The Illuminati North

Last Thursday I had the honour of hosting the Over the Hill Gang at the Big B warehouse. This gang of Canadian comic book veterans is made up of (moving clockwise from bottom left) Art Cooper, Vince Marchesano, Ivan Kocmarek, Ron Kasman, Jim Waley and Robin Easterbrook in the foreground. I’m actually in the group too and though I’m a good decade too young for the group I’m still in because they need someone to get up and get water every now and again.

There was so much Canadiana in that warehouse last Thursday that the smell of a sweaty hockey bag with some spilt Crown Royal still lingers, or maybe that’s just the smell of the free health care.

These guys touch all the bases, look at this pic and see the guys that were starting up some of the earliest Canadian fanzines, starting up Orb Magazine, starting up the Joe Shuster Awards, starting up the Canadian Comic Book Price Guide and since a few years ago starting up these regular get-togethers I’m lucky enough to be invited to.

These meetings aren’t all just bitching and ball-busting, no, the fellas are onto a new project helping out Ivan Kocmarek with his new Trailblazers, A Tribute Anthology book. This book will contain 20 one-page cartoon bios of some of the great artists of the Canadian Golden Age period. I saw the boys passing around some sample art but was forbidden to take pics to use for today’s post. Some other names you might know that have attached themselves to the project include Ho Che Anderson, Ramon Perez and Dave Sim. I’ll let Ivan go into much better detail when he posts more on the progress over on his column.

Last night we has more great results on our internationalcollectiblesexchange eBay auctions, the book I was watching closely was a CGC 3.5 copy of Fantastic Four #48. The book sold for a solid $1925 which was about $40 below the last sale. Fantastic Four #48 has slowly become a monster, a true heavyweight in the hobby and I think its stock will continue to rise as Marvel rolls out the Fantastic Four into their cinematic universe. The book has great gloss and nice centering, advantage Buyer.

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

  1. It’s always good to see people with interests. If only my kids could understand this concept. That’s a pretty nice looking 3.5… $1,925 x 20… say in about 10-20 years is $38,500. Before you scoff… consider the catalysts. Let’s say I’m wrong and the book 10x’s instead at $19,250, or only 5x from here to $9,625. There are worse decisions you could make with $1,925.

  2. Well, If I was Canadian I would definitely qualify for the Over the Hill Gang! Finally some love for FF 48! Don’t know if I can hang on for Charlies ten year scenario…as I do have two copies that are probably better then the one that sold for 2k!

  3. Great to see all you guys. I remembering working with Ron and Jim, hi guys, carrying Orb etc., way back when. I miss Gene Day, handled a lot of his small press stuff also. I recognize Vince’s name. I could have worked with you other folks too, it’s been so long guys, five decades now. Ivan, good to hear you are off on a new project.

  4. Wow! That’s a lot of mad skills in your warehouse, Walt.
    I didn’t know its Canadian Club-house too.

    I look forward to see what they are creating.

  5. Charlie, I think you’re on to something.

    Gerald, maybe we need an honorary American member, I’ll have to run it by them though I’ll have to catch them early as they get more surly with each passing moment.

    Bud, I had a feeling you’d recognize a few of these guys. Vince did some ghosting for Rich Buckler, I know of a Batman issue and a couple of FF issues, he also did some Charlton Spotlight, some early fanzines and of course Orb. I’ll let the guys know you commented, hopefully they can log on and say hi.

    Jim, this is like the HOF All Star Clubhouse but as you say some Canadian Club should always be readily available.

  6. Walte….and Vince…yeah, that’s where I know you from, Vince. I used to list all the good fanzines in my catalogs, beginning around 1971, and I handled every issue of ORB, I believe. Hi again!

  7. Thank you so much, Bud … you and Phil Seuling were the only game in town back in those days and so very generously agreed to handle distribution in the States for ORB and while we didn’t last that long (terrible businessmen, at best!) you made that time so very memorable and helped to launch the careers of a lot of major Canadian talent! … again, can’t thank you enough! … JW.

  8. You’re welcome Jim. I loved doing fanzines in those early days, so many comic talents who started there. Corben got his start in a couple zines out of San Jose, my home town, Weirdom and then Voice of Comicdom. Wrightson, Kaluta, those great Charlton Bullseyes, the young turks did their stuff and the zines kept getting more professional year by year. I like Orb, have fond memories of that. I’ll have to dig out my copies!

  9. Nice to see that Bud Plant remembers us old guys. Thanks. Nice to know we haven’t faded completely from the collective memory.

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