Overstreet Price Guide #50

The 50th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide hit the shelves last Wednesday so it’s a good time to open it up and check it out. For the rest of this post, I’ll simply call it the Guide.

It was great to read all the accolades and salutations the Guide received for reaching the BIG 5-0. I know we all get our up to the minute pricing online now but the Guide continues to deliver so much more.

My favourite part of getting a new Guide is reading all the market reports. There are so many knowledgeable people giving us insights and their opinions, it’s worth taking the time to read each one, it’s a big undertaking but it leaves you with a good sense of what people in the know are seeing in our hobby. This year I noticed all the contributors kept their Market Reports short and sweet. We need to get Bud Plant to write one next year, perhaps they can do an expanded edition?

Make sure you head into your local comic book shop and buy a guide, you’ll be supporting your LCBS and you’ll be supporting the hobby you love. Carry it around with you, I leave one in the car, it’s perfect for heavy traffic and those long red lights.

Speaking of Market Reports, me and Jay Halstead have ours on page 116, I do a write-up for Big B Comics Hamilton and Jay talks from an I.C.E. perspective. Speaking of Big B Comics and I.C.E. our ad is on page 219. Hey, it was nice to see a lot of Canadian contributors to the Market Report, make sure you read Comic Book Daily contributor Ivan Kocmarek’s on page 138.

Lets also welcome new advisors Kelly McClain, Tim Kupin and Frank Verzyl. Welcome fellas, the rookie always buys coffees at the cons!

There’s a nice War Report section on pages 177-185 talking about and ranking War Comics with contributions from our friend Andy Greenham from Forest City in London Ontario.

As a fan I appreciated the memorials for Denny O’Neil on page 1157 and Joe Sinnott on page 1159.

Top Comics is still my favorite section of the Guide this year it starts on page 190, here are some thoughts on what I saw.

  • The Guide value of Action Comics #1 is now $1,600,000 ($4,600,000 vs. $3,000,000) more than Detective Comics #27, I’d still rather have the Batman book.
  • The biggest gainer in the golden age was Captain America #74, increasing 18% over last year.
  • I’ve been saying Superman #1 is overvalued for the past 15 years but does anybody listen? Sup #1 is now firmly #3 at $1,700,000.
  • These days it’s all about the covers, there are 4 top 100 Golden Age books that get all their value from their iconic cover, Pep Comics #34, Punch Comics #12, Phantom Lady #17 and the king of the covers Suspense Comics #3 which came in at #29 on the list at $130,000. Detective Comics #31 doesn’t count because a lot of the value is in the 5th Batman appearance.
  • The most valuable non-hero comic is still Pep #22 with its first appearance of Archie Andrews at #9 worth $385,000.
  • I counted 34 of the top 100 books that owe their value to either Superman or Batman.
  • Detective Comics appears 17 times, the most of any title.
  • There are only 2 Funny Animal books left on the top 100 list, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #1 is the highest at #60.
  • Amazing Fantasy #15 is the dominant #1 for the top 50 Silver Age books at $425,000, Spidey’s first appearance would actually crack the top 10 in the Golden Age and comic in at #9.
  • Action Comics #242 was the biggest jump of all the Silver Age books, up 14% from last year.
  • Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #1 should not be on this list, and why is Adventure Comics #247 at #15 and ahead of a book like Fantastic Four #5?
  • I did not see any Silver Age comics in the top 50 that have value just based on their cover appeal.
  • I still hate the Star Wars #1 price variant but it’s clear that I am the only one as it still securely holds the top Bronze Age spot at $12,000.
  • I sure would like a high-grade copy of Scooby-Doo #1 – Gold Key!
  • Green Lantern #76 does not belong in the Top 10.
  • The Copper Age belongs to the Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles!
  • Platinum Age? What’s that?
  • I like the Modern Age section, can Walking Dead #1 hold value? I like Bone #1 long term.
  • Can something be deader than dead? Try Westerns.
  • We need a top 20 Magazine format section.
  • I miss the cover galleries, in an age where covers rule please bring back and even expand the cover galleries.

Don’t forget to go out and grab a Guide.

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1589

14 Comments

  1. Excellent to hear an expert opinion on the Guide. I thought the ‘extras’ were a bit thin this year – maybe a pandemic problem? Agree the cover galleries are great. I was sorry when the very nerdy articles on things like the minutiae of price variants seemed to get replaced by more “xxx-man at fifty” type articles. Now both seem to be reduced. GL76 is a great comic! Great cover too. Maybe it’s on the down because all things GL are as the movie was so bad, but it’s surely an important issue in its own right. I wish Overstreet would list more overseas titles. There’s Captain Britain now, but I would love to see e.g. more Marvel UK.

  2. Yes, I thought it was very light on extras also. I liked the Joe Sinnot piece too. And I also miss the cover gallery. I’ll try and wade thru all the Market Reports at your suggestion, Walter. I was just hitting the guys I know this year. Nice to hear they self-edited, some of these are just silly long, that’s where I gave up in the past. Overstreet could set some limits here.

    I’m gratified you suggest, well, maybe tongue in cheek, a Market Report from me. I do haunt Heritage and MyComicShop but the material I laser focus on is a bit narrow. With no shows this year, I don’t have much in dealer action to report.

    Mostly I’d give examples of offbeat Gold going for crazy money, stuff that was uncared for 5-10 years ago. Prize, Ace Super-Hero titles, especially Super-Mystery, but also obscure stuff like Sure-Fire, Lightning, Banner…but across the board, oddball super hero. Golden Age, particularly wartime, is often 2, 3, 4 times guide.

    Also Centaurs, Comic Magazine Company, pre-hero DC mostly goes well over guide, more so the nicer the copy. I’m afraid guide GD and VG prices on much of this is way, way low anymore, really a joke in my eyes.

    Teen titles (also Working Girl titles, Michelle Nolan’s term) have skyrocketed. GD, GVG copies are bringing in more than FN and even VFN guide value. Such as all of Dan DeCarlo work for Atlas, MLJ’s Suzie and Ginger. Matt Baker continues to move up, better copies now fetching $400, $500, $600 and more, and low grade like GD or close rarely go for under $200 or more. I sold my FN copy of Archie #50, the Betty in a tight sweater cover, for a very satisfactory four digit amount through Heritage. I decided to part with my Phantom Lady run but it didn’t do so well, these may have maxed except for #17 and of course, high grade copies. Lower grade Fox good girl stuff also sells closer to guide these days. Interest has moved on, perhaps, from jungle girls, if its not by Baker.

    There’s part one, off the cuff. I’ll see what else I can think of…

  3. Bud and Simon, I agree, there were not really any “extras” to speak of. If anything the Guide should be featuring more of these types of articles and more Cover Galleries, I like it when the cover galleries change focus each year, featuring artists, specific genres, eras etc, its a great way to spart interest.

    Bud, the only tongue and cheek part was recognizing you’d have lots to say, I’d read every word and would countless others.

  4. My 2-cents

    I bought a price guide already from Bud Plant. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending how good your eyes are), I bought the BIGBIG version, which doesn’t have the articles. But with the BIGBIG version I don’t need a magnifying glass or microscope to read it!!

    I did check some prices on the western comics I’m looking for. Most did not change in price. So Walter, if they are deader than dead, I think the prices for western comics should have gone [email protected]#?!#?!#!?

    Tell you what, since I’m trying to be a nice guy here, I will buy any and all western comics for $1 to take these deader than dead books off your hands. This will give you needed space for all the hotter than hot books. In fact, I will go $2 on the western comics that have a Kirby or Frazetta cover!!!! And if I get in a bidding war with Bud Plant on certain issues, I will go $3. Just joking, just joking, just joking GEE-Whiz?!#?#?##!?

    We have to have fun with this right????

    Jeff Kepley

  5. Hmmm, more evidence that Todd McFarlane cannot draw feet, but he has been a heck of a Canadian Creator.

  6. To Navy or not to Navy

    I will chime in again since I think Bud Plant has lost power since yesterday due to the wildfires in northern California. Walter I was never in the Navy, although I am a faithful watcher of JAG and NCIS. That is about as close as I get to the Navy. I won’t go on an ocean cruise as I don’t relish the thought of being out in the ocean. I have to be able to see [email protected]!#[email protected]#

    Since you have elevated the ante, I had this thought and observation. On Ebay, if the starting price is toooooo high or has a reserve, it keeps people from wanting to bid. But if the starting price is lowered to a reasonable price, bidders get hooked and get involved. I have seen the price go for more than the initial high starting price because bidders had skin in the game.

    We could do that with western comics to generate new interests. Start prices a bit lower since most westerns seem to be “deader than dead” and put them in an auction format. On Frazetta covers I will now go $4.61. Look at the prices shoot up!!!!!! See, skin in the game. Who knows how high these prices might go????

    Stay safe

    Jeff Kepley

  7. I compared some Centaur prices and they still are so low as to be silly. They went up $20, $30. I just don’t see evidence that Overstreet is looking at real prices books are getting out there. For instance, three issues of Jetta by DeCarlo just sold at auction for more than twice the new guide price. Yes they were slabbed but that’s what I see all the time. I’d happily pay Overstreet GD prices for coverless or Fair copies of nearly any Centaur. Or twice guide for that matter, but they rarely do that low,

    Seems way out of touch. You guys see the same thing regarding scarcer Golden Age?

  8. I usually only get the guide every 2-3 years and you guys aren’t really selling me on the 50th.

  9. I have Overstreet Guides #6 to #49 inclusive. I was very disappointed in #49, as it did not reflect anything that really happened, so I am likely not buying #50.

    I have catalogued and calculated pricing for many years and, in this alternate reality, I am reiterating Walter’s missive with a second (alternate) opinion. All in good fun and not to slight Overstreet which is within xx% of values x/X of the time.

    Alex’s guide value of Action 1 is $1,500,000 ($3,200,000 vs. $1,700,000) more than Detective 27. I would rather have the Batman book, too. Tec 27 is low as nobody sells high (or any?) graded copies. It is in 4th place, slightly behind Batman 1, which is the Joker and Catwoman’s first appearance.

    The biggest gainers in the Golden Age were the Amazing Mystery Funnies promotional comic and Manhunt! 12, which did not exist last year. The biggest gainer of top 100 Golden Age comics was Phantom Lady 17 which went from 96th to 73rd place and had a gain of 97%.

    Superman 1, in high, or any, grade is incredibly rare. Superman #1 is firmly in 2nd place at $2,200,000. Keep in mind a near mint copy sold in 1987. Where is it?

    There are 8 top 100 books that have iconic or notable covers. In order: 15th place: Suspense 3, then Fantastic Comics 3, Zip 22, Phantom Lady 17, Punch 12, Terrific 5, Target 7, Headline 8. Pep 34 comes in at 132nd.

    The most valuable non-hero book is Pep 22, at 11th place, valued at $560,000. Someone, please sell that Church copy.

    Batman related books in the top 100 are at 18, Superman 10.

    Detective Comics appears 14 times, still the most.

    There is one funny animal book left – Four Color 16. WDCS 1 is at 152nd.

    Using Silver Age rankings:

    Amazing Fantasy 15 is very dominant at $520,000, which is $220,000 more than Incredible Hulk 1. Overall Spidey would be at 13th position.

    The biggest jump for the Silver Age was Tales to Astonish 13 at 47%. Will this be retconned to be the birth of the Marvel age, a full year before FF 1? Or maybe this is the birth of the Disney-Marvel age. Action 242 had a jump of 9%, as the majority of gain happened between 2011 and 2018.

    Lois Lane comes in at 28th place ($21,000). Adventure 247 is at 23rd place ($24,000), well behind Fantastic Four 5 at 16th place ($37,000). Adventure 247 was the most valuable Silver Age book in Overstreet 16 (1985). We need a Legion movie.

    Star Wars 1 (35c) holds the top Bronze at $10,500. Star Wars variants are all over this list.

    Green Lantern 76 does not belong in the top 10.

    The Copper Age is TMNT heavy. The top book being the Gold Turtlemania Special at $19,000, followed by TMNT 1 at $10,350 and Thorn Tales from the Lantern at $9,900. Yes, Bone appears!

    The top Westerns are dominated by the pre 1940 era such as Star Ranger or Western Picture Stories. Western Comics such as Ghost Rider, which also falls under Fantasy-Supernatural is increasing. Also increasing are Black Rider, Rawhide Kid 17 and even Two-Gun Kid 208 (35c variant) at $3,800. We need a Medieval era section so Black Knight can show us how valuable they are.

    Magazines rock!!!

    And:

    Jeff, I have my 1970 magnifying glass from Boy Scouts of Canada on standby when I read Overstreet pricing.

    Bud, I looked at the Top 16 Centaurs that I have information on and my pricing is 200% on average above guide. Keen Komics V2 1 is the highest at 6x guide (3.5 sold for $3,433 in 2019), and in the 3x guide range are Amazing-Man 22, 26, Funny Pages 36, 39, 40, 41.

  10. Jeff, I was ribbing you a bit with the all your #&%?!!# – sounded like swearing to me… thus the Sailor reference, lame I know but it was late…

    Bud, you are right about the Centaurs and about the tough GA books, they always seem to go much higher that Guide.

    Alex!! Epic response and a much needed second take on some things, fun to read, thanks! We’ll have to argue the Sup #1 over beers one day.

  11. I was really looking forward to something special for Overstreet’s 50th. All I got for my hard-earned buck were much shorter market reports (usually my favourite part of a new guide), much shorter histories at the beginning of each section, fewer pics of classic comics and feature articles, and I just came away disappointed. Add the fact that there are obviously much needed increases (and decreases) in many titles and what you end up with is a very outdated, essentially useless guide. After decades of eagerly looking forward to the annual guide, I think I am pretty much done. Online sources are much more up-to-date and accurately reflect the changing market. I think the OCBPG has simply outlived its usefulness in a digital age.

  12. Speaking of digital, I purchased a Price Guide in digital format 3 years ago… it was my second one in that format and despite the ‘reader’ it came with I couldn’t open it. I wrote the and they sent me one on dvd… couldn’t open that either. May be a Mac thing but it did say it was good for my OS.

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