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Old Comics for Sale, Rare and Valuable Comic Books

Search the Internet's most popular online comic book stores and auctions with ComicSeeker.com for old comic books. To find Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Green Lantern or any other back issue vintage comic book, type in the title of the comic you are searching for. You can also include an optional specific comic issue number to find the rare comic book you are looking for. ComicSeeker will search online comic stores, dealers and even Ebay comic auctions to find results.

Long Beach Comic Con

The first ever Long Beach Comic Con was held a couple of weeks ago in Southern California. For a first time affair, the convention was fun and well attended. Saturday was packed with collectors and families.

Vintage comic book collectors were not disappointed. There were a number of national and local dealers with good stock on hand.

  • Harley Yee
  • Nationwide Comics
  • Graham Crackers
  • A-1 Comics
  • Colossal Comics
  • Steve Wyatt
  • Scott Hudlow
  • Ed Robertson
  • Spare Bedroom Comics

The Marvel Silver Age keys were well represented. Given how hot Iron Man is, there were several copies of his first appearance, Tales of Suspense 39, available. Graham Crackers had 3 copies of Showcase 4, the first appearance of the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen. There were a few copies of Amazing Fantasy 15, the first Spider-Man and Spider-Man 1.

Missing from the key Silver Age titles were The Incredible Hulk #1 and Journey Into Mystery 83, the first Thor.

On the Golden Age side, Harley Yee had a number of beautiful war-era Timelys, such as Marvel Mystery and Captain America. Over at Nationwide, Terry had quite a few DCs, particularly Batman and Superman.

For those interested in Original Art, there was one dealer, Coollines. However, the action was in the artist alley. The artists were set-up in the center of the convention hall. They were very accessible to fans. There were a number of pages available direct from the artists as well as commissions.

For a first time con, Long Beach was a success.

First Appearance of Archie, Betty and Veronica in Pep Comics #22

With the recent announcement that America’s favorite teenager, Archie Andews, would soon be engaged to Betty or Veronica, we thought that it would be interesting for you to learn the first appearance of Archie.

Archie first appeared in Pep Comics #22 in December 1941. With multiple stories in each issue, Pep Comics was considered an anthology comic. It featured many superhero, including The Shield on the cover of this issue. Published by MLJ Comics, the company was trying to find their own superhero hit to match Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel.

Fortunately for us, they gave Archie Andrews a shot. With his antics and fawning over Betty and Veronica, Archie quickly became a hit. He appeared regularly in Pep Comics from #22 onward. Eventually, MLJ put Archie as the lead on the cover. Then, Archie and the gang eventually took over the whole comic book.

Less than 3 years after Archie first appeared, MLJ changed their name to Archie Comics. Since then, he has been published continuously for almost 70 years.

X-Men Origins - Wolverine - Hulk 181

Ever since the new X-Men movie has been out, X-Men Origins Wolverine, we have received a number of emails about the first appearance of Wolverine.

The first appearance of Wolverine is accepted to be in a full story in Hulk #181. The classic cover of Wolverine battling The Hulk was drawn by Herb Trimpe. However, Wolverine did have a “cameo” appearance on the last page of Hulk #180. Although he did actually appear in #180, it is Hulk 181 that is most sought after and commands a premium price.

Hulk 181 is a Bronze Age book by Marvel Comics. When graded at CGC 9.8, the issue commands a price near $10,000.

WonderCon 2009 - ComicSeeker Sketches

Here are the sketches I got from WonderCon 2009.

First batch is Iron Man by Ryan Benjamin and Scary Godmother from Jill Thompson.

The next group is from Gelatometti. See my earlier post for lavish praise. Leatherface from Joel Gomez. Rorschach from Livio Ramondelli. Juggernaut from Eddie Nunez. And, Starfire from JJ Kirby.

Here is The Shadow by Tom Gianni. Punisher by Howard Chaykin. Hawkgirl by Ryan Sook and Travis Charest drew Captain America. I found out Howard lives near where I grew up and shares a love for theatre with my wife.

Next up is Mr. Incredible by Ryan “Cheeks” Galloway. Chewbacca by Justin Chung and Kabuki by David Mack. Also, Wonder Woman by Aaron Lopresti. For those of you willing to spend the coin, I recommend checking out Mack’s portfolio. The work in there, particularly the mixed media and coloring is amazing.

The next group both have Stan Sakai art. First, a detailed sketch of Usagi by Stan. Next, a combo piece of Usagi and Groo by Stan and Sergio Aragones.

Last sketch is Dr. Doom by Stuart Sayger.

That’s all. I hope you enjoyed the report.

WonderCon 2009 ComicSeeker Report

I woke up at 5:15AM Friday to make a 7:45AM flight to SFO. I made it to the airport with time to spare. I flew United and the terminal at SFO has a nice display of “Space Pop Culture” from the 1950’s. Since I was in no rush, I browsed most of the exhibit which took up a long hall. Here are some pictures. The last picture is the wall along the walkway which was lined with big blow-ups of some EC’s from the period.

WonderCon Airport Arrival

WonderCon Airport Arrival

WonderCon Space Blasters

WonderCon Space Blasters

WonderCon Airport Hallway

WonderCon Airport Hallway

When I got to the city, I checked in to my hotel and went downtown to meet a friend for lunch. (I used to live in Marin and worked downtown.) We went to Bistro Burger, which I highly recommend.

After lunch, I walked over to the convention center. I arrived at almost 1:30 and picked up my badge. For a Friday, I would say the crowds were average to somewhat light. It wasn’t empty, as there were people walking around, but the aisles felt wide and spacious.

I went right to work getting some sketches. I found where the crowds were, they were all in line for J. Scott Campbell. I crossed him off my list realizing a sketch would not be possible. Art Adams was also booked. Next, I went searching for Russ Heath. His name was on website, but he was nowhere to be found. I later learned that Mike Mayhew and Mike Golden would also be no-shows.

I’ll post my sketches toward the end of this report. But, here are some pics of me with a few of the artists.

I felt really sorry for Ryan Benjamin. It looked like he hadn’t slept in days. I don’t know how he was able to draw because his eyes were more red than white. He toughed it out all day. Here we are with the Iron Man he did for me. (That’s JJ Kirby in the background.)

Ryan Benjamin

Ryan Benjamin

I waited in line for Jim Lee over at the DC booth. No sketches!!!! Arrrgh! But, I did get this nice picture.

Jim Lee

Jim Lee

Next up the crew from Gelatometti. Wow. I mean WOW!!!! Those guys were awesome. The sketches they did were amazing. Eddie Nunez is holding Juggernaut. Livia Ramondelli did Rorschach. And, Joel Gomez with Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Each of these guys were easy to speak with and were genuinely happy to be paid to draw. They spent a lot of time on my requests and it really shows. JJ Kirby left early, but I did pick-up my sketch from him. What a funny guy.

Eddie Nunez is holding Juggernaut. Livia Ramondelli did Rorschach. And, Joel Gomez with Leatherface

Eddie Nunez is holding Juggernaut. Livia Ramondelli did Rorschach. And, Joel Gomez with Leatherface

I got to Stuart Sayger at the end of the day on Friday. When I got to his booth Saturday morning, he presented me with this fantastic Dr. Doom. He almost didn’t let it go. He kept working on it while I stood there. Since I had already paid him the day before, I grabbed it and ran.

Stuart Sayger

Stuart Sayger

Finally, Stan Sakai. When I looked at my notes, I saw Groo and Usagi. That didn’t make sense to me. So, asked for Usagi and he turned out this beauty. Later on, I remembered what it was I wanted and went back. I got a sketch of Usagi in attack mode on half my board and then went to Sergio Aragones who drew Groo attacking from the other side of the board.

Stan Sakai

Stan Sakai

I left the convention a little after 6 to meet someone for dinner at 6:30. We went over to Chinatown for dim sum.

Right after dinner, I went over to the Cartoon Art Museum for their charity event and the opening of the Watchmen, Stan Sakai and Gene Colan exhibits. Per museum policy, no photos.

When you walk in, the first room is all Stan Sakai. There were some really nice pieces of published and commissioned art. Very Cool.

The next room to the back was the Watchmen exhibit. There was some artwork as well as props from the movie. Even a few costumes. Super Cool.

The Gene Colan room also had a mix of OA and commissioned pieces on the wall. On the wall were the original covers to Iron Man #1, Iron Man and Subby #1 and other classic covers. ‘nuff said.

Back to the hotel and I was asleep by midnight. I woke up a little before 7 and went for a run. From the hotel (5th and Mission) I ran up Market to Van Ness and took a right. It got a little hilly, but I made it down to chestnut and took that over to the Discovery Museum. Then, I ran along the waterfront from the Marina, Pier 39, the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building. I turned right and ran up Market to the hotel. 9 miles and awesome views just about everywhere.

I made it to the convention center 15 mins before opening.

Ok, so, what about the comics? Saturday I finally spent some time shopping for comics. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting to pull out my camera. So, I’m a little thin with dealer pictures. Sorry, no Harley this time. He wasn’t in the booth when I stopped by anyway. But, he did have some really nice pre-Batman Detectives. I did get a picture of John at the Torpedo booth, but somehow, it got corrupted. There were many other dealers I left out of my pictures.

In no particular order, here are some pictures.

First, I found this interesting. I don’t remember the dealer’s name, but he had almost all bronze to moderns in his booth. Even his wall books were along those lines. However, sitting at the top, Superman #1. Go figure.

Look! Superman #1

Look! Superman #1

Here is Comic Relief. Check out those Frazetta Famous Funnies at the top. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the one I was looking for.

Comic Relief showing Frazetta Famous Funnies

Comic Relief showing Frazetta Famous Funnies

Frank from Metropolis attempting to duck from the camera. They bought some decent stock. I wanted that Showcase 8, but too rich for me.

Metropolis Comics

Metropolis Comics

Here is Marc from House of Comics at his booth. He looks happy because he sits across from the CGC booth.

House of Comics

House of Comics

Here is HighGradeComics. I wonder if Bob glued that cup to the box top or is he just ballsy?

High Grade Comics

High Grade Comics

Finally, here are the boxes from Lee’s Comics. Lee, you are a genius. Those labels you put on the mylars make it VERY easy to look through your boxes. I didn’t have to pull the comics, worry about the mylar bending, or skip anything. I demand that all dealers use this labeling system by SDCC, or else.

Great labeling system at Lee's Comics

Great labeling system at Lee

I went to Chevy’s for Margarita’s and food with some friends.

Lunchtime

Lunchtime

Before I show you my sketches and pick-ups, I know you’re dying for the costumes. So, without comment, here are a few.

Costumes 1

Costumes 1

Costumes 2

Costumes 2

Costumes 3

Costumes 3

And now for my pick-ups.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, I’m maintaining focus, so my buying of comics was very minimal. I purchased this Four Color from Ray Storch. The Flash Comics #5 I purchased last year, but I had Matt Nelsen do some restoration. So, I picked up today.

Four Color Peanutes

Four Color Peanutes

Flash Comics 5

Flash Comics 5

I recently became hooked on The Walking Dead. I’m reading the trades and I’m up to number 5. They didn’t have this one at the Image booth so I went over to Comic Relief. They didn’t have it either. But, they did go to the store and bring me back a copy. And, number 6.

Walking Dead

Walking Dead

Last pick-up is Spacegirl from Travis Charest. He was selling these instead of a sketchbook.

Spacegirl

Spacegirl

Check the next post for all my sketches.

Most Valuable Comics in the World

For a long time now, old and rare comic books have not been cheap. When you take a look at the blue chips of the comic book market, they can be downright pricey. Rob, over at It’s All Just Comics, maintains a list of comic books that are valued at $100,000 or more. I thought it would be interesting to discuss a few of them.

With the tremendous popularity of Spider-Man today, it is no surprise that his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 is one of the most valuable comics. The CGC graded 9.4 White Mountain pedigree copy was sold for $150,000. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this comic book is relatively common, having been published well into the Silver Age. So, the availability factor will keep this comic from approaching the value of comicdoms holy grail, Action Comics #1.

Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman and the start of the Golden Age of Comics, not to mention the first superhero, is likely the most valuable, grade wise, of any comic book. In 2006, a CGC 6.5 copy sold for $250,000. It is not unreasonable to assume that should the Mile High copy, or any copy in the 9.0 or better range come up for sale, it may become the first $1,000,000 comic book.

Next on the list would be the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics #27. Appearing without Robin, the Dark Knight’s first appearance is easily the 3rd most valuable comic book in the world. Rob shows a CGC 7.0 selling for $200,000 in recent years. Also from the Golden Age, this comic is tough to come by in any condition.

So, there you have the 3 most valuable comics in the world. In a future post, we’ll take a look at some of the other comics in the $100k club.

Steve Borock, formerly of CGC, Joins Heritage Auction Galleries

In the small world of collectible comic books, this is big news. Congratulations to Steve Borock on his new post at Heritage.

Here is the press release.

Heritage Auction Galleries has added Steve Borock to its staff of comic experts, the Dallas-based firm announced today, Jan. 29 ,2009.

“Steve is one of the best-known and most respected figures in the vintage comic hobby, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him on board,” said Ed Jaster, Vice-President of Heritage. “Steve’s expertise is only going to further cement our status as the leading auctioneer of vintage comics and original comic art. Steve will help us with major collections and private clients, and will help us take our ComicMarket for third-party sellers at HA.com to the next level.”

Borock was a key figure in introducing third-party certification to the comic book hobby. He was hired by Comics Guaranty Corporation as its Primary Grader when the firm started up in 1999 due to his knowledge of vintage comic books and, especially, the trust he enjoyed among both sellers and buyers. He was promoted to President of CGC soon thereafter, a post he held until late 2008.

During his tenure at CGC, he had the final word on every grade that CGC assigned, and his reputation for fairness, honesty and impartiality was a key component in CGC’s gaining acceptance among the community of collectors and dealers. It was Borock, along with colleague Mark Haspel, who established the grading standards used by CGC and — these days — most of the collecting community as well. In the 36th edition of his annual Comic Book Price Guide, Bob Overstreet stated: “…. probably the most important event (in our hobby) to date was the arrival of comic book certification with CGC.”

Prior to his time at CGC, Borock was a high-end collector who has owned, bought, or sold many of the most sought-after high grade and “pedigree” comic books in the hobby. He is known for taking new collectors “under his wing” and teaching them the subtleties of collecting to ensure a safer and friendlier hobby. Borock had also graded for Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses in the days before the founding of CGC, when auction firms would use panels of experts to determine accurate grades.

During his time at CGC, to ensure neutrality, he decided to withdraw from buying and selling vintage comics and began to collect original comic art, an area in which he’s also extremely knowledgeable. As a lifelong comic fan, however, he never stopped buying the latest new comic books at his local comic shop, and he avidly reads and enjoys them to this day.

Borock takes particular pride in being on the board of the comic hobby’s greatest charity, The Hero Initiative, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need.

“I believe that if we all enjoy comic books, we should help those in need that brought us such joy to our lives,” he says.

Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.

“I am really looking forward to my next journey in the comics field at Heritage,” Borock says. “They’ve been innovators in our hobby for the last nine years, bringing live and Internet auctions to an entire new level while setting record prices. Not only that, but the transparency that Heritage offers to the collecting community, especially with their on-line archives, makes me feel secure in the fact that I am in the correct place to help our hobby grow in the right direction. Comic books and the friends I have made in this hobby are very important to me, and I have to be somewhere I know will be beneficial to all of us.”

“Steve is a real ‘comic book ambassador’ who knows just about everyone in the hobby, and incidentally he’s also one of the nicest guys in the hobby,” said Heritage Co-Chairman of the Board Jim Halperin. “He was a major factor in CGC’s success, and we expect him to have an equally strong impact at Heritage.”

Batman Dead?

With the hype and publicity surrounding the special appearance of Barrack Obama in the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man, I missed the apparent death of Batman. This happened in Final Crisis #6. The last issue of Final Crisis, #7, comes out today.

First off, spoiler alert. Don’t read ahead if you don’t want to know what happens.

So, how did Batman die? In a battle with Darkseid, Batman gets zapped with Omega Beams. Yes, his body is definitely zapped, cooked, fried or any other adjective that you can use.

But, did he really die? Apparently, an Omega Beam trapped the person, sans body, in an alternate universe of hell. This wasn’t bought up in the issue, but it is backstory.

Will Batman live again. In my opinion, absolutely. You can’t kill the comic book character and hope to keep the movie franchise going. So, look for Batman, in one form or another, to be back within the next few months.

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

Today, Barack Obama is being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. It is not uncommon for a President to make an appearance in a comic book. This goes as far back as Roosevelt appearing in comics during the Golden Age of comics.

In October, 2008, during the heat of the Presidential campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain, this comic book was published by IDW Publishing. It features Barack’s lifestory and how he rose to become a candidate for President.

The comic book was titled “Presidential Material, Barack Obama.” It’s a one-shot comic. Credits go to Jeff Mariotte (Script), Tom Morgan (Pencils), Tom Morgan (Inks), Len O’Grady (Colors), Robbie Robbins (Letters).

Marvel has just published a story with Barack Obama in it and Spider-Man saving the day. So, you can bet there will be many more featuring our 44th President.

Update: Martin Luther King

I forgot to add a link to my previous Marthin Luther King Jr. post. The comic book has been scanned is available for reading online. It is highly recommended.

Read the comic book online.