Winter Spice

They say that variety is the spice of life and I can confirm it’s true when it comes to prepping comic books for eBay auctions. This week I had a real smorgasbord of items come across my desk; every other new stack I picked up seemed different and it was just what I needed to make the mundane task bearable and even refreshingly fun.

I had that Superman versus Spider-Man treasury from 1976 to write up and as I was leafing through I found this page explaining how the cover came to be. I like how the one image had Stan and Carmine’s sign-offs on it. The treasury is the first Marvel/DC crossover and though I thought the characters were a mismatch I did like the book.

I like the future prospects of Golden Age Batman books so I was glad to see Batman #67 and World’s Finest #18. Can there be cornier covers than the World’s Finest covers of this era? What kind of kids were picking these up? Maybe their folks were buying them; folks are so square.

What’s not square is this steamy ad for Feature Films Presents Captain China, hubba hubba! As seen in Romance Trail #5 from DC Comics. For me the best romance books from the late 40s and early 50s are the photo cover ones, somehow they work in this era.

Surprisingly I didn’t siphon off any books into the personal collection this week; I came close. Who in their right mind could resist the Blonde Tempest Twins!? Patsy Walker #102 is a coveted round 12 cent Marvel but still, I could not get past the tattered condition. I’ll keep my eye out for a better one.

A quick recap of our weekly internationalcollectiblesexchange eBay auctions that ended last night. The big finish was for a CGC 9.6 White Page Malibu Sun #13 featuring the first cover appearance of Spawn. We did well selling it for $1,330, beating a December sale by quite a bit and just missing a record price for the book.

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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10 Comments

  1. Those WF covers plus the ridiculous scarcity of these books makes me drool. I think the surfing cover is the pinnacle and the recent auction result for this issue bears this out. The fishing cover is also a super classic and I wish I had a better copy. I am looking for “cultural artifact” issues, and these totally fit the bill.

    I owe you another one for pointing out the Blonde Tempest Twins. You will forgive me if I am in the hunt with you. There are no CGC copies, so this is a bad sign for finding a nice copy – I’ll bet this issue got more perusing than most.

  2. I have a copy if the Spidey/Supes crossover along with several other big cardboard covered 70’s books. I am a sucker for those corny late 40’s early 50’s DC comics, especially WF… not sure what it is about them. I would have had to have a much older Patsy Walker to have bought in that condition as well although I do love those big price circle Marvels.

  3. MyComicShop had one of those Patsy Walkers in stock in GD+ earlier today for $30, but now it’s gone. Somebody who lacks good sense must have been just too taken with the Blonde Tempest Twins.

  4. Hey Chris Meli, thought of you yesterday…I’m usually a man of high standards (other than listen to Walt’s podcast) however I’m willing to go mid-grade when hunting O’neil/Adams GL/GA run….got a #78 yesterday for $14cad in a 6-6.5 and he think he has some in the 80s too. Willing to work on the run, enjoy the stories and at a later date in my collecting start to track down some nice’n’tight copies.

    Walt, did the payment transfer on one of the nicest ASM#121 I’ve ever seen, single owner copy…thanks for your guidance on that run.

    and I’m not sure if Nelson da Rocha reads our inane ramblings…but his Undervalued Spec of ASM 96-98 came up as a 3 book buy in an auction and I swooped in like The Falcon!!!

    For those that haven’t read Nelson’s great little recommendation (which was a natural extension of Walter’s previous thoughts on the subject):

    https://www.comicbookdaily.com/collecting-community/undervalued/undervalued-spotlight-197/

  5. Walt, I resemble that remark.

    Spider – that GL/GA run is seared into my very being. I had #85 as a kid – my mother was scandalized – but managed to destroy it. I then read the whole run, over and over, in – would you believe it – the two mass-market B/W paperbacks. I was overjoyed when DC finally came out with very nice reprints in the late eighties (I think), and now I have the slipcased hardcover from fifteen or twenty years ago. Can not get enough of that series. I don’t think I will be getting the #76 9.8…

    Also you seem to be a big fan of the junkies like I am – hence ASM 96-98 – which I do not have but it is a hole that I would like to fill. I had #98 as a kid also – bought because I liked the cover – but I couldn’t make sense of the “to be continued” story, and it was one of the reasons I avoided Marvel for years. I think those non-code books are another “cultural artifact” that will always be worth having.

  6. Chris, tell me something, are any of the GL/GA reprints able to reproduce the pastel tones of the originals? My main issue that I have with Marvel’s TPB is the glossy pages and over-saturated colours, I like my vintage poor quality paper and the gorgeous gentle tones of the inkers or that era. I’m a sensitive soul

  7. Spider, in my opinion the answer is no. I think the coloring was originally adjusted for the poor-quality paper, so the reprints end up looking more or less garish.

    As these are ur-books, I decided to do a little research on this, as to what reprint looked best, but I came up empty. Maybe more reading of Amazon’s reviews of the various reprints would turn up something. Search Amazon “Green Lantern Arrow” and you will turn up all of the various editions. I think worth picking up the original reprints, as they came out in 1983 but still can be had for cover price – and they have original Adams covers. This discussion has me interested in getting a nice used copy of the Absolute edition – still the color issue, but much bigger format for older eyes.

  8. Hey Walt
    That cover of Feature Films #1 is different than the actual cover which is indeed a genuine photo cover of John Payne. That ad looks like it might have been redrawn, possibly by Jack Sparling who did the interior art on that story. There is actually a copy for sale right now on My Comic Shop. The photo quality is very poor. I’ll take that line-drawn cover any day!.

  9. Nice on the Malibu Sun – I’ve got one in at CGC that hopefully will set the record some day. I was astounded a few months ago while going through my heretofore neglected box of independents that this issue was something.

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