Multi-Pack Comics

No Month Variants / Pre-Pack Editions / Whitman 3-Pack Variants

By Benjamin Nobel, December 5, 2019

As seen on slab labels for multi-pack variants for Wonder Woman v2 #1 (1st Modern app. of Themyscira, Gaea’s, Girdle, Hippolyte, Ares & The Olympian, Gods. New origin; recent CGC label shown), Batman #357 (1st appearances of Killer Croc, (Waylon Jones) & Jason Todd; recent CGC label shown), and Spectacular Spider-Man #27 (1st Frank Miller Daredevil art; recent CBCS label shown).

The Wonder Woman v2 #1 “No Month Variant,” the Batman #357 “Pre-Pack Edition,” and the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 “3-Pack Variant” presently have three different variant names on slabs as per the grading company labels shown at right; but these three comics all share several common attributes including: (a) they were distributed in multi-packs, and (b) there is no cover month on them.

This “aka No Month” comic book category seems like it is a great fit for the Two Ways to Win collecting strategy, but, there are also some challenges; today I explore these three interesting multi-pack-distributed example comics.  I will make observations about: their relative rarity versus the corresponding “regular” copies, the current marketplace availability of listings where sellers are not clued in to what they own being different, the “stigma” problem/challenge with these books as I see it, and the “what to call them” question/debate.

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The Ole “What To Call Them” Question

In our hobby, there is no one standard-setting “independent board” or “consortium” or “panel” to set standards that the various authorities in the hobby must then all follow… instead, every individual company sets its own standards. In this way, our hobby is less organized than phone emojis. There’s an independent non-profit consortium that sets the standards by committee used by all the world’s cell phones so that everyone agrees that “🙂” is a smiling face (can you imagine hearing someone vehemently argue that it should actually be called a frowning face?).

But meanwhile in our comic book hobby, there is often major disagreement about what to call different comic book situations. And multi-pack comics of the 1970’s and 1980’s appear to be another one of these situations where a great many different naming conventions are applied, depending on who you ask and which specific comic you ask about. To explore the situation, I’m going to start with Wonder Woman v2 #1 (DC Comics, 2/1987). For this particular issue, there was both newsstand distribution (including a $1.00 price variant) and direct sales to comic shops. And then there were also these (left: front of pack; right: back of pack):

Multi-packs… The pack above contains Wonder Woman v2 #1-3. Collectors have reported finding multi-packs like these above for sale originally in places like toy stores and Walgreens. Packs like these tended to include three comics as a bundle. And the Wonder Woman books inside the above pack look, at a glance, like the direct edition type sold to comic shops, because of that “logo box” in the bottom left corner (in place of a bar code). Clearly, they were meant to be distinguishable from returnable newsstand copies; and at a glance they might pass for a regular old direct edition… But if we look more closely at the price box we can see that it is actually much different from the regular direct editions… because the multi-pack distributed version has no month shown on the cover:
wonder-woman-v2-1-no-month

Left: regular direct edition; Right: “No Month” variant (at the bottom of the box, “Feb 87” is absent).

As it turns out, the “logo box” itself also differs for this issue (more on this later):

wonder-woman-1-logo-box

Left: regular direct edition; Right: “No Month” variant.

CGC denotes such copies of Wonder Woman v2 #1 on census as “No Month” Variant, and with this naming choice appears to be zeroing in on the missing cover month as the important/defining physical feature that the variant-name-wording then draws upon:

wonder-woman-1-no-month

And this naming choice is understandable and makes logical sense; I can picture a conversation like this: “What should we call these? Well, they have no cover month; that looks like the most major physical feature that differs from the regular ones… so let’s call them “No Month” Variants.” Makes sense and sounds reasonable, right?

As to why the month was omitted from such books in the first place, it would certainly make business sense in the context of these multi-packs to omit the month, so that they would remain appealing to potential buyers for a longer time (having no month on them means there was nothing to immediately give the packs away as being old / out of date).

Moving back in time by four years, Batman #357 (DC Comics, 3/1983) is similar to the Wonder Woman example: there was both newsstand distribution (including a 75¢ price variant) and direct sales to comic shops. And then there were multi-pack distributed copies which have no month shown on the cover (and here, the “logo box” looks the same as the type direct-sold to comic shops).

batman-357-no-month

Left: regular direct edition; Right: “No Month” Variant aka “Pre-Pack Edition” (“Mar.” is absent under “No. 357”)

Inside this particular pack, the other two comics were World’s Finest #289 (3/1983) and DC Comics Presents #55 (3/1983). With these Batman #357 multi-pack copies, CGC has chosen the name “Pre-Pack Edition” when breaking them out on census:

batman-357-pre-pack-variant

This naming choice has logic behind it too, because after all, they were only sold pre-packaged together with two other comics from the same publication month. So why not call them a “Pre-Pack Edition” by that logic? Makes sense and sounds reasonable, right?

And moving back in time by another four years, a final example I’d like to present today is from over at Marvel: Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 (2/1979). Notice on the bag below that we see the “Whitman” logo and “Distributed by Western Publishing” (which are both on the plastic bag, not the printed comic itself).

Here once again we have a comic book that was distributed in multi-packs — the other two in the above pack were Tarzan #21 (2/1979) and Iron Man #119 (2/1979) — but unlike the DC examples before, which were both published in the 1980’s when there was already a corresponding comic-shop direct edition that the no-month copies could be compared to (and confused with), here with this Marvel example we don’t have a separate corresponding comic-shop direct edition, because we’re in February of 1979 when this comic was published.

To provide some context for the publication date of February 1979, it was around this time early in 1979 that Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics was about to prompt a major change in comic book distribution, via a letter-writing campaign seeking change at Marvel — this would ultimately land him in New York in May of 1979 to meet with Marvel executives, as he describes in his multi-part article series entitled “Evolution of the Direct Market” which begins here at Part I (and is something I’d highly recommend reading, as it is absolutely fascinating).

“What had started out as simply a long-shot letter writing campaign designed to encourage Marvel to pressure Phil Seuling’s Seagate Distributing company to start offering comics retailers 30-day credit terms, miraculously became the turning point in the entire history of direct distribution of comics.

— Chuck Rozanski, Becoming a Marvel Distributor

Rozanski refers to Seagate in the quote above. Seagate, founded in 1972 by Seuling, pioneered the idea of ordering comics from publishers on a non-returnable basis (and because of this commitment, securing a large discount), and distributing them directly to specialty comic shops. As Rozanski describes it, for most comics retailers of the time there was essentially no option but to purchase from Seagate, both because of the discount and also because of a sweetheart shipping logistics arrangement that Seagate had secured — the end result of which was that comic shops could get their books a full week earlier than via their local independent distributor wholesaler.

This last point appears to be critical to the story of the evolution of the direct market. Rozanski cites a statistic of the time, that over on newsstands, 70% of the sales for a given comic book issue were made within the first 10 days of the comic book being placed on the newsstand.  And by ordering their books from Seagate, comic shops could get their books into the hands of fans a full week before they hit the (competing) newsstands in town…  In this way, comic shops were able to capture a huge share of comic sales within their local markets, by beating the newsstands to the sale.

“Based on conversations I’ve had with other comics retailers from those early days, this huge timing advantage was the primary catalyst for the explosive growth in comics shops throughout the country during the 1972-1977 period.”

— Chuck Rozanski, Evolution of the Direct Market (Part II)

But a disadvantage of ordering from Seagate was that they demanded payment up front, at the time orders for comics were submitted, which could be months before they actually shipped. This tied up precious business capital for long periods and was effectively a lack of extension of credit, which is ultimately what Rozanski was fighting for, and what landed him at Marvel.

Rozanski describes his meeting with Marvel executives as happening in May of 1979, with the key players including Ed Shukin, Marvel’s Vice President of Marketing. Rozanski describes how this all ultimately led to Mile High Comics becoming the first new Marvel distributor under the new trade terms offered in June of 1979.

Rozanski describes how this development placed Ed Shukin in the position of having to explain to the many local magazine distributors around the country, why Marvel selling directly to comics shops (like Mile High) was not going to hurt them. And one of the complaints Ed needed to quell, was about how some comics shop owners were buying comics from Seagate at a large discount — comics that should have been non-returnable, but then secretly returning those books through their local distributor (as if they were newsstand returns) and pocketing the spread. The solution?

“To quell these complaints, Ed agreed to remove the bar code from all comics being sold to comics distributors, replacing them with logos, or small ads. Thus the concept of “Direct Market” editions was born.

— Chuck Rozanski, Newsstand Editions History

When did comic shops begin receiving these specially-marked versions as the new standard? According to Rozanski, this happened in June of 1979:

“For those of you who go back and look at the earliest Direct Market editions, they have only a simple slash through the bar code. This began in June of 1979.”

— Chuck Rozanski, Newsstand Editions History

Nick Pope confirms this date for the “new standard”:

“Starting with comics cover dated June 1979, Marvel began sending diamond cover issues to subscribers and comic shops. At this point diamond cover issues became the de facto standard for Direct Sale destinations.”

— Nick Pope, BIP Comics: Marvel Diamond Issues, 1977-1979

But what about the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 copy we saw before, published February of 1979?  Is it a “Direct Edition”?  Well, it certainly is “non-newsstand” (marked differently when it was printed so that such copies could not be returned for refund).  Instead of a bar code (or a slashed-through bar code), such copies simply have a blank box:

spectacular-27-blank-logo-box

So such copies were distinguishable from the returnable newsstand copies, and, they were direct-sold to Western for their Whitman multi-pack program on a non-returnable basis…  Some would therefore argue that these attributes, by definition, makes them bona fide Direct Edition copies and that is what we should be calling them: Direct Editions.  I do see the strength to this logic, even if these copies did not end up being sold by a comic shop. 

And, there are even mentions out there of anecdotal reports from some comic shop owners, that they recall receiving the Whitman multi-pack type of copy in their stores at different points in time (perhaps not Spectacular Spider-Man #27 specifically with its lack of cover month but there are also other styles/designs at different points in time — more on this later). If comic shops got them too from time to time, wouldn’t that definitively make them “Direct Editions?” Case closed on what to call them? Actually, there is more to the history…

“While it is true Western Publishing was the largest distributor of these early diamond issues between 1977-1979 there is anecdotal evidence that indicates they were not the only distributor. Recollections of several dealers have indicated that they had received diamond issues at varying points in time prior to 1980. Regardless of these recollections, it is clear that Western Publishing was the driving force behind these early diamond cover print runs.

— Nick Pope, BIP Comics: Marvel Diamond Issues, 1977-1979

And John Jackson Miller of Comichron confirms that Whitman multi-pack copies like our Spectacular Spider-Man #27 example were created specifically for Western Publishing’s Whitman three-pack program, as opposed to being created to also be distributed to comic shops via Seagate, something he confirmed with Jim Shooter:

“When I asked [Shooter] about reports of direct market retailers having bought copies from the Whitman run, Shooter said he did not believe that any dealers received any copies from it. Phil Seuling’s direct-market pioneering Seagate was getting Curtis newsstand copies, he said, which was why the move to a special non-newsstand trade dress was eventually made in 1979. I’m not sure how to reconcile that with the anecdotal reports: since the logo for that was a squashed diamond shape (and, reportedly, inspiration for the name Diamond Comic Distributors), it’s possible some retailers were remembering receiving later issues not from the 1977 to early 1979 Whitman run.”

— John Jackson Miller, Jim Shooter on Marvel Whitmans

Miller also explains how the ordering of Star Wars books reveals that Western Publishing was truly in the driver’s seat when it came to the production of multi-pack-type copies of the time:

“Once the [Star Wars] movie was released and retailers knew they had a blockbuster on their hands, multiple printings of the early issues were ordered, both by Curtis Circulation — and, most consequentially, by Whitman for use in special Star Wars three-packs. The result was that the early issues of the title were the first comics to exceed 1 million copies per issue in sales since Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories in 1960. According to Jim Shooter, later Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, “Star Wars saved Marvel” in the late 1970s. Demand was so high for the reprints of the adaptation that Whitman only ordered Star Wars three-packs from Marvel for several months, perhaps explaining why there are no Whitman variants of other Marvel titles for a period in late 1977, corresponding to early 1978 cover dates. That fact also helps explain why the “fat-diamond” versions of Marvel’s comics in 1977-78 are better referred to as Whitman or special-market editions rather than Direct Market editions.

— John Jackson Miller, Star Wars Comics Sales History

So what Miller is teaching us here, is that the variant printings that we see in multi-packs of this time period only existed because of the arrangement with Whitman; he’s pointing out that when Whitman was fully focused on ordering just Star Wars books, printings like this for other Marvel issues took a pause… In other words, what Miller is pointing out here, is that Marvel didn’t bother creating copies like this for a given book when Whitman didn’t place an order for that book, thus illustrating that their purpose truly was for Whitman multi-packs. Had their purpose for creation been also to be sent to comic shops too, wouldn’t Marvel have continued to print them even when Whitman didn’t want any? Yet they did not.

This is a compelling point, especially in connection with what Rozanski taught us about the reason behind the advent of the “bar-code-strikethrough” in June 1979 in connection with the new trade terms: that this was done to quell complaints that some comic shops were ordering from Seagate on what was supposed to be a non-returnable basis, but then returning those books sneakily, through the newsstand channel.  Shops couldn’t have returned copies of Spectacular #27 from the Whitman multi-pack run through the newsstand channel, because they were already marked differently to be distinguished as non-returnable…  So, the sneakily-returned books they got from Seagate must therefore have been from the same run as the newsstand copies, right?  Otherwise there wouldn’t have been a reason for the complaint in the first place.  And Jim Shooter’s confirmation that Seagate was getting the same copies as Curtis got for newsstands, corroborates this notion.

I respect the arguments on both sides of the what-to-call-these question; and I love it when there is respectful debate in our hobby.  I can definitely see the logic behind calling such copies Direct Editions but I can also definitely see the logic behind the advice of John Jackson Miller, that Whitman multi-pack comics like this “are better referred to as Whitman or special-market editions rather than Direct Market editions.”

And by the variant names we see chosen by other big players in the hobby, there appears to be support for the notion that the name we use to refer to them should perhaps have more to do with the fact that the books exist courtesy of Whitman 3-packs. MyComicShop for example, uses the name “Whitman Variant” for them:

spectacular-spider-man-whitman-variants

MyComicShop refers to this type of variant as “Whitman Variant” in their online catalog.

Mile High Comics also uses the variant name “WHITMAN”:

spectacular-27-whitman-mile-high.jpg

Top: Mile High Comics online catalog listing for “regular” copies; Bottom: Mile High Comics online Catalog listing for “Whitman” copies.

On the other hand, using “Whitman” in the name we call such comics might confuse/conflate these with the variants that have the Whitman logo as part of the comic itself; in the case of the Whitman packs containing Marvel comics, there’s no actual printed component on the books that refers to Whitman in any way. Whitman is all over the plastic bag but not anywhere as part of the printed comic. For contrast, here below is Action Comics #481, regular (left) and Whitman variant (right):

action-comics-481-whitman-variant

These actually have the Whitman markings on the printed comic, which is meanwhile not the case for our Spectacular Spider-Man #27 multi-pack example (only the plastic bag was marked). So arguably including “Whitman Variant” in what we call our Marvel examples could confuse/conflate them with books that actually have Whitman markings on the printed comic.

And perhaps in consideration of this, CBCS denotes the Spectacular #27 variants simply as “3-Pack Variant” (no “Whitman” in that variant name):

spectacular-27-3-pack-variant

I respect the naming choices of each of these participants in the hobby (the variety of opinions truly shows that this is no phone emoji [no agreed-upon standard everyone then follows]).

But I’d now like to “raise my hand” here and point out as part of the “what to call them” debate, that there’s an important “physical feature” of the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 multi-pack variant version, that it shares in common with both the Batman #357 example and the Wonder Woman v2 #1 example from earlier: the Whitman 3-pack copies of this particular issue also have no cover month, whereas the “regular” copies do:

spectacular-27-no-month

Top: regular copies have the issue number at the top right and “Feb” underneath; Bottom: the multi-pack copies have the issue number under the price at the top left, and No Month listed (instead “The Spectacular Spiderman” takes up the box along the top right).

Setting aside any debate/question over who may have gotten these variant copies (and would comic shops really have gotten copies with no cover month on them?) — all that aside, I’d like to argue as follows:  If we’re going to pick an important physical feature of these variants to point out how they differ from their “regular” counter-parts, the absence of a cover month seems like a pretty darn important physical difference to highlight, does it not?  (Sure, there are several other differences, but if we were to rank each difference by order of criticality, isn’t the lack of a month a pretty big deal?  Wouldn’t that at least “tie” with having no bar code?)

I personally really kind of like the “ring” to CGC’s “No Month” Variant name that they already have in place for the Wonder Woman example. So I’d like to suggest that the idea be explored for application of this same treatment for those instances among Whitman multi-pack Marvel comics where there is no cover month, like in the case of Spectacular Spider-Man #27.  Which brings me to the concept of “variant-worthy” attributes, and whether lack of a cover month is/should-be such an attribute in the eyes of the grading companies like CGC, in the context of their stance on treatment of newsstand versus direct-sold comics.

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CGC “Variant-Worthy” Attributes

In the world of CGC, as their current policy stands today, there is no difference (to them) between Newsstand and Direct Edition comics when it comes to cataloging comic books onto their census: instead of differentiating them as distinct versions worthy of being labeled and counted separately, instead, CGC’s current “default” is to pretend they are identical and lump them together on census. I hate this policy and I wish CGC would follow in the footsteps of CBCS and start breaking out newsstand from direct editions broadly. The two versions are not the same; pretending they are identical is absurd.

But, fortunately, there are a number of “special situations” that cause CGC to break from their default stance and differentiate newsstand comics as distinct census variants. I’ve written about these special situations extensively on this blog; a couple of the major “variant-worthy attributes” are (1) a difference in cover price between the types and (2) when the newsstand version is “mis-identified” by its UPC code as a different title than it actually is. [“Variant-worthy attribute” in this context means something about the comic that “elevates” it (in CGC’s eyes) to census-variant-status as opposed to falling under their default stance of pretending the newsstand and direct edition versions are the same and lumping them together.]

What About the “No Month” Attribute? Is It Variant-Worthy?  Should It Be?

When there is a “regular” version and a “no month” version, does that difference rise to the level of a “variant-worthy” attribute? As precedent, we saw earlier that CGC already “breaks out” the multi-pack copies of Wonder Woman v2 #1 as well as Batman #357 in order to differentiate them from their “regular” counterparts.

While both of those DC cases have a “regular” direct edition type that the no-month-variants could otherwise be confused with, and the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 does not — so there is certainly that difference in play — it is also the case that CGC’s default is to pretend that the newsstand and direct edition types are equivalent and to “lump them together”… And so, if they are lumped together into one “regular” entry, then isn’t the No Month Variant by extension effectively being differentiated not from the direct edition type (which after all isn’t separated), but from the “regular census entry” as a whole?

And if a No Month Variant should be differentiated from a “regular” census copy as reflected in their treatment of Wonder Woman v2 #1, then isn’t it a valid argument that CGC should also consider “breaking out” Whitman 3-pack copies of Spectacular Spider-Man #27 for this same reason/attribute, given that it too has no cover month??  I think this situation is ripe for brand-new census entries to be created — a new CGC-recognized “class” of variants is warranted — and I suspect that if the right person presented CGC with the request in person at a show (with example books in hand to illustrate the point), they might grant the request and elevate the “no month attribute” up to variant-worthy-attribute-status.

I already tried to ask CGC about this myself… I approached their Customer Service team with the question by email, presenting to them how the Wonder Woman books are already being “broken out” on census as “No Month” Variants as a precedent, and then I showed them how the very same attributes of (a) having been distributed in multi-packs and (b) having no cover month, were also exhibited by the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 variants. I fear I may have used too many words and pictures to explain what I was pointing out (you know me, dear reader, I can be verbose!), and they may have merely glanced through what I sent them and thought I was trying to once again encourage them to break out newsstand versus direct edition broadly (a case I’ve made to them in the past without success).  Because after weeks of follow-ups without a response, I finally received a very generic short boilerplate reply indicating that their policy is not to differentiate between newsstand and direct edition comics. At that point I gave up. But I think if someone else were to try making the case too, there is a good chance CGC could eventually be swayed.

On a related note, have you recently looked up CGC’s census entries for some of the “big event” late modern issues with lots of different cover variations? I happened to look up Amazing Spider-Man #800 the other day… Do you know how many variant census entries CGC has entered into their system for just this one issue? There are so many I lost count as I was scrolling down, so instead I did a “find-in-page” for the phrase “country/variant” and the browser tells me there are fifty nine instances of that phrase in the page (here is a link to a census lookup for ASM #800):

over-fifty-variant-covers-800

There are 59 “Country/Variant” instances for just this one individual issue, including A through F variations for just Dell’Otto variant covers alone.

If CGC is happy to input over fifty census variants for different covers of this one modern issue number in respect of the commercial benefits of doing so, I’d think they could spare a small number of entries for some 1970’s “No Month” variants, in respect of the interesting history behind these books and the fact that they are unmistakably physically different and discernable, and one of the two types has no cover month.

Plus, their main competition, CBCS, breaks them out as variants.  On this point, something I find amazing is that CGC is willing to invest sums of money into their “crossover” grading service (giving up a portion of their regular fee in order to lure customers into submitting books to CGC that are already graded by competitors), and yet, they won’t invest into labeling all newsstand and direct-sold comics distinctly, because of the cost to make that happen!?  During this year and last, I’ve submitted a great many books to CBCS over CGC purely because CBCS dignified those certain books with a variant label while CGC would not have.

I hope someone reading this will be inspired to try requesting of CGC yourself that they “break out” the “No Month” copies of Spectacular Spider-Man #27 and others like it (more in a bit on where to find others like it); I think that whenever there is a distinct census variant on record, it really helps people to realize they have a choice among different types they can collect for a given issue, when they might not have realized before that there was more than one type out there. More information is good for collectors and on account of their dominant status at present as the biggest grading company, CGC is looked to as a key authority for such information.

Anyone looking up a census entry to find out, for example, how many CGC 9.8’s there are on record for Spectacular Spider-Man #27, would, with a new census entry for the variant, then be able to see that there is another variant type out there which they can look for (something they may not have realized prior to doing the census lookup). And having a distinct census entry also draws attention to (and allows us to study) the relative rarity data between types. People would be able to see the number of variants submitted over time versus regular copies — which is important data that helps collectors make decisions. In fact, I’m about to refer to the census in exactly this way, in the next section.

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Relative Rarity of “No Month” / Pre-Pack / 3-Pack Variants

As a group, there are lots of these multi-pack-type comics out there. Coming across a multi-pack-type comic is not difficult in and of itself (we could say the same for other “categories” of comics that we love and collect, that coming across a member of that category is not difficult). But a more relevant question to our collecting decision-making when hunting for a particular issue that has multiple types we can choose to collect, is whether the multi-pack type is more rare than the regular copies (and by how much?). To study this question, let’s start with the Spectacular #27 example.

CBCS does “break them out” as variants but has not yet released their census at the time I am writing this, and absent a CGC census entry for the multi-pack version of Spectacular Spider-Man #27, how might we study their relative rarity compared to regular copies? Arguably the next best method of study is to take a look at the marketplace availability between the types. For example, as of this particular moment in time, when I do an eBay search on “Spectacular Spider-Man #27” and review all the listings that come up, I count 5 multi-pack-type copies, versus 129 regular copies. That’s roughly 1:25 or in percentage terms a smidge under 4% of marketplace copies.

With Wonder Woman v2 #1 and Batman #357, we fortunately do have CGC census data available for the multi-pack copies. There, for Wonder Woman there are 1,583 “regular” copies on record as of today, 15 CPVs, and 28 “No Month” Variant copies. That’s about 1:58 of the total CGC-graded copies on record for the issue number being the No-Month type or in percentage terms a smidge under 2% of census copies. And then over at Batman #357, the census records show 1,329 “regular” copies on record as of today, 19 CPVs, and 37 “Pre-Pack Edition” copies (the “No Month” ones). That’s about 1:37 of the CGC-graded copies on record being the No-Month type or in percentage terms a smidge under 3% of census copies.

So we appear to be looking at low-single-digit percentages here across the board of the three issues, for the percentage rarity of “aka No Month variants” versus total copies of the issue number out there. That’s a rarity level worth paying attention to, especially if it is the case that such copies are readily available on the marketplace unidentified as variants — i.e. where their owner is not clued in to there being anything different or special about their copy versus the rest. Is that the case?

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“Mis-Listed” Collecting Opportunity

I looked on eBay just now for each of the three books I’ve mentioned in this post, to see if I could find listings where the variant is pictured but meanwhile not identified in any way in the title or description, as being a variant. Sure enough, I quickly found examples for each one.

Here’s an active Wonder Woman v2 #1 listing showing a variant in the picture but not mentioning it as a variant in the listing title nor description:

mis-listed-wonder-woman-variant

A quick visual give-away is the logo box with its diagonal text; the variant is clearly pictured, but not mentioned in the listing title, nor in the description.

Here’s an active Batman #357 listing showing a variant, but not mentioning it in the title nor description:

batman-357-mis-listed-variant

The Batman variants are harder to spot because the logo box is a match to regular direct editions; here is one, but not mentioned in the listing title, nor the description, as being a variant.

The Batman variants are harder to spot among other listings, because the logo box is a match to regular direct editions; you may need to zoom in on listing pictures to enlarge the price box to reveal if the month is missing under the “No. 357”:

batman-357-no-month-zoom

And here’s an active Spectacular Spider-Man #27 listing, picturing the variant but not mentioning it in the title nor description:

spectacular-27-mis-listed-variant

With the diamond price box and the blank logo box, these are easy to spot.

So indeed, we have a marketplace situation where there are sellers out there who are not listing these more-rare copies as variants.  This could make them great candidates for collecting the variants at “regular price” from sellers who are unaware of the difference, but, there are also challenges … One which I already touched upon is that only two out of the three comics I’ve highlighted today have variant CGC census entries…  But there is also another challenge: I perceive there to be a “stigma” problem, which I’ll cover next, posing a challenge to this “class” of comics.

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Reprint Stigma

With each of the three example comics that I’ve presented here, I’ve found that there is a stigma problem ranging from minor to severe. I’ve personally only collected two of these three thus far to personally examine them with my own hands (the Batman #357 first and then the Spectacular Spider-Man #27); and when I acquired my Batman #357 I was 50/50 expecting to find a Second Printing indication in the indicia.  Because here’s the thing: while Mile High Comics lists it as a “NO MONTH” variant (not as a second printing)…

batman-357-no-month

… and while CGC catalogs the book together with the other 3/1983 copies without referring to it as a second printing, other sources I found out there have suggested it is actually a second printing.  For example, here’s MyComicShop’s listing which says “2nd printing – No month printed on cover”:

batman-357-multi-pack

MyComicShop’s listing says “2nd printing – No month printed on cover (sold in 3-pack with World’s Finest #289 and DC Comics Presents #55).

Something else suspicious is that there is no Atari insert, whereas all the other types have it. And an early marketplace copy I came across when I was first discussing these (in the blog’s comments forum) also held it out to be a second printing, in the listing title (“Batman #357 1983 DC Comic Book. First Appearance of Killer Croc Scarce 2nd Print”).

So when I collected my own “No Month” copy of Batman #357, I wasn’t fully sure what I was going to see when I turned to the indicia page. Would there be a second printing indication that CGC had somehow missed but MyComicShop caught?  I was pleased to find that indeed the book was published in March of 1983 with no indication in the indicia or elsewhere on the book that I could find that it was a second printing. Here’s an indicia photo of my copy:

batman-357-indicia

I presume that the Wonder Woman v2 #1 variant must have a 1st print indicia as well (I haven’t held that one in my hands yet to personally verify it), but, it too has a stigma problem, as I see it. Remember earlier I pictured the front and back of a multi-pack, with issues #1-3 all included?  Issue #3 wasn’t published until April.  And remember earlier I pointed out that the “logo box” on the No Month Variant copies is not a match to the regular direct edition copies of issue #1?

wonder-woman-1-logo-box

Left: regular direct edition; Right: “No Month” variant.

As it turns out, examining issues #1-7 of the title (regular direct edition copies), we find that the logo box style/contents that we see on the No Month Variant (“Who watches the Watchmen” in diagonal font) was not introduced onto regular direct edition copies until issue #7 in August; and for other titles too, like Batman, it was only introduced in August as well:

who-watches-the-watchmenbatman-who-watches-the-watchmen

In the Batman title, the diagonal “Who watches the Watchmen” style of logo box also doesn’t appear until 8/87 with issue #410.

For a 2/87 first print copy to have an attribute on it that we don’t see on other issues until 8/87, raises eyebrows and is reminiscent of the ThunderCats #1 Situation of what looks to have been an unremarked second printing (a situation which also involved multi-packs).

But this is not to say that later printings cannot be highly collectable (and sometimes more highly valued than 1st printings); in fact there are many such instances of later printings being much more sought after (and more highly valued) than the first printing. One example is Spider-Man #1 (1990) — of all the various versions that Overstreet lists in their guide, the one ascribed the highest value of all is “Gold 2nd printing w/UPC code”:

spider-man-1-2nd-print-value

Another example is Incredible Hulk #377:

hulk-377-3rd-printing-value

What these instances (and others like it) have in common, is that the later printing with the huge ascribed value number is more rare than the first print copies by some large degree (and then widespread awareness of that rarity difference is achieved throughout the hobby).

The Biggest Stigma of All

For the Whitman multi-pack Spectacular Spider-Man #27 we have a reprint stigma that is very strong, and seems to all trace back to Star Wars #1 — speaking for myself I can definitely say this is the case for me (i.e. the source of the stigma in my own collecting experience), and it appears I am not alone. For me, it was the “warnings” when hunting for 35¢ variant copies of Star Wars #1 that laid the groundwork for general distrust of the Whitman multi-pack version… because that version was to be avoided, as a “trick”.

No collector wants to inadvertently be swindled into buying a low-value reprint thinking it is really a 1st print Type 1 cover price variant! And the Whitman packs for Star Wars #1 were just that — a cautionary tale of something to know about in order to avoid it.  Because such copies carry that magic 35 cent price tag… and yet they are reprints.

Making matters even worse in the trickiness department, there exist different Whitman multi-pack reprint versions, one which says “Reprint” right smack on the front cover, and the other which indicates it is a reprint in the indicia (but not on the cover).

star-wars-1-whitman-types

Left: one Whitman pack version says “Reprint” right on the front cover, but the other does not (you have to look in the indicia)

Collectors have sometimes been fooled into thinking the above-right Whitman version is a true 1st print copy, because it doesn’t say Reprint on the cover. But when we look in the indicia of such a copy, we indeed see that it is unmistakably a reprint. To show this, I’m going to use an example listing from eBay where the listing includes a picture of the indicia:

star-wars-1-listing

In the screenshot above, you’ll see we have a Whitman multi-pack copy of the type that does not have the word Reprint on the cover. You’ll also notice that the seller has helpfully included multiple pictures of their offered copy, including a picture of the indicia page (the 4th picture along the bottom). Let’s download that 4th picture, shall we?

star-wars-1-whitman-indicia

Indeed, the indicia states, in ALL CAPS, “THIS IS A REPRINT OF A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ISSUE.”

star-wars-1-whitman-indicia-reprint

Because that information is buried in the indicia, many a collector have been fooled by these 35¢ Whitman-pack copies… even CGC has been fooled into mis-labeling such a copy as a 35 cent variant, with disastrous marketplace results (some poor person bid over $1000 for the below copy mis-labeled by CGC as a 35¢ variant!):

(More details and larger pictures of this epic labeling blunder here).

And there are even reports of people doctoring books to be even sneakier, by taking a Whitman pack copy, temporarily removing the staples, and then switching out the first wrap with that of a first print copy.  Sneaky stuff indeed.

With a history of collectors being swindled into buying Whitman pack copies of Star Wars #1 thinking they are buying the real 35 cent variant, it is no wonder Overstreet makes special mention in their guide that the true 35¢ cover price variant copies have the cover price in a square box and also have a UPC code box with code lines running through it (a collector might read that and make a mental note, steer clear of the blank boxes!). For Reprint copies, Overstreet describes that reprint copies will have “Reprint” in the upper left-hand corner or on the inside (as we just saw), and further describes that copies with price and number inside a diamond with no date or UPC are reprints:

With all this hammering of “avoid! avoid! avoid!” to help people steer clear of being tricked into buying low-value reprints, it is no wonder the Whitman pack copies have developed such a stigma. Speaking for myself, this situation most certainly had an impact on me in developing a bias against all Whitman pack copies in earlier collecting days, whether that extension to all was conscious or subconscious. And I’m clearly not alone, as per Miller:

“In my column in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1609, I discussed what had been a long-held misunderstanding by many collectors — that the so-called “Whitman” Marvels were all reprints. These were the copies with the issue numbers and prices in “fat diamonds”; Nick Pope’s excellent record of them is here. Shooter said the program was developed specifically for Western Publishing and its Whitman bagged edition program, and that they were definitely printed simultaneously with the Curtis newsstand editions. The only reprints are those that are labeled as such, like Star Wars adaptation copies.”

— John Jackson Miller, Star Wars Comics Sales History

So the “avoid-this-reprint stigma” is a definite challenge for this type of variant, and it was on my mind when my own copy of the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 variant first arrived in the mail. I honestly wasn’t 100% certain what I’d see inside, as there was a sliver of doubt in me, despite knowing that these should truly be 1st print copies. And of course, when I opened the book, there, thankfully, was a regular 1st print indicia — February 1979 and no indication anywhere of being a reprint.

spectacular-27-indicia

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Other “No Month” Variants

In this post I’ve highlighted just three specific comics, in introductory fashion. But there are many more like these, both among DC and among Marvel issues. For Marvel issues, I have a great site to send you to — the one Miller had mentioned in a quote earlier, as having been put together by Nick Pope. Here is a link to that site: Marvel Diamond Issues, 1977-1979.

He has done a great job of documenting — with pictures included — different issues with variants as well as the various different types of cover modifications (the Spectacular #27 example I talked about today, with its missing cover month, is just one of the various types — there are others which do have a month included).

And then for DC “No Month” variants, I haven’t yet seen a comprehensive list (chime in if you know of one!) but I’ve found that eBay is a great place to look, if you search on the right term. I’ve found that searching eBay on the phrase “Pre-Pack Edition” is practically useless… right now a search on that term generates just one single search result (and it is a Marvel issue, a Whitman multi-pack copy of Shogun Warriors #1). [CGC may want to consider changing their Batman #357 naming convention away from “Pre-Pack Edition” because the marketplace just isn’t using that term.]

pre-pack-edition-search

But there does seem to be enough marketplace awareness of “No Month” variants that a search of the Comics category on the phrase “No Month” produces a solid list of 78 results:

no-month-comics-search

Rather than picture them here and have you scrolling down forever, here is a direct link to bring you to the search results.

But of course, many sellers are out there listing these without “No Month” (and without other variant descriptors). So if this type of variant has intrigued you and you are thinking about collecting them, another strategy for collecting them is to pick an issue to hunt for, and then scour all the listings for that issue in search of instances where the seller has pictured a variant but does not realize what they actually own and therefore titles, describes, and prices their copy for sale at “regular price”.  When this strategy works (when you get the pictured book in the mail and not something else), it can get you in at a much lower cost basis than relying on a refined search.

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Happy Collecting!

These are some interesting variants, wouldn’t you agree?  The history is interesting to study, the comics are interesting to study, and there are quite a variety of different names people call them depending on who you ask and which issue you ask about.

Ever since the subject of “No Month” variants came up in the comments forum section of the blog, I’ve thought that maybe I should one day do a post about them that would add something interesting to what has already been published about them online by others, and ultimately I thought the idea of presenting the three main example variants I’ve covered today (Wonder Woman v2 #1, Batman #357, and Spectacular Spider-Man #27) would be an interesting approach given that each of them are separated in time by years and yet share the common attributes of (a) having been distributed in multi-packs, and (b) having no month on the cover.

These keys strike me as presenting both opportunity as well as challenges (the “reprint stigma” and for Spectacular #27 the current lack of a CGC variant census entry [but at least we have CBCS discerning them as variants]).

Placing the opportunity on one side of the scale and the challenges on the other, each collector may have their own personal scale tip in a different direction for these books; for me, the scale tipped toward wanting to collect both the Batman #357 and the Spectacular Spider-Man #27 thus far, and ever since I held them in my hands and snapped indicia photos of each, I’ve been thinking about making a post like this to share those pictures and to share the various thoughts I’ve presented today.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. 🙂

Happy Collecting!
– Ben p.s. I know I’ll be asked this by at least a couple of people after they read this post, so I’ll “pre-answer” the question: For the DC issues, do I prefer the “aka No Month” variant to the Canadian Price Variant newsstand copies? No way: I prefer the CPVs. But I was happy to collect my Batman #357 “aka No Month” copy too in addition to my 75¢ variant copy, because I was able to get in at a low cost basis by hunting for mis-listed opportunities.

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Canadian Newsstand Edition

CPV Census: Most Actives Table

By Benjamin Nobel, November 2019

Hi everyone, we have just published The 2020 CPV Price Guide for 1980’s Canadian Price Variants (Type 1A), which once again includes a fantastic Market Reports & Articles section featuring must-read reports from fellow guide collaborators as well as guest contributors.

My fellow collaborators have already done a great job discussing the state of the CPV market and presenting example sale highlights, so for my own report for this year’s guide I decided I would take a detailed look at one of the features we added last year (and included again this year): the Most Actives Table (ranking issues by the highest CGC census volume year over year). [This year I also co-authored a separate article for our Market Reports & Articles section which I hope you will check out too, The Quebec Effect.]

The Most Actives Table is basically a big data table with loads of numbers, and one of the reactions/feedback I received last year is that it was kind of overwhelming at first. So my hope is that by “walking through” the table and pointing out some data that surprised me (and why), it will help guide readers to see what this particular guide feature is useful for… And to start, let’s just review what the data columns are, by zeroing in on row #1 column #1 in the table: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8

actives-table-1

Looking at the above picture, I have highlighted Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 in a red box [note: in the actual guide, the title is a hyperlink which you can click, but in this post I’m using screenshots/images so they are not actually clickable]. Now let’s move to the next column:

actives-table-2

This next column contains the census counts [each year we’ve started working on our guide in July/August, so the census snapshots we’ve used have been from that timeframe — for last year’s guide the snapshot is from 8/21/2018, while for this year’s guide the snapshot is from 8/27/2019].

In the highlighted box you will see these two numbers: 13,321 and 117. Where did these two numbers come from? If you were to look up Secret Wars #8 on the CGC census online, you would see a census entry that has two sections — a top section which counts the “regular” copies (the ones with 75¢ cover price in this case) detailing the number of copies that have been through CGC’s doors for grading since their inception, and a bottom section which counts the Canadian Price Variant copies ($1.00 cover price in this case). Below is an annotated screenshot of the CGC census page for Secret Wars #8 to point out where the numbers in our Most Actives Table came from:

census-example

As you can see above, this is a screenshot illustrating what the CGC census page looks like for Secret Wars #8 on an online lookup: the top box in red shows the title, issue number, issue date and year, publisher, and then “Key Comments” (and “Art Comments”). Below that are the census counts for “regular” copies in various grades and at the bottom right of that section the one number we’re concerned with in regard to the Most Actives Table, is the box highlighted in red: the grand-total count of regular copies of the issue number that CGC has graded since the company’s inception. And then for the CPV section, we want that same grand-total copy count.

Thus for Secret Wars #8, the Most Actives Table is listing the 13,321 count of “regular” copies at 8/27/2019, and the 117 count of cover price variant copies:

actives-table-2

And already at this point we have some very interesting data, because we don’t just have one “lone number” but rather we have a pair of numbers that we can compare: As of August 27th of this year, CGC had graded thirteen thousand three hundred twenty one regular-cover-priced copies of Secret Wars #8, versus one hundred seventeen cover price variants.

We must remember that CGC-graded copies are just a small minority of the total copies out there; but much like election polling and television ratings are compiled by sampling the opinions/viewing-habits of a small portion of the public, similarly, comparing the regular-vs-CPV CGC census numbers can be illuminating for what they reveal about the relative rarity!

But while the numbers in the second column are great to know, the big-picture idea of the Most Actives Table is really all about that third and final column. And here’s how we get there: Last year, we took this very same “snapshot” of the census numbers for every issue in our guide … and now we have the numbers for this year. Which in turn lets us calculate how many copies have passed through CGC’s doors just in the past year:

actives-table-3

And this final column highlighted above, is really the “meat” of the Most Actives Table: we’re seeing that for Secret Wars #8, since the time of the census snapshot used in our last guide, a whopping 2,090 “regular” copies have hit the CGC census, along with 39 price variants. That “regular” copy count — the two thousand and ninety new “regular” copies that have hit the census in the past year — is a little bit like the number of votes in a year-long popularity contest. And this issue as a Venom Key has been the #1 most-popular-by-submission-volume book out of any other in our entire guide, both last year and this year. That’s worth knowing!

As an aside, something I find absolutely stunning to contemplate is the idea that every single one of those 2,090 newly-graded regular copies has to find a home (or, found one already during the course of the past twelve months). Said another way, there has to be collector demand out there for all 2,090 new graded copies. What percentage of those collectors who own those newly-graded copies are actually aware of the existence and appeal of the $1.00 cover price variant? After all, Overstreet has yet to list them in their guide (hence the “hole” that our guide fills)… so collector awareness about CPVs is likely still a very small percentage. Can you imagine the supply:demand imbalance that would ensue if each one of those collectors seeking Secret Wars #8 preferred to own the price variant instead of a regular copy? The way any collector of Star Wars #1 would prefer to own the 35¢ variant instead of the “regular” 30¢ cover priced version if given the choice? But I digress… let’s bring the conversation back to the Most Actives Table!

What we’re doing next in the table is then ranking the entire universe of CPVs covered in the guide, by how many new “regular” copies have been added to the CGC census in the past year. If we think of each new regular copy as being a “vote” in a year-long popularity contest, then the resulting table is basically the outcome of the popularity contest! In this way, it can teach us which issues are particularly “in focus” and being submitted in large numbers lately.

Last year, the top three on the list were Secret Wars #8, Amazing Spider-Man #252, and New Mutants #1 (movie buzz); while this year featured the same top two, but Thor #337 rocketed up the list to the #3 spot. In fact, looking at that Thor row, almost a third of all copies of Thor #337 ever graded were graded in the past year! And there was also a surge of CPVs submitted, almost as if some collectors or dealers had been sitting on a load of them and then decided to “cash them in” on all the buzz around Beta Ray Bill in the past year (Thor #337 features his 1st appearance and a “Modern Classic Cover” by Walt Simonson).

thor-337

And just as Thor #337 surprised me by the big increase in CPV copy count this year, I have also been surprised by two popular key issues that have seen shockingly small increases in CPV copy count, both this year and last year: Batman #404 (Frank Miller’s “Year One” storyline begins) and Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 (1st full appearance of John Constantine). In last year’s Most Actives table, Batman #404 caught my eye with zero year-over-year CPV submissions while Swamp Thing #37 had just three. And this year the shockingly-low numbers for these two CPVs continue:

batman-swamp-thing

WOW. We knew that Marvel was dominant in the 1980’s but I think the above really highlights something that I keep hearing over and over again from my fellow collaborators: a lot of the big DC CPVs are shockingly hard to find, especially when compared against Marvel.

For Batman #404 there are still just five CGC-graded CPVs on record to date to divide up amongst the entire collector base in this niche. You can count them all on one hand! That is stunning to me (there have got to be more out there than this… maybe there are a bunch out there “mis-labeled” by CGC or maybe collectors sent them to CBCS?). And Saga of the Swamp Thing #37, an even more highly-valued key, has just fourteen CGC-graded CPVs on record for us to all fight over. Furthermore, when we drill down into the census data, we see that the number of 9.8 price variant copies on record for each of these two particular books is zero. In both cases, 9.6 still remains the highest grade on record on the CGC census, for the price variant. WOW.

I really thought that “three guides in” for our CPV guide, and with many CPV sales examples above $1000, we would have seen collector awareness about CPVs increase enough that some of the more elusive variants I’ve been hunting for years and years in top grade would “come out of the woodwork” … but in so many cases, the census numbers for the variants remain minuscule! And so many still lack even a singular 9.8 census copy! So where the heck are these elusive DC books? Are there collectors out there quietly hoarding them without submitting any for grading? Or are they basically just not out there? I suppose time will tell!

Happy CPV collecting! 🙂 I hope reading this post helps you to now look at the most actives table with fresh eyes!

– Ben p.s. Fun fact: the very first CPV to appear on CGC’s census was Amazing Spider-Man #252 which appears in the July 2001 census snapshot (thanks to Greg Holland whose website has that 2001 snapshot!). A baby born on that date is now an 18-year-old adult able to vote!

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Standard
Australian Newsstand Edition

Australian Price Variants (“APVs”)

By Benjamin Nobel, September 22, 2019

CGC and CBCS now both label APVs as price variants

CGC and CBCS now both label APVs as price variants

Hi everyone, welcome to “Part III” of my coverage of Australian Price Variants (nowadays fondly called “APVs” by collectors). Time flies: I find it hard to believe it has been almost three years since I started working on “Part I” (an introduction to this type of variant using one specific key — New Mutants #98 (1st Deadpool appearance) — as the example comic) and over two years since I posted “Part II“, but here we are in September of 2019, knocking on the door of 2020… and a lot has happened since Part II (new APV information and events) that you should know about: so it is time for Part III, to catch you up! 🙂

The format of this post is bring you up-to-speed on a number of APV-related things I consider newsworthy, with the assumption that you’ve already previously read parts one and two for background (so please check those out if you did not read them originally).  I’m going to touch upon the positive CBCS and CGC labeling changes, the (ongoing) research efforts of Steve Cranch, an “APV Top Ten List” I compiled working off of Steve’s research, APV print run information brought to light by a local expert in Australia, APV discussions in Overstreet #49, the recent explosion in realized APV sales prices, and, finally, a bunch of interesting APV tidbits.

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CBCS & CGC Price Variant Recognition

We’ll start with the big news out of the top two grading companies, CBCS and CGC: the new labeling convention is to call these Australian Price Variants on the labels now — CGC will label this way as of May 2019 and CBCS began labeling this way as of October 2018. Here are some example labels:

spider-man-361-australian-price-variant-cgcaustralian-price-variant-cgc-labelnew-mutants-100-cbcs-australian

For both of the big grading companies to have started recognizing our variants as price variants on the labels is a huge step forward. The old labeling convention of “Australian Edition” while at least “breaking them out” distinctly on census, had improperly conflated these books with the actual Australian Editions that exist out there (i.e. local reprints from a completely different publisher); the new price-variant-labeling therefore helps collectors to better understand that the indicia (and interior pages) of Marvel’s 1990s APVs are 100% identical to the rest of the print run having been published in the USA by Marvel Comics as true first print copies, making APVs true variants of the original first printing! This new price variant labeling also means that third party auction sites like ComicLink will now list them as “Australian Price Variant” in their marketplace (because they go according to what is on the label); so overall this labeling change is a great step forward for APVs.

Remaining CGC confusion:apv-cgc-month-confusion

The only remaining slab-related confusion surrounds the cover month versus indicia month difference (recall from parts I&II that the cover month on the 1990-1994-batch of APVs is three months advanced from the indicia month): CGC originally had cataloged the variants into their census by the cover month and then, later, began to point out the indicia month on the right-hand side of the label. But we’ve noticed that newly-added census entries these days are being cataloged by the indicia month and the right-hand side of the label is being used to point out the variant cover price… I’d rather they were consistent and did them all the new way and go by the indicia month so I hope in time they will go back to the older entries and “move them over” to the indicia month in their system (because having some APVs cataloged one way and some the other way seems like it will be confusing to collectors).


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Steve Cranch’s (Ongoing) APV Research

Our hobby is incredibly lucky to have researcher Stephen Cranch among us contributing to our knowledge base. I had the pleasure of working with Steve — and seeing his superb research files — when we worked together on our issue guide to Pence Price Variants (Marvel & DC) last December. Let me tell you: Steve’s spreadsheets are amazing. So I was absolutely thrilled when Steve told me he was taking on the task of documenting APVs. Here’s a zoomed-out look of one of his APV sheets just to give you a sense:

Marvel Australian Price Variant Comic Book Research Spreadsheet, in progress, courtesy of Steve Cranch!

Marvel Australian Price Variant Comic Book Research Spreadsheet, in progress, courtesy of Steve Cranch!

To date (as of this writing) Steve has documented 1,091 confirmed APVs across 95 titles (and another 55 magazines across two titles, Conan Saga and Savage Sword of Conan); this list of what’s confirmed keeps growing so the list of comic books I’m about to share below will probably be out-of-date by the end of the week (if you can help fill in any of the gaps please let us know!), but at this particular snapshot in time here is the range of what might exist (left column) and what has actually been confirmed (right column):

[UPDATED the table below, November 2019 — now up to 1,269 confirmed APVs across 103 titles and another 72 confirmed APVs across 3 magazines!]

Title / Expected AUS Issue Range Confirmed AUS Priced Issues
2099 Unlimited (1-3) 1-2
Adventures of The X-Men / Adventures of Spider-Man (Flip-Book) (1-8) 3, 6
Alf (34-50) 35, 37-46
Amazing Spider-Man (340-385, 408-417) 341-384, 408, 410-417
Amazing Spider-Man Annual (1993 Only) (27) 27
Avengers (325-370, 395-402) 325-363
Avengers (1996) (1) 1
Avengers West Coast (63-102) 63-92
Barbie (1-35) 1, 3, 11-19, 21-25
Barbie Fashion (1-35) 1-3, 12-13, 35
Blaze: Legacy of Blood (1-2) 1
Bruce Wayne: Agent of Shield (1) 1
Cable (1-7, 28-37) 2-6
Cable – Blood and Metal (1-2) 1
Cage (1-20) 3-12
Captain America (378-423, 448-454) 378-423
Captain America (1996) (1) 1
Clive Barker – Ectokid (1-5) 1-2, 4
Clive Barker – Hokum & Hex (1-5) 1-3
Clive Barker – Hyperkind (1-5) 1-3
Clive Barker – Saint Sinner (1-4) 1-2
Conan The Barbarian (237-275) 237-248, 250-251, 253-254, 256-275
Conan Saga (43-82) 43-45, 47-49, 52, 55, 57-73, 75, 77-81
Conan the Savage (7-10) 7-10
Daredevil (285-324, 349-358) 285-314
Darkhold – Pages From the Book of Sins (1-16) 1-5
Disney Comic Hits (5-14) 13
Doom 2099 (1-13, 38-44) 1-12
Elektra (1) 1
Fantastic Four, The (345-384, 409-416) 345-367, 369, 371-374
Fantastic Four, The 1996 Series (1) 1
Gambit (1-2) 1
Generation X (12-21) 12-21
G.I. Joe (105-144) 105-143
Ghost Rider, The (6-45, 70-75) 19-29, 31-44
Ghost Rider Annual (1) 1
Ghost Rider / Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance (1-18) 1-12, 14-16
Incredible Hulk, The (374-413, 438-447) 374-412, 447
Incredible Hulk Annual, The (19) 19
Independence Day (0-2) 1
Infinity Crusade (1-6) 1-6
Infinity War (1-6) 2-6
Iron Man (261-300, 325-332) 261-299
Iron Man 1996 Series (1) 1
Lethal Foes of Spider-Man (1-4) 1-4
Marvel Tales (242-281) 242-280
Marvel Versus DC (2-3) 2-3
Midnight Sons Unlimited (1-4) 1
Morbius The Living Vampire (1-17) 1-12
New Mutants, The (94-100) 94-100
Nightstalkers (1-15) 1, 3-5
Night Thrasher (1-6) 1, 3-5
Night Thrasher: Four Control (1-4) 2-4
Punisher, The (41-86) 41, 43-81, 84
Punisher 2099, The (1-12) 1-10
Punisher Annual, The (6) 6
Punisher Holiday Special (1-2) 1
Punisher: The Origin of Microchip (1-2) 1-2
Punisher Summer Special (1-3) 3
Ravage 2099 (1-14) 1-12, 14
Ren & Stimpy Show, The (1-14, 39-44) 12-13
Sabretooth (1-4) 1, 3
Savage Sword of Conan (178-217) 178, 180-188, 190-216
Secret Defenders, The (1-11) 1-10
Sensational Spider-Man, The (1-10) 4-10
Silver Surfer (42-88, 113-122) 43-87
Silver Surfer Annual (1993 Only) (6) 6
Silver Surfer / Warlock: Resurrection (1-4) 1-4
Spectacular Spider-Man (169-208, 231-240) 169-207, 231, 234-238, 240
Spectacular Spider-Man Annual (1993 Only) (13) 13
Speed Demon (1) 1
Spider-Boy (1) 1
Spider-Man 1990 (3-42, 65-74) 32, 34-37, 39, 41, 65, 67-74
Spider-Man 2099 (1-15, 40-46) 1-15, 42-46
Spider-Man Classics (1-10) 1-9
Spider-Man Unlimited (1-3, 11-14) 1-3
Star Trek Voyager (1) 1
Stryfe’s Strike File (1) 1
Tekworld (1-17) 1-4, 7
Thor, The Mighty (424-470, 495-502) 425-469
Thor, The Mighty Annual (18) 18
Thunderstrike (1-4) 1-3
Transformers (71-80) 71-80
Transformers: Generation 2 (1-3) 1
Uncanny X-Men (269-308, 329-338) 269-307, 329-338
Uncanny X-Men Annual (17) 17
Venom, Funeral Pyre (1-3) 1-3
Venom, Lethal Protector (1-6) 1-6
Venom, The Madness (1-3) 1-2
Warlock Chronicles (1-6) 1-6
Web of Spider-Man (69-108) 69-108
Web of Spider-Man Annual (9) 9
What If… (18-57, 82-91) 18-39, 41-56, 84-91
Wolverine (32-77, 98-107) 48-56, 58-76, 98-107
Wolverine and The Punisher: Damaging Evidence (1-3) 1-3
X-Factor (59-98, 119-128) 59-97, 119-128
X-Factor Annual (8) 8
X-Force (1-30, 51-60) 1, 3-29, 51-60
X-Force Annual (2) 2
X-Man (12-21) 12-21
X-Men (1-28, 49-58) 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2-26, 49-58
X-Men Annual (2) 2
X-Men 2099 (1-4, 29-35) 1-3
X-Men Adventures (1-15) 1-14
X-Men Unlimited (1-3, 10-12) 1-2
X-Patrol (1) 1

At this point we’re probably years away from being able to do a similar full issue guide to APVs, like the work we did for Pence variants. But, Steve’s research is to a point where we have a pretty good idea of all the variants that might be out there. And based on that universe of issues, I gave a shot at compiling an APV Top Ten list, something that collectors have been asking me for and I’m happy to now supply!


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The 2019-2020 Top 10 Australian Price Variants

So here’s what I’ve done: This list is not based on APV sales data… in a perfect world it would be, but the reality is that there are so few of these APVs out there that as far as sales data is concerned there just isn’t enough of it.

Instead, I’ve taken the following approach: based on the universe of issues Steve has uncovered to date, I looked up all the corresponding OPG #49 “baseline values” in 9.2 to determine a list of the top most highly valued issues that could have APVs (i.e. either confirmed or possible). Overstreet is still arguably our hobby’s biggest name today in the Price Guide sector so I figured this was the best starting point.

But, because I find that Overstreet isn’t always on the mark, I next took those top identified issues and I next looked up two “second opinion” guide values for each issue as well, using both ComicsPriceGuide and ComicBase values in NM. Interestingly, the values sometimes varied widely — the 1st appearance of Infinity Gauntlet for example is valued in OPG #49 at $80 in 9.2 while ComicBase only has it worth $50 in 9.4. Given the range of opinions, I used the average of all three price guides to then rank the issues by highest to lowest baseline average guide value. Here are the resulting Top 10 APVs for 2019-2020 (and runners-up) from this exercise:

#1: New Mutants #98 (1st appearance of Deadpool)
#2: Amazing Spider-Man #361 (1st appearance of Carnage)
#3: Transformers #80 (Scarcer final issue)
#4: (UNCONFIRMED) Alf #48 (I hadn’t encountered this issue before but all guides are giving it a high value due to a “risque” cover of Alf holding a seal — one listing I saw called it the “seal love” issue; the APV is still UNCONFIRMED as of this writing)
#5: Silver Surfer #44 (1st appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet)
#6: Iron Man #282 (1st appearance of War Machine)
#7: Transformers #79 (2nd to last issue in title)
#8: Transformers #78 (3rd to last issue in title)
#9: Conan the Barbarian #275 (Scarcer final issue; Overstreet lists as Low Print)
#10: Amazing Spider-Man #344 (1st appearance of Cletus Kasady)

Selected Runners Up (in no particular order):

• What If #49 (What If Silver Surfer Possessed The Infinity Gauntlet)
• X-Force #11 (1st appearance of Neena Thurman as Domino)
• Amazing Spider-Man #360 (Carnage cameo)
• Amazing Spider-Man #345 (Cletus Kasady)
• New Mutants #100 (1st X-Force)
• Silver Surfer #45 (Origin of the Infinity Gems)
• Uncanny X-Men #282 (1st appearance of Bishop)
• Transformers #71-77 (Last issues in title; #76 still UNCONFIRMED as of this writing)
• G.I. Joe #139-144 (New Transformers; #144: Origin of Snake Eyes; 143-144 still UNCONFIRMED as of this writing)
• Amazing Spider-Man #362-363 (Carnage)
• Amazing Spider-Man #365 (1st appearance of Spider-Man 2099)
• X-Force #19 (1st Copycat)
• Incredible Hulk #377 (1st all new Hulk)
• Venom: Lethal Protector #1
• Amazing Spider-Man #346-347, #375 (Venom)
• Uncanny X-Men #183 (Bishop)
• X-Force #15
• Silver Surfer #50
• Incredible Hulk #376 (Green vs Gray)

The above runners-up list would have also included X-Force #2 (2nd Deadpool appearance) except for a find from Paul Nicholls which I’ll share later in the “APV tidbits” section of this post, which is pictures of X-Force #2 with a price sticker, strongly suggesting there may not have been printed price variant copies of that one.

Before we move to the next section (on print runs), here are some example pictures from the Top 10 and Runners Up!





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Australian Price Variant Print Runs

⚠️Orange Cat Warning⚠️ — Did you know that only 20% of orange cats are female? (Read more!) In this next section there will be some discussion of rarity estimates for both Australian Price Variants and Canadian Price Variants; if you are “allergic to cats” (if this kind of comic book rarity discussion offends you), you may want to avert your sensitive eyes and skip to the next section.

“Don’t miss the forest for the trees.”
I mentioned this philosophical quote in a past post, The Orange Cat Phenomenon; it fits perfectly here too

At the time of my Parts I & II posts, APV print run information was unknown. But we did have a lot of information that squarely pointed to their relative rarity, such as: (1) we knew APVs were exclusive to Australian newsstand distribution, (2) we knew Australia represented just 5.8% of the newsstand market size by population using 1990 population data for the USA, Canada, and Australia, and (3) various comic book experts have provided the hobby with Newsstand Rarity Discussions & Estimates which all pointed to the fact that by the 1990’s, the vast majority of Marvel’s sales were Direct Edition copies (as opposed to Newsstand copies).

Based on the above points, both myself and Overstreet Advisor Bill Alexander had independently come up with some estimates for APV rarity at time of original distribution. For example, with regard to point #2 (market size difference by population), we put ourselves in Marvel’s shoes and concluded that when sizing the print run batch to be sent to Australia, Marvel was much more likely to be motivated by the number of people who could be potential customers, versus, say, some random irrelevant stat like the number of Sugar Maple trees in the country. In this exercise, Marvel’s x-ray-vision-superpower is to be able to see wallets. And wallets reside in the pockets of customers; customers are people; and people make up the population. Point being: both Bill and I independently concluded it was prudent and reasonable to use the market size difference by population as one of our main “guideposts” along the path to understanding the likely rarity.

Many comic book experts have done a similar population-size-informed analysis when it comes to Canadian Price Variants — for example, the legendary Doug Sulipa (Senior Overstreet Advisor since guide #2 in 1972), who is among the biggest experts you could possibly ask for when it comes to comic books (and with expert local knowledge too being based in Canada), has done Canadian Price Variant estimation work where he takes ~10% of the print run for Canada — corresponding directly to the population size difference — in his CPV rarity analysis:

Canadian Price Variant Rarity Explanation by Doug Sulipa:


Source: Canadian Newsstand Cover Price VARIANTS 2018-2019 Market Report

I find it interesting, that in the eight years since I made my very first blog post, I’ve had the opportunity to see a spectrum of collector reactions to discussions like Doug’s CPV rarity estimates above, and discussions like my own (and Bill’s) APV rarity estimates… On the one hand, there are those collectors who love seeing thoughtful estimations like these and they see the forest … they get the “big picture” and nail the take-away.

The take-away such readers of my Part I and II APV posts would have gotten was: APVs are a clearly-more-rare-than-regular-copies-by-some-wide-margin 1st print variant that, with time and effort, can be acquired in the marketplace at “regular price” when sellers do not realize what they own. In other words, readers falling into the “seeing the forest” end of the spectrum would have gotten the key point I was trying to make: that APVs were low-hanging-fruit for the “Two Ways To Win” collecting approach that I’ve been advocating / harping on for years on this blog. (If you’re going to collect a given issue anyway, why not have two potential ways to win instead of just one?)

On the other hand, on the other end of the spectrum, there are some collectors out there who get so focused on the trees that they miss the bigger picture… they miss the whole forest. Such a tree-focused reader might stop at some detail — some tree — such as a given newsstand:direct-edition percentage/split number given by an industry expert and ask in outrage: how could anyone possibly know that the figure is precisely 50% newsstand in 1985 or 15% newsstand in 1990? Why not 14% in 1990? Or 16%? Or 20%?

The Internet is full of anonymous critics and trolls.  If you have been told you are an Internet Troll but are honestly not sure why, click here and press play to listen to something important.

The Internet is full of anonymous critics and trolls. If you have been told you are an Internet Troll but are honestly not sure why, click here and then press play to listen to something important.

Such a person tends to easily get caught up in some detail — some tree — like how even though there is a massive population difference looking at the US Census / World Bank population data, we don’t actually know the per-capita comic book consumption difference… In other words, we don’t know if Australian citizens on average consumed more or fewer (or equal) newsstand comics, versus US citizens (or Canadian citizens). Someone even once forwarded me a counter-argument they saw posted online against CPV rarity estimations — and I swear I’m not making this up — where the anonymous critic argued that while it is true Canada has only about 10% of the population of the USA they produce more maple syrup in Canada than over in the much-larger-by-population USA and therefore the very idea of using population as a guidepost to thinking about the likely difference in comic book distribution quantities between the two countries is off-base! (I kid you not, someone actually made this maple-syrup-production argument and it appeared not to be just a joke!)

Point being: for some small portion of collectors out there, rarity estimates — even exceptionally reasonable and thoughtful ones — are just never going to be good enough. And that’s why it is so exciting that a local expert in Australia has emerged, with actual, known, APV print run information! I’ll share his information in a moment, but first, let’s re-visit my own estimate (and Bill’s) that we penciled out back in 2016 when working on the Part I post about New Mutants #98, and lets “see how we did” with our estimations, versus the newly released / now-known print run information. A lengthy discussion about how I approached the likely rarity culminated with this ultimate conclusion/estimate:

“According to this source, New Mutants #98 had a print run of 275,000 copies. Apply our estimated variant percentage range just discussed, and we’d be in the neighborhood of 2,400 to 7,200 copies with the variant $1.50 AUS cover price. [By the way, Bill Alexander shared with me that he independently arrived at his own estimate for this issue, of 3,225 copies]. And this is before considering buyer behavior — that notorious-newsstand-destruction-rate variable would be in play with these.”

So that’s what we had each independently penciled out back then, as our estimates: Bill independently came in at 3,225 and the midpoint of my 2,400 to 7,200 range was 4,800.

How did Bill and I do compared to “the answer”? Enter Joseph Italiano, of Alternate Worlds, in Australia! We had an incredibly informative discussion in the Comments Forum section of my Part II post, where Joseph had shared with us this article he published, which we then discussed at length.

Bottom line: The actual print run numbers for AUS variants according to Joseph Italiano were between 2000 and 4000 copies per book — information which is based not only upon information received from his Marvel rep and the distributor (“NDD”) at the time, but also because there were certain issues where Joseph himself personally ordered the entire run (wow!), so thus would be personally-1st-hand-knowledgeable about just how many APV variant copies were shipped to Australia because for certain issues he bought them all! (Impressive!!)

So there you have it: we no longer need to rely on estimates for APV rarity, because we now have actual print run information shared by a local expert. It turns out Bill’s estimate of 3,225 was so close to the later-revealed real numbers it is almost uncanny! And my own range was not too shabby either! 🙂 Some readers will surely conclude that’s because we were thoughtful and reasonable in our estimation work; others might say we both just had a “lucky guess” or that a stopped clock is right twice a day… but either way, I’m thrilled that we (as a hobby) have the fortune to have moved past “just estimates” to now have actual known print run information shared by a local expert.

I’d encourage you to read Joseph’s full article, and here in this post I’ll touch upon just one of the other key pieces of information he revealed: when it came to the manufacturing, the APVs were collated first, before the other types (before the US newsstand and Direct Edition types). The main reason for this, as he explains in the article, is because of the long shipping time: they needed to print the APV batch first in order to rush them off to the boat!

“The APV books were collated first, before any other editions. This was so the lag time between US editions release and Australian edition release would be reduced. As soon as these books were printed, they were shipped, while the regular US editions were yet to be completed. … Print runs for APV for the Australian newsstand market was 2000-4000 per book.”
— Joseph Italiano, Alternate Worlds, Australian Price Variants: What Are They?

For anyone out there who still looked at the three-month-advanced cover month we see on APVs and doubted the indicia, this information from Joseph should put to rest any concerns about whether APVs truly have an equal claim compared with the other types, of being true first-print copies — and in fact, some might argue that APVs have even more of a claim as first print copies having been completed and put on a boat before the other types were yet to be completed! (Personally, I still go by the indicia and thus consider APVs and each of the other 1st print types to all have “equal claim” on being first print originals, and thus variants of the first printing).


That 2000-4000 known print run information shared by Joseph is really a huge APV milestone, wouldn’t you agree? Because there’s no doubt about it: known amounts shared by an in-the-know expert are more compelling than even the most thoughtful of estimates, because at the end of the day, there will always be some collectors who detest estimates due to the unknowns. So, this new APV information shared by Joseph Italiano is great news and an absolutely huge milestone… and big news even for those of us who already had reached the correct collecting conclusion based on thoughtful estimates.

Of course, we’ll still need to use estimates if we want to come up with likely numbers for the surviving APVs of a given issue. In Doug Sulipa’s Canadian Price Variant rarity walkthrough shared earlier, he had pegged newsstand survivorship at 25%, and then of those survivors had pegged 10% in strict VF or better. But over in Australia, it is possible the newsstand survival rate was even lower, according to Joseph Italiano who says, “… most newsstand sales were to casual readers. The remaining non-sold copies were pulped. Estimates (depending on title) suggest that most books had a survival rate of 5%-10% and those that did survive are usually in low grade condition.”

Using a more-conservative 25% survival rate against the 2000-4000 copies initially distributed would bring us to a range of 500-1000 survivors; a 10% survival rate would bring us to a range of 200-400; at a 5% survival rate we’d be down to just 100-200. So we’re talking about likely typical survivorship numbers here in the hundreds of copies per APV issue. Another helpful tool will be the CGC census (and CBCS census when it gets released): it will be interesting to watch the APV census numbers accumulate over time. Right now, as of this writing, Amazing Spider-Man #361 for example has 14 APV copies on record to date in VF-and-higher; New Mutants #98 has 19 APV copies on record to date in VF-and-higher.

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Overstreet #49 APV Discussions

The Overstreet #49 guide, in addition to helping me in the Top Ten exercise earlier, provided some interesting Australian Price Variant discussions in the Market Reports section. For one, Tim Bildhauser, International Comic Specialist at CBCS, wrote about the CBCS decision to begin labeling Type 1A price variants with price variant labels (reiterating what was said in CBCS’s October announcement), and in addition, Tim also wrote the following about APVs:

“I’ve seen growing interest in the Canadian, Australian, & U.K. price variants, especially on keys. There were two Australian price variant copies of New Mutants #98 that sold this year that broke the $1,000 price point.”
— Tim Bildhauser, Overstreet #49 Market Report

A lot of people read Tim’s reports; now those readers know New Mutants #98 APVs have been fetching big premiums over direct editions. In the OPG #49 market reports section we also heard from Senior Overstreet Advisor Jon McClure (whose reports are another in the “don’t-miss” category), who issued an updated version of his Type 1A Price Variant definition — among other things, the updated version clarifies that APVs are indeed intended to be included in the Type 1A category (missing or different cover dates are now explicitly allowed). Jon also went on to say as follows:

“First printing Type 1A single priced Australian price variants exist for Marvel comics published between October 1990 to January 1994 and February 1996 to November 1996 inclusive. The majority of titles produced by Marvel during this period are believed to have Australian priced copies. The confirmed range for Amazing Spider-Man is issue #341 to #384, #408 and #410 to #417. A $4.75 Australian priced Annual #27 also exists making 54 books for that title alone.

The Australian copies produced 1990-1994 have amended cover dates that are three months later than their US counter-parts to account for the shipping time to Australia. The indicia are unchanged, meaning the Australian price variant for an issue published in October of 1990 will carry a cover date of January; an issue published in January 1994 will carry a cover date of April. CGC catalogs the variants by their cover dates instead of the indicia dates but also mentions the indicia date on most labels.

The Australian price variants were printed on the same presses at the same time as their other first print counterparts, so this catalog date versus actual publication date disparity should hopefully not create the false impression that the price variants with different cover dates are reprints. The later 1996 price variant copies meanwhile have the same cover dates as their US counterparts.

The Australian Type 1A price variants are as legitimate as their Canadian and UK Pence price variant cousins. Although they are less well known with few collectors currently seeking them out, I expect that to change. People collect what they know about, and Marvels are the most pursued comics in the hobby.

Three example Australian Type 1A price variant keys are New Mutants #98 (2/91 indicia; May cover date), Amazing Spider-Man #361 (4/92 indicia; July cover date), and Iron Man #282 (7/92 indicia; October cover date).”
— Jon McClure, Overstreet #49 Market Report

Hearing Jon state that APVs are “less well known with few collectors seeking them out” (but he expects that to change) should definitely make those of us who have a multi-year head start on collecting these (those of us who “saw the forest”) feel great about what we’ve been able to accumulate into our collections! Especially our wins on books that were “mis-listed” (where the Australian seller did not realize they owned anything different or special and priced their listing for sale at “regular price” in line with the going rate for the prevalent direct edition)!


But those mis-listed collecting opportunities in the APV niche are getting fewer and further between… and those of us who hunt for them are probably feeling increasingly willing to pony up a premium to land an elusive variant we’ve been hunting for. And that brings me to the next section, the recent explosion in realized sales prices for APVs. Tim Bildhauser had made reference to New Mutants #98 in his OPG #49 report, mentioning how two New Mutants #98 APVs had broken through the $1000 mark; and recently I searched eBay’s sold listings section on a search for “Australian Price Variant” to look for other sales examples, and in the next section I’ll share what I found.

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Recent explosion in APV realized sale prices

A recent search on eBay’s sold listings section over at eBay.com.au for the search term “Australian Price Variant” revealed a number of recent sales at realized prices that represent premiums that have exploded past direct edition comps. Here is a screenshot (prices shown in the screenshot below are in Australian dollars — for reference, at the current exchange rate today, $500 Australian dollars converts to about $340 US dollars):

To summarize what is shown in the screenshot above:
Venom Lethal Protector #1 (described as NM) = AU $500.00
Amazing Spider-Man #361 (described as NM-) = AU $350.00
Transformers #80 (described as VF) = AU $200.00
New Mutants #100 (described as VF/NM) = AU $150.00
Amazing Spider-Man #362 (described as NM-) = AU $120.00
Amazing Spider-Man #363 (described as NM) = AU $100.00
Amazing Spider-Man #345 (described as NM-) = AU $100.00
Amazing Spider-Man #365 (condition unspecified) = AU $80.40

Those are some strong recent realized prices there for the APVs relative to where direct editions of the same issues in the same grades have been selling! For instance, for comparison, here’s a recent direct edition comp for the Venom in grade described as NM+:

Comparing the recent Venom sales for the APV versus the direct edition, it occurs to me that the APV has exploded past the direct edition by such a degree that perhaps what we should really start comparing the APV against is the “black cover” / error copies, which OPG #49 lists at a $600 value in NM- and in Near Mint and higher frequently sells for quite a bit more these days… such as this recent comp below:

venom-1-black-misprint-sale

Isn’t it remarkable that in the past two years we’ve seen APVs go from low-hanging “two-ways-to-win” fruit — with variants obtainable in the marketplace at “regular prices” — to a situation where the Venom #1 APV is actually chasing the black cover error variant copies in recent sale value? Where will we be in another two years, or another five, should Jon McClure’s “I expect that to change” prediction about low APV awareness comes true?

With grading company recognition, newfound print run knowledge reflecting a minuscule “supply side of the equation,” and continued growing collector awareness of the existence and appeal of APVs, it sure seems likely that the “demand side of the equation” will only grow as time passes. Low supply + growing demand certainly explains the strong realized APV sales prices we continue to witness.

In fact, even in the time during which I’ve had this very post “in draft” I am seeing more sales that are noteworthy enough they should be mentioned! Here are a few new ones from 9/20:

australian-price-variants-9-2019

X-Force #1 (described as VF+) = AU $150
Amazing Spider-Man #375 (described as VF-) = AU $120
Spectacular Spider-Man #189 (described as VF) = AU $80


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And now for some cool APV tidbits!

The Silver Surfer #50 $1.50 APV cover price was an error

Sharp-eyed collectors may have noticed that the APV for Silver Surfer #50 is actually the same as its “regular” counterpart, at $1.50 in both cases:

silver-surfer-50-apv-vs-us

So what happened? Joseph Italiano supplied the answer: “Short version, it’s an error. They forgot to change the price to the Australian equivalent. The local distributor still gets their percentage, but Marvel makes less.”

X-Force #2 with Australian price sticker

X-Force #2 has to date remained UNCONFIRMED as an APV; and Paul Nicholls recently discovered and shared this X-Force #2 Direct Edition with AUS Price/Month Sticker, strongly suggesting that a printed price variant version of this particular issue may not exist (they may have just used direct edition copies and slapped these stickers on them… but keep looking for the APV in the wild because who knows, still a small chance it might exist in tandem, we’ve seen bigger comic book surprises before!):


Keep your eyes out for Double Covers!

Double covers are a fun manufacturing-error rarity to look out for in general, where CGC will add a special remark on the label. The intersection of one type of rare occurrence (double cover) with APV rarity, makes for possible-one-of-a-kind-level rarity… And Paul Nicholls had the great luck of finding one of these special copies for Amazing Spider-Man #345!:

X-Men #1 variations

“Regular” copies of X-Men #1 were released with four different cover artwork variations… and it turns out APVs were also given the same variety of covers:




X-Force #1 with trading cards

X-Force #1 was manufactured in a sealed plastic bag, with different trading cards inside, and the APVs were done the same way — Paul Nicholls has confirmed that he has seen APVs with five different trading card versions, including Deadpool.

Neat side-tidbit: many of Marvel’s comics of this time period were printed in Canada — not just APVs but the entire print run (direct editions and regular newsstand copies included). X-Force #1 makes for a particularly visible example of this, because instead of needing to look in the indicia for that information, we can see “Printed in Canada” right on the outside of the bag in the lower right corner.

We now know what newsstand markings “N2” etc. mean

Joseph Italiano provided the answer on this mystery: “G’Day all, the “N#” was not done by the distributor, but by the average newsagency (retailer). Australian newsstands sell US, UK and Australian magazines. Cover months are pretty much useless as an indicator as to when to return the books, since most foreign books come via sea (2 month journey). It was standard (before the Marvel price variants), for the newsgency to write a “return date” on cover of the magazines. The return date was a basic code. The letter “N” refers to the distributor the book is to be returned to (NDD in this case), (there are multiple newsagency distributors) and the “number” was the month the book was to be returned. Old habits die hard. (FYI: Original Australian comics rarely had dates or even issue numbers. The newagency return code is one of the few ways to actually date a book)! Despite that fact that one of the major reasons the AUS variants changed the cover month and price to avoid newsagencies writing on the book, it usually did not work.”

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That’s it for Part III! I hope you have enjoyed this update on Australian Price Variants! If you can help turn any of the “Unconfirmed” examples into “Confirmed” please do let us know!

Happy Collecting! 🙂
– Ben

Standard
Canadian Newsstand Edition, Direct Edition vs. Newsstand Edition Comic Books, Growing Newsstand Awareness

CPV Discussions In Overstreet #49 Market Reports

overstreet-guides

8/4/2019

Last week I got my copy of the Overstreet Price Guide (OPG) #49. I have fond memories of using the Overstreet guides as a kid to value my childhood collection from year to year, but the truth is that as an adult this is only the 3rd OPG I’ve acquired since I got re-hooked on comic book collecting back in 2003 (my 2003 plan to sell off my childhood collection “backfired” as it ultimately got me instead re-hooked on the hobby!).

The first OPG guide I acquired as an adult was a used copy of #40 which I picked up several years ago for the sole purpose of reading Jon McClure’s variant article on a recommendation from Bill Alexander (this was before I met Jon and before he put his article online); I next bought OPG #48 in order to have the market reports in print written by my fellow CPV guide collaborators where they would be mentioning our guide; and I bought #49 for the same reason — but across these past two consecutive years of buying the Overstreet guide to read my collaborators’ market reports, I’ve come to really enjoy reading the full market reports section!

But absent these above reasons, I don’t think I’d be acquiring new OPG guides; and I know there are many collectors out there who don’t bother buying the OPG guides anymore but instead simply check sold listings on eBay/etc. to gauge issue values. I even had a conversation not long ago with an eBay buyer who won one of my listings, where we had gotten into chatting about comics (as so often happens), and I had casually mentioned how the variant they had won from me wasn’t even listed in Overstreet yet. Their reply? “What’s Overstreet?” I kid you not! So for those out there reading my blog who might not be picking up Overstreet these days, I thought I’d make this post to share some short selected excerpts that relate to CPVs, and I’d recommend eventually picking up a copy of the Overstreet guide just to access all these wonderful reports in full!

In last year’s market reports section, I thought there was some particularly great discussion of the Newsstand vs. Direct Edition distinction, prompted in part by CBCS becoming the first of the two main grading companies to “break out” the types distinctly. This year, I was wondering what kind of buzz there would be surrounding CPV’s in the market reports following CBCS becoming the first of the two main grading companies to formally recognize Type 1A price variants as price variants on their labels (CGC finally started doing the same in May, which I expect will be discussed in next year’s Overstreet market reports!). And indeed, there were some great CPV discussions and mentions this year! I’d like to discuss a few selected excerpts:

Conan Saunders, MyComicShop / Lone Star Comics

“We received multiple mentions of the growing recognition of Canadian price variants, including a request that Overstreet provide more coverage of Mark Jeweler, Whitman, and Canadian price variants. We have expanded coverage of these variants within our own inventory database and have done well with them.”
— Conan Saunders, Lone Star Comics; OPG #49 page 209

And later, on page 210, in the section written by Buddy Saunders, he specifically mentions that Lone Star Comics will be expanding their selection of Canadian (as well as U.K.) variants! Some of you might remember a collection from many years back that had appeared on MyComicShop which had some stunning-condition CPVs in it — if memory serves it had been called the “WaWa Collection” and it featured NM-range copies of many issues that I’d been hunting for in high grade for years but had never found until that collection went up for sale — and for many of those issue numbers I haven’t seen copies in such high grade ever since!

I don’t know how they ever found that collection but I know that MyComicShop has a reputation for having an extensive network of buying partners… So the thought of MyComicShop actively looking for more great CPV collections makes me excited! 🙂 I for one still have so many variants that I’ve yet to land (or even set eyes on), and others in my collection that I’d love to be able to upgrade, and I’m sure many of you out there are in the same boat… so I hope MyComicShop succeeds in shaking some great CPV’s “out of the woodwork” for all of us, through their collection-buying efforts! But as hopeful as I am that they’ll succeed in sourcing some great new CPVs for their catalog, I also find myself wondering where they’ll actually find them?

Another market report, written by Jay Halstead of “ICE” (icomicexchange.com), described just how things have changed as far as CPV availability — and my own experience hunting for “mis-listed” variants is in-line with what Jay describes, where it used to be the case that with patience I could consistently find CPVs where the seller did not realize they owned a variant, listed their variant for sale as a “regular” copy (no indication anywhere in the title or description that the book was a variant, but the picture clearly showed the price variant) and then priced their CPV copy for sale at “regular price”… but over the years (and especially in the last year) such opportunities have become fewer and further between. Here’s a couple of excerpts from what Jay had to say (and I’d encourage you to read his full report for more details!):

Jay Halstead, ICE

“… [T]he difference between when I started [collecting CPVs] and the last year or so is, now, I look for high grade and WOW, what a difference. You’d think these were part of collections and would be attainable, but I’m telling you, they’ve really dried up in grade! I go through every bin, every box at many cons, and they are still readily available in VG, but in better than VF+ they are nowhere! Now I know a lot of this has to do with hoarding, and holding out until collectors/dealers feel they’ve gained enough value that they can start salting them out into collectors’ hands again, and I would believe that if I weren’t a dealer and getting into rooms before everybody else does. I’m going through dealer inventories when the lids are just being taken off the boxes and there isn’t anything to buy! I believe we (Canadians in general), just took them for granted, at least I know I did. Now that there is demand from south of the border, I’m looking at possibilities I have to start paying real money for some of these (I’ve always paid no more or no less for Canadian price variants, now, on keys anyways, there is at least a 20-50% mark-up everywhere I go)!”
— Jay Halstead, ICE; OPG #49 page 125

Wow: that’s some excellent “boots on the ground” insight there from Jay! Another report, from Marc Sims of Big B Comics, echoed the strong demand out there for CPVs: Marc talked about how in his prior report he had mentioned having boxes-worth of availability of Canadian Price Variants and was immediately inundated with calls and emails as soon as the prior guide was released! That small mention was ultimately the equivalent of an advertisement, generating such strong interest, but what Marc wrote in this year’s report — excerpted below — reveals that collectors were hoping there were keys in those boxes, but that those boxes aren’t filled with keys:

“Canadian Price Variants (CPVs) continued to show strong demand both at home and to collectors in the US. I casually mentioned in last year’s report I have boxes and boxes of CPVs (still true) and was immediately inundated with calls and emails as soon as the Guide was released. Unfortunately most collectors were laser focused on just the big keys, which pretty much sell as soon as I get them, but I am seeing a few more CPV completists these days. Hats off to them I say, as that is a major undertaking and a good life goal.”
— Marc Sims, Big B Comics; OPG #49 page 216

Jim McCallum of Guardian Comics also mentioned strong CPV demand in his report, and I really liked how he called them “natural variants” (contrasting against the great many manufactured rarities we see these days). He also referenced the general Newsstand vs. Direct Edition distinction broadly, which I feel is a huge “mega-trend” that will naturally produce increasing numbers of CPV collectors — i.e. since there are more and more newsstand-focused collectors, and since the Marvel & DC price variants of the 1980’s were newsstand exclusives, CPVs are “riding the wave” of increased awareness of newsstand comics broadly. Here’s a short excerpt from Jim’s report:

“Another huge area of demand appears to be coming from the natural variants, Newsstand vs. Direct Market, Canadian Price Variants, 35¢ cover variants, National Diamond Sales insert/Mark Jeweler insert and similar. Collectors are constantly asking us to find them more. With the use of social media platforms, learning about and obtaining these has never been easier, but lead to more costly comics as more and more continue to want these unique books.”
— Jim McCallum, Guardian Comics; OPG #49 page 174

Dr. Steven Kahn, of Inner Child Comics and Collectibles, also made mention of newsstand desirability in his (excellent) market report. Here’s an excerpt, and I’d highly encourage reading his full report — I especially enjoyed his writing, both this year and last!

“Price variants from the ’70s held no premium for years until the public responded to their rarity. Actually, 2 of the top 3 most valuable Bronze books today are price variants (Star Wars #1, Iron Fist #14). Other variants, such as newsstand editions (especially in high grade), Mark Jeweler’s inserts, or any low run prints are picking up as well.”
— Dr. Steven Kahn, Inner Child Comics and Collectibles; OPG #49 page 161

Continuing the newsstand theme for a moment, in last year’s OPG (#48), Steve Ricketts of CBCS said as follows in his market report:

“Newsstand and Direct variants are quickly gaining popularity with the mainstream collectors. CBCS has seized the reins on this niche of the hobby, by being the only grading service to identify Newsstand and Direct Edition copies in the variant field of the label on books from 1977 through 2000. Once the CBCS census goes live, it will be interesting to see the numbers that have been submitted. In the late 1970’s, Direct Edition comics were less common than Newsstand Editions. As years progressed, Newsstand copies became more and more scarce, with the Newsstand copies of some comics being incredibly hard to find. The hobby will start to learn more about the scarcity of each issue in the coming years. More information is better for everyone, especially involving something that was hiding right under our very noses.”
— Steve Ricketts, CBCS; OPG #48 page 179

I am greatly looking forward to the CBCS census eventually being launched online, allowing us to examine the relative rarity by issue: we’ll be able to see the comparable Newsstand count versus Direct Edition count, for specific issues! Even though the CBCS-graded copies are just a silver of what’s out there for each issue, the relative rarity of the types on census will tell us a lot — just like election polling and television ratings are done by polling just a sliver of the population. But in the meantime there are lot of other ways we can study newsstand vs. direct edition rarity, such as reading newsstand rarity discussions and estimates and also studying relative rarity within the marketplace — as Ben Labonog did in his OPG #48 market report:

“Earlier in the year, I went on a brief run on buying solely newsstand editions of some 1980s keys: Daredevil #158/168, Wolverine #1-4, Amazing Spider-Man #238/252/300, Hulk #340, etc. It was fun and a new challenge for someone used to hunting for Timelys. The newsstand editions vs. direct editions piqued my interest, and so I decided to do a random, one time eBay sampling count of some newsstand keys from the early ’80s to the early ’90s. In most cases, the sample size on eBay was 200+ copies but a few books had sample sizes of 100+ copies. Here’s what I found — all %’s represent the percentage of newsstand copies on eBay for that particular books: Daredevil #168 (56%, 1981), Wolverine #1 (35%, 1982), ASM #238 (40%, 1983), Secret Wars #8 (16%, 1984), Hulk #340 (13%, 1988), ASM #300 (20%, 1988), New Mutants #87 (10%, 1990), X-Men #266 (8%, 1990), Silver Surfer #44 (12%, 1990), New Mutants #98 (13%, 1990), Infinity Gauntlet #1 (8%, 1991). Although the data is small and just a random sampling, it does support the theory that late ’80s/early ’90s newsstand copies are scarcer than early ’80s newsstand copies. This would make sense as local comic shops began appearing in the ’70s and ’80s. This meant less and less newsstand copies were being printed and distributed to grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations, etc. through the 1990s. The direct edition copies were printed in masses and sold at local comic shops. Newsstand editions are commonly found beat, and much tougher to find in high grade. Direct editions are more commonly found in high grade because customers, who bought them from their LCS, were typically collectors who took very good care of their comics.”
— Ben Labonog; OPG #48 page 154

I think that with CPVs, continued growth of investor interest benefits not only from the underlying “mega-trend” of increasing “newsstand awareness” among collectors, but also from an interest in “foreign comics” — which of course CPVs are not because they are instead US-published Type 1A variants, I repeat, not foreign editions, but, historically both CBCS and CGC (up until their respective labeling changes) have labeled Type 1A variants as [Country] Edition, leading many collectors who only look into them “at a glance” to falsely conclude they are foreign editions. And yet, this may have actually drawn certain collectors to CPVs because at the same time newsstand awareness has been increasing so strongly in the hobby, there’s also been a concurrent growth in interest in foreign editions! In his OPG #48 market report, Joseph Fiore of ComicWiz.com touches upon both of these factors; he also talks about the trend of collectors demanding super-high grades (9.6/9.8) for CPVs when the reality is that very few actually exist in the top grades; here’s an excerpt of his discussion:

“The one trend I have noticed which is of some concern are requests seeking out not only key issues, such as the 75¢ price variant of Amazing Spider-MAn #238 (first Hobgoblin), but a request for unheard of high grade examples only. I think I’ve received over a dozen inquiries for a CGC 9.6 copy, but this is a CPV that too infrequently shows up in 9.6, and you’re always holding some hope the Tattooz haven’t been removed regardless of grade. I think CPVs’ overlooked history might lend to a growing and sustained interest if enough people spend time to understand why the exist, their production numbers compared to US newsstand and direct editions, and if they don’t get too hung up with having a “best copy.” I also see the growing trend of collectors seeking US newsstand issues working to reinforce the aspects that have drawn collectors to CPVs. Foreign edition key focus collectors are also entering the mix looking for key CPV issues, but are seemingly more reasonably content finding 5.0 to 8.5 copies or “budget” copies.”
— Joseph Fiore, ComicWiz.com; OPG #48 page 133

When I think of foreign comics, my mind immediately goes to the person I’d consider the foremost expert in the hobby today in the niche: Tim Bildhauser of CBCS. In last year’s report, Tim mentioned that foreign comic book sales had been higher than ever in both price and volume; and in this year’s report he had a great discussion of this niche of the market. He also took the time to make mention of CBCS’s great decision to start labeling Type 1A’s as price variants, saying:

“After much consideration and discussion, the decision was made at CBCS to change the phrasing on the labels of Canadian Newsstand, Australian Newsstand, and U.K. price (both Shilling and Pence copies) books. Previously we had been notating them as Canadian, Australian, and U.K. Edition which, while not wrong, doesn’t explain clearly what makes them different from their U.S. counterparts. Going forward they’ll be notated as “(insert cover price) Canadian, Australian, or U.K. Price Variant.” This gives them a more accurate description of what exactly sets them apart. I’ve seen growing interest in the Canadian, Australian, & U.K. price variants, especially on the keys. There were two Australian price variant copies of New Mutants #98 that sold this year that broke the $1,000 price point. U.K. price variants seem to be shaking off the stigma that’s plagued them for decades and buyers are starting to pay equal, and in some cases, higher prices…”
— Tim Bildhauser, CBCS; OPG #49 page 105

In his report last year, Brock Dickinson mentioned pence and Canadian price variants as lesser-known price variants getting increased attention:

“While the 35¢ Marvel test price variants of the 1970s have been well-known for many years, there is an increasing fascination with other price and distribution variants in some portions of the marketplace. The 35¢ variants remain very hot and the earlier 30¢ Marvel price variants also gathered steam this year. At the same time, a number of other variants began to gain increased attention, and experienced some substantial price increases. This trend was probably led by Canadian cover price variants, which can credibly be argued (although actual print run data is scant) to represent about 2% of total print runs for some Copper age books. This makes these books elusive (especially in high grade), and in NM- or better these books will often command 200% to 1000% of current Guide prices. There was also strengthened interest in early direct market books, late newsstand editions, Whitman variants, and UK pence price variants, all from the 1970s and 1980s, and Marvel Pressman and DC Universe cover logo variants from the 1990s. Many of these books are extremely scarce, but so little is known about supply and distribution that prices can still vary widely. Nonetheless, there is a clear market trend to increased value for these books, and the 35¢ Star Wars #1 variant is a clear indication of how far these trends can go over time.”
— Brock Dickinson; OPG #48 page 116

The comparison to 35¢ variants is apt — and when I think of 35¢ variants my mind immediately goes to the person I consider the foremost expert on them: Jon McClure. Before Jon’s 1997 article in Comic Book Marketplace, only a select few of these variants were known to collectors, and seemingly little-to-no attention whatsoever was paid to their rarity characteristics as a “class” of comics. That all changed with Jon’s efforts to research how they came to exist and the extent of their existence, discovering hundreds of variants and writing about them extensively. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to work with Jon on our CPV guide, to hear first-hand the parallels he sees between Type 1 and Type 1A cover price variants, and of course when it comes to the Overstreet guide it is great to read his extensive market reports! I highly recommend reading Jon’s full report; you can also reach out to Jon via jonmcclurescomics.com. He talks about variants so extensively that it is hard to choose just one excerpt to share… but I’ll share this one below:

“CBCS’s groundbreaking decision to call Type 1A books “variants” on the labels is a positive step forward in understanding what they are and how to discuss them intelligently. Check out the free new online Price Guide for Type 1A Canadian cover price Marvel and DC comics from the 1980s at rarecomicsblog.com.”
— Jon McClure, jonmcclurescomics.com; OPG #49 page 177

🙂 Definitely read Jon’s whole report if you have picked up a copy of OPG #49 — or reach out to him on his site — because literally all of it is relevant and important reading if you are a Type 1A collector and there’s too much to quote here without going on for pages and pages. My fellow pence price variant issue guide collaborator Steve Cranch is mentioned in Jon’s report as well (go Steve)! 🙂 Something else to read from Jon is his market report from our 2019 CPV guide which you can find online here. And then I’ll just mention one more thing from Jon’s report… he mentions his OPG #40 article on page 176 and then says, “An updated version is in progress for the 50th annual OPG.” Woo hoo! Another spotlight variant article from Jon McClure, in next year’s OPG! Now I know for sure that I’ll be buying next year’s Overstreet! 🙂

My other fellow guide collaborators also put out great reports; and I was very happy to see that Bob Overstreet quoted Paul Clairmont within his main market report! Paul wrote a fantastic report — thanks Paul for the shout-out in the beginning! It has been great working with you as well! 🙂 Here’s a short excerpt from Paul’s report and then I highly recommend reading the full report in OPG #49 — you can also reach out to Paul at pnjcomics.com:

“…[S]ales [of Canadian Price Variants] were the strongest we have ever witnessed in our six years of business in 2018. We posted some of the sales results earlier in this report but keys had a very short shelf life and we had our best results by being “first to market” with many of the single highest graded copies.”
— Paul Clairmont, pnjcomics.com; OPG #49 page 112

You can also find Paul’s 2019 CPV guide market report, online, here. And I actually want to also quote Paul’s #48 market report too below, in an insightful section where he talks about modern age newsstand comics in general, and the treasure-hunt aspect of finding them in dollar bins where the dealer doesn’t realize/recognize the newsstand vs. direct edition distinction:

“People have started to hunt down newsstand copies in this era as a way to enhance their treasure hunting. There is a premium being paid for Image newsstand books such as Spawn #1. What makes this area interesting is that it is relatively new so there is no exact checklist of what was distributed in newsstand format. You can bet the numbers are low so finding them in high grade out in the wild on your adventures might be like spotting Sasquatch. Most dealers don’t make the distinction between newsstand and direct of this era so they are most likely populating the $1.00 and $2.00 bins at this time. Likely, that is where many will remain as its another niche area but Spawn #1 is a fine example of an issue that certainly garners higher premiums.”
— Paul Clairmont, pnjcomics.com; OPG #48 page 111

The thrill of the hunt! The joy of finding at “regular price” that rare variant you’ve been hunting for! That’s definitely what’s driven me to love CPV (and newsstand) collecting.

And it has been the thrill of my “collecting career” to collaborate with others in the hobby who are also passionate about the same niche collecting areas, and work with them on writing articles/guides. I feel that collectively we’ve made a real impact on the hobby in the Type 1A variant niche and contributed something great; and I am so happy that my collaborators are seeing a positive impact on their businesses — while for me comics is just a hobby, for others on our guide team comics is how they make a living, and I am very happy when I see these friends succeed in business! I’ll end this discussion with an excerpt from Doug Sulipa’s OPG #49 market report — I’ll say here once again that I hope you read Doug’s full report (you can also contact him at dougcomicworld.com) and I also hope you’ll read Doug’s 2019 CPV guide market report online here as well.

“The Canadian Newsstand Cover Price Variants are now officially recognized as Variants on the CBCS labels. Since the online Price Guide went live last year, demand has gone up around 400% and record prices are being set every week. Do an internet search for “2019 Price Guide for 1980s Marvel & DC Newsstand Canadian Cover Price Variants (Type 1A).” Archie comics might be added in next year’s Guide. When Gemstone published an article in the Scoop online e-newsletter, there was yet another big spike in demand.”
— Doug Sulipa, dougcomicworld.com; OPG #49 page 223

I hope all of these excerpts were helpful to see and have encouraged you to read the full market reports! 🙂 There are more excerpts that I could quote too but I’ll leave it there.  And I’ll make one last mention that our CPV guide has a whole market reports section with many great articles you can read online (here).

Happy Collecting! 🙂
– Ben

Standard
Canadian Newsstand Edition

Archie Canadian Price Variants

By Benjamin Nobel, June 1, 2019

My fellow Canadian Price Variant Price Guide collaborators and I are very fortunate to be working with Toronto-based researcher Salvatore Miceli, who has been investigating other publishers including Archie that we have yet to cover in our guide (thus far we’ve covered only 1980’s Marvel and DC). Earlier this year I shared Sal’s Gladstone research with you, and today I’m writing to share Sal’s Archie research. Big thanks to Sal for all his efforts! 🙂 The list of Archies Sal uncovered will be presented at the end; first, I want to give some introductory thoughts. [Also, please note: Archie published 35¢ Canadian price variants in the 1950’s and 1960’s; they also published Canadian price variant digests; but for this post we will be focusing on Archie’s 1980’s (onward) Canadian price variant comics.]

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Ah, the Canadian...

Ah, the Canadian Price Variants!

Hopefully all readers of this post are already familiar with our Marvel & DC guide and already know from reading our guide intro — for context — that those two publishers generally produced three versions of each issue during their respective cover price variant windows: a direct edition version with multiple prices (direct-sold to comic dealers/shops at a discount but on a non-returnable basis), and two single-price newsstand versions (copies sold to the general public on newsstands, where unsold copies were returnable by the newsstand for refund/credit) — the two newsstand types were a higher cover price version (the Type 1A Price Variant) and a lower cover price version. (I say the word “generally” above because sometimes there were issues that were direct edition exclusives).

For contrast, when a Marvel or DC Canadian price variant occurred it was one of three types (two single-price newsstand, one multi-price direct edition)

For contrast, when a Marvel or DC Canadian price variant occurred it was one of three types (two single-price newsstand, one multi-price direct edition)

That’s important context to have (for contrast) when it comes to thinking about Archie’s 1980’s Canadian price variant rarity characteristics, because Archie marched to the beat of their own drum, and depending on the year we’re looking at and the specific comic in question there might be two versions

Jughead #325: Two types, both newsstand

Jughead #325: Two types, both newsstand

… or possibly three (like we’re used to with Marvel & DC)…

Three types of TMNT #72: two single-price newsstand and one dual-price direct edition

Three types of TMNT Adventures #72: two single-price newsstand and one dual-price direct edition

… or possibly four

Four single-price types were published for Life With Archie #268: two newsstand and two direct edition.

Four single-price types were published for Life With Archie #268: two newsstand and two direct edition.

… and there were even situations where the price variants weren’t single-price like we’re used to but rather were published with dual prices covering distribution across both Canada and the UK (see this separate post about those)!:

Betty and Veronica #1, 6/1987. Left: regular 75¢ cover price copy; Right: 95¢/40p cover price variant.

Betty and Veronica #1, 6/1987. Left: regular 75¢ cover price copy; Right: 95¢/40p cover price variant.

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Another thing to know for context when it comes to thinking about Archie Canadian price variants is that Archie’s price variant window covers a comparably huge span of time compared to Marvel & DC: It turns out that as far as starting point, Archie beat Marvel & DC to the “variant punch” by a month, with their first 1980’s CPVs being published in September of 1982 (Marvel and DC both started in October), and then as far as the ending point, incredibly, whereas Marvel ended their price variant window in 1986 and DC ended theirs in 1988, Sal found Archie CPVs all the way out to May of 1997!

archie-timeline

In the beginning of Archie’s price variant window we see just two versions of each Archie issue… and both of those versions were newsstand. The number of different 1st print types (and the distribution characteristics of each type) is important to know for context, because when we think about the total surviving copies out there for any given issue number as a “pie,” we can mentally divide that pie into slices when thinking about Canadian price variant rarity as a percentage of the pie. And differing distribution circumstances can greatly impact how the pie looks!

Depending on the number of first print types and their distribution characteristics, we can wind up with a much-different-looking Canadian price variant (blue slice) rarity picture as a percentage of the total pie.

Depending on the number of first print types and their distribution characteristics, we can wind up with a much-different-looking Canadian price variant (blue slice) rarity picture as a percentage of the total pie of surviving copies. I peg the surviving-copies-pie for the Archie-two-newsstand-types situation as looking like the pie at left, versus the Marvel-three-types situation as looking like the pie at right.

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Lets have a look now at a few of these different distribution situations that occurred during Archie’s price variant window.

Upon ranking the universe of Sal’s identified Archie CPVs by non-variant guide value and looking at the top most valuable issues, I observe three main “groupings” of higher-value comics — and it turns out that examining each of these three groups in turn will help to illustrate three different sets of distribution characteristics/circumstances:

(1) Cheryl Blossom group
(2) TMNT Adventures group
(3) Sonic the Hedgehog group

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Situation 1: Cheryl Blossom / Archie And The Gang

archie-maple-leaf

Archie with red maple leaf

The first group of keys I want to discuss comes from the “Archie and the gang” line of comics and features the 1st appearance of Cheryl Blossom (Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica #320, with baseline non-variant value listed most recently at $415). Among the issues published by Archie that Sal identified as having CPV’s, the early Cheryl Blossom keys from the Archie-and-the-gang group feature the top 5 most highly valued issues (by non-variant 9.2 value), and, also, the only 4 issues from Archie’s CPV window to be valued at $100 or higher. So it makes sense that we examine these with special attention.

Each of these early Cheryl Blossom keys has just the two newsstand versions for each issue number (no Archie direct editions existed yet, at the time they were published): a “regular” 60¢ cover price version and the 75¢ variant sold on Canadian newsstands.

bv-320-reg-and-variant

Two types were published for Archie’s Girls Betty & Veronica #320, a 60¢ newsstand type and a 75¢ newsstand type (the Type 1A price variant)

So when we consider the ratio of CPV copies to “regular” copies for these issues, we must keep in mind that in the beginning of Archie’s 1980’s window, one of the main rarity-driving aspects we’re used to thinking about with Marvel and DC — the division of the Canadian market between newsstand and direct editions — just wasn’t in play for Archie as we enter their price variant window: Archie was 100% newsstand to 0% direct edition.

And as we move forward through the years of their price variant window, even late in Archie’s CPV window we must keep in mind that Archie-and-the-gang comics remained very concentrated on newsstands. In this 2014 article, John Jackson Miller states as follows about the main Archie title:

“As the comic-shop market grew in the 1980s, Archie’s publishing focus remained on the newsstand; sales recovered a little in the late 1980s thanks in part to added attention to its subscription business, but the flourishing of the comic book market helped Archie less than most publishers, given its younger target demographic. Enough so that when the early 1990s brought a colossal boom in the comics shop market, it’s barely noticeable from the title’s sales.”

– John Jackson Miller

This is a remarkable observation: during the huge comic-shop-driven boom of the 1990’s, Archie meanwhile saw a barely noticeable sales impact from the boom — their direct edition sales of the Archie title were so low that boom times for comic shops hardly moved the needle of the Archie title’s total sales!

We went looking for the first direct edition in the Archie title and it appears to be from all the way out in September of 1988 with issue #360.

archie-360-direct-sales

And interestingly, it doesn’t have dual US and Canadian prices on the cover, but rather, we find two types with the “Artist of the Month, Dan Decarlo” logo box, one with 75¢ cover price and the other an elusive 95¢ cover price logo version! I would have taken one look at these 95¢ direct editions and presumed they were sold exclusively in comic shops, but it turns out that may not be the case — my fellow price guide collaborator Bill Alexander has researched these 95¢ logo copies extensively, he’s only ever found them mixed in among newsstand collections and to date Bill has confirmed the existence of 95¢ logo copies for Archie #360, Life with Archie #268, and Archie Giant Series Magazine (AGSM) #586-587 … and he thinks there may be more out there from 9/88 – 10/88:

“All Direct Market 95¢ CPV issues I’ve confirmed to exist are indicated below by an asterisk sign. Based on seeing these in the marketplace mixed in with large newsstand collections, I feel almost certain that all the below were available for sale on newsstands as part of a Test Marketing. In my experience of many years looking for these I’ve seldom ever seen them and have only been able to confirm a handful of the total I believe should exist from 9/88 (and 10/88 for AGSM). Outside of these two months, no other Archie Direct Market 95¢ CPVs have yet to be discovered, as far as I am aware.

Archie Regular Size Comics 9/88 Direct Market/Test Market 95c CPVs
Archie 360*
Archie Giant Series Magazine 583-585
Archie’s Pals N Gals 200
Betty’s Diary 20
Betty and Me 170
Betty and Veronica 13
Life with Archie 268*
The New Archies 8

Archie Regular Size Comics 10/88 Direct Market/Test Market 95c CPVs (only done on Archie Giant Series Magazine)
Archie Giant Series Magazine 586*
Archie Giant Series Magazine 587* (1st appearance of The Explorers of The Unknown)
Archie Giant Series Magazine 588
Archie Giant Series Magazine 589
Archie Giant Series Magazine 590 (1st Back to the Future Jughead issue pre dates Jughead’s Time Police #1)”

– Bill Alexander

Looking at Bill’s list above and the four confirmed-to-date 95¢ logo copies, Archie Giant Series Magazine #587 (baseline non-variant value in 9.2 of $6) stands out as far as storyline significance, featuring the first appearance of the Explorers of the Unknown team, which was a parody of Jack Kirby’s Challengers of the Unknown. Although neither CGC nor Overstreet currently make mention of this appearance, Comic Vine does list AGSM #587 as the team’s first appearance.

Archie Giant Series Magazine #587, 95 cent with logo, 1st Explorers of the Unknown

Archie Giant Series Magazine #587, 95 cent with logo, 1st Explorers of the Unknown

But if these 95¢ logo copies were only from 9/88 (and 10/88 for AGSM) as Bill’s research suggests (with these variants existing only for those issues where the corresponding 75¢ direct editions have the “Dan Decarlo” logo box), that raises the question of what direct editions Archie sent up to Canadian comic shops after those and up until the addition of Canadian and UK prices onto the direct edition covers?? Did Canadians just get a great deal on their direct editions at comic shops, receiving 75¢ cover price copies? Or, are there even-more-elusive single-price 95¢ direct editions still waiting to be discovered out there from 11/88, 12/88, etc.? There’s a definite chance they might exist out there so keep your eyes out (and let us know if you find any)!

At Archie #360 we see two single-price direct edition types; by Archie #379 we have one direct edition type with multiple prices.

At Archie #360 we see two single-price direct edition types; by Archie #379 we have one direct edition type with multiple prices.

Moving forward through the 1990’s and into the 2000’s, John Jackson Miller notes that the Archie title did eventually become less reliant on newsstand sales, reaching what pencils out to ~44% direct edition by 2013:

“Further, the title is increasingly less tied to the flagging fortunes of the newsstand market: comics shops accounted for about four out of every nine copies that visited a cash register in 2013.”

– John Jackson Miller

Learning of this heavy newsstand reliance for the Archie title is informative for our consideration of the group of Archie-and-the-gang titles, when it comes to CPV rarity as a percentage of total copies: even after the introduction of direct editions we’re going to be heavily newsstand for this group of comics, so whenever we split the Canadian market for Archie-and-the-gang comics into pie slices by newsstand and direct edition in our consideration of rarity, we must remember that newsstand is going to dominate the pie by size.

And then there’s the market size difference itself which also needs special consideration in the case of Archies: Over in the world of Marvel and DC price variants, we’re used to using the population size difference as our guidepost to understanding the market size difference. But that doesn’t hold for Archie-and-the gang, which was a very specific “niche” type of comic book: I learned from fellow price guide collaborator Doug Sulipa that Canadians, as it turns out, were incredibly fond of Archie-and-the-gang titles versus Americans. Doug pegged that Canada might have represented as much as 15% or so of Archie’s newsstand market copies, on account of reports that Archie-and-the-gang sold far better per capita in Canada than any other country where Archie sold their comics. Highlighting the importance of Canada to Archie we see that the cover of Archie Giant Series Magazine #620 features the Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, and there is even a 100-page Archie All-Canadian Digest #1.

Betty and Veronica at the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada

Betty and Veronica at the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada

Doug reasons that since Canadians were particularly fond of the Archie-and-the-gang titles, they might have saved more copies than the average American who might have been a more casual reader. Between higher per capita popularity and potentially-higher preservation of Archie-and-the-gang titles, we might expect to see surviving variants represent well in excess of ten percentage points of total issues graded by CGC, and as it turns out, that’s exactly what we observe when looking at the CGC Census for the Cheryl Blossom group of Archie keys:

Title Issue Significance Regular Census Count 75c Variant Census Count Variant Percentage
Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica 320 1st Appearance Of Cheryl Blossom 118 36 23%
Jughead 325 2nd Appearance Of Cheryl Blossom 25 11 31%
Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica 322 Cheryl meets Archie for the first time 24 2 8%
Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica 321 Cheryl Blossom appearance 12 4 25%
Archie’s Pals ‘n Gals 161 3rd Appearance of Cheryl Blossom 34 1 3%
Total: 213 54 20%

While we’re dealing with very small total census counts here (so one or two individual submissions could really skew the numbers), and the variant percentage observed on census varies quite a bit issue to issue, we can observe that as a group, the price variants highlighted above come in at just about 20% of total census copies as of this writing. For Archie’s Girls Betty & Veronica #320 we observe a total of 154 copies of the issue on census, with 36 of those being the 75¢ variants — that’s ~23%. Since the price variants may be more compelling to actually send in versus regular copies due to higher market value, I find it valuable to also look at the ratio on census in grade where, for example, we can see that in 9.0-and-higher there are 11 CPV copies out of 72 total or 15% of copies graded “9-and-up” for B&V #320.

I’d also comment that the mere 154 total copies we see on record at CGC for what is the most highly-valued (by non-variant 9.2) Archie key falling within their price variant window should strike us as a very low total number relative to what we’re used to seeing over at Marvel and DC. For contrast, Amazing Spider-Man #238 has 5,495 total copies on record at CGC as of this writing, of which 98, or 1.7%, are the 75¢ variant. This sharp contrast helps illustrate that with Archie, we’ve got comics that were sold mostly to readers, and smaller total sales numbers as well.

And looking at sales numbers moving forward from the 1980’s, as the years progressed Archie saw smaller sales of their comics, but really seems to have found their footing selling digests. Doug Sulipa described how readers began to focus on buying the better-value-for-the-reading-dollar digests, but it still made sense for Archie to continue putting out new material in comics in order to accumulate new material to later reprint as digests!

“Used ARCHIE DIGESTS were some of my Bestselling Back issues in the Last Years of my Winnipeg Store from 1988-1996 (People would buy 10 or 20 or More at a Time for Themselves, Kids, & Grandkids, to take to the Cabin, Road Trips, etc.)”

– Doug Sulipa, dougcomicworld.com

Indeed, Archie has referred to their digests as their “bread and butter” — and their particular specialty and expertise in digests was so strong that Marvel turned to Archie in 2017 to package and distribute their Marvel Comics Digests (in that press release is the below quote).

“For years, Archie has made the digest format our bread and butter.”

– Jon Goldwater, CEO of Archie Comics

All of this adds up to Archie comics having lower and lower print runs over time during their price variant window, especially as we get into the later 1990’s.

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But in addition to the Archie-and-the-gang comics, Archie also published superhero comics. Presumably these had different distribution characteristics versus Archie-and-the-gang, because we see direct editions used much earlier in the window: One example early in the window is The Fly (by Steve Ditko), where we see Direct Editions published with both US and CAN cover prices, plus two newsstand versions, early in 1984:

The Fly #5: Dual-price Direct Edition (left), single-price 75¢ newsstand (middle), and single-price Type 1A $1.00 newsstand (right)

The Fly #5: Dual-price Direct Edition (left), single-price 75¢ newsstand (middle), and single-price Type 1A $1.00 newsstand (right)

Also among the superhero comics published by Archie under their “Archie Adventure Series” were TMNT Adventures and Sonic the Hedgehog (is Sonic a “superhero”? I think it is fair to say so but I guess that’s debatable). And these happen to have some stand-out issues when it comes to guide value. Next, let’s move to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures group, where similar to the 9/1988 Archie-and-the-gang issues, the early TMNTA price variants had the interesting and unique twist as far as distribution circumstances, of being among four first-print versions!

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Group 2: TMNT Adventures

The most highly valued Archie TMNT comic (by non-variant value in 9.2) from their price variant window is one I’ve written about in the past, because for a long time the 1st appearance of Krang in comics had gone uncredited by CGC — but that changed and CGC now credits Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1 (1988 Mini-Series) with the 1st appearances of Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady. The 9.2 baseline (non-variant) issue value was most recently listed at $28.

Four Types of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1

Four Types of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1

Above are the four first-print types Archie published for issue #1 of the TMNTA mini-series, and we can observe that the full mini-series and the first 11 issues of the ongoing series have that same “quirk” when it comes to the cover price variants: Instead of placing both US and CAN prices on their direct editions and having single-price newsstand editions, for these early TMNTA comics Archie published two single-price newsstand versions plus two single-price direct edition versions, for a total of four first print types (and there is also the “Salute to Victor Gorelick” logo cover of issue #1 of the 1989 series; also note that some of the early TMNTA comics went out to multiple printings, for example the CGC census has issue #1 of the 1989 series out to a fifth printing)! [See more TMNTA price variant examples in this separate post]

As of this writing, CGC does not differentiate Newsstand from Direct Edition except in certain special situations they deem “variant-worthy”, and that stance carries through to the TMNTA $1.25 cover price variants where both direct editions and newsstand editions exist: CGC simply lumps together both types by cover price… all $1.25 copies in “one pile” and all regular $1.00 copies in “another pile”. This means that we cannot tell from the census how many of the $1.25 price variants are newsstand versus how many are direct edition but based on the fact that 21 of the $1.25 cover price census copies are in the 9.8 tier for issue #1 of the mini-series, my guess is that the vast majority of those were direct editions that had been carefully preserved and stored away. I myself am personally responsible for a nice bunch of those 9.8’s on census, having found a stash of pristine direct edition #1’s from a comic shop in Toronto — I bought the whole stack and I sent them all in to CGC (one or two submissions from a focused collector can really skew the ratio on census when the total graded copy counts are this low!).

With both the newsstand and direct edition portions of the Canadian comic book market having gotten single-price $1.25 copies — and those copies all lumped together on the CGC census — we might expect that we’d see somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% of these TMNTA issues showing up as the Canadian Price Variant (keeping in mind the low census counts make the numbers rough), based on our guidepost of using the population split to inform us about the market size difference (i.e. assuming Canadians had roughly the same per-capita interest in buying Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics as their American counter-parts). And taking a look at a group comprised of TMNTA issues #1-3 of the mini-series plus #1-3 of the ongoing series, while there is a good deal of variability from issue to issue, as a group we observe a census breakdown of ~10% price variants to ~90% regular copies — which is right in line with the population split.

Title Issue Significance Regular Census Count $1.25 Variant Census Count Variant Percentage
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Mini Series 1 1st appearances of Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady in comics. Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist 278 42 13%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Mini Series 2 Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist 22 5 19%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Mini Series 3 Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist 17 5 23%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 1 Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist 208 8 4%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 2 Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist 17 4 19%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 3 Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist 14 0 0%
Total: 556 64 10%

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Group 3: Sonic the Hedgehog

The final group of keys I want to showcase are from the Sonic the Hedgehog group, with the top three most highly-valued issues (by 9.2 non-variant value) landing in the $55-75 range. These were published starting in 1993, with the final Sonic variant published May of 1997 — so we’re right at the later part of Archie’s price variant window with this group of comics. And the Sonic variants were done in the more “traditional” way (that we’re used to from Marvel and DC) — i.e. three types were published: (1) a direct edition type with both US and CAN prices, (2) a single-price lower cover price newsstand type for US newsstands, and (3) a single-price higher cover price newsstand type for Canadian newsstands (our Type 1A price variants).

sonic-0-three-types.jpg

Three types for Sonic #0: Direct Edition with dual US & CAN prices, single-price $1.25 newsstand, and single-price $1.50 newsstand (Type 1A price variant)

And that contrast in distribution circumstances compared to the other two groupings we looked at shows up loud and clear in the CGC census: examining the below example group of Sonic comics, the $1.50 cover price variants show up on census with just 1% of the total copies.

Title Issue Significance Regular Census Count $1.50 Variant Census Count Variant Percentage
Sonic the Hedgehog Mini Series 0 Early Sonic comic 106 1 1%
Sonic the Hedgehog Mini Series 1 Early Sonic comic 78 0 0%
Sonic the Hedgehog Mini Series 2 Early Sonic comic 23 0 0%
Sonic the Hedgehog Mini Series 3 Early Sonic comic 16 0 0%
Sonic the Hedgehog 1 Early Sonic comic 165 2 1%
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Early Sonic comic 26 0 0%
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Early Sonic comic 9 0 0%
Total: 423 3 1%

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The List!

With that introduction laid down, I now want to proceed to share some more example pictures and Sal’s price variant research: the list of titles and issues he identified where CPV’s exist!

But first, there’s one last thing I want to mention: just like the other publishers of 1980’s Type 1A’s that we’ve explored in the past, we find that the indicia and interiors of Archie’s price variants are 100% identical to the regular copies, and the Archie price variants are indeed US-published Type 1A price variants in all respects, by Jon McClure’s definition.

Here for example is the indicia for Laugh #374 published September of 1982 — that’s one month earlier than when Marvel and DC started publishing their CPVs — and in this first month of Archie’s variants it is interesting to observe that they hadn’t yet changed the indicia price to 75¢ in Canada, instead showing 60¢:

laugh-374-indicia

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Picture Slideshow:

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Title List:

Adventures of Bayou Billy
Sep ’89 – Jun ’90
5 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $1.25 Sep ’89 $3
#2 $1.25 Nov ’89 $3
#3 $1.25 Jan ’90 $3
#4 $1.20 Apr ’90 Lower Price for this month only $3
#5 $1.25 Jun ’90 $3
Archie
Sep ’82 – May ’97
102 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#319 $0.75 Sep ’82 $6
#320 $0.75 Oct ’82 $6
#321 $0.75 Dec ’82 $6
#322 $0.75 Mar ’83 E.T. story $8
#323 $0.75 May ’83 $6
#324 $0.75 Jul ’83 $6
#325 $0.75 Sep ’83 $6
#326 $0.75 Nov ’83 Early Cheryl Blossom story $20
#327 $0.75 Jan ’84 $6
#328 $0.75 Mar ’84 $6
#329 $0.75 May ’84 $6
#330 $0.75 Jul ’84 $6
#331 $0.75 Sep ’84 $6
#332 $0.75 Nov ’84 $6
#333 $0.75 Jan ’85 $6
#334 $0.75 Mar ’85 $6
#335 $0.75 May ’85 $6
#336 $0.75 Jul ’85 Michael Jackson parody $12
#337 $0.75 Sep ’85 $6
#338 $0.75 Nov ’85 $6
#339 $0.75 Jan ’86 $6
#340 $0.75 Mar ’86 $6
#341 $0.75 May ’86 $6
#342 $0.95 Jul ’86 $6
#343 $0.95 Sep ’86 $6
#344 $0.95 Nov ’86 $6
#345 $0.95 Jan ’87 $6
#346 $0.95 Mar ’87 $6
#347 $0.95 May ’87 $6
#348 $0.95 Jun ’87 $6
#349 $0.95 Jul ’87 $6
#350 $0.95 Aug ’87 $6
#351 $0.95 Sep ’87 $5
#352 $0.95 Oct ’87 $5
#353 $0.95 Nov ’87 $5
#354 $0.95 Jan ’88 $5
#355 $0.95 Mar ’88 $5
#356 $0.95 May ’88 $5
#357 $0.95 Jun ’88 $5
#358 $0.95 Jul ’88 $5
#359 $0.95 Aug ’88 $5
#360 $0.95 Sep ’88 Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist $5
#361 $0.95 Oct ’88 $5
#362 $0.95 Nov ’88 $5
#363 $0.95 Jan ’89 $5
#364 $0.95 Feb ’89 $5
#365 $0.95 Mar ’89 $5
#366 $0.95 Apr ’89 $5
#367 $0.95 May ’89 $5
#368 $1.15 Jul ’89 $5
#369 $1.15 Aug ’89 $5
#370 $1.15 Sep ’89 $5
#371 $1.15 Oct ’89 $5
#372 $1.15 Nov ’89 $5
#373 $1.20 Jan ’90 $5
#374 $1.20 Feb ’90 $5
#375 $1.20 Mar ’90 $5
#376 $1.20 Apr ’90 $5
#377 $1.20 May ’90 $5
#378 $1.20 Jun ’90 $5
#379 $1.20 Aug ’90 $5
#380 $1.20 Sep ’90 $5
#381 $1.20 Oct ’90 $5
#382 $1.20 Nov ’90 $5
#383 $1.20 Dec ’90 $5
#384 $1.20 Feb ’91 $5
#385 $1.20 Mar ’91 $5
#386 $1.20 Apr ’91 $5
#387 $1.20 May ’91 $5
#388 $1.20 Jun ’91 $5
#389 $1.20 Jul ’91 $5
#390 $1.20 Aug ’91 $5
#391 $1.20 Sep ’91 $5
#392 $1.20 Oct ’91 $5
#393 $1.20 Nov ’91 $5
#394 $1.20 Dec ’91 $5
#395 $1.20 Jan ’92 $5
#396 $1.20 Feb ’92 $5
#397 $1.20 Mar ’92 $5
#398 $1.20 Apr ’92 $5
#438 $1.65 Aug ’95 $3
#439 $1.65 Sep ’95 $3
#440 $1.65 Oct ’95 $3
#441 $1.65 Nov ’95 $3
#442 $1.65 Dec ’95 $3
#443 $1.65 Jan ’96 $3
#444 $1.65 Feb ’96 $3
#445 $1.65 Mar ’96 $3
#446 $1.65 Apr ’96 $3
#447 $1.65 May ’96 $3
#448 $1.65 Jun ’96 $3
#449 $1.65 Jul ’96 $3
#450 $1.65 Aug ’96 $3
#451 $1.65 Sep ’96 $3
#452 $1.65 Oct ’96 $3
#453 $1.65 Nov ’96 $3
#454 $1.65 Dec ’96 $3
#455 $1.65 Jan ’97 $3
#456 $1.65 Feb ’97 $3
#457 $1.65 Mar ’97 $3
#458 $1.65 Apr ’97 $3
#459 $1.65 May ’97 $3
Archie 3000
May ’89 – Jul ’91
16 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $0.95 May ’89 $4
#2 $1.15 Jul ’89 $3
#3 $1.15 Aug ’89 $3
#4 $1.15 Oct ’89 $3
#5 $1.15 Nov ’89 $3
#6 $1.20 Jan ’90 $3
#7 $1.20 Mar ’90 $3
#8 $1.20 May ’90 $3
#9 $1.20 Jul ’90 $3
#10 $1.20 Aug ’90 $3
#11 $1.20 Sep ’90 $3
#12 $1.20 Oct ’90 $3
#13 $1.20 Dec ’90 $3
#14 $1.20 Feb ’91 $3
#15 $1.20 May ’91 $3
#16 $1.20 Jul ’91 $4
Archie and Friends
Aug ’95 – Apr ’97
8 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#15 $1.65 Aug ’95 $6
#16 $1.65 Nov ’95 $3
#17 $1.65 Feb ’96 $4
#18 $1.65 May ’96 $4
#19 $1.65 Aug ’96 $5
#20 $1.65 Nov ’96 $4
#21 $1.65 Feb ’97 $3
#22 $1.65 Apr ’97 $3
Archie and Me
Oct ’82 – Feb ’87
26 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#136 $0.75 Oct ’82 $6
#137 $0.75 Dec ’82 $6
#138 $0.75 Feb ’83 $6
#139 $0.75 May ’83 $6
#140 $0.75 Aug ’83 $6
#141 $0.75 Oct ’83 $6
#142 $0.75 Dec ’83 $6
#143 $0.75 Feb ’84 $6
#144 $0.75 Apr ’84 $6
#145 $0.75 Jun ’84 $6
#146 $0.75 Aug ’84 $6
#147 $0.75 Oct ’84 $6
#148 $0.75 Dec ’84 $6
#149 $0.75 Feb ’85 $6
#150 $0.75 Apr ’85 $6
#151 $0.75 Jun ’85 $6
#152 $0.75 Aug ’85 $6
#153 $0.75 Oct ’85 $6
#154 $0.75 Dec ’85 $6
#155 $0.75 Feb ’86 $6
#156 $0.75 Apr ’86 $6
#157 $0.95 Jun ’86 $6
#158 $0.95 Aug ’86 $6
#159 $0.95 Oct ’86 $6
#160 $0.95 Dec ’86 $8
#161 $0.95 Feb ’87 $8
Archie at Riverdale High
Oct ’82 – Feb ’87
26 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#88 $0.75 Oct ’82 $6
#89 $0.75 Dec ’82 Early Cheryl Blossom appearance $26
#90 $0.75 Feb ’83 Early Cheryl Blossom appearance $26
#91 $0.75 May ’83 $6
#92 $0.75 Aug ’83 Cheryl Blossom appearance $20
#93 $0.75 Oct ’83 $6
#94 $0.75 Dec ’83 $6
#95 $0.75 Feb ’84 $6
#96 $0.75 Apr ’84 Cheryl Blossom appearance $20
#97 $0.75 Jun ’84 Cheryl Blossom appearance $20
#98 $0.75 Aug ’84 $6
#99 $0.75 Oct ’84 Cheryl Blossom appearance $20
#100 $0.75 Dec ’84 $8
#101 $0.75 Feb ’85 $6
#102 $0.75 Apr ’85 $6
#103 $0.75 Jun ’85 Archie dates Cheryl Blossom $20
#104 $0.75 Aug ’85 $6
#105 $0.75 Oct ’85 $6
#106 $0.75 Dec ’85 $6
#107 $0.75 Feb ’86 $6
#108 $0.75 Apr ’86 $6
#109 $0.95 Jun ’86 $6
#110 $0.95 Aug ’86 Godzilla story $8
#111 $0.95 Oct ’86 $6
#112 $0.95 Dec ’86 $6
#113 $0.95 Feb ’87 $8
Archie Giant Series Magazine
Sep ’82 – Feb ’92
111 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#520 $0.75 Sep ’82 $9
#521 $0.75 Sep ’82 $9
#522 $0.75 Oct ’82 $9
#523 $0.75 Oct ’82 $9
#524 $0.75 Jan ’83 $9
#525 $0.75 Jan ’83 $9
#526 $0.75 May ’83 $9
#527 $0.75 Aug ’83 $9
#528 $0.75 Aug ’83 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $18
#529 $0.75 Aug ’83 $9
#530 $0.75 Sep ’83 $9
#531 $0.75 Sep ’83 $9
#532 $0.75 Oct ’83 $9
#533 $0.75 Oct ’83 Sabrina appearance $18
#534 $0.75 Jan ’84 $9
#535 $0.75 Jan ’84 $9
#536 $0.75 Jan ’84 $9
#537 $0.75 Jun ’84 $9
#538 $0.75 Aug ’84 $9
#539 $0.75 Aug ’84 $9
#540 $0.75 Aug ’84 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $18
#541 $0.75 Sep ’84 $9
#542 $0.75 Sep ’84 $9
#543 $0.75 Oct ’84 $9
#544 $0.75 Oct ’84 Sabrina appearance $18
#545 $0.75 Jan ’85 $9
#546 $0.75 Jan ’85 $9
#547 $0.75 Jan ’85 $9
#548 $0.75 Jun ’85 $9
#549 $0.75 Jun ’85 $9
#550 $0.75 Aug ’85 $9
#551 $0.75 Aug ’85 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $12
#552 $0.75 Sep ’85 $6
#553 $0.75 Sep ’85 $6
#554 $0.75 Oct ’85 $6
#555 $0.75 Oct ’85 $6
#556 $0.75 Jan ’86 $6
#557 $0.75 Jan ’86 $6
#558 $0.75 Jan ’86 $6
#559 $0.95 Jun ’86 $6
#560 $0.95 Aug ’86 $6
#561 $0.95 Aug ’86 $6
#562 $0.95 Aug ’86 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $12
#563 $0.95 Sep ’86 $6
#564 $0.95 Sep ’86 $6
#565 $0.95 Oct ’86 $6
#566 $0.95 Jan ’87 $6
#567 $0.95 Jan ’87 $6
#568 $0.95 Jan ’87 $6
#569 $0.95 Jul ’87 $6
#570 $0.95 Sep ’87 $6
#571 $0.95 Sep ’87 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $12
#572 $0.95 Sep ’87 $6
#573 $0.95 Oct ’87 $6
#574 $0.95 Oct ’87 $6
#575 $0.95 Oct ’87 $6
#576 $0.95 Oct ’87 $6
#577 $0.95 Oct ’87 $6
#578 $0.95 Nov ’87 $6
#579 $0.95 Jan ’88 $6
#580 $0.95 Jan ’88 $6
#581 $0.95 Jan ’88 $6
#582 $0.95 Jul ’88 $6
#583 $0.95 Sep ’88 $6
#584 $0.95 Sep ’88 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $12
#585 $0.95 Sep ’88 $6
#586 $0.95 Oct ’88 Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist $6
#587 $0.95 Oct ’88 1st appearance of Explorers of the Unknown; Newsstand AND Direct Variant CPV exist $6
#588 $0.95 Oct ’88 $6
#589 $0.95 Oct ’88 $6
#590 $0.95 Oct ’88 Jughead “Back From The Future!” story $6
#591 $0.95 Nov ’88 $6
#592 $0.95 Jan ’89 $6
#593 $0.95 Jan ’89 $6
#594 $0.95 Jan ’89 $6
#595 $1.15 Aug ’89 $6
#596 $1.15 Sep ’89 $6
#597 $1.15 Sep ’89 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $12
#598 $1.15 Sep ’89 $6
#599 $1.15 Oct ’89 $6
#600 $1.15 Oct ’89 $6
#601 $1.15 Oct ’89 $4
#602 $1.15 Oct ’89 $4
#603 $1.15 Nov ’89 $5
#604 $1.15 Nov ’89 $4
#605 $1.20 Jan ’90 $4
#606 $1.20 Jan ’90 $4
#607 $1.20 Jan ’90 $4
#608 $1.20 Aug ’90 $4
#609 $1.20 Sep ’90 $4
#610 $1.20 Sep ’90 Josie and the Pussycats appearance $7
#611 $1.20 Sep ’90 $4
#612 $1.20 Oct ’90 $4
#613 $1.20 Oct ’90 $4
#614 $1.20 Oct ’90 $4
#615 $1.20 Nov ’90 $4
#616 $1.20 Nov ’90 $4
#617 $1.20 Jan ’91 $4
#618 $1.20 Jan ’91 $4
#619 $1.20 Jan ’91 $4
#620 $1.20 Aug ’91 Edmonton Mall $4
#621 $1.20 Sep ’91 $4
#622 $1.20 Oct ’91 $4
#623 $1.20 Oct ’91 $4
#624 $1.20 Oct ’91 $4
#625 $1.20 Nov ’91 $4
#626 $1.20 Nov ’91 $4
#627 $1.20 Jan ’92 $4
#628 $1.20 Jan ’92 $4
#629 $1.20 Jan ’92 $4
#630 $1.20 Feb ’92 $4
Archie Meets the Punisher
Aug ’94
1 issue
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $3.75 Aug ’94 $8
Archie’s Christmas Stocking
1993 – 1996
4 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $2.50 1993 $5
#2 $2.50 1994 $4
#3 $2.50 1995 $4
#4 $2.50 1996 $4
Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica
Oct ’82 – Apr ’87
28 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#320 $0.75 Oct ’82 1st Appearance Of Cheryl Blossom $415
#321 $0.75 Dec ’82 Cheryl Blossom appearance $100
#322 $0.75 Feb ’83 Cheryl meets Archie for the first time $125
#323 $0.75 Apr ’83 $6
#324 $0.75 Jun ’83 Cricket O’Dell appearance $15
#325 $0.75 Aug ’83 Cricket O’Dell appearance $15
#326 $0.75 Oct ’83 $6
#327 $0.75 Dec ’83 Cheryl Blossom appearance $42
#328 $0.75 Feb ’84 Cheryl Blossom appearance $42
#329 $0.75 Apr ’84 $6
#330 $0.75 Jun ’84 $6
#331 $0.75 Aug ’84 $6
#332 $0.75 Oct ’84 Superhero costume party $18
#333 $0.75 Dec ’84 $6
#334 $0.75 Feb ’85 $6
#335 $0.75 Apr ’85 $6
#336 $0.75 Jun ’85 $6
#337 $0.75 Aug ’85 $6
#338 $0.75 Oct ’85 $6
#339 $0.75 Dec ’85 Betty dresses as Madonna $18
#340 $0.75 Feb ’86 Lower print run $10
#341 $0.75 Apr ’86 Lower print run $10
#342 $0.75 Jun ’86 Lower print run $10
#343 $0.95 Aug ’86 Lower print run $10
#344 $0.95 Oct ’86 Lower print run $10
#345 $0.95 Dec ’86 Lower print run $10
#346 $0.95 Feb ’87 Lower print run $10
#347 $0.95 Apr ’87 Lower print run $12
Archie’s Joke Book Magazine
Sep ’82 – Nov ’82
2 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#287 $0.75 Sep ’82 $6
#288 $0.75 Nov ’82 $7
Archie’s Love Showdown Special
1994
1 issue
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $2.50 1994 $4
Archie’s Pal Jughead Comics
Aug ’95 – May ’97
22 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#71 $1.65 Aug ’95 $3
#72 $1.65 Sep ’95 $3
#73 $1.65 Oct ’95 $3
#74 $1.65 Nov ’95 $3
#75 $1.65 Dec ’95 $3
#76 $1.65 Jan ’96 $3
#77 $1.65 Feb ’96 $3
#78 $1.65 Mar ’96 $3
#79 $1.65 Apr ’96 $3
#80 $1.65 May ’96 $3
#81 $1.65 Jun ’96 $3
#82 $1.65 Jul ’96 $3
#83 $1.65 Aug ’96 $3
#84 $1.65 Sep ’96 $3
#85 $1.65 Oct ’96 $3
#86 $1.65 Nov ’96 $3
#87 $1.65 Dec ’96 $3
#88 $1.65 Jan ’97 $3
#89 $1.65 Feb ’97 $3
#90 $1.65 Mar ’97 $3
#91 $1.65 Apr ’97 $3
#92 $1.65 May ’97 $3
Archie’s Pals ‘n Gals
Sep ’82 – Sep ’91
65 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#160 $0.75 Sep ’82 $6
#161 $0.75 Nov ’82 3rd Appearance of Cheryl Blossom $85
#162 $0.75 Jan ’83 $6
#163 $0.75 May ’83 $6
#164 $0.75 Jul ’83 $6
#165 $0.75 Sep ’83 $6
#166 $0.75 Nov ’83 $6
#167 $0.75 Jan ’84 $6
#168 $0.75 Mar ’84 $6
#169 $0.75 May ’84 $6
#170 $0.75 Jul ’84 $6
#171 $0.75 Sep ’84 $5
#172 $0.75 Nov ’84 $5
#173 $0.75 Jan ’85 $5
#174 $0.75 Mar ’85 New Archies Band $6
#175 $0.75 May ’85 $5
#176 $0.75 Jul ’85 Cyndi Lauper cover $6
#177 $0.75 Sep ’85 $5
#178 $0.75 Nov ’85 $5
#179 $0.75 Jan ’86 $5
#180 $0.75 Mar ’86 $5
#181 $0.75 May ’86 $5
#182 $0.95 Jul ’86 $5
#183 $0.95 Sep ’86 $5
#184 $0.95 Nov ’86 $5
#185 $0.95 Jan ’87 $5
#186 $0.95 Mar ’87 $5
#187 $0.95 May ’87 $5
#188 $0.95 Jun ’87 $5
#189 $0.95 Jul ’87 $5
#190 $0.95 Aug ’87 $5
#191 $0.95 Sep ’87 $5
#192 $0.95 Oct ’87 $5
#193 $0.95 Nov ’87 $5
#194 $0.95 Jan ’88 $5
#195 $0.95 Mar ’88 $5
#196 $0.95 May ’88 $5
#197 $0.95 Jun ’88 $5
#198 $0.95 Jul ’88 Archie on strike $6
#199 $0.95 Aug ’88 $5
#200 $0.95 Sep ’88 $6
#201 $0.95 Oct ’88 $4
#202 $0.95 Nov ’88 $6
#203 $0.95 Jan ’89 $4
#204 $0.95 Mar ’89 $4
#205 $0.95 Apr ’89 $4
#206 $1.15 Jun ’89 $4
#207 $1.15 Jul ’89 $4
#208 $1.15 Aug ’89 $4
#209 $1.15 Sep ’89 $4
#210 $1.15 Oct ’89 $4
#211 $1.15 Nov ’89 $4
#212 $1.20 Jan ’90 $4
#213 $1.20 Mar ’90 $4
#214 $1.20 Apr ’90 $4
#215 $1.20 Jun ’90 $4
#216 $1.20 Jul ’90 $4
#217 $1.20 Aug ’90 $4
#218 $1.20 Sep ’90 $4
#219 $1.20 Nov ’90 $4
#220 $1.20 Jan ’91 $4
#221 $1.20 Mar ’91 $4
#222 $1.20 May ’91 $4
#223 $1.20 Jul ’91 $4
#224 $1.20 Sep ’91 $6
Archie’s R C Racers
Sep ’89 – Mar ’91
10 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $1.15 Sep ’89 $6
#2 $1.15 Nov ’89 $4
#3 $1.20 Jan ’90 $3
#4 $1.20 Mar ’90 $3
#5 $1.20 May ’90 Elvis parody $4
#6 $1.20 Jul ’90 $4
#7 $1.20 Sep ’90 $4
#8 $1.20 Nov ’90 $3
#9 $1.20 Jan ’91 $3
#10 $1.20 Mar ’91 $4
Archie’s Spring Break
1996
1 issue
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $2.50 1996 $4
Archie’s Super Teens
1994 – 1996
4 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $2.50 1994 $5
#2 $2.50 1995 $4
#3 $2.50 1995 $4
#4 $2.50 1996 $4
Archie’s TV Laugh-Out
Feb ’83 – Feb ’86
19 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#87 $0.75 Feb ’83 $8
#88 $0.75 Apr ’83 $8
#89 $0.75 Jun ’83 $8
#90 $0.75 Aug ’83 $8
#91 $0.75 Oct ’83 Early Cheryl Blossom story $40
#92 $0.75 Dec ’83 A-Team parody $10
#93 $0.75 Feb ’84 Parody appearances of Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman $15
#94 $0.75 Apr ’84 $8
#95 $0.75 Jun ’84 $8
#96 $0.75 Aug ’84 MASH parody $10
#97 $0.75 Oct ’84 $8
#98 $0.75 Dec ’84 $8
#99 $0.75 Feb ’85 $8
#100 $0.75 Apr ’85 Michael Jackson parody $18
#101 $0.75 Jun ’85 Lower print run $9
#102 $0.75 Aug ’85 Lower print run $9
#103 $0.75 Oct ’85 Lower print run $9
#104 $0.75 Dec ’85 Lower print run $9
#105 $0.75 Feb ’86 Hulk Hogan parody $15
Archie’s Vacation Special
Summer 1994 – 1996
4 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $2.50 Summer 1994 $5
#2 $2.50 Winter 1995 $4
#3 $2.50 Summer 1995 $4
#4 $2.50 1996 $4
Betty
Aug ’95 – May ’97
22 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#28 $1.65 Aug ’95 $3
#29 $1.65 Sep ’95 $3
#30 $1.65 Oct ’95 $3
#31 $1.65 Nov ’95 $3
#32 $1.65 Dec ’95 $3
#33 $1.65 Jan ’96 $3
#34 $1.65 Feb ’96 $3
#35 $1.65 Mar ’96 $3
#36 $1.65 Apr ’96 $3
#37 $1.65 May ’96 $3
#38 $1.65 Jun ’96 $3
#39 $1.65 Jul ’96 $3
#40 $1.65 Aug ’96 $3
#41 $1.65 Sep ’96 $3
#42 $1.65 Oct ’96 $3
#43 $1.65 Nov ’96 $3
#44 $1.65 Dec ’96 $3
#45 $1.65 Jan ’97 $3
#46 $1.65 Feb ’97 $3
#47 $1.65 Mar ’97 $3
#48 $1.65 Apr ’97 $3
#49 $1.65 May ’97 $3
Betty and Me
Sep ’82 – Mar ’92
68 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#130 $0.75 Sep ’82 $7
#131 $0.75 Nov ’82 $5
#132 $0.75 Jan ’83 $5
#133 $0.75 Apr ’83 $5
#134 $0.75 Jul ’83 $5
#135 $0.75 Sep ’83 $5
#136 $0.75 Nov ’83 $5
#137 $0.75 Jan ’84 $5
#138 $0.75 Mar ’84 $5
#139 $0.75 May ’84 $6
#140 $0.75 Jul ’84 $5
#141 $0.75 Sep ’84 $6
#142 $0.75 Nov ’84 $5
#143 $0.75 Jan ’85 $5
#144 $0.75 Mar ’85 $5
#145 $0.75 May ’85 $5
#146 $0.75 Jul ’85 $5
#147 $0.75 Sep ’85 $5
#148 $0.75 Nov ’85 $6
#149 $0.75 Jan ’86 $5
#150 $0.75 Mar ’86 $5
#151 $0.75 May ’86 $5
#152 $0.95 Jul ’86 $5
#153 $0.95 Sep ’86 $5
#154 $0.95 Nov ’86 $5
#155 $0.95 Jan ’87 $6
#156 $0.95 Mar ’87 $5
#157 $0.95 May ’87 $5
#158 $0.95 Jun ’87 $5
#159 $0.95 Jul ’87 $6
#160 $0.95 Aug ’87 $6
#161 $0.95 Sep ’87 $4
#162 $0.95 Oct ’87 $4
#163 $0.95 Dec ’87 $4
#164 $0.95 Jan ’88 $4
#165 $0.95 Mar ’88 $4
#166 $0.95 May ’88 $4
#167 $0.95 Jun ’88 $4
#168 $0.95 Jul ’88 $4
#169 $0.95 Aug ’88 $4
#170 $0.95 Sep ’88 $6
#171 $0.95 Oct ’88 $4
#172 $0.95 Jan ’89 $4
#173 $0.95 Mar ’89 $4
#174 $0.95 May ’89 $4
#175 $1.15 Jun ’89 $4
#176 $1.15 Jul ’89 $4
#177 $1.15 Aug ’89 $4
#178 $1.15 Sep ’89 $4
#179 $1.15 Oct ’89 $4
#180 $1.20 Jan ’90 $4
#181 $1.20 Mar ’90 $4
#182 $1.20 May ’90 $4
#183 $1.20 Jun ’90 $4
#184 $1.20 Jul ’90 $4
#185 $1.20 Aug ’90 $4
#186 $1.20 Sep ’90 $4
#187 $1.20 Oct ’90 $4
#188 $1.20 Jan ’91 $4
#189 $1.20 Mar ’91 $4
#190 $1.20 May ’91 $4
#191 $1.20 Jul ’91 $4
#192 $1.20 Aug ’91 $4
#193 $1.20 Sep ’91 $4
#194 $1.20 Oct ’91 $4
#195 $1.20 Nov ’91 $4
#196 $1.20 Jan ’92 $4
#197 $1.20 Mar ’92 $4
Betty and Veronica
Jun ’87 – May ’97
72 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $0.95 Jun ’87 $10
#2 $0.95 Jul ’87 $6
#3 $0.95 Aug ’87 $6
#4 $0.95 Sep ’87 $6
#5 $0.95 Oct ’87 $6
#6 $0.95 Nov ’87 $6
#7 $0.95 Dec ’87 $6
#8 $0.95 Feb ’88 $6
#9 $0.95 Apr ’88 $6
#10 $0.95 Jun ’88 $6
#11 $0.95 Jul ’88 $4
#12 $0.95 Aug ’88 $4
#13 $0.95 Sep ’88 $4
#14 $0.95 Oct ’88 $4
#15 $0.95 Nov ’88 $4
#16 $0.95 Dec ’88 $4
#17 $0.95 Feb ’89 $4
#18 $0.95 Mar ’89 $4
#19 $0.95 Apr ’89 $4
#20 $0.95 May ’89 $4
#21 $1.15 Jul ’89 $4
#22 $1.15 Aug ’89 $4
#23 $1.15 Sep ’89 $4
#24 $1.15 Oct ’89 $4
#25 $1.15 Nov ’89 $4
#26 $1.20 Jan ’90 $4
#27 $1.20 Feb ’90 $4
#28 $1.20 Mar ’90 $4
#29 $1.20 Apr ’90 $4
#30 $1.20 May ’90 $4
#31 $1.20 Jun ’90 $3
#32 $1.20 Aug ’90 $3
#33 $1.20 Sep ’90 $3
#34 $1.20 Oct ’90 $3
#35 $1.20 Nov ’90 $3
#36 $1.20 Dec ’90 $3
#37 $1.20 Feb ’91 $3
#38 $1.20 Mar ’91 $3
#39 $1.20 May ’91 $3
#40 $1.20 Jun ’91 $3
#41 $1.20 Jul ’91 $3
#42 $1.20 Aug ’91 $3
#43 $1.20 Sep ’91 $3
#44 $1.20 Oct ’91 $3
#45 $1.20 Nov ’91 $3
#46 $1.20 Dec ’91 $3
#47 $1.20 Jan ’92 $3
#48 $1.20 Feb ’92 $3
#49 $1.20 Mar ’92 $3
#50 $1.20 Apr ’92 $3
#90 $1.65 Aug ’95 $3
#91 $1.65 Sep ’95 $3
#92 $1.65 Oct ’95 $3
#93 $1.65 Nov ’95 $3
#94 $1.65 Dec ’95 $3
#95 $1.65 Jan ’96 $3
#96 $1.65 Feb ’96 $3
#97 $1.65 Mar ’96 $3
#98 $1.65 Apr ’96 $3
#99 $1.65 May ’96 $3
#100 $1.65 Jun ’96 $3
#101 $1.65 Jul ’96 $3
#102 $1.65 Aug ’96 $3
#103 $1.65 Sep ’96 $3
#104 $1.65 Oct ’96 $3
#105 $1.65 Nov ’96 $3
#106 $1.65 Dec ’96 $3
#107 $1.65 Jan ’97 $3
#108 $1.65 Feb ’97 $3
#109 $1.65 Mar ’97 $3
#110 $1.65 Apr ’97 $3
#111 $1.65 May ’97 $3
Betty and Veronica Spectacular
Oct ’95 – May ’97
8 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#16 $1.65 Oct ’95 $3
#17 $1.65 Jan ’96 $3
#18 $1.65 Apr ’96 $3
#19 $1.65 Jul ’96 $3
#20 $1.65 Oct ’96 $3
#21 $1.65 Dec ’96 $3
#22 $1.65 Mar ’97 $3
#23 $1.65 May ’97 $3
Betty and Veronica Summer Fun
1994 – 1997
4 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $2.50 1994 $4
#2 $2.50 1995 $3
#3 $2.50 1996 $3
#4 $2.50 1997 $3
Betty’s Diary
Apr ’86 – Apr ’91
40 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#1 $0.75 Apr ’86 $7
#2 $0.95 Jun ’86 $4
#3 $0.95 Aug ’86 $4
#4 $0.95 Oct ’86 $4
#5 $0.95 Dec ’86 $4
#6 $0.95 Feb ’87 $4
#7 $0.95 Apr ’87 $4
#8 $0.95 Jun ’87 $4
#9 $0.95 Jul ’87 $4
#10 $0.95 Aug ’87 $4
#11 $0.95 Sep ’87 $3
#12 $0.95 Oct ’87 $3
#13 $0.95 Nov ’87 $3
#14 $0.95 Dec ’87 $3
#15 $0.95 Feb ’88 $3
#16 $0.95 Apr ’88 $3
#17 $0.95 Jun ’88 $3
#18 $0.95 Jul ’88 $3
#19 $0.95 Aug ’88 $3
#20 $0.95 Sep ’88 $3
#21 $0.95 Oct ’88 $3
#22 $0.95 Dec ’88 $3
#23 $0.95 Feb ’89 $3
#24 $0.95 Apr ’89 $3
#25 $1.15 Jun ’89 $3
#26 $1.15 Jul ’89 $3
#27 $1.15 Aug ’89 $3
#28 $1.15 Sep ’89 $3
#29 $1.15 Oct ’89 $3
#30 $1.15 Dec ’89 $3
#31 $1.20 Feb ’90 $3
#32 $1.20 Apr ’90 $3
#33 $1.20 Jun ’90 $3
#34 $1.20 Jul ’90 $3
#35 $1.20 Aug ’90 $3
#36 Sep ’90 Unconfirmed if price is $1.20 OR $1.25. Test marketing issue. $3
#37 $1.20 Oct ’90 $3
#38 $1.20 Dec ’90 $3
#39 $1.20 Feb ’91 $3
#40 $1.20 Apr ’91 $3
Blue Ribbon Comics
Feb ’84 – Dec ’84
10 issues
Issue CPV Cover Price Month / Year Notes Baseline (Non-Variant) NM- Issue Value
#5 $1.00 Feb ’84 $6
#6 $1.00 Mar ’84 $6
#7 $1.00 Apr ’84 $6
#8 $1.00 May ’84 Neal Adams art $7
#9 $1.00 Jun ’84 $6
#10 $1.00