If Only, And An Auction Highlight

Work continues at our warehouse, the one bursting with over 1,500 long boxes of comics. I’m almost done making my rows using the sequentially numbered boxes used by the previous owners. I can’t lie, I find myself opening way too many lids to have quick peeks, this slows my work down quite a bit but it does help save my back. I randomly hit on a box full of Thor’s in the #337 era so I got a little excited as I thumbed through.

Unfortunately, there were no copies of Thor #337 left but there was a hell of a lot of Thor #340s. I quickly jumped on the GPA and saw the last CGC 9.8 sale at $139, as of this post there were 58 CGC 9.8s on their Census. Cripe, I thought I was going to double the Census numbers for 9.8s with one submission! As I started screening the books I quickly noticed a pattern, about 90% of the books had some sort of damage along the spine at the top staple. Was this storage damage? Was there a problem with this print run at the printing and binding phase? Luckily I found five candidates for 9.8, if three get through I’ll consider it a small consolation for this disappointing stack. Now I have to figure out how to sell 100 plus copies of Thor #340 that aren’t 9.8s …

This week the goal is to get the rows done, this will allow me to have quick access to any books I’ll specifically want to look for and like a kid, I’m still hopeful that I’ll spot that elusive box #1192 and perhaps find a few nice copies of Star Wars Clone Wars #1.

Thanks to my Italian connections today I’m stocking my newly bought fridge with some Calabrese salami and some Abruzzo cheese, I’ve already got a big box of those assorted Breton crackers from Costco, all I have to add is some pepper jelly and I’m off to the races, or most likely a long nap.

Today I’ll post my first of what I hope to be many Auction Highlights. I’ll start with an auction that we ran and just ended last night at 10:30 Eastern Time. We ran a CBCS 0.5 Restored copy of Amazing Fantasy (AF) #15, it was restored and missing page 12, which was replaced by a photostat copy. Full disclosure, our break-even point on this book was about $6,875 when we factor in all the fees associated with selling it through eBay and the low subsidized (by us) shipping rate we charge.

When I bought the book profit wasn’t my main motive, I wanted to run this book through our auction, I obviously want to run lots of books like this through our auction but as we all know AF 15s and other big keys aren’t exactly easy to come by especially not at a price that leaves us something after accounting for all costs. Still, we’re trying to play the game hard so we have to continually go for it. Our copy (picture included) sold for $7,458.95 leaving us ahead both in the exposure the book gave our auction and making us a bit of profit.

It seems that in and around $8,000 is the price of a ticket into the Amazing Fantasy #15 club, a CGC 0.5 Incomplete sold for $8,052 back in November 2020, a CGC 0.5 Complete sold for $8,500 a month later in December 2020 and out Restored and Incomplete CBCS 0.5 just got $7548.95. The floor has risen so much on the key but it still remains one of the big three grails in superhero introduction comics, Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27 and Amazing Fantasy #15. The fact that some of us can still scrape together enough to afford one without mortgaging the house is a good thing.

My call on this is Advantage Buyer, the book shows beautifully, no marvel chipping and has been professionally restored. The option is even there to snag a page 12 off eBay and marry the book into a Married but Complete copy, opening the door to a much higher 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. I bought 20 Thor #340 from my LCS back when they were 1st issued, and yes, I have the same problem with over half of them.
    I would say that there was definitely an issue with the printing and binding phase.

  2. Walt, with so many 340s damaged in processing, will that make the remaining issues without the damage a scarcity, considering the potentially large amount which could have that processing damage?

    Dave, how is this for collecting minutae? Before I stopped buying newer comics snd got rid of them, I found that storing them snug 25 to a gusseted bag saved a ton of space in one long box. Backing boards take up a lot of real estate in a box so comics packed snug support each other nicely.

    Eventually, I needed the long box for my older collection and sold off the new stuff. I still only have 3 boxes, limited by the size of my apartment.

  3. Looking at the AF15 above, I noticed that Spidey, like many heroes, likes to muse out loud about his secret identity, while in the presence of a criminal. Unless Spidey intends on dropping the guy from way up in the air, he’d better learñ to internalize his thoughts.

  4. Dave, I have to take the path my heart tells me to. Sometimes old friends don’t want to follow me down the new path but that’s ok, paths are always crossing over and I hope one day we’ll walk a new path together again, regardless they’ll always remain my friends.

    Klaus, I think you are right, the GPA on the Thor #340 seemed too strong at the 9.8 grade so I dug around the CGC Census. There are 484 CGC 9.8 Thor #339s as of this post, there are 58 CGC 9.8 Thor #340s and there are 91 CGC 9.8 Thor #341s. So yes, you are right, and gotta love Spidey!!

  5. Walt, what is with this… follow me down the new path… paths are always crossing over… and one day we’ll walk a new path together? It sounds like you’re dying. ):

    Comics like Thor 340 are similar to things like the 1992 Canadian quarter. The provincial variants, minted in the millions, hold very little value while the 1992 caribou quarter was released only in the plastic combo pouches in extremely low quantities and never released in general circulation.

    Èveryone bought the variants and very few bought the full pouches with the caribou. The caribou quarter is worth way more than the over-produced variants. Also, to make room for the 1992 variants, they cut production of the 1991 quarter, which is now worth about $50. each.

    Going further back, with the removal of the silver content in our coinage, in 1968, they produced a ton of 1968 and 1969 nickel quarters and flooded the system, so they cut production of the 1970 quarter way back and now it’s worth a lot.

    I see a lot of Canadian Price Variants for many comics for sale these days. I guess they’re not that scarce after all. I’ll stick with low grade golden age. At least, you know a lot of those are pretty scarce. I see a lot of new Canadian Whites popping up on eBay. It looks as though another collection may have surfaced. I wish they weren’t so expensive. ):

  6. Klaus! You made me laugh calling me out on my poetic drivel, well done. CPVs are common to Canadians I guess, still there is definite relative scarcity to collectors in say Florida, Texas and California. I’d write more but I have to go search eBay for these Canadian Whites you mention…

  7. Somebody has deep pockets. Earlier this evening, a whole slew of new Whites were listed on the first page, many old Robin Hood, Freelance, Spy Smasher, Captain Marvel, Grand Slam, among others. Some have been resorted to secondary pages but the majority seems to have been purchased. A few of them were going for several thousand a piece. Wow!

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