Auction Highlights #96, More Canadian Whites

Comic Link Focused Auction

The comic book portion of the ComicLink Focused Auction ended Thursday September 29th. This auction was the follow up auction to the historic Featured Auction that ended September 8th.

Those people down at ComicLink sure know how to sell “Whites”, they keep this up Mr. Trudeau may have to grand them honorary citizenship! The results were amazing! Off the charts really. I’ve said before that the Whites are busting out of their tight trading cartels and are being welcomed by the general comic book/pop culture community as a worthy genre. These results are further proof and very hard to ignore.

Clink again included this blurb for every “Canadian White” auctioned:

Canadian Whites Background
During the heart of the Golden Age of Comics of the early 1940s, U.S. comics were deemed “non-essential” imports under the Canadian War Exchange Conservation Act (WECA) and were banned from Canada. The market for superheros and other types of comics had already been established in Canada by that time so a small group of Canadian Publishers began putting out their own comics. Between 1941 and 1946, approximately 600 different issues were published. Due the printing costs, most of these comics had color covers but black and white interiors, which is why they are called “Canadian Whites”. Many of the characters featured in these comics were patriotic English-Canadian heroes including Nelvana of the Northern Lights, a popular female heroine who first appeared months before Wonder Woman as well as characters like Johnny Canuck, Brok Windsor and Canada Jack. You’ll see that a few of the offered examples feature familiar U.S. characters like Archie and Mary Marvel. A significant number of the comics feature the type of high energy covers that have made Golden Age comics a major focal point of the comic book collecting hobby for decades!

I didn’t have enough time to count the number of “Whites” up for this auction, if anybody did the count please add it to the comments below for all to share.

  • You owe yourself a favor by going on to the Canada’s Own Comics site, it’s a great resource for all things Canadian Whites

OK let’s look at a few results.

 

ah-96-active-18

Active Comics #18, Bell Features, August/September 1944 Graded by CGC at 4.0 with Off White to White pages sold for $2,900.00.

I cried when I saw this result. See, I had a nice copy last year and one of the other Whites collectors I hang around with needed it real bad for his run so I said “yeah”, “sure” “it’s only an Active #18”. Gah!

Truth be told I really liked the book because of the cover, that is a beautiful cover.

This is a strong result I know but the page quality is excellent and it is a special wartime cover.

Advantage Buyer

 

ah-96-better-v2-9

Better Comics V2 #9, Maple Leaf Publishing, August/September 1943 Graded by CGC at 3.0 with Off White to White pages sold for $1,008.00.

Yay I won this auction. The Maple Leafs continue to under perform versus the Bell’s but that’s fine by me as I desperately try to build my Better Comics run, Those issues of Lucky that sold on this auction did better than this book but I’m sticking with fundamentals. Better is the key run in the Maple Leaf library so I think I did alright.

Advantage Buyer

 

ah-96-dime-14

Dime Comics #14, Bell Features, October/November 1943 Graded by CGC at 4.0 with Off White to White pages sold for $3,200.00.

I bet the bidders jumped on to canadasowncomics.com for this one. There they would have been privy to way more info than the CGC holder or ComicLink gave them. The date is provided and more importantly they would have seen that this is a key comic featuring the 1st appearance of Nitro.

Advantage Buyer

 

ah-96-joke-3

Joke Comics #3, Bell Features, 1942 Graded by CGC at 1.5 with Off White to White pages sold for $3,400.00.

I’m just as patriotic as the next guy and I love nurses on covers almost as much as I love the ladies from WAC on the cover but I can’t let this one go. A CGC 1.5 with tape, no major appearances that I know of in this book. My gut tells me it it too much.

Advantage Seller

 

 

Please share with us your thoughts and or your pick ups

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1589

8 Comments

  1. Quick comment for the quickest auction results blog post I’ve ever seen posted!

    47 Canadian books in this auction (48 if you include the Canadian print of Thrilling Comics 48, not from the collection)

    $61k in sales which is an average price of $1270 for books of an average grade of 3.7.

    In comparison to previous Canadian Comiclink auctions that’s a high price for lower grade books.
    Advantage: Mystery seller

    Feb 2014 Auction: 36 books, Sales $45K, Average Grade: 5.1, Average price per book: $1250
    April 2014 Auction: 66 books, Sales $35K, Average Grade: 2.8, Average price per book: $530
    Aug 2016 Auction: 45 books, Sales: $84K Average Grade: 6.4, Average price per book: $1870
    This Auction: 48 books, Sales: $61K Average Grade: 3.7 Average price per book: $1270

  2. I also counted 47 books (not including the Thrilling Comics mentioned above).

    I was really surprised by some of the results here. Most of these books were lower grade, but still achieved high sale prices. The one book that I was tracking most closely was the Colossal Comics # 2, which far exceeded my expectations in terms of price. At the same time, I was not surprised that it achieved the highest sale price due to it being a mail-order exclusive..

    The Bell Features books continued to show an incredible amount of strength (for the most part), but someone managed to scoop up the Dizzy Dons for next to nothing. If I could go back in time and invite any Whites creator to a BBQ it would probably be Manny Eason: the guy seemed like a character. I find it incredible that his work has not received much attention considering Dizzy Don’s longevity during the era..

    As with previous auctions, Anglo-American books did not garner the respect that they deserve.

    I feel like we are witnessing Whites being separated into two tiers, with most Bell Features books existing in a separate tier than the other companies. What do you folks think?

  3. Sorry Jim, I wasn’t even thinking of doing one since I just did one a few weeks ago. But as the night went on he results forced my hand. But it was late, and I was tired………. Great analysis by the way, those numbers are excellent data and greatly appreciated by us all

    Hey Brian, yeah I saw those Dizzy Don’s go for cheap. You think it’s because there are the Dizzy Don’s in the Overstreet Guide?

    As for the Bells, I’ll call out a comment from Steve V. on our last post where he stated that perhaps the availability of the Bell’s is creating the market. What did we have? Maybe 5 Maple Leafs on this auction? Slim pickings on the last one?

    Bell’s are pulling away from AA’s for sure but I think we’d need to see a few strong offerings of Maple LEafs and Educational Projects to see for sure.

  4. I actually had not given the fact that Dizzy Don books are in Overstreet any consideration. Overstreet plays a significant role in how many collectors and dealers interpret their books and having Dizzy Don comics already leads to such books having a “known value,” despite the fact that Overstreet’s prices are open to interpretation. Thinking on this, I suspect that this plays a role in the low values that Dizzy Don books have achieved in the past year (as a handful of Howards and Bell Features, as well as the PB and coloring book have all come to market in the past year and have not achieved the results we are now seeing for older Bell Features books).

    When I think of some of the more noteworthy collections of raw books that have come out of the woodwork during the past 12 months, I can point to what I call the “Perley Wickes” collecting from New Brunswick that was sold on eBay in December 2015 and the collection that Finer Things antiques sold this past spring. The bulk of both collections were Bell Features books and in both cases the comics in question reached higher values than I expected at the time. There are certainly more Bell Features books hitting the market than anything else (with the exception of late-run Anglo-American titles that seem to be perpetually available). I think your hypothesis about the larger availability of Bell Features books driving the market is quite reasonable.

    There has not been a sizeable collection of Maple Leaf books hit the market since I started paying attention and the few Educational Projects books that I have seen sold have really been all over the place. Perhaps we need to see a large collection of titles from either publisher come to market before we can really gauge their place in this apparent two-tiered separation of Whites that I feel we are witnessing right now.

    By the way, Walt, congrats on adding the Better vol. 2 # 9 to your collection!

  5. Gents all whites are going to continue to garner more respect and higher prices I believe. Anglo Americans will hit there stride soon enough .

  6. There are now clearly 2 tiers of whites.

    Cureously, at exactly 7 pm in the evening of auction #96, all books over $1,000:were bid up by one winning over bid by a new mystery bidder. !

    Books in that upper tier were exclusively Bells 1.5 and higher. Thus the upper tier was defined ! Was the bidder a deep pockets novice jumping on the band wagon?? …., or nefareous schill bidding? ??
    Who knows. But the books over $1,000 usd were solidly in demand amoung 2 bidders!. . Some were grossly overbid!

    The AA, anglo amerucan, maple leafs and .lower grade incompletes were bargains at under $1,000 to true collectors and non investors. The lower tier was defined. These books are the true bargains!

    Foe example- Active 18 with Dr.Blue and Blackle was llikely now worth $2800 but a 4.0 like it would sell for $800 a year ago!

    Joke 3 in 1.5 at $3400 woukd have sold for $800 a year ago if it was not the only known copy…not in a collection.

    Better vol 2 #9 was a 3.0 with 6.0 appearance was not pumped so fell to lower tier bargain $1008 bargain price. Collectors redeemed it. Investors overlooked it..

    Colossal #2 went sky high in the upper tier at $4200 in a frenzy of speculation beyond break up 6 book value.

    Dime 14 with Nitro at $3300 was elite, although gerry lezares (age 15 in 1943) wing charactor is a stronger charactor. Even the dreamer in wow numbers 24 to 30 aka…. the satan of sleep, being a dr.strange charactor, trumps Nitro.

    In summary, investors invest in what collectors want and can resonably collect. Investors drive prices to the moon. The lower tier is full of scarce gems that will rise from the ashes…as long as they are not so scarce to be forgotten entirely!!

    Steve V.

  7. It was pretty crazy wasn’t it? I figure all of the Bells went for… say 3x what they went for last month, on average (dizzy don excepted) . That makes no sense. I am guessing a deep pockets US GA collector got interested and decided to bid on these. For how long, who knows… maybe we will be back to “normal” next auction. Some of the results just made no sense. Compare Commando 13 1700 vg- to the far nicer copy on ebay for 1500. Or compare active 14 3.0 at 2300 or whatever it was to active 11 last month at 700 or so for a 7.5. Those and lots of other results/comparisons like it, make no sense unless someone came a long that just doesn’t give a shit what previous FMV was. But… are they swooping in for a single auction before they go back to wherever they came from? Or here to stay?

  8. For the record, regarding Bells and why they are doing the best in terms of auction prices. I am biased as they are all I collect, but I just think that they are the “sexiest” in terms of typical collector sensibilities (which includes me I guess). They feel the most like US golden age that we’ve all known and seen with the Big Block logos and superhero and/or world war 2 covers. The other publishers are great too, but the AAs are mostly redrawn US books, the EPs are cool, but a little too focussed on real life events versus the fantastical stories we normally think of with comics. Maple Leafs are cool, and rare, and our host’s favorite, but they are a bit light on superhero covers and world war 2 covers and so on.

    I think that what people seem to like about the Bells, or maybe its just what I like about them, is that they feel like a totally Cdn twist on themes we are familiar with on the US superhero side. “Canada’s own (superhero) Comics” so to speak.

    And I think that sort of explains why the Funny Comics / Dizzy Don stuff continues to perform poorly. To me, its…. well… with no disrespect, not funny to modern taste, doesn’t speak to our involvement in WW2, no heroes, there’s just nothing there for me to grab on to. And to varying degrees I think that’s true of the books from the other publishers too.

    I mean… when it comes to Maple Leafs, what do I personally get excited by? Either the really early books or the Brok covers/stories.

    I do feel like some of those classic Brok books should be bringing a lot more than a random issue of Lucky. I don’t know if the Lucky is overvalued or the Brok undervalued, but I don’t get that price relationship.

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