Hammers

It’s February in Canada and that means it’s really cold: luckily I’ve had some hot and heavy books come through to take the edge off. It was only a couple of weeks ago I got to handle a coverless copy of Detective Comics #31 and this week I outdid myself by leafing through an unrestored copy of Detective Comics #35. The book was missing a back cover but trust me, I felt the historic weight of this monster as I held it. This beauty is headed to CGC and will go up on our ICE site as soon as it gets back.

I had shown a Marvel t-shirt ad from 1975 in my last post and someone in the comments field mentioned these t-shirts go back to the mid-60s, so I had to show this ad from Amazing Spider-Man #40 (1966). I bet you these early renditions fetch a pretty penny; those collars do look uncomfortable though.

Speaking of a pretty penny, I was leafing through and counting the pages of a raw copy of Amazing Spider-Man #121 that is going up on next week’s auction. I stopped to admire the famous death of Gwen Stacey splash when I remembered the original art page from Super Hero Secret Wars #8 showing Spidey in his new black costume that just sold for $3.3 million; I couldn’t help but wonder what this original art page would now fetch. The death of Gwenn Stacey was such an important moment in comic book history: they say comics grew up with this issue, this splash page.

Another ad page, this time from Batman #71 from 1952. I wonder if this series of Wheaties baseball cards are highly collected. I know that baseball cards from this era are very sought after but I don’t know enough about cards to know if these Wheaties are worth anything but I have a feeling they are. Wheaties is the breakfast of future champions and future millionaires.

My save of the week has to be this stunning Patsy Walker #27, I had it in my eBay pile but as soon as I saw it I knew it was heading right over to the PC (personal collection). I love the Norman Rockwell style cover

Last night our internationalcollectiblesexchange weekly eBay auction produced some great results. I was especially impressed with the $471.85 that a restored Amazing Spider-Man #19 graded CGC 4.0 with a Stan Lee signature sold for. The staying power of the Stan Lee signature has blown way past my expectations: I thought there were way too many of them out there but the comic book industry keeps teaching me the same valuable lesson over and over again, don’t bet against it.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1673

16 Comments

  1. A buddy of mine just a couple months ago decided to let go of his Patsy Walker collection…not complete at all, but a nice sampling. I kept a handful, but they are mostly pretty lame so I sent what I could off to MyComicShop. Most don’t go for much. My buddy thought the same, clearly, though he’s a huge fan of MLJ’s Suzie and he’s turned me on to here also, the fiend. She started as a back-up in Top Notch Laugh in early 40s and got her own title that lasted for nearly 50 issues into the 1950s.

    But back to Patsy…those painted covers like yours Walter, those are WAY cool. I’ve tried to pick up most of them, there are just a few, but they’re not common. A couple of Atlas pre-code painted covers has become key books from the early 50s and go for crazy money on Heritage.

    Otherwise, the best 1950s teen-age humor books from Stan/Atlas/Marvel are mostly the Dan DeCarlo books, and I don’t think he ever did Patsy…The good DeCarlos are My Friend Irma, My Girl Pearl, and Millie the Model, which he did for roughly 80 issues. Those have gotten highly collectible in the past few years. Just Good or GVG unslabbed copies go for $60, $75, and VG for $100-$150 pretty easily. No relation to guide price anymore. Fine or better copies are rare…they got read and tossed by the ladies…they can fetch $200 and up now, when you can find them.

    Jack Kirby did some of the romance books for Marvel, covers AND stories, at the very end of the romance runs, circa 1959-61 But they are not humor, they’re straight romance. I’d not run across them until my buddy Jim Vadeboncoeur turned me onto them when he offed his Atlas collection. And I’m a hardcore Kirby fan. So I am trying to score all those now. Not his best work, I admit.

    Hillman’s My Date ran for four issues from 1947-48 and they are much better if you want oddball Kirby. Those are teen humor again. Kirby didn’t do much in that area, obviously it didn’t go over well. Romance was another matter, S&K’s romance titles kept those boys in the chips from the late 40s to the mid-50s, they had their entire shop cracking out Young Romance, Young Love, etc.

    That 1966 Marvel ad…I sent in for the 6 ft Spider-Man poster, and the Marvel Stationary. I think I might have wanted a sweater but that was costly back then, when comics cover price was still .12 and I got .75 an hour for yardwork. I know I still have my stationary. I might have poor ol’ Spidey, but it’s probably all messed up. Rolled posters have never done well for me over the last 50 years, too many moves and hard to store safely. But I did have 6ft Spidey on my bedroom wall in my folk’s house until I moved out in 1971.

    If Jeff is reading this, I bet he can answer your question about the trading cards. He’s the man for cards.

  2. Bud and Walter
    Yes I read this weeks post. I do have the complete set of the Wheaties cards. I actually have a panel back as well if I can find it. The set featured different sports and of course the baseball players command the most money. I love the cards that appeared on the backs of cereal boxes. My favorite is the Post Cereal Football and Baseball. I have most all of the american issue cards, but am missing the Canadian issues, both football and baseball. In t962 and 1963 they also appeared on the back of Jello boxes. Price of each depend heavily on how well kids cut the cards from the cereal boxes.

    Since I was a card collector before a comic collector, these cards hold a special place for me. Thanks for showing the ad from Detective #71. Love that kind of stuff. Which is why I don’t like slabbed comics.

    Thanks, Jeff

  3. That Detective #35, wowee. Brian Peets at A-1 Comics had a really sharp copy of this a few years ago. He might have kept it for himself. I would. I love the long-eared, pre-Robin Batman. He’s the man.

  4. Love that Patsy Walker… must look for one even tho I am not supposed to be collecting now….MY Spidey 19 may not look as good as yours…but at least nobody scribbled on the cover! I always want one if those Incredible Hulk sweatshirts… and I may have first seen it in Spidey 40 as well….

  5. Just seeing those ads in Marvels old books, reminds me of how Stan and company ripped off Ditko and Kirby. No Stan Lee signature for me.

  6. Thanks for the info on the cards Jeff, was it Baseball, Football and Basketball? Wasn’t Sam Snead a golfer? Any hockey players in the set?

    Bud, those humor books are a huge rabbit hole, like you say some are becoming very coveted. I think its great that you still have the stationary and it sounds like you got good use out of that poor poster.

    Amazing what that Tec #35 does to guys, such a powerful book.

    Gerald, you wanting that Patsy Walker makes my day, you are a man of good taste!

  7. Regarding signatures: I’m just putting it out there; I blame CGC and encapsulation for these awful scrawls on the covers…signatures on splash pages…that’s were the cool kids get em!

  8. I remember the years that Stan Lee signed, and the last year that Stan Lee attended Fan Expo in Toronto and I had no interest in getting something autographed by him.

    I preferred to get something signed by Gerald Lazare RIP

  9. Hey Spider
    I had a Sandman Mystery Theater Annual signed on the splash page by Alex Ross and,,when I actually thought of selling it, most people weren’t interested because the signature WASN”T on the cover. Or maybe it was because Guy Davis’ signature WAS on the cover. Either way, it is a beautiful book and I just finally decided to keep it. I do have a Stan Lee signature but bought it because it was on a book already signed and numbered by Alex Ross. I could hardly pass that up for 180 bucks. It didn’t hurt that it was Spider-man #600! But, splash page signatures have always been my preference.

  10. Just curious, but is anybody else having a problem when typing in their comments? I am only seeing the top half of the text, which makes punctuatuion a challenge especially, and editing a nightmare!

  11. I have to agree with your point about Stan Lee signatures here, Walt. I wonder if Stan the Man signed more comics than anyone in history. These aren’t rare and I too am surprised by their staying power. Some of his signatures from towards the end of his life look like blobs to me. I suppose that owning his signature must feel like experiencing a brush with history for some people in the way that you felt handling that TEC 35.

  12. Walter
    There were 60 cards, 2 cards per athlete (one a portrait and one an action shot). So 30 different people, 10 of which were baseball players. Besides Football and Basketball there were tennis players, golfers, divers and skiers. I don’t remember any Hockey players.
    Jeff

  13. Mel, your preference on signature placement just confirms what I’ve always suspected about you; you are a man of intellect and class!

  14. Thanks Spider
    Although there are many more reasons why I am a man of intellect and class beyond my preference fo signature placement, but I’m just too damned humble to mention them all. Ha!

  15. Good TEC 35 analogy brian, and you have to be right about Stan having the most sigs out there probably by one exponential factor.

    Thanks for the update on those cards Jeff, they sound like a fun set to have!

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