A week full of Wow

Wow, what an eventful week!

I’ll start with the big Original Art sale on Heritage Auctions. The original art page where Spider-Man first appears in the black costume (as was meant to be as canon) sold last week for $3.36 Million. Although this is an historically huge page I’m sure a lot of us are sitting back thinking there are bigger pages than this one. What would those get? Hmm, we just hit it rich honey, let’s buy an art piece for the dining room, should we look at a Monet? A Renoir? A Zeck? More on this story in my eBay recap at the bottom.


It’s always nice leafing through some old vintage comics and this past week I had the thrill of thumbing through a Detective Comics #31. The cover was a photostat but the rest of the book was original. This is the first Detective Comics #31 I’ve ever thumbed through and it was fun; the book had good page quality and there was no fear of pieces falling off or crumbling away. These are special books. I remember a couple of years back I was lucky enough to leaf through that Marvel Mystery Annual, I couldn’t find that post to add a link but I’m sure some of you remember. I’m sending the book down for grading then we will list it on ICE. I can’t get enough of the cover to Detective #31.


My gem of the week was in a pile of books for which I had to count the pages for our eBay auctions. Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued when I saw the cover. I dove right into the first story and was not disappointed. You see our boy here hasn’t had much contact with the fairer sex, all-male boarding school etc. Time marches on though and grandpa tells him it’s time to find a girl and settle down and get married. “How can I meet a girl grampa, I don’t know a thing about them”. This is where grandpa delivers some sage wisdom for the young lad… Needless to say, Romantic Adventures #106 isn’t going near the eBay box, it’s now safely in the PC (personal collection).


Good news on the Comic Culture podcast front: we’ll have a show up this week and plan not to miss any in the foreseeable future. It should be up normal time on Wednesday morning. Apologies for the delay.

Our weekly internationalcollectiblesexchange eBay auctions ended last night with continued strength in our raw book offerings. I mentioned above that record original art sale from Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, did you know the next day we sold all three graded copies we had listed on ICE. That’s why I was interested to see how well this raw copy would do. Our copy fetched $172.50 USD in what I call a strong result for a raw in this grade.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

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  1. Most likely our dear old writer/editor Richard Hughes wrote that story for Romantic Adventures. There are no writer credits in Grand Comics Database (comics.org), but it looks just like something that would have just as easily run in Adventures into the Unknown or Forbidden Worlds, with just a bit of a plot twist (time machine travel for instance, or supernatural deal). He loved that sort of thing.

    Its common knowledge that Richard Hughes wrote nearly everything for all three of these ACG titles. That cover is drawn by Ken Bald, who I never can identify from his style but he’s a vet, right back to the early Golden Age. I was thinking it was Ogden Whitney, who did so many of these covers and stories for ACG. The story inside, surprise surprise, is drawn by John Buscema, take a hard look at those two panels Walter included here.

    In case any of you have good collections of reprint archives or comics, Craig Yoe & IDW ran that story again in Weird Love #9 in 2015, which means its just might have also been collected in one of the book/archive collections. GCD doesn’t note it, but they are not perfect, as we all know. Still, they are my favorite place to get this kind of detail easily.

  2. Walt: I really like the look of that ‘Tec 31. It looks really clean. Too bad the original cover wasn’t there. The photostat looks large, like it’s a wraparound. Is it? If so, where do you get photostats that large?

  3. Hey Walt
    That shot of Batman about to leap off the roof reminded me of something I had read about swipes and, after much brain wracking, I found Ivan’s Post on WECA Swipes from August 16,. 2017. That pose was apparently swiped from Hal Foster’s Tarzan. Plus, it is subsequently swiped from Batman (or maybe the original Foster) for a panel of Captain Wonder in Triumph #18. I love the little gems of trivia this site inspires. Oh, and Ivan’s swipe was from Batman #33, not Detective #31, so it seems that Kane was even swiping from himself! .

  4. There are some gems in those old ACGs Bud, and Klaus, I don’t know where the photostat came from, the book was brought in that way. Mel, swiped, samples, homaged, all signs of respect for the work though I don’t know legally if any of that stuff can be challenged by the originator?

  5. Klaus,

    There are several places to get replacement covers that will wrap around. Tracy Heft/Eclipse Conservation will reconstruct covers from digital files he keeps, including ads, back covers, inside front and inside back covers. He’s uses those to replace missing bits when restoring rare books. A friend of mine had him work on early DCs and Centaurs and I can tell you, amazing work.

    Doing a whole cover, 4 pages, should be even easier as long as you have the source material to replicate it. I always heard that Matt Nelson did this back when he was doing work, I intended to contract him to Do a cover for my Cap #1 (now gone thru Heritage) but I never got to it, I had a lesser photocopy cover already.

    Our local (and outstanding) store, A-1 Comics in Sacramento, Brian Peets, has a guy doing them very economically, but Brian hasn’t volunteered the name to me, perhaps he’s also a source for Golden Age they are covering. This fellow does a very good job, not as high resolution as you might like, but he’s doing them on $50 and $100 coverless copies. So it’s economical. I think Matt Nelson charged $200 and maybe as much as $400 back in the day.

    There are guys doing replacement dust jackets for books by Edgar Rice Burroughs (and other authors) as a regular gig on the internet. ERB Inc doesn’t bother anone with copyrighte issues on those. , it’d be great if these guys got into comic book covers. I’ve got a lot of things I’d use them on. Terry’s Comics and Graham Crackers split the Jerome Wenker Collection a few years ago. It was near complete DC), missing 22 books, 1935-1999, but in all kinds of condition. When they had a coverless copy, Terry told me he’d just pull one off the web, but he wasn’t doing wrap-arounds. That made for very low resolution, but still, better than nothing until another source is found.

    Walter, I think a one-off copy is not a legal problem but you do bring up a good point. If someone made a business of doing multiple cover dupes, best to stay away from Timely and DC, also Fawcett and Quality since DC technically owns the characters, although perhaps not all the comics themselves. DC most likely never renewed copyrights on these other publisher’s books, just TRADEMARKS on the characters, a whole other ball of wax.

    But as many folks have found, a great deal of Golden Age has dropped into public domain. I just don’t see any problem with a one-off replacement cover here and ther, just keep a low profile.

  6. Yeah, I guess it’s not likely that Hal Foster will press for compensation. You do have to be careful sometimes though. When my cousin Rick was illustrating Wordsmith for Dave Darrigo he drew a cover with a guy in a blue suit, white shirt, red tie, homburg and domino mask. Just a generic sort of character, or so he thought. He ended up getting a cease and desist order from Will Eisner’s lawyer! It hadn’t even occured to him that this might look a bit too much like the Spirit. Lesson learned! As far as I know, nobody has eve taken Greg Land to court either over his liberal use of photo reference.

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