Undervalued Spotlight #366

Ghost Manor #13, Charlton Comics, July 1970

Happy Halloween everybody, please remember to dress warmly if you’re out trick or treating and if you’re driving around please take extra care and watch for all the little goblins and ghosts running rampant in the streets.

This week’s theme is obvious but picking the book is hard, there are so many great Halloween themed books to chose from. My inspiration came from my buddy Jay who lost out on an eBay auction for Ghost Manor #13. His rantings and ravings about why he wanted this book was convincing enough to land Ghost Manor #13 in the Undervalued Spotlight this week.

Fitting that my Halloween post ends in 66 (… and if we multiply the 3 in front by 2 …) and it’s also fitting that this is #13 of the title, spooky stuff.

Ghost Manor #13 features the 1st appearance of Winnie the Witch who serves as our host for the 3 scary stories told in this issue. I don’t know about you but I prefer Winnie as a host to say House of Mystery’s Cain or House of Secret’s Abel. Creators Joe Gill and Steve Ditko were obviously inspired by the 2 DC Comics hosts but they smartly broke the mold and went sexy witch over decrepit old man!

Steve Ditko art always gives a comic an extra level of collectibility. Ditko drew “The 3rd Player” which was the 1st 9 page story in the book. I’m a big fan of the Pat Boyette cover featuring a great rendition of Winnie and the Devil.

The book has lots going for it, strong creative team, great cover, a 1st appearance and it’s practically worthless in the Guide. My pal Jay was obviously not alone in noting the qualities of this book, maybe next time he puts a real bit in and actually wins one for himself (that’s of course if I don’t hear about it because I want one too).

The 47th Overstreet price break for this book is $13/$18/$22 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment:

  • 1st appearance of Winnie the Witch
  • Steve Ditko art
  • GGA/devil cover

 

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1589

2 Comments

  1. I was ready to argue strongly that this book doesn’t belong here because the Guide prices are totally meaningless (as in most cases), but I have to give you that the “VF/NM” copy that you note sold for about $50. (Shout out to Archie #100 that I bought from the same seller in that auction.) If that is the starting point, I totally agree, but that isn’t the value anymore…

    There are currently three copies in the GCC census, no recorded GPA sales, and very few raw copies available from the usual online sellers, none above VG. The cover is double dynamite with the GGA and devil, it is a first appearance, and the book contains Ditko art. Add my personal observation: I don’t think that I ever bought a Charlton comic on the newsstand – they were derivative, ugly stepchildren of DC and Marvel, beneath me, even lower in my estimation than the X-Men reprint books. As I seem to be sadly normal, I’m betting that very few sold in the first place, and that those that did sell were generally treated very poorly. So the conclusion is: rare in high grade.

    That covers the supply side and the quality assessment – the problem is the demand side. Clearly this book in high grade would be an easy $1k sale if it had a 1954 cover date. However it is a 1970 book, and there are a lot of low grade copies floating around. I observe that in these situations, there has to be a recognized key aspect and the scarcity has to be well understood before the high grade copies really move up in price. I don’t think that it’s hard to establish scarcity in high grade, so we are left with the key aspect. I think the current market environment is quite favorable for talking this up: first appearance of “the New Witch” (cf. Haunt of Fear #1), horror titles and GGA very hot, and Golden Age titles becoming prohibitively expensive. Also there is a skull on the cover (her brooch) – it seems like a skull or a skeleton on the cover will boost book price by 100% or more these days.

    In conclusion: undervalued? Yes, but not as much as it was a couple of weeks ago, because it is now on the radar. If I am around next time, Jay is going to have to step up. Thanks Walter for drawing my attention to such a cool book.

  2. Things moved a lot slower way back in the day, books caught favor and it seems like it took years for the Guide/Convention Dealer/Want Ads mechanism to propel the book up to say double it’s at that point value.

    Things move so fast now, ebay, blogs, forums, instagram, kajiji etc all make it possible for books to catch favor quickly and explode in value. The thing is this exponential increase in value in such a short time is like an army getting ahead of it’s supply lines. Too far too fast – unsupported.

    I don’t think books like Ghost Manor #13 have to be from the 1950s to explode in value. Scarcity is there, cover appeal is there, the ability to ignite demand instantaneously is now there as well.

    Chris just imagine the price the next high grade copy of Ghost Manor #13 reaches when you, me and Jay gun for the book!

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