WALKING DEAD Comics, Warren Magazines, New Codeword Sale
I want to begin today by mentioning that we held a very successful comics buying event here at
last weekend. We had over a dozen collections come in, with the two most noteworthy containing a
WALKING DEAD collection #3-#88
, and an unbelievable grouping of 1,000+
magazines, such as
SCREEN THRILLS ILLUSTRATED,
and many more.
Some of the EERIE Magazines bought this weekend
The guy who sold us the
collection also had accumulated 2,000+ comics, including a large number of 1950's
titles. A few of these older issues will appear for you in
every morning this week, as Will and Pam gradually get them graded. Will actually came
in for some extra time on Saturday, so all of those
issues are already listed for you in today's
FYI, the demand for all
comics is still incredibly robust. Until we purchased this one nice collection on Saturday,
we were out-of-stock on almost every issue below #50. Just saying...
Some of the Walking Dead comics bought this weekend
If you are interested in purchasing any of these cool
back issue comics or magazines,
I am putting a 20% off LILACS codeword sale in effect for you today. I chose this fragrant
codeword because our lilac bushes at our farm are blooming abnormally early this year, and
they are the favorite flowers of my beloved wife, Nanette. All ten million of our
are included in the LILACS sale, excepting only new issues, a few variants, and our CGC's.
Some of the Older Comics bought this weekend
Moving on to the topic I began on Friday, I did want to provide you with a bit more information
today about newsstand editions of comics. First, since they began in 1979, the publishers have
been remarkably inconsistent in their publishing and noting of Newsstand editions. There are
quite a few
titles, for example, from the period around 1988 where comics with barcodes
were the only issues available. In other instances, the editors were seemingly clueless about
what to do with the barcode box.
ALPHA FLIGHT #1 Direct and Newsstand editions
The most egregious example of inconsistency that springs to mind is
ALPHA FLIGHT (1983),
which has both Direct Market and newsstand editions of each issue through #51. From #52-#61,
the barcode box was entirely omitted from the cover. Then #62-#64 have both a Direct Market
and newsstand editions.
printed newsstands only for #65-#74. Issues #75 and #76 have both
Direct and newsstand editions, #77 was Direct only,
#78 was newsstand only, #79 and #80 were
Direct only, #81-#84, #86, #88 were newsstand only, while #85, #87, #89-109, #111, #112, #114,
#117-#130 are Direct Market only. Finally, #113, #115, and #116 have both Direct Market and
newsstand editions. Whew!
BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 Direct and Newsstand editions
What I find most interesting about all this is the fact that previously undiscovered newsstands
do keep surfacing. How rare must those newsstand issues be if we have not located even a single
copy in eight years of buying collections? That is not to say, however, that all newsstand editions
are rare, or that they should command a significant premium over the Direct edition. It all
depends on the title, publisher, and the year of publication. Newsstands were still 90%+ of the
market in 1980, for example, so those earliest Direct Market editions
with a diagonal black line through the bar code) are really rather scarce. By 2010, however, we
estimate that newsstands had dropped to less than 5% of most print runs. Those later (2007-2017)
newsstands are almost impossible to find.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #351 Direct and Newsstand editions
Another consideration is condition. Newsstands tended to be purchased by non-collectors, so their
damage and destruction rates were quite high. We do find huge numbers of Newsstands from the early
1980's in G/VG, but very few in Fine+. On the flip side, even though Direct Market editions were
only 10% of the total print runs in 1980, almost all those copies ended up in plastic bags, and
most have thus survived in higher grades. Balancing all these different factors is a real art,
and is subject to many debates between myself and Will Moulton. Suffice it to say that we work
hard to properly balance the differentials in our pricing on
to reflect the true rarity of many newsstand editions. Even after eight years of concerted effort,
we are still updating prices.
ADVENTURES OF THE OUTSIDERS #46 Direct and Newsstand editions
I will close today's newsletter by acknowledging, again, that not every collector cares about
newsstand variants. Collecting newsstand variants is a subset of the overall comics market, and
really only appeals to completists. That having been said, since the first day that we began work on
in 1996, our goal has always been to document not only every comic book ever published, but also
all of the variant editions. Once I made that initial decision, it was only natural that we would
eventually also start documenting newsstands. I hope that you appreciate the incredible labor of
love this has become for us.
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
April 10, 2017