Canadian Newsstand Edition, Growing Newsstand Awareness

66 New Canadian Price Variants Confirmed at CGC Since Year-End, a 16% Increase

By Benjamin Nobel, April 28, 2017

At the start of the year, I embarked on a project to put together and share lists of key comic books by year, and in the process I also separated out a few lists of variants confirmed to exist at CGC — such as this list of CGC-graded 35 cent price variants, and this list of CGC graded 1980’s Canadian price variants.

When I now look at the most recent census data snapshot from this week, I see that the list of 35 cent variants at CGC hasn’t changed since year-end (to be clear, I’m not talking about the copy count change, but rather the list of issues — the list of census entries)… and this makes sense, because it is a very “mature” class of variants that the hobby has paid attention to (and submitted to CGC) for many, many years.

But then I checked the most recent census data for new Canadian price variants that weren’t on census yet back at year-end.  And wow, was I surprised: the list of confirmed CGC-recognized 1980’s Canadian price variants has grown by 66 new census entries since the start of the year!

That’s a 16% surge in the list of census entries at CGC for 1980’s price variants, in just a few short months!!

To be clear, this isn’t the number of copies of price variant comics that’s increased so much, this is the number of 1980’s price variant issues they’d never seen before at CGC as of year-end — census entries that weren’t previously there — but now are.  For most of these new ones among the 66, the submitter of the book now owns the only copy on record of the variant to date at CGC for that issue… which is pretty neat for those collectors to be able to boast!

What this surprising recent growth in the number of issues with confirmed price variants on record at CGC shows me, is just how “young” this entire “class” of variants really is in terms of the hobby paying attention to them and submitting them to CGC. To see a 16% surge in the number of issues with variants on record at CGC, in just a few months, is really quite something to witness… and I take it as a sign that collectors are indeed now waking up in a big way to the existence of these variants.

I’ll present the full list below, all of which are interesting to review because there’s usually a “reason why” behind any given submission, which can reflect personal tastes of the submitter but can also reveal collecting ideas and broad themes — for example continued growth in the Star Wars fan base, and excitement over the upcoming New Mutants movie, likely account for a good number of issues in those two titles showing up on the list.  So I think of this list as a good “hunting grounds” for collecting ideas… other collectors had the idea to submit these, so let’s see what they submitted! Before the full list, a couple of issues in particular that I found noteworthy and want to point out:

Batman #405

batman-405-variant

Very cool David Mazzucchelli cover on this one, and of course a Frank Miller story within the “Year 1” storyline. The cover price on variant copies is $1.00, and something to note about these $1.00 copies (and the 95 cent variants that preceded them) is how the indicia pages of these comics do not actually specify a per-issue price in Canadian dollars… in fact, the indicia does not spell out a per-issue price at all. So, we only know they are Canadian price variants by outside reference information, such as looking up the small-print-Canadian-price on the cover of direct edition copies. Related post: 95¢ and $1.00 DC Price Variants: How Do We Know What They Are?

Ghost Rider #75

ghost-rider-75-variant

A reader commented on a past post, that among very-hard-to-find Canadian price variant examples are the “Ghost Rider 75 cent variants (near the end of the series run, and its popularity plummeted, hence lower print runs on all Ghost Rider variants); this holds especially true to the very very low print runs of 75 cent G.R. issues.” For issue #75, I notice that this issue marks the 1st appearance of Steel Wind.  Perhaps interest in this first character appearance prompted the collector to hunt down and then submit this variant.

New Mutants #25

new-mutants-25

The Legion television show on FX has gotten some rave reviews, including an impressive 90% tomatometer rating… and Legion’s first appearance credits are in issues #25 and #26 (“1st appearance of Legion in cameo” for #25, “1st full appearance of Legion” for #26).

There’s more first appearance credits among the list of 66 as well, including Daredevil 232 (1st Nuke) and Fantastic Four 270 (1st full Terminus). Without further ado, the full list below. And by the way, I’ll have an update like this for another Newsstand-Exclusive “class” of variants as well in the near future, $3.99 Newsstand Editions.   (Special thanks to Greg Holland whose great research website made this page possible to assemble).

Canadian Price Variants Now Confirmed At CGC, That Were’t There At Year-End:

Book CGC Count Issue Date Publisher
1. 1 Aquaman #1 Canadian Edition 2/86 D.C. Comics
2. 1 Avengers #267 Canadian Edition 5/86 Marvel Comics
3. 1 Batman #385 Canadian Edition 7/85 D.C. Comics
4. 1 Batman #401 Canadian Edition 11/86 D.C. Comics
5. 4 Batman #405 Canadian Edition 3/87 D.C. Comics
6. 1 Batman #407 Canadian Edition 5/87 D.C. Comics
7. 1 Batman #421 Canadian Edition 7/88 D.C. Comics
8. 1 Daredevil #231 Canadian Edition 6/86 Marvel Comics
9. 1 Daredevil #232 Canadian Edition 7/86 Marvel Comics
10. 1 Eternals #3 Canadian Edition 12/85 Marvel Comics
11. 1 Eternals #4 Canadian Edition 1/86 Marvel Comics
12. 1 Eternals #5 Canadian Edition 2/86 Marvel Comics
13. 1 Eternals #6 Canadian Edition 3/86 Marvel Comics
14. 1 Eternals #7 Canadian Edition 4/86 Marvel Comics
15. 1 Everything’s Archie #114 Canadian Edition 11/84 Archie Publications
16. 1 Fantastic Four #270 Canadian Edition 9/84 Marvel Comics
17. 1 Ghost Rider #75 Canadian Edition 12/82 Marvel Comics
18. 1 Green Arrow #1 Canadian Edition 5/83 D.C. Comics
19. 1 Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #3 Canadian Edition 1/85 Marvel Comics
20. 1 New Mutants #13 Canadian Edition 3/84 Marvel Comics
21. 1 New Mutants #21 Canadian Edition 11/84 Marvel Comics
22. 2 New Mutants #25 Canadian Edition 3/85 Marvel Comics
23. 1 New Mutants #27 Canadian Edition 5/85 Marvel Comics
24. 2 New Mutants #3 Canadian Edition 5/83 Marvel Comics
25. 1 New Mutants #5 Canadian Edition 7/83 Marvel Comics
26. 1 New Mutants #9 Canadian Edition 11/83 Marvel Comics
27. 1 Nightcrawler #1 Canadian Edition 11/85 Marvel Comics
28. 1 Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner #2 Canadian Edition 10/84 Marvel Comics
29. 1 Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner #3 Canadian Edition 11/84 Marvel Comics
30. 1 Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner #4 Canadian Edition 12/84 Marvel Comics
31. 1 Rawhide Kid #1 Canadian Edition 8/85 Marvel Comics
32. 2 Rawhide Kid #2 Canadian Edition 9/85 Marvel Comics
33. 1 Rawhide Kid #4 Canadian Edition 11/85 Marvel Comics
34. 1 Secret Origins #1 Canadian Edition 4/86 D.C. Comics
35. 1 Sectaurs #7 Canadian Edition 8/86 Marvel Comics
36. 1 Star Wars #103 Canadian Edition 1/86 Marvel Comics
37. 1 Star Wars #105 Canadian Edition 5/86 Marvel Comics
38. 1 Star Wars #106 Canadian Edition 7/86 Marvel Comics
39. 2 Star Wars #79 Canadian Edition 1/84 Marvel Comics
40. 1 Star Wars #83 Canadian Edition 5/84 Marvel Comics
41. 1 Star Wars #87 Canadian Edition 9/84 Marvel Comics
42. 2 Star Wars #88 Canadian Edition 10/84 Marvel Comics
43. 2 Star Wars #89 Canadian Edition 11/84 Marvel Comics
44. 1 Star Wars #90 Canadian Edition 12/84 Marvel Comics
45. 1 Star Wars #93 Canadian Edition 3/85 Marvel Comics
46. 1 Star Wars #94 Canadian Edition 4/85 Marvel Comics
47. 1 Starriors #1 Canadian Edition 11/84 Marvel Comics
48. 1 Starriors #2 Canadian Edition 12/84 Marvel Comics
49. 1 Starriors #3 Canadian Edition 1/85 Marvel Comics
50. 1 Starriors #4 Canadian Edition 2/85 Marvel Comics
51. 1 Super-Villain Classics #1 Canadian Edition 5/83 Marvel Comics
52. 1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 2 Canadian 10/88 Archie Publications
53. 1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 3 Canadian 12/88 Archie Publications
54. 1 Uncanny X-Men #183 Canadian Edition 7/84 Marvel Comics
55. 1 Uncanny X-Men #198 Canadian Edition 10/85 Marvel Comics
56. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #1 Canadian Edition 10/85 Marvel Comics
57. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #10 Canadian Edition 7/86 Marvel Comics
58. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #2 Canadian Edition 11/85 Marvel Comics
59. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #3 Canadian Edition 12/85 Marvel Comics
60. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #4 Canadian Edition 1/86 Marvel Comics
61. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #5 Canadian Edition 2/86 Marvel Comics
62. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #6 Canadian Edition 3/86 Marvel Comics
63. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #7 Canadian Edition 4/86 Marvel Comics
64. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #8 Canadian Edition 5/86 Marvel Comics
65. 1 Vision and the Scarlet Witch v2 #9 Canadian Edition 6/86 Marvel Comics
66. 1 West Coast Avengers #1 Canadian Edition 10/85 Marvel Comics

And here’s the prior list of CGC graded 1980’s Canadian price variants from back in January.

Happy Collecting! 🙂

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9 thoughts on “66 New Canadian Price Variants Confirmed at CGC Since Year-End, a 16% Increase

  1. Sal miceli says:

    Keep bringing the great info. Here’s my next assignment for you grasshopper. Tom and Jerry 1 from Harvey Classics made in 1991. I have a $1.50 newsstand canadian variant. Can you track down production numbers and care to guess on Canadian distribution numbers? I have been trying to find other cdn copies for a few months now and have yet to come across any. It’s by no means a pricey book, but it’s not a marvel or dc so info is probably harder to obtain on these less popular titles. Remember now, I’m timing you. Lol. Thx.

    Sal

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  2. Neat find, Sal! Harvey wasn’t even on my radar screen for Canadian price variants but you’ve definitely found one… because here below is a Direct Edition with $1.25 US / $1.50 CAN pricing on it and a US newsstand copy with single-price at $1.25.

    tom-jerry-1-direct-editiontom-jerry-1-direct-edition-

    Tom & Jerry #1 - US newsstand

    tom-jerry-1-us-newsstand

    From what I’ve read about Harvey, they were no strangers to Canadian price variants, but the only ones I’ve actually read about were from the 70’s and prior for their Harvey Giants. I’ve also read that Harvey was one of the publishers that failed to embrace the Direct Sales model — and then as newsstand sales collapsed, so did Harvey, and they apparently ceased publishing comics in 1982… but “rebooted” in 1986, then sold the company in 1989; the new company then began publishing reprints in the early 1990s as Harvey Classics. But it looks like by 1994 they were defunct.

    I don’t know what kind of distribution numbers they had (or how it broke down between direct edition and newsstand); my “go-to source” for sales data is Comichron, but their monthly sales pages only start in 1997 after Harvey had already stopped publishing. Still, you can see what kind of sales numbers some of the smaller publishers like Archie was turning in as a point of reference: http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/1997/1997-04.html

    Thanks for sharing your discovery! 🙂

    – Ben

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  3. Sal miceli says:

    Wow. I’m impressed. Well if the Archie numbers are a rough estimate then we are looking at 3000 to 6000 copies between newsstand and direct sales. Plus I’m guessing mostly little kids bought and read the tom and jerry books to death…meaning there can’t be very many out there…never mind Canadian copies. Wow. What a weird book to be rare to say the least. Thanks for the help. * ive been trying to post pics of it but I can’t seem to figure out how.

    Sal

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    • Hi Sal, I found some more Harvey examples out of the Canadian price variant window you discovered. I searched eBay broadly on Harvey 1991 and sorted recent sales from highest to lowest price, and looked through the results in order to see if there were any “keys” that people are paying up for, that might also happen to have Canadian price variants… and it turns out there is a stand-out: Back To The Future #1. People are paying quite a decent amount for it, check it out:

      back-to-the-future-1-sales

      And sure enough, direct edition copies carry $1.25 US / $1.50 CAN pricing, while US newsstand copies are single-priced at $1.25… and I found one $1.50 copy recently sold by a seller up in Canada I’m familiar with who I know is keenly aware of Canadian price variants broadly and always titles their listings as such when they have them, yet, did not realize their copy of this issue was a variant — this tells me these Harvey 1991+ variants truly are broadly undiscovered, Sal! It is both amazing and completely understandable that nobody would have noticed these yet; think how hard this kind of research would have been to do in 1991 without the Internet!

      Direct edition example:
      back-to-the-future-1-direct

      US newsstand example with $1.25 cover price:
      back-to-the-future-1-1.25

      It exists! A Canadian price variant with $1.50 cover price (and interestingly, look how the bar code is different from the $1.25 version, we’ve got 71896 46065 along the bottom of the $1.25 copy, and 55113 70031 along the bottom of the $1.50 copy):
      back-to-the-future-1-1.50

      Browsing the available listings for Back To The Future #1, I found no active $1.50 cover price listings, but I did notice Doug Sulipa has a direct edition copy listed; and his informative description states as follows:

      back-to-the-future-1st-app

      So we’ve got some key 1st comic book appearances here, of Marty McFly, Doctor Emmett Brown and Clara Clayton. And notice his line in blue: low print run title, with huge renewed demand, thus scarce… yep, and he’s talking about the direct edition. Imagine the rarity of a high grade newsstand-survivor $1.50 cover price copy!

      I searched Google to see if anyone has documented these Harvey 1991 Canadian price variants before, and the only thing I found out there online is one entry in comics.org for a Baby Huey #1 variant with $1.25 cover price: https://www.comics.org/issue/1685239/ — just that one mention out of what is obviously an entire “class” from some window of 1991-to-some-future-date from Harvey.

      I spotted a few other variants presently in the marketplace; a Beetlejuice #1 with $1.50 cover price, Casper and Friends #1 with $1.25 cover price, Richie Rich and the New Kids on the Block #1 with $1.75 cover price, and Richie Rich #254 with $1.25 cover price:

      beetlejuice-1-1.50-cover-pricecasper-1-1.25-cover-pricerichie-rich-1.75
      richie-rich-254-1.25

      And I’d also note that I find zero variant copies on the CGC census yet, even for Back To the Future #1 as a stand-out key… With your Harvey discovery, you’ve basically uncovered an entire secret stash of variants, Sal! 🙂

      – Ben

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  4. Sal miceli says:

    Lol. Holy cow Ben. What an awesome post to wake up to in the morning. There seems to be quite a few different titles that they released between 1991-1994, even if most of them are reprints. I saw that $1.50 beetlejuice cdn variant last night as well. The pricing of Harvey books between 91-94 varied dramatically so finding which price is actually the cdn newsstand and not the u.s.a. Newsstand is quite a task at times. The thing I’m finding regarding these variants as compared to the dc/marvel ones is that almost no adults bought and kept the Harvey’s in nm condition. They were books geared to the 5-10 year old crowd it seemed given the cartoonish nature of the characters and artwork. It probably wouldn’t be too hard to make a complete list of all Harvey comics from 91-94 and find total issue runs as well as how many total variants are out there. I’m guessing maybe a dozen or so books at most might fall into the cdn variant category. I will try to put a list together myself when I have some few time unless you are already diving headfirst into this. Lol. Thx again Ben.

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    • Mr. cover price variant says:

      The U.S. Published Harvey type 1a Canadian cover price variants are so cool. I never knew they existed. I would imagine the average grade the Canadian cover price variants are found in is VG grade with high grade VF or better copies rare to find. Type 1a Harvey Canadian cover price variants being published 1991-1994 I believe make finding any of the 5/92-1994 issues seemingly impossible to find. I say this because I noticed with Archie that all of their Archie Adventure Series Comics type 1a Canadian cover price variants published 5/92-7/94 amazingly remained cover priced at $1.50 while all Archie regular series comic were cover priced at $1.25 in the U.S and Canada. It appears the U.S and Canada dollar were on par at that point in time making both (Harvey and Archie) type 1a Canadian cover price variants cover dated 5/92 and beyond most likely unsalable at $1.50 a copy on the newsstands. After all who in their right mind would want to pay the higher 25 cent cover price in Canada for both Harvey and Archie type 1a Canadian cover price variants when the U.S and Canadian dollar was on par back then. What a challenge to try and find any that “survived” cover dated 5/92 and beyond out there.

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  5. Tony Phillips says:

    Always fascinating stuff on here. Reading other forums there seems to be quite a resistance to accepting the variants you describe, with the general consensus being they are an irrelevance. I find this quite strange and do not think such views would be quite the same in other fields of collecting, such as stamp or coin collecting, where variants are prized. Anyway as I am still a comic novice I hope you can help me with a question. I have both newsstand and direct editions of Web of Spiderman #111. The US and Canadian prices are the same on both but the UK price on the newsstand is 85p and on the direct is 95p, meaning the newsstand edition was cheaper. Is this unusual or am I wrong in assuming newsstand prices would be more than direct? Hope that makes sense, I do not have the wit to load scans! Thanks.

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    • Hi Tony, thanks for pointing out the Web #111 partial price variation between direct and newsstand copies!

      web-111-85p-vs-95p

      I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon of partial price variation having to do with the Canadian price, and dove into the subject in the following post: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/2-99-newsstand-edition-cgc-census-variants-and-partial-cover-price-variations/

      What is particularly fascinating is how there are instances where Marvel demanded a higher price on newsstand copies, while there are also instances where Marvel demanded a higher price on direct edition copies.

      It is funny you should mention stamp collecting — I have a friend who collects stamps and sometimes when we get together we talk about general collecting themes, and his reaction made such an impression on me when I described to him how in the comic book hobby, neither the biggest price guide nor the biggest grading company differentiate newsstand and direct edition comics as a rule, even though one type is dramatically more rare. He was stunned, and went on to describe how over in the world of stamp collecting, any tiny difference and the hobby is all over it.

      But we have to remember that in the world of stamps, there weren’t two competing distribution channels; over in the comic book world, historically newsstand and direct edition comics were effectively in competition… comic shop owners would not have wanted their customers to leave the store and buy their comics elsewhere — rather, they wanted their customers to remain right there in the shops! If you owned a comic shop and some customers came in talking about variants, would you steer them out the door or would you educate them all about the latest amazing retailer incentive variant you have available for sale?

      I recently had a collector tell me, quote, “Most dealers I talk to at conventions really are irritated when you ask for newsstand copies. They think that direct and newsstand comics are the same.” If you were a dealer sitting on a massive inventory of direct editions, would you be happy if collectors at comic cons kept coming up to you asking for newsstand comics and shunning your direct editions? Nope… you’d be pretty darn upset. Fearful even, and protective of your investment. You might feel like you want to “quash” all this newsstand interest and dismiss newsstand comics and cover price variant newsstand comics as irrelevant.

      The truth can’t be quashed. Long term, the ratio of collectors who desire/prefer newsstand comics over direct editions, to total collectors (newsstand-preference:total-collectors), is going to dramatically overwhelm the ratio of newsstand/cover-price-variant-newsstand to total comics actually in existence… meaning collector demand can come to very easily overwhelm supply once we reach that pivot-point of collector awareness — which we may have already neared or even cleared in some cases.

      I keep hearing of instances where collectors are livid when they discover for the first time that CGC labels US-published Canadian price variant newsstand comics as “Canadian Edition” and pressure is increasing on CGC to make a change, both by individual collectors and the hobby’s experts who advise the Overstreet guide; for example, in the latest Overstreet guide, the following was published by advisor Bill Alexander:

      “I first off would like to mention that U.S. published comics imported into a foreign country are “U.S. Editions” and they always have been. It appears the hobby is realizing this more and more each day. Many out there wrongly believed that U.S. published comics imported into the U.K., Canada, and Australia were foreign editions even though it never stated anywhere on the books “foreign edition” or a foreign publisher’s name. Even today, some comic book grading companies are still misidentifying and mislabeling U.S. published comic books as foreign editions. Change is always met with resistance and a well needed change can only help the hobby, not hurt it in any way. Comic books that are misidentified for what they truly are directly effects their true value in the hobby. These are Type 1A U.S. published first print Edition Marvel pence cover price variants published in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s as well as U.S. published first print edition type 1a DC Canadian cover price variants and type 1a Marvel Canadian cover price variants and also Archie type 1a Canadian cover price variants for Archie regular series comics and Archie Adventure Series comics. All are U.S. Editions and were printed with very small print runs.

      I also recently read Jon McClure’s OPG 46 report, where he mentions type 1a variants and says, quote, “Type 1a cover price variants will eventually have to have their own listings“… He reports that, quote, “Type 1a Canadian cover price variants are now routinely selling for 150-400% Guide, and select CGC high grade key issues of popular characters have been bringing 400-2000% of guide — which when you step back to think about it, is basically a market value situation that demands price guide attention. It was practically stunning to me that Overstreet has yet to “break out” type 1a variants in the guide, until I started to think about the sheer number of additional pages that would be required… that thing is already nearly a phone book in size and weight. So the only thing holding them back may be the restriction of physical paper, in a hobby that is increasingly embracing the Internet where the guide could be of practically unlimited size in future electronic versions…

      McClure also had a highly interesting estimate of newsstand versus direct edition survivorship from the 1980’s, estimating that fully 80% of surviving copies are direct editions. Read this post to see his full quote: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/the-orange-cat-phenomenon-and-canadian-price-variants/

      Best
      – Ben

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  6. Gary says:

    I have (Archie comics) Zen intergalactic ninja 1-3 1992 newsstand, and it has the $1.50 cover price. I bought them at the tobacco shop when they first came out, but I only see newsstands with $1.25 cover price or the direct. Have you seen any of these? I can’t seem to find them anywhere… thx.

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