Grey Cup, World Cup, D Cup

I was distracted while writing this post, my mind was on Cups all day long and into the night with the Grey Cup ending, the World Cup starting and um…

The big Heritage Auction that ended November 17 – 20 for me reinforced what most people have been seeing these past few months, namely the heavily traded Marvel keys showing some softness. I was delighted with the prices being realized for the very early 1930s pre-hero comics; their scarcity and lack of trading make it hard to peg trends onto them but the results looked strong. I didn’t follow the results but I was told that the Pre-Code Horror books had good results too. I think it’s important for the market to have segments doing well during a negative trend: it’s like the money is in no rush to leave the hobby, rather it just drifts into different eras and genres.

This week’s “destined for the eBay auction pile” was tantalizing and enlightening. For the cover of the week, I’ll stay with the cup theme and present Anthro #6 featuring the great Cat Fight cover drawn by Howie Post and inked by the great Wally Wood.

Speaking of Wood, Wally inked this Dan Adkins splash page for THUNDER Agents #6 published by Tower Comics. I’m featuring it as my Splash of the week. It might only be me but I see this and I think Zagreb vs Belgrade!

I’m telling you those No Man, Dynamo and THUNDER Agents titles from Tower Comics in the 1960s can still be had for next to nothing. I wonder if they’ll ever catch fire in the marketplace?

Our ad of the week comes from Mutt and Jeff #20, Winter 1945. We were talking about sports on one of the other posts recently and I thought I’d feature this ad to drive home a point. Who’s Don Hutson? I’m not a big sports buff but I don know about the average amount of trivia and sports history and I have no clue who this guy is. The point being, sporting figures age and unless you are an iconic figure like Ruth or Ali you may be eventually forgotten about. Real people age, fictional superheroes and other comic book characters never age. There’s always a chance that a forgotten character like say the Collector can be dusted off and made popular again; I’m afraid we can’t say the same for old Don Hutson.

While I have you on this page, notice the cleanly cut-out page at the spine area of the book. This comic is not incomplete, back during the WWII era ad pages were cut to save paper. I once had a Golden Age Sub-Mariner I bought off of the great Harley Yee, I ended up taking it back to him after I leafed through the book and saw one of these cleanly cropped pages. Harley let me know what was up and since then I’ve seen many books from this era with these pages cropped off. It would be nice if there were a list of them so we could protect ourselves with the knowledge as buyers. Maybe there is a list but I’m not aware of one.

While I still have you on this page I have to ask why Mutt and Jeff are worth so little: this is a great Golden Age DC title with some great covers, perhaps they’ll break out once I start putting them up for auction!

Speaking of sports icons, when I see this comic I get deja vu all over again. We sold this copy a couple of months back but the bidder did not pay so we ran it again once we allowed the proper time to elapse. This time around our very solid copy of Batman #29 got $500 USD on our weekly ice collectibles eBay auction. We realized a little interest as last time it sold for $495. The book had great colour and nice gloss and is structurally sound; a name in pen should not spoil the richness of this book. I say 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: 1688

8 Comments

  1. Wow! I’ve only once in my life had the opportunity to ride a penny-farthing, but, I can tell you one thing, you should never, ever take your hands off the handlebars if you want to live!!!

  2. I put up my Tower comics a few months back and barely had anyone even look at them! I think they are solid 60’s comics with some great art by all involved but the live just ain’t there! In more recent sales ASM 20 with into office the Scorpion beat out ASM 17 with the second Green Goblin by a $200 difference. Firsts beat seconds again! Love the Batman despite the dangerous bike handling! I have yet to part with my 40’s Batman issues!

  3. Random thoughts…..Overall Walter, I think your cover of the week is pretty pathetic; even though I am a huge Woods fan. Mutt and Jeff were big in the early comic strips but the different audience for comic books never gave them the same sort of love despite the fact that they ran for decades. And I don’t think they necessarily translate well for a modern audience. If anyone actually reads these vintage books anymore. Finally, the Tower comics were a lot of fun with some great concepts. But with a total of a 3+ year run, there is not much nostalgia for them. And there is not any extreme horror or T&A to make them cult favourites. Personally I am looking to complete my Tower comics collection in the near future. Arguably their most popular books may have been the Tippy Teen series and its spinoffs.

  4. That Anthro book stood out in my childhood. I would stare at it for a long time. Howie Post – yes! Girl fight for Archie in prehistoric times. While Anthro eats a turkey leg. Thanksgiving all the way.

    Just checked the Heritage signature auction. The usual suspects were interspersed with some rarities and surprises. Toy World Funnies made a second appearance at auction and more than doubled its value from 2016 to $12,600 for the gvg copy.

    And Wow Comics 38. The Mary Marvel Wow Comics have some fantastic covers and if you are the only one that thinks it these are a steal. Wow 38 in nm- sold for $1620 in 2019, now it sells for $11,400. All five sales in 2022 are in this vein. Mary Marvel!!

    And I have to give Heritage full credit for having themed auctions, themes are from Matt Baker, Horror-Suspense, Fiction House and Fox coming up. The Matt Baker auction taught me something about Cinderella Love 25 that I did not fully know. And this auction led me down a path where I researched some late 50s Marvel Romance I have and they sport Matt Baker covers – Love Romances 78 & 79! Should have guessed by the Kate Bush hip swivel. Took me 40 years to figure that out.

  5. Walt! Love the cover of the week. I have never seen it before. Looks like a sort of Betty and Veronica type of homage.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Robin, the subject matter on that Anthro, base, as are many of us. I agree on the Mutt and Jeff, these characters were never successful transitioned to younger fans, there is a whole scrap heap of characters like this, remember the Three Stooges movie remake? I also agree on the Tower, and yes, Tippy Teen is their most sought after title.

    Alex, yes those rare gems did great and as I mentioned before, I think there is money still in comics its just leaving Bronze Age keys and moving into rarities like those on Heritage.

  7. For the first time in my life, I am not watching the World Cup. I do not believe that it belongs in QATAR, a nation with minimal soccer history. I believe FIFA is corrupt and should be disbanded.

    Another reason is cost. For decades, I used to be able to watch all the games I could handle on cable TV, with or without a sports specialty channel package. I could watch the EPL, some Championship & lower league games, FA Cup, some top tier European League games [ Italian, German etc ], all the European cups [Champions League & Europa, plus their predecessors] & EURO & World Cups for a few bucks a month. Now, FIFA and their cronies have allowed different entities to bid on the rights to broadcast various different competitions & the market has become fractured. I figure that if I want to watch all the games that I used to enjoy back in the good old days, I would have to pay at least $700.00 a year to obtain access to the various streaming channels that now have rights to each of these competitions ! That is freaking BS & I am off the bus ! I killed my cable TV subscription a couple years ago [ I can’t handle the unrelenting advertising, it drive me nuts !!!] but still subscribe to DAZN, but we’ll see how long that lasts.
    On top of this, most teams, especially in the UK are now owned by foreign powers and are treated as investments. The players are mostly foreign, many managers are foreign & most of these mercenaries do not even know where the city is on the map that they are representing ! Any rich fool like Abramovitch can buy a mid-level team like Chelsea & fill it with world class players from all over the globe and IMMEDIATELY start winning silverware! Is this how we wish to see the game played ??? How about raising your own local talent through your own academies and EARNING that silverware properly! Yes, Abramovitch is gone now [ & without his money, Chelsea is faltering!], but other teams remain, owned by foreign entities who are only in it for the money [ Yes, Manchester City- I am looking at you!!!]. My interest in modern top tier soccer [EPL] is waning & I find the lower leagues [Championship, League 1 & 2] more interesting, as they more truly represent how the game should be played and portrayed.

    Sorry, this is not a sports blog. Blame Walt for bringing up the subject!!
    Hey Walt! – Red Star Belgrade & Dinamo Zagreb have not done that well in European championships for many years- maybe they should buy some foreign players !! What do you think?- we should replace half the team with Brazilians & maybe then we will see some results!!! Oi Oi ??

    I never warmed up to Anthro. I have that cat-fight issue somewhere in my basement but have never read it. I got it for the Wood-work. I don’t know why Robin calls it ‘pathetic’- that seems like such a harsh & mean-spirited statement to heap upon this poor little book. I do not understand the derision.

    Strange little world- Tower Comics never found an audience, yet is filled with top talent & fun stories that entertain to this day! Crandall, Wood, Ditko, Kane, Adkins etc fill those pages, but no-one cares ! Collectors will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a ‘pathetic’ bronze-age Spiderman comic, laden with mindless story & lame art, but a gem-filled Tower Comic will sell for about $20.00 [ if you’re lucky!]. How does that work ???

    Mutt & Jeff are relics of their time. They still have an audience, but that audience will not buy slabbed copies for a premium! Lots of guys like me collect the old newspaper strips for the sheer enjoyment they bring- as I have said before, many classic newspaper strips are on a level far superior to the comic books of the same era. It is very hard to collect these fragments of old newspapers & very hard to keep them MINT, thus they have never been infected with the ‘investment’ disease that afflicts the comic book. Yet, when original art pages of Mutt & Jeff show up on Heritage or elsewhere, those pages soar for a few thousand bucks each! Don’t believe me? Go check the Heritage Auctions archives right now- you will become educated in an instant.
    Yep, I bought a Captain America #38 in VF from Motor City Comics back around 1987 and almost had a heart attack right at his table! I checked the book right there and then & it was missing pages- it had those little slits that you have noted above, in your Mutt & Jeff #20. Michael Goldman calmly explained to me that this is how certain comics were produced during WW2, yet I could not fully trust him [ I thought he was putting me on!]. I looked at the book closely & it seemed to work, the story continued fluidly & nothing appeared missing. I took the book & went home. Now, many years later- I know that he was right. I have purchased many books that have these ‘missing pages’. It is indeed a war-time paper saving operation. If you need to know how many pages your Golden Age books should have, this information can be found quite quickly on the GRAND COMICS DATABASE. They list every dang issue & note all the page counts. Check it out & get informed. I wish GCD was around back in 1987- it would have saved me a stroke !!! Captain America #38 has only 60 pages. That is how it was made. The cover is also censored- but no-one has ever noted this!!! Why ???

    Walt- what do you do with a non-paying bidder??? Personally, I would have him arrested, tried & executed [ publicly drawn & quartered ] to make an example of him! I won a complete 8-page original art story by Bob Powell through Heritage due to the antics of a non-paying bidder [ a shill bidder who ended up getting caught with the winning bid! ]. Apparently, Heritage only reprimanded him as opposed to banning him outright- this stupid fool had bought before & they were loathe to lose a paying customer. I got all this info from a very good Rep at Heritage, who told me more than I needed to know. I ended up getting this story for a very good price, but still about $300.00 more than fair-market value due to his fraudulent bids!

    You guys keep talking about a ‘correction’ in the marketplace, but I am only seeing this on certain key books that have soared ‘in value’ over the pandemic and are now coming down to earth. I am not seeing a massive correction in the stuff I collect- I have been focusing my energies on certain 1970’s titles lately & am still seeing massive competition for the books I need. I was happy to score about three dozen books over the last three weeks in very high grade [ all raw, the seller I buy from rarely offers slabbed books ] with a nice group of Tomb of Dracula on top of the pile! I do not study the GPA like the word of God & can not say how the prices I saw relate to what was happening in 2019 or 2020, but will say that these prices are very strong & I had to fight tooth & nail to get the books I wanted- the market is still very robust in this area of interest. Although I do not bid through Heritage too much any more, I watch- & have noted that slabbed Hulk issues from the 1970’s are going nuts with some generic run issues hitting hundreds of dollars each !!
    I am not surprised that early GA books perform well. I have won very few since covid began. I have to be happy with what I have in my basement- many of those books remain unread!! WTF???

    I regret that I did not comment previously on trading /sports cards. It is not my field of interest, but I am bothered by how that market is being destroyed by ‘flippers’ who can buy out entire store stocks & sell those cards or packs online for three or four times their retail value, brand new !!! This only works if buyers support their antics- which many do, or it would not continue to happen! If we all stopped buying for a year or two, we could collapse the market !! Think about it ! We only destroy ourselves when we struggle to outbid some other fool on an online auction!! We are the losers when we bid so high to get the stuff that we want!!! Think before you bid!

    For those who care:

    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nba/news/whos-to-blame-for-targets-decision-to-halt-trading-card-sales-everyone/ys8wzdn16rdg1tpttn3gt03nq

    Ho hum.

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