A Lucky Find

As published in July 2011 Comics Buyer’s Guide (issue #1679)
Steve Mortensen, columnist since 2004
www.cbgxtra.com

I recently attended a local flea market and picked up a small run of Uncle Scrooge comics, including the 15¢ variant editions released in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1957 of #17-19 and #21-22. Dell was testing the market to see if it could raise its comics prices from 10¢ to 15¢. My copies look to be in mid-grade condition. Recent CGC sales for those variant issues: #17 with no recorded sales; #18 in CGC 7.0 (Fine/Very Fine) sold for $167 in 2007; #19 with no recorded sales; #21 with no recorded sales; and #22 in CGC 6.0 (Fine+) sold for $81 in 2007. It’s fun to come across a flea market find like that. At the time, I had no idea about the existence of price variants — I just bought them because I like Uncle Scrooge. (Many collectors are familiar with Marvel’s price variant issues in the late 1970s; they sell for high prices in nice grades.)

I have also been assembling a collection of the Batman Lego mini-figures, picking them up at flea markets and shows. If you’re not a Lego collector, you might be surprised to learn that they go for about $25 each. The last one I’m missing is Bane. The first appearance of Bane was in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (93). CGC 9.8s of the issue have climbed up to $183 as of March 2011, and a 9.9 sold in 2009 for $305.

Here are this month’s picks:

FF #1 (Jun 11). I mentioned this comic last month and was bitterly disappointed in the copies I received from Diamond. In my case, there was water damage, but the copies I reviewed at this year’s WonderCon in San Francisco also showed significant spine wear. Rather than calling this issue the debut of the new FF, dealers were noting it as the debut of Spider-Man’s white costume. They were selling ungraded copies for $4 and $5 each, but I couldn’t find any gradable copies.

Deadpool #38 and #39 (Sep and Oct 11). These issues feature a Deadpool vs. Hulk battle, which looks to be pretty cool. Traditional Hulk vs. “Somebody” battles — such as Wolverine vs. Hulk battles, Thor vs. Hulk battles, and Thing vs. Hulk battles — have proven to be worthy issues to pick up. Prices for an example of each: Incredible Hulk #181 (Nov 74, vs. Wolverine, admittedly in his first full appearance — which accounts for the price) CGC 9.8 now sells for about $13,000; Defenders #10 (Nov 73, vs. Thor) CGC 9.8 sold for $540 in December 2010; Fantastic Four #112 (Jul 71, vs. Thing) CGC 9.8 sold for $5,100 in January 2011.

Space Warped #1 and #2 (Aug and Sep 11). This is a parody mini-series coming out from Boom! Publishing. It’s in the flavor of Robot Chicken, Family Guy, and other great humor series of recent years. The art is hip and modern and worth a look.

Dark Horse Presents #1 (May 2011). Dark Horse has restarted its anthology series, and the big name in this book is Frank Miller’s Xerxes, the prequel to his 300. Maybe a movie in the future? It might be worth picking up a couple of copies, although the cover price is $8 because it’s an 80-page giant.

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Steve Mortensen owns Miracle Comics and Micurio.com, a free online community for sharing all your collectibles. When not selling comics, Steve works as art director for Santa Clara, CA based biotech firm Affymetrix. He can be reached at steve@stevemortensen.com.

Research data provided by GPAnalysis.com.

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