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

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

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

 8/2021 – Mis-Listed Variant Opportunities Page

2021 CPV Price Guide Launched

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

New!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 » ]
New!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!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!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 » ]
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!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 » ]
New!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!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 » ]
New!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!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!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 » ]
New!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 » ]
New!The Story of the Wawa Collection
By Philip Standhart and Craig Foxhoven — “When he opened the door, Craig and I were speechless …” [ 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!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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349 thoughts on “Rare Comics: Welcome

  1. jesse tapia says:

    What are your thoughts on one of a kind stan lee signature series.? I own the only 9.8 stan lee cgc copy of Marvel Premiere 24 and was wondering how the Market will go for situations like mine.?


    • Hi Jesse, congrats on owning such a cool collectible!! 🙂 I’ve been wondering myself how the marketplace will respond over the course of time to situations like yours where in the past the collectible would have been considered “replaceable” (by creating a new Stan Lee CGC SS copy) but is now irreplaceable… In the past the replacement value could have been estimated by way of the cost of an unsigned 9.8 of the issue plus the cost of participating in the next Stan Lee CGC SS signing opportunity, but now, you literally own something one-of-a-kind with no other 9.8’s out there that you could theoretically buy as a replacement even if you wanted to…

      In theory I should think the marketplace would reward such uniqueness with a healthy premium in situations like yours where the supply side of the equation is 1, but I imagine that just how much of a premium will boil down to the demand side of the equation: things like how many people are searching for your particular issue number, and, how many other one-of-a-kind Stan Lee CGC SS books are on the market (and how attractive those other issues are by comparison).

      – Ben 🙂


  2. Hi everyone, the below picture is courtesy of Mr. Cover Price Variant who emailed me this incredible find of a Charlton 15¢ cover price variant (Type 1), which another reader was looking for evidence of:

    For comparison, the regular 10¢ version of the same issue:

    – Ben


  3. Bill says:

    Just wanted to add that I love this website! I’ve been collecting CPVs for over a year now and enjoy the thrill of digging into long boxes and finding these gems. In my most recent hunts, I discovered a Harvey Comics book with an 89 cent pricing. A quick ebay search on the book revealed a 75 cent pricing, The title of the book is “On Your Mark!..Set!..Go! With Funtastic Harvey Hits Nov, Issue 1. I’m assuming it’s a CPV. Is it rare?


  4. A really neat find, Bill! Thanks so much for sending me the picture! 🙂 Here it is below for others to see, side-by-side with the direct edition and 75¢ newsstand version for this issue.

    Overstreet lists this series under “Harvey Hits Comics” (11/1986), and ascribes a $7 value in NM- to the regular copies. ComicBase meanwhile gives regular copies a $3 NM guide value and CPG gives regular copies a $6 NM guide value. I saw no recent eBay sales when I looked, for the issue number.

    I don’t know what kind of print run this issue number saw, but I searched high and low and the 89¢ CPV seems to be completely absent from the Internet. Thanks again for sharing it! 🙂

    – Ben


    • Judi says:

      Hi Ben,
      Isn’t the 89c price prevalent to the Canadian price as on the original copy?
      Maybe they did a run of books just for the Canadian market??


  5. One of the bigger keys of DC’s type 1A price variant window of the 1980’s is Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, featuring the death of Supergirl with a highly memorable George Perez cover. We gave the $1.60 cover price variant a $55 NM- guided value in our 2019 guide; meanwhile the bottom of our guide’s Top 50 list for 2019 came in at an NM- value of $65 so Crisis #7 is only $10 away from the Top 50 just for some perspective.

    Crisis #7 was published 10/1985, but interestingly, I recently noticed that a quite-similar cover appears on the 75¢ variant for Legion of Super-Heroes #296, published 2/1983, with cover art by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt. And then when Steve and I were working on our guide to pence price variants, I was struck when looking at the X-Men #136 variant with 15p cover price, published 8/1980, that it too has a quite-similar cover, by John Byrne & Terry Austin.

    And then it turns out the Daredevil #164 12p pence price variant is yet another cover with a quite-similar pose, this time by Frank Miller, published 5/1980, a few months before the X-Men #136. But we can actually find this pose in comic book covers even earlier in time — here below is Superman in a near-identical pose to that of Crisis #7, but this time holding Lois Lane, back in 1972.

    The two books above are Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #128 (12/1972) with cover by Bob Oksner, and next to it is yet another book with quite-similar pose that came even earlier, Brave and the Bold #84 (published in the summer of 1969), with cover by Neal Adams. And yet there exist still further comic book examples with quite-similar poses published even earlier:

    Above are the 10d pence price variant of Thor #127 (4/1966), with cover by Jack Kirby and then beside it is Batman #156 (6/1963) with cover by Sheldon Moldoff.

    So really quite a lot of artists have given their take on what is really one of the most powerful and moving poses there are for two people to take together: one cradling the other in their arms.

    Does anyone know of other even-earlier comic book examples similar to the above?

    – Ben p.s. Here’s another great pose involving two people: below is Superman #243 at left, and the 95¢ variant for Jonah Hex #91 at right.


  6. Another example in my inbox this morning (thanks!), Detective #574 (Type 1A $1.00 cover price variant pictured below), quite similar to the Batman #156 with Batman cradling Robin in his arms. Published 5/1987 with cover by Alan Davis & Paul Neary:


  7. Hi Ben, really digging the site, thanks for all the great content! I have been collecting Canadian price variants for several years now and would be happy to share some scans if needed. Do you have a list of what you’re missing?



  8. One of my favorite CPV covers to look at is the 95¢ variant for Batman #366 (12/1983). Featuring the first appearance of Jason Todd as Robin in costume, it marks an important key issue; and Walt Simonson’s cover is an absolute Batman vs. Joker classic.

    [And this issue is among the most rare comics of the 1980’s Type 1A price variant window, with a surprisingly-low 97,741 total copies listed in the circulation statement — walking through the CPV rarity math from that starting point would get us to on the order of just 122 copies in VF or better floating around out there with 95¢ cover price following Doug Sulipa’s rarity estimate walk-through, and on the order of a mere 60-80 copies surviving in 9.2 or better following Paul Clairmont’s rarity estimate walk-through. As of today the CGC census shows just six grand-total CGC-graded variants on record to date for issue #366.]

    One of the interesting “artwork features” of this particular cover is how the usual Batman logo atop the cover isn’t there, but instead, the word BATMAN is integrated in a “non-standard” way into the cover artwork itself — I thought this would be an interesting cover-artwork-theme to explore, and I found some other interesting examples of non-standard logos from the 1980’s Type 1A price variant window. Here are a sampling of those examples below — I hope you enjoy them and that seeing them sparks some collecting ideas! 🙂

    The other example above shown next to Batman #366 is Legion of Super-Heroes #313, with cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt (7/1984). Here’s two more below following this same theme of non-standard-logo integrated into the artwork, Jonah Hex #76 (9/1983) with cover by Ross Andru and Joe Rubinstein, and Saga of the Swamp Thing #25 (6/1984) with cover by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben:

    The very next issue of Saga of the Swamp Thing does it too (#26, 7/1984, cover by the same artists). I also found several examples from the Sgt. Rock title — here’s #376 (5/1983) with cover by Joe Kubert:

    Here’s two more Sgt. Rock covers by Joe Kubert, #393 (10/1984) and #403 (8/1985):

    And for the cover of issue #371 (12/1982), also by Joe Kubert, the words “Sgt. Rock” take up practically the entire page! I found a few other examples of “huge words” on covers; here next to it is Teen Titans Spotlight #16 (11/1987) with cover by Jerome Moore and Dennis Janke:

    I also found some examples of “giant word covers” where the words weren’t the title of the book but were something else instead — examples include Fantastic Four #280 (7/1985) with cover by John Byrne and Jerry Ordway, and Daredevil #216 (3/1985) with cover by David Mazzucchelli:

    It’s fun to look at cool CPV covers, isn’t it?! A similar/related cover “theme” that we often see, is where the cover features the “normal” logo/title, but in such a way that it “interacts” with the artwork. The “interactions” range from subtle to stand-out. Here’s a couple of examples on the more-subtle end of the spectrum to start, Uncanny X-Men #184 (8/1984; 1st appearance of Forge), with fiery cover by John Romita Jr. and Dan Green, where the X-Men logo itself has also burst into flames; and Daredevil #214 (1/1985) with rainy cover by David Mazzucchelli, where the rain is falling onto and dripping down the Daredevil logo:

    I also really like the cover of Batman #367 (1/1984, cover by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano), where the Batman logo is getting pulled down along with Batman himself.

    And then Thor #337 (11/1983; 1st appearance of Beta Ray Bill), with its classic Walt Simonson cover, leads me into a series of covers where the logo is getting smashed apart, knocked about, torn, or shredded in interaction with the characters:

    Uncanny X-Men #176 (12/1983), with cover by John Romita Jr., and Fantastic Four #258 (9/1983) with cover by John Byrne:

    Flash #333 (5/1984) with cover by Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano, and Flash #335 (7/1984) with cover by Carmine Infantino and Klaus Janson:

    Green Arrow #2 (6/1983) with cover by Trevor Von Eeden and Dick Giordano, and Wonder Woman #9 (10/1987; Origin of the new Cheetah) with cover by George Perez:

    Team America #12 (5/1983) with cover by Don Perlin and Vince Colletta, and Superman #4 (4/1987; 1st appearance of Bloodsport), with cover by John Byrne:

    Fantastic Four #270 (9/1984; 1st full appearance of Terminus) with cover by John Byrne, and New Mutants #6 (8/1983) with cover by Bob McLeod:

    Marvel Team-Up #139 (3/1984) with cover by Al Milgrom, and Amazing Spider-Man #237 (2/1983) with cover by Ed Hannigan:

    Spectacular Spider-Man #72 (11/1982; 1st appearance of Ollie Osnick) with cover by Ed Hannigan, and Spectacular Spider-Man #77 (4/1983) with cover by Al Milgrom:

    That was fun! 🙂 Some very cool covers there that play off of an interaction between the words themselves and the characters/scenes that are the subject of the artwork. I hope this sparks some collecting ideas — I find it so awesome that the 1980’s price variant window gives us so many different cool comics we can collect, many with especially strong artwork.

    Happy Collecting,
    – Ben 🙂

    p.s. There were even more examples out there like the ones above that I left out to keep this shorter, but here’s two last ones I just thought of that I can’t resist mentioning before I bring this to a close — these two below are actually two of my all-time favorite comic book covers. The first has a fairly “subtle” interaction between the character and the words, where Hobgoblin appears to grab the letter “p” — Amazing Spider-Man #261 (2/1985) with painted cover by Charles Vess. In the second, Wolverine is shredding through the cover of Uncanny X-Men #207 (7/1986), with cover by John Romita Jr. and Dan Green:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi everyone, I wanted to share something I think came out looking really cool. To explain what it is, first off, as a frame of reference, is everyone familiar with the “collage cover” for Amazing Spider-Man #700? The artist, Mr. Garcin, took a whole bunch of smaller pictures and arranged them into a collage that forms the shape of Spidey’s eye — so that if you look at it from a great enough distance, you just see the bigger picture of Spidey’s eye, but if you look at it close up, you can see all of the many individual tiny images of Spider-Man / Venom / etc. It is one of my favorite ASM covers.

    Along with the rest of the CPV guide team and with help from readers like you, I’ve been assembling a database of comic book front cover pictures for many of the price variants included in our 2019 Marvel & DC guide. We have enough pictures databased now that I thought I might take a stab at turning some of them into a collage that forms some larger image. As the larger image, I picked the cover of Wolverine Limited Series #1.

    Among my very-favorite 75¢ variants of the 1980’s are Wolverine Limited Series issues #2-4… Sometimes I wish they had happened to launch this mini-series one month later, or alternatively, that the price variant window itself began one month earlier, because unfortunately issue #1 lands just ahead of when the cover price window began — there is no 75¢ variant for issue #1. So this collage pays homage to “the variant that might have been” (in some alternate universe), forming the cover of Wolverine Limited Series #1 using the covers of thousands of 1980’s price variants.

    The way this was created was by slicing the cover of Wolverine Limited Series #1 into thousands of small rectangles and then an algorithm calculated the average color of each rectangle, then matched up that rectangle to one of the databased CPV covers that had closely matching average color. Here’s a link to open the image in a new window so you can enlarge and zoom in.

    I hope this made you smile! 🙂

    – Ben


  10. Paw Kruse says:

    I have a copy of Tales of suspense #10 pence variant CGC 6.5. I have had it in my collection for about 5 years. How come it is not figuring on your list?
    Kind Regards
    Paw Kruse, Denmark


  11. Paw Kruse says:

    Hi again.

    RARE COMICS is a fabulous site. I am the one who is thanking. I really enjoy it. Helping with corrections is the least I could do. I have a collection of pre hero marvel pence variants. If you need any pictures, please let me know.
    One thing I am very uncertain of is if Tales To Astonish #28 pence variant is existing at all. Do you have any knowledge/proof of its existence? I have never seen one, though I have been collecting pence pre hero marvels for a loooooong time.
    By the way, I have a raw pence copy of JIM 65.

    Kind regards


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Paw Kruse says:

    At long last somone was able to answer my question. I have searched for this information for so long. Noone new if it was existing. Now I got the answer.

    You can add Journey into mystery 65 to your list. I have the pence price variant of this one in my collection. I would have posted a picture here in this reply but it did not seem possible.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Get Marwood & I says:


    Quite a thing to see a pence priced JIM #65 finally, when you consider how much I’ve written previously about it. Well done Paw. It brings our total confirmed pence copies number back to 3,018 after my unfortunate accounting error last year. And it raises the possibility of some of the other books I have ‘given up on’ existing.

    Images of most pence books can be found online if you look hard enough. But there is a small group which very rarely show up. This JIM #65 is the first and only copy I have ever seen. Quite remarkable really when you consider how long and hard I’ve been looking. I’ve only ever seen one My Girl Pearl #7, one Patsy Walker #89, one Wyatt Earp #29 (and I wonder sometimes whether that image was created by someone using photoshop!). So what is clear is how ridiculously scarce some of the early 9d copies are. It doesn’t mean they’re worth anything more of course, as comparatively few people are exited to find / collect them still. It makes you wonder whether the ship sunk sometimes doesn’t it.

    Anyway, again, well done Paw. I like the fact that a citizen of Denmark was the one to finally post it. If you read this Paw, maybe you could tell us how it came to be in your possession? Maybe the ship went the wrong way….? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Paw Kruse says:

    Thanks for your kind words. I am very honored to have added something to your list. I have seen it and I know you have been doing a giant effort to obtain all that knowledge on the area.
    I appreciate it very much.
    Unfortunately my collection only spreads over pre hero JIM, ST, TOS, TTA, AAF and Amazing Adventures. But if you need a picture or two, don´t hesitate to ask.
    By the way, I bought JIM 65 in Germany through Ebay.
    Kind regards

    Liked by 2 people

    • Get Marwood & I says:

      Thanks Paw. It’s nice to get some feedback once in a while. Great to think your JIM went from the USA to the UK to Denmark via Germany! 🙂

      Here are the pence gaps for the pre-hero Marvels:

      Check your copies!

      Cheers, Steve

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi everyone, Paw emailed me the below mystery and asked that I post it — what’s mysterious about the copy below is that there is no cover price:

    The “regular” copies have a 10¢ cover price, like so:

    The pence price variants have a 9d cover price, like so:

    But Paw’s copy has neither price! So was it a one-off fluke? Nope: I went looking through eBay listings for other copies like it, and found this one (item #283307963496):

    So there must have been a bunch of these printed like this before they noticed! If anyone has more information or theories, please chime in! 🙂

    – Ben

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Paw Kruse says:

    Thanks for posting it Ben. If someone has more information about this strange non pierced AT 16, please don’t hesitate to write a few lines. Did this error occur on other Marvel comics from the period?


  17. Get Marwood & I says:

    Joking aside, I’ve spent many, many years gawping online at the prices of early Marvels, looking for pence copies. I’ve never seen one without a price so this is a fabulous printing error find, and may well turn out to be the only issue to have it.

    Well done Paw. You’re our new best friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paw Kruse says:

      Photoshop is a brilliant tool….and printing in my cellar seems profitable too…..haha. Joking aside. Just glad I can assist you with some information. Need some pre hero pence pictures for your site, just let me know. Sorry for the crap my computer made the other day (Auto corrected to Danish), I have changed the settings since then. I can see the last comment had a lot of errors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Get Marwood & I says:

        Your English is better than my Danish Paw!

        Is there any chance you could post a picture of the JIM #65 indicia page? I’d like to see whether it has the ‘Thorpe & Porter’ distribution wording? 🙂


    • A scan would be great Antoni, thanks for reaching out! 🙂 Easiest way to get it to me would be by email — I’ve sent you an email message so please expect a message from me. Thanks, – Ben


    • Get Marwood & I says:

      Yowser! Where on Earth did you find that JIM#64 Antoni!!!!???? Ten years I’ve been looking for one of those!

      Absolutely brilliant 🙂


  18. Another cool pence variant shared by Tony: Gorgo #1 from May 1961, published by Charlton, with artwork by Steve Ditko, Charles Nicholas, and Sal Trapani:

    Looks like CGC only has one pence variant on record for this issue on their census to date, in VG+ condition:

    Liked by 1 person

  19. varyant555 says:

    Yes indeed Charlton did! and if I recall correctly the first U.S. published UK Type 1a variants are cover dated 2/60 and sport a 6D cover price. The 6D cover prices began with 2/60 and 3/60 cover dated issues depending on the title if I recall correctly.
    Charlton was the first publisher to publish a printed UK pence cover price variant I believe. Dell and Archie both followed suit with their 4/60 cover dated issues. I need to pull out my 6D Charlton variants to see which ones I have.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed the updated Price Guide for Canadian Variants. I have been collecting them for years, sold my collection in the 90’s, and now buying back a lot of what I lost. I have always collected Whitman and Modern reprints/variants and most of my books in the 80s were bought from the newsstand (or many grocery stores and drug stores around my town).
    I have a few of the Harvey Canadian variants in high grade. I am not sure if you are listing these in the future. I would be able to scan a few if needed.


  21. Antoni Veys says:

    To reply to Marwood:

    JIM # 64 has been sitting in my collection since about 1967 when I purchased it from JM Heal of Weston-super-Mare who ran a postal auction of his collection. I bought many pre-hero Atlas/Marvel from Mr Heal, and they were of such excellent quality that I do not think that I have ever managed to upgrade them. They all bear the signature JM Heal on top margin of back cover. Maybe some other contributors hold copies. The original ads of Mr Heal were probably in Frank Dobson’s Fantasy Advertiser or possibly Exchange & Mart, will try to hunt this down.

    I did already hold a copy of JIM # 64, bought from Gordon’s bookstall on Salford Market in 1964 to 1966, this was almost certainly another pence copy, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Get Marwood & I says:

      Thanks Antoni, that’s great background information. Your 9d JIM #64 and 65 are very scarce books indeed – treasure them my friend. I’d love to see the original ads for them if you could find them. Thanks again for sharing – and do check the known pence list if you can – we’re still missing JIM #61 in pence and some early Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish!


  22. Angelo Virone says:


    I noticed that ComicLink has about 100 CPV’s on auction ending in a few days (NOT MY BOOKS). It’s too bad that ComicLink did not publicize these books anywhere as a special lot being sold , not even a mere mention on the front page of their auction… hence, very few collectors are aware that they are there.

    Prices look real cheap at the moment and it wouldn’t hurt picking up a few if you collect or want to start collecting these scarcer books in high grades.

    Feel free to spread the word.



  23. Hi Ben! Your website has gotten me into looking for Canadian price variants and also Newstand editions of certain comic books. I wanted to email you a question regarding an odd Direct Edition/Newsstand cover price that I found on two different copies of Wolverine issue #101. I couldn’t find your email address so hopefully, you’ll reply to my comment.

    Keep up the awesome work you all are doing! 🙂


    • Hi Jocelyn, happy to try and help, and looking forward to hearing what you discovered with Wolverine #101 (I replied by email also so please expect an email from me). In the meantime I was really curious what you might have noticed and I went onto eBay and found a direct edition and also a newsstand copy of the issue number for reference, and in comparing the bar code boxes I noticed that this issue is an example where there is a “partial price variation” (could that be what you had noticed?) where the US price is the same between direct edition and newsstand but the Canadian price differs, in this case $2.65 (newsstand) vs $2.75 (direct edition) charged in Canada.

      Some time back I wrote a post about this partial price variation phenomeneon (linked to here) with some other examples of partial price variations that really make you wonder just what Marvel was up to… e.g. for ASM #544 Canadians were asked to pay $1.00 more for that issue number on newsstands than to buy a corresponding direct edition, and then at the very next issue, #545, Canadians could actually acquire that issue for less on newsstands versus buying the corresponding direct edition!

      I don’t have a definitive answer as to just what Marvel was doing when they chose to vary the newsstand-vs-direct prices in this way for Canadians, but I do have an observation: With newsstand sales in Canada being such a tiny fraction by this time, Marvel had the perfect setup for price experimentation by charging different cover prices between the types within Canada, for different issues, and gaining sales data. That would be my current “best guess” to explain the partial price variation phenomenon: price experimentation.

      But regardless of what Marvel might have been up to, their actions gave us another interesting batch of newsstand comics that have a further difference from their direct edition counter-parts that goes beyond the normal newsstand-vs-direct-edition distinction… In addition to the “normal” difference between types, we can point to the CAN price tags and illustrate how one type has a partially different cover price than the other type.

      Given that certain customers were charged a different price for a different version of the comic, this strikes me as a situation ripe for asking CGC to consider deeming partial price variations like this a “variant-worthy” attribute! We already know that they deem a difference in the main cover price as “variant-worthy” (they will “break out” the newsstand version from its direct edition counter-part, not because it is newsstand but because it is a price variant), but they have not yet joined CBCS in breaking out newsstand comics broadly (over at CBCS they would “break out” newsstand copies of Wolverine #101 from their direct edition counter-parts but not for any reason having to do with cover price… in CBCS’s case they would break it out because it is newsstand).

      Maybe CGC would consider adding partial price variations to their list of “special situations” that cause them to deem the newsstand copies as distinct census variants?

      Anyway, back to your question, I wonder if that partial price variation is what you noticed, or, if you noticed something else? If something else, let me know!

      – Ben 🙂


      • Hi Ben!

        Hehehe, I emailed you first just before seeing that you’d replied to my comment. And it turns out you’re already aware and informative of what I’d discovered (or at least noticed on the two Wolverine issue #101. It’s exactly what you pointed out, the 10cent price difference for the $2.65 (newsstand) vs $2.75 (direct edition). I also sent you a pic of the indicia and it’s ironic that it mentions (for both editions) the $2.75 Canadian price!

        I couldn’t agree with you more about CGC needing to break out the difference in Newsstand & Direct Editions, and not because of the price difference but because they are two different editions…period. I continue to learn so much from your site. It’s made the thrill of the hunt for certain issues fun again. 😀

        I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to ask as the more “interesting” finds I come across.


  24. Thanks to Paw Kruse for sharing the below indicia scans! First is the Journey Into Mystery #65 Pence Price Variant:

    Second is the Tales To Astonish #16 “No Price” Variant:

    Thanks again Paw! Really appreciate your taking the time! 🙂 In addition to posting them here I’ll send these to Steve as well.

    – Ben 🙂


  25. Salvatore says:

    I would love to see a full list of Canadian charlton 75c editions

    Currently working on that list Derek. Ben should have it within the next few months. 👍🏻


  26. JR BUTT says:

    Hey there. I just love your in depth coverage of the Canadian Price Variants. Thanks.
    Just to let you know. There are Newstand editions of SPAWN #7. I have two mint copies.


  27. Zack says:

    Hey Ben,

    Keep an eye out for Vampirella Warren issues. They have Canadian Newsstand price variants also, but are extremely rare. Especially issues 110 to 112. The last 3 of the series. They are priced at 2.75 instead of the 2.50 US cover price.

    I am a big CPV collector for over 15 years, so wanted to give you a heads up for a article on this.


    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hello Ben,
    I love your page and thanks for putting out all this information. I am now interested in collecting again for the first time in almost forty years. As a side note, while engaged in the hunt for more information on newsstand variants, I wandered into the CGC forums, where I was quickly dissuaded from participating by some ornery types who apparently disliked any mention of this page. They were so upset by references to rarecomics that they couldn’t have any kind of a reasonable discussion, nor even discuss any of the subjects raised by your posts. They did point out one minor error (not on your part, but a mistake by CGC that you mention) and another that is a matter of opinion and the definition of the word “discover”. So now I’m chased away also. A pity because some of the people there seemed reasonable.
    I would be interested in seeing more posts on particularly hard to find newsstand comics. I almost had a newsstand Hulk 1 (Red Hulk) today but my trigger finger was too slow at the auction and I missed it by a dollar. It was the only copy I’ve ever seen and I’ve been looking for awhile. I am somewhat consoled by my newsstand Hulk 92, but I’ve seen two of those (mine and one other) compared to only the one Hulk 1.


    • Hi Andrew! I will reply in full later but for now I want to first say two quick things: (1) welcome and thanks for reaching out, and (2) I clicked the link to paqart.com that came through with your comment, and I want to say wow because your artwork and photography are absolutely stunning. Incredible stuff, I am super-impressed! 🙂

      – Ben

      Liked by 1 person

    • varyant555 says:

      Hi Andrew,

      I can’t agree enough with what others have said about RockmyAmadeus the most negative CGC chat board poster the CGC boards probably has ever had and a hate monger. It’s beyond amazing that he is not banned from the CGC chat boards presently. Of his 56,000 plus chat board posts (since 2005) I wonder if any were posts of not puting peoples posts down just to try to get a “reaction” from other chat board members. Ignoring people like him is always the best thing to do. A person like Amedeus being banned from from other chat boards says a lot. Keep up the good work Andrew.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Salvatore says:

    Hi Andrew and welcome to the site. I read about your experience over on the CGC forums. Believe it or not, pretty much everyone who enjoys comic variants (newsstand, canadian, Australian, etc) has had a run in with “Amadeus” and the like. We’ve all come to just ignore him and his rude comments. Please don’t let these grumpy souls discourage you from learning more about this awesome niche in the comic book world. There are contributers to this site that provide us all with wonderful tidbits of information that most of us never new existed. I personally am heavy into the Canadian variants but ive been fascinated recently by all the research others have posted here regarding UK variants. Hope you have a great time exploring this site Andrew. Cheers


    Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Andrew, I have time to reply more fully now, to your message. First, with regard to the CGC forums, I am sorry to hear that you had to experience that … I know exactly who you would have encountered there, because of my own first-hand experience in the past (I have “a history” now, I guess you could say, with the person you encountered). If you want “the long story” of my own encounters with this person I can give it, but the short version is that I’ve concluded as follows:

    I’m definitely interested in correcting any actual errors on the blog — you mentioned a minor one related to a CGC mistake? — so please let me know what you found so that I can correct it. Regarding the word “discover” that you mentioned, I don’t even have to guess — this has got to be in reference to Jon McClure regarding his role in documenting and articulating the collecting appeal of 30¢/35¢ variants, am I right? This as it turns out is also part of “the long story” of my own history with the person you encountered because at the time our 2018 CPV guide was first released, we saw this line of attack against Jon over on the CGC boards. At first it pained me to see anonymous hateful posting handles on the CGC boards try to publicly smear Jon, but I’ve come to realize it is probably because deep down they wish they could be Jon in terms of his successes.

    Maybe we need to add a hyperlink from Jon’s bio line in the guide intro page, over to his Reminiscences article published here last year, where he details the discovery role he played. Jon is someone I look up to, and if you had asked me ten years ago if I could foresee collaborating with the man on our CPV price guide project (together with all the other fantastic people who worked together on it), I would have laughed it off as being far out of my league… But fast-forward, and I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to work with not just Jon but some other absolute superstars in the hobby, on some pretty large-scale projects (maybe they would not seem so large if we had a staff and a budget, but it is all volunteer based, with no revenue – with any ads you see on my blog the revenue goes straight to WordPress in exchange for their providing the blogging platform).

    OK — let’s talk newsstand comics!! 🙂 Congrats on the Hulk #92, that’s not one I own but looks like a great pick! From the books you mention, it sounds like you’re focusing on “late-modern” Marvel which is smart — the later years of Marvel’s newsstand distribution would have also seen the smallest newsstand sales percentage. For Hulk #1, I am really lucky to have nabbed the very last copy out of “The Doc Collection” — but outside of that exceptional newsstand collection, I too found that particular newsstand key a really tough one to find out there.

    Another late-modern Marvel newsstand key which stumped me for a long time was finding a high grade newsstand copy of Amazing Spider-Man #607 (and #601 too), which incredibly were not included in the Doc Collection on account of being coded as “Sensational Spider-Man” (the seller of that collection, Michael Duke, let me know that it wasn’t that they “held these books back” for sale, but rather, they were simply absent from the collection in the first place as was every third ASM issue in the run of that time period — as it turns out the reason is that the Doc’s drugstore where he got his newsstand comics didn’t order the Sensational Spider-Man title!).

    Another ASM key where newsstand copies were coded as Sensational Spider-Man is ASM #654 — for this one, the census unfortunately has been over-inflated for the newsstand copies, because CGC made a mistake and initially broke them out as “$3.99 newsstand edition” (instead of just “newsstand edition” with a remark about the Sensational code in the key comments notes, as it is now). [I had contacted CGC last year about this after I noticed multiple CGC 9.8 graded direct editions were appearing on the marketplace with the sellers marketing them for sale as newsstand copies, and they had been labeled “$3.99 newsstand edition” (which, with direct editions also having a $3.99 cover price, might have been a situation where the submitter saw the cover price on their copy and was tricked into thinking they owned a variant); fortunately CGC responded and corrected the census name, but, they let me know they cannot actually move the specific books I had found off of the newsstand census entry because they don’t go by marketplace photographs and would need to be contacted by the actual owner of the book.]

    I also struggled for a particularly long time before I found a New Avengers #35 newsstand copy in NM-range shape… the Venomized Wolverine cover is fantastic and reminiscent of Venom/Deadpool: What If #1. Which, speaking of which, must be one of the newsstand books with the highest-value “regular” version, of the 2000’s, $185 in 9.2 in OPG #49. There is still only one 9.8 on census to date for the $3.99 price variant on that one. X-Men Origins: Deadpool is another higher-value late-modern book Deadpool book I collected (another X-Men Origins where I really loved the artwork is Emma Frost).

    Thanks again for introducing yourself Andrew, you are always welcome here; looking forward to hearing from you again, and I hope over time you’ll share any great newsstand finds! 🙂

    – Ben


  31. Hello Ben,

    First off, thanks for the nice welcome! Quite a change from the CGC board. You are right about the “discovery” issue, and we’ll leave it at that. I don’t feel like going through the entire toxic thread to find the CGC error but will mention it to you and you should be able to find it. It had to do with a list you published of variants that CGC recognized as price variants. I want to say it was ASM 650, but am not sure if that is the right number. The issue was that it isn’t a price variant. If you look at the direct edition, you’ll see it has the same price as the newsstand version. For that reason, it may be worthwhile going through the entire list.

    Second, not sure if you’ve written about this, but there are some interesting price variants that include ASM V2 #10, 11, 13 and the four issues published in the same month of five other titles, including Fantastic Four and Cable. I think the others were the Avengers, Hulk, and one other. The regular editions were $1.99, but there were two price variants for each: $2.29 and $2.49. To date, I’ve only been able to find ASM 10 in all three versions as newsstand copies ($1.99, $2.29, and $2.49). The $2.29 appear to be the most difficult to find.

    Now for something fun. I was supposed to be working today but there was a local comic book convention my family wanted to go to. I found some nice newsstand comics right away. Not super valuable but comics I didn’t have before. They were all in 9+ condition and between $1-$2, so I could hardly go wrong. Then I ran into the mother lode. Not as value, but for historical interest. There was a group of maybe fifteen boxes of comics, all moderns, and in no order at all. As I went through, and found newsstand after newsstand, I realized what I was looking at. It wasn’t a collection. My guess is the comics came from a newsstand or bookseller, likely from a storage room they’d forgotten about. It was obviously every newsstand issue published by Marvel, DC, and other publishers during May, June, and July of 2013. Not only that but there were around 10-20 copies of every issue.

    The problem was that I had no idea what I was looking at. The last time I’d seen a group like this was in 1978 or so, when a guy tried selling around 100 boxes of comics from his brother’s newsstand. Likely they were meant to be remaindered but they were all intact. At the time, I was twelve years old and didn’t have much money, so I negotiated to buy one box for $200. The key was that I could go through all the boxes to pick out what went into the box I left with. The problem was that all of the comics were published in the same narrow window of time, something like a three or four month period in whatever year Aquaman 1 and Iron Man and Submariner 1 came out in. I loaded the box with Iron Man 1’s, Aquaman 1’s, every Neal Adams comic I could find, etc. Because the time frame was narrow though, there weren’t many keys. At the time, as many as 95% of the comics were uninteresting. Today it would be a different figure, but back then, most of it was junk. The group I saw today was like that. Worse, I just moved here after living in Europe for twelve years, so I literally have no idea what is going on in in American comics.

    I figured I couldn’t go wrong buying NM newsstand comics from 2013 but hesitated to buy 20x copies of Avengers Arena #8. In the end, I picked out 145 comics, for which I paid $100. I’m going through them now. Like the other group I mentioned, most are low value for newsstand comics but a couple are more interesting than others, like the Superior Spider-Man 10. I could have had twenty of those but think I only bought five. As it was, I could barely get out of the room with that big box of comics in my hands.

    One compliment I want to give you: this page made collecting fun again for me. Thanks for that!

    Also thanks for your comment on my website. I miss doing comics, painting, and drawing in general, but they never made much money for me. I do, however, have a couple comics in advanced stages right now.


    Liked by 1 person

  32. Angelo says:

    Hi Andrew, I concur with Ben and Sal, welcome to the board!
    When it comes to Lazyboy and RockMyAmadeus always be the better person and walk away from the discussion. Just let them get the last word…who cares. Remember, no amount of money or knowledge can replace the act of showing grace! You are not the first and neither will you be the last person they’ll argue with, it’s in their nature…so let them win. Seen them do this to countless individuals including us on the CPV guide. Keep in mind that RMA was suspended from the CGC boards at least once, permanently kicked off the CBCS boards and I heard also another board years ago. Both of these guys hate everything about this site and will attack you for simply mentioning it. They don’t realize it brings them no justice and it’s good for traffic here. Arguing with them is not worth anyone’s time and effort at this point. Focus more on the quality of life you want to pursue and the relationships you presently nurture with your own kids, family and friends. I’m certain you have far more important things to do than spend hours on the CGC boards arguing with them. You tried to engage in a reasonable exchange and it did not work. The best way to make a statement is to not make one! And if by chance they keep poking at you after you let the issue drop ( because that’s something they enjoy doing to others even if it’s uncalled for ) simply report them to the CGC administrators.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. BTW, regarding my recent “discovery” of 2013 newsstand variants, I now have a better idea what I have. So far, I have between 1-7 copies of each issue, averaging around 3 issues each. They all have a display until date of May, June, or July 2013. So far, all are $3.99 cover price issues. In most cases, I have all three months for every title, but not quite. Some of the titles are: Superior Spider-Man, Avenging Spider-Man, Secret Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Avengers, Morbius, Uncanny X-Force, Fantastic Four, FF, Nova, Ultimate Comics X-Men, Avengers Arena, Fearless Defenders, Daredevil, X-Men Legacy, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Factor, Young Avengers, Nightwing, BatGirl, Batman: Dark Knight, Batman: Li’l Gotham, Superboy, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Batwoman. There are more but it is getting too late to make a comprehensive list at the moment. Grades range from 8-9.8 but almost all of them hover between 9.2-9.4.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. While going through my comics, I think I see different paper being used in X-Men #376-#386. Does anyone have direct editions to compare? My NS editions in that group all appear to be printed on newsprint of the type used in Golden Age comics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Andrew,

      Re: “One compliment I want to give you: this page made collecting fun again for me. Thanks for that!”

      Wow, this really means a lot to me to hear, what a great compliment; I am so glad that by sharing on the blog about my own excitement over collecting newsstand comics, that I’ve helped to spread the great fun of this niche to others! 🙂

      Re: “I want to say it was ASM 650, but am not sure if that is the right number. The issue was that it isn’t a price variant.”

      Look at that, you’re right! CGC has this one broken out at $3.99 Newsstand Edition which should imply that the Direct Edition for issue #650 has a $2.99 cover price, but instead, the direct edition is actually $3.99 as well:

      And because the newsstand version is “corrrectly coded” as Amazing Spider-Man, that leaves it with no “variant-worthy” (in CGC’s eyes) attribute… so technically, absent this mistake, they wouldn’t have broken it out as a distinct census variant at all (#654, a similar mistake, had the Sensational Spider-Man code to “fall back on” as a secondary attribute considered by CGC to be variant-worthy). I think the blog page you would have found this issue listed on is this one (“List of CGC Recognized Newsstand Variants”) and I’ve just put through an update to that page to point out the error. [While I was there I also changed all the instances of “Canadian Edition” to “Canadian Price Variant” and “Australian Edition” to “Australian Price Variant” to account for their May 2019 labeling change announcement].

      Re: “My guess is the comics came from a newsstand or bookseller, likely from a storage room they’d forgotten about.”

      Really neat find Andrew, thanks for sharing about this! From what you’ve described it definitely does sound like unsold newsstand copies… I guess this makes you now the original owner/buyer! I like your approach of offering $100 for your pick of 145 comics out of the total (that must have been fun to pick them out) and it sounds like most of them were in untouched condition which is awesome :-)!

      Re: “While going through my comics, I think I see different paper being used in X-Men #376-#386. Does anyone have direct editions to compare? My NS editions in that group all appear to be printed on newsprint of the type used in Golden Age comics.

      I just checked a whole bunch of eBay listings hoping to find a direct edition with the interior pages pictured (was hoping I could tell at a glance if they were glossy), but unfortunately I couldn’t find any (just front covers pictured and sometimes front+back). I don’t have these issues myself to check (if I did they would be newsstand anyway); anyone else happen to have them as direct editions?

      It would be really neat to find Marvel newsstand books with newsprint interior where the corresponding direct editions were glossy… I’ve only personally seen that first hand within Image books, but I’ve been told there are DC newsstand issues in the 1997-99 time period where they did this for some of their lower priced titles. CGC treats this manufacturing difference as “variant-worthy” so if Marvel did this too, then it would be exciting to be able to have a whole new group of CGC-recognized newsstand examples!

      – Ben 🙂


  35. FWIW; I just checked the pages of direct editions published in the same year, though not the same issue/title, and the paper is very different. The paper used for the X-Men I mentioned resembles what I have in my Barks Donald Ducks from the forties and fifties.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a cool cover on this issue, I haven’t come across this one before! And a cover price variant but in the other direction — newsstand is lower at $1.50 (funny touch how below the title they put it in the circle as 150¢) , direct edition higher at $1.95!


      • And she’s got her hand on a book titled “Hulk Fiction”! Took me a second to realize it’s an homage to the Pulp Fiction movie poster! 🙂 Very neat issue indeed, Andrew!


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