One of the features when I wrote my Answer Man column for DC Comics back in the 80s was the “What’s It Worth?” department. We’ll take a brief foray into those types of questions this week…
How do you know if a comic is going to be worth something? And how do you read a comic without having it lose its value or lose little of its value?
I know if a comic book is worth something after I’ve read it and decided whether the money I spent got me something I felt was worthwhile. However, since I’m presuming you’re asking for advice on investing in comic books, I’ll sum it up: Don’t!
If you are buying one comic book or another because you think its eventual sale will finance your first house or your kid’s college education, you’d do as well investing in penny stocks, Pokemon cards, or postage stamps honoring the 3 Stooges. The reason that some old comic books sell for large amounts of money is because so few copies of them exist…AND that there are people who are willing to pay large amounts of money for those particular issues.
So while a copy of ACTION COMICS #1 could indeed finance your new home, there are plenty of Golden Age comics that wouldn’t get you enough for a family dinner at Burger King.
When you want to sell a comic book (or any other collectible, for that matter) it is worth only what someone is willing to pay you for it. It does not matter what any catalog says, what any comics dealer is selling HIS copy for, or what you think it is worth. The bottom line is that it is worth exactly the amount of money somebody is going to hand you in exchange for it.
Oh, as for how you keep a mint copy of a book in mint condition, you never read it, you never even open it. It goes straight into a Mylar snug and into your vault. [Or you could have it “slabbed”… but let’s not get me started on THAT again!]
I found an old comic book from 1955: Pony Express #829. Do you think it’s worth anything? Where could I go to find out?
The OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE is your best bet for an idea on values. The book you have, by the way, is actually FOUR COLOR #829 “TALES OF THE PONY EXPRESS.” In good condition, it catalogs at $4.10, ranging up to $45.00 in near mint, but that’s assuming you find someone who wants to buy it.
I’m trying to find an old comic book for my dad; he thinks it was called TERRI AND THE PIRATES.” Any idea as to author, publisher? Or where I should look? Thanks!
— Carolyn Strug (email@example.com)
Milton Caniff’s TERRY AND THE PIRATES is much more famous as a newspaper comic strip than in comic book form. However, there were some issues published by Dell in the 1940s, a number by Harvey Comics in the early 50s, and three from Charlton in the mid-50s. [The Charlton issues were not done by Caniff.]
As for where to find a copy of an issue, perhaps one of the readers out there has one. If so, I suspect he or she will contact you directly.
Is there anywhere I can find Alan Moore’s MIRACLE MAN TPBs for under $50 each? I’ve checked online auctions and the cheapest I’ve seen is well over a hundred. I love Alan Moore and want to read these books; however, I have to save my money for the next four years at college. Please help.
Matt Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
And this is the flip side of the collectibles coin, books that are relatively rare but are wanted by number of readers. Anybody have a readable copy to sell to Matt?
By the way, I’ll take this opportunity to plug one of my wife Laurie’s books: THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO BUYING AND SELLING COLLECTIBLES includes a chapter on comic books. Her source for information for that particular chapter was quite reliable. 😉
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. Finding a hitman named Barker resulted in Pat Trayce adopting what identity?
2. In DETECTIVE COMICS #1, what Siegel & Shuster creation predated Superman?
3. Needle, Red Dragon and Big Caesar were among the villains whose plot resulte din the formation of what team?
4. Dark Horse featured what character in miniseries subtitled “Mortal Coils” and “Prime Suspect”?
5. The Charlton title ROMANTIC SECRETS changed its name to what?
6. He’s a sorcerer whose given name is Karl Amadeus; as what villain is he better known?
7. Each issue of what DC maxi-series was by a different writer, picking up from a cliffhanger the previous writer created?
8. Brother and sister who were among the original Infinity Inc. members; name them.
9. On occasion, who leaves the jungle and travels as “Mr. Walker”?
10. You could see through someone’s hand (or so they claimed) if you bought what product often advertised in old comics?
11. Subjected to a ray treatment by the Brain, what identity did Laura DeMille adopt?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow never managed to steal more than $1,500 in any of their robberies.
2. Fidel Castro was a lawyer and defended himself in Cuban court in 1953.
3. Steve Allen (3 years as host) and Jack Paar (5 years) preceded Johnny Carson 30-year run as host of NBC’s Tonight Show.
FEEDBACK ON PAST COLUMNS:
Not a question, Bob, but a word of appreciation for your September 24th column. As fun as it is to play the trivia games, THIS is the reason that I enjoy reading what you write. There’s an open-hearted sense of joy in what you write, even in less than joyful circumstances. It was this sensibility which made ‘Mazing Man a gem, and it was a column today that allowed me a sense of pleasure in sharing your perceptions. Thanks for the words and a posthumous thanks to your dad for the work he did and the life he led.
–Ed Alexander [Edmalexa@aol.com]
Michael Fleisher’s THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMIC BOOK HEROES (VOLUME 1): BATMAN indicates that there are “more than twenty alternate names for Batman, including . . . the Dark Knight . . .” (page 31, right-side column, about two-thirds of the way down the page). Of course, since Fleisher’s book was published in 1976, it means that the reference to Batman as “the Dark Knight” predates Miller’s work.
–Thom Young [email@example.com]
Bob, I recently discovered your column. I remember fondly your DC chat on Monday nights a few years ago. I believe that I saw the Batman referred to as the Dark Knight in one of the early DETECTIVE COMICS ARCHIVES. So that would predate the Julie Schwartz era. I remember mentioning it to a friend who also likes the old stuff at the time.
Jay Mampel [Jaymampel@aol.com]
Well, then I guess we can only give Frank credit for making it perhaps the most popular sobriquet.
Regarding Julie Madison… she was used again in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS, around the 240s if memory serves, as the bride of a
nameless-European-country Prince, and she was cloned at one point, to try
to get at Batman. She appeared in two or three books…
— Eric L. Sofer [elsofer@JonesDay.com]
Julie Madison made an appearance in WORLD’S FINEST #253 where she was engaged to be married to European royalty. If I recall correctly, the wedding actually took place in the issue, and Bruce Wayne was actually forced to impersonate here fiance for a portion of the story. She recognized Bruce by the way he kissed her.
— Mark Katzoff [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Julie returned in WF #248 and again in #253. In the latter, she wed Prince Jon of Moldachia.
“No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.”
“They say no one will ever rhyme ‘purple’
But I say that someday, those who usurp will!”
And in other news, Bob Hope wasn’t in “Some Like it Hot” was he? Leastways, not so I remember the Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe classic.
— Jim Guida [email@example.com]
By my count, Jim, “usurp will” is TWO words.
Also, Bob Hope was in a 1939 movie titled “Some Like It Hot” that was later renamed “Rhythm Romance.” There’s no relation to the 1959 classic other than the title.
Colorist and head honcho at Digital Chameleon Lovern Kindzierski forwarded the following. Take a moment to click over to the site and send some needy person a meal…
>> In the past several days, we’ve all received e-mails telling us what we can do to help with the relief efforts in New York and Washington. This program is quite legitimate, it’s easy to participate, it won’t cost you a dime. What more could you ask for?
With winter just around the corner, local food banks will need our assistance more than ever. To that end, Campbell’s Soup and the NFL have started “Click for Cans” (as part of their “Tackling Hunger” program). All you have to do is go to the Campbell’s web site below and click on your favorite NFL team’s helmet. That’s it.
For every click, Campbell’s will donate one can of soup to the food bank of your team’s choice. And they’re keeping track of which NFL team has the most support. So far, there have been close to a million cans donated (the number is climbing fast), and which team do you think is leading? So, please, in this time of national awareness, as we mourn and pray for the folks in New York and Washington, let’s also not forget about the others in our country who still need our help.
— Lovern Kindzierski
And while you all Click for Cans, I’ll mosey along and see you next week.
There are boys’ names hidden in these answers. Can you find them all?
2. Slam Bradley
3. Seven Soldiers of Victory
5. TIME FOR LOVE
6. Baron Mordo
7. DC CHALLENGE
8. Obsidian and Jade
9. The Phantom
10. X-Ray Specs
11. Madame Rouge
Daily trivia is the name of the game at BobRo’s Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.