The Thrill of the Hunt: Dick Dobbs Weekly

Posted by Bob Robinson on 11/5/2013

Dime novels are a collectible that has been overlooked for many years. But with a little effort, Bob Robinson found what is likely the only complete Dick Dobbs Weekly set in existence.

Hail collectors, one and all. For some, owning is the prize; for others, the hunt is what we take pleasure in. I am one of the latter. I lived in the Orient as a child and I owned almost every sought-after Marvel and DC comic known to man. I was one of Stan Lee’s minor minions with monthly subscriptions, waiting in long lines on the first of the month to buy new and wonderful stories of The Hulk, Thor, Sgt. Fury, Silver Surfer and The Fantastic Four. I had cardboard boxes full of treasures to trade and brag about on the street corners of the military bases of the Far East. Somewhere over there are three boxes my parents just couldn’t find room for in the housing allotment. Boy do I miss those boxes!! Years after dime novels, ancestor of the modern-day comic, pulps and story papers, I caught the bug again and have been hard at it ever since.

Dime novels have their layers of scarcity much the same as DC, Marvel and Dark Horse issues. Common issues are Tip Top Weekly, Pluck & Luck and Wild West Weekly. Extremely rare issues include Morrison's Sensational Series, The Starry Flag and Dick Dobbs Weekly. A interesting sidebar to Dick Dobbs is that issue #7 is one of the most common issues available. Folk lore has it that when an old publishing building was bought, they found several cases of that issue in fine condition. You can find issue #7 on eBay almost every week, but rarely any of the other issues.

I’ve been fortunate to uncover many of the rare — and too many of the common — issues, amassing a nearly 40,000 issue collection before starting a website for resale, a move my wife soundly approved of. Check us out at

A drawback to searching for that one special issue is that you have to "take the good with the bad.” I have purchased boxes with hundreds of issues to fill 20 or 30 missing spots in the want lists of clients. As the collecting public increases, it allows me to fill in more and more collections. In a large collection, I found a jewel — a one-of-a-kind complete run of Dick Dobbs Weekly, the adventures of detective Dick Dobbs and his assistant, Shadow Steve. Dick Dobbs, is a millionaire, tracking wealthy criminals and their accomplices in and around New York City. It was a bit of educated luck. When a collection has some scarce pieces, there are usually plenty more. All universities, colleges, historians and books on collecting listed the complete run as seven issues with two more stories planned but never published. I was amazed to find that the collection I located had nine issues. Obviously, the two unpublished issues were never distributed. I did the research, sent the emails and heard the responses that “I was certainly misinformed.” In the end, pictures tell the story and the avid collectors and historians I contacted were as excited about the find as I was. Most have updated their information. To my knowledge, this is the only complete set known to exist.

So for those of you who enjoy “the hunt,” be aware that they are out there: the golden chalice, the gold ring, Detective Comics #140 or — in my case — Dick Dobbs #s 8–9.

I am actively chasing three collections that I have been gathering information about for over seven years. One collection has not been seen since 1949. However, I have spoken to relatives, librarians and historical committee members who know it was “somewhere at some time.” I just have to piece it together. I have no idea what will be in these collections. It could be anything, and for me, that is the best part of collecting.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at Thank you and good hunting.

View these books on the CGC Census.

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in this piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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