The boys are back from their summer hiatus!
Every week Comic Culture hosts Chris Owen and Walter Durajlija talk the comic book talk.
So kick back, relax and enjoy this week’s Comic Culture.
Oh, and please, please make sure you go out and support your local comic book shop.
Comic Culture is written by Walter Durajlija and engineered by Chris Owen.
Enjoy Comic Culture’s September 12th, 2018 Edition:
Welcome back gents. Some very interesting topics up for discussion here. I just wanted to share some videos I recently came across…
First, an in-depth look at the rise and fall of comics. Most of us lived through these years so we understand what happened but this semi documentary is full of anecdotes, insight and is rich with detail, especially the second half of the series:
The Rise and Fall of comics is a 15 part series so you should follow the link and view them all.
Second, an ominous trend about how money is used to make more money:
Both are interrelated if you’re willing to connect the dots and they pretty much explain why a profitable company like Toys r Us has gone belly up.
I especially enjoyed the discussion of graded rarities. I think Walt’s final word on signature books was perfect: do your homework. As Walt pointed out earlier, there is the commoditized area of the back issue market such as IH #181, and this is probably the place to start if you want to pay up for a book. That $3k for the multi-signature book should be left to people who are close to and active in the market.
Following those thoughts, with the knowledge that Stan Lee signature books are as commoditized as signature books get, but are still generally at least a factor of ten rarer than the unsigned copies, these can serve as a similar entry point for new signature collectors. I am generally negative on signature books as I can’t understand defacing the book – I think that this is an evil practice carried over from sports and entertainment memorabilia – but I made my first foray into this recently by picking up a lower-grade Stan Lee signature Amazing Spider-Man #13. I would not have bought the book in such a low grade otherwise, but I viewed this more along the lines of getting an autographed piece of scarce memorabilia (creator’s early work on a recently-promoted key) than getting a nice copy of a scarce comic book. With Stan’s retreat from signing, the marketplace has recently moved from basically a zero premium on his signatures to maybe 20%. A number of higher grade early Amazing Spider-Man Lee signature books were sold on eBay last night with about this premium to the going prices for similar unsigned copies.
How about another variant to discuss? Some of these key ASMs were “signed on the back”, presumably because the owner had the same feeling about defacement that I have. I think these are neither fish nor fowl and I would avoid.
Thanks for the links Charlie – I’ll need a week off to watch them !
Thanks for the comments Chris, I have a Spider-Man #39 I had Stan sign years ago. Come to think of it I have no idea where it is!!
If you guys are interested in a detailed book about the legal and financial wrangling over Marvel in the ’90s, Comic Wars is a fine piece of journalism. You fellas seem like just the kind of cats who would really dig this magnum opus. Nuff said! Sorry, just channeling my inner Stan.
Mel, funny that you brought that book up, my copy just arrived last week. I hadn’t heard of the book before, but I was reading Chuck Rosanski’s first-hand account of the Mile High episode (embarrassed to say that this is the first time that I read this) and he mentioned the book (which I think had just been published when he was writing his blog posts). I haven’t started it but I am looking forward to it. The story of that time should seem especially quaint given Disney/Marvel’s current dominance of the box office.
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