Frederick Griffin

Text stories, a whole bunch of words and a couple of pictures; they were probably the most skipped-over part of any WECA comic they appeared in. Though they didn’t appear in every war-time Bell Features comic book, they did appear in them right from the start. In 1945 Bell even felt they were...

Undervalued Spotlight #220

Secret Origins #1, DC Comics,  June 1961 We’re going to the bullpen and calling in the trusty right hander Mike Huddleston to post this week’s Spotlight pick. Mike is known for his sliders but can throw you a good curve now and again. Check out Mike’s Arcs and Runs column,...

First Aquaman / Arrow Gets $38,837.50

Heritage Auctions had a whole pile of strong comics finish at auction yesterday, Wednesday November the 20th. There was an Action Comics #1 graded CGC 3.0 that realized $310,700. This is a disappointing result coming on the heels of the big $3.2 million dished out by Comic Connect for that...

Walter Simonson Manhunter & Other Stories Artist’s Editi...

A mighty collection of awesome DC material, Walter Simonson Manhunter and Other Stories Artist’s Edition is a must-have volume.

WECA Ephemera: Crests, Transfers, and Paint Books!

Along with publishing the comic books themselves, our main four WECA publishers also put out a number of additional materials for kids of the time that is also eminently collectible and in this week’s column I’d like to draw attention to some of this material. These comic related ephemera are...

Undervalued Spotlight #219

Tessie the Typist #20, Marvel Comics, February 1949 Recently I was tidying up my comic piles when I stumbled upon a low grade, incomplete copy of this gem. What an absolutely amazing cover! My initial reaction was the typical one, the expected middle aged male one. Yet for some reason I kept...

WECA’s Final Issues

Those last few months of 1946, those last few months of the WECA period, and what happened to each of the titles that were still being put out are still very murky. Not one of the issues that we now see were the last issues of each title announced that it would be the final one. On the...

Undervalued Spotlight #218

World’s Finest Comics #3, DC Comics, Fall 1941 Two separate incidences led me to zero in on this book. First was the strong result realized by Wonder Woman #6 in a recent ComicLink auction and second was the strong results being posted by nice copies of Batman #189. Wonder Woman #6 of course...

Review | Basil Wolverton’s Weird Worlds Artist’s Editio...

A long delayed edition finally available, Basil Wolverton’s Weird Worlds Artist’s Edition shines a light on the artist’s career in comics.

Citren, Feature and Classics Comics

When we think of Canadian war-time comic publishing companies, we usually think of the “Big Four”: Maple Leaf Publications, Anglo-American Publications, Bell Features, and Educational Projects with Adrian Dingle’s Hillborough Studio run of Triumph-Adventure Comics appended to Cy Bell’s books....

Undervalued Spotlight #217

Amazing Spider-Man #365, Marvel Comics, August 1992 This week I’m featuring a comic that many collectors of my generation tend to overlook. It’s also a book not high up the want lists of younger collectors. I think we’ve got Amazing Spider-Man #365 all wrong. Amazing Spider-Man #365...

Robin Hood

For me those comics that so many people affectionately call the “Canadian Whites” fall into a specific window whose most convenient frame is a single run of comics: Robin Hood Comics Vol. 1 No. 1 (March, 1941) to Robin Hood Comics Vol. 3 No. 34 (Dec. 1946-Jan. 1947). This is what II’vecome to term the WECA era because it was initiated by the War Exchange Conservation Act (WECA) passed Dec. 6, 1940 and came to an end as the provisions of this Act were repealed.

Undervalued Spotlight #216

Nova #4, Marvel Comics, December 1976 For this week’s Undervalued Spotlight I’d like to go with a book that gives us a new villain, has great eye appeal, won’t break the budget and tracking one down won’t be like finding a needle in a haystack. I’ve always liked Nova...

Three Firsts

In this post I want to discuss three WECA firsts starting with a curiosity I take to be one of the first “horror type” stories in comics. “Grim Tales” was a brief two-story run in Wow Comics No. 12 (Jan.-Feb. 1943) and No. 13 (March-April 1943) by Don McKague (my dates for Bell books are all extrapolated estimates, since they stopped listing them in the indicia after the first early issues of their titles). For me, these two stories foreshadow the first true horror comics of the late forties and the horror boom that started with E. C. comics in 1950.

Undervalued Spotlight #215

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, Marvel Comics, 1965 Mike Huddleston’s great post on the Fantastic Four Annuals got me to thinking how much we neglect Annuals. Is it that Annuals reprint stories collectors already have? That’s probably a big part of it. Add that Annuals are out of the main...

Piece Replacement

A few things a collector can look for when trying to detect if any pieces have been replaced.

Jim Aldridge

On one of my research visits to Gerry Lazare and his wife Setsuko, Gerry said that he had recently received a phone call from someone who had written him a fan letter 40 years ago. Gerry said that the man’s name was Jim Aldridge and that he has had a career in art and design and also that...

An Artist’s Edition Index For All Publishers

Being a fan of the artist’s edition line from IDW and all the other publishers that have followed, releasing books in the same format, I’ve started an index of all current and solicited volumes. Please use it as a reference and let me know what other information you’d like to see listed. I own most of these so it’s been fairly easy to collect the information, but as more publishers join in information will have to be gathered from solicitations and online reviews.

WECA Worth

My question is, does the scarcity of WECA comics put them in a universe of their own when it comes to determining their fair market value? These books are still somewhat impenetrable for the majority of collectors and maybe an accurate price guide can’t be set down because of the lack of available sales data. I don’t subscribe to GPA so I don’t know if there is any data on sales of some of the slabbed WECA books, but so far this year I have seen about 130 of these books change hands on line, but this unusually high number of WECA books made available in a single year was chiefly due to the 100 or so books offered in the February and March ComicLink (CLINK) auctions. The usual number of books exchanged on line per year is probably below 50. I suspect that most WECA books never reach the online market and are exchanged between collectors, or dealers and collectors hand to hand—or they are discovered when collections come to light from across the country when a collector digs extra hard and uncovers one.

Staple Manipulation

A book might have its staples restored – either through cleaning or outright replacement.