07th Sep2018

eBuying Comics: Week 2

by Ian Wells

ebuying-comics-header

After my success at selling New Mutants #98 my Dad happened to mention  it to some people at work. However he forgot the finer details of how New Mutants #98 is highly sought after, how popular Deadpool is and how £107 is a relative bargain when you consider condition for such an in demand comic. Anyway someone came up to him and said they had an old Western comic they wanted to sell but didn’t dabble in eBay themselves. I was asked if I would be able to sell it for him, of course I accepted the challenge not knowing anything about the item I had coming my way. He knew it was old and didn’t really have a price in mind. A week later my Dad brought the comic over. Firstly it was a pulp Western not a comic. Secondly it was absolutely wrecked! The cover was held on barely by one staple. The spine was ruined with parts of it missing at the top and bottom. I’ve seen worse back covers and actually paid money for worse back covers. It shows it age has a bit of staining and is generally dog eared. Surprisingly the interiors are pretty decent. I mean a surprise because it is so old and the exterior is so bad. But also pulps got their name from he low grade of paper and this has held up. There is no fading in the text if it wasn’t so fragile you could read it cover to cover. The best thing about it is that it really captures a moment in time. You don’t et ads like the stuff in here anymore. It is a small time machine to a different era if you will. I had my work cut out, condition aside I knew very little about pulps. In a way it made the challenge more exciting and deep down I knew really it would make for good blog content one day! So with condition out of the way as a selling point I had to do my research. I had to find something interesting that would make this item appealing to a collector. There were obvious indicators I could get from the cover, what was left of it anyway. What I had was the June edition of Western Adventure, published by Street and Smith. It was marked as a British edition and the lead story was titled ‘Long Arm Of The Mounted’ by Harry Sinclair Drago. I had to look inside to get the year of 1957! So this magazine s over sixty years old! It is issue 12 of Volume 1. On the first page was a list of the stories in this edition and the authors. I was hoping one of these would be a pseudonym for someone who turned out to be massive. Street and Smith was the original home for The Shadow and Doc Savage so I was in good company. The writers and their stories ate as follows:

  • Long Arm Of The Mounted by Harry Sinclair Drago
  • Badlands Trigger Trap by Norman A. Fox
  • Stage to Destiny by H.A. DeRosso
  • Man Hunter’s Way by Lee Bond
  • Mines and Mining by John A. Thompson
  • Trouble Dogs A Nester by Roy Palmer Tracy

My first stop was obviously Google then everyone’s favourite fact checking site Wikipedia. Drago is listed as being a writer of Westerns and screenplays. One of his screenplays had a link so it was obviously a success as a movie. ‘The Overland Telegraph’ was a silent movie released in 1929. That is twenty eight years before this pulp was printed. So I’m questioning as this is a British Edition is it a reprint? Or was he writing pulps after his screenplay career tanked? Fox faired a little better having four of his thirty plus novels turned into movies during the Western heyday. DeRosso churned out over 200 short stories and pulps in the forties, selling his first to Street and Smiths whilst still in high school. The last three proved rather elusive. None of them had entries on Wikipedia. Roy Palmer Tracy kept returning searches for The Atom! All three did pop up regularly on Google searches. Thompson I had the most trouble with as it is a popular surname. The searches mainly gave results for their work being collected in Western anthologies and people reviewing their shot stories on goodreads. Lastly towards the right at the back of the magazine are two pieces that are more thought pieces than stories. First we have Clee Woods talking about Apaches, then John North talks about the geography of the Old West. So it seemed I didn’t have any famous writers, just guys who made an honest living doing something they were good at. None of the stories had been turned into blockbusters. That left me the cover artist. Whilst searching for him I discovered Western Adventure was in reprints for the British market. Reprinting stories from Western Story Magazine which began publication in 1939. As of yet I haven’t been able to find out if #12 of the British edition was reprinted in entirety from a previous Western Story Magazine or if they just took certain stories and repackaged them as an issue.

So now it came to selling it. I have tried a few times before now at listing it on eBay. The first time I just went stupid and listed it for £20. Testing the waters I told myself. I can’t say people were put off by the condition because it wasn’t even viewed. The next few times I dropped the starting price down to £5 and was surprised to pick up some views, never any watchers though. To add insult to injury I saw the exact same issue on there a few months back in much better condition than mine and it had a ‘buy now’ price of £7! So since then I haven’t tried mine again. Before relisting mine I had a look to see of there were any others online. Coincidently there was an #11. In good condition only £5.40. So clearly this time I would be lowering my starting price. Here is how I listed it. I included three pictures to show the condition.

Street @ Smith’s Western Adventure #12 June 1957 Vintage Pulp Magazine

Western Adventure #12 reprints material from Western Story Magazine for the British market. Featuring work from pulp stalwarts Harry Sinclair Drago, Norman A. Fox, H.A. DeRosso, Lee Bond, John A. Thompson and Roy Palmer Tracy. Part 1 of the Drago classic ‘Long Arm Of The Mounted’ is the lead story.

I understand fully condition is everything so honesty is the best policy. The front cover is in a bad way with the back only slightly better (see pictures). However considering this is a sixty year old pulp, so therefore on low grade paper, the interiors have held up remarkably well. Every word is still readable with very little damage to the interior pages.

From a smoke free home the item will come packed between two sheets of cardboard in a padded envelope.

Starting price pf £3.20 with P+P of £2

Unsold

  • Deadpool Suicide Kings TPB – Starting Price £5
  • Deadpool Noir TPB – Starting Price £5

The two Deadpool trade paperbacks both went unsold. Between them they garnered a massive three views! I stated  last month when I put them up for sale I thought my P+P price may be too high at £3.60. With only three views it is inconclusive to say the price put potential buyers off. Previously when I have sold trade paperbacks it has been very hit and miss so I am not reading to much into this. When you consider how trades are such a big part of the industry and their are many different printings they are always easily accessible at an array of prices. You just have to catch the right buyer on the right day.

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