07th Mar2019

eBuying Comics: Week 14

by Ian Wells

ebuying-comics-header

This past weekend I attended London Film and Comic Con Spring (LFCC) at the Kensington Olympia. This is the first time Showmasters have organised an LFCC at this time of year. Usually it is at the end of July, I attended it about three years ago and it was by far the best convention I had been to in a long time. Now my big plan for this weeks instalment was to do a price comparison of the back issues I brought at the con with their respective prices on eBay. There are two big ‘howevers’ coming up though. Firstly there was only a small selection of vendors with back issues. Vendors with vintage toys had a few back issues, mostly if they had comics they were more current of variants. One vendor had a large selection of CGC comics of key issues as well as discounted trade paperbacks. Another vendor had trade paperbacks with 20% off the cover price. From them I picked up the first volume of Wolfman and Perez’s New Teen Titans and Deadly Hands of Kung Fu by Benson and Huat. More than likely I could have found these cheaper on eBay even with the 20% discount, but actually being able to see the condition with my own eyes and having my money go to a comic shop I was happy to buy them there and then. This left only one vendor who was entirely selling back issues. They had a very good selection of what would be considered major characters from the big two as well as some independents. As I was going through a box of Daredevil comics I heard the vendor say ‘I brought full boxes but I want to take empty boxes home’. So immediately I got the feeling there were deals to be had, which leads to the second ‘however’. In total I brought seven issues of Daredevil and two of Master of Kung Fu. Of the seven Daredevil issues three were under #100, those being #38,#41 and #51. They were priced at £20 each. The other six comics were priced between £3 and £10 I got the lot for £40! So like I said a great bargain but it ruined the content for my blog! I will still look at the prices they were originally marked at and see how those compare with eBay. I’ll start with the two Master of Kung Fu issues. They are #91 and #94, both UK editions and both direct market editions. #91 was priced at £3 and the price reflects the grade. The spine is not aligned straight which is a production error that can’t be helped by the collector but now because you have a big white line down the right hand side from the back cover an marks along the spine show up easily. A part from that the front cover is in good order. A small scratch across the ‘s’ of ‘Master’ and a few other minor creases. Inside the pages are browning, which again only really shows up because of the choice of panel layouts in the story. No major defects inside and not a lot of minor ones either. Very well maintained inside with no fading or tears. A few marks at bottoms of pages that could be put down to production. There was a UK edition of eBay which the seller had graded as Fine (6) and wanted £1.50 + £1.50 P+P. The spine was much crisper and straighter than mine, but if you look closely it is then not aligned on the other side. At the top right the pages over hang the cover. Another seller felt they had a better condition book and was asking £6.98 for a Very Fine. In the description however they said it was close to Near Mint but on closer had 2-3 minor flaws. What let the listing down was a blurry photo and no evidence of the flaws, so my best judgement would be to stay away. Like #91, #94 also has some alignment issues. Along the top edge the pages over hang the cover. Comparing mine to others on eBay it looks as though mine has been bound and cut wrong. There should be a black edge above the ‘Marvel Comics Group’ banner. There is minimal spine wear and a small cut on the bottom edge that has folded over on itself. Interiors again there are no major issues. Browning pages but no fading or creases. There are the small holes from printing evident on some pages. Without the good deal I got £3 for this issue is probably double what it should have been. Better condition ones on eBay are similarly priced or even cheaper.

Moving onto the Daredevil issues ill start with the oldest. #38 surprisingly is an American edition, which goes against my recent findings of only finding UK editions of Daredevil comics under #100. The cover is bright and vibrant though suffers from moderate amount of spine wear. There are also a few minimal creases on the cover likely caused by reading judging by their position. Inside for a comic printed in 1967 it is very good. As bright and vibrant as the cover Daredevils red really pops. Yes the pages are browning and again there are the small holes from the printing, apart from that no major defects to the interior pages. As I mentioned earlier this was priced at £20 essentially I paid for this comic and one more and got the rest free. Looking on eBay I found three listings for #38. The cheapest for now is an auction starting at £9.99. The seller states he is not a grader and has priced this comic according to previous sales of a similar grade. The spine on this one is as creased as mine but also suffers spine roll. There are also more minor creases on the opposite edge. The most expensive of the three is£12.50. I would say our covers are pretty similar, the seller has pointed out a number of defects on the interior like mine it has browning pages and the small holes. But they also mention a margin tear on the first six pages, so to be £8 less than mine is probably a fair price. I can’t argue with the £20 I paid considering it is an American edition of a Daredevil comic still penned by Stan Lee with pencils by Gene Colan! Again #41 is an American edition and again it is still Stan Lee era Daredevil. The copy I brought has no spine roll and minimal spine wear. There is a stamp mark on the right hand side and possible water stain in the corner box. Also on the right hand side it looks like the comic has been caught under something as there are two nicks in the cover that also run through the first five pages. The cover has good colours and no other defects to report. The interiors apart from what I already mentioned are pretty crisp. No further tears, good colours. With the browning it seems to have affected the bottom edge of the comic and less so on the top. I was lucky to find one on eBay for the same price (plus £5.50 P+P). If I was being ultra critical of it I would say it has slightly more spine wear than mine, more stress around the bottom staple and creasing all along the top edge. The top left hand corner looks like it has taken a ding too. It doesn’t have the stamp mark and the seller has it graded as a 6 with no comments on the interiors. Another seller also has their copy of Daredevil #41 graded as a 6. Its as good as mine and also has the stamp mark. They are currently only asking £7.50 as they have a 25% sale. Anywhere between £10-£20 seems a good price for a mid grade comic. I’m not overly keen on stretching to £20 on eBay if there are no comments on internal condition. The last of the old issues is Daredevil #51. This time I had to settle for a UK edition. The bottom edge of the cover has suffered water damage. Luckily it hasn’t run through to the interiors. Without t hat the cover would have been close to immaculate. There is some spine roll and a tiny crease on top right corner, apart from that it is still bright in colour and has no defects to report. Interiors are very good too, again holes from printing process on a few pages. No other tears or creases though. Very minimal browning. There is a black and white splash page which shows off how well this comic has aged. If I had paid the £20 this comic was originally priced at I think I could have either paid cheaper for the same grade or the same price for a better grade on eBay.

With the higher numbered issues of Daredevil I won’t bore you by looking at all of them in great detail. I picked up #148, #149, #160 and #164. They are all UK editions which goes against everything I previously said! All of them except #164 are newsstand editions. I wanted to take a look at #164. A few years ago I had been looking for this issue for a decent price and just gave up on it. It is written by Roger McKenzie with art by Frank Miller and what makes it significant is that it contains a very important plot point. A plot point that would be central to Miller’s run as writer and for years to come. The plot point in question is… spoilers… the reveal that Ben Urich knows Daredevils secret identity but decides against running the story. The first thing I had to do was work out that this wasn’t a reprint  that came with a Daredevil action figure after the release of the movie. The UK price variation and the £10 asking price were to big give a ways to the fact this was the real deal. For the money I spent I got a good mid grade comic. On eBay there are similar grades for half what I paid and there are also higher grades for the double the price. I would find anything over £20 to be too much for this issue no matter how good the condition because essentially it is a retelling of his origin, so nothing ground breaking. Lastly there is #160 which wasn’t actually priced so it would have been interesting to see what he was asking for this without the deal he gave me. It has a predominantly white cover and this one is very crisp, still white no fading or discolouration. No spine roll or spine wear, no stress around the staples. It does however look like this comic was dropped at some point as the bottom left hand corner is creased throughout. Other than that great interiors with only printing process defects to report. All in all I had a good days shopping for back issues at the con. There are bargains to be had on eBay but you can’t beat going to a con and digging through long boxes!

Shopping Cart

I made a bit of an impulse buy this week. Whilst I was searching for other comics on my wish list I came across a comic I had deliberated on last year. The comic in question is Uncanny X-Men Wizard Ace Edition which reprints X-Men #94 and has an acetate cover! I had seen this comic in a comic shop last year and they were asking £40. I checked it out a few times on eBay after seeing it in the flesh but eventually decided against it. Anyway it cropped up the other day, the seller was asking £12.95 + £2 P+P or best offer. I made an offer of £8 and an hour later it was accepted, meaning I got it all in for £10.

Watch List

I have placed some of the comics from the above article on my watch list to see what they eventually sell for the compare them with what I paid. They are:

  • Marvel Comics Silver Age Daredevil #38 (1968) Cents Price – Starting Price £9.99 + £1.80 P+P
  • Daredevil 164 – Excellent Condition – Starting Price £7.95 + £2 P+P
  • Master of Kung Fu #91 (Vol. 1) : Fine 6.0 : Marvel Bronze Age – Starting Price £1.50 + £1.50 P+P
  • Master of Kung Fu #94 (Vol. 1 ) : Fine 6.0 : Marvel Bronze Age – Starting Price £1.50 + £1.50 P+P
  • Also on my watch list are two listings for a comic on my affordable key issues list.
  • X-Men #5Vol2 Marvel Comics Wolverine February 1992 – Buy Now £7.49 or or Best Offer Free P+P
  • 2 X X-Men Comics 1992 – Starting Price £2 + £2.95 P+P

Character Spotlight

I wanted to introduce a new feature to keep things fresh. In this segment I will randomly select a character (although truthfully I agonised over who to choose). I will select a few key issues from their history, be it first appearance, a new number one, a death or any other major story detail. Then I will examine the current online price guide valuation. At the end of the year I will look back at all my selections and track any movement in values and then compare them to what is on eBay. I am going to try and stay away from characters attached to movies because their prices are always exaggerated. For the online valuations I will take the price for low, medium and high grade and only look at raw comics as opposed to graded ones. For the eBay findings I will try and aim for the same grades but obviously can only look at what is listed. In special cases I will take graded comics into consideration. The first character in the spotlight is Mister Miracle. A Jack Kirby creation who is currently finding a new audience after the success of the Eisner award winning series by Tom King and Mitch Gerards.

Mister Miracle #1 (1971)

  • 9.8 (NM) – £151
  • 6. (F) – £45
  • 2. (G) – £15

Mister Miracle #18 (1974) Wedding to Big Barda

  • 9.8 (NM) – £48
  • 6. (F) – £3
  • 2. (G) – £1

Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Featuring Mister Miracle #1 (2001)

  • 9.8 (NM) – £13
  • 6. (F) – £2
  • 2. (G) – £1
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