Two-Fisted Tales #35, EC Comics, October 1953.
Sometimes the weirdest things lead me to a spotlight pick. I’ll often try to think of a good pick for the moment, be it a Valentine-themed pick or a Christmas-themed one, I’ve even done Canadian books around Canada day and I think I once did a Kirby book around his birthday.
Like many of us, I’ve been enthralled by the lead-up to the American mid-term elections, which are taking place today. Seats are being contested in both the Senate and the House and the results could affect the abilities of the current administration to govern the way it wants to.
I don’t pretend to know a thing about politics, what I do know is that I’m a massive fan of the good ole US of A. I know that America has been the global engine of creativity and innovation for over a century largely due to it being this big melting pot that when working the way it should allow diverse cultures to mix, exchange ideas and come up with stuff that no other place in the world can come up with. Since I don’t live under a rock I’m well aware of the divisiveness that is so prevalent in American society today.
So with all that rushing through my head, I tried to find a comic that in some way captured the political polarization so prevalent south of my border. It didn’t take me long to stumble upon this week’s Undervalued Spotlight, Two-Fisted Tales #35.
Two-Fisted Tales #35 is a comic printed in 1953 and has a well-drawn cover by the great Jack Davis depicting a heroic scene from America’s Civil War, the costliest war in American history in terms of dead and wounded.
What makes Two-Fisted Tales #35 a book that should be noticed is that it depicts a heroic scene from the Confederate side with the Confederate flag dominating the cover.
There are few more divisive symbols in American society than the Confederate flag for obvious historical reasons. Again I’m not going to pretend I know anything about the day-to-day politics of the USA but I do know that what the Confederate flag symbolized and stood for is wrong and that American society has a difficult time ahead reconciling its turbulent past.
Confederate monuments are being taken down or defaced, even in popular culture things like the rebel flag draped car from Dukes of Hazard, the General Lee, has had its Confederate flag taken off. Can a comic book like Two-Fisted Tales #35 also meet some sort of social backlash?
Oftentimes publications and items depicting people or symbols that end up on the wrong end of history become desirable collectibles. Time Magazine covers depicting WWII dictators or symbols associated with malevolent political movements are sought-after items.
I think Two-Fisted Tales #35 is a book that can potentially find itself isolated for the wrong reasons much like past caricatures of ethnic groups in American comics can be looked at with disdain while at the same time be sought after as collectibles thanks to the stigma attached to the book.
Two-Fisted Tales #35 can easily be found on eBay, most are mid to lower-grade raw issues that can be bought for less than $100.
The 48th Overstreet price break for this book is $248/$399/$550 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.
Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment:
- Jack Davis Confederate Flag cover
- Divisive symbolism