Trimming is easily the most difficult form of restoration to detect, at least with any degree of certainty.

50 Years Ago…

It was 50 years ago this week that the earliest article I know of on Canadian WECA comics appeared in the Sept. 19, 1964 issue of Maclean’s Magazine. It was written by Alexander (“Sandy”) Cameron Ross as part of a series called “A Maclean’s Flashback” and its title was “A Fond Portrait of those Wild Wartime Comics.” Ross was perhaps best known for founding Canadian Business magazine in 1977 and posthumously has had a national award ‘The Alexander Ross Award for Best New Writer’ given out by the National Magazines Awards Foundation.

Undervalued Spotlight #212

New Triumph featuring Northguard #1, Matrix Graphic Series, September 1984 I just spent a lovely weekend at the Montreal Comic Con. Montreal is a great town and their Con is a great event. This year, because I booked late, I ended up at a hotel right beside McGill University. Anyone that...

Auction Highlights #86

Comic Link Summer Featured Auction The comic book portion of ComicLink’s Summer Featured Auction ended Wednesday September 10th and I must say that results seemed strong through most of the auction. The Action #1 graded CGC 6.5 with extensive restoration took top book crown closing at...

Review | Conan: Red Nails Original Art Archives Vol 1

The first and only artist edition style book of Barry Windsor-Smith sumptuous artwork, Conan: Red Nails Original Art Archives Volume 1 presents the full story in a wonderful package.

John Bell

  John Bell is probably best known to you for his published work on Canadian comics. He was kind enough to take the time to answer a number of questions I sent him with a view to publishing his responses in this column and I include the questions and his responses below. IK: Comic-book...

Undervalued Spotlight #211

Marvel Premiere #49, Marvel Comics, August 1979 That Marvel Premiere sure does have a lot of good books. The run features important appearances of Warlock, Doc Strange, Iron Fist, Legion of Monsters, Ant-Man, Alice Cooper, Dr. Who and more. One of the ‘more’ books is the feature of this...

Halftone patterns and overpainting

But more than a quick glance at almost any comic book cover in existence will reveal that all the blue’s, red’s, green’s and especially grey’s are far more than a simple blotch of colour on paper.

WECA Price Guide

Now that the latest Overstreet Price Guide has included an article on the Canadian war-time comic books and now that the books themselves are beginning to realize handsome price ranges, is it time to put together a Canadian WECA Price Guide, or Canadian Golden Age Price Guide, or Canadian...

Are There Still Comics at Fan Expo?

Hell Yeah! Another year and another Fan Expo attendance record. Big B Comics has set up at every Fan Expo so far giving us a behind the table view of this dramatic growth over these past two decades. I heard some comic dealers griping about how the show has changed, how it’s not about comics...

Review | Robocop Versus The Terminator Gallery Edition

Dark Horse’s first foray into the Artist’s Edition market, Robocop Versus The Terminator Gallery Edition hits all the right notes. One of the most beloved comics crossovers of all time is back to usher in Dark Horse’s new gallery edition format—reprinting Walter Simonson’s...


As a collector of various things for more than 50 years and, specifically, as a collector of Canadian war-time comics for the last two years or so, I have had pause to step outside myself and take an up high and a little to the side look at myself and this activity, pastime, or, some (specifically wives) would say, a kind of pathology, that has echoed in us down through history. With Fan Expo looming, in this column I want to examine what has put the wind in my collecting sails over this past half century and hope that it makes some sense at one point or another.

Undervalued Spotlight #210

The Spotlight format only allows passing references and hopefully some insightful tidbits sprinkled here and there. In other words I have to pick a book worthy of a birthday tribute to the Man. I’ve picked Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 because this book sticks out among the books that stick out, it represents Jack Kirby embarking on the most ambitious project of his career.


While some evidence of restoration can be revealed by viewing a book in natural daylight and using a magnification loupe, my favourite tool in detecting restoration (both amateur and professional) is my UVA blacklight.

Review | Dave Gibbons Watchmen Artifact Edition

The first Artist’s Edition from IDW without a single complete issue or story arc, Dave Gibbons Watchmen Artifact Edition is a collection of what original art could be located within someone’s timeframe.

Harry Brunt

Harry Joseph Brunt was born on Nov. 22, 1918 in Chicago but his family seems to have settled in the Toronto-Hamilton area a few years after he was born. Brunt started to work for Bell features as one of its artists while he was in his mid-twenties around the Christmas season of 1943. The nature of his contribution to these comics consisted of two or three page featurettes that were cartoony and goofy and invariably had an alliterative name.

Undervalued Spotlight #209

Avengers #3, January 1964, Marvel Comics I received a very nice email from Mike Huddleston a few days back. Mike, who regularly contributes to CBD with his fantastic Arcs and Runs posts, was being a heck of a nice guy in serving me up a juicy Spotlight selection of his own. See Mike knows...

Buck Rogers: The Complete Murphy Anderson Sundays

A look at a brief period of work from a classic DC artist, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Murphy Anderson Sundays, 1958-1959 is a niche product aimed at a very small audience.

Slam-Bang 7

This week I want to talk about a significant comic from the late WECA period, Slam-Bang Comics No. 7, with a cover date of May, 1946. (Jim Finlay informs me that his indicia for this issue has the date July, 1946 pencilled in, maybe with the May date whited out? Anybody else have a copy they could check?) It took the cover banner from Fawcett’s short live run of a same titled series of 7 issues from 1940, but why it began in Canada with an initial number 7 is still a mystery. Perhaps it was some sort of nod or licensing response to the Fawcett run, but who knows?

Undervalued Spotlight #208

Man-Thing #1, Marvel Comics, January 1974 The success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie has reignited some of the key comics associated with the team. Marvel Superheroes #18, Hulk #271, Marvel Preview #7 and Guardians Vol 2 #1 have all spiked from what already seemed like lofty heights. We...