Moving and Shaking

As I’ve mentioned before, we are moving warehouses, we have until October 31st to clear out the place we’re in now. Last Thursday we had a Bargain Bin sale at the warehouse: anyone interested in buying complete boxes of backstock was invited to come down. We let everyone know there would be no picking and choosing, you’d look through a box and if you liked it, you’d ask us for a price. We’d have a quick look through and say something really cheap and you’d say, sure! We had 380 long boxes available and I believe we sold 223 that day. Yesterday I made a deal to sell the rest to one ambitious buyer: he said I’d have to sharpen the pencil if I wanted to sell the lot and boy did I ever sharpen the pencil. The move overall is going well, we’ll be out before the 31st with no problem. The new place is a good fit and I’m hoping I leave all my bad warehousing habits here at the old place and I hope I can get back to some “warehouse find” updates and pics.

It was a fun dive into this week’s “going to eBay auctions” pile, from the stack I’ve picked Superman #200, as our cover of the week. The famous Kurt Swan cover triggered multiple questions the moment I saw it. The first question that came to mind was when was the last truly lame, leftover from the 50s/early 60s, Superman cover? Remember those covers? Some of them are cringe worthy in their stupidity and pettiness. Does this qualify as a late entry? By 1968 the Marvel revolution had forced DC to up their game, hire some great artists and write better comics. The second question that came to mind was anniversary issues as a collecting strain, are they still a thing? I know one guy that is actively collecting all the issue #100s, #200s, #300s etc., and he’s pretty passionate about it. I remember it was a thing back in the 90s but I’ve gotten a sense over the last decade that these anniversary issues are not much of a thing on their own. Hey, think fast, what’s the most expensive #100 issue in all of comics? Detective? More Fun? Batman? Flash? Superman? I’m hoping someone will know.

My splash page of the week comes from the last page of Avengers #54 and is drawn by the mighty John Buscema. The page is good but that’s not why I picked it, I picked it because it is the last page and that 2/3 bottom splash is used to get us all excited about the next issue. I don’t think the hobby has given enough attention the last page of comics. The last page is probably the second most important page in the whole comic after the first splash page. I’ve seen some lame last pages that limp off into the darkness of the night and I’ve seen some that had me holding my breath until the next issue. What’s the most famous last page in comics? Is it Hulk #180? Surely there are even more monumental ones? See, none of us know enough about the library of last pages to offer any other suggestions. I say we all need to pay more attention to last pages.

My ad of the week comes from Legion of Super Heroes #259, from January 1980. How come I don’t remember these? I don’t even think I’ve ever seen these come into the shop? I’ve seen lots of Mego and lots of rubber wrestlers but I don’t remember these things? I’m taking it sales weren’t that great.

Another icecollectibles weekly eBay auction ended last night with some promising results. One of my comic pals mentioned last week that he saw signs of quality Silver Age books turning around, he said he saw some recent price increases and I mentioned our Amazing Spider-Man #59 had a bit of a rebound last week as well. Last night our copy of Fantastic Four #52 graded 6.0 by CGC ended at $778 which was well above last sale and even above the 90-day average that had 8 sales factored in. A few sporadic pieces of data dripping in are nothing to make investment decisions on but the more of these we spot the better.

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
7 months ago

I would not recommend anniversary issues from an investment standpoint. From a collecting standpoint, #100 would still be a lot. I could see #200, #300, etc. Getting all of those Four Colors would probably be a slog.

I had a guess at the most valuable #100 off the top of my head, then I looked into it with the somewhat limited data to which I have access. Of course it depends upon how you define “valuable”. Captain America #100 in CGC 9.9 sold for $78k in 2021, but I don’t think that’s what you mean. So I defined it as “highest price for CGC 7.0”. 8.0 is maybe the next alternative, but that would get pricey for some of these.

With this definition my guess was correct, and my answer is Batman #100. It is well out in front with my price estimate of $2000. Next up is Superman #100 at $1500. Unsurprisingly, DC owns the field for the highest value #100s, with Flash Comics #100 next and Action #100 and Detective #100 tied behind it. You might think these older books would be more valuable, but a) you can’t beat “Batman” and “Superman” as name properties, and b) the grade distribution for the older books is weird. There are far fewer total universal copies of the older books, but as many or more in 8.0 and above. This glut of high grade copies (presumably in somebody’s closet from the late forties until the sixties or later) combined with the lame non-anniversary-themed covers are bad news.

Rather than collecting lots of anniversary covers, I went with one in relatively high grade: Superman #100. This book is much tougher than Batman #100 at 8.0 and above, and in my opinion has a much nicer cover. I think the anniversary cover made everyone want to read this when it was published, the green background made it even harder, and the mid-fifties Seduction etc. made it generally scarce.

“Last pages?” Maybe for original art, but for the actual comics a non-starter as far as collecting. I agree with the sentiment, but you have been working on second appearances for over a decade without much traction. (You did convince me enough to recently win a nice mid-grade Tales of Suspense #40.)

Yes every Batman fan wants an elastic Batman who can be wrapped into a pretzel. Wait, that should be “Yes NO Batman fan…”. Therefore one of these mint in box is worth a fortune.

I hope you are right about the rebound. Things continue to look dead to me. I paid not much above the 2018 high for that ToS #40, and it is really nice for the grade. That doesn’t seem promising for later Silver non-keys. I think 9.8s and maybe 9.6s where the population isn’t changing may be buys, but other than the real keys like your FF #52, I think you have to be very conservative.

Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
7 months ago

Mego produced comic character figures throughout the 70’s and early 80’s. Those particular figures were definitely a steal from Stretch Armstrong which was such a hit item then I couldn’t find one to give to my nephew. The comic characters are apparently hot now as a quick peek at eBay turns up nothing but knock off signs of the above ad. Now here in Portugal ( where I am for the next 6 weeks) I have seen no comics but many items comic related. The most intriguing, was a store selling Spiderman Eau do Cologne. So… would that be Peter Parker’s B.O.?