Posts Tagged Uncanny X-Men

“I finally found what I need to be happy and it’s not friends, it’s things.” – Fry

As published in Comics Buyer’s Guide
Steve Mortensen, columnist since 2004

I’ve been collecting for almost 30 years and always enjoy buying back issues from comics stores. While eBay is great and I’m a huge CGC fan, it’s a lot of fun to find older, ungraded comics in stock at local stores. Unfortunately, more and more stores are carrying fewer back issues. I think they’re either placing them in their own eBay stores or are just not investing in them.

It’s hard to find a good deal on vintage ungraded comics at a store or show. Since many dealers are sending their best stuff to CGC and then selling the items on eBay, the selection of NM books in stores and shows is dwindling. One store I visited today had a nice selection of Strange Tales, including #147 (Aug 66). I was hoping to pick it up because it was marked “Near Mint,” but, on closer inspection, the issue was in Very Fine- condition. Collectors who prefer collecting loose issues might consider buying lower-grade CGC-graded comics and taking the copy out of the case rather than buying loose comics through a dealer. CGC’s restoration detection is great and, in most cases, it has higher grading standards than dealers, which is why CGC-graded comics often bring a premium. In the case of the Strange Tales #147, the issue sells for about $300 in CGC 9.8, $69 in CGC 9.4, and $25 or less in CGC 7.5. The copy I saw at the store was priced at $45 and was about a CGC 7.5, so I think I made the right choice not buying it.

Here are this month’s picks:

Futurama back issues. Futurama has been a great cult favorite, both on and off TV. It has been a great year for Futurama back issues. Issue #1 in CGC 9.8 last sold for $110; #3 last sold in CGC 9.8 for $70; #8 last sold in CGC 9.8 for $80; #10 last sold in CGC 9.8 for $70; #11 last sold in CGC 9.8 for $70. Before this year, the average price for a common early issue (except #1) was $15 to $25. Now, collectors are finding that these are hard to come by in high grade; even low-grade “reader” copies are hard to find. Futurama back issues in CGC 9.8 have surpassed Simpsons Comics in price. Even Simpsons Comics #1 (1993) in CGC 9.8 at $70 sells for less than Futurama #1 (2000).

I, Vampire #1. DC is giving I, Vampire its own series with the relaunch of its titles. “I, Vampire” first appeared in House of Mystery #289 (Feb 81), which has no recorded sales in CGC 9.8, and only two copies have been graded in CGC 9.8. “I, Vampire” ran for 24 issues between 1981 and 1983, and collectors may start looking for these back issues once the new series comes out.

Uncanny X-Men #544. This is the final issue of Uncanny X-Men. Marvel does not appear to be offering variants for this issue, which is good from a collecting point of view. This has been such a key series since the 1960s that picking up a few of these might be a good idea. Sometimes, final issues have smaller print runs and, over time, sell for more than a common earlier issue.

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

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