NostoNews, October 1, 2023
by Tommy Jasmin
4th Quarter 2023 Market Comments
Last quarter I started off with a jaw-dropper market correction example. Here's another, and I can't help but wonder how other sites are handling conveying bad news and true data to their customers. It's certainly no fun showing you how far some books have tumbled. Anyway, this sale from April of last year was a monster. I wasn't sure what to point to for an explanation. Typical movie rumors? Tough black cover? Sometimes simply the issue number being #1 is enough (though that's often just smoke and mirrors). The only sure thing we could to point to was a $7,800.00 sale price.
Fast forward to September of this year, and the same book in the same grade from the same source this time sells for $960.00. I will say it feels like movie hype as a driver - it feels like that ship has sailed for the most part. It will still drive interest, but not to the degree and sustain it previously has. Overstreet added this book to its Top 25 Bronze Age Comics list recently. Will they now knock it back off that list? Personally, I do think this book is super cool, just not over a grand cool.
One more crazy thing, then on to brighter news. Talk about rolling the dice to try and turn a profit! This guy very likely (based on this being just one "lot" of what seemed like the majority of a Hulk 181 listed) dismantled a coverless Incredible Hulk #181, and submitted the pagees individually to CGC, hoping to get buyers to pony up big bucks for single pages of that key issue. Crazy! Unless it worked, of course, in that case, genius! Alas, it appears unlikely the seller broke even on this venture.
Who can deny the cool factor of E.C. square-bound Annuals? We know and accept it was not new material, but that never bothered me. I just love the idea of somebody ponying up a whole quarter for a horror comic back in 1951, quite a stretch for a kid then. Ranked #5 on Overstreet's Top Ten Horror Comics list, whatever that is. But I have no doubt Heritage mentioning that in their listing contributed to the sale price, Overstreet's "scarce" and "rare" notations still command a lot of respect. However you attribute it, $9,600.00 for a GD- 1.8 is extremely impressive.
Can Matt Baker do any wrong in this market? Heritage made zero additional effort trying to sell this book. Just "Matt Baker cover and art". Why they made no effort to draw attention to "South Sea Girl" is beyond me. South Sea Girl! Who presumably is some sort of crime-fighting super-heroine throwing mini-spears at criminals. How cool is that? And the strategic placement of palm-fronds or whatever they are on her top is an interesting if coincidental touch. I think the lesson so far is, if you collect nothing but Matt Baker and pre-code horror, your collection value is just fine, there is no correction as far as you're concerned.
Ahem... where was I?
Now just to show you that valuable finds are still lurking out there for anyone with a little bit of smarts and luck, let me alert you to this very unusual item. It sounds like this book was created to help with learning disabilities using Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and only printed in North Dakota. According to AVClub.com, this is "pretty much the only example of [Bill Watterson licensing his characters for anything". For that reason alone, once die-hard Calvin and Hobbes fans are aware of it, they want one. The previous copy went for significantly more. Now that the CGC Census is up to 5, it's starting to drop a bit.
This might be the first time I have ever seen the "1st time ever offered by Heritage" effect, well, have no effect. Typically, that will supercharge any listing, and to be honest, they would not have bothered if they thought this book would go for only $30.00. You'd think mentioning the CGC Census is only two would help as well. It's an Atlas, and it's likely scarce. I have no explanation.
This magazine came from out of nowhere to land on the wantlists of avid Matt Baker fans for an interior illustration that I believe (but I'm not certain, this is new to me too) was the inspiration for the cover of Cinderella Love #25. Although it's our 1st recorded sale, I have no doubt our pricing algorithms will place this magazine very high in our Top 100 list, possibly even a Top 10 position.
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