Rare Comics: Welcome

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My name is Benjamin Nobel, and I’d like to welcome you to the Rare Comics Blog!

Below you will find a list of my latest posts by category, followed by a welcome/introduction which I would encourage you to read if this is the first time you’ve landed here.

Thanks for visiting!

Articles & Resources

There are three known instances of Type 1A cover price variants: (1) Canadian Price Variants (2) Australian Price Variants, and (3) Pence Price Variants.

Also see: General Comics Topics; Newsstand Comics; TMNT; Spawn; Savage Dragon.

General Comic Book Topics

 11/2015 – My manifesto: Rare Comics To Collect [ companion slideshow ]  

 6/2016 – Star Wars #1-4 35¢ Cover — Also, Other Price Variants You DIDN’T Know Existed! [Related slideshow: 10 Overlooked Star Wars Comics To Rival 35 Cent Variants]

 12/2016 – An Open Letter To Overstreet [C’mon guys, well past time to break out newsstand comics in the guide, especially 1980’s cover price variants]

 1/2017 – Variant vs. Variant: Amazing Spider-Man #678 (Mary Jane Venom) vs. #607 (Black Cat $3.99 Cover Price)

 2/2017 – Lists of Key Comic Books by Year [2021 update]

 3/2017 – Future classic cover contenders: 7 Variants Destined For Future Classic Cover Status [ companion cover swipes slideshow ]

 4/2017 – X-Men Annual #14 (1st Gambit Debate)

 12/2017 – CGC 9.8 Census Comparison: 1970’s Keys vs. 1980’s Keys

 7/2018 – The “Cover Swipe Test”: 2 More Price Variant Keys Passing It

 8/2018 – How Many Amazing Spider-Man Stan Lee CGC SS Books Exist? [11/30/2018 update: How Many Stan Lee CGC Signature Series Books Exist?]

 9/2018 – 6 Epic CGC Labeling Blunders Of Price Variant Comics And What We Can Learn From Them

 12/2019 – No Month Variants / Pre-Pack Editions / Whitman 3-Pack Variants

 4/2020 – Collecting Comics During The Coronavirus Pandemic

 3/2021 – Lists Of Key Comics By Year/Decade (Now with label notes included!)

 4/2021 – Will NFTs Be Part Of The Future Of Comic Book Collecting?

 6/2021 – The Overstreet Grading Guide, Staple Replacement, and ASM 238 Tattooz

 12/2021 – Saga of the Swamp Thing: 1st John Constantine Appearance

Newsstand Comics

 11/2015 – Comic Book Newsstand Editions: Understanding The Difference

 6/2016 – Wolverine Limited Series #1 — Where Are The Newsstand Copies??

 6/2016 – Strange but true: Amazing Spider-Man / Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man / Sensational Spider-Man

 6/2016 – Newsstand Vs. Direct Edition Comics

 8/2016 – Newsstand Variants, $3.99 Newsstand Editions, and The Doc Collection [Also see: $2.29 and $2.49 price variants for Amazing Spider-Man v2 #10, #11, & #13]

 9/2016 – Newsstand Rarity Discussions & Estimates

 1/2017 – Darker Image #1 — Newsstand $1.95 Cover Price Variant (1st Maxx Appearance)

 2/2017 – People are noticing newsstand comics! The WordPress stats page tells me that someone found my blog today by searching the web on the phrase “why are newsstand comics worth more?” … They have asked a great question — so I put up a new page to answer that exact question! 🙂 [Related: “Nice book, too bad it’s a direct edition”]

 4/2017 – Daredevil #21, $3.99 Newsstand Edition (Superior Spider-Man Cameo)

 4/2017 – Applause to CBCS Now Recognizing Newsstand Comics!

 5/2017 – What If Venom Possessed Deadpool? What If There Was A Rare Cover Price Variant?

 5/2017 – What If Venom Possessed Wolverine? (New Avengers #35, $3.99 Newsstand Edition)

 5/2017 – DC Rebirth, $3.99 Newsstand Editions

 6/2017 – $2.99 Newsstand Edition CGC Census Variants, and, “Partial Cover Price Variations” $1.99 Newsstands Too!

 6/2017 – 30 More Newsstand Census Variants Confirmed at CGC Since Year-End

 7/2017 – Amazing Spider-Man #400: Understanding The Real Newsstand Edition

 8/2017 – Applause To CPG Accepting $3.99 Cover Price Variants Into The Price Guide!

4/2019Marvel Annual Newsstand Numbering: Uncanny X-Men
[7/2019 — check out these cool finds courtesy of Kurt Halvorsen including newsstand issues with bar-code-on-the-front similar to Amazing Spider-Man v2 #36, finds among Marvel’s 70th Anniversary Magazines, as well as Daredevil Volume 2, Marvel Knights, Citizen V, Hulk Smash, and Banner!]

 5/2020 – Applause To CBCS Releasing Their Census!

 5/2020 – Newsstand Rarity By Year: CBCS Census

 7/2020 – That Newsstand Comic You Didn’t Know You Owned May Be Worth Over $8000

 2/2021 – CBCS Population Report: A Quick Guide To Understanding Newsstand, Direct, and CPV Census Numbers

 3/2021 – Spider-Man #1 (1990): Newsstand Variants Versus The Rest

 10/2021 – First Appearance of Spider-Man 2099: Don’t Forget Web #90!

 9/2022 – Applause To CGC Now Recognizing Newsstand (And Multi-Pack) Comics!

Canadian Price Variants

 4/2016 – 75 Cent Variants (Canadian Newsstand Editions)

 6/2016 – A practical guide: Canadian Price Variants — How To Spot Them

 6/2016 – D.C. Comics “Canadian Editions” — Likely Only 2-7% [ May 2019 update: CGC announced that as of May 6, 2019, they will label as “Canadian Price Variant” instead of “Canadian Edition” going forward 🙂 ]

 6/2016 – Slideshow: Rare 1980’s Price Variants To Collect

 7/2016 – The 75¢ Price Puzzle: Parallels To 35¢ Variants

 12/2016 – Wow, just 1-2% of CGC graded #252 copies for a decade and a half: Amazing Spider-Man #252 75¢ “Canadian Edition” Variant: CGC Census Rarity Over Time

 12/2016 – Marvel Graphic Novel #4 — $5.95 Cover Price Variant (1st New Mutants Appearance)

 4/2017 – 95¢ and $1.00 DC Price Variants: How Do We Know What They Are?

 4/2017 – 66 New Canadian Price Variants Confirmed at CGC Since Year-End, a 16% Increase

 8/2017 – The Orange Cat Phenomenon (and Canadian Price Variants)

 10/2017 – The 2018 Price Guide for 1980’s Marvel & DC Newsstand Canadian Cover Price Variants (Type 1A)

 10/2017 – Amazing Spider-Man #238: The Tattooz Situation

 10/2017 – “Canadian Edition” vs. “Canadian Price Variant”

 11/2017 – Our Type 1A Price Guide Featured In Scoop! [And again for our 2019 edition!]

 2/2018 – Investing in Canadian Price Variants: 11 Tips

 4/2018 – Three Variants That Surprised Me

 6/2018 – Voltron #1-3, Type 1A $1.00 Cover Price Variants

 6/2018 – Incremental Improvement to CGC’s “Canadian Edition” Labeling [5/2019 update: Another, even better, improvement was just announced by CGC!]

 10/2018 – Applause To CBCS’s New “75¢ Canadian Price Variant” Labeling

 10/2018 – The 2019 Price Guide for 1980’s Marvel & DC Newsstand Canadian Cover Price Variants (Type 1A)

 10/2018 – Canadian Price Variants: Noteworthy Sales

 10/2018 – Two Ways To Win Update [ from our 2019 Guide’s new Market Reports & Articles section — don’t miss the other great original articles there! ]

 1/2019 – Archie Canadian/Pence Price Variants and the Betty’s Diary #36 Mystery

 1/2019 – Gladstone Canadian Price Variants

3/2019ThunderCats #1 True Canadian Price Variant vs. 75¢ “Logo” Copies

5/2019Applause to CGC Now Labeling Type 1A’s as “Canadian Price Variant”, “Australian Price Variant”, and “UK Price Variant”

6/2019Archie Canadian Price Variants

8/2019CPV Discussions In Overstreet #49 Market Reports

11/2019Top 100 Variants of the 2020 CPV Price Guide

 5/2020 – Applause To CBCS Releasing Their Census!

 8/2020 – Whitman 1984 Canadian Price Variants

 8/2020 – The Story of the Wawa Collection

12/2020Top 100 Variants of the 2021 CPV Price Guide

12/2020List of 1st Appearances (& 2nd) in the 2021 CPV Price Guide

12/2020Top CGC Grades For Top Canadian Price Variants

 2/2021 – CBCS Population Report: A Quick Guide To Understanding Newsstand, Direct, and CPV Census Numbers

 11/2021 – CPVs: The Even Rarer Newsstand Choice

2023 CPV Price Guide Launched

As part of our latest price guide to Canadian Price Variant comics, we have a robust Market Reports & Articles section with market reports and articles contributed by guide collaborators as well as outside contributors. These reports & articles each represent the views of the individual authors. Below, click any report title to read the full article. For convenience, prior years’ articles are included; new articles published subsequent to last year’s guide are denoted with: “New!

New!Newsstand (And in Turn Canadian Price Variant) Awareness Is Exploding
By Bill Alexander — “Now is a great time to buy key CPV books in high certified grade at incredibly low bargain prices …” [ continue reading » ]
CPV Market Report: Year In Review
By Bill Alexander — “The gap between certified 9.6 and 9.8 books in what they sell for, is still continuing to grow wider and wider. At comic book auction houses, I have noticed that some certified 9.8 graded copies of popular key books are sometimes …” [ continue reading » ]
Market Report + Dell and Archie CPVs 1951-1959
By Bill Alexander — “It appears there has been a big noticeable increase in demand for newsstand edition comics versus direct edition comics especially with certified 9.8 grade comics published from 1979 on …” [ continue reading » ]
Notable Sales, Archie "Phase 1" CPVs, and Widening 9.8 Premiums
By Bill Alexander — “I have noticed a continuing widening gap in sales prices between certified 9.6 graded comics and certified 9.8 graded comics that are of the same issue number. …” [ continue reading » ]
Harvey Canadian Price Variants
By Bill Alexander, Salvatore Miceli, and Benjamin Nobel — “Everyone knows about Marvel’s 35¢ cover price variants from 1977 (Type 1), but few know that Harvey published 35¢ Type 1A cover price variants in 1974… and 1973… and 1972… and… ” [ continue reading » ]
Record-Breaking 2018 Sales for Canadian Price Variants
By Bill Alexander and James Gilbreath — “2018 saw many record breaking and high end sales for Canadian price variants in the hobby …” [ continue reading » ]
New!Canadian Price Variants: Thoughts & Perspective
By Tim Bildhauser — “The comparison that comes to mind, at least for me, is that in the middle of the chaos, the CPV market turned out to be the CD of the investment market as opposed to openly traded stocks …” [ continue reading » ]
2021 Canadian Price Variant Market Report
By Tim Bildhauser — “Much like the rest of the comic market I believe we’re seeing the threshold begin to lower in terms of what constitutes an acceptable grade. Collectors are realizing that there are some CPVs that are out of their price range in the higher grades …” [ continue reading » ]
Amazing Spider-Man #238 Remains the King of CPVs
By Tim Bildhauser — “This year we saw unprecedented sales, some of which were record highs and others that are so consistent that they firmly established the fact that mainstream collectors have accepted and embraced CPVs as an unquestionably legitimate part of the hobby …” [ continue reading » ]
Fun, Frustration and General Observation
By Tim Bildhauser — “Regardless of which perspective one may have about CPVs, there’s no doubt and no denying that they’re becoming a greater force in the mainstream of comic collecting …” [ continue reading » ]
Price Variants and the International Collector
By Tim Bildhauser — “One of the main styles of collecting comics, that is growing in popularity, is assembling what is referred to as a set …” [ continue reading » ]
New!2022 PNJ Comics Canadian Price Variant Market Report
By Paul Clairmont — “It was not easy to predict what would become more expensive because conventional economics didn’t drive pricing in collectibles during the pandemic and especially in a niche area such as Canadian Price Variants …” [ continue reading » ]
PNJ Comics 2020 Canadian Price Variant Market Report
By Paul Clairmont — “People need to remember the distribution channels for these books was not speciality shops with owners wearing white gloves carefully laying them out for the fine art crowd to come and carefully handle. These books were stuffed into unforgiving newsstands and spinner racks in convenience stores and grocery stores with employees unloading them with the same care as tossing tin cans of corn onto a store shelf …” [ continue reading » ]
First-To-Market CPV Keys Seeing Exceptionally Strong Sales
By Paul Clairmont — “If you can achieve being first to market with the highest certified copy of even a semi-key book you can almost set your price …” [ continue reading » ]
A Common-Sense Approach To Understand Canadian Price Variant Scarcity
By Paul Clairmont — “Here is a simple and very common-sense approach to understand the scarcity of Canadian Price Variant comics …” [ continue reading » ]
New!Charlton Canadian Price Variants (CPVs)
By Stephen Cranch — “They’re not the easiest set of variants to collect and some appear to be quite scarce. I love Charlton myself, so will be slowly picking off those remaining books until I hopefully one day complete the set …” [ continue reading » ]
CPVs Are Hot on ICE
By Walter Durajlija and Jay Halstead — “Can you believe, with how hot this book has been, that it’s now been almost 4 years since an Amazing Spider-Man #238 CPV has sold in 9.8? …” [ continue reading » ]
Canadian Whites and Type 1A Variant Perspective
By Walter Durajlija — “I would advise collectors in Canada to zoom out and keep the ‘big picture’ in mind when it comes to Type 1A variant scarcity …” [ continue reading » ]
New!UKPVs: The Persisting Public Perception That Seems to Defy Demonstrable Data
By James Gilbreath — “The disrespect is real. But why? …” [ continue reading » ]
Collecting CPVs for Profit
By James Gilbreath — “The CPV window was open for a considerable period of time and encompassed an incredibly fertile period of game changing imagination and innovation in the industry. There are so many keys to choose from during this era, a more detailed examination is called for …” [ continue reading » ]
2019 in Review
By James Gilbreath — “Once a niche topic, CPV discussion has exploded on comic forums everywhere in the last few years …” [ continue reading » ]
The Hottest CPVs of 2021
By Jay Halstead — “I’ve always felt Spidey and Star Wars are the two easiest CPV’s to find, as it should be, as these were immensely popular titles during that time. But in high grade, most of the Star Wars CPVs are still extremely elusive …” [ continue reading » ]
My Take on the Market 2020
By Jay Halstead — “Bob Overstreet used to preach the slow and steady approach, which I’m not a huge fan of, when a book goes up and is trading for a higher amount, my feeling is that the book should show significant upward momentum in my survey. But unlike Bob who rarely went backwards on values, we are a small unit who still are early enough into this where we can make corrections where need be …” [ continue reading » ]
New!Canadian Price Variants (CPVs) and GPAnalysis.com (2022 Update)
By Greg Holland — “The year-to-date 2022 average CGC sales prices for the top 100 books with a CPV have reflected multipliers of: CGC 9.8 – 2.4x; CGC 9.6 – 2.0x; CGC 9.4 – 1.6x; CGC 9.2 – 1.2x …” [ continue reading » ]
New!Canadian Price Variants (CPVs) and the CGC Census (2022 Update)
By Greg Holland — “The CGC Census reported percentages of CPV books for Marvel and D.C. Comics in the 1980s is currently 2.7% and 2.9%, respectively …” [ continue reading » ]
From a Seller’s Perspective…
By Tony LeBlanc — “I started classifying comics as CPVs about 12 years ago. At first, I was surprised to see that roughly 80% of all my sales were predominantly from fellow Canadians. Now that CPVs are more mainstream, I would estimate that about 65% of my CPV sales goes to the States and this percentage continues to rise …” [ continue reading » ]
Overstreet Price Guide #50 Full Market Report
By Jon McClure — “I have long argued that Type 1A variants of all eras would climb in interest due to scarcity …” [ continue reading » ]
A Short History in Comics: 35 Cent Cover Price Variants and Various Reminiscences
By Jon McClure — “It’s been a fun and challenging ride so far, and I think it’s just getting started for Type 1a Variants, so sit back and enjoy the fireworks …” [ continue reading » ]
New!Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice
By Salvatore Miceli — “With all the recent talk of a planned sequel for the Beetlejuice movie this line of six issues is likely to have the biggest potential rise in value of all the 90’s Harvey comics that they released …” [ continue reading » ]
Where Have All the Cartoon Books Gone?
By Salvatore Miceli — “The demand for Gladstone, Archie and Harveys are still in its infancy. The growth potential in CPV values for these 3 publishers is massive in my personal opinion especially given that most 30-40 year olds are familiar enough with most of the properties to feel comfortable and nostalgic enough to begin investing in them …” [ continue reading » ]
New!The A, B, & C Titles Among Canadian Price Variants
By Jayden Mitchell — “In many cases, that is the deciding factor in my opinion: the availability of certain books, regardless of their significance, is the driving factor in their value …” [ continue reading » ]
CaptCan Comics 2021 CPV Market Report
By Jayden Mitchell — “We have become known for our selection of Canadian Price Variants & intend to continue expanding our CPV inventory …” [ continue reading » ]
New!X-Factor #38 $1.00 Cover Price Variant
By Benjamin Nobel — “Even though this is a Type 1B price variant, "thinking Type 1A" is how I actually found one myself …” [ continue reading » ]
New!Jon’s Views Prevailing (Again)
By Benjamin Nobel — “Long-time readers may already be familiar with Jon McClure’s once-"controversial" stance on the Tattooz inside of Amazing Spider-Man #238, with Jon advocating that their absence should not cause an "INCOMPLETE" label …” [ continue reading » ]
CPVs: The Even Rarer Newsstand Choice
By Benjamin Nobel — “I attribute a lot of the growth in our guide’s website usage to one of the "mega-trends" that has been slowly unfolding in our hobby: investment grade newsstand comics from the copper and modern ages have slowly but surely …” [ continue reading » ]
Welcome to CPV Price Guide #4!
By Benjamin Nobel — “In today’s age of an endless supply of ‘manufactured-rarity’ retailer incentive variants we could choose to take home, many of which collectors are asked to shell out $25-$50+ to own, it is so nice by contrast to have a universe of ‘naturally-occurring’ Type 1A price variants within the world of 1980’s (and 1990’s) newsstand comics …” [ continue reading » ]
Whitman 1984 Canadian Price Variants
By Benjamin Nobel — “These are Quite Rare in High Grade, with 9.2 copies worth $75.00 or more each …” [ continue reading » ]
CPV Census: Most Actives Table
By Benjamin Nobel — “A lot of the big DC Canadian Price Variant comics are shockingly hard to find compared against Marvel …” [ continue reading » ]
Two Ways to Win Update
By Benjamin Nobel — “When collecting any given key comic book issue, it is better to have two ways to win, than just one …” [ continue reading » ]
The Story of the Wawa Collection
By Philip Standhart and Craig Foxhoven — “When he opened the door, Craig and I were speechless …” [ continue reading » ]
New!Harvey CPV Price Guide (2023 Edition)
By Doug Sulipa — “This year I’ve provided guide values for each of the Harvey CPVs … ” [ continue reading » ]
New!Whitman 1984 CPV Price Guide (2023 Edition)
By Doug Sulipa — “Since these are KIDS comics, very few exist in 9.0 or better, with Almost NO Copies Yet Graded by CGC … ” [ continue reading » ]
Canadian Newsstand Cover Price VARIANTS 2018-2019 Market Report
By Doug Sulipa — “Canadian Newsstand Cover Price VARIANT editions, were easily our #1 bestselling VARIANTS of the year … ” [ continue reading » ]
New!What Should I Buy This Year?
By Angelo Virone — “A growing segment of the collecting community is discovering the desirability and true scarcity of CPV’s and now they want to own a piece of the pie …” [ continue reading » ]
Canadian Price Variants And Overstreet’s Top 25 Copper Age Comics
By Angelo Virone — “I predict with confidence, if the economy holds up, Key CPV’s will break many more records given that new collectors as well as seasoned ones, not yet into this space, develop a better understanding of their true potential …” [ continue reading » ]
Get Them Now or Chase Them Later
By Angelo Virone — “Given the fact that regular newsstand copies for key Copper and Modern age books are now selling at multiples to their direct edition counterparts, I strongly believe and predict that KEY CPV’s in the highest grades are presently under-valued as newsstand price variants because they are the scarcest of the first printings …” [ continue reading » ]
State of the CPV Market
By Angelo Virone — “It’s interesting to see well known collectors who never fully got into Canadian Price Variant comics now entering the space paying big bucks for top graded key issues … ” [ continue reading » ]
The "Quebec Effect" on the Supply of CPVs
By Angelo Virone and Benjamin Nobel — “The Quebec Effect definitely would have had some noteworthy directional impact on the "big picture" rarity characteristics for Canadian Price Variant comics … ” [ continue reading » ]
Comic Book Table Talk: Predict, Invest, Collect!
By Angelo Virone — “Introducing my personal method when investing: I call it my ‘Comic Score Card‘ … “
[ continue reading » ]

Welcome & Introduction

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I started blogging about Rare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics in 2011, then created a blog for Rare Spawn Comics and Rare Savage Dragon Comics — with these characters ranking among my favorite all-time comic book superheroes outside of the Marvel universe and DC universe. 🙂

The format of those blogs has been to profile specific rare and interesting (and hence valuable and/or highly collectible) comics. For example, I profiled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (May 1984) which is the most highly valued and collectible TMNT comic book of all time, with a print run of just 3,000 copies and featuring the first appearance of the turtles (that blog entry also touches upon Gobbledygook, which was hand-produced on a Xerox photocopier on legal-size paper folded in half and stapled by hand).

I have also profiled the little-known comic Graphic Fantasy #1 (1982) which was a pre-Megaton fanzine self-published by Erik Larsen with a print run of just several hundred copies and containing the first appearance of the “original” incarnation of Savage Dragon. On account of being so incredibly scarce and therefore nearly invisible, the industry completely overlooked it for years and credited Megaton #2/3 with the key first character appearance… But recently some copies of Graphic Fantasy were graded and the CGC “1st appearance credits” for Savage Dragon comics were re-considered and are now allocated differently than they’d been before.

On the Spawn blog I have profiled such comics as the Spawn #1 “Black & White Edition” (1997) which had a print run on the order of 3,100 copies and Rust #1 “Special Limited Edition” (April 1992) which had a restricted print run believed to be limited to 10,000 copies and features a pre-Spawn-#1 full page black & white pin-up by Todd McFarlane to promote the upcoming release of Spawn #1 — that pin-up featuring a sketch of the artwork later used for the cover of Spawn #2, and including a “prototype” Spawn logo that was later tossed aside in favor of the logo ultimately used in the series.

For this blog, I will post about general comic book collecting “themes” that I find to be particularly interesting — like newsstand vs. direct edition comics — and over time I will also profile specific comics outside of Spawn, Savage Dragon, or the TMNT. This blog is also now the home for the hobby’s very first online comic book price guide for Type 1A 1980’s newsstand cover price variants from Marvel & DC.

A recurring “theme” I will return to often in the Savage Dragon and Spawn blogs, is that when Image Comics made its debut in 1992, the Newsstand Distribution Channel for comic books in general was already in major decline. To attain any newsstand distribution against that backdrop was a challenge for Image; collectors would learn in 2013 that Image sold only on the order of 1% of their comics on newsstands versus 99% direct sold to comic shops.

This ratio for Image already creates a disparity in rarity that is critical for collecting early Image keys (where collectors should arguably clearly prefer the newsstand copies which have UPC codes on them — the prevalent direct edition copies lack these UPC codes). But equally interesting is that the challenging nature of newsstand distribution led Image to elect manufacturing choices for their newsstand print runs that in some cases were different from their direct edition print runs — in other words, the newsstand print runs were often produced differently!

These differences were likely to control costs, with choices such as manufacturing the newsstand copies with cheap newsprint paper instead of glossy; or different thickness paper for the cover; or omitting special features like centerfold posters. As a result of these manufacturing differences — when they occurred — CGC treats such newsstand copies as distinct “variants” on the CGC census. Meaning we can actually study some data on how many of each type (direct edition and newsstand) have been graded!

And in addition to manufacturing differences, there are other “special situations” where CGC breaks out newsstand versions as distinct variants on census. You may see CGC graded comics that say “Newsstand Edition” but also “Canadian Price Variant” — and most recently you will find Newsstand Variants and $3.99/$4.99 Newsstand Editions (that last variant category — a “class” of cover price variants — only being created/recognized at CGC in 2016).

I believe that when collecting comics, it is better to have two ways to win, than just one. When there is a more rare version of a given comic available, but the more rare version is priced with little to no premium due to lack of awareness among other collectors, I want that more rare version instead of the prevalent one… Because if you can obtain the more rare version for similar cost, then you have two ways to win instead of one: the issue number itself may rise in value, and the rarity premium may grow if collectors come to recognize it in the future — much like what happened with 35 cent variants, which were broadly overlooked as a “class” of comics before 1998.

Relative value: that’s what I look for, that’s what intrigues me most, and that’s what I enjoy writing about. Thanks for visiting, and as you read any of my posts, if you have additional information you can add to the discussion that I missed, please do so in the comment section either on the post in question or here on the main page — I continue to be humbled and amazed at how much I learn from readers! 🙂

– Ben

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392 thoughts on “Rare Comics: Welcome

  1. Sean says:

    Big fan of your writing and research – I’ve recently begun collecting some canadian variants – always look for them in the stacks at my LCS – I was wondering if you could write an article or maybe just a quick reply to this and shed some light on Tales of the Teen Titans 44 95 cent newsstand Canadian variant – when I looked recently there were 35 graded examples on the CGC census compared to 2500 regular cover edition. I’m sure more will surface with the news yesterday of a nightwing movie but this comic has been popular for awhile – I’m thinking higher grade variant issues will remain at a low percentage compared to the reg cover. Would love to hear your thoughts and keep up the great articles!


    • Hi Sean, you’ve definitely picked out a great key there, with Tales of the Teen Titans #44! I recently completed a project where I sorted the entire universe of 1980’s-published comics according to the number of total copies of each issue number that have been submitted through CGC to date according to their census data — the thinking being that this is a great way to “crowd-source” a nice list of important keys, because the more important the book the more likely the owner will want to get it graded/slabbed.

      With that census data in hand, I then cross-referenced that list of most submitted issues against the list of Canadian Edition variants confirmed to exist at CGC as of year-end on their census. The resulting list of important keys with confirmed-to-exist CGC-recognized Canadian Edition variants is here at the following link — and check out which book comes in at the #9 most-submitted key that has a cover price variant: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/key-comics-from-the-80s/

      Indeed, that #9 spot is held by the very book you mentioned — Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (and the count of total census copies has only continued to increase since year-end), with the 95 cent cover price variant showing 36 copies on record at CGC (inclusive of Signature Series), for a census rarity percentage of just about one and a half percent of the total copies graded of the issue number. And while coming in at the #9 spot overall as ranked by sheer number of CGC submissions, Tales of the Teen Titans #44 is actually the first D.C. book to show up on the list.

      I’ve gone ahead and added the book to my page on D.C. Canadian price variants, in the section where I give a few examples of key comics to look for — Tales of the Teen Titans #44 definitely belongs there in the list of highlighted examples given its importance: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/dc-comics-canadian-editions-2-7-percent/

      In terms of shedding light on it as a specific example, I think that once one comes to understand the entire “class” of 1980’s Canadian price variant comic books — especially the fact that for Marvel and D.C. they were newsstand exclusives and therefore only made up a portion of the already-small Canadian market for comics — that the likely rarity percentage of the price variant for any given book can be understood within that context, and then from there we always still have to keep in mind there would be unknown variables like issue-by-issue sell-through on the newsstands, and the fate of the returns.

      For Tales of the Teen Titans #44, given the publication year of 1984 and an assumption of a downward-trending newsstand percentage through the decade with a 50/50 split of the Canadian market by the middle of the decade (50% direct edition and 50% newsstand), I’d peg the initial distribution rarity at 5.88 – 6.86% of the total sold for Tales of the Teen Titans #44, and then the notorious newsstand destruction rate is likely the single biggest factor diminishing that down to the observed rarity of surviving copies sitting here in 2017.

      – Ben


  2. Sean says:

    Ben you blow my mind with your amazing attention to detail and research. I believe collectors have only begun to appreciate how rare books like tales of Teen Titans 44 Canadian variant are – and with research like yours it can only help to open people’s eyes to it. It’s crazy to think it sits at such a low percentage – I was pretty astounded to see it was number 9 on your list. I’m going to enjoy going over your data now so thanks for taking the time to give such a weighty response to my query – as always much appreciated.


  3. Sal miceli says:

    Any chance you can do some research and post an article regarding the “No Month” Wonder Woman, batman, detective comics etc books that were released in the 80s. Basically all were non-newsstand copies with the price and issue number but no month on the cover. I believe they were released in multi-packs (maybe) and had a decent print run (another maybe). They all seem to get a high price for any copies. I know Wonder Woman 1-3, batman 352,356, 401-403, and detective comics 519 were just some examples based on a quick eBay lookup. Are they technically 2nd or 3rd prints or something different altogether?I havent spent the time checking how many other DC titles may have the same “variants”. Any info or insight would surely be appreciated by all of us.


    • Hi Sal,

      I haven’t held any of these “no-month” copies in my own hands to study what’s inside the cover, but I do observe that they are commonly referred to out there as 2nd print copies. For Batman #357 as an example, I know that MyComicShop catalogs them as “#357MULTIPACK” and in their description refers to them as 2nd print copies; the description also specifies the other two comics that were in the pack for Batman #357 as being World’s Finest #289 and DC Comics Presents #55:


      Other sellers also seem to refer to such copies as being 2nd printings:


      CGC catalogs these as a variant of the 3/1983 issue with the notation “Pre-pack edition” and as of today there are 21 of them on census:


      Here’s a recently sold CGC Pre-Pack labeled copy, which auctioned off on eBay for $146.19:


      The seller’s description indicated the pack was purchased from a Walgreens. I’m reminded a little bit of the current DC multi-packs being sold exclusively in Walmart today — the Rebirth copies in the current packs are considered later printings, there is no price on their cover, and they’re sealed in plastic with two other comics.

      Here’s their picture of the CGC slab for that Pre-pack Edition copy, where we can see the label note:


      Performing a CGC certification lookup on the above copy shows the following information:


      These pre-pack copies do indeed seem to be much harder to find out there, so it is a little surprising they’re selling pretty much in-line with other copies — here’s a recent pre-pack copy, newsstand copy, and direct edition copy auction result in the same CGC 9.4 grade point, side by side:


      All three above pretty much right in range of one another. Wish I could also picture a 75 cent cover price copy in CGC 9.4 to compare, but seeing as how there is only 1 on census in that grade, I guess finding it in the sold listings section would have required a stroke of luck! Here’s what CGC presently has on census for 75 cent copies of Batman #357:


      – Ben


  4. Sal miceli says:

    Wow Ben, that was great. Lots of important info in that nice little reply. I would love it if someone could put together a full list of every “no month pre-pack” variant produced. That in itself might be a great collection quest for somebody. As usual you have all the answers and know everything comic related. Lol. Keep up the great work Ben. Checking in daily for your next awesome article.



  5. Sal miceli says:

    Also, as a separate issue, how much do you know about the “so much fun” variants? I have a couple of them and they are so much fun to come across in bargain bins…pun intended.



    • Hi Sal, I haven’t held any of these “so much fun” copies in my own hands to study them in detail, but, I came across listings for a few of them as I was hunting for Canadian price variants. One example issue I came across with a So Much Fun version was Batman #401.

      Using this particular issue as one example to dig into, according to MyComicShop, the So Much Fun reprint was published in 1987 (first print copies of Batman #401 were meanwhile from 11/1986), MyComicShop has them down as a third printing (the multi-pack version being considered the second printing), and their description states that these were sold in bagged sets of three and limited to 5,000 copies each:


      At CGC, they appear to denote So Much Fun copies as a second printing, they catalog the book under the 11/1986 issue date shown on the front cover, but then they make a note on the label that the indicia reads 1987:


      Here’s the output of a certification lookup for the above copy:


      The low count of these cited by MyComicShop is interesting, and definitely makes them something to look out for in those bargain bins, but we also have to consider that 5,000 number in context with our Canadian price variants (as true first print copies). Here’s how I’d figure the count of those Canadian price variants, for comparison, for Batman #401:

      Overstreet Advisor Doug Sulipa has called the Batman issues in the range of #357-402, quote, the “Lowest Print Runs in the History of this Title (75,303 to 97,741 copies per month).” For issue #401, published at the end of 1986, we might expect about ~4% of copies to be Canadian price variants at time of distribution… which, against Doug’s range, would pencil out to a price variant range of ~3000-4000 copies. This math would argue for a lower count of our 1st print variants (Canadian price), versus the count of the later So Much Fun reprints, for this particular issue.

      As of today, for issue #401, the CGC census shows 7 of the So Much Fun copies (which we saw before they denote as “Second printing”) versus 1 Canadian price copy:


      Another So Much Fun reprint I came across while hunting for the Canadian price variant was Man of Steel #1. Interestingly, with no date shown on the cover, CGC appears to catalog this one by the indicia year, with a 1987 issue date:


      I just did a quick search and saw that So Much Fun copies exist for some Marvel (and Archie) books too — I see X-Men #221 on the market currently, also Incredible Hulk #335 and Amazing Spider-Man #292. Here are a few recent sales:


      – Ben

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Carl says:

    Ben, hi. I’m about to make a video on my Youtube channel on the subject of newsstand variant comics. Would you mind if i referenced and linked to your blog and some of of your specific posts? Also, do you mind if I show some of the pages in the video? Thanks in advance. If you wanna take a peek at my channel just search Carlonbass on Youtube.


  7. Richard Guzman says:

    Hi Ben,

    You have an awesome website that is a great source of information. Can you write an article on Spawn #185 Portacio Sketch variant….it seems to be a ghost out there and wanted to get your insight and thoughts on the scarcity of that comic. Thanks –


  8. Tony says:

    I’m surprised you haven’t covered anything about Mark Jewelers Insert variants. These were prevalent over the 70s and 80s and only sold on military bases. I’m sure they had to have had very low print runs. These copies had the thick stock center fold pieces that profiled various types of military rings.


  9. Derek says:

    Wow….FANTASTIC blog you have here!

    If we know of some more 1A variants that you haven’t added yet, do you want to know or do you already know and haven’t posted yet? I know of at least 2 titles.

    Also, I’m curious about the Sgt. Rock 423 you have listed on your price guide. I always thought 422 was the last issue. No mention of it in overstreet, eBay, or mycomicshop.


      • Derek says:

        OK so I must have been looking at superman for #423 thinking it was Sgt rock for some reason.

        Here are some titles for you to research, which I can confirm exist. These are the ones I have.

        Red Sonja : The Movie #1,2 $1.00
        The Life Of Pope John Paul II #1 $1.75
        Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe. Vol 1. #10,12,13 $1.25. …Vol 2. #1$1.75


        Robotech Defenders #1,2 95c
        Who’s Who Update 87 …all I have is #4 (Mcfarlane) $1.75
        Weird War Tales. 75c
        G.I.Combat #268,269 $1.50 …#273,274 $1.60
        Star Trek Movie Special #1nn $1.75….#2 $2.85.

        I had to dig pretty deep to find these 😋


    • Another great catch Derek! Upon hearing it, Doug remembered two other 52 Page Giants within titles that were otherwise direct edition exclusives, that we’re going to add too: Ka-Zar the Savage #29 and Micronauts V1 #57.

      Woo hoo! More titles! Better coverage! Thanks to you — you’re being a tremendous help Derek! 🙂

      – Ben


  10. David says:

    I would like to find out more about the Mark Jewelers Variants. During my time in the Army, I collected quite a few Comics with these inserts. Where would I find reliable info on their Print Run or any other factors,Thanks.


    • Hi David, thanks for your service! One resource I’d point you to is Jon McClure and his OPG #40 article, in which he defines them as follows:

      Type 13 Variants: Published simultaneously with standard or regular editions, such Variants come with ad inserts bound on stiff cardstock, always four pages in length, that promote a business partner, but which change the structure and size of the comic. Staples are sometimes closer than normal, and the book is sometimes slightly taller, by up to 1/16 of an inch. Mark Jewelers created this unique Variant, with ads designed to appeal to military personnel on government bases in the U.S. and overseas. Due to the binding process, high-grade copies better than VF/NM are hard to find.

      Type 13a Variants: Published simultaneously with standard or regular editions, such Variants come with ads inserted on cardstock, regular paper or glossy paper, usually four pages in length regardless of dimensions, that promote a business partner and/or the publisher. …

      He also gives several examples throughout the article. Jon recently put that article online, which you can access at the following URL: http://jonmcclurescomics.com/history.html

      All the best,
      – Ben


  11. daved00d says:

    There is a new Archie Marvel Comics Digest.
    There is currently a Direct Edition with a US price and and Canadian Newsstand edition.
    Do you think this is the only current Marvel Newsstand comic??
    P.S. love this blog!!!


    • Thanks Daved00d! 🙂 As far as I know, these digests are the first time Marvel’s content has been back on newsstands since they pulled out; one writer said of the Archie partnership: “The pair of publishers will work together on publishing new Marvel Digests, distributing them wherever Archie digests are sold. Yes, that means Marvel Comics are coming back to newsstands and grocery stores!” The only books mentioned as part of the partnership with Archie in the below press release appear to be the digests, so I don’t think there are others beyond that, for now.

      – Ben

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Brian says:

    Hi Ben. Marvel made a Canadian variant for 6 different giants in the 1960s. These variants had no ads on back or inside covers. Journey into Mystery 1 Annual was an example. Verified with Paul and Doug. If I’m blind and missed it on your site, my apologies. Great job BTW on website. Thx.


  13. Bob says:

    I just wanted to thank you for being the project organizer on the Canadian price variant online 2018 price guide. What an amazing piece of work. I can only image how many hours of effort were required to produce it. It will go a long way to promoting the collecting of these comics.

    I started collecting all 1980’s Canadian price variants last year in a BIG WAY. All Marvel, DC an even a few Disney and Archies. So far I already have over 1000 issues and hope to have at least all the Marvel and DC issues one day.

    I also did some research into them myself in terms of what cover prices are on what issues, especially the annuals and the oversize issues. If I happen to find an error or an omission on your price guide, to who do I email the information …. to you I assume …. or someone else


  14. Bob says:

    OK, thanks.

    Some other thoughts on what I think will expand the hobby of collecting Canadian price variants.

    1. The biggest boost would be if the Overstreet guides somehow recognized the higher prices being paid for them. Not just in the annual reports, but in the actual price guide section. I know there are too many of them to list individually, but it would nice if there was a notation. For example, if the Batman listing said issues #352 to #423 had a Canadian variant price, and that the 9.2 price ranges from 1.5 to 5 times the direct edition price listed in the guide. Plus they could list a few key issues with individual lines for the Canadian variant, just like they list Marvel 30 and 35 cent variants now.

    2. It would also boost the hobby if CGC and CBCS notated them as “Canadian Variant” rather than “Canadian Edition”. As soon as the word variant is used, the demand for them will expand, in my opinion. I know you have advocated for the use of the word VARIANT so keep up the good work.

    3. Any online tool that would help people specifically track their Canadian variant collection would be useful. Because there are so many different issues available to collect, it would be nice to have a way to have a “complete checklist” tool online, where the collector could confirm whether they have a copy of that issue or not. This would help complete-ists like myself who are trying to build a collection of every single Marvel and DC variant that was published.

    4. Eventually, it would be nice to see some studies of the relative rarity of the Canadian variants. Maybe like the Gerber rating? Are there certain issues out there that are much harder to obtain in ANY GRADE than the others? I am sure there are. They might be the last issues of less popular titles like Arak or Warlord, it won’t be titles Batman or Spiderman. Or maybe there was a publication issue at the printing plant that caused a certain issue to become very rare, because hardly any were printed? Only time will tell which ones are extremely hard to find.


  15. Salvatore says:

    Hey Ben. Just curious if you are putting together a Canadian Variant price guide or collectors guide for Archie’s and Harvey’s. I mentioned to you once a while back about the Tom and Jerry 1 cdn variant I found from Harvey. I recently just found myself The Flinstones 1 $1.65 cdn Variant from Archie 1995. Due to the way lower print run for both of these comics plus almost all of them being bought by little kids in the 90s there is virtually no supply of them out there. There are dozens of titles the Archie’s and Harvey’s cdn variants encompass. If anything g it will bring more attention to a very small market of collectors. Plus it will definitely keep you on your toes. Lol. Let me know. Thx Ben


  16. Salvatore says:

    Just checked the Comichron numbers for June 1995. According to them 7000-8000 copies of The Flinstones #1 were ordered that month. What would the Canadian Variant percentage be for Archie comics titles in ‘95? 10%? 20%? 1%? 5%? At 1% it’s only 80 comics,lol. That can’t be right. At 10% it’s 800 copies which sounds more reasonable. The survival rate for these would probably be much, much lower than dc or marvel titles given the main customers being small children. I believe the Canadian variants lasted into the later issues of this series and Comichron estimates by then were only in the 3000-4000 range so no more than a few hundred of any of those issues were even released in Canada. There is a huge possibility that there may be less than a hundred surviving issues for each issue of this run. Same would be for the Jetsons. Thoughts?


    • Hi Sal, looks like the population of the US in 1995 was 266.3 million people; Canada was 29.35 million people in 1995. So just about 10% of the market size by population would have been Canada — from there, I’m not sure what a reasonable split would be between Direct Edition and Newsstand for Archie but I’ve reached out to someone who may be able to give us some Archie-specific guidance and invited them to comment here. One thing I’ve noticed with Archie is that some of their comics have both newsstand and direct edition Canadian price variants — I noticed this for example when collecting TMNT Adventures #1.

      – Ben


  17. Tony says:

    Hi Ben.
    I hope you don’t mind me weighing in on Bob’s second point above about CGC’s choice to recognize the Canadian price variant as a “Canadian Edition”. At first glance it may seem to be a play on words or just semantics but I really think he opened up a good debate as there is a big difference between the two, for it means for collectors.
    With CGC describing the variant copy as a “Canadian Edition”, it implies that the edition was produced within Canada. After all, this is the same label CGC gives to actual Canadian replica editions that were produced in Toronto during the 1940s (due to the War Exchange Conservation Act that limited US imports of non-essential goods into Canada during the war). This is not so in the 1980s. As you’ve already clearly established in prior postings, these 80s editions were printed in the US on the exact same press runs.

    Secondly, there were 2 types of comics sold in Canada throughout the 80s.

    1. “Newsstand copies” or “single copies” as referred to in the publishing business. These are the copies with the price variant covers. Again, these copies were sold at retail check-out lines with very limited volumes because both comic companies and retailers wanted to minimize the amount of “returns” to be credited back on the vendor’s account. Not to mention to minimize the clutter in their stores. These editions required a proper cover price not only to reflect the higher exchange rate at the time but retailers demanded it because they didn’t want any price confusion at the till considering their margins were already minimal and a cashiers mistake of ringing in the wrong price can easily put their profit in the hole. At the same time, this “merchant friendly” adaptation also benefitted the comic companies because it allowed them to grow their distribution points in Canada much easier. And this in turn, would have been a major goal for comic companies considering these retailers provided them with their biggest yield per copy (charged the highest wholesale rates) by far, compared to what they earned per piece from mail subscriptions and bulk rate dealers (comic stores).

    2. Direct edition retailers (comic stores). These of course were the cheap “no return” wholesale copies sold in bulk to comic book stores. For these specialty Canadian retailers, the comic book companies decided to provide them with the US direct-edition instead (showing the US price). And being in the publishing business myself, I would only guess that the purpose of this was to prevent newsstand dealers from striking a deal with the comic stores to buy month-old bulk copies at huge discounts, in order to manipulate their “unsold returns” . Back then, it was common practice for newsstand retailers to rip off the mastheads (top half of the comic) of unsold comics and mail them back for credit (in the publishing business, stores are billed for all units upfront, less posted returns). By having two different cover prices for both types of retailers, this type of fraud would easily be caught.

    So here we have 2 different “cover price variants” for each issue being sold in Canada during the 80s. Yet CGC refers to one of them as a “Canadian edition” despite the fact that both copies originated in the US, and on US presses. Yet “place of origin” is how they currently measure the printed copies from Toronto during the 1940s era. So which is the correct standard?
    If there is absolutely nothing different between the “editions” of both types of comics sold in Canada during the 80s, and both were manufactured in the US, then it only makes sense to refer to the scarce 75c/95c/$1.60 price covers as a “Canadian Price Variant”, not a “Canadian Edition”. And to Bob’s point, variant collectors use CGC as a baseline to the parameters of their hobby. And sadly, this true “price variant” will never pick up steam without them sanctioning it and calling it for what it is. Hopefully Ben you can forward this along to your contacts at CGC for reconsideration. And thanks again for this great platform for debate and exchange of information. Go Ben!


    • Hi Bob & Tony — I wanted to reply to you both on the topic of naming convention at CGC (and CBCS) when it comes to Canadian price variants (and Type 1A variants in general).

      I totally agree that the “Canadian Edition” labeling should absolutely be changed, and that for collectors out there who haven’t studied these 1980’s books and haven’t seen the indicia pages with their own eyes, that reading such a label would falsely imply that the comics were after-market reprints produced abroad because that naming convention conflates them with the actual Canadian Editions of the 1940’s/1950’s.

      Switching to “Canadian Price Variant” would remove that inaccurate and misleading implication, and therefore would be a vast improvement to their current labeling. The name “Canadian Price Variant” also captures the actual physical difference — with identical indicia and interiors, the only thing that physically varies from regular newsstand copies is the cover price, and therefore “cover price variant” is an ideal descriptor. [Personally, I’d like to see the labels read “75¢ Price Variant” or similar with the actual cover price mentioned, but I understand that entering each individual price is a much taller order to accomplish].

      The “Canadian Price Variant” terminology is also what the marketplace has established: on eBay, we can observe that the lion’s share of listings today use “Canadian Price Variant” in titles, and among those, the industry giant MyComicShop has already embraced the “Canadian Price Variant” terminology as well — below is what you see when searching their website on “Canadian price variant” where you can see they’ve already titled all their website listings accordingly:


      For shops, changing what’s in their internal systems might be more doable. Unfortunately though, for CGC or CBCS, making such a change would require a great deal of man hours to accomplish because of the census data — in other words, it is not without cost for these two for-profit businesses to make the labeling improvement. As I understand the challenge, their employees would need to manually change each individual comic book entry for these variants that has ever been entered into the census. [It is hard for me to imagine they couldn’t just do a “find/replace” somehow but apparently it has to be done one by one]. Additionally, if they make the change for the Canadian price variants, collectors of other Type 1A variants will demand the same — so it becomes a project larger in scope than just the Canadian variants because it would also open a can of worms to changing Pence and AUS price variants as well.

      So whichever of the biggest two grading companies are the first to make the change deserves our applause for incurring that cost and effort, for the benefit of the hobby and its future. My money would be on CBCS to be the first and I will applaud them heartily at that time (they have already made advancements recognizing newsstand comics in general, and I know that it was years between when they first considered the idea and when they finally implemented it).

      I actually made a label change request to CGC just last year in connection with submission of a Batman variant — I raised the point with them that this particular book I submitted does not state in the indicia the purpose of the higher cover price (in connection with raising the standard cover price to 95¢ from 75¢, DC purposefully removed the line in the indicia that spelled out the higher price was intended for Canada). In response to my request, CGC’s position was — to paraphrase — that because the direct edition counter-parts state the price in Canada, and because that price is a match to my book, the higher cover price newsstand copies like mine were therefore specifically for Canada, and because that’s where these copies were distributed, and, because CGC feels it is common knowledge among collectors that these 1980’s comics were produced along-side their USA counter-parts, CGC continues to feel it is unnecessary for them to incur the cost of making a labeling change. Again, I’m paraphrasing my interpretation of their response, as I didn’t ask permission to directly quote their latest response to my latest request. However, I did ask permission to quote their response to my initial request made prior to that last one, and they had granted me permission to quote them publicly as follows (my emphasis in bold):

      “Comic Book Collectors, by and large, have understood for years and used the term ‘Canadian Edition’ to refer to comic books printed with a different (usually higher) price to be distributed in Canada. Most collectors understand that these books were PRINTED ALONGSIDE their USA counterparts, along with Direct Edition copies that have both prices listed.” ~Brad Bradley, Modern Age Finalizer, CGC

      So by this quote, they do get it that the 1980’s variants were printed alongside the other copies (not printed later or printed elsewhere but printed alongside), and they reference in this quote that the difference for the Canadian version is a higher price. And they are indeed “breaking them out” — so regardless of what they’ve called them, they have their own unique census entry and are therefore CGC-recognized variants, in contrast to how they simply “lump together” the US newsstand and the Direct Edition copies instead of differentiating them. So things could be worse: they could be refusing to “break them out” at all!

      Because of the recent CGC request of my own, and past request before that, I feel I would be badgering the folks at CGC by raising it again and sharing your comments — but, I would definitely encourage you to reach out to them on your own… Hearing more voices will build the business pressure to make the change, by showing them that their customers and the hobby at large demands the labeling change. One way you could contact them is via their Contact page of their website, another is by phone, and a third would be to email them.

      – Ben


  18. Mr. cover price variant says:

    Archie Comics beginning with 9/95 cover dated regular size format comics started back up publishing Type 1A cover price variants and the new published Canadian cover price was $1.65. The $1.65 Canadian cover price variants that began with 9/95 issues were published for many Archie titles including Archie’s TMNT #71,72 where direct edition copies of TMNT #72 have sold for more than $500.00 on eBay, so imagine what a $1.65 cover price variant might be worth and sell for today). Archie’s Flintstones, The Jetsons, and All Stars (three newly released titles Archie began 9/95 are seemingly impossible to find out there as Canadian cover price variants, try to find any of them and good luck. Archie’s rare $1.65 Canadian cover price variants ceased in late 1997 and the same cover prices began appearing on Archie regular size comics priced for Canada and the U.S. for newsstand editions. Also I would like to point out that Archie Type 1A Canadian cover price variants exist for (Archie 1989 series) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles regular size comic books issues #1-58,71,72 with issues #19 and higher as Canadian price variants seldom seen anywhere…even on eBay.


  19. Salvatore says:

    I’ve come up with a list of about 20 different Archie Comics titles from ‘91-‘97 that I believe Canadian variants exist for, some of which I’ve confirmed. I’ve left out all actual Archie related titles (ie: Jughead, Veronica, etc)…
    -street sharks #1-3 limited series
    -street sharks #1-3 regular series
    -the Flinstones #1-? (Confirmed)
    -the jetsons #1-?
    -Hanna barbera all stars #1-?
    -sonic the hedgehog #1-? (Confirmed)
    -multiple other sonic related titles (Confirmed)
    -scooby doo #1-?
    -Archie meets the punisher #1 (Confirmed)
    -Cartoon Network Christmas spectacular #1
    -zen the intergalactic ninja #1-3 limited series (Confirmed)
    -zen the intergalactic ninja #1-3 regular series
    -Hanna barbera presents #1-8
    -cowboys of moo messa #1-?
    -space ghost #1
    -the adventures of bayou billy #1-5 (Confirmed)
    -conservation corps #1-? (Confirmed)
    -koosh kins #1-?
    -tmnt #1-? (Confirmed)
    -various other tmnt titles (Confirmed)

    Please feel free to correct, add, remove any titles anyone feels may need changing to. Anything I’ve listed as confirmed are only for titles where I have a physical copy myself or have seen a picture of a Canadian variant myself.


  20. Angelo says:

    Here’s a question for all: If you had the choice to pick three titles (C.P.V.) and complete their runs which ones would they be and why?


  21. Salvatore says:

    Angelo…easy answer…Batman, Detective Comics (simply because it’s BATMAN) and the third I’d say Booster Gold just because of the future potential of that character (wayyyy underused).


  22. An interesting hypothetical, Angelo! My first thought upon reading it, was to take the approach of thinking about which books in my collection of Canadian price variants would be hardest for me to say goodbye to — and then keeping the three titles which would in turn “save” the greatest number of my top favorites. That approach immediately landed me at Amazing Spider-Man and Batman for titles #1 and #2, hands down. Title #3 to save was harder to determine under this approach, but I picked Uncanny X-Men in order to save my son’s favorite comic. 🙂 [Even though that would mean saying goodbye to my treasured Wolverine Limited Series variants.]

    Then I wondered: which titles actually have the highest aggregate value across the variant window? If we were going to hypothetically restrict ourselves to only three titles, then picking ones with a lot of issues to keep us busy (plus a lot of aggregate value), would be a good idea… I assembled that data from the guide, using the VF/NM tier, and sorting by aggregate VF/NM value across all variants in each title, I got to the following Top 25 list of total title value (in raw VF/NM) across the CPV window of each title:

    Turns out Salvatore’s picks of Batman and Detective Comics were #1 and #3 (great answers, Sal!). As DC titles, these also have the benefit of continuing for DC’s longer-compared-to-Marvel window, providing a nice long list of issues to hunt for, and a more substantially sized collection in this hypothetical. I was surprised to see Best of DC come in at title #2 but considering the Overstreet baseline value for each one of those digests is substantial and that there are a lot of them, it makes sense; but personally I’m not too drawn to these digests so I figure I’ll leave them to someone else to collect. Then battling for the #4 and #5 spots on the list are ASM and Star Wars; Uncanny X-Men comes in at a respectable #7 behind G.I. Joe.

    So my initial approach of saving favorites landed me at the #1, #5, and #7 most valued runs/titles… I’m not swayed by the result to change my answer: I’ll stick with the answer of Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, and Uncanny X-Men as my three titles in your hypothetical. 🙂

    – Ben


  23. Interesting site! I recently discovered a Daredevil #69 (1970 issue) with a price that reads “1/-” – no symbol expressing the monetary unit, and the guts of the book are printed in Sparta Illinois, so the same as the domestic edition in all other regards. Any idea what this is?


  24. Salvatore says:

    Alright, so I just bought a copy of (Archie Comics) Street Sharks #3 of the limited series (3 issues) with a Canadian cover price of $1.65 which confirms that they do exist. Looking up this title on comichron it appears that only 1300 or so copies of #1 were ordered for Feb 1996. Using Bens 10% Canadian variant reasoning that means that only around 130 copies of this book exist with the $1.65 cdn price? As for issues #2 and #3 the order numbers don’t even crack the top 300, which by their order numbers means that less than 1000 copies of each were ever even ordered meaning under 100 copies of #2 and #3 exist with the $1.65 price. These numbers are insane if that’s true. What’s the survival rate of a kids comic like this? 50%? 25%? I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if there are even 20-30 copies of each still around. Ben, are my numbers correct?


    • Neat find, Sal! From looking at a picture of a direct edition copy online, it seems both US and Canadian prices were listed on the direct editions for that title, whereas only the newsstand copies of the issue carried a single price. Here’s a picture of a direct edition I found:

      So the 10% population guidepost would be applied only to the newsstand pie slice of total copies sold of the issue to arrive at a Type 1A estimate with $1.65 cover price.

      I’m not sure what percentage of sales for Archie Adventure Series in the later 1990’s took place on newsstands, versus direct editions ordered by comic shops (which is the only pie slice Comichron covers in their monthly sales pages)… But we do know that over at Marvel, in the early 90’s during the “boom” period we had newsstand sales steadily declining while meanwhile we had comic shops springing up left and right (in my own town we went from 1 comic shop to 3) each ordering direct editions in a frenzy to serve collectors, but then there was the “bust” period which soon followed and lots of those shops went away in the latter part of the 90’s (in my town it was back to 1). By the later 90’s Marvel’s newsstand sales as a percentage were likely bumping around somewhere around 10-15% of the total copies sold based on the estimates insiders have published (the following quote for example cites BPA audits for the first half of 1999 and states the newsstand percentage at 14% — https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/newsstand-rarity-discussion-estimates/marvel-walks-from-newsstand/).

      How did Archie Adventure Series compare to Marvel as far as the sales split between direct edition and newsstand compies during their window of $1.65 Type 1A cover price variants (which I understand to be $1.65 cover priced from 9/95 through 12/97)? I don’t know the answer, but whatever the newsstand:direct split for Archie Adventure Series was in this timeframe, we’re obviously already talking about relatively small total pie regardless of how you slice it for your Street Sharks book. But in thinking about that total, something we should keep in mind is that in addition to the comic shop sales covered by Comichron, it appears that comics within the Street Sharks titles were also sold in sealed multi-packs at Toys R Us — looking at the price box which is visible in the picture below, these look to be direct editions inside these Toys R Us packs:

      I don’t know if your Limited Series #3 was also sold in packs like the above, but the existence of these packs raises the question of whether such sales of such packs would show up on Comichron’s numbers — I’d guess they wouldn’t, so Comichron may therefore only represent just a slice of the larger pie of total sales for these issues.

      As a ~10% slice of the newsstand slice (however large that was for Archie Adventure Series in this publication time-frame), the surviving $1.65 cover price copies have got to exist in extremely small numbers indeed!

      – Ben


  25. Angelo says:

    Thanks for the feedback guys. Hopefully, more will join in 🙂

    Ben, always great to read stats you uncover, it helps add one more layer to INVESTING OBJECTIVELY:

    As for myself, my top 3 are focused primarily on what others collect and stay relevant over the long term:
    1) Amazing Spider-man (Able to make that generational jump for so many reasons)
    2) Batman (many can relate to that inner struggle thus keeping Batman relevant )
    3) Star Wars ( Disney will release a movie each year thus keeping them in the spotlight) Also, stories that discuss identity issues are always touching because movie goers tend to reflect and contemplate about their own lives when watching or reading these stories.

    However, SUBJECTIVELY and POTENTIALLY undervalued titles that I think have room to grow due to popularity, potential movie announcements and able to make a generational jump would be:

    1) Swamp Thing (Stories are great and the potential for this character to be in a movie has yet to be felt )
    2) G.I.Joe (with the Documentary ” The Toys that Made Us” on Netflix and with constant talk about geo political tensions, future G.I. Joe movies can address topics in creative ways that can help us undertstand ourselves better.
    3) Transformers (My grandfather bought me these toys when I was a child and it brings back so many memories for those in my generation) .And speaking of my generation, we now have more disposable income than when we were children thus leading us to purchase these variants (as opposed to direct editions which are plenty) just to have something special. In the movies, Optimus Prime came across as a voice of reason and guidance and in some strange way it was comforting for me to look up to this fictional character as a stepping stone to greater things and for a better world.


  26. David Loesch says:

    I love your blog!
    Can you please tell me if these Batman and Detective Annuals were ever published as newsstand editions? I haven’t been able to locate these.
    Batman Annual 25, 26, 27, 28
    Batman New 52 Annual 2, 3, 4
    Batman Rebirth Annual 1
    Detective Comics Annual 1, 12
    Detective Comics New 52 Annual 2, 3
    Thanks, David


  27. David Loesch says:

    I had given up these Marvel newsstand editions, but something I read in your blog indicated that they may exist, can you confirm?
    Daredevil volume two 14, 15
    Amazing Spider-Man 694, Annual 37
    Thanks, David


    • Hi David! I haven’t sought the Batman books you asked about so I haven’t personally verified if newsstand copies exist, but I noticed one of the books you mentioned was from the Rebirth so I have a possible lead for you to try calling Mile High Comics — they apparently have been stocking each of the Rebirth newsstand books (see Rare Newsstand REBIRTH Variants Just Added) so they should be able to at least tell you if they ever had one in stock for any given Rebirth issue; they might also be able to tell you if they have ever had some of the others in stock (or not) from your list.

      While googling to re-find that above Mile High link, I happened across the following, which I hadn’t seen yet: DC Comics Leaves Barnes & Noble Newsstands. I hadn’t been following DC newsstands closely since early on in the Rebirth and so to date I’d simply figured DC was just happily proceeding along with newsstand sales… But this link suggests perhaps DC has now reached the end of the line of their own newsstand sales (but it seems they had a temporary spat with B&N in 2011 that got resolved, so I suppose time will tell what this current news means).

      In re-reading that Mile High link I noticed too that they claim to have only stocked one each of the Rebirth newsstands; I was surprised to see this, as I had pictured them with a nice stash:

      “In other news, our head new comics buyer, Will Moulton, came in on Saturday morning especially to grade for you over 150 newsstand variants of recent DC comics, and most especially a few of the ultra-rare newsstand REBIRTH variants. We only have one each of these comics in stock, so if you want a few of them, I urge you to order immediately.”

      On the Marvels, it looks like Grand Comics Database has newsstand entries for both Daredevil 14 & 15, although no pictures; Mike Duke of Hi River Comics had let me know he’d been offered $1,500 if he could ever find the trio of Daredevil #15, ASM Annual #37, and ASM #559, but I haven’t been in touch with him in awhile and don’t know if he ever was able to find them for the person (in this post about halfway down, there’s an interesting Q&A section with Mike, where he mentions this offer.

      As for ASM #694, I’ve seen newsstand copies listed on eBay on a couple of occasions (I should have thought to grab a picture out of the listing for reference but didn’t); it looks like a couple of sites out there that record eBay sales picked up on a 2017 sale of a newsstand copy of #694 (here’s an example recorded sale). ASM 694 does indeed seem to be one collectors have had a particularly hard time finding; it was mentioned in the comments forum section of this post for example as being “notoriously hard” to find.

      Good luck David! 🙂 Let us know if you succeed in finding any of these!

      – Ben


  28. Salvatore says:

    Thanks for the pic Ben. Another confirmed title with that All-Stars pic. 👍🏻 I am finding the $1.65 books virtually impossible to find. I’ve been to every comic book store and convention in the Greater Toronto Area with no luck. I even combed through a massive warehouse of comics in a nearby city. These are by far more difficult to locate than any Marvel or DC cdn variants. Completing runs from almost any of the titles is going to take years if it’s even possible. As depressing as the outlook is the hunt fascinates me. I feel like a kid again every time I comb through a new bin 😁 Please keep us updated on new finds.


  29. Salvatore says:

    Just bought copies of Jetsons #1, Scooby Doo #1 and #20 and Hanna barbera presents #1, all $1.65 cdn variants. All confirmed to exist now. These complete runs are going to be a massive challenge.


  30. Hi everyone, I wanted to share the link to a great new Comic Book Brigade youtube video by Vic, on the topic of Canadian Price Variants, with lots of great collecting ideas and information presented — for example I learned something new about Amazing Spider-Man #252 with Vic showing sources (Amazing Heroes #40 and Comic Reader #216) indicating that ASM 252 was scheduled to be on sale before Marvel Team-Up #141, challenging the industry convention of considering these books an “even tie” for first appearance of the black costume. Vic’s Jason Todd discussion was also very interesting. Great work, Vic! Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDYvWlsNNbM

    – Ben


  31. Hi everyone, an auction of a comic book collection which ended on May 11th included a couple of extremely high grade Amazing Spider-Man Canadian Price Variants — in my watchlist I had their CGC 9.8 CPV copy of ASM #252, as well as their CGC 9.6 CPV copy of ASM #238. I thought the auction result was worth screen-capturing and sharing, because the winning bid for the #252 was $1,132.11 and the winning bid for the #238 was a record-setting $1,826.99:

    As juxtaposition, I found the below recent auction results for direct edition copies in the same grades for these same two issues, with auctions ended recently:

    So comparing the CPV auctions vs. the above direct edition auction examples, the #238 CPV achieved a ~6.9x multiple to its direct edition counter-part, while the #252 CPV achieved a ~1.8x multiple.

    – Ben


  32. Salvatore says:

    Hey Ben, I watched that auction. Works out to about $2,400 cdn. I sold my CGC 8.5 for $425 cdn a few days after this. This book seems to be much harder to find in cdn variant and with tattoos than most people realize. While price guide values are mostly subjective, it’s a safe bet that this one is undervalued in your variant price guide.


  33. Rob says:

    Great blog! Very informative. Any chance of an article about UK Pence variants? They have the same lineage as the Canadian and domestic price experiment variants . In the case of the 30/35 cent variants, they even came from the same print run. Worth an investigation…


  34. Angelo says:

    Interesting fact! I recently bought a copy of ” Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #1″ and the CGC label states the usual ahistorical title, ” Canadian Edition”. However, on the right side of the label CGC mentions, ” 75c cover price” !!! Clearly this is the direction we should be heading towards when it comes to CGC, CBCS, etc… Or to make things easier they can simply write a generic title stating, ” Cover Price Variant” which is still accurate.

    Ben, would you be kind enough to upload the pics I sent you so others can lean in on a possible discussion .


    • Thanks for sharing this, Angelo! I happen to have a submission in at CGC right now, and I requested they apply this same treatment and pointed out your Indiana Jones book as past precedent. I’m waiting to hear back and will let you know when I do.

      – Ben


  35. Salvatore says:

    I honestly think “Canadian Newsstand Price Variant” would cover all basis. It’s the most all encompassing phrase. Canadian Edition leaves way too much up for debate given the actual Canadian Edition books from the golden age. The 75 cent label isn’t descriptive enough (just my personal opinion). The only real circumstance where Canadian newsstand price Variant would have to be adjusted is when dealing with a book like tmnt adventures #1 where some cdn copies are both newsstand and direct.


    • Salvatore says:

      Nice find. 👍🏻 I really need to actually sit down one day and put together s master list of all the Harvey titles with Canadian prices. In a way it’s almost parallel with most of the Archie titles. All their titles (both Harvey and Archie) ended in the late 80s/early 90s and were mostly rebooted a year or two later which means you see Canadian prices for a few years at the end of the original runs, as well as for a few issues at the beginning of the new runs. It’s actually a pretty cool overlap. Ben says he’s been working on a new Archie/Harvey cdn price guide (wink,wink). 😏


  36. Koolbiscuit says:

    Hi there – quick question re: the guide – should Doctor Strange end at 78 (Aug, 86) as there should not be CPVs for 79-81? thanks!


  37. alan brown says:

    With the 30/35 cent rarities have their been any discussion on determining the region they were distributed (I feel like I read an article once about a color indicator on the pages?) And if there is a region with less distribution?


  38. alan brown says:

    Brave and the Bold 196. Missing the month. I’ve seen a few of these with varying DC issues in that time frame
    What are they if you can speak to them?


    • Hi Alan,

      Interesting question regarding the 35¢ variants, I don’t know the answer as to how the numbers broke down among the different test markets, nor do I know about a color indicator, but perhaps reach out to Jon McClure who authored the original Comic Book Marketplace articles about 35¢ variants in 1997/1998 published in issues #51 and #55, and later wrote the following 2010 article published in OPG #40: http://jonmcclurescomics.com/history.html

      It looks like your Brave and the Bold 196 example is from the multi-packs that were sold in places like Walgreens; Batman 357 is another example where these exist, and CGC denotes those on census as “Pre-pack edition” while MyComicShop denotes them as “#357MULTIPACK” and their online description indicates “2nd printing.” Here is a link to a prior discussion of these with more detail: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/#comment-381
      [ Note: I still have yet to examine one of these types of books myself to see what is shown in the indicia with my own eyes. ]

      – Ben


  39. Tony says:

    Hi Ben. I have an original 3-pack from the same era, still in the shrink-wrap. This one of Wonder Woman 1-3. I can send you a couple of pics if you like. Of course I haven’t been brave enough to open it to see what’s under the comics.


    • Hi Alan, you had previously asked about Atlas variants and at the time I didn’t have anything up on the blog on the subject, but that has now changed. In particular, with the help of Steve Cranch, I’ve posted an issue guide about the U.K. Pence price variants, the most famous Atlas example of which has got to be this one:

      Amazing Fantasy (#15)

      – Ben


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