Underrated

It’s official, we’ll be out of the warehouse on October 31st this year, I have some storage space lined up for some excess stock but it will just be space, no offices etc., a friend has a very cavernous factory that’s about 25 minutes from the shop, the deal is that I have to buy the coffees whenever I come in to grab stuff. I’m looking forward to going back to working out of the shop on Upper James, I just have to find a spot for a desk…

That’s the desk I’ll be sifting though comics that will be destined for our weekly icecollectibles ebay auction. As I was making lots for an upcoming auction I hit a string of books that struck me as a bit underrated, I thought I’d try to run with that theme today. Batman #232, 234 and 237 are very famous and sought after Neal Adams issues as is Batman #251 that features the classic Adams Joker cover, but what about Batman #243-245, that sleeper Adams mini run nestled in between those higher profile books. Lets see how they do on auction.

Timely/Marvel tried resurrecting their hero line up in late 1953 with the release of Young Men #24, they also restarted Captain America, Sub-Mariner and Human Torch. These titles ran into late 1955, had they held on another year perhaps they would have rode the DC resurrected hero wave that was ignited by Showcase #4. I think these mid 50s issues are all way too overlooked and way too undervalued. Our copy of Sub-Mariner #35 may not be the best looking copy out there but it makes up for it by having Pinko Commies on the cover.

No, Jack Kirby is definitely not underrated, he is indeed King Kirby, I do think the very early Tales to Astonish, especially #36 to 47, are very underrated and undervalued though. These are early, early Marvel, our #45 features the second appearance of the Wasp, just think of what the second appearance of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Hulk are worth! Hey, its fair game for a sales pitch since it is going up on auction very soon.

I tell you what’s not underrated, Abdo-Slim! I’m not sure how the 10 day trial works, I think it best not to ask. At first I thought this advertiser wasted his money, what the heck is he doing putting this ad on what is basically a Men’s Adventure comic, then it hit me, there’s a muscular guy on the cover wearing a tight Speedo. I bet you they sold these buy the boatload.

Our weekly icecollectibles eBay auction notched another episode last night, I was paying attention to see how my Master of Kung Fu #92 did. Man! A couple of years back, around the time of the movie, I thought it best to send town tons and tons of high grade Master of Kung Fu copies for grading. The pandemic hit and these books took well over a year to get back to me. The smart guy would have sold them all quickly but I like the character, I think it is a promising property so I kept them to sell at a future date. I’ve been selling these over the past six months and never mind not being able to get even the grading fee back, I’m having trouble getting just the shipping costs back. Tough sluggin’.

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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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Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
21 days ago

While my Batman 245 in midgrade took multiple listings to sell the other mentioned Joker cover edition was my first BIG sale! My copy of Submariner was a modest sale but still more than I paid. The Astonish 45 in pretty nice condition did NOT sell… so it’s my only retained Antman Astonish. Week and a half to go! The pallet ships tomorrow with my comics on it ( I did keep some rare copies boxed with ‘important’ papers in my brief case like carry on so there will be no mention of comics! No need to create another Buffalo Incedent!

Brian Donnelly
Brian Donnelly
21 days ago

Like all of Adams’s work, those Batman issues are wonderful: very dynamic layouts, strong cinematic pacing and framing, and really groundbreaking use of forced perspective and anatomy. I doubt I will ever sell those three. And a cliff-hanger ending featuring a smoking-hot, romance-novel kiss between a shirtless Batman and the villain’s daughter? Yet the market strongly prefers characters’ first issues, first appearances, and dramatic turns in story (you know, “deaths”). Rarely is the greatest artwork any guide to value. Case in point: Astonish was never all that well-drawn, even by Kirby, spending half its time on flat diagrams of the cybernetics and physics of fighting crime while ant-sized. But the ICE price you got for my copy of Astonish 44, the first appearance of the Wasp, was, um, astonishing. So you never know about the market. But while you can’t often bank on it, great drawing is indelible.

Chris Meli
Chris Meli
21 days ago

I know what you mean by “gkgkgk gkgkg gkkgk”. If I sold a 9.8 for $21 I would say that too.

Certain books were clearly “collector’s items” from the start. Conan is a good early example. These books had more appeal to adult readers who bought them and kept them in perfect condition. Hence less scarcity hence lower prices. Master of Kung Fu another in this category. Kids like guys with masks and capes – hence the condition of those Batmans. (Somebody really wanted my super high grade copy of #245, so it’s gone, so one positive sign towards your sale.)

I used to have a bunch of those relaunch books, but the herd had to be culled, and only the aforementioned Young Men #24 remains. If you tried to sell a book called “Young Men” today you’d probably get arrested.

You have been pitching TTA Ant Man for about twenty years now. I think there might have been some hope until the last movie. Mine are gone and I took a beating on #44. I’ll stick with Showcase #34 thank you very much.

Gerald, do I have to go back to some earlier comments to figure out what you are talking about?

Gerald Eddy
Gerald Eddy
21 days ago

You would have to go back a couple of years Chris! Bottom line is if you travel to Canada with comics… hide them or you will be accused of smuggling a controlled substance!

Brian Donnelly
Brian Donnelly
21 days ago

And me with a few Ant-Man issues of my own for sale right now. Some of the greatest works Marvel ever produced, tragically underrated and definitely under priced.

Last edited 21 days ago by Brian Donnelly
activejim
activejim
17 days ago

Hey Walt. When is the Canadiana Auction date?
I did a few word searches and can’t find any reference. Is it coming up this month or next?

I got a “Home Warehouse” to clear out too, both Canadian and US SA and GA books.

Jim Finlay
Jim Finlay
11 days ago

I wasn’t able to combine a visit to Hamilton to drop off some books and a visit to London for Ivan’s webinar so I had to watch it from home with my Mother and she loved to hear about the history of Canadian Comics as we watch the webinar..
She loved the stories about Canada during the War, when she was born and I was able to show her the actual books I have that were mentioned too.
I hope Ivan continues to do columns here in the near future.
There are many stories still to tell and collections out there going to market.

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