Edward Scissorhands

A couple of weeks ago the gentleman listing his incomplete books on our eBay auctions dropped a bombshell on me when he said “I think I still have the clippings”. Amazing! I asked him if he could bring them in and sure enough late last week he proudly walked in with a bag full of four-colour magic.

He told me he clipped them to remind himself that he had to go out and hunt them down. Judging from that bottom right-hand corner I think it’s safe to assume that he ended up snagging copies of Journey into Mystery Annual #1 and Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.

I’m going to be honest, this was so much fun to sift through, seeing all these classic covers, knowing they were clipped out back in the 60s from contemporary issues that he picked up that same month added even more to the experience. This whole pile needs to be turned into some sort of art collage; I don’t know a thing about collaging so I know it won’t be me doing it.

This whole experience started because I was curious if he still had the missing ad page he cut out of X-Men #1, the infamous page 12. The pic below shows the only full-page clippings he had and unfortunately, there is no page 12 for X-Men #1 in there. I don’t know the books these pages below came out of and I’m not sure if these pages were in multiple books during that sales month. Does anybody have any idea?

I’ve checked through a lot of Silver Age books in my day, thousands and thousands of them. I’m going to give you my unscientific estimate on what percentage of books from this era had coupons cut or pages were torn out of them: I say it is 5% or roughly one in 20 books, based on my experience. You bring me twenty old collections with each collection having a copy of Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) #14 and I’ll bet one of them is missing something! A quick check of the CGC Census shows roughly 2% of the ASM 14s are Qualified but I’m thinking guys wouldn’t send down incomplete books for grading so perhaps I’m close with my estimate.

Perhaps I can convince him to run these things on an eBay auction? Speaking of which, our biggest weekly internationalcollectiblesexchange eBay auction by the number of lots this year finished last night; there were lots and lots of goodies available. A beautiful CGC 9.4 Avengers #59 sold for $685, a bit off its high sale in September when a copy fetched $795 but I have noticed a lot of December have dipped in price. Our copy had strong colours and a good even cut. Advantage Buyer.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1702


  1. The only reason that I have in my collection Amazing Spider-Man #11-31 is my buddy Dick Swan, Big. Guy’s Comics, had them some years ago…all with one or two ad pages clipped out of each. $2 each is what I recall, but who knows anymore. Perfect reading copies. Maybe this collector was thinking the same as yours, Walter. Or liked to tack them on the wall?

    I often make xerox copies of cool 1940s ads and stick them on my own wall here in my office at home. I think a nicely done book on Golden Age House Ads would be a ton of fun, but I’m not sure how commercial it would be. Someday I’ll put all of mine in a binder. Love those Timely ads for Marvel Mystery, Subby and Human Torch! But many smaller companies did wonderful ads, MLJ comes to mind, Ace titles like Super-Mystery, Prize, Quality….

    Several years ago I bought a stat-&-original-art, full page ad, twice up like a comic book page, for the entire ACG line, circa 1950. I showed it to Craig Yoe, this being at a San Diego Comic Con, and he knew who the letterer/designer was who did the original artwork for it. We all know DC’s wonderful guy, Ira Schnapp..here’s a Wiki bit on him if you don’t know, and there’s a wonderful article on him in a back issue of Alter Ego or Comic Book Marketplace. LIke many others, I love his ads in the early 1960s for all the DC titles: Showcase, Rip Hunter, Detective, JLA, Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space. I’ve made a point over the years to pick up many of the comics I saw (and lusted after) in the early 1960s…except JLA #1 is still eluding me, you can guess why….But those ads for #2 and other issues, with covers by Murphy Anderson, they were just so cool even though I never bought an early JLA off the spinner racks.

    Letterer and logo designer Ira Schnapp defined the DC Comics look for nearly thirty years. Starting in 1940, he designed or refined such iconic logos as Action Comics, Superman, The Flash, and Justice League of America, while also creating the distinctive appearance of DC’s house ads and promotions. (Schnapp also designed the Comics Code Authority seal, which was a fixture on comic book covers from all major companies for over forty years.)

    When I was really young, maybe 7 or 8, in 1959 or 1960, I clipped up copies of Lone Ranger’s Silver and some other early comics and a coloring book or two, to paste them into a scrapbook. I’ll have to dig that out, I still have it somewhere, and see what else I destroyed. Probably some of our family’s subscription copies of Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories! Oh, well, they were all gone anyway by the time I actually began collecting those issues for the Barks.

  2. Posted too quickly – Bud! Re your last paragraph – same story for me except I am a real youngster, so my “Super Album” was made up of the faces from the sides of the Justice League picture frame issues of the early seventies and other books. A number of Adams covers were victims, especially DC 100 Page #6 and Superman #252 (another 100 pager). In the past few years I restored these to my collection. Like you, I think I have this scrapbook somewhere. (Generally I love the fifty-cent 100 pagers – the you can have the sixty-centers, these are the wannabes.)

  3. I remember as a kid trying to order some of the cool things advertised in the comics, like sea monkeys and Revolutionary War soldiers (which, unbeknownst to little me, were not available in Canada), but I had my own method of sending the orders you were told to cut out of your books. I actually neatly redrew the order boxes on a separate sheet of paper! What a concept! And what a relief years later, eh?

  4. A guy I knew in school who had a mostly complete set of main Marvels, except that he would use a paper punch on each one so that he could keep them in three ring binders. He destroyed every one of them in this matter. I can’t imagine the damage to the books.

  5. Sounds like doing in our books was a very common thing at least in the 1960s. I know a guy who lent his out to his friends, he staples a pouch on to them so he could insert a library type return card so he could keep track, these were early Marvels! Must have been some good weed in this area back in the 60s though perhaps not as potent as the stuff floating around San Jose, California.

  6. Can confirm; I’ve been dealing with a lovely Canadian gentlemen who has been collecting since the 60’s and he has books that are hard bound (oh, I nearly cried) and the hole punched versions too.

    I believe their is value in looking at the way we treat our books; we evolve and change; does anyone remember the professional restoration phase of the 90’s, with numerous ads in our copies of Overstreet (on a side note hasn’t that magazine REALLY improved it’s contributors, some of the new experts are, quite simply, brilliant!)…now all those restored books are receive the dreaded purple label of death.

    Now we’re pressing like fiends (remember when that used to be considered a restoration process) and encapsulating large portions of the book population (for very specific issues).

    I think we can all agree the greatest increase in the treatment of books, yet also ironically the greatest threat to our collections, is removing children from the comic equation. We may have huge collections of 9.8 modern books (never read) however without the interest and love of reading in children we risk owning huge piles of valueless colourful bits of paper (that I very much enjoyed reading myself)

  7. Don’t forget Classics Illustrated had a coupon and a checklist in the back cover. I’ve seen many with coupons cut and check marks on the list!

  8. Dave, you got the ad right. I love the one for JLA #3 also, that was a golden time for DC house ads. Brave and the Bold with Hawkman’s first Silver Age appearances, umboy.

    Klaus, I just don’t want to spend the big bucks on JLA #1. I can buy a More Fun or S&K Adventure or sharp wartime Action or Detective for what I’d have to spend for a even mid-grade copy. My buddy passed away and I thought I’d finally get his…but his wife wanted to sell all 200 issues of JLA intact, and I didn’t need more than a couple others, since I don’t collect JLA past about #40 or so. So they went to A-1 Comics, who gave her a good price.

    I’m more a FF or Doom Patrol or Avengers guy than JLA, if that isn’t too sacreligious. So I missed out on that one and I don’t want to to pay $500 for a beat-up copy or $1000 for not much nicer copy, let alone the price of a fine copy, my acceptable grade. So, I’ll live without unless one falls into my lap.

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