Silver Age High Grade Scarcity
1 1

26 posts in this topic

As a once collector of Legion of Superheroes related comics I have noticed that especially in the Silver Age, a number of DC titles and many issues of them, have such a CGC census scarcity in high grade that the number of copies of such can literally be counted on just 2 hands. Are high grade (9.2 and above copies) REALLY so scarce ? Or is it more a question of many collectors just not bothering to get their comics graded and slabbed ? The popular DC comics of the 60s were literally printed in their thousands, so somehow the hi grade scarcity of many issues seems a little off.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, speople said:

As a once collector of Legion of Superheroes related comics I have noticed that especially in the Silver Age, a number of DC titles and many issues of them, have such a CGC census scarcity in high grade that the number of copies of such can literally be counted on just 2 hands. Are high grade (9.2 and above copies) REALLY so scarce ? Or is it more a question of many collectors just not bothering to get their comics graded and slabbed ? The popular DC comics of the 60s were literally printed in their thousands, so somehow the hi grade scarcity of many issues seems a little off.

I think you hit on one of the main points above (in italics) - DC collectors are notorious for holding onto material and putting books in the "black hole"! No need to slab if the books are staying put!

Being that you were once a collector of the Legion, you probably saw the thread here in Silver a few pages back showing veteran board members and collectors sharing their input on not finding/seeing high grade copies of certain issues.

The craziness of scarcity on the CGC census is even more evident with 10 cent DCs from the 1950s-early 60s

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

More people were and still are Marvel collectors. If a comic isn't sitting in a collection with a backer and board, there's obviously a lot more wear and tear over the years.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DanCooper said:

I think you hit on one of the main points above (in italics) - DC collectors are notorious for holding onto material and putting books in the "black hole"! No need to slab if the books are staying put!

Being that you were once a collector of the Legion, you probably saw the thread here in Silver a few pages back showing veteran board members and collectors sharing their input on not finding/seeing high grade copies of certain issues.

The craziness of scarcity on the CGC census is even more evident with 10 cent DCs from the 1950s-early 60s

 

 

Hadn't seen the thread as I'm a relative newbie on the board. Found it now though, thankyou. I have a large, very high grade SA collection of LSH issues that I'll be getting slabbed and then sold in the very near future, some of which could possibly be the single best copies on the census. If I can get those to actual fans of the series rather than people who want to buy then resell, it would ofc be awesome.

Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, ninanina said:

More people were and still are Marvel collectors. If a comic isn't sitting in a collection with a backer and board, there's obviously a lot more wear and tear over the years.

Issues of very popular comics in their day, and the LSH was incredibly popular in the 60s, also means that the vast majority of copies were read to death, and generally unless it's a key, aren't worth getting slabbed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Myowncollector said:

The further back in time you go, the fewer the people who treated comics with the care they are given today. Late 80s early 90s when prices jumped up like crazy changed the game. 

 

Yeah, I know for 100% fact that in England the early 90s is when comic conventions really took off. I think the incredibly popular Batman film got a huge amount of folk into collecting many titles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, speople said:

Hadn't seen the thread as I'm a relative newbie on the board. Found it now though, thankyou. I have a large, very high grade SA collection of LSH issues that I'll be getting slabbed and then sold in the very near future, some of which could possibly be the single best copies on the census. If I can get those to actual fans of the series rather than people who want to buy then resell, it would ofc be awesome.

@Silver

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, speople said:

As a once collector of Legion of Superheroes related comics I have noticed that especially in the Silver Age, a number of DC titles and many issues of them, have such a CGC census scarcity in high grade that the number of copies of such can literally be counted on just 2 hands. Are high grade (9.2 and above copies) REALLY so scarce ? Or is it more a question of many collectors just not bothering to get their comics graded and slabbed ? The popular DC comics of the 60s were literally printed in their thousands, so somehow the hi grade scarcity of many issues seems a little off.

For those same comics that had few high grade copies on the census, were there a whole ton of copies graded in lower grades? I ask because if it's all proportional then it could simply be that these arent really worthwhile to grade even in high grade. For instance, I own quite a few silver age dectective comics that I would consider high grade. But they are of random issues with no classic cover, nor villain, and when I see that a 9.2 or 9.4 is worth less than 150, I don't consider getting it graded. Just not worth it, especially when I can make more money selling it raw. 

Edited by William-James88
Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you referring to the early LSH appearances in Adventure comics and Action? I think if you mean those then you're talking about really early silver age and I think there may be a difference between early and mid SA in terms of high grade copies. Those early appearances were in the late 50's early 60's unless I'm mistaken? In that case you may have a point there. Otherwise I believe LSH didn't have their own title in DC until the bronze age.

Anyhow If you want to better gauge the true census on high grade silvers from early/mid 60's  just check out GPA census on any popular marvel titles. Maybe starting with FF or possibly a few Strange Tales issues. If there's a wide disparity between high grade and the rest that should serve as a good clue. On the other hand there could be a low total census altogether with just several high grades but no big disparities in relation to lowers and that should be a good clue as well. 

Edited by MGsimba77
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you read the fanzines back in the early 60's (fun reads) it was a few mainstream articles in 1964 highlighting how much the Golden age keys sold for that really started comic collecting as we now know it. Some people will admit that in the 60s they bought multiple copies even then (makes you wonder why Stan did not run variant covers ???). As marvel made few SH comic pre 1964 it may explain why marvel high grade is around 9.0 + and while DC in some cases is 7.0. Look at Flash 114 Flashes 14th appearance and ASM 14th. Look at ASM 2 and SC8. At any DC Key prior to 1962 pre Marvel and they are all rare in mid grade let alone high. SC8 is not as rare as the census makes it look as 2.5 and under is easy to find. Once you try and get 4.5 then it gets  hard.

Edited by Terry E. Gibbs
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Terry E. Gibbs said:

Look at Flash 114 Flashes 14th appearance and ASM 14th

Flash 114 from 1960? Are you sure that's a good comparison though? One is a non key from 1960 and the other a big key from '64. Even if Flash 114 was a huge key would it have nearly as many total census copies being that its from 1960 as a marvel key from 1964? Keep in mind ASM14 is pushing 4k total census. I would think those 4 years make a difference in surviving gradeable copies 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MGsimba77 said:

Flash 114 from 1960? Are you sure that's a good comparison though? One is a non key from 1960 and the other a big key from '64. Even if Flash 114 was a huge key would it have nearly as many total census copies being that its from 1960 as a marvel key from 1964? Keep in mind ASM14 is pushing 4k total census. I would think those 4 years make a difference in surviving gradeable copies 

Sorry that was kind of my point, obviously not put across that well. The DC books minor keys are mostly pre 1964, before fandom really got mainstream,  whereas most Marvel keys are post 1964, when collecting had really kicked off, and many new fans really did not care about GA books the way the first wave of fandom did. For Flash fans 114 is Cold's first cover probably Flashes number 2# villain and above 9.0 is very rare. I do however remember maybe 30 years ago when ASM 14 was at least a top 50 SA book. That book was super collected within 12 months of it release.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Terry E. Gibbs said:

Sorry that was kind of my point, obviously not put across that well. The DC books minor keys are mostly pre 1964, before fandom really got mainstream,  whereas most Marvel keys are post 1964, when collecting had really kicked off, and many new fans really did not care about GA books the way the first wave of fandom did. For Flash fans 114 is Cold's first cover probably Flashes number 2# villain and above 9.0 is very rare. I do however remember maybe 30 years ago when ASM 14 was at least a top 50 SA book. That book was super collected within 12 months of it release.

That's interesting I thought collecting didn't really kick off until the 70's? I know there was some collecting going on in mid 60's but never thought of it as widespread. You bring up an interesting point on 64 being sort of a dividing line. I think maybe the disparity in census between DC keys and early marvel keys may be simply the average fan in 70's (when collecting occured to them) having a less beat up 7.5 copy of ASM 14 for example and a more beat up 3.5 Tec 40. I don't know that its due to a wave of collecting in the 60's but it's a very interesting point!

I think maybe marvel didn't do variants back then because of the costs, time constraints and printing limitations. Compared to today they were working with stone age technology back in the day. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an interesting book on the 1964 Tri-State Con, held in NY. The first Con where a professional turned up (Ditko - who sat in the back row and watched) art was given away by DC and Dell, and dealers came from interstate I think from Calif. If you can pick up any of these old fanzines  around 1963-64, there are long lists given of books offered and books wanted with a lot of them only being SA. A lot of these fans were pure SA fans, whereas when the Zines started with Bails and Thomas, after 1956  the big cry was "bring back the JSA", which is kind of what Schwartz did with BB 28. If only we had time  machines.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Doctor Dositheus said:

Weren't the DC covers thinner paperstock than Marvels around '62-'63?

What's interesting about the Marvel paper stock from around '62-'63 is this seems to be the period where "Marvel chipping" on covers seems to be more prevalent. DC paper stock left a lot to be desired also, but didn't suffer from this chipping effect to any noticeable degree.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s because the demand for DC silver is tiny compared to Marvel Silver (for good reason imho).  I’m positive plenty of hg DC raw silver are out there. 

Edited by ThothAmon
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ThothAmon said:

I think it’s because the demand for DC silver is tiny compared to Marvel Silver (for good reason imho).  I’m positive plenty of hg DC raw silver are out there. 

I’ve highlighted the one thing in your post that does not match the rest of your post.  :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1