Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Find

Lying in the Gutters originally linked to this story, about a fun comic collection find at Neptune Comics, a comic store in Waukesha, Wisconsin (not far from the childhood home of the Other Dr.K).

This story has been linked around a bit over the weekend, probably because comic fans often dream of finding a similar huge, valuable collection in some previously unknown place. As a collector, I never had a really big find like this, but I have had some tremendously lucky moments.

One time, several years ago, I was at an antique show in Indiana, and a woman had a stack of comics at her booth with a sign reading "$2 each." I leafed through the stack to find about 75 comics, all from the 1950s and in widely varying conditions. There were a lot of war comics(including Quality issues of G.I. Combat and Blackhawk), Atlas and other Westerns, and a few horror and romance titles. I made an offer for the whole stack, and the woman gladly accepted.

Among the gems in this stack were a couple of rare Jack Kirby comics from his Mainline company:

As you can see, both of these comics suffer from foxing, and neither is in great shape. This was the case with most of the comics, though a couple of the G.I. Combat issues were later graded as Very Fine.

Many of the books had some great art, including stuff by Matt Baker, Alex Toth, and Russ Heath. Here are a couple of great Russ Heath covers, from Battlefront 26 and Western Outlaws 3:

I ended up selling most of the books a few months later, though I kept the issues of Blackhawk, an issue of Two-Fisted Tales, and a bunch of beat up reading copies. My favorite item in the stack, though, was this comic, which I won't be parting with:

This is Eerie 2, with an amazing Wally Wood cover. Wood also does a corresponding interior story.

The Neptune Comics story linked above involves the owner of the collection coming into the comic store, but I wonder how often stories like mine happen, where an average collector just comes across a "find." I'd be curious to hear other stories.

1 comment:

snell said...

My greatest comic find? When I was a wee lad a regional chain called Zayre's (think K-Mart) had the greatest sale ever. They had obviously bought up a gazillion remaindered comics from some distributor, and had a big old table filled with 1-4 year oold comics for 10¢ each.

At the store in my 'hood, they had about 100 copies of X-Men #94. Yup, the first regular issue of the "All New, All Different" X-Men. At least 100 copies.

Sadly, I was young, and this was shortly before the X-Men became THE X-MEN, so I only bought one copy.

I still weep when I think of the lost riches...