Whitman Variants, Direct vs Newsstand
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11 minutes ago, shadroch said:

Has anyone ever checked the internal ads ? If the Whitman books were printed much later, they should have different ads inside. If the ads are identical, it seems to indicate they were all printed at the same time.

I compared a couple Micronauts #1 a few years ago and they were identical.  IF any of these Whitman books were reprints it would have been something from that later era after the Star Wars title interruption and subsequent reprints.  I wonder if the clearly marked Star Wars reprints have the same ads as a first print?  

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1 hour ago, shadroch said:

Has anyone ever checked the internal ads ? If the Whitman books were printed much later, they should have different ads inside. If the ads are identical, it seems to indicate they were all printed at the same time.

At first, I thought you were on to something here but after thinking about it, I'm not clear on how any of these are viable proof of printing concurrently or at some time later.  In any case, they're using the same plates so the ads would be the same.  The error would be on the plate so if you took the plate off and then put it back on for a later printing, error would remain.  (shrug)

My guess is that the section where the price and month was on the plate, was probably designed to easily remove just that part and replace for Whitmans, pence copies, price variants, etc.

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2 minutes ago, Randall Dowling said:

At first, I thought you were on to something here but after thinking about it, I'm not clear on how any of these are viable proof of printing concurrently or at some time later.  In any case, they're using the same plates so the ads would be the same.  The error would be on the plate so if you took the plate off and then put it back on for a later printing, error would remain.  (shrug)

My guess is that the section where the price and month was on the plate, was probably designed to easily remove just that part and replace for Whitmans, pence copies, price variants, etc.

Theoretical example-  Daves Comics buys a one month ad in every Marvel. His ad appears in every Marvel dated in June, including AzzMan #3. Six months later, Marvel reprints AzzMan #3,

Publishing Daves ad would give him advertising he didn't pay for. 

On other ads, you are asked to respond to  a certain department or box. Books from June might be Dept. 402, while books from December might be 409. 

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I think regardless, my (and probably every other collector at the time) response to the Whitman books is that they were extra copies beyond the normal newsstand, came out much later and were clearly marked differently than newsstand copies and were sold at a discount in a 3-pack, not individually.  All of these things equal less desirable than standard newsstand copies.  So given it's impossible to definitively say whether they were printed at the same time or a week, month or many months later is kind of irrelevant.  If today, suddenly people think these are worth something because they're scarce in high grade, that's up to them.  I'll never pay good money for them but that's just me.

I do think it's deceptive to equate (conflate) these with the books that were sold to comic bookstores directly in 1979.  Call them no month variant, Whitman or whatever, but trying to include them with direct market books that were sold to comic shops is dishonest to me.  2c

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1 hour ago, Randall Dowling said:

At first, I thought you were on to something here but after thinking about it, I'm not clear on how any of these are viable proof of printing concurrently or at some time later.  In any case, they're using the same plates so the ads would be the same.  The error would be on the plate so if you took the plate off and then put it back on for a later printing, error would remain.  (shrug)

Except that printers don't just keep old plates around for no reason.

1 hour ago, Randall Dowling said:

My guess is that the section where the price and month was on the plate, was probably designed to easily remove just that part and replace for Whitmans, pence copies, price variants, etc.

Excluding (alternate art) variant covers, the normal procedure has always been to change only the black plate for different versions. That's why things like the UXM 423 Newsstand error exist (somebody forgot there was a special circle with other colors proclaiming the special DM price).

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Posted (edited)

When Marvel and Whitman reprinted books, they changed the ad plates. The Smurfs packs have three printings but you can’t identify them from the idicia, only by the ads. Each printing has different ads inside the book as well as the back cover. Same goes for Whitman books from 1980 like Bugs 222 and Flash Gordon 30. A lot of people called them price variants, but they are in fact reprints as you can see from the ads, but not the indicia. (The Flash Gordon has a different date code on the cover indicating that it was published almost a year later, the Bugs does not)  If the early direct books sold in Whitman bags were reprints, they would either be identified through markings on the cover, the indicia, or the ads. If there is none of the aforementioned indications, then I think we’re safe to assume that they were not printed at a later date. They were stockpiled before being bagged.   

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24B05967-AC6C-4BAD-9CB7-B6A4033F9ED9.jpeg

Edited by bellrules

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12 hours ago, bellrules said:

When Marvel and Whitman reprinted books, they changed the ad plates. The Smurfs packs have three printings but you can’t identify them from the idicia, only by the ads. Each printing has different ads inside the book as well as the back cover. Same goes for Whitman books from 1980 like Bugs 222 and Flash Gordon 30. A lot of people called them price variants, but they are in fact reprints as you can see from the ads, but not the indicia. (The Flash Gordon has a different date code on the cover indicating that it was published almost a year later, the Bugs does not)  If the early direct books sold in Whitman bags were reprints, they would either be identified through markings on the cover, the indicia, or the ads. If there is none of the aforementioned indications, then I think we’re safe to assume that they were not printed at a later date. They were stockpiled before being bagged.   

24B05967-AC6C-4BAD-9CB7-B6A4033F9ED9.jpeg

Some cool pictures there Bellrules - I love the Flash with the Spidey Hostess ad. As an ex-completist, I'd have had to buy that back in the day had I known it existed :grin:

I think there's a big difference though between the 'proper' Gold Key Whitman copies you have shown here - i.e. those that carry the actual Whitman logo - and the Marvels being discussed which don't.  I no longer have any of my old Spidey books to check, but I'd like to see someone post any examples of a Marvel comic with the diamond price box along with any internal differences, if such a thing exists (excluding the known Star Wars reprints). 

So, for arguments sake, do any of the ASM's have internal differences? 

If these two have identical ads, indicias etc, then are we all agreed that they were both printed at the same time?

192whitman.thumb.jpg.ce1600aa4324a317daf4cee85e84e482.jpg192ne.thumb.jpg.71e5032831ff820e4a9244a83263de1d.jpg

 

I've enjoyed reading all these posts here. For me, there are three elements:

  1. What exists
  2. Why it exists
  3. What to call it

I think we all know what exists. There's a copy with a barcode and one with a blank UPC. That kind of thing. I think most of us can establish why it exists if we read the evidence closely. But we may never agree on what to call it. If I see someone say 'Whitman copy', I know what they mean. Ditto 'Early Direct'. Ditto 'Barry'. OK I made that last one up. I wouldn't call them 'Diamonds' though as has been suggested as there is already a known 'Diamond' in the comic industry - the distributor - so to call a book that would likely lead the uneducated to make bad conclusions.

If I had a gun to my head, I'd shed my load.

And then I'd go for 'Early Direct' edition.

 :shy:

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That is my problem with calling them Diamonds. It give the impression they are from Diamond, which didn't even exist when the early BIG DIAMONDS were first marketed.

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1 hour ago, shadroch said:

That is my problem with calling them Diamonds. It give the impression they are from Diamond, which didn't even exist when the early BIG DIAMONDS were first marketed.

It does, yes. What would you call them Shadroch, if you had the gun to your head?

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10 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

It does, yes. What would you call them Shadroch, if you had the gun to your head?

Whatever the person holding the gun wanted me to call them. This is not a hill I care to die on.

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18 minutes ago, shadroch said:

Whatever the person holding the gun wanted me to call them. This is not a hill I care to die on.

:bigsmile: Fair enough.

Careful you don't die of poisoning from one of those fence splinters though.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Get Marwood & I said:

Some cool pictures there Bellrules - I love the Flash with the Spidey Hostess ad. As an ex-completist, I'd have had to buy that back in the day had I known it existed :grin:

I think there's a big difference though between the 'proper' Gold Key Whitman copies you have shown here - i.e. those that carry the actual Whitman logo - and the Marvels being discussed which don't.  I no longer have any of my old Spidey books to check, but I'd like to see someone post any examples of a Marvel comic with the diamond price box along with any internal differences, if such a thing exists (excluding the known Star Wars reprints). 

So, for arguments sake, do any of the ASM's have internal differences? 

If these two have identical ads, indicias etc, then are we all agreed that they were both printed at the same time?

192whitman.thumb.jpg.ce1600aa4324a317daf4cee85e84e482.jpg192ne.thumb.jpg.71e5032831ff820e4a9244a83263de1d.jpg

 

I've enjoyed reading all these posts here. For me, there are three elements:

  1. What exists
  2. Why it exists
  3. What to call it

I think we all know what exists. There's a copy with a barcode and one with a blank UPC. That kind of thing. I think most of us can establish why it exists if we read the evidence closely. But we may never agree on what to call it. If I see someone say 'Whitman copy', I know what they mean. Ditto 'Early Direct'. Ditto 'Barry'. OK I made that last one up. I wouldn't call them 'Diamonds' though as has been suggested as there is already a known 'Diamond' in the comic industry - the distributor - so to call a book that would likely lead the uneducated to make bad conclusions.

If I had a gun to my head, I'd shed my load.

And then I'd go for 'Early Direct' edition.

 :shy:

In reference to the images you posted, What exists: two versions of that issue exist, a direct, and a newsstand. Why it exists: They both exist because, at the time, there were two forms of distribution, returnable newsstand copies, and non-returnable direct copies. As for what to call them, please refer to points one and two. 

Edited by bellrules

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Posted (edited)

Here is a comparison between a newsstand copy of Eternals 15 as well as the direct copy. Both contain the same ads which indicates they were printed at the same time, ie not reprints. 

 

08B42EE5-668D-4601-852F-DFCF28D537DA.jpeg

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604D160E-7D26-416D-8C9E-D8FADB83AC20.jpeg

BC93B2DF-E98B-4F55-9C12-8AC886511B27.jpeg

Edited by bellrules

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3 hours ago, bellrules said:

Here is a comparison between a newsstand copy of Eternals 15 as well as the direct copy. Both contain the same ads which indicates they were printed at the same time, ie not reprints. 

 

08B42EE5-668D-4601-852F-DFCF28D537DA.jpeg

B4E24413-FE0F-4A9F-A53E-C6A4D60DF877.jpeg

604D160E-7D26-416D-8C9E-D8FADB83AC20.jpeg

BC93B2DF-E98B-4F55-9C12-8AC886511B27.jpeg

 

12 hours ago, shadroch said:

That is my problem with calling them Diamonds. It give the impression they are from Diamond, which didn't even exist when the early BIG DIAMONDS were first marketed.

Okay, now we are at the point of this whole post. What do we call them? 

I agree with the reason to not call them Diamonds or Whitmans, and simply Direct Editions. How about as a boardie previously mentioned, 

"Early Direct Editions" ?

I am about to submit the best of the best issues I have from my Spectacular set with the Diamond Logo in the top left. They will get classified with all the other issues I have, but I feel these are a bit special and more rare. It is ashame they do not have their own distinct reference on the Census.

Thank you again for the added information. 

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1 hour ago, slpfi27 said:

How about as a boardie previously mentioned, 

"Early Direct Editions" ?

I think this is dishonest and confusing.  It's like trying to rename the ruling party of Germany in 1939 "Patriotic Germans" in order to wash off the stigma of what they've always been known (yes, I'm aware of the irony of that analogy being used on the internet, yet it still feels legit).  Marwood was right, if you ask anybody that has bought and sold comics in the last 40 years "Do you have any Marvel Whitmans?", they'll know exactly what you're referring to.  You ask for "Early Direct Editions", and nobody has a clue what you're talking about.

I don't understand why you guys believe that there's some sort of law that having the same ads means they have to be printed at the same time.  While it does make it more likely they were added to the end of a printing, it doesn't prohibit the possibility of printing later.  The ads being outdated by a few months doesn't mean anything as the ads were sold for the newsstand print run.  Anything above that is gravy.

My question for you is this:  Direct to who?  All of the Whitmans were for JCPenneys and TRU and such in 3 packs that only contained certain titles.  Direct editions from 1979 onwards were not sold to JCPenneys and TRU and such.  They were sold to comic books stores individually ready for sale from every title.  That distinction seems lost in the rebranding, which is probably the point of this whole discussion.  Otherwise, I don't understand the issue with calling them Whitmans (notice I left off reprints as a conciliatory gesture?). (shrug)

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Marvel would often feature the same ad wrap in all their magazines in a particular month. If books printed in June had Wrap A, and books printed a few months later in October had Wrap B, you can tell when a book was printed by which wrap it has.  Its not a law, it's economics.

Suppose Zorn 1 was printed in June. Months later, three packs with BIG DIAMONDS appeared. Were the books sold months ago and Western kept them in inventory until they needed them, or did Sparta go back to print for another edition.

I believe if the books had been printed in October, they would have Wrap B. If they had Wrap A, it would seem they were printed in June. It wouldn't make sense to switch wraps for 10,000 copies, more or less.

I believe they were all run at the same time, and the only difference is the front cover. 

It's already been pointed out, but let second it- If someone asks me for DC Go-Go books, I know what they mean. If somebody asks for Marvel Picture Frames, I know what they want. 

I've never had anyone asks for a Whitman, or an Early Direct Edition. I buy them when I find them cheap, but have never sold any.

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8 hours ago, bellrules said:

Here is a comparison between a newsstand copy of Eternals 15 as well as the direct copy. Both contain the same ads which indicates they were printed at the same time, ie not reprints. 

08B42EE5-668D-4601-852F-DFCF28D537DA.jpeg

35.png.a2f20a523a153c1274371efe506fc04e.png 15.jpg.fcbae7695a40a0fd6a69e1d8f82f28ac.jpg

I wonder what order they printed them in...

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10 hours ago, Randall Dowling said:

My question for you is this:  Direct to who?

The distributors who ordered and bought them. The relative handful of subscriptions aside, readers and collectors are customers of retailers, not publishers. Retailers are customers of distributors, not publishers.

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For me personally there's two types of books here, the Whitmans and the Early Direct Editions. I have been collecting since I was 5 in 1979 and through the 80's and as these books would come up I started to identify the ones with the fat diamond (and all the variations of it) as books that came out of the 3 pack bags, and the later small diamonds with the slash through the barcode that eventually morphed into the spiderman head UPC were presumably early direct editions (once I knew what direct editions were). I never heard a word about any of this from anyone, I just came to my own conclusion from what I saw going on in stores at the time as I worked on back issues and noticed the differences. I avoided the Whitmans because I thought they looked ugly or wrong. I was never of the opinion they were reprints but I can see how on first glance years later they may look like reprints, especially the ones with the blank UPC box. I rarely saw Whitmans in my LCS even in the late 70s/ early 80s (maybe 1 out of 500 comics) and when I did, it was beat up. The "early direct editions" were much more common, though I can't remember if that was the only option at the LCS. Anyway I think there likely was a mix of things going on at the time but the general consensus on these books is as right as it's going to get. 

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14 hours ago, Get Marwood & I said:

35.png.a2f20a523a153c1274371efe506fc04e.png 15.jpg.fcbae7695a40a0fd6a69e1d8f82f28ac.jpg

I wonder what order they printed them in...

Does it really matter, if they were all done in the same run? Plus, who’s to say that they always did it in the same order? 

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