Kinda Blue

This past Saturday was Free Comic Book Day: I hope everyone was able to make it out to their local comic shop (LCS) to help support them and to enjoy all the free comics. We’d love to hear your review of the day at your LCS. We had a great day at Big B Comics Hamilton; I’d say there were close to 1,000 people through the doors and we gave out a ton of comics. At our shop, everyone gets four comics plus they get an extra one if they bring some non-perishable food item that we donate to the local food bank, we give another extra comic if they show their Library Card, and we give out another extra comic to anyone that comes dressed up in a costume. We had nice weather and that always makes for a better day. Thanks to Ivan Kocmarek – Trailblazers, Vince Marchesano – Metro City, Richard Comely – Captain Canuck and Dan Collins – West Coast Canuck for setting up in the tent and adding to the day. Thanks also to the Big B staff who went hard all day! Onwards and upwards for next year.

Our cover of the week comes from a last-minute save out of the pile destined for the upcoming Canadiana auction that starts May 19th. Triumph Comics #6 is a true gem, the last Triumph published by Hillborough Studios; it would switch over to Bell Features publishing with #7. As I mentioned, I had a change of heart as I read the restoration noted on the CGC label, “Small Amount of Glue on Spine”. I’m not a big restoration fan but not all restoration is created equal, some are trimmed, some are cleaned, and some have new staples added and with these types of restoration you are done, toast, you can’t unrestore them. But “small amount of color touch” – or “small amount of glue on spine” means you might be able to reverse the restoration. Usually, you lose a bit of grade when you unrestore a book, but in this case, I’d rather have a 2.5 CGC blue label than a 3.0 CGC purple label. I knew a guy who was buying up these types of restored books about 15 years ago: he had great luck gaining market value doing this and that was with the 2010 to 2015 prices. Imagine the gains today, though I’m sure he and his ilk did a good job scooping up and working their alchemy on most of the candidates that existed.

Out of this week’s “going to eBay auction” pile comes this cool page I found while leafing through Mister Miracle #1. I actually opened the book up looking for a cool Kirby splash in light of that “Peak Kirby” discussion we recently had but ended up being sidetracked by my discovery of the Survey Winners. Check out all those names! This was the spring of 1971, less than a decade after the start of the Marvel Revolution and only a couple of years shy of the big Bronze Age keys. I’m wondering what kind of collections these people amassed. I’m also wondering if anybody has ever tried to look any of these names up. Hire some old gumshoe to track these people down, yes, some may have passed and most got rid of their comics longa ago but I bet there are a bunch that still have everything! Personally, I’d concentrate on the bicycle winners: it’s the top prize meaning they were the smartest and most likely to keep their stuff. Add to that the fact that the bike would have kept them in great shape, most of these people are still living a life full of vim and vigour.

I was debating whether or not to put X-Men #120 and #121 in the upcoming Canadiana Auction. The books feature the first appearance of Alpha Flight, that most Canadian team. The splash page to #120 sealed the deal that they will be going into the Canadiana Auction, check out the right honourable Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Canadian political icon and father of Canada’s current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Justin fans don’t dispair, we have some Justin Trudeau comic book covers heading to the auction as well.

This week’s edition of the icecollectibles eBay auction ended last night in a flurry, lots of last-second price jumps made for some great excitement. Raw keys did great on the auction lead by this solid copy of Avengers #57 we graded a 6.5. Our copy earned $410 and considering CGC 7.0s get around $470 I’d say this is a good result. Hopefully, the buyer can give it a squeeze and a kiss and submit it for an even 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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Chris Meli
Chris Meli
11 months ago

Went to the White Plains (NY) ComicFest on Saturday, what a disappointment. Not only nothing supporting Free Comic Book Day, but TWO dealers, one not worth mentioning, the other apparently having not added anything back to their inventory since last year’s (much better) show. (You might laugh at “replacement cost”, but I think it is real and an issue. Collectors are still living in the past, making it hard for dealers to replace inventory where they can make some profit at today’s actual market levels.) The show was well-attended by young cosplayers, but most of the exhibitors just amateur artists and people selling other stuff. I don’t plan to return.

I have seen so many “minor glue” books as universal, I wonder what makes this one different. Excellent call to hold onto it – that cover is killer, and just resubmitting it as raw might have it come back as universal.

I still have a few raw #120s and #121s, so please talk ’em up!

As I said in a recent comment, it’s hard to beat that Avengers #57 cover. If you are going to do a standing around cover, this is the way to do it.

Chris Meli
Chris Meli
11 months ago

Forgot to look at the contest winners. It seems like this was a random draw so I don’t get your point about the bicycle winners. I would take away something different – look at the number of girls on the list. The girls were probably much more likely to cut out the coupon from the romance books and send it in. Another reason why 60s/70s romance in high grade is scarcer than similar DC hero books.

Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
11 months ago

I would have to go back and look but I remember I did pretty well when I let my Avengers 57 go. There was discussion a few weeks back about ragtag and incomplete books. I had ma Weird Science 15 which was complete but ragtag that I bought early in the pandemic just as a reader for 20 bucks that recently sold for over twice that. The real surprise was a Dynamic #11… yes a pretty scarce book, with a taped spine and two… count them… two centerfolds missing that I picked up in the early 80’s for $9 just for the great cover… went for over a thousand dollars. So folks… don’t count those ragtag incomplete complete books for granted!