My name is Benjamin Nobel, and I’d like to welcome you to the Rare Comics Blog!
Below you will find a list of my latest posts by category, followed by a welcome/introduction which I would encourage you to read if this is the first time you’ve landed here.
Thanks for visiting!
Articles & Resources
There are three known instances of Type 1A cover price variants: (1) Canadian Price Variants (2) Australian Price Variants, and (3) Pence Price Variants.
Also see: General Comics Topics; Newsstand Comics; TMNT; Spawn; Savage Dragon.
General Comic Book Topics
11/2015 – Comic Book Newsstand Editions: Understanding The Difference
6/2016 – Wolverine Limited Series #1 — Where Are The Newsstand Copies??
6/2016 – Strange but true: Amazing Spider-Man / Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man / Sensational Spider-Man
6/2016 – Newsstand Vs. Direct Edition Comics
8/2016 – Newsstand Variants, $3.99 Newsstand Editions, and The Doc Collection [Also see: $2.29 and $2.49 price variants for Amazing Spider-Man v2 #10, #11, & #13]
9/2016 – Newsstand Rarity Discussions & Estimates
1/2017 – Darker Image #1 — Newsstand $1.95 Cover Price Variant (1st Maxx Appearance)
2/2017 – People are noticing newsstand comics! The WordPress stats page tells me that someone found my blog today by searching the web on the phrase “why are newsstand comics worth more?” … They have asked a great question — so I put up a new page to answer that exact question! 🙂 [Related: “Nice book, too bad it’s a direct edition”]
4/2017 – Daredevil #21, $3.99 Newsstand Edition (Superior Spider-Man Cameo)
4/2017 – Applause to CBCS Now Recognizing Newsstand Comics!
5/2017 – What If Venom Possessed Deadpool? What If There Was A Rare Cover Price Variant?
5/2017 – What If Venom Possessed Wolverine? (New Avengers #35, $3.99 Newsstand Edition)
5/2017 – DC Rebirth, $3.99 Newsstand Editions
6/2017 – $2.99 Newsstand Edition CGC Census Variants, and, “Partial Cover Price Variations” $1.99 Newsstands Too!
6/2017 – 30 More Newsstand Census Variants Confirmed at CGC Since Year-End
7/2017 – Amazing Spider-Man #400: Understanding The Real Newsstand Edition
8/2017 – Applause To CPG Accepting $3.99 Cover Price Variants Into The Price Guide!
4/2019 – Marvel Annual Newsstand Numbering: Uncanny X-Men
[7/2019 — check out these cool finds courtesy of Kurt Halvorsen including newsstand issues with bar-code-on-the-front similar to Amazing Spider-Man v2 #36, finds among Marvel’s 70th Anniversary Magazines, as well as Daredevil Volume 2, Marvel Knights, Citizen V, Hulk Smash, and Banner!]
5/2020 – Applause To CBCS Releasing Their Census!
5/2020 – Newsstand Rarity By Year: CBCS Census
7/2020 – That Newsstand Comic You Didn’t Know You Owned May Be Worth Over $8000
2/2021 – CBCS Population Report: A Quick Guide To Understanding Newsstand, Direct, and CPV Census Numbers
3/2021 – Spider-Man #1 (1990): Newsstand Variants Versus The Rest
10/2021 – First Appearance of Spider-Man 2099: Don’t Forget Web #90!
Canadian Price Variants
4/2016 – 75 Cent Variants (Canadian Newsstand Editions)
6/2016 – A practical guide: Canadian Price Variants — How To Spot Them
6/2016 – D.C. Comics “Canadian Editions” — Likely Only 2-7% [ May 2019 update: CGC announced that as of May 6, 2019, they will label as “Canadian Price Variant” instead of “Canadian Edition” going forward 🙂 ]
6/2016 – Slideshow: Rare 1980’s Price Variants To Collect
7/2016 – The 75¢ Price Puzzle: Parallels To 35¢ Variants
12/2016 – Wow, just 1-2% of CGC graded #252 copies for a decade and a half: Amazing Spider-Man #252 75¢ “Canadian Edition” Variant: CGC Census Rarity Over Time
12/2016 – Marvel Graphic Novel #4 — $5.95 Cover Price Variant (1st New Mutants Appearance)
4/2017 – 95¢ and $1.00 DC Price Variants: How Do We Know What They Are?
4/2017 – 66 New Canadian Price Variants Confirmed at CGC Since Year-End, a 16% Increase
8/2017 – The Orange Cat Phenomenon (and Canadian Price Variants)
10/2017 – The 2018 Price Guide for 1980’s Marvel & DC Newsstand Canadian Cover Price Variants (Type 1A)
10/2017 – Amazing Spider-Man #238: The Tattooz Situation
10/2017 – “Canadian Edition” vs. “Canadian Price Variant”
11/2017 – Our Type 1A Price Guide Featured In Scoop! [And again for our 2019 edition!]
2/2018 – Investing in Canadian Price Variants: 11 Tips
4/2018 – Three Variants That Surprised Me
6/2018 – Voltron #1-3, Type 1A $1.00 Cover Price Variants
6/2018 – Incremental Improvement to CGC’s “Canadian Edition” Labeling [5/2019 update: Another, even better, improvement was just announced by CGC!]
10/2018 – Applause To CBCS’s New “75¢ Canadian Price Variant” Labeling
10/2018 – The 2019 Price Guide for 1980’s Marvel & DC Newsstand Canadian Cover Price Variants (Type 1A)
10/2018 – Canadian Price Variants: Noteworthy Sales
10/2018 – Two Ways To Win Update [ from our 2019 Guide’s new Market Reports & Articles section — don’t miss the other great original articles there! ]
1/2019 – Archie Canadian/Pence Price Variants and the Betty’s Diary #36 Mystery
1/2019 – Gladstone Canadian Price Variants
3/2019 – ThunderCats #1 True Canadian Price Variant vs. 75¢ “Logo” Copies
5/2019 – Applause to CGC Now Labeling Type 1A’s as “Canadian Price Variant”, “Australian Price Variant”, and “UK Price Variant”
6/2019 – Archie Canadian Price Variants
8/2019 – CPV Discussions In Overstreet #49 Market Reports
11/2019 – Top 100 Variants of the 2020 CPV Price Guide
5/2020 – Applause To CBCS Releasing Their Census!
8/2020 – Whitman 1984 Canadian Price Variants
8/2020 – The Story of the Wawa Collection
12/2020 – Top 100 Variants of the 2021 CPV Price Guide
12/2020 – List of 1st Appearances (& 2nd) in the 2021 CPV Price Guide
12/2020 – Top CGC Grades For Top Canadian Price Variants
2/2021 – CBCS Population Report: A Quick Guide To Understanding Newsstand, Direct, and CPV Census Numbers
11/2021 – CPVs: The Even Rarer Newsstand Choice
2022 CPV Price Guide Launched
As part of our latest price guide to Canadian Price Variant comics, we have a robust Market Reports & Articles section with market reports and articles contributed by guide collaborators as well as outside contributors. These reports & articles each represent the views of the individual authors. Below, click any report title to read the full article. For convenience, last year’s articles are included; new articles published subsequent to last year’s guide are denoted with: ““
CPV Market Report: Year In Review
By Bill Alexander — “The gap between certified 9.6 and 9.8 books in what they sell for, is still continuing to grow wider and wider. At comic book auction houses, I have noticed that some certified 9.8 graded copies of popular key books are sometimes …” [ continue reading » ]
Harvey Canadian Price Variants
By Bill Alexander, Salvatore Miceli, and Benjamin Nobel — “Everyone knows about Marvel’s 35¢ cover price variants from 1977 (Type 1), but few know that Harvey published 35¢ Type 1A cover price variants in 1974… and 1973… and 1972… and… ” [ continue reading » ]
2021 Canadian Price Variant Market Report
By Tim Bildhauser — “Much like the rest of the comic market I believe we’re seeing the threshold begin to lower in terms of what constitutes an acceptable grade. Collectors are realizing that there are some CPVs that are out of their price range in the higher grades …” [ continue reading » ]
Amazing Spider-Man #238 Remains the King of CPVs
By Tim Bildhauser — “This year we saw unprecedented sales, some of which were record highs and others that are so consistent that they firmly established the fact that mainstream collectors have accepted and embraced CPVs as an unquestionably legitimate part of the hobby …” [ continue reading » ]
PNJ Comics 2020 Canadian Price Variant Market Report
By Paul Clairmont — “People need to remember the distribution channels for these books was not speciality shops with owners wearing white gloves carefully laying them out for the fine art crowd to come and carefully handle. These books were stuffed into unforgiving newsstands and spinner racks in convenience stores and grocery stores with employees unloading them with the same care as tossing tin cans of corn onto a store shelf …” [ continue reading » ]
CPVs Are Hot on ICE
By Walter Durajlija and Jay Halstead — “Can you believe, with how hot this book has been, that it’s now been almost 4 years since an Amazing Spider-Man #238 CPV has sold in 9.8? …” [ continue reading » ]
Collecting CPVs for Profit
By James Gilbreath — “The CPV window was open for a considerable period of time and encompassed an incredibly fertile period of game changing imagination and innovation in the industry. There are so many keys to choose from during this era, a more detailed examination is called for …” [ continue reading » ]
The Hottest CPVs of 2021
By Jay Halstead — “I’ve always felt Spidey and Star Wars are the two easiest CPV’s to find, as it should be, as these were immensely popular titles during that time. But in high grade, most of the Star Wars CPVs are still extremely elusive …” [ continue reading » ]
My Take on the Market 2020
By Jay Halstead — “Bob Overstreet used to preach the slow and steady approach, which I’m not a huge fan of, when a book goes up and is trading for a higher amount, my feeling is that the book should show significant upward momentum in my survey. But unlike Bob who rarely went backwards on values, we are a small unit who still are early enough into this where we can make corrections where need be …” [ continue reading » ]
From a Seller’s Perspective…
By Tony LeBlanc — “I started classifying comics as CPVs about 12 years ago. At first, I was surprised to see that roughly 80% of all my sales were predominantly from fellow Canadians. Now that CPVs are more mainstream, I would estimate that about 65% of my CPV sales goes to the States and this percentage continues to rise …” [ continue reading » ]
Where Have All the Cartoon Books Gone?
By Salvatore Miceli — “The demand for Gladstone, Archie and Harveys are still in its infancy. The growth potential in CPV values for these 3 publishers is massive in my personal opinion especially given that most 30-40 year olds are familiar enough with most of the properties to feel comfortable and nostalgic enough to begin investing in them …” [ continue reading » ]
CPVs: The Even Rarer Newsstand Choice
By Benjamin Nobel — “I attribute a lot of the growth in our guide’s website usage to one of the “mega-trends” that has been slowly unfolding in our hobby: investment grade newsstand comics from the copper and modern ages have slowly but surely …”[ continue reading » ]
Welcome to CPV Price Guide #4!
By Benjamin Nobel — “In today’s age of an endless supply of ‘manufactured-rarity’ retailer incentive variants we could choose to take home, many of which collectors are asked to shell out $25-$50+ to own, it is so nice by contrast to have a universe of ‘naturally-occurring’ Type 1A price variants within the world of 1980’s (and 1990’s) newsstand comics …” [ continue reading » ]
Get Them Now or Chase Them Later
By Angelo Virone — “Given the fact that regular newsstand copies for key Copper and Modern age books are now selling at multiples to their direct edition counterparts, I strongly believe and predict that KEY CPV’s in the highest grades are presently under-valued as newsstand price variants because they are the scarcest of the first printings …”[ continue reading » ]
State of the CPV Market
By Angelo Virone — “It’s interesting to see well known collectors who never fully got into Canadian Price Variant comics now entering the space paying big bucks for top graded key issues … “[ continue reading » ]
Australian Price Variants
Welcome & Introduction
Hi, thanks for stopping by!
I started blogging about Rare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics in 2011, then created a blog for Rare Spawn Comics and Rare Savage Dragon Comics — with these characters ranking among my favorite all-time comic book superheroes outside of the Marvel universe and DC universe. 🙂
The format of those blogs has been to profile specific rare and interesting (and hence valuable and/or highly collectible) comics. For example, I profiled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (May 1984) which is the most highly valued and collectible TMNT comic book of all time, with a print run of just 3,000 copies and featuring the first appearance of the turtles (that blog entry also touches upon Gobbledygook, which was hand-produced on a Xerox photocopier on legal-size paper folded in half and stapled by hand).
I have also profiled the little-known comic Graphic Fantasy #1 (1982) which was a pre-Megaton fanzine self-published by Erik Larsen with a print run of just several hundred copies and containing the first appearance of the “original” incarnation of Savage Dragon. On account of being so incredibly scarce and therefore nearly invisible, the industry completely overlooked it for years and credited Megaton #2/3 with the key first character appearance… But recently some copies of Graphic Fantasy were graded and the CGC “1st appearance credits” for Savage Dragon comics were re-considered and are now allocated differently than they’d been before.
On the Spawn blog I have profiled such comics as the Spawn #1 “Black & White Edition” (1997) which had a print run on the order of 3,100 copies and Rust #1 “Special Limited Edition” (April 1992) which had a restricted print run believed to be limited to 10,000 copies and features a pre-Spawn-#1 full page black & white pin-up by Todd McFarlane to promote the upcoming release of Spawn #1 — that pin-up featuring a sketch of the artwork later used for the cover of Spawn #2, and including a “prototype” Spawn logo that was later tossed aside in favor of the logo ultimately used in the series.
For this blog, I will post about general comic book collecting “themes” that I find to be particularly interesting — like newsstand vs. direct edition comics — and over time I will also profile specific comics outside of Spawn, Savage Dragon, or the TMNT. This blog is also now the home for the hobby’s very first online comic book price guide for Type 1A 1980’s newsstand cover price variants from Marvel & DC.
A recurring “theme” I will return to often in the Savage Dragon and Spawn blogs, is that when Image Comics made its debut in 1992, the Newsstand Distribution Channel for comic books in general was already in major decline. To attain any newsstand distribution against that backdrop was a challenge for Image; collectors would learn in 2013 that Image sold only on the order of 1% of their comics on newsstands versus 99% direct sold to comic shops.
This ratio for Image already creates a disparity in rarity that is critical for collecting early Image keys (where collectors should arguably clearly prefer the newsstand copies which have UPC codes on them — the prevalent direct edition copies lack these UPC codes). But equally interesting is that the challenging nature of newsstand distribution led Image to elect manufacturing choices for their newsstand print runs that in some cases were different from their direct edition print runs — in other words, the newsstand print runs were often produced differently!
These differences were likely to control costs, with choices such as manufacturing the newsstand copies with cheap newsprint paper instead of glossy; or different thickness paper for the cover; or omitting special features like centerfold posters. As a result of these manufacturing differences — when they occurred — CGC treats such newsstand copies as distinct “variants” on the CGC census. Meaning we can actually study some data on how many of each type (direct edition and newsstand) have been graded!
And in addition to manufacturing differences, there are other “special situations” where CGC breaks out newsstand versions as distinct variants on census. You may see CGC graded comics that say “Newsstand Edition” but also “Canadian Price Variant” — and most recently you will find Newsstand Variants and $3.99/$4.99 Newsstand Editions (that last variant category — a “class” of cover price variants — only being created/recognized at CGC in 2016).
I believe that when collecting comics, it is better to have two ways to win, than just one. When there is a more rare version of a given comic available, but the more rare version is priced with little to no premium due to lack of awareness among other collectors, I want that more rare version instead of the prevalent one… Because if you can obtain the more rare version for similar cost, then you have two ways to win instead of one: the issue number itself may rise in value, and the rarity premium may grow if collectors come to recognize it in the future — much like what happened with 35 cent variants, which were broadly overlooked as a “class” of comics before 1998.
Relative value: that’s what I look for, that’s what intrigues me most, and that’s what I enjoy writing about. Thanks for visiting, and as you read any of my posts, if you have additional information you can add to the discussion that I missed, please do so in the comment section either on the post in question or here on the main page — I continue to be humbled and amazed at how much I learn from readers! 🙂
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