Undervalued Spotlight #306

tom landryTom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys #nn, Spire Christian Comics, 1973.

When I think of Spire Christian Comics I think of Hansi, The Girl Who Loved the Swastika. After that I think of that great Spire Christian Archie series drawn by Al Hartley. Spire Christian has a lot of great comics actually, books like God’s Smuggler and books like Hello I’m Johnny Cash always flew out of my bargain bins.

I think it’s time for these books to start moving out of those bargain bins. A few, like this week’s Undervalued Spotlight pick Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys, should be going up on the walls.

Football is so huge in the U.S. and few figures in that sport’s past are as iconic as Tom Landry. Landry coached the Cowboys through their golden years of the 1970s when they became America’s team, when their cheerleaders became America’s pop icons themselves.

Tom Landry was a devout Christian and so were many of the Cowboy players of that time. This comic, drawn by Al Hartley by the way, follows the Cowboy’s Super Bowl victory over Miami (1972 I think) and then it recaps how Tom found religion when he went to a Bible reading with a friend. Not groundbreaking content but the book is a great football memento of a great era in the sport.

Guess what, no sale of a CGC copy has ever been tracked but that’s probably because there are only 2 on the CGC census as of this post and the highest graded is a 6.0. I did see VF+ copies selling on eBay for prices like $7.50 and $9.00.

I recommend you go out and find a nice tight and clean 9.2 ish copy, get it graded and put it up on Heritage Auctions (they are based in Dallas and the staffers there will probably bid it up to a nice tidy profit for yourself).

Kidding aside, this is the type of ‘off the radar’ comic that could gain some real quick value with the help of some general awareness.

The 46th Overstreet price breaks for this book is $16/$23/$30 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Strengths that make this comic a good long-term investment are:

  • Part of the soon to be much more appreciated Spire Christian run
  • What Cowboy fan wouldn’t want a nice tight graded copy
  • Way too cheap in the Guide

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1690


  1. Admittedly the North American comic market pretty much is the comic market, but here in the UK I suspect American “football” isn’t of much interest. As a UK-based collector I wouldn’t be interested in football or baseball-related comics, whereas Hansi or Archie still have appeal. Having said that $30 for anything this old in 9.2 seems pretty cheap!

  2. By far, the most ridiculous submission to Undervalued Spotlight! At $30.00 for a 9.2 this comic is grossly OVERvalued!

  3. Good point Simon, the whole world is collecting these comics now and for sure the subject matter at times is very North America-centric. I’ll argue that more than enough demand could be created on this side of the pond to pump a little value into the book, all it needs is some awareness.

  4. Thanks for the comment Jack but I have to totally disagree with it. I’ve posted at least a dozen past Spotlights more ridiculous than this one.

    I’m going to hunt down a nice copy of this book, grade it and put it in an auction, its the only way to settle this.

  5. A 39 cent comic book? Really? Football is huge in America and he’s a Christian? That’s the thesis for why this book is undervalued? But wait! It appears there is a variant of this book with a green background, surely that should command a 3x premium of the normal version. And why not one of their other seminal titles like, “God’s Smuggler”? You’re better than this, Walter.

  6. Looks iffy on the surface David but I think I’ve latched on to a sleeper. And by the way I love the “God’s Smuggler” book, another undervalued one in my mind but I limited myself to the one Spire book I was most keen on at the moment.
    The cover price has nothing to do with demand and collectibilty,, 10 cent, 20 cent, a buck ninety five, makes no difference, if the book has an increase in demand the value will go up.
    And why not football and christian, Hanzi was a christian though she probably didn’t play football.
    And yes, maybe the variant will eventually get more – or is that the 1979 printing?
    The point is I think this book has a chance at increased demand through increased awareness which will equate to increase in value.
    I’ve been wrong before and time will tell if I’m right or wrong with this one.

  7. Walt.,.if the purpose of Undervalued spotlight is to feature comics that might be investment worthy, surely you cannot be suggesting to invest in titles from Spire Christian Comics.
    As note worthy and interesting subject matter in the history of comics and as an unusual collectible , ….perhaps. But certainly not as a wise monetary investment.
    Perhaps we need to better define the title and aim of Undervalued Spotlight.

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