Thursday, February 23, 2012

Whatchu Got?

Doug: Frequent commenter William dropped a bomb on us back on the 11th, when in the fave book post he declared that he owns a nice-looking copy of Amazing Fantasy #15. And I'm like, WOW!! How cool is that? Then a couple of days later Fred Hill told us that he'd purchased Amazing Spider-Man #129 back in the day for the outrageous sum of... 21c!! Double-WOW! And, like many of you do out there in comment-land, it got my imagination to rolling. So I'm thinking of my own treasures, and there aren't many any more as I've sold off most of what had any value at all. You most likely wouldn't even accept some of the stuff that's left, if I gave it to you!

Doug: So here's today's topic -- what is the most valuable item(s) you either own, or at one time possessed? You can feel free to interpret "valuable" as monetarily lucrative or sentimentally significant. For me I have a few prizes left, none of which are in mint condition. As part of my complete run of the Avengers, I of course hold copies of #1 (Good/Very Good -- if I'm honest with myself, it's closer to Good, but it's complete and in decent shape), #4 (VG), and #57 (NM). Over in the Amazing Spider-Man box, there are VG-F copies of #'s 39-40 (one of them, can't recall which one, has a bunch of thumbtack holes in the top of it. Seriously?? Who the heck would hang a book up?). And, I have Fantastic Four #'s 48-50. The best of the three is #49, which is in F/VF (closer to Fine).

Let's hear about your treasures! And oh -- just in case you were feeling a little too good about yourself, check out this guy. Did you see this in the news??


david_b said...

Yes, as mentioned before, I too bought Spidey ish 129 for a measly 21c.., remember sitting in the back seat of my Dad's car gleaming over the pages, and the panel of Peter sewing his costume together. Too funny. Luckily I found ish 122 for the same price as well..

The wonderful compensation of yearlong Army deployments allowed me to do some investing while in Kuwait. I'm sure many of you have beautiful vintage collections of rarities, as I have in vintage Captain Action, GI Joe, a Beatles butcher cover (pasted over, which my mom found at a rummage sale for a whole quarter..), but I digress.

My last stay in Kuwait, I picked up a few vintage boxed Megos, FF 49 (FN), and grabbed a FF 13 (F-) as well. I have a host of other FN FF's between them, but ish 13 was the coolest.

But my two big investments were the snazzy '67 Spiderman inflatable pillow (still minty and inflated..) and the '73 Ideal Spiderman playset, still wrapped. I recall on one of those LONG cross-country trips seeing those at Kmart, begging my Mom to drop $2.99 for one.

(I won't tell you what I ended up paying for this one..)

I don't have any noteable 1st Issues (other than New Teen Titans and CA 108), but I'm fine with that. I think the most I spent on a comic was FF 49 for a hundred.., which incidentally is what I sold my Spidey 129 for.

Best deal I ever received was buying a dozen the BEST Nick Cardy original Teen Titan issues for only $5 a piece in the 80s, all NM.

J.A. Morris said...

I bought a good to fair condition copy of Hulk #181 for $15 in 1984 or '85 at a convention. I only wanted it for the story, since there were no reprints of the comic back then.\

Around the same time, a friend was getting rid of most of his comic collection and I got a fine condition copy of Hulk #180 (where Wolverine appears in the last panel) for $3.

In '86, I found a used bookstore in Dunedin,FL (or maybe it was Clearwater, don't know where one ends & begins)that had a small collection of back issues. I bought X-men 111,119,120,121, and a couple other issues. I don't remember exactly how much I spent on them(I'll have to dig them out, they should still have the price tags on them)but I don't think any issue was more than $5.

I felt sort of guilty, the book store was run by two old women who probably knew nothing about comics. But, hey, they got my money.

I've also got Amazing Spider-Man #42(first Mary Jane) and #39 (first Romita, Osbourn unmasks), but I've never had any of my comics appraised, so I don't know their "exact" value.

Edo Bosnar said...

I usually don't even bother going after costly vintage back issues (I'd rather just spend the disposalable income on a whole bunch reprint books and other cheaper stuff), but recently a local comics dealer here in Zagreb offered me Nick Fury #3 (from the original, Steranko series) and Not Brand Echh #9, both in solid VG/G condition, for about $5 and $4 respectively. I snapped those up right away. These are the oldest comics I've ever owned – even back when I had my original collection, the oldest stuff I had was from about 1972(and not very valuable then or now, i.e. stuff like the entire run of Red Wolf).
Speaking of my original collection, most of it had more sentimental than actual monetary value, but I did have most of the Claremont/Byrne/Austin X-men run, the entirety of Frank Miller's first run on Daredevil, most of the Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans, etc. However, since at the time I did not bag and board my comics and just loosely stacked them in cardboard boxes, and often re-read them, their somewhat battered condition probably knocked down their value. I've mentioned this on other comment threads before, but a few items I used to have and really regret no longer having are those great Marvel reprint books like Son of Origins, Greatest Super-hero Battles and so forth, which, based on recent web searches, have really accrued in value.

Chuck Wells said...

As a long time comics fan it really pained me to learn as a young adult, that when I was a mere toddler, my grandmother burned my dad's old comics. They had been stored in boxes for years, unclaimed and [in her estimation] unwanted, so she simply disposed of them as she did with her regular household trash. She lived in a rural setting where most Southerners of the time just burned trash in a big metal barrel in the backyard.

She regretted getting rid of them years later as my brother and I became huge comic book fans. My dad supposedly collected Blackhawk, Plastic Man, Superman, and popular western comics (Gene Autry & stuff). Sniff; sob!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck....your GRANDAD’s Superman collection ?? Seriously, best not to think about it. And keep Overstreet away from your Grandmother.

I seem to be the antithesis of everyone else here. To me, the stories are wonderful, but reprints are no substitute for the originals....actually holding the artefact itself in your hands, when it’s been an object of desire for years and years is still a thrill. I love it when the comics still smell fresh and the pages are white, but somehow it’s more exicitng when they show their age. I always go straight to the small print at the front to see when it was published. Was Kennedy still alive? Marilyn? Had we walked on the moon? What else could you buy for 12c then?

For the last 8 years, I’ve been completing sets and reading them as I’ve finished (Avengers, Drac, Surfer, Defenders are the only key ones completed so far).

For condition: Xmen 4 in VF/NM condition...lovely.

For sheer bloody value: TOS #39, DD#1, Avengers #1 and #4 and Strange Tales #110 ... 7 years of bidding on eBay for that one!

Iron Man #47 – the one with the Smith cover. It took me literally decades to get this. It was the last one I was missing.

I have the Steranko Furys in very nice condition. Worth having for the covers alone.

My FF#1 (bought with my pocket money in the 70’s) is an absolute mess. If it was anything else, you’d throw it away...but it’s complete and it’s FF#1, so the Hell with it, I’m counting it!

And no Doug, I don’t have TTA #27. That one is gonna hurt.

Likewise, a decent Xmen #50 would go down a treat if anyone’s offering.


Inkstained Wretch said...

I don't have too many that would would fetch a decent price, certainly nothing like William's collection. I've never looked at comics as an investment and mostly collected the ones that I enjoyed reading regardless of their relative value. I was always just as happy with a reprint - maybe more so because they were cheap.

The oldest one I own is Green Lantern #16 (1960), the first appearanxce of Star Sapphire. I also have Justice League of America #29-30, the second JLA/JSA crossover and the first appearance of the Crime Syndicate. They are all in good condition. No idea what they are worth.

I also have several vintage Claremont X-Men issues: #101, 109, 120-1, 135-7, 140, all in vintage condition. I picked them out of a garage sale for the cover price! It was held by a parent who had idea what they were selling. But do they fetch much today? I dunno.

Anything else? I have a complete LSH Great Darkness Saga ... Ummm, dang, guess that is it

Anonymous said...

Hi Inkstained,
Not sure if your question was rhetorical, but assuming VG condition, your Xmen are worth:
101 $24
109 $16
120 $16
121 $14
135 $10
136 $8
137 $12
140 $10
...and if anyone can tell me why 136 is worth less than the rest of the Phoenix saga, I will be impressed. I guess distribution was ramping up.


William Preston said...

I'm still holding on to the first run of Marvel's Star Wars comics; I bought them when they came out (multiple copies of the first issue; I did that for a while). I have some valuable things (Conan #2, Spidey #121-122), but I don't think I have anything super-valuable left that I didn't buy at a convention. I sold my Miller Daredevils and Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne X-Men runs many years ago, when comic resale prices were wildly elevated.

The one thing I sold that stands out for me is the first dozen issues of Cerebus the Aardvark. I first encountered Dave Sim at a convention when he was selling early issues (I think I didn't pick up the first one until a later convention, though I paid cover price) and chatting with folks. Sim signed whatever I bought and additionally drew little figures with the signatures. When I sold those first issues, 20 years or so ago, those were my big moneymakers, as the comic shop guy had a buyer who really wanted those things.

A guy my mother met while taking classes at the community college turned out to have a stash of old Thors, Iron Mans, and Spideys. The Thors were in crummy shape, and I think he charge me a quarter a piece, but they were beautiful, an incomplete set that ran from about #124-160. The Spideys, in better shape, were a few years of Romita (starting with #51, I think). Iron Man started with the joint Iron Man/Cap ish 100, then ran for the first two years of the comic. I wonder if I still have some of that stuff . . .

Inkstained Wretch said...

Richard, thanks for the rundown. It wasn't a rhetorical question. I honestly had no idea.

I assume that info is based on Overstreet.

david_b said...

Richard, THANKS for sharing your rundown. As is most pursuits in life, it's 'the hunt' that means the most.

Totally, totally agreeing on your timing of certain comics, as I felt that way with FF #12 from 1962, my oldest vintage comic. It's just, well, cool to think what everyday life was back then while President Kennedy was alive and a year before anyone really heard of the Beatles, going to a comic rack and seeing this issue.

Typically, for most investments my 'limit' is just over $100. Most of my rare GI Joe sets from the mid '60s were bought for that amount, as was my recently-acquired Mego Thor and boxed Green Goblin, and FF 49. For me, anything over $100's a 'serious investment'.

An example is that minty '67 Spidey pillow alone costing me $350. But after seeing it for DECADES listed in those old vintage comics, I had the cash and there went the resistance.

("..and luckily, the Mrs doesn't read this blog...")

Doug said...

By the way, david_b, did you take the photo that is your new avatar? Because if you did, I'm jealous. The Marvel Universe blue/yellow Goliath is about the only action figure I'd still buy, but I know I'd pay a mint for it on auction.

As to what we paid, I paid $125 for my Avengers #1 and around $140 (can't say for certain) for #4. However, much of my Bronze Age collection was liquidated with an administrator here at school who was building a comics collection for his son. So the first 40 issues of Peter Parker along with 100s of other books were converted to cash.

I did pay $150 for an original art page from Avengers #34. It's a 3/4 splash with a full-figure of Goliath as the Laser bursts through the ceiling of the lab Hank and Bill Foster are working in. Great images, but there are a gazillion word balloons on the page! My, how times have changed. I have no idea what that's worth. It's been professionally matted and framed, so that work alone would add another $125 to whatever the art is worth.


Anonymous said...

Hi Inkstained – yup, but it’s Overstreet 40, not 41, so might be a bit higher now. Frankly, I find his valuations a bit suspect. I was always under the impression that it was based on actual comic sales over whatever period of time, but if you get your calculator out, you will see that whatever comic you look at, the VG price is exactly twice the G price and FN price is exactly three times. When he says it’s 2.0, 4.0, 6.0 etc, he’s really not kidding. It clearly bears no resemblance to demand or sales (unless everyone in the world who bought every comic paid an exact multiple of the G price....which, if dealers are valuing by Overstreet, is entirely possible, now!).

Hi David_b – you’re right, but there are investments and there are investments, right? My pension is an investment, but I don’t sit on my bed with a warm glow looking at it, as I would with FF#49. And, let’s face it, if you’ve wanted something for decades, and still want it, and can afford it, for God’s sake have it. I’m sure enough of your paycheck goes on the mortgage, insurance and gas bill.

Something else I do....which is an act of compare what comics cost me now compared to my ‘economy’ ( i.e. pocket money) at the age of 9 or 10. A comic would have to cost about two and half thousand bucks to put the same hole in my finances as when I was a child with only pennies to my name.

Makes me feel better.

But...insane, right?


david_b said...

Actually Doug, it wasn't bad at all.

Please forgive yet another of my digressions, fellow beloved Pym-heads, I got my MIB blue/yellow Goliath for only $50 shipped, off a guy at Megomuseum last fall.

Oh..., he's as awesome as he looks. Checkout for gorgeous pics of all the legend figs, to include these Goliaths from the Universe line.

And just last week, I *finally* won a Buy-It-Now on eBay for the loose red/blue variant for $50 shipped as well.., for my desk at work. Just had to sell a few Secret Wars and Yellow Submarine MOCs to buy him.

Honestly, with patience you can grab 'em for right around $50, and they're SO worth it.

Redartz said...

Like you, Doug, most of my goodies were sold years ago; and like you , Richard, enjoy picking up a vintage comic! My best book no longer with me was Amazing Spiderman 14. First Goblin appearance, in beautiful (vf +) condition. Nowadays much of my collection is gleaned from flea markets and such, with the occasional eBay or convention purchase. Picked up Fantastic Four 48 for 3 dollars at one such ( complete, but pretty rough) . Great fun to read, though. Then there's Sugar and Spike 16, probably Vf. This is one of the few books I kept from my original collection, and holds extra value for me.

dbutler16 said...

This is an easy one for me - Giant Size X-Men #1. I bought it at no small expense, as the X-Men were already quite popular by then. I've got really old copies of the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man, but they're pretty much all in poor condition, so their value is less than my Giant Size X-Men #1.

Karen said...

I still have a TON of books, but am endeavoring to get rid of the recent stuff (by recent I mean anything from the 90s to present) by donating them. It's just not worth my time to try to sell that stuff.

I don't have anything truly exceptional though; no FF#1 or Amazing Fantasy 15. I think my FF collection starts at 39 and is intermittent. My oldest Thor is JIM 113. I have a decent run of Thor from 125-165 or so. My Avengers don't start til issue 30.

I used to have a bunch of books from the 50s and 60s that I inherited from my uncle, but I sold many of them in college. I can't recall all that I sold but I do know that they included Brave and the Bold #1, Batman #100, other pre-100 Batmans, and a lot of Dell Four-Colors. I still have about 50 of his books but none are as valuable as those. I also sold a few back ten years ago, and one of them was Tales to Astonish 27, the first Hank Pym. I got $300 for it but I really regret it now.

Anthony said...

I got Incredible Hulk 181 in fair to good condition for .50 cents at a Creation comic convention in New York.

I purchased 180 off the stands in 1974. Around '77, '78 a friend was donating his Incredible Hulk and Amazing Spider-Man collection ( along with other assorted issues ) to a school flea market. I ended up with them instead. All basically reader copies. No 181 but he did have 182.

Once I started going to conventions in the late '70s / early '80s I decided I should get 181. I went with my dad and we split up to try and find a copy. No luck at first. It seemed to be one of those elusive issues. Finally my dad found a copy and brought me over to the dealer's table. I took a dollar out of my wallet and got change back. Surely even in the late '70s it was worth more than that. Did I get a real bargain or did I buy just before the Wolverine / X-Men craze really took hold ?

Chris said...

Some great stories here and some people have got some fantastic comics. I do notice a trend towards Marvel.

Me included. My "Amazing" collection starts at No. 11 but I'm missing 12,13, and 14 so it really begins in earnest from 15 which is a wonderful VF copy purchased in 1988. I still think it was mis-priced at £15 in the store when I got it. Funny how those bargain purchases stick with you.

I've got other really nice copies of some key issues (as they say) such as 31, 39, 50, 100. No. 122 is only VG though and, as I've mentioned before, I'm missing 129. My limit is probably about £50 so I will need to get really lucky to pick up that issue.

The most I've spent recently was on Iron Man 55 (1st Thanos) which I picked up from ebay at about £20.

Like others, I've sold a few issues but just a few in my case. I've been selling my Magic the Gathering card collection for cash which has been swiftly converted to cheap runs of comics via ebay.

One last point, I really wouldn't trust price guides these days. Unless it's really old, rare or KEY then the availability of comics via ebay has bought prices down in my opinion. Good news for collectors (like me)...not so great if you were hoping to buy a car!

Anonymous said...

I once heard from the LCS manager that Overstreet put all the data in a computer and averaged out the prices, so the "average" price of a comic might be $2 in Good condition, $4 in Fine, and $6 in Mint, although no copies were actually selling for those exact prices. Just as the "average" price of a house in your neighborhood might be $150,000, although every house sold there went for either more or less than that price. Or the average age of people in this discussion group could be 35, even if none of us is that age. Anyway, getting back to the original question, I had some Silver Age and early Bronze Age comics that would be worth something now if I still had them, but I never collected systematically; it was more an accumulation than a collection. Two issues of Green Lantern here, five (non-consecutive) issues of Tales of Suspense there, seven issues of JLA, six Avengers, and so on. I had the first three issues of Conan the Barbarian when they were brand new. I didn't much care for them and gave them away. Then ten years later I saw an ad by some dealer selling them for $50+ each. I did build a pretty good run of Batman and Detective in the early 1980's, and sold them to a dealer in 1989. I didn't really make a profit (when you sell something to a dealer, who plans to resell it, you get low balled to one extent or another) but I broke even. I also at least broke even selling my complete set of Groo (Pacific). I had bought those to read them, not as an investment, anyway.

Anonymous said...

The entire run of Inferior Five, including the Showcase issues. I only have them because I wanted to read them and D.C. doesn't seem interested in putting out a nice reprint volume. My favorite super team! The condition varies from issue to issue, but most of them I got for a dollar and they are all readable. I won't spend more than $3.00 on a comic book so getting them all was a long-running challenge.

Redartz said...

Anonymous- those Inferior Five's are a treat! It's always fun to add a bit of humor to the hobby. Have you ever checked out Angel and the Ape? More fun stories; in the early 90's they did a mini-series which also featured Dumb Bunny and the rest of the Five...

Edo-Congratulations on the Not Brand Echh! One doesn't hear much about them, but they were some good laughs as well. They also featured some notable artwork by the likes of Kirby, Sutton, and Colan. One of the first comics I ever bought was Not Brand Echh #5, introducing Forbush Man. Being only 7 I missed some of the humor, but still found it memorable enough to replace when I began collecting as an adult!

William said...

Hey Doug, thanks for the mention in today's topic. I was surprised to see my name there.

Along the lines of what we're talking about, the only thing I own of any real value is my Spider-Man comic book collection. Aside from Amazing Fantasy #15, I have basically every Spider-Man comic ever made. I literally have complete runs of every single Spider-Man title that's been published. Including all mini-series, annuals, special edition, giant size issues, etc.

That includes a complete run of Amazing Spider-Man, PPTSSM, Web of Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Sensational Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, and so on, an so on. However, (kind of sadly), I'm actually in the process of trying to sell it right now, but I'm not really sure of the best way to go about it. I'd like to just rip it off like a band-aid and sell the whole thing all at once, but I'm not sure if I will find a buyer. My plan right now is to just try putting it up on the Comic Connect website and see what happens.

What do you guys think?

Anonymous said...

I remember Inferior Five and Angel and the Ape. When I reread I5 as an adult, I finally got the jokes that went over my head when I was eight. The same with the Silver Age Plastic Man. BTW, Angel & Ape had a character named Stan Bragg. He was an egotistical comic book editor who took credit for the writers' and artists' work. The parody was pretty obvious. Sort of a forerunner of Funky Flashman.

Anonymous said...

In addition to my Inferior Fives, I do have a couple of Angel & Apes. For some reason they are harder to locate within my under $3 rule. I have the first 5 or 6 Not Brand Ecchs, too. You can probably tell I prefer super heroics with levity. I long for some Captain Marvels (not the '70s revival). I have Fatman the Human Flying Saucer and the '"Split!" Captain Marvel from Lightning Comics. I have a few THUNDER Agents and a lot of Archie super hero comics. Never been into "serious" comics.
--Matt alias Anonymous from before

Rick J. said...

I feel lucky that I had the passion as a teenager back in the late 70's to the late 80's to hunt down past issues before the prices really skyrocketed. I was fanatical about getting them in VF-NM condition and have kept them so to this day. I think the most I ever paid was $50 dollars for a NM copy of Giant Size X-Men #1. My parents thought I was crazy. Not so much anymore.
My favorites are:
Avengers 57-300
Amazing Spiderman 98-328
Defenders 1-114
X-Men 57-284
Star Wars 1-104
Teen Titans 1-50 (wolfman/perez run)
Fantastic Four 100 - 300
Hulk 180 & 181
Many more but just some of the highlights.
I've thought at times at selling the collection but just can't get myself to do so. To many good memories of the hunt for that missing issue. Much harder back then before eBay and the Internet.

Fred W. Hill said...

I started seriously collecting just in time to get issues 121 & 122 of Amazing Spider-Man, as well as the first appearances of the Punisher, Blade and Wolverine. While I missed out on Giant-Size X-Men 1, I did get issue 94, the first regular size issue of the new team. Haven't had any of them appraised and they probably wouldn't be rated as much better than fair as they were pretty well read when I was a kid. Otherwise, the most I ever paid for any one comic was $25 for Avenger #93. Back in the '80s & '90s I did pick up quite a few back issues from the '60s, including FF #18 (first Super Skrull) and Avengers #8 (first Kang) fairly cheaply. I was such a geek I was collecting solely for the stories without consideration of the value. The only comic I bought through e-Bay was Saga of the Swamp Thing #20 (first Alan Moore), which I got for about $5.00.
Maybe if I make it to 70 I'll finally outgrow the things and get rid of them one way or another. On the other hand, there's a good chance they'll still be cluttering up my house when I kick the bucket.

Rip Jagger said...

My collection is more vast than it is specifically quality. I do have a bunch of Silver Age Marvels, and I did get my Avengers set all the back to the beginning. My Avengers #4 is likely a pretty strong candidate for my most expensive book. Most of the stuff I have, like Miller's DD, Wolverine's debut, early Byrne X-Men, and such are the ones I bought off the stands, so the quality is likely less than ideal.

My passion is for Charlton and those just don't command the attention of most collectors.

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

Redartz and Matt alias Anonymous (that's a cool handle by the way), I have to say of those two 'vintage' books, I'm probably happier with the Not Brand Echh issue - I really like satirical/humorous stuff as well. And I'm really surprised that Not Brand Echh has not, as far as I know, been reprinted, not even as an Essentials volume. Same for Inferior 5 - I'd even buy a Showcase edition, although a color reprint would be cool.
Rip, it's weird that Charlton never gets much respect from collectors. During the '70s especially, I thought they were producing some top-notch stuff all across their line. I know I said I prefer reprints, but last year I started getting together the original 10-issue run of E-man. I know there's a reprint volume in the works, but I really want the original issues with the extra features, i.e. Byrne's Rog and those Ditko shorts. When I get the whole run, I'll probably even shell out the extra dough to have it bound.

Anonymous said...

Matt alias Anonymous:
I am also a Charlton fan, love E-Man! I have all the 1960s "Action Heroes" comics as well except for some Judo Master and Sarge Steel and I'm still trying to find a cheap copy of the satirical Charlton Premiere featuring Sinistro.

D.C. and Marvel are actually my two least favorite publishers...but I do love those old Jimmy Olsen comics!

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