Freelance Vol. 3 #33, Anglo American, August/September 1946
It’s been a while since I shone the Spotlight on a “Canadian White” and it took a really cool happening to make me realize my oversight and allow me to set things right.
The cool happening is a 75th Birthday celebration for Canadian comics taking place in Niagara Falls this coming weekend. The event is being held at Big B Comics on 6465 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, Ontario at 7:00 pm on Saturday June 4th. We hope to see you there!
In honor of the event I thought it fitting that I pick a “White” this week so without further ado I present this week’s Undervalued Spotlight,Freelance Vol. 3 #33.
It’s funny but I asked Ivan Kocmarek for a little help picking this week’s book and his answer was simple, pick them all. Spoken like a true scholar of the period!
I wanted to get this pick right. I wanted it to be an approachable pick that offered many positives. After much deliberation I chose Freelance Vol. 3 #33, for several reasons.
The books boasts one of the iconic Freelance covers, this cover is often used on websites referencing the character and the time period and it really is a great cover, check out those post war Quasi-Nazi villains.
Freelance is the 4th title to come out of the “Whites” era; Better Comics, Robin Hood and Lucky Comics were the only titles to precede it. Ted McCall provided excellent scripts and the Ed Furness art is top notch. Ed Furness was the mainstay artist for Anglo American Publishing; he drew Freelance from the very first issue on.
This era of Freelance also delivers a couple of things most “Whites” don’t, accessibility and affordability. Freelance issues in this era trade for very reasonable sums: a CGC 8.0 of #28 recently sold for $202 while a CGC 9.2 #31 sold for $225. See what I mean about undervalued. These later Freelance issues are also available; I’ve seen a several copies of #33 over the last couple of years.
Freelance Vol. 3 #33 is an accessible and affordable opportunity to own a comic from this historic period. I think all well rounded comic collections should own a shining example of a “Canadian White” and this comic would most certainly suffice.
Canadian Whites are not listed in the Overstreet Price Guide but graded copies do trade online and some of the later Anglo Americans while rare do come up for sale often enough.
Strengths that make this comic a good long-term investment are:
- Freelance is an original Canadian hero with a long and storied run
- This is a great entry level representation of a Canadian Golden Age comic
- Awesome cover!
A lot of people forget that these Canadian golden age comics are way cheaper than their American contemporaries. Check out prices for the likes of Batman, Superman or Captain America from the same period. I can guarantee you won’t find many American books from the period priced at three figures. For some reason (probably art and materials) the Anglo-American books have always been cheaper than the Bell or Maple Leaf titles, so are easily within reach of many collectors. Even though prices on WECA books are soaring now, there are still deals to be had. Just don’t go looking for that Nelvana one-shot thinking it will be in the same price range.
With the Sesquicentennial coming up next year and this year being the 75th Anniversary of the first Canadian comic, why would collectors try and get an example of that first era of real, original Canadian comics. These later, end of the war, colour Anglos are great affordable examples of that era and you could be just as proud of having that in your collection as the first appearance of Deadpool (maybe quasi-Canadian himself). One thing to watch out for is that some of these later, colour Anglos were published in Ohio and are American variants of these books (funny, these Ohio versions could be the first ever American variants to find their way into Overstreet, if that guide ever wants to recognize them)–check the indicia and get a piece of Canada into your collections.
Just as a caution, I would advise buyers to be very careful on eBay. I have seen ridiculous prices from an Anglo-American 3 Aces with half the cover ripped off for $500 to the outrageous $25,000 for a copy of Super Comics (the Archie reprint) from Citren News. It was crazy enough when the Nelvana one-shot raised an auction price of $14,750 US, luckily only months after I had bought a lovely copy for $500. Until a reputable price guide for these books is available, use the utmost caution when considering online prices, or, better yet, find yourself a reliable dealer. The prices on these books are in such a state of flux right now that any deal you make could end up biting you in the ass somewhere down the line.
I have both copies of Freelance # 33 , one published in Canada and one in the USA.
Mel, you are referring to Bruno’s Ebay listings of Canadian Whites. Unfortunately, when someone comes across a Canadian White, they go online to “price them out” and see Bruno’s listings. I cannot tell you have many times I have been approached by people selling Canadian Whites and want the “Sun and Moon” for them, predicate on Bruno’s prices on his Ebay listings,. The sellers keep referring to his listings. Moreover, some of those outrageously price tomes have been on Ebay for literally years.
I’ve heard stories of Bruno’s unreasonable expectations before, and I think people like him are the reason that a lot of genuine fans have been priced out of this market. It irks me to no end that sellers refer to these prices as a reason they should get stupid money for their stuff. I don’t think however that you will hear reference to them from buyers. That would be like slitting their own throats. I take every opportunity to tell people to properly educate themselves about any collectable before they dive in with both feet. It’s just too easy to lose your shirt. Caveat emptor!
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