Any fan with an interest in comics history should own a copy of Fogel’s Underground Comix Price Guide. Not only does that book provide values for over 1800 titles and 5000 individual comics from then 1960s to 1990s, but Fogel’s is also a crucial repository of information on comics that fit that always controversial and hard-to-find genre.
Now Dan Fogel has produced an update to his 2006 Guide, and the update is long-overdue and quite exciting. The best thing about the update is that it doesn’t just update the prices of the thousands of comics that were included in the original price guide. Fogel also provides a price guide to mini comics and British undergrounds.
This had to be amazingly difficult work. The largest-circulation comics that Fogel covers probably sold 10% of what an average Marvel comic sold during the same time period, and many of the new additions probably sold a fraction of that amount. Fogel lists some mini comics that had print runs in the hundreds but that would be of interest to many readers.
And that’s why Fogel’s book is so important and essential. It preserves a record of work produced by men and women who are extremely passionate about their work. In the cases of many of the comics listed in this magazine, the creators were so passionate about their work that they paid to copy and mail their work all around the world. Such dedication needs to be remembered and treasured, and Fogel does that with his new book.
A casual reader of the mini comics section discovers many of the same names popping up over and over, which gives us a sense of the leaders of the small press of the era. Brad Foster, Rick Geary, Comix World, Starhead Comix, Howski Studios… these are the names of some of the most productive members of the small press, and they’re well represented in that section.
But the mini comics section also preserves the memory of work by many other creators. I’d never heard of Randy Crawford, Emil Sempf or Walter Bachner. But their friends and fans probably do, and more importantly their work is being remembered as part of the permanent record of work done during that era.
The mini comics section is a very impressive achievement – encyclopedic in its detail, featuring dozens of reproductions of wonderful covers from the books, and a good attempt at setting a value to some of the most ephemeral of all ephemera.
The section on British undergrounds was slightly less spectacular, but that’s almost definitely because there were just fewer undergrounds produced in Britain than in the US, and apparently very few mini comics. I was surprised by how many well-known British mags were included in the undergrounds section – stuff like Warrior, from whence Miracleman and V for Vendetta sprung, as well as British reprints of Freak Brothers comics, and collections of Love and Rockets comics.
But it’s very hard to find any fault with the outstanding research work that Fogel and his team put into this or any of the other sections of this magazine. I’d much rather have too much stuff listed than too little, if only because it makes it easier to research the comics listed in this magazine.
The Supp is rounded out by a wonderful cover and some very interesting articles, comics and features. I really enjoyed the articles on collecting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and the historical roots of Spiegelman’s Maus. And the one-page comics by Frank Stack and Dan and Randy Vogel were lots of fun and set the perfect note for the magazine.
This magazine is a must-have for anyone with a deep interest in comics history, especially that of undergrounds and minicomix. The level of research done in this book is positively breathtaking. Dan Fogel has produced a spectacular magazine.
For more information on this magazine, see hippycomix.com