The Funnies #45, Dell Publishing, July 1940
It’s been 13 Spotlights since I last featured a Golden Age book and if I do anything here on the Spotlight it’s spread it around.
This week I’d like to feature The Funnies #45 as my Undervalued Spotlight.
The Funnies #45 is actually a historically significant book, it features the 1st appearance of Phantasmo who is Dell Publishing’s 1st ever superhero.
Usually the 1st superheroes of the big comic book publishers go for big bucks. Just look at the value of DC’s 1st superhero book Action Comics #1 then have a look at Marvel Comics #1 to see how Timely’s 1st superheroes are doing value wise and then have a quick look at Fawcett’s Whiz Comics #2 (#1).
Of course you’ll mention that Superman, Torch/Subby and Captain Marvel are still all viable concerns today and you’d be right.
Fox Features Syndicate’s Wonder Comics #1 is perhaps a more fitting comparison. This May 1939 comic featured Wonder Man’s only appearance thanks DC suing because the character was a knock off of Superman. Granted Will Eisner created the character but the character went nowhere. Wonder Comics #1 guides at $36,000 and Wonder Man only appeared once, Phantasmo appeared 19 times and graced many covers too.
I can even see the injustice by looking at Captain Midnight’s 1st appearance later in the same title, The Funnies #57. I like the Captain Midnight intro and don’t disagree with the Guide’s $6,200 but compare that to the measly $1,475 they give to #45 and you want to cry foul.
This just happens to be one of those books the Guide has wrong, lesser books around it Guide at more and historically comparable books have exponentially higher Guide values.
Dell Publishing was a major comic book publisher, they probably sold more comics between 1940 and 1960 than any other publisher. Their 1st foray into the superhero genre should Guide at more than what a common run book in the teens from the Silver Age guides at!
This book is simple way to cheap in the Guide!
The 44th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide shows $603/$1039/$1475 as the 8.0/9.0/9.2 price splits.
Strengths that make this comic book a good long-term investment are:
- Origin and first appearance Phantasmo, The Master of the World
- 1st Dell Publishing super hero
- Waaaaay too cheap in the guide
walt, i luv ya man,and no hard feelings, but your GA choice this time around is terrible.The artist Stoner of the strip was from day one of collecting regarded as the worst example,from the dregs of GA comic books. And that is the reason for the avoidance of this book and anything else his hand touched on paper! Worse then hack work!
I think I have you on the fence on this one Stephen. Time to pull you over to my side.
All ages of comics are littered with bad art and worse stories, doesn’t stop some of those books from being worth money.
I still say the very cheap price point and the fact that this is Dell’s 1st super hero means this book has some room to appreciate.
Based on Walters premise… I’d stock up on Young Blood as well. Is Image still the 3rd largest publisher… or Dark Horse?
yes, i agree on acknowlgement of this issue#45 as a first S.H. for Dell. But we disagree on viewing this book as a bargain monetarily speaking. There are so many other books that are so neglected,for example The Flame#1, all Lou Fine art, a first issue, one of Foxs ‘ top stars
Youngblood? Good call Charlie. Of the two I’d still go with The Funnies, there is true scarcity in that one and it would only take a small spike in demand for the value to rise.
I agree Stephen, there are so many Golden Age comics currently undervalued including Fox’s Wonderworld Comics #3 which features the 1st appearance of the Flame by Lou Fine.
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