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The Smith young boys 1969 left to Right: Beau-Gig-Mitch
by beau Smith
Before there were price guides for comic books, they were purchased primarily for reading pleasure. They were purchased by children/teenagers or for children/teenagers. typically the age ranged from four to 17 years old. After they were read a few times, the comics were typically tossed in the trash or traded to another kid for something they hadn’t read. now and then you’d find somebody selling used comics for half cover price at five cents (cover price was ten cents).
Some kids kept their comics. even though there was no known monetary value in the 30s, 40s and 50s, they kept them just the same as collectors do today. during this time the collectors were few and far between in comparison to today’s.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that comic book readers really became fans. These fans began seeking out older issues that they had missed. The hunt led them to flea markets, used book stores, and yard sales. They cleaned out attics for people. in some cases they found them just by luck. In the mid-1960s we began to see ads pop up in marvel Comics advertising used back issues for sale. two that come to mind are Robert Bell and Howard Rogofsky. As a kid I used to wonder how these men found all these cool older issues that I had missed out on. Being from a small town, I figured because they were near new York City and Florida, that the big Apple and the Sunshine state should be filled with places where you could find old comics. A kid could only dream.
Needless to say I sent off for their back issues catalogues. When they arrived, I was like a kid with a Sears toy catalogue at Christmas time. They had all these great comic books that I had only heard and dreamed of. I remember that in Mr. Rogofsky’s, he had an Avengers #1 for $5.00. This was around 1969. five dollars was a lot of money to a kid like me, but I saved it up and purchased the issue. When it came I was pretty excited. first off because it showed up and second because it really was like new. soon after that I began using Mr. Rogosfsky’s service to fill the gaps in my early Daredevil collection. I got Daredevil #3, #6 and #7 all for $2.00 each. Again, in these modern times that seems like nothing, but in 1969 I had to mow a lot of lawns and find a lot of pop bottles to come up with that cash, and that’s what I sent him – CASH. It was a different time, young boys and girls.
Comic book price Guide
Around 1970, The Comic book price guide was first published. It later turned into The Overstreet Comic book price Guide. It still remains THE standard for pricing comic books. I remember finding and purchasing my first price guide in 1974. I wanted one for the purpose of knowing how much my collection, or pieces of my collection, was worth on the market. I had no plans of selling them, I just wanted to have that bit of knowledge about the comic books that I had kept because 1958. knowing their worth gave me a feeling of added value to my already nostalgic and reading worth of my comics.
I continued to purchase the price guide each year after that (I purchased many of them from Westfield Comics). I delighted in taking a look at the photos of issues that I would never own or be able to afford. I delighted in the market reports on what was selling and what wasn’t. Again, not because I was planning on selling mine, but I just found it of great interest.
As many of you know, in the early 1990s the speculation grow hit the comic book market as well as sports cards, action figures and anything else with any kind of possible nostalgia attached to it. The baby Boomers were flourishing to spend money on recapturing their youth and new carpetbaggers were ready to put a false bottom on the greed bag. practically twenty years later we’re still feeling the effects of those times with variant covers and such. We also see it in the way that “new” issues are jumping up in price within weeks of being published, much like rookie cards in sports. A veteran player that may have hit close to 500 home runs isn’t worth half as much as a rookie that hasn’t even taken their first bat as a pro. It’s the same with comics. A new issue might jump up to $20.00 in two weeks where a comic of an recognized character by one of the greatest creative teams ever might sell for a fraction of that. who can figure? It’s like everyone wants to play the lottery.
Overstreet price Guide
Please don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that comics have a collectable money value. As I mentioned, I find the whole up and down process interesting and strange all at the same time. like a Union or fast food, too much or too little is never good. There has to be that balance that makes everything right. I firmly believe in that.
I still get the Overstreet Comic book price guide and delight in it as much, if not more, than ever. It’s a textbook of comic book history. I also recommend The Comic Buyer’s guide standard catalogue Of Comic Books. If you read comics at all, these are two books that are a should for you. There’s an amazing amount of information that will only enhance your reading and collecting of comics. Both are huge books crammed with stuff that will amaze you and interest you.
I think that the comic book industry is finally starting to find that pleased balance between reading enjoyment, collecting, and cash worth. I hope the boat continues to steer in that direction. I think we’ll all be better for it and many of all I think comics will be better for it.
Your comic book collecting amigo,
The flying Fist Ranch
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