Marvel January 1962 'Black Circle' Variants
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Afternoon :)

According to Mikes Comic Newsstand, Marvel produced only 12 books cover dated January 1962:

844739771_January1962x12.thumb.PNG.0ac5d0840f26ebd034a0fe1caf7db2c5.PNG

 

This is handy, as that is what my Marvel UK Price Variant spreadsheet also says - 12 books (always good to cross reference your research!). The cover prices for these books are as follows:

  • Amazing Adult Fantasy #8 - 10c
  • Fantastic Four #2 - 10c
  • Gunsmoke Western #68 - 12c
  • Journey into Mystery #76 - 12c
  • Kid Colt Outlaw #102 - 10c
  • Linda Carter, Student Nurse #3 - 10c
  • Love Romances #97 -12c
  • Millie the Model #106 - 10c
  • Strange Tales #92 - 10c
  • Tales of Suspense #25 - 10c
  • Tales to Astonish #27 - 10c
  • Teen-Age Romance #85 - 12c

So, we have 8 books priced at 10c (which would become 12c at the next issue) and four priced at 12c. Of the four that are priced at 12c, the following three have what are commonly referred to as 'Black Circle Variants':

  • Gunsmoke Western #68 - 12c regular / 12c Black Circle
  • Journey into Mystery #76 - 12c regular / 12c Black Circle
  • Love Romances #97 -12c regular / 12c Black Circle

Teen-Age Romance #85 - priced at 12c - appears to have only one standard issue type in circulation as far as I can see.

Here are what the three 'Black Circle' variants look like:

65955222_GunsmokeWestern68.thumb.PNG.7cf88ea7ad28b426f5540f17fc6d9106.PNG

527259835_LoveRomances97.thumb.PNG.6492c64019ab89e8e0186cf91e4146fd.PNG

417103429_JourneyintoMystery76.thumb.PNG.95b08a0076b1d03fe6ee78bb69e91693.PNG

 

When studied closely, you can make out a ten cent price under the black circle so the assumption is that these were printed with an incorrect 10c price and then corrected to 12c:

1044704065_LoveRomances9712cBlackCircleVariant(Jan62)CopyB2.jpg.a5c167c86cd8e5a540126f717c694d77.jpg

 

So here are some questions:

  1. Why was 10c considered to be the 'wrong' price for these three issues, when the other 8 January 1962 issues have only uncorrected 10c copies in circulation?
  2. Is it not odd that the error - if that is what it was - was noticed and then corrected on three different comics? All three have both corrected and uncorrected 12c copies available - would it not make sense that the error would have been spotted on only one book, and therefore only one 'Black Circle Variant' would exist?
  3. Will Teen-Age Romance #85 yield a Black Circle variant at some point, having a regular 12c price (the only type in circulation as far as I can see)?

Turning to Journey into Mystery #76, you can see that there appear to be three copies in circulation:

  • A corrected Black Circle 12c copy 
  • A regular 12c copy with a thin font
  • A regular 12c copy with a bold font

The bold font version sits on the GCD and is the only example I have been able to find - all other copies are either the corrected version or the regular thin font version. Could the GCD bold font version be a mock up of some sort / not a real comic? The GCD crop all images which makes it difficult to identify if a comic is a real book. The image is poor quality:

23834.jpg.10e204093a759113cd72ee7c4bdaf5c5.jpg

Does that look real?

I've been looking at these books for some time in conjunction with my US Price Font Variant research, and gathering images where I can. Does anyone have anything further to add? Are there only three of these variants and does anyone know why they exist?

Cheers :wishluck:

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Get Marwood & I said:

So here are some questions:

  1. Why was 10c considered to be the 'wrong' price for these three issues, when the other 8 January 1962 issues have only uncorrected 10c copies in circulation?

 

Nice research.  It's worth remembering that comics sharing a publication month were released over a four week time period.  It appears to be the case that during the printing of books over this time period, Marvel committed to increasing the price.  It could explain why some Jan '62 books were printed mostly or entirely with 10 cent prices, some with 10 cent prices blacked out and corrected to the new emergent cover price, and finally the last of the issues to reach the printer with mostly or entirely 12 cent prices without the need for blackout.  In other words, the ultimate cover price/re-price may have depended on when during the printing month a print run was made.

Edited by namisgr

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http://www.recalledcomics.com/Marvel10CentBlackedOutVariants.php

 

The website above has the following to say:

 

"In the Fall (Autumn) of 1961, Atlas (Marvel) decided to increase comic prices by 2¢, from 10¢ to 12¢, across all issues with published dates from January 1962 onwards. Unfortunately, at the time of the price increase, Atlas' printer (Eastern Color Printing Co.) had already gone to press on three of the issues, which were due to be distributed in early November; these were:

  • Gunsmoke Western #68
  • Journey into Mystery #76
  • Love Romances #97

For these the black printing plates were switched to the new price and production continued. For the comics that were already printed with the 10¢ price, these were over-printed, blacking out the 10¢ price and printing 12¢ close by"

 

In my first post I note that Marvel produced 12 January 1962 issues. If 8 of them are priced at 10c, why were they allowed to pass based on the theory above? Why were they not overprinted with black circles and 12c prices? You can only assume that they had already shipped, or that overprinting the lot would prove too costly. 

So the theory would be:

  1. 12 January 1962 books planned at 10c
  2. 8 titles are run off at 10c, prior to the 'we've changed our prices' advice
  3. 3 titles are halfway through when the price change advice arrives:
    • They stop the runs and replace the prices with a 12c template (hence the 'regular' 12c copies) 
    • For the copies already printed at 10c, they rerun them with the black circle / 12c overprint
  4. Teen-Age Romance #85, the twelfth book, hasn't printed yet so the full compliment are run off at 12c

That would make sense.

It doesn't explain the JIM #76 position though? 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, namisgr said:

Nice research.  It's worth remembering that comics sharing a publication month were released over a four week time period.  It appears to be the case that during the printing of books over this time period, Marvel committed to increasing the price.  It could explain why some Jan '62 books were printed mostly or entirely with 10 cent prices, some with 10 cent prices blacked out and corrected to the new emergent cover price, and finally the last of the issues to reach the printer with mostly or entirely 12 cent prices without the need for blackout.

I was typing as you posted! :)

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I have never seen a 12 cent in Bold font (as you call it)  on a JIM76 and I have been looking for several years since I saw it in the GCD.

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5 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

So the theory would be:

  1. 12 January 1962 books planned at 10c
  2. 8 titles are run off at 10c, prior to the 'we've changed our prices' advice
  3. 3 titles are halfway through when the price change advice arrives:
    • They stop the runs and replace the prices with a 12c template (hence the 'regular' 12c copies) 
    • For the copies already printed at 10c, they rerun them with the black circle / 12c overprint
  4. Teen-Age Romance #85, the twelfth book, hasn't printed yet so the full compliment are run off at 12c

That would make sense.

It doesn't explain the JIM #76 position though? 

(thumbsu

With FF #1 hitting most news stands in August 1961, as judged by the copies with arrival dates, it would follow that FF #2 would have hit the stands in October 1961.  That would suggest it was one of the first titles bearing the January 1962 cover date to be printed and released for sale, and would fit with copies having only the 10 cent cover circle without any blacked out 12 cent copies.

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5 minutes ago, bc said:

I have never seen a 12 cent in Bold font (as you call it)  on a JIM76 and I have been looking for several years since I saw it in the GCD.

Never say never, but I think it's a mock up. It just doesn't look right, and I would expect the price to be in black, and not the same as the cover background - agree?

23834.jpg.e6174b4422b91e60ab3ffbeed7d7d9fd.jpg

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One of the reasons for posting this is that I want to differentiate these from the 13 known US Price Font Variants:

 

I think they are different books altogether, warranting their own separate place in history, so won't be including them in that work. 

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2 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

Never say never, but I think it's a mock up. It just doesn't look right, and I would expect the price to be in black, and not the same as the cover background - agree?

23834.jpg.e6174b4422b91e60ab3ffbeed7d7d9fd.jpg

I agree that the 12 cent bold font should be black as seen in all your other examples.

I've also been looking for a non-black circle 10 cent copy, but that hasn't appeared yet either.

 

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4 minutes ago, bc said:

I agree that the 12 cent bold font should be black as seen in all your other examples.

I've also been looking for a non-black circle 10 cent copy, but that hasn't appeared yet either.

 

Cheers BC

If I'm right with this operational speculation...

22 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

 

  1. 12 January 1962 books planned at 10c
  2. 8 titles are run off at 10c, prior to the 'we've changed our prices' advice
  3. 3 titles are halfway through when the price change advice arrives:
    • They stop the runs and replace the prices with a 12c template (hence the 'regular' 12c copies) 
    • For the copies already printed at 10c, they rerun them with the black circle / 12c overprint
  4. Teen-Age Romance #85, the twelfth book, hasn't printed yet so the full compliment are run off at 12c

...we won't see one. 

A 10c JIM #76 that is.

There's a pence one though. Wonder how the printing of that entered the production mix.... 

76.thumb.jpg.96010354b3628633a5cacff74ca262bc.jpg

 

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1 minute ago, Get Marwood & I said:

Cheers BC

If I'm right with this operational speculation...

...we won't see one. 

A 10c JIM #76 that is.

There's a pence one though. Wonder how the printing of that entered the production mix.... 

76.thumb.jpg.96010354b3628633a5cacff74ca262bc.jpg

 

I actually own a pence copy already - had to get all three :)

Then I saw the pic in the GCD of the 12 cent bold font and I have been looking for that for several years. The more I look at the GCD pic, the more I agree that it is likely a mock-up. 

I have some Canadian Timely's that the GCD requested pics for their site. They rejected a couple pics because they were not clear enough (so I had to scan them instead of using the Polaroid). Maybe we should ask where they got the pic (hope they keep track of that) to determine if it is legitimate or speculation. Let me see if I can find that exchange in my old postings to get some contact info....

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Just now, bc said:

I actually own a pence copy already - had to get all three :)

Then I saw the pic in the GCD of the 12 cent bold font and I have been looking for that for several years. The more I look at the GCD pic, the more I agree that it is likely a mock-up. 

I have some Canadian Timely's that the GCD requested pics for their site. They rejected a couple pics because they were not clear enough (so I had to scan them instead of using the Polaroid). Maybe we should ask where they got the pic (hope they keep track of that) to determine if it is legitimate or speculation. Let me see if I can find that exchange in my old postings to get some contact info....

Great, thanks BC 

One reason I don't contribute to the GCD myself is that they insist on everything being cropped. I think that's an odd decision, as it creates scenarios like this - is the book a real comic or not? I think the GCD is an excellent resource, but I'm not going to crop the 5,000 scans I offered them before uploading!

I may have a contact myself, but I'm not sure where I filed it - it was a while back that I contacted them.

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In a similar vein, mistakes were still being made 10 years later. 

These two sit alone on their respective dates of October 1974 (JIM #13) and July 1976 (Marvel Classic Comics #7):

 13.jpg.f3299504c9832e0b2e9be71ea397de78.jpg  7.thumb.jpg.b01c996ca8d1c7b26b7b5dc1548b2cfc.jpg

 

I wonder what happened?

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21 hours ago, bc said:

Maybe we should ask where they got the pic (hope they keep track of that) to determine if it is legitimate or speculation. Let me see if I can find that exchange in my old postings to get some contact info....

I sent a query to the GCD today. Let's hope they can verify / disprove its authenticity :wishluck:

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On 6/10/2019 at 6:20 PM, Get Marwood & I said:

These two sit alone on their respective dates of October 1974 (JIM #13) and July 1976 (Marvel Classic Comics #7):

 13.jpg.f3299504c9832e0b2e9be71ea397de78.jpg  7.thumb.jpg.b01c996ca8d1c7b26b7b5dc1548b2cfc.jpg

I've seen these. I'm thinking there might be a third like this, but I still haven't found my memory stick since moving house. It has all of my scans and spreadsheets on it & I'm sure I made note of another, closer in time to JIM 13.

I could, of course, be stuffed full of wild blueberry muffins... hm

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2 minutes ago, rakehell said:

I've seen these. I'm thinking there might be a third like this, but I still haven't found my memory stick since moving house. It has all of my scans and spreadsheets on it & I'm sure I made note of another, closer in time to JIM 13.

I could, of course, be stuffed full of wild blueberry muffins... hm

You might be right Robert. I felt there was another (sound like Darth Vader there) but couldn't find it in the 3,019. I'll have another look later. Got your name right this time :)

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21 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

I felt there was another

I'm thinking it was maybe another monster reprint title. But, again... blueberries...hm

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On 6/11/2019 at 3:46 PM, Get Marwood & I said:
On 6/10/2019 at 5:51 PM, bc said:

Maybe we should ask where they got the pic (hope they keep track of that) to determine if it is legitimate or speculation. Let me see if I can find that exchange in my old postings to get some contact info....

I sent a query to the GCD today. Let's hope they can verify / disprove its authenticity :wishluck:

Here's what the GCD had to say:

 

"Steve - Some of our members looked this over and discussed it and agree that it may be a mock-up of some sort, but no conclusive information was found.?? Ideas offered are that it may be a Promo cover that appeared in a house ad for a real comic that later came out differently, as those are often different than the finished product.?? Information was found here regarding three supposed variants: http://www.recalledcomics.com/Marvel10CentBlackedOutVariants.php .Thanks for the question and we now have people on the lookout for more info and/or better scans - Donald Dale Milne, list admin

 

If the GCD cannot prove the veracity of their bold fonted copy image I'm minded to discount it, making this the concluding position until evidence to the contrary emerges:

390367341_GunsmokeWestern68.thumb.PNG.8817cec82ee0aa2d8d0c6874a849f05d.PNG

1664207606_JourneyintoMystery76x2.thumb.PNG.e644a6b8cbe7fa79e68f16922f1a85cd.PNG

648401243_LoveRomances97.thumb.PNG.c9102e75a5ac967a2c9b1d69eecb36ed.PNG

 

I will however continue to look at all JIM #76's, just in case.

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Thank you for the follow-up sir!

Don't really believe this is a house ad - why would they do it for a random JIM issue from Jan '62?

So I just looked thru all the surrounding PHM issues (Strange Tales 90-92, JIM 73-75, ToS 23-25, TtA 24-27, Amazing Adventures 5 & 6, Amazing Adult Fantasy 7 & 8) and did not find any house ads, let alone show a cover preview. Of course Fantastic Four 1 & 2 are also peers to JIM 76, but I don't have a copy to confirm or not.

-bc

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18 minutes ago, bc said:

Don't really believe this is a house ad

It does have the look of something like that though - if it is a real copy, it's a terrible image and looks like a blown up thumbnail.

Interesting that CGC refer to the black circle copy as a 'price variant' on the label here, when all copies are priced 12c. 'Pricing variant' is a bit nearer to the mark though I suppose:

JOURNEY_INTO_MYSTERY_76_CGC_5_0_OW_WH_PAGES.thumb.jpe.b826d5bf8a13674636a88707d888be2d.jpe

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