The Return of ComicLink Canadian Whites

The last ComicLink featuring a collection of Canadian “Whites” was this past February and, in the end, commanded some eye-opening prices for these scarce books. There we had about three dozen books, most in mid-grade to better. In my opinion even 6.5 and up should be considered “high grade” for these scarce Canadian wartime comics, given that so few are found in this condition. This month’s auction, even though it has almost double the amount of books (61), has them in mostly in lower grades. Almost a dozen of them are incompletes (0.5) because of a centerfold missing or a rectangular coupon cut out of the front cover. I’ve done a summary of the books on offer in a chart form anchored on condition, going from the lowest to the highest.
A grab off the CLink page.
A grab off the ComicLink page

The last ComicLink featuring a collection of Canadian “Whites” was this past February and, in the end, commanded some eye-opening prices for these scarce books. There we had about three dozen books,  most in mid-grade to better. In my opinion even 6.5 and up should be considered “high grade” for these scarce Canadian wartime comics, given that so few are found in this condition.

This month’s auction, even though it has almost double the amount of books (61), has them in mostly in lower grades. Almost a dozen of them are incompletes (0.5) because of a centerfold missing or a rectangular coupon cut out of the front cover. I’ve done a summary of the books on offer in a chart form anchored on condition, going from the lowest to the highest.

ComicLink’s April Featured Auction Canadian “Whites”

Comic CGC grade

Defect

Active 6

0.5

center spread removed
Canadian Heroes V2 N4

0.5

center spread removed
Commando 5

0.5

coupon cut out and pages missing
Commando 9

0.5

cover detached and page missing
Lucky V5 N6

0.5

center spread removed
Spy Smasher V2 N9

0.5

back cover missing, cover detached
Triumph 10

0.5

centrefold missing, cover detached
Triumph 7

0.5

1st 3 wraps and centerfold missing
Whiz 6

0.5

2 centre wraps missing
Wow 11

0.5

center spread removed
Wow 6

0.5

center spread removed
Rocket 4

1.0

covers completely split and detached
Rocket 5

1.0

covers completely split and detached
Dime 11

1.5

coupon cut from front cove
Dime 3

1.5

spine completely split, cov. Det.
Robin Hood V2 N6

1.5

cover detached
Spy Smasher 2

1.5

Triumph 12

1.5

Freelance 4

1.8

Lucky  Coyne 1

1.8

Three Aces 6

1.8

cover and first wrap detached
Three Aces V2 N3

1.8

cover detached
Triumph 9

1.8

corner chew
Captain Marvel 12

2.0

Funny Comics 10

2.0

Spy Smasher V2 N7

2.0

Three Aces 5

2.0

Wow 22

2.0

Better V5 N9

2.5

Freelance 11

2.5

Grand Slam 3 Aces 48

2.5

Grand Slam V4 N2

2.5

Lucky V3 N10

2.5

Spy Smasher V3 N3

2.5

Weekender V1 N1

2.5

Better V3 N4

3.0

Dime 9

3.0

Grand Slam 3 Aces 47

3.0

Great Stories nn

3.0

Bing Bang V5 N2

3.5

Dime 8

3.5

Grand Slam 3 Aces 47

3.5

Canadian Heroes V2 N5

4.5

Canadian Heroes V5 N4

4.5

Grand Slam 55

4.5

Young’s Whittle Craft

4.5

Better V6 N1

5.0

Freelance V3 N29

5.0

Freelance V3 N27

5.5

Bing Bang V3 N6

6.0

Bing Bang V6 N4

6.5

Grand Slam 56

6.5

Lucky 7

6.5

Grand Slam 3 Aces 49

8.0

Wow 2

0.5 R

1 page missing and glue restoration
UN War Heroes nn

3.0 R

small colour touch to cover
Wow 15

3.0 Q

front cover cut coupon hole
Triumph 13

4.0 Q

front cover cut coupon hole
Canadian Heroes V3 N2

5.5 Q

coupon cut out
Commando 14

5.5 Q

center spread removed
Wow 14

7.0 Q

front cover cut coupon hole

 

The Active 6 up for auction.
The Active 6 up for auction

 

The centrespread for Active Comics No. 6
The center spread for Active Comics No. 6

Now, I can understand sending a book off to be slabbed if you didn’t know that a centerspread should have been there, but why you would want to slab a book with a “ bullet hole in the centre of its forehead” is a little beyond me. Perhaps the scarcity of these books still demands it.

Dime 11 with the surgery
Dime 11 with the surgery

Another dozen or so books are still below the minimal accepted collecting grade of 2.0 for defects such as spine splits and detached covers.  Two books have some restoration and five others are green “qualifieds” because they are in relatively good shape except for the cover coupon defect or a missing centerspread, though I still don’t understand how CGC gets to a qualified 7.0 for the Wow Comics 14 with cover coupon missing.

Wow 14 still 7.0 qualified with the coupon scar.
Wow 14 still 7.0 qualified with the coupon scar

Here’s the culprit. The inside front cover of these Bell books had a coupon for comic hero sweater crests and you had to save up 12 of these to send off for one of these crests described in the center spread of these books. I’ve yet to see one of these sweater crests but I’ve seen this coupon promotion, and others like it, take a bite out of the Bell books we are chasing and make them that much harder to find in solid conditions.

Inside front cover for Triumph 14
Inside front cover for Triumph 14

 

The centrespread from Triumph 13 explaining the promotion.
The centrespread from Triumph 13 explaining the promotion

All in all, just about half the books have solid defects in them. If I were to win any of these books, I’d probably have them cracked within the first minute so that I could read them and examine their contents, though I might hesitate on the qualified grade books.

About half of the books fall in the range 2.0-6.5 with one, Grand Slam-Three Aces 49 which is a relatively common book, being an 8.0. I’d still crack the dozen books that are 2.0-2.5 and keep the ones that are 3.0 and up, slabbed.

There is one curious book in this auction called Great Stories for Children that is unnumbered but with a date of 1943. ComicLink calls it a “Canadian White” but the CGC symbol has no indication that it is Canadian at all. It has that “two-colour look” of a WECA book, but I’ve never heard of the publisher, Parents’ Magazine Inst., and never seen any remote reference to this book. I think ComicLink has it wrong here.

The questionably "Canadian" Great Stories book.
The questionably “Canadian” Great Stories book

There are a few things to watch for in the final outcome of this auction:

  1. Will the amounts realized by the complete books in this auction stay in line with the strong showing of the books in the last auction. If they do is this the establishment of a strong trend upward in the price of these books. If they don’t, was the last auction an anomaly?
  2. Will the incomplete and very low grade books have any strength at all and how will their prices compare with the better grade books offered?
  3. Which book will come out on top of the heap in the final prices realized?

For all of you looking to grab a lower grade copy just to get one into your collection, this maybe the best opportunity. These books will not come up often again. You can find the auction and judge for yourself here.  Of note is the fact that a few of the comics such a Wow 22 ($132), Three Aces 5 ($110), Grand Slam 56 ($185) are already over $100.

Since the auction ends on Thursday (the 24th) of next week, my blog will not appear until Friday morning to allow me to share the auction results with you.

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Ivan Kocmarek
Grew up in Hamilton's North End. Comic collector for over 50 yrs. Recent interest in Canadian WECA era comics.
Articles: 171

14 Comments

  1. Hi Ivan, I’ve seen a couple of those Great Stories and it’s the b&w version of some of the stories taken from the Funny Book and possibly other titles of Parents (publisher of True Comics).
    http://www.comics.org/series/15576/

    They had an adviser on their board that was based in Toronto Canada but I’m not sure who printed the few Canadian editions for them.

  2. You’re right, of course, Jim. It just took a peek over at GDC and though Great Stories is not listed there, when you look up The Funny Book you can see that these stories are straight from issues 1-4 and that the cover layout is from issue 2. Comics like these which were deemed edifying to our kids, such as Classics Comics and True Stories seemed to have an easy time of being reprinted or directly imported into Canada during the WECA period. Great Stories then is a Canadian reprint compilation of stories from the first four issues of The Funny Book. Thanks for clarifying this and I wish that CGC had noted this from the beginning.

  3. The book is a unique title with a Black and White interior, 56pgs of no ads just stories from the inside FC to inside BC.
    It contains reprints of the a classic stories on the cover that come from Parents Institute US Funny Book issues 1,2,3,4.

    The indicia states it was printed in Canada by a previously unknown printing company called Garden City Press in Toronto around November 1943.

    I consider it a unique Canadian reprint from the WECA era published under the same economic constraints that Canadian Whites were being published under.

    Scan of Indicia:

    http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r127/subliminaldissonance/scan/GreatStories_CDN_indicia_scan.jpg

  4. The bandwagon may not be so sweet for Nelvana and the Triumphs if people are not willing to pony up money for something that is already in the hands of hundreds of Nelvana fans in digital form and book form in a few short weeks from now.
    This auction will tell the tale as to whether the true collector of the original books still feel their investment in those books is not diluted by low cost availability of that important part of its content.
    It may also show if new fans created are willing to up the bid on the original Whites.
    Being there are so few copies of them it wouldn’t take many more to affect prices.

    This may be a more important barometer of Collecting Canadian Golden Age books than the February Auction.

    That being said, I think the Triumph 12, with a previous sale of a GVG copy @$600, will do well but the Dimes will challenge it.

    The Dime 9, especially, should do well since its strong showing in the last auction was followed up with another selling for $900 in March.

  5. Good points, Jim, but the value of American Golden Age keys and Marvel keys, for example, hasn’t been affected by the easy availability of reproductions of all forms of these books. The magic of the original article still has something enticing about it. It carries the “stink” of the day it came out and the “taste” of the cultural/social/historic setting in which it appears that no reproduction really captures. Your nomination of Dime 9, with that iconic Edmond Good cover, is a really good candidate for commanding the highest price in the auction. I can’t wait to see how the results turn out this time.

  6. Great point Ivan, reprints may affect values for comics in the $10 to $20 range as this is still within a price point a person wanting to read a story will pay. Generally speaking comics worth hundreds of dollars and more carry their value as originals and are impervious to reprints.

    I like your bold predictions Jim. You’ve actually put dollar figures in so I’ll man up and do the same. I think The Triumph #12 will crack the $1200 mark! There, I said it.

  7. The comic I think that ComicLink got it wrong is on the numbering of one of the 2 Three Aces issues that are marked as #6 and that they’re following the mistaken (in my opinion) GCD hunch that the June 1942 issue is #5.

    I believe that the May ’42 issue of Three Aces is the real #5.
    It’s the mostly red cover with Michael Lee at bat featured on the cover.

    Maybe the July issue is #7, or maybe there just is two number 6 comics and they never corrected this. In that case I’d call one 6a (June) and the other 6b (July).
    That’s my 2 cents.

  8. Yeah, Jim. Good spotting. The May issue with the red Michael Lee cover has to be Vol. 1 No. 5. This makes the blue Train June cover Vol. 1 No. 6 and the indicia correct. That last July issue then must be Vol. 1 No. 7.

  9. Jim B & Ivan; I have enough of those books scans and index info and with your cover descriptions I’m going to try to add my “8 cents” and help solve this Three Aces issue puzzle.
    I suspect Jim B. is right and there is a discrepancy between what is on the cover and between the cover. (The indicia info)
    When I get a chance to look it all the evidence and can document it I’ll post it.

  10. Today someone across the board bumped up the prices on all the Canadian books. Unlike the initial “CLINK tracking bidders” this person steamrolled over at least two distinct bidders with multiple bids that can only be a third bidder…bidding on his lunch hour.

    So Walter I’m going to be bolder and say it was a type of bidder that is not your typical retired bidder filling holes in his collection but rather the type that is just bidding up all books on his 9-5 lunch hour because he is a dotcom millionaire who owns all the books or none of the books.
    I just wish his social network included posting here so we can determine which one and who is the eventual winner.

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