The Water Cooler

It struck me that these little weekly observations I post are like little topics for discussion around the water cooler on a Monday morning; you can add the football and Oscar talk if you’d like.

Next week I’m going to try to add covers into the mix: I’ll pick my favourite cover I see in the pile of books heading for the eBay auctions.

We have to talk about this. A tiny little cup out of the “No 1” from a cover of Action Comics #1 sold for $7,101 on auction. That distinctive sky blue behind the black ink is so identifiable I would have guessed Action #1 if someone asked me. First, it was the Action #1 shards, now it’s a little clip out of the cover, whats next?

Speaking of Superman, my ad of the week comes from the back cover of Superman #10 from June 1941. Lately, I’ve been intrigued by the potential value of toys and lord knows what an unopened Krypto Raygun projector pistol would be worth today. There is no way someone would have had the foresight to store their purchases for the future so the only way these survived unopened would be through unsold stock. Maybe there’s still a back corner of some old derelict warehouse in Plymouth Michigan that has cases of these!

A quick note: I’m finding the ads to be the most difficult to choose from. I’m awed by so many of them, probably because I never used to pay any attention to them before.

I had a nice visit from my friend John. John’s an old-timer who used to run an old vintage video shoppe in the heart of Toronto; he’s quite the film buff and also has a love for comics. His favourites were the Brave and the Bold run containing Silent Knight and Viking Prince. John told me a story about how Silent Knight was something thought up at DC around a Christmas theme and thus the play on Silent Night; I’ve already forgotten the important parts but that sounds like a cool story only true fans would know. I happen to be putting up a little lot of Brave and the Bold in this coming week’s eBay auction including a copy of Brave and the Bold #20. John and I marvelled at the elegance of Irv Novick’s splash page for the issue and it will serve as the original art piece I’d love to own for this week.

Another old pal, Mike Huddleston, dropped by last week with a coffee and some donuts (he’s a good man, that Mike) and he pointed out to me that this great page out of Marvel Superheroes #13 was years ahead of its time. Starhawk didn’t officially make it into the rotation until he joined the Guardians of the Galaxy roster during their Marvel Presents run in the mid-1970s. The ad plugs his appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes #14 but he doesn’t show up. Better late than never is what I’ll say.

This week’s internationalcollectiblesexchange weekly eBay auctions wrapped up last night and they were unstoppable. I particularly liked this nice tight raw copy of Marvel Premiere #28 featuring that great Legion of Monsters cover; it sold for $280 USD.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1700


  1. I’m saving up for a whole letter “A” but I think it may end up going for 50 grand or more.

  2. Well, as I have been culling, segregating, grouping, and pricing my comics going through them page by page to make sure they are intact I am struck with how many DC comics of the late 60’s are so lackluster compared to Marvel. Oh I know there are exceptions Mr. Meli… like Green Lantern, The Flash, and all those Adams covers, but I was comparing some Superman titles… DC’s supposedly top dog at the time and the work was simply boring. I think it was probably the wrong combination penciler and inker but even they layouts were uninspired. Compare that to the Fantastic Four, Marvel’s supposed flagship title and there is no comparison. Its no wonder DC wanted Kirby to shake things up. Speaking of… why are Kirby’s Fourth World titles so collectably unloved? At the time they didn’t sell well so they git canceled. Since it was in the days of newsstand distribution weren’t a lot of them returned unsold so making them a trifle scarcer?
    A technical question: Should I be replacing my comic bags with new ones before auctioning them?

  3. Gerald, all photos for sale should be outside the bag…but for any book over $50 I’d put it in mylar and for all books under $50 id put in a new bag…when the new owner gets it a new bag does impact first appearances imho. Presentation matters.

  4. Gerald – re the Fourth World Kirby titles….by the time these came out, there was a very well developed fandom and lots of collectors were preserving comics in bags and boards. Old comics were actively being bought and sold through the mail and in the early comic shops. So lots more were being preserved.

    And there was already speculation going on. Long before Fourth World, I remember buying 10 copies each of Iron Man #1, Sub-Mariner #1 and Cap #100, when each they got their own titles. Fandom and collectors were not “big” enough to make or break a title yet, it was on the general newstands that success happend. But we all preserved way more nice copies than anyone was doing in the early 1960s or anytime prior.

    I’ve just been working through an original owner collection of raw Silver and my guy has multiple copies of several of the Kirby Fourth World titles, as well as Conan #1 and Tomb of Dracula #1. Not 5 or 10, but 2, 3 copies of each. He was an adult by then (he died at age 90 in 2020) and had the extra $$ to put aside some additional copies…amazing, isn’t it? But there’s the point, these will never be as rare as comics for a decade earlier.

    I’ve collected thos early Brave and Bold issues since I was a teenager, I love those things. Great Russ Heath and Kubert also. I still need to upgrade my #1 after all these years….All those issues before the JLA came on board are still pretty affordable and plentiful, I’d say. And fun to read.

  5. Aim high Mel, aim high. I think someone should dye stamp out an original cover into puzzle pieces.

    Gerald, we get collections in old bags, we have to remover the books to scan them anyway, we then end up putting the books into new bags and boards. Putting into new bags and boards will help the person listing them but you will incur the cost, if you have lots of books the cost can be formidable in both time and money. Check with the peole listing if you need to rebag and board.

    Bud, I really enjoyed leafing through those old Brave and Bolds, I recently sold a #1 but it too was a low grade copy.

  6. Kirby’s production assistant at the time, Mark Evanier, explained:
    “Folks forget but the New Gods saga was intended to be a limited series … There was no intention that these characters would go on forever. After Jack’s books started getting good sales figures, DC demanded that we keep them going and use guest stars like Deadman, which we were very much against doing. So Kirby had this novel he was forever stuck in the middle of – he could never get to the last chapter. … You can spot the issues where Jack kind of gave up trying to advance the story of Darkseid and Orion and was marking time. If those books had been intended from the start to run indefinitely, they would have been done very differently.”[17

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