30th Aug2019

eBuying Comics: Week 25

by Ian Wells

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We all know the classics. Frank Miller’s Daredevil run, Chris Claremont’s epic run on Uncanny X-Men with John Byrne and Dave Cockrum among others. Bill Sienkiewicz taking over New Mutants and making the comics world sit up. What I am going to do this week is look at some legendary creators and their first Marvel works and a few key first issues. Also included are some first Marvel works by a few legends and a few creators best known for DC work. In a future installment I switch it up and do DC firsts. Being some what a writer myself I am going to start with Chris Claremont because from there I can go on a tangent to the Image guys who all had their early success on X titles before going on to launch Image Comics. Claremont was a gofer in the Marvel bullpen for a good number of years before getting into actually writing comics. He worked under Roy Thomas and even in his gofer days he had strong ties to the X-Men.On  X-Men #59 he recieved a plot assist credit with the issue written by Roy Thomas with art by Neal Adams. It is not really a stand out issue. its X-Men vs Sentinals. I believe Claremont recieves his plot asssit credit for coming up with the ingenius way the X-Men defeat their foe. I won’t spoil a ffity year old comic for you here. First result I found was an auction one with a starting price of 99pence (£2.90P+P). The seller has not made any comments on condition and has said any potential buyer should consult the high res picture. From what I can see it has slight spine roll and some minor creasing in the corners and a stamp on the cover. The only draw back of choosing your own grade form the pcture is that there are no interior pictures.Over all for a fifty year old comic it looks OK especially if the acution doesn’t shoot up. On the buy now side of things I found a lisiting rated 5.0 by the seller and listed as scarce! The spine is in much better condition than the auction one and they are sking £34.99. So this gives you some indication of where to draw the line if you bid on the other listing. Claremont would receive his first full writing credit on Daredevil #102. This was during the phase where Black Widow co-starred reguarly. Again not a very memorable issue so it can be picked up rather cheaply. the cheapest lisitng I found was £3.99 and the seller simply stated ‘price reflects condition’. From the picture I would say it is a solid reader issue for that price its a gap filler in a collection. Bear in mind once the Black Widow movie hits this rather mundane period of Daredevils ongoing series could see some spikes.

During Claremont’s sixteen year stint on X-Men/Uncanny X-Men after regular artists Dave Cockrum and John Byrne had left Claremont teamed with some guys who would go on to become superstars. I want to start with Marc Silvestri a brilliant artsit who is one of the Image founders who contributed a lot more to X-Men than people seem to remember compared to Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. PLus his Marvel debut was Conan The Barbarian #135 which gave me something different to research. It is a rather inexpensive issue to pick up but there are few UK sellers with them on eBay so your adding more than the cost of the comic for postage. £2.99 for a VF- is a good price especially with the free P+P. The seller has noted the pages are off white. Its always worth scrolling down that extra page or two for the bargains. Silvestri’s first issue of Uncanny X-Men was #218. When I saw the cover to this issue I made the assumption it was deep in the ‘Outback Era’. However I found that officially started in #229. So I was a little off, but that may explain why it is an inexpensive issue if you shop around. I found conflicting prices on my search. £2.99 for a VF versus £9.95 for a VG! Both free P+P and the latter did have a ‘best offer’ option. After Marc Silvestri we have the modern day legend that is Jim Lee doing art on Uncanny. But before that he honed his skills on another set of mutants in the pages of Alpha Flight. #51 is the landmark moment for Jim Lee fans. Most listings for this isse do make note if the act it is Jim Lee’s first Marvel work. Again there are conflicting prices for the same grade. One seller who claims all ungraded comics they sell are VF has it for £3.95, whilst another has it for double that at the same grade. If you are a huge Jim Lee fan why not treat yourself to a 9.6 slabbed copy of Alpha Flight #51 for the princely sum of £127? His first Uncanny issue was #248 which coincidently is two issues before the ‘Outback Era’ ended (see this thing doesn’t write itself). The best option I found as it came with free P+P was £6.95 for a VF. The last of the Image founding fathers I will be looking at is Rob Liefeld. He has his feet firmly planted in New Mutants history after making his debut on that series with #86. I was surprised to find a VF+ copy of this for under £10 as Liefeld seems to be everywhere again recently what with Major X hitting and Deadpool always in the news. Also if we want to get into the cameo first appearance versus first full apperance debate again New Mutants #86 is a cameo of Cable. So like I said with Major X having Cable ties expect a price bump as that series develops. While the price is still low now is the time to take advantage of the 9.6 slabbed copy I found listed for £45. Unfortunately it was a US seller so add £30 P+P!

I wasn’t going to talk legendary creators and not talk Frank Miller. He made his Marvel debut a million miles away from the title he would become famous on when he provided pencils for John Carter Warlord of Mars #18. Again only a couple of listings from UK based sellers. The cheapest being £9 (or best offer + £1/64 P+P). However the seller has only listed it as used. There is another which is only slightly more for £11.99. The picture makes it look very crisp, but no interior pictures to be sure. It is listed as new which I find strange for a comic from 1978. The seller is calling it high grade but hasn’t out a number on it, but they have excellent reviews so who am I to complain? Moving on to two legends who have probably had greater success away from Marvel in the sahpe of Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. Again I also chose them to write about and research different comics. Alex Ross is best known for his brilliant photo real art style he first found work at the House of Ideas on the adapatation of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser in #17. This was a bit of an odditity to track down with only two listings currently on eBay. Both US sellers so a premium for postage costs. Both sellers are offering the same grade in this case VF/NM at very different price ranges. £10.64 and £44.99 respectively. Interestingly currently there is a listing for a page of originl art from this issue. If you want to part with £1300 be my guest! Over the years Ross has often teamed with Busiek on a number of products, but their Marvel debuts couldn’t be further apart. He first filled in on Power Man and Iron Fist #90 before taking on the series full time with #92. One very generous seller has a listing for #90 graded VF 8 for the low price of £1.75 (£1.60 P+P). Maybe this is a casualty of Netflix dropping the Marvel shows? Or just a seller who knows what their doing? At the ther end of the scale a listing for a 9.8 slabbed copy of #92 is £50!

Lastly I want to look at two creators who shaped out a hardcore follwing at DC with New Teen Titans which matched the popularity of Claremont’s X-Men stride for stride. They are of course George Perez and Marv Wolfman. Perez started at Marvel with a backup short in Astonishing #25. This is a bit of a cult comic as it is the first appearance of Deathlok. £60 seems to be the going rate for a decent copy. Why not go full out with a 9.6 slabbed copy for over £400. During his time at Marvel Wolfman wore many hats. Over seeing the black and white magazine department as well as editing and writing. The first writing credit I could find was for Captain Marvel #23. While the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel is in the limelight nowadays you can pick up older comics of her male couterpart relatively cheap. A VG+ lisiting for #23 is  £7.99. With a VF+ being near enough double.

Shopping Cart

Classics Illustrated 4: Moby Dick, Bill Sienliewicz, First Publishing, 1990 VF – £8.00 + £2.33 P+P

I have been watching a lot of Cartoonist Kayfabe by Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg on Youtube. I have always been a Sienkievicz fan and throught the channel I learnt of this books existence. Winning the auction ended a long losing streak for me. I nearly messed it up by trying to bid so I landed on a round number including the postage. Luckily I won out in the end and nly went 33pence over a round £10. For the price of the P+P I was a little dissapointed. No bag, no board. Just in a bag envelope which could have easily be bent or damaged in other ways.

Major X #0 (2019) 1st Printing Ed Piskor Variant Cover Marvel Comics ($4.99) – £3.95 Free P+P

Again a Cartoonist Kayfabe influence and I felt I had to pick this up for my Wolverine Wednesday review column. Good to get a variant cover on eBay still for cover price. I felt because this si written by Rob Liefeld it is some way intrisically realted to Deadpool that there would be huge inflation mere weeks after its release. Luckily that wasn’t the case. Rather unfortunately though when my package arrived rather speedily I must add it was the regular cover edition. A quick email and the problem was rectified within the week. So props to Comic Biz on eBay for that!

Watch List

  • Eternals Comics 1-14 Jack Kirby 1976/1977 VF/NM – Starting Price £200 – Unsold
  • The Eternals #1 – Jack Kirby – 1976 Bronze Age Marvel – Starting Price 99pence -Sold for 99pence

For Sale

  • Vintage Pulp Magazine Western Adventure #12 June 1957 – £8.00 or Best Offer + £1.80 P+P
  • New Mutants Demon Bear Saga TPB Claremont and Sienkiewicz Marvel Comics – £10 or Best Offer + £2.50 P+P
  • Marvels TPB Busiek and Ross Marvel Comics – £10 or Best Offer + £2.50 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men: Executions Book 2 Claremont and Lee Marvel Comics Boxtree UK edition – £10 or Best Offer + £2.50 P+P
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