Auction Focus

I’ve talked to a few people that attended the Toronto Comic Con this past weekend and they allsaid the show was super busy. This is the spring version of the much larger Fan Expo that goes on in late August, I was told 50,000 attendance was breached. I should have set up at the show but just wasn’t feeling it, chosing to focus on the weekly auctions instead, time will tell if I’m making the right choice but resources and personnel are limited, choices have to be made. I do plan on going to the big one in August. It was nice to hear that the show was busy, what percentage of the show as pure comic books I don’t know but as we’re all aware, that percentage seems to be getting smaller and smaller each year.

Sorting through the “going to eBay auction” pile turned up a few nice gems. Our Cover of the week has to go to Joe Doolin’s nasty cover to Ranger Comics #19 from October 1944. Its a nasty cover featuring a tied up damsel in distress and a Japanese soldier getting stabbed in the heart. Which Fiction House titles had the best covers? I’d say Planet then Rangers then Wings then Jumbo then Jungle.

Someone mentioned Charles Biro in a recent comment so I thought I’d snag this cover to the Boy Comics #58 from the early 1950s, its a Canadian Edition from Superior Comics, and its terrible! The left side has me yawning, though the guys jacket did perk me up a bit, and the right side had me laughing, as if Crimebuster won’t see that rope! Come on… I’ll be putting this beauty up on our Canadiana Auction we have scheduled to start in early May.

One of the reasons I’ve been enjoying doing this blog is it gives me a chance to explore and discover all these great old comic book ads. I guess it depends on the era you grew up but surely there are perhaps a dozen “classic ads”, these ads are quickly identifiable and are engrained in our memory. I know it would be difficult to pin one ad down as the most classic ad but I’ll come out and sat that the toy soldier ad has to be in that top dozen. From Creepy Things #5, April 1976. I’m thinking the Charles Atlas beach bully ad might be near the top, any others come to mind?

Is there ever going to be a Big Little Book collecting revival? I’m noticing that the old Pulps from the 1930s and 1940s are gaining more and more market attention but the problem with those is the poor page quality. I think the Overstreet Price Guide had a Big Little Book section years back, they still might (I should probably know this). I have a litle stack going up on auction including this 1947 copy of Blondie its #1430 in the series.

Here’s a result from the icecollectibles weekly eBay auction that caught my eye. A CGC 4.0 copy of Avengers #57, drawn by the mighty John Buscema, featuring the 1st appearance of the Vision, sold for $291. A healthy result that bucked a downward trend for the book. This is one of those books that checks off a lot of the boxes that need to be checked off when looking for a good comic book investment, it has a 1st appearance, the 1st appearance is on the cover and it is a prominent classic image featuring the character, it was drawn by a legendary artist, and it is embedded in a mainline title, the character also still has pop culture relevance today. Overall I’d say this was a nice pick up.

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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mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Hey Walt
My biggest…okay, my only problem with Avengers #57 is the lack of credit to Percy Bysshe Shelley for the poem at the end of the book. It’s called “Ozymandias,” after the Greek name for the Pharaoh Ramesses II . When I was a kid, it was one of my favourite poems, and I was initially thrilled when it turned up in one of my comic books! But I was more than a little annoyed that Rascally Roy got all the credit! Imagine how much more annoyed I was when one of my friends commented on what a great poet Roy Thomas was!? It really is a wonderful book with some of John Buscema’s best work. In fact I would place it right after Silver Surfer #3 in my list of favourite Buscema books. But, come on! It’s just not cool to rip off one of the greatest Romantic poets of all time. “Credit where credit’s due,” I always say!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Hey Mel ! Roy Thomas is a great poet! Many of his Savage Sword of Conan & Conan the Barbarian stories are littered with bits & pieces of amazing poetry. Now, there are some ‘out there’ that will have you believe that some guy called Robert E. Howard wrote all this poetry, but I’m not having any of it! Balderdash !!!

I love Fiction House & have collected them for years! How can you pick out a favourite cover?? It is impossible, there are so many classics! I am very fond of WINGS & will have to beat the drum in that title’s favour- look at all the swell GGA/bondage covers that they published there in the late 1940’s issues!! Fiction House was also not shy to re-use some of their cover designs, over & over again on different titles in their catalog, including pulps! This could be a collecting theme for somebody- variants of the same cover design of different Fiction House issues. Check these out for example:

https://www.comics.org/issue/4716/cover/4/

http://www.philsp.com/data/images/w/wings_1945spr.jpg

This IS actually a WINGS cover, appearing on the Spring 1945 WINGS pulp, then the design ‘migrated’ to the December 1945 RANGERS comic. This IS one of my favourite Fiction House covers & I am happy to say that I own both versions. RANGERS really did feature some of the best covers, but they do have stiff competition. There are lots of examples of FICTION HOUSE re-using their cover designs for you to discover. Open up GALACTIC CENTRAL & GRAND COMICS DATABASE & get comparing! Some of their Planet pulp covers ended up being western covers etc, or vice versa.

I don’t think that that Japanese soldier is getting the bayonet thrust in the heart- I think it is just above his liver. Probably cracked a few ribs, though. Will do more research. Thx.

I’m always mentioning CHARLES BIRO & I wish you guys would pay attention. That BOY #58 cover is swell & I want to read it! TAKE NOTE!: The US edition of Boy Comics #58 was 52 pages, so Canadian readers were being ripped off !!! [as usual]. On top of this, the printing & colour on Canadian copies is shite. Enjoy.

https://www.comics.org/issue/8494/

I have also heard that some Canadian issues of BOY were re-written for the Canadian Market. Words such as “like”, “G’day” & “eh?” were often inserted into the word balloons to make them more appealing to us Canucks. Coffee & Donut shops were often drawn into the backgrounds to make them look more ‘Canadian’. Here is an example of some dialogue from an issue of EXCITING BOY ROMANCES #8 with Crimebuster telling Iron Jaw to watch it…or else…

CRIMEBUSTER : “Like, get out of town loser, before I clunk you on the head, eh?”
IRON JAW : “Bite Me hoser, take off. eh?”

[Crimebuster then knock off Iron Jaw’s toque with a hockey stick]

Great stuff! This is why I love Gleason !!!

That ‘100 TOY SOLDIER’ ad was classic, & sold a lot of dreams. I have heard that the soldiers were ‘flat’ not fully rounded, as you would expect with today’s soldiers. The box was cardboard. Lots of kids were bummed out when they got their package. RUSS HEATH drew a similar ad for ‘ROMAN SOLDIERS’, also a very well known ad & his art sold a lot of copies of that set. These soldiers were also flat & cheesed off a lot of kids. I read an interview with RUSS where he claimed to have received a lot of threats due to his connection to these toys. His art was so good, the ad promised so much, but the finished product was a bust! Happy days !

A few months ago BUD PLANT was complaining that he could not sell his Big Little Books. I razzed him that it was a ‘dead market’, kinda like Dell Westerns & he got up on his podium & chided me out. I have to eat crow, as they have actually performed quite well since my tongue-in-cheek razz of his BLB’s back then. Recent lots at Heritage have actually done quite reasonably, with a group of 4 Flash Gordon issues with Raymond art meeting or even slightly exceeding their estimate at last night’s Heritage auction. There are still deals in this field, but most good titles will actually sell quite well. As I said before, if you can’t sell something through one venue, try another- if MyComicsShop is not working for you, try Heritage. Heritage can sell everything, it seems. They are doing OK with most BLB’s.
I am enjoying Heritage’s recent switch in their auction format. They now put all Golden Age comics, Pulps & BLB’s in one session on Sunday night, with Silver & moderns following over Mondays & Tuesdays. Most of what I want is older stuff, so this switch works well for me. I am noticing a softening in prices for quite a few low to mid-grade classics, such as early Quality [Early Plastic Man in VG/F was being GIVEN AWAY at this auction !!], some Fiction House, PCH and even pulps. There were deals on many groups of Amazing Stories & other science-fiction pulps & I was able to score 24 copies of Wild West Weekly going as far back as 1924! These early issues do not show up very often & when they do [ on ebay] they are usually offered for prices ranging from $30.00 to $200.00 USD each ! I got mine for about $12.00 each CAD ! Very nice, If I say so myself. Yep, I’m still resisting those comic books, but cannot resist them pulps ! There were some good deals on comics yesterday at Heritage, but I saved my sheckels for them wild western pulps. Vootie !!

Your Avengers #57 looks very faded Walt. It must have been hanging on your wall too long & the sun got to it. My copy is a nice deep red & is probably about a fine.

Chris Meli
10 months ago

I think you have to put Wings at the end just because of all the boring plane covers, even if there are a number of classics in the series. Um – there was also Fight Comics. I am not going to rank the rest, but I have to say I am as big a fan of Jumbo and Jungle as the others. The late Whitman Jungles in high grade are really nice.

Yes that guy on the left’s outfit redeems that Boy cover. Imagine how festive the world was when that was everyday dress.

LIVE FROG mentions the Roman Soldiers ad – that’s the one that came to mind for me immediately. I don’t think you can beat the seed selling ad for ubiquity.

Avengers #57 is such a cover. If you are going to do a standing around cover, this is the way to do it. I used to have one but I sold it. The book is too common for me to feel like I really need a copy, but if somebody wants to send me a 9.8 as a gift, I will send them a sincere thank you note.

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Chris- you have to be an aviation fan to appreciate the WINGS covers, I think they are very well done, by artists who really knew their aircraft. Add to this a few buxom babes in distress or with machine guns & you have a winning combination! Those Jumbo/Jungle covers are nice but begin to look the same after a while.

You should go after the Jungle pulps- now there’s fine literature!

Wings comics was the four-colour offspring of the WINGS pulp, naturally. There were so many aviation pulp titles issued during the 1920’s-1940’s that they are considered a separate, unique genre!! There are multitudes of them, some of them very rare. The Wings comics are fairly common, but the Wings pulp can be elusive. I can safely say I have seen all of the Wings comics [ I own most of them ] but I have never seen all of the Wings pulps. I have never seen a #1 in the flesh!

I don’t really care for PLANET comics, even though some of my favourite Fiction House covers are in that run [#54 & #72 among others]. Strangely enough, the PLANET pulp is VERY common, but some of the Planet comics are rarely seen. Be careful paying for those early Planet pulps- they really are common. If you put your mind to it, you could find & purchase the entire set within a year and not break the bank. If money is not an object, then there are lots of over-priced issues on ebay- go to it tiger! I have seen more copies of Planet #1 [pulp] than I can comfortably lift- I own two copies myself, one of them virtually MINT! Nice stuff if you’re fond of space-opera.

The ad that sticks in my mind was the SEA MONKEYS ad. What the hell were those things? Some kind of crustacean ?? Did any of you actually get these critters?

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Ok guys- check it out…Heritage auctions is beginning to question CGC grading. Yes, I know- this isn’t a comic book…but I have not seen this kind of ‘dissent’ before!
Is this the beginning of the end ??? Read the description, don’t just look at the picture !

https://movieposters.ha.com/itm/western/the-santa-fe-trail-paramount-1930-very-fine-lobby-card-11-x-14-western/a/162312-53294.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Hey LF
Sea Monkeys were nothing more than common brine shrimp. They came in an envelope, dried, and you just had to add water for the little buggers to come to life. They didn’t come wearing crowns or living in a little castle, and, if they ever smiled and waved like the ones in the ad, you certainly couldn’t tell. The only reason I managed to get any (you couldn’t order them from Canada) was because we had friends who spent a lot of time at their cottage in Maine, and they ordered them for me and brought them back over the border. In retrospect, I wonder if they had to declare them or could even legally bring the creatures into the country! Anyway…”Sea Monkeys?” Bo-o-oring!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Thanks Mel- I had a hunch that they were some kind of shrimp. How were you supposed to feed these things? Did they come with a food packet or were you supposed to watch them starve to death ?? Enquiring minds want to know!

There have been some daft contest prizes in the comics over the years. I distinctly recall live monkeys being offered as prizes in various Golden Age comics. I am sure that I have seen such a contest advertised on Charlton comics covers as recently as the late 1950’s! What a great idea- let’s give a completely wild animal to an innocent kid, so it can rampage throughout the house, shrieking & pooping and destroying everything in it’s path! Sign me up- I want a monkey- my cat needs a friend!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Actually, LF, I don’t think they did send any food! Nor were they overly entertaining. You put them in water, they came out of dormancy and looked like tiny swimming boogers! I just let mine dry up again and put them back in the envelope. I understand there was a real problem though in New York City from kids flushing their Sea Monkeys down the toilet, because there is a huge source of food in the sewers and now, apparently, there are raging battles between roaming gangs of Sea Monkeys, who have grown to enormous proportions, and jolly bands of alligators! Seriously though, when I was a kid that was one scenario that popped into my head almost immediately upon seeing my first Sea Monkey ad! See what comics can do to your imagination?!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

I guess we are all LIVE FROGs now, I knew it would come to this.

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Weird. Not sure how I sent my message to you from you. But I bet I can’t do it again!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

A-Ha ha ha ha ha-a-a-a-a-a-a-a- !!! I HAVE TAKEN OVER THE BLOG !!! YOU WILL DO AS I COMMAND !!!!

YOU WILL IMMEDIATELY STOP INVESTING IN COMICS, OPEN ALL OF YOUR SLABS & START READING YOUR BOOKS !!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHHHHH A A A A A A A A A A A A !!!!!!!!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

the horror

ActiveJim
ActiveJim
10 months ago

I thought the Toronto Comicon was pretty good this year but its increasingly is less about the source material Comics and more about the commercialization of the modern Comic/movie remake industry to appeal to newer generations and less about the what we have fond memories of.
That’s fine if you’re a Comic Super Family and are passing the torch onto your munchkins. This is the show for you.
I’ll keep going back to buy some books from the GA/SA dealers as I did this year buying US books in runs I’m trying to complete and Canadian GA reprints and Whites too, which I found both of.
While their overall footprint in the North Building was smaller, they were mostly together in one area so you didn’t have to mingle with too many extreme costumed patrons as you went through comic boxes and talked to dealers.

Chris Meli (having escaped the grip of LIVE FROG)
Chris Meli (having escaped the grip of LIVE FROG)
10 months ago

Fight #27 is wildly undervalued. Spread the word.

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

SSSSHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone about Fight #27! Let it be our little secret ! I am having the Larson copy professionally restored as I write- some twit wrote his name on the cover & I am having it removed !!! There is also that damned hand written arrival date…..

Chris- you will never escape my grip ! I COMMAND YOU TO READ ALL THE DITKO ISSUES OF ROM, SPACEKNIGHT !!! DO IT NOW !!!!

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Hey guys, you don’t want to be handing out tips until you have stocked up on the issues in question! So, I can now tell you that, even though it is not cited in Overstreet, Daredevil #153 is the first appearance of Ben Urich! It also happens to be penciled by the great Gene Colan. I picked up that issue totally at random at my LCM and had not idea what a hidden gem it was until I started poking around online. After Matt Murdoch himself, reporter Ben Urich is my favourite Daredevil character, and massively underappreciated. I’ve been socking away any number of books in the three to five dollar range in the guide which are already selling for sometimes hundreds of dollars. And, no, I’m not gonna give away any of them until I have my fill! ‘Nuff spoken!

And, LF, I am still totally at a loss as to how my comment got rerouted to being your comment. That is just too weird! Could I have somehow got your Email address through crossed wires? Am I psychic?! If I think really hard I can almost see in it my mind’s eye! Is there by any chance a “4884” in the mix, and is your name really “Mark?” It’s actually kind of freaking me out. I do have a lifelong history of sensitivity to the paranormal, but it doesn’t usually head off in this oddball direction!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

You may be on to something Mel- I don’t know how our wires got crossed. Now you, Me & Meli can share investment tips behind everyone’s backs !

I have a VG copy of DD #153. Ya think it’s worth something ???

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Well, I’ll tell you one thing LF, it’s sure worth reading! There are very few ancillary characters I enjoy more than Ben Urich! Brian Bendis made really good use of him during his long run on Daredevil.

I bet now that I have got you thinking about it, I can tap into the rest of that Email if I concentrate. Don’t ask me how it works, but I have done my share of psychic readings in the past, and have engaged in a fair amount of “ghost” detecting. I’m sure most people think of it as just a parlour trick, but I have been both cursed and blessed with this since I was kid, as were my mother and sister as well. And, trust me, “ghosts” are not a lot of fun to have to deal with, and being able to readily sense them is just bloody unnerving! I’m going to bet I could probably…well, I’m not going to tell you. I’ll just do it when I have it all figured out.

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

I have had a few unearthly encounters….but nothing too un-nerving. I find ghosts fascinating…

VILE FROG
VILE FROG
10 months ago

Well, you never know where you will learn something. LF, I had no idea about those Ditko ROM issues. They are out of control. I am gladly going to follow your command.

I would not bother with the restoration on those books – after all, we are just going to read them and use them as coffee coasters from here on out, right? – if you don’t like that writing, just scribble it out with a ballpoint pen, or tear off that piece of the cover.

CHRI$ LIME
CHRI$ LIME
10 months ago

Yep, those Ditko issues are inked by P.Craig Russell too! ROM just gets no love…yet it’s not at all bad.

Walt made a big noise about buying that huge collection a year or two ago. He was supposed to be posting his new ‘discoveries’ to this blog regularly, but I have seen NOTHING for months. I have a feeling that he opened up one too many boxes of ROM and gave up! Hey Walt- how many copies of Rom #17 &#18 did you get in that collection ? How many are slab-worthy??? We need to know!!

Quite a few pedigreed books have been needlessly restored. History in some cases, has been erased. All for the love of a dollar! Shame!!

CHRI$ LIME
CHRI$ LIME
10 months ago

Wow! Some of those Ditko issues have some major inking talent! Ditko starts with issue #59 & works through to the final issue-#75
P.Craig Russell inks most of these, but the odd issue is done by Byrne, Palmer or Sinnott !!! Damn- I don’t know if I have all these issues ! Damn!!
Time to go into my sub-basement again & do some digging!!!

CHRI$ LIME
CHRI$ LIME
10 months ago

CHRIS LIME=mark=LF?! What the heck is goin’ on here?!

I mean seriously now,
mel taylor

P.S. “Your email address will not be published.”

Alan Barnard
Alan Barnard
10 months ago

The mostly mail order company Edmund Scientific used to have a large booth in the Hobby Building at Toronto’s CNE in the 1970s. That’s where my brother bought his Sea Monkeys. Yes, they were just brine shrimp and I don’t recall them lasting long.

Demonstrating that I wasn’t much wiser, I sent away for the 100 pc. Toy Soldier Set. I must have ordered with an earlier version of the ad as it accepted Canadian orders and I don’t recall it stating the dimensions of the foot locker. Eight-year-old me thought it would fit nicely at the foot of my bed. Every day I’d rush home from school to see if it had arrived. I can still remember the shock of discovering this tiny box sitting on the kitchen table with the rest of the mail. The foot locker was just the cardboard shipping box with the address and postage labels on the bottom. All of the equipment and figures were flat except for the aircraft and everything was made from the cheapest olive green plastic. I only recall taking the “toys” out of the box a couple of times and I know I never played with them. Perhaps as a reminder of a lesson learned, I still have the box tucked away in a corner of the IKEA shelving unit that contains my comic long boxes.

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Mel!- How are you able to respond as CHRI$ LIME ??? What IS going on here !!!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

For those of you who are losing the plot, we are testing the limits of the CBD blog page. Sorry for the confusion- normal service will resume shortly!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

And thus, my grip on you tightens, Meli ! You are falling under my control !! Now it is just the Ditko issues of ROM, but soon it will be ALL issues of ROM and my victory will be complete !!!

No, waitaminnit- that’s too easy !! I can make you collect Dazzler & Spider-Woman too !! Lets not forget Ms.Marvel !! I can make you collect ANYTHING !!! You are in my power !!! Bwhahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Actually, those Ditko issues of ROM are not too bad. He begins with issue #59 & continues to the bitter end-#75. Many issues are inked by P.Craig Russell, but there are a couple issues with work by Byrne, Palmer & Sinnott too. Not bad for a bum title, eh??
A major problem for me with ROM is that Sal Buscema did most of the art for this series. I just didn’t care for his work! On top of this, Marvel & DC were experimenting with better paper around the mid-eighties & better colour printing. Unfortunately, it took them a while to get the colours right & many comics from this era look lurid & ghastly! I was reading Conan & Thor during this time period & the change in colour printing scorched my eyes! Up until that point, comic colours nicely ‘sank’ into the newsprint & complemented the art. When the new colour printing was introduced, the colours looked lurid and did not sink into the paper, but ‘puddled’ on top of it- looking like a hand-applied watercolour using a flourescent paint! Awful, awful stuff!
The ROM toy was a failure, and the Marvel comic lasted longer than it did, finally dying in February 1986. Marvel no longer owns the rights to ROM & has not/can not reprint any of their issues or any other of their comics where ROM appears. Other publishers [ such as IDW] can not reprint Marvel’s ROM easily, due to the frequent appearance of several Marvel characters in that run [ the X-Men appear several times & Dr. Strange is in a few issues]. Check the ROM listing on wikipedia for more details. The series remains in limbo & if ya wannit, ya has to buy the originals. Luckily, they are not very expensive.

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Thanks Alan! You have confirmed what I have read in other publications. Those ads were very enticing, but the final product was crap! As I mentioned earlier, I had read an interview with RUSS HEATH where he mentions the grief he got after drawing the ad for the Roman Soldier set. That product was just as bad as the 100 TOY SOLDIERS that you got & people would razz him afterwards due to his connection to that toy. Having said all this- if you still have that set, it is now probably worth A MINT as I am sure very few sets survive, let alone complete! You should get it SLABBED- what are you waiting for !!! Woop !

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

We are having some fun with the blog page. Some of my earlier posts under the name CHRI$ LIME vanished & now have re-appeared. They may vanish again.
You will see that there was a hiccup earlier & several replies to my posts were made under my handle LIVE FROG by other members. Obviously, there was a hiccup somewhere!

Mel!- it’s all good ! I am just having fun with Meli & am thinking of posting again under the name CHRI$ MILE [HIGH] just to razz him.
I am a master of subliminal persuasion & have been sending him thought waves all evening! He doesn’t know it yet- but he is about to start collecting TOM & JERRY comics like a madman !! Notice how quickly I got him to collect Ditko ROM comics ??!! The fun is just starting !

Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
10 months ago

I’ve been using a dollar sign in his name for years ever since he taught me comic’s aren’t about fun anymore.

VOLE FRIG
VOLE FRIG
10 months ago

Ye$ I am all about the Benjamin$ or Borden$ (but I need more of those). I was reading Tom & Jerry comics before I could read, so no problem there. Plenty of light to read by from the fireplace as I feed in those worthless raw FF #48s and such.

Spider
Spider
10 months ago

Status report:

The inpatients have taken over the facility and are neck deep in self medication!

Ghosts, cross country mind manipulation and Ditko ROM are the hot topics – whilst poor Chri$ is burning his investments (aka books) in the fire – and therefore probably suffering poisoning from all the plastic being burnt.

It’s all gone a bit strange up there!

RICH $LIME
RICH $LIME
10 months ago

Spider !- It’s good to hear from you ! It’s not as bad as it looks…taxes on alcohol are going up 2% on April 1st and the citizens are rioting! We’ll cry in our beer! How much are you paying for a can of Foster’s ??

Chri$- I love Tom & Jerry too! I grew up on the classic cartoons with all the violence. Never did me any harm. Have quite a few of the comics.

I’m glad that my mental powers have you firmly in my control. Next, I will have you start collecting Ditko’s Speedball! Have fun !

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Next thing you know we’ll all be putting together complete runs of Squirrel Girl! The horror! The horror!

And, Spider, I still have that list of great reads for five bucks and under. Walt’s got my Email address and permission to hpass it on to you if you want to get in touch. I am in the process of finalizing a lovely run of Daredevil Vol. II from 1-119+500 (not a fan of Shadowland, so I don’t really care about 501-512) thanks largely to my buddy Mike, who has scored four of the last five books I need on Comiclink. And, rest assured, the very first thing I do when I get them is crack the slabs and toss ’em (the slabs I mean). Feels so go-o-od! Most issues in this run still list for three to five bucks!!! Among other things too I was recently gifted the first two issues of Ed Brubaker’s first series, Lowlife, from Caliber Press. This is Ed at his autobiographical best. I’m now thinking of tracking down the Caliber books by Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, Michael Lark, and Ed Brubaker to compliment my Caliber-heavy run of DD. It often seems that everybody who ever worked for Caliber got famous except me!

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Actually, Caliber would be a great publisher to collect, featuring the talents of Guy Davis, Vince Locke, Tim Vigil, James O’Barr, Mike Allred, Phil Hester, Stuart Immonen, Patrick Zircher, Dame Darcy, Dave Cooper, Matt Howarth, Jason Lutes, Michael Lark, David Mack, Brian Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Michael Gaydos, Michael Gilbert, Mike Deodato, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Mark Askwith, R.G. Taylor…and that other Taylor guy. That’s a pretty impressive lineup, apart from that last dude!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

I just assumed that we all had complete runs of SQUIRREL GIRL by now? Right? Right ??

Caliber produced some decent stuff back in the day. There were many good independent publishers working back in the 1980’s & into the 1990’s and I find their material more interesting than many of the then current mainstream superhero comics. I have to work on reading or re-reading some of these books before I croak [that’s a pun-I’m LIVE FROG!].

Who is this Mel Taylor guy ? I keep hearing about him!

Spider
Spider
10 months ago

Hey Mel!

I thought of you last week…I had one of my shipments arrive (Portland,OR to Melbourne,AU)…and one of my lovely stores had a small case of dyslexia – instead of sending me a Daredevil #135 ($5 in a fn/vf condition, just wanted to see if it was OK) …they dent me a #153 (in a vf/nm). I’ll take a 1st Ben Urich anyday!!!

I’m in the same boat Mel with DD v2 – #1-119 is looking pretty good and I just order a few of those David Mack issues (#18 & #54). I’m still waiting for Walt’s advice to stock up on #26 the beginning of Bendis/Maleev to pay off – it’s been 25 years since publication Walt, how long till the public clue on, exactly????

I was at my local public library earlier this week: they have a copy of David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp which I grabbed and I got to enjoy the first 6 issues of Aja’s Hawkeye (the TV show caused that run to be stupidly expensive), very enjoyable reading!

Last night: Tomb of Dracula #12; Brunner cover (not his best work imho), typically great Colan pencils. 2nd Blade appearance and more importantly – the death of Edith Harker – she’s turned into a vampire, attempts suicide and then her father administers the killing blow, powerful stuff!

Walt, for the next underated column – can we discuss an ASM story that is brilliant and creatively interesting (Romita coming off pencils and I suspect steering the book’s plot/script/lay-outs): The clay tablet arc of issues #68-#75. I read #73 a few weeks back and the discussion between Robbie & Randy would be some of the best racial discussion featured in a Marvel (much better than other issues like #68, or Cap #143)

Other highlights: The Walter pick of Brave & the Bold #79 – very interesting book! Would love a nice copy and to read the rest of Adam’s B&B run too!

anyway, that’s been my reading, hope everyone is still turning pages!!!

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

Hey Spider
Well, despite the obvious case of dyxlesia, I am glad they goofed and sent you that Daredevil #153, not just for the first Ben Urich, but also Gene Colan inked by Tony de Zuniga, an interesting combination that works quite well, but he’s no Tom Palmer!

Mazzucchelli’s alternative stuff, like Rubber Blanket, shows a whole different side of his talent than you would ever guess from reading his Daredevil or Batman: Year One.

You simply can’t go wrong with Tomb of Dracula, some of Colan and Palmer’s finest work together! It used to be a highly underrated series, but prices are really catching up, with some of them going for three figures. You used to be able to pick these up for chump change!

I loved Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye, but the interminable delays (they even published two issues out of sequence!) really got on my nerves. I think that is probably why Aja is mostly doing covers these days. At least those he can get done in a timely fashion. See what I did there? Timely! Ha!

And I urge you to pick up all of the David Mack illustrated Daredevils. 16-19 is one of my all-time favourite Ben Urich stories and 51-55 (which Mack also wrote) is pure magic. Just some of the best comic storytelling ever produced. By the way, the Ben Affleck Daredevil film (which was pretty much inspired by Volume Two) has a great bonus feature with interviews of many great Daredevil creators including David Mack, and you get to see him in his studio surrounded by all the bits and pieces that make up his wonderful collages!

At this rate we’ll end up with the same collections! Although I haven’t really dived into DC since the days of Wrightson, Kaluta, Kamandi and Kubert’s Tarzan, although I am still a sucker for Batman.

And, remember, buy what you love and your collection will never lose its value in your lifetime!

mel taylor
mel taylor
10 months ago

*Shameless Plug Department*

LF, if you want to know more about that Mel Taylor guy (and a host of other Canadian creators), check out the Encyclopedia of Canadian
Animation, Cartooning and Illustration at canadianaci.ca. Some of you might remember Bob MacMillan’s essay on Anglo-American Comics from John Bell’s Canuck Comics (1986), but this encyclopedia is Bob’s life’s work. It, along with his extensive archive of Canadian illustration from 1867 to 2017, is being donated to McMaster Unversity in Hamilton, right in Walt’s backyard. It’s people like Bob and Ivan Kocmarek who have made great headway chronicling Canada’s wartime comics (a.k.a. Canadian Whites, a.k.a. WECA books, call ’em what you like) and keeping them in the public eye.

David Mackay
David Mackay
10 months ago

The Polaris Nuclear sub….. That was the ticket to the greatest comic ad ever (save a few Dave Draper ads for joe weider)
I was 9 or ten and a Dutch girl from holland had started in our grade four class. She was lovely, and as tall as myself. (I was already as tall as the tallest kid in school and half the grade)
Alas, she returned to Holland, but this was the vehicle that gave me hope I could visit her some day . Powerful stuff for a nine year old.

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LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

So many ads, so little time ! I still love the monkey–“TOUCH MY MONKEY!-LOVE HIM! TOUCH HIM !” [“Now’s the time on Sprockets when we dance!” ….]

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/undertheinfluence/mail-order-monkeys-other-crazy-comic-book-ads-1.4536179

David Mackay
David Mackay
10 months ago

My Dad stayed in Holland during a winter of WW11 as you know Walt. Perhaps he smelled the tulips.

(how was that old buddy)

Alan Barnard
Alan Barnard
10 months ago

The mostly mail order company Edmund Scientific used to have a large booth in the Hobby Building at Toronto’s CNE in the 1970s. That’s where my brother bought his Sea Monkeys. Yes, they were just brine shrimp and I don’t recall them lasting long.

Demonstrating that I wasn’t much wiser, I sent away for the 100 pc. Toy Soldier Set. I must have ordered with an earlier version of the ad as it accepted Canadian orders and I don’t recall it stating the dimensions of the foot locker. Eight-year-old me thought it would fit nicely at the foot of my bed. Every day I’d rush home from school to see if it had arrived. I can still remember the shock of discovering this tiny box sitting on the kitchen table with the rest of the mail. The foot locker was just the cardboard shipping box with the address and postage labels on the bottom. All of the equipment and figures were flat except for the aircraft and everything was made from the cheapest olive green plastic. I only recall taking the “toys” out of the box a couple of times and I know I never played with them. Perhaps as a reminder of a lesson learned, I still have the box tucked away in a corner of the IKEA shelving unit that contains my comic long boxes.

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

We are having some fun with the blog page. Some of my earlier posts under the name CHRI$ LIME vanished & now have re-appeared. They may vanish again.
You will see that there was a hiccup earlier & several replies to my posts were made under my handle LIVE FROG by other members. Obviously, there was a hiccup somewhere!

Mel!- it’s all good ! I am just having fun with Meli & am thinking of posting again under the name CHRI$ MILE [HIGH] just to razz him.
I am a master of subliminal persuasion & have been sending him thought waves all evening! He doesn’t know it yet- but he is about to start collecting TOM & JERRY comics like a madman !! Notice how quickly I got him to collect Ditko ROM comics ??!! The fun is just starting !

CHRI$ LIME
CHRI$ LIME
10 months ago

CHRIS LIME=mark=LF?! What the heck is goin’ on here?!

I mean seriously now,
mel taylor

P.S. “Your email address will not be published.”

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

Mel!- How are you able to respond as CHRI$ LIME ??? What IS going on here !!!

LIVE FROG
LIVE FROG
10 months ago

For those of you who are losing the plot, we are testing the limits of the CBD blog page. Sorry for the confusion- normal service will resume shortly!

CHRI$ LIME
CHRI$ LIME
10 months ago

Yep, those Ditko issues are inked by P.Craig Russell too! ROM just gets no love…yet it’s not at all bad.

Walt made a big noise about buying that huge collection a year or two ago. He was supposed to be posting his new ‘discoveries’ to this blog regularly, but I have seen NOTHING for months. I have a feeling that he opened up one too many boxes of ROM and gave up! Hey Walt- how many copies of Rom #17 &#18 did you get in that collection ? How many are slab-worthy??? We need to know!!

Quite a few pedigreed books have been needlessly restored. History in some cases, has been erased. All for the love of a dollar! Shame!!