popularized it.

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2 hours ago, Philflound said:

I've mentioned in the moderns heating up on Ebay about Image newsstands and others have brought up other company newsstand editions such as Malibu and Now. I've been buying any issues I find of Image and Malibu that I can find with barcodes. I believe there will be a market for them in the future and there is some activity on many newsstand versions. Print runs are scarce and if there is a difference, like paper quality and/or price differences, the collectors who need to own everything will jump on these issues. That also goes for the Marvel and DC. Books need not be from the 2000s to have activity. 1990s saw many lower print runs overall and that meant newsstands were even sparser. Throwing a buck or two at these books is no biggie, and I'm sure I'll get my return on them, even if it's not a fortune. I see several people on here seem to only justify buying/selling so called variants if there is a larger reward, meaning hundreds of dollars. To me, if I can buy something for $1 and get $10 for it, that's fine with me. 10x return on an investment is great.

Well put. Opinions will forever range (and rage), but the market over time is always true north.

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21 hours ago, xcomic said:

Hello everyone, repeating here my below post from over at the "please introduce yourselves" area:

 

Hello Everybody!   My name is Benjamin Nobel.  I don't use my CGC account in the message board area that I'd be someone you'd recognize, so this appears to be the appropriate thread for you to meet "xcomic" as the dormant handle I randomly chose back when I signed up.  Hence the reason I'm posting in this particular spot.  But the reason I am posting at all is because things have recently been posted on the CGC boards about me that I felt needed a response (any open minded individual will hopefully realize there are two sides to every story, and it is not always is it necessary to chime in with your side, but in this particular case I felt I must).

One of the ways I participate in our great hobby is by maintaining a blog.  My blog is the one recently mentioned in the "Newsstand Edition" thread.  Some might not approach comics the same way I do or have my same interests or agree with my opinions and collecting conclusions, but the response to my blog in the aggregate has been overwhelmingly positive and has introduced me to some of the great minds in the niche areas that attracted my focus.  I even got the chance to collaborate with some of these incredible people that I've met, on a recent project we feel will be a great benefit to the hobby.

Unlike a book or a printed article, or a static website, each of my blog posts on Wordpress by contrast is open for public comments at the bottom (I give you this background in the context of why I'm here, so bear with me).  That's a little daunting when the whole world wants their link included to their site, and you wouldn't believe the sheer volume of comments that fall under that link-spreading category with boilerplate remarks.  But fortunately, the way Wordpress works, that firehose of comments (including those from "bots" and those under bogus email addresses) is filtered first:  Wordpress automatically attempts detect the ones they think are "real" and emails those to me for my moderation/approval, but does not give me an email notification about the ones their algorithms decide are not real.   Only once I approve an initial comment does it then appear online.  Depending on how busy I am with work and family, typically at least once a week I have a chance to review and react to the comments that come through.  I rarely if ever check the ones that Wordpress auto-filters out, but occasionally when someone has given me a heads-up that their comment never appeared, I'll find it somehow got there into that filtered-out folder.

When one of those Wordpress emails comes through alerting me to a new comment they judge to be "real," I always approach all such comments left on my blog with the baseline of assuming positive intent on the part of the person leaving the comment.  Sometimes, however, I ascertain that the person on the other side of the conversation actually has negative intent or has a personality I would clash with or otherwise want to avoid.  Let me give an example of behavior reflective of a personality I might want to avoid, using the following real life scenario:  Have you ever purchased a comic on eBay?  Have you ever messaged a seller across eBay's message platform?  How would you feel if you were having what you thought was a private conversation with a seller across eBay, and revealed something personal to them such as how you were just laid off from your job, and the area where you live, and then later learned that the eBay seller had been posting your private eBay messages to the CGC boards verbatim complete with your eBay handle and your name, the whole time, without your initial knowledge, and then told you later that those posts were happening?  An acquaintance told me of this precise type of occurrence, sharing a link into these very CGC boards, and I learned from reading that link what the CGC handle was for the person (the eBay seller).  Note: I'm not taking sides on their dispute, just observing the posting behavior of the seller.  Keep this story in your mind for context, knowing that I myself had heard it and had it for my context, as I tell you what comes next...

I came to learn that two of the different "handles" that had left comments on my blog -- giving the outward appearance of being two separate people instead of one -- were actually really one person; and what's more, they were yet a third/different handle over here on the CGC boards, i.e. their handle here matches neither of the handles they used when commenting on my blog...  I only learned they matched up to this board handle when someone later shared a link with me into the boards, showing that back then as I had been conversing with this person in my comment section, they had meanwhile been posting our conversation to the CGC boards the whole time and talking negatively about me here behind my back.  Guess what?  That person's handle is the same one as the eBay story you kept in your mind for context.  This is a perfect example of a person who might be extremely knowledgeable about comics -- might post on average 11 times per day for 12 years running and have a ton of experience -- but where I will choose to discontinue conversing with the person across my blog comment section, not to close my mind to alternate views, but rather to shut out a personality I find toxic to interact with.  I did in fact sent a Wordpress reply to this person telling them I would not be allowing further comments (and why) but I have no way of knowing if they received that reply.

I have reviewed some of the recent posts by this person and noticed they opted to drag Jon McClure's name through the mud and belittle his contributions to the hobby and his discoveries about 35 cent variants.  Seeing this happen, I hope any reasonable observer here will now understand why I did not want to welcome this kind of behavior "in my own home" and converse with this person further -- my blog is a little like my online home and when you comment there you are my visitor; there is no reason I should allow you to overstay your visit if you start bad-mouthing my friends and people I respect or start "getting up in my face"... would you allow that behavior in your home?  Sometimes you have to say goodbye to an unruly guest and shut the door.

Excepting this one person from these boards who I wish to discontinue conversing with, please know that everybody else is welcome to reach out to me and leave your own comments (ones that you have composed yourself and are respectful), on my blog, should you wish to do so (understanding please that given this recent situation plus the increased blog traffic in connection with the recent project I mentioned, that I might naturally be suspicious that any new commenter might be this same person under yet another handle or through a courier -- I noticed over the course of their communications with me that not only had they commented on my blog under two different handles while using a different third handle here, they also maintain at least two unique email addresses as shown by Wordpress; I will not violate their privacy by revealing the addresses but I can confirm to you that they used at least the two I saw; I believe that it only takes a working email address to establish an alias on most public message boards which is one of the reasons I have avoided public message boards -- you never know how many actual individuals is behind a chorus of voices, and over on a public Yahoo board many years ago I once had the unpleasant surprise of discovering through observing a posting error by a multi-aliased-individual that such behavior is unfortunately quite commonplace on public boards).

My next post here after this one, is going to be a reply to a critique of a post I made on the topic of Amazing Spider-Man #400 (understanding the true newsstand edition).  This particular book isn't one I collected myself, but among topics I talk about on the blog, later newsstand comics are a definite focus, and the situation with #400 is both interesting and frequently-asked, so I posted about it.  In general, I particularly like newsstand comics with cover prices that differ from the corresponding direct editions, where various "classes" of such newsstand comics were being overlooked by other collectors, to the point where I could routinely find the demonstrably-more-rare cover price variant out there for sale in the marketplace for "regular price" -- in other words, cases where the seller knew only that they owned a particular issue number of a particular title and nothing further about the newsstand vs. direct edition difference (and therefore they "mis-listed" their more-rare newsstand type for sale with an ask at the going rate for the regular direct edition type, without any indication in the title or description that the pictured comic was actually the rare cover price variant, when the picture clearly showed that it was).

My posts advocate this "relative value approach" to collecting, with special emphasis on later newsstand comics as a broad category, one that I feel is still being under-advocated, not-typically-broken-out-by-CGC (although progress is being made), and under-appreciated as a niche -- think about how many thousands of comic retailers out there are educating their customers all about "retailer incentive variants" and charging through the nose for them while giving a strong "pitch" about why they are so desirable, but by contrast, very few out there in the hobby are advocating newsstand comics and articulating why they like them; that's what I've tried to do as someone who now counts myself in the newsstand-preference-camp: to study and "make the case" -- from one collector to another -- for different groups/types, such as the Type 1A 75 cent cover price (and other price) newsstand comics of the 1980's.  [Before closing this post I'll answer an anticipated question: comics are a hobby for me only; I do not earn my living in the field of comics; when I buy and sell it is to advance my own collection; my goal is to collect comics that make me happy and share with other collectors what it was that drew me to be interested in the comics I like to collect].

Sincerely,
- Ben

Ok, I think there's an accusation against an established member of the forum in there. 

It sounds like you're accusing someone of creating shill accounts ( a major faux pas here), but it's hard to tell amongst the mealy-mouthed text. 

This is your second post, ever, and it seems to be an accusation with a basis that is eluding me in the fog. 

Is there any chance there's a 18 word version that summarizes this 1800 word version?

Speak plainly.

 

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11 minutes ago, comix4fun said:

Ok, I think there's an accusation against an established member of the forum in there. 

It sounds like you're accusing someone of creating shill accounts ( a major faux pas here), but it's hard to tell amongst the mealy-mouthed text. 

This is your second post, ever, and it seems to be an accusation with a basis that is eluding me in the fog. 

Is there any chance there's a 18 word version that summarizes this 1800 word version?

Speak plainly.

 

He's talking about RMA that basically said subjects discussed in said blog seemed inaccurate. No where in his reply does he defend the blog and only states that an unknown party (rma) was hard to talk to. He never calls RMA out but never defends his article either. We all know RMA is passionate and stands by what he believes, which is respectful when I've messaged.

In summary, please don't talk about me on the internet behind my back. 

Hopefully that's short and concise. 

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3 minutes ago, TLDR said:

But they don't deserve a premium. The people who would pay more deserve to have some sense smacked into them.  It's embarassing that comic collectors are this stupid.

Except who are you to say what gets a premium or not? The market determines prices, not you. If you feel like selling Image newsstands for a buck a piece, send me a pm and I'll gladly oblige you.

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10 minutes ago, ADAMANTIUM said:

He's talking about RMA that basically said subjects discussed in said blog seemed inaccurate. No where in his reply does he defend the blog and only states that an unknown party (rma) was hard to talk to. He never calls RMA out but never defends his article either. We all know RMA is passionate and stands by what he believes, which is respectful when I've messaged.

In summary, please don't talk about me on the internet behind my back. 

Hopefully that's short and concise. 

I wonder why he couldn't say that.  His words were minced so completely they were rendered nearly subatomic. 

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Just now, comix4fun said:

I wonder why he couldn't say that.  His words were minced so completely they were rendered nearly subatomic. 

I think because RMA is usually elaborate, this guy was trying to seem smart :insane:

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3 minutes ago, Philflound said:

Except who are you to say what gets a premium or not? The market determines prices, not you. If you feel like selling Image newsstands for a buck a piece, send me a pm and I'll gladly oblige you.

I think the crux of the argument is, it's acceptable for people to advocate and espouse opinions as to what they believe is more or less rare, more or less valuable, more or less desirable, but what they should not do is assert their opinions as fact or or as unassailable, and what they really can't do is use questionable, incomplete, or incorrect information as a support for those opinions that they seek to be deemed unassailable. 

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7 minutes ago, ADAMANTIUM said:

I think because RMA is usually elaborate, this guy was trying to seem smart :insane:

Well then.....let's go to the judges for a ruling on whether he succeeded....

 

Judges?   What say you?

 

 

giphy.gif.fdf5b4da6d8162182248d3ea6025c2f7.gif

 

 

Oh, he was so close. 

Edited by comix4fun

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2 hours ago, comix4fun said:

Ok, I think there's an accusation against an established member of the forum in there. 

It sounds like you're accusing someone of creating shill accounts ( a major faux pas here), but it's hard to tell amongst the mealy-mouthed text. 

This is your second post, ever, and it seems to be an accusation with a basis that is eluding me in the fog. 

Is there any chance there's a 18 word version that summarizes this 1800 word version?

Speak plainly.

 

He isn't wrong though. 2c

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