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.
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
11/2015 – Comic Book Newsstand Editions: Understanding The Difference
6/2016 – Wolverine Limited Series #1 — Where Are The Newsstand Copies??
6/2016 – Strange but true: Amazing Spider-Man / Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man / Sensational Spider-Man
6/2016 – Newsstand Vs. Direct Edition Comics
8/2016 – Newsstand Variants, $3.99 Newsstand Editions, and The Doc Collection [Also see: $2.29 and $2.49 price variants for Amazing Spider-Man v2 #10, #11, & #13]
9/2016 – Newsstand Rarity Discussions & Estimates
1/2017 – Darker Image #1 — Newsstand $1.95 Cover Price Variant (1st Maxx Appearance)
2/2017 – People are noticing newsstand comics! The WordPress stats page tells me that someone found my blog today by searching the web on the phrase “why are newsstand comics worth more?” … They have asked a great question — so I put up a new page to answer that exact question! 🙂 [Related: “Nice book, too bad it’s a direct edition”]
4/2017 – Daredevil #21, $3.99 Newsstand Edition (Superior Spider-Man Cameo)
4/2017 – Applause to CBCS Now Recognizing Newsstand Comics!
5/2017 – What If Venom Possessed Deadpool? What If There Was A Rare Cover Price Variant?
5/2017 – What If Venom Possessed Wolverine? (New Avengers #35, $3.99 Newsstand Edition)
5/2017 – DC Rebirth, $3.99 Newsstand Editions
6/2017 – $2.99 Newsstand Edition CGC Census Variants, and, “Partial Cover Price Variations” $1.99 Newsstands Too!
6/2017 – 30 More Newsstand Census Variants Confirmed at CGC Since Year-End
7/2017 – Amazing Spider-Man #400: Understanding The Real Newsstand Edition
8/2017 – Applause To CPG Accepting $3.99 Cover Price Variants Into The Price Guide!
4/2019 – Marvel Annual Newsstand Numbering: Uncanny X-Men
[7/2019 — check out these cool finds courtesy of Kurt Halvorsen including newsstand issues with bar-code-on-the-front similar to Amazing Spider-Man v2 #36, finds among Marvel’s 70th Anniversary Magazines, as well as Daredevil Volume 2, Marvel Knights, Citizen V, Hulk Smash, and Banner!]
5/2020 – Applause To CBCS Releasing Their Census!
5/2020 – Newsstand Rarity By Year: CBCS Census
7/2020 – That Newsstand Comic You Didn’t Know You Owned May Be Worth Over $8000
2/2021 – CBCS Population Report: A Quick Guide To Understanding Newsstand, Direct, and CPV Census Numbers
3/2021 – Spider-Man #1 (1990): Newsstand Variants Versus The Rest
10/2021 – First Appearance of Spider-Man 2099: Don’t Forget Web #90!
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
3/2019 – ThunderCats #1 True Canadian Price Variant vs. 75¢ “Logo” Copies
5/2019 – Applause to CGC Now Labeling Type 1A’s as “Canadian Price Variant”, “Australian Price Variant”, and “UK Price Variant”
6/2019 – Archie Canadian Price Variants
8/2019 – CPV Discussions In Overstreet #49 Market Reports
11/2019 – Top 100 Variants of the 2020 CPV Price Guide
5/2020 – Applause To CBCS Releasing Their Census!
8/2020 – Whitman 1984 Canadian Price Variants
8/2020 – The Story of the Wawa Collection
12/2020 – Top 100 Variants of the 2021 CPV Price Guide
12/2020 – List of 1st Appearances (& 2nd) in the 2021 CPV Price Guide
12/2020 – Top CGC Grades For Top Canadian Price Variants
2/2021 – CBCS Population Report: A Quick Guide To Understanding Newsstand, Direct, and CPV Census Numbers
11/2021 – CPVs: The Even Rarer Newsstand Choice
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: ““
By Bill Alexander — “Now is a great time to buy key CPV books in high certified grade at incredibly low bargain prices …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
By Bill Alexander and James Gilbreath — “2018 saw many record breaking and high end sales for Canadian price variants in the hobby …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
By Paul Clairmont — “Here is a simple and very common-sense approach to understand the scarcity of Canadian Price Variant comics …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
By James Gilbreath — “The disrespect is real. But why? …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
By James Gilbreath — “Once a niche topic, CPV discussion has exploded on comic forums everywhere in the last few years …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
By Jon McClure — “I have long argued that Type 1A variants of all eras would climb in interest due to scarcity …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
By Jayden Mitchell — “We have become known for our selection of Canadian Price Variants & intend to continue expanding our CPV inventory …” [ continue reading » ]
By Benjamin Nobel — “Even though this is a Type 1B price variant, "thinking Type 1A" is how I actually found one myself …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
By Benjamin Nobel — “These are Quite Rare in High Grade, with 9.2 copies worth $75.00 or more each …” [ continue reading » ]
By Benjamin Nobel — “A lot of the big DC Canadian Price Variant comics are shockingly hard to find compared against Marvel …” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
By Philip Standhart and Craig Foxhoven — “When he opened the door, Craig and I were speechless …” [ continue reading » ]
By Doug Sulipa — “This year I’ve provided guide values for each of the Harvey CPVs … ” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
By Doug Sulipa — “Canadian Newsstand Cover Price VARIANT editions, were easily our #1 bestselling VARIANTS of the year … ” [ continue reading » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
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 » ]
By Angelo Virone — “Introducing my personal method when investing: I call it my ‘Comic Score Card‘ … “
[ continue reading » ]
Australian Price Variants
1/2017 – New Mutants #98 — $1.50 Cover Price Variant (1st Deadpool Appearance) [ related definition: Type 1A Price Variants ]
5/2017 – AUS Price Variants (Australian Newsstand Editions)
5/2019 – Applause to CGC Now Labeling Type 1A’s as “Canadian Price Variant”, “Australian Price Variant”, and “UK Price Variant”
9/2019 – Part III! Australian Price Variants (“APVs”)
10/2021 – First Appearance of Spider-Man 2099: Don’t Forget Web #90!
Pence Price Variants
7/2011 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (first print 1984)
7/2011 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 (NYCC variant)
7/2011 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 (misprint)
7/2011 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (2009 Color Special Error Edition)
2/2014 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles v2 #13 (Error Edition)
8/2015 – How To Draw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Manufacturing Error)
9/2015 – Creed / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Blue/Bronze Subscriber Edition
7/2016 – 1st Appearance of Krang in Comics
5/2018 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: VideoMedia and Archie
11/2015 – Spawn #1 Black & White Edition Variant
11/2015 – Spawn/The Savage Dragon #1 (1996)
11/2015 – Rust #1 Limited Edition (Pre-dates Spawn #1 and Malibu Sun #13)
12/2015 – Spawn #9 Newsstand Edition (1st Angela)
1/2016 – Spawn Batman Newsstand Edition
1/2016 – Spawn #1 Newsstand Edition
5/2016 – Spawn Newsstand Values Pulling Away From Direct Edition
10/2015 – Graphic Fantasy #1 (First appearance of the “original” Savage Dragon)
1/2016 – Graphic Fantasy #2
11/2015 – Savage Dragon #30 Newsstand Edition (As Seen on TV Variant)
11/2015 – Savage Dragon #10 Newsstand Variant
1/2016 – Savage Dragon #102 (Invincible First Appearance)
1/2016 – Savage Dragon #1/2 w/Platinum Stamp
2/2016 – Savage Dragon #137 (1st Obama Cover)
2/2016 – Savage Dragon Limited Series #1 Newsstand Edition
7/2016 – 1st Appearance of Savage Dragon
Welcome & Introduction
Hi, thanks for stopping by!
I started blogging about Rare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics in 2011, then created a blog for Rare Spawn Comics and Rare Savage Dragon Comics — with these characters ranking among my favorite all-time comic book superheroes outside of the Marvel universe and DC universe. 🙂
The format of those blogs has been to profile specific rare and interesting (and hence valuable and/or highly collectible) comics. For example, I profiled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (May 1984) which is the most highly valued and collectible TMNT comic book of all time, with a print run of just 3,000 copies and featuring the first appearance of the turtles (that blog entry also touches upon Gobbledygook, which was hand-produced on a Xerox photocopier on legal-size paper folded in half and stapled by hand).
I have also profiled the little-known comic Graphic Fantasy #1 (1982) which was a pre-Megaton fanzine self-published by Erik Larsen with a print run of just several hundred copies and containing the first appearance of the “original” incarnation of Savage Dragon. On account of being so incredibly scarce and therefore nearly invisible, the industry completely overlooked it for years and credited Megaton #2/3 with the key first character appearance… But recently some copies of Graphic Fantasy were graded and the CGC “1st appearance credits” for Savage Dragon comics were re-considered and are now allocated differently than they’d been before.
On the Spawn blog I have profiled such comics as the Spawn #1 “Black & White Edition” (1997) which had a print run on the order of 3,100 copies and Rust #1 “Special Limited Edition” (April 1992) which had a restricted print run believed to be limited to 10,000 copies and features a pre-Spawn-#1 full page black & white pin-up by Todd McFarlane to promote the upcoming release of Spawn #1 — that pin-up featuring a sketch of the artwork later used for the cover of Spawn #2, and including a “prototype” Spawn logo that was later tossed aside in favor of the logo ultimately used in the series.
For this blog, I will post about general comic book collecting “themes” that I find to be particularly interesting — like newsstand vs. direct edition comics — and over time I will also profile specific comics outside of Spawn, Savage Dragon, or the TMNT. This blog is also now the home for the hobby’s very first online comic book price guide for Type 1A 1980’s newsstand cover price variants from Marvel & DC.
A recurring “theme” I will return to often in the Savage Dragon and Spawn blogs, is that when Image Comics made its debut in 1992, the Newsstand Distribution Channel for comic books in general was already in major decline. To attain any newsstand distribution against that backdrop was a challenge for Image; collectors would learn in 2013 that Image sold only on the order of 1% of their comics on newsstands versus 99% direct sold to comic shops.
This ratio for Image already creates a disparity in rarity that is critical for collecting early Image keys (where collectors should arguably clearly prefer the newsstand copies which have UPC codes on them — the prevalent direct edition copies lack these UPC codes). But equally interesting is that the challenging nature of newsstand distribution led Image to elect manufacturing choices for their newsstand print runs that in some cases were different from their direct edition print runs — in other words, the newsstand print runs were often produced differently!
These differences were likely to control costs, with choices such as manufacturing the newsstand copies with cheap newsprint paper instead of glossy; or different thickness paper for the cover; or omitting special features like centerfold posters. As a result of these manufacturing differences — when they occurred — CGC treats such newsstand copies as distinct “variants” on the CGC census. Meaning we can actually study some data on how many of each type (direct edition and newsstand) have been graded!
And in addition to manufacturing differences, there are other “special situations” where CGC breaks out newsstand versions as distinct variants on census. You may see CGC graded comics that say “Newsstand Edition” but also “Canadian Price Variant” — and most recently you will find Newsstand Variants and $3.99/$4.99 Newsstand Editions (that last variant category — a “class” of cover price variants — only being created/recognized at CGC in 2016).
I believe that when collecting comics, it is better to have two ways to win, than just one. When there is a more rare version of a given comic available, but the more rare version is priced with little to no premium due to lack of awareness among other collectors, I want that more rare version instead of the prevalent one… Because if you can obtain the more rare version for similar cost, then you have two ways to win instead of one: the issue number itself may rise in value, and the rarity premium may grow if collectors come to recognize it in the future — much like what happened with 35 cent variants, which were broadly overlooked as a “class” of comics before 1998.
Relative value: that’s what I look for, that’s what intrigues me most, and that’s what I enjoy writing about. Thanks for visiting, and as you read any of my posts, if you have additional information you can add to the discussion that I missed, please do so in the comment section either on the post in question or here on the main page — I continue to be humbled and amazed at how much I learn from readers! 🙂
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392 thoughts on “Rare Comics: Welcome”
Just a note on newsstand edition of Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #50: I just saw a photo of a newsstand edition of a variant cover of this issue on MileHighComics.com. I have a newsstand version of the “normal” Josh Campbell cover. So here we have another example of a Marvel comic that has to different covers in newsstand edition form.
Is this below the issue number you mean (#50 / #491)?
BTW, the drawing by your son is fantastic!
Thanks Andrew, very much appreciate that! 🙂 His little sister helped too, with the coloring; it is a page from a book they made together for me as a present some years back. His other drawing that has appeared on the blog is this one from 2017:
At the time of the above I had showed him two newsstand comics side by side, paging through to show how they were 100% identical except for the cover price box, and explaining how I was collecting the higher cover price 75¢ copies, and, that I wanted the grading companies to start referring to them as cover price variants. Later he was working away at his art table and it turned out he was working on that!
– Ben 🙂
Ben, yes it is. The other one (which I have) is a Josh Campbell cover depicting Spider-man swinging through the city with Mary Jane.
I think I might have figured it out (but if the below isn’t the other book you meant then I’m wrong). Below is #500 and I think/guess that what might have happened is that the listing you saw had mistakenly chopped the last ‘0’ off of 500 in the listing text/title, making it appear that you were looking at two zoomed-out #50’s side by side when really it was a #50 next to a #500.
Yep, you’re right. Now I’m disappointed that I didn’t discover anything. Ah well, thanks for figuring it out.
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Below are some awesome Pence covers courtesy of Paw Kruse, I just added them as example photos within the pence price variant guide but wanted to share them here also. It is so neat to observe how they “tried out” different characters and names in the 60’s…
For example, in Strange Tales #79 there is a Doctor Strange “prototype” and on the cover they try out the name “The Thing”:
In Journey Into Mystery #62 we have Xemnu who is introduced as “The Hulk”:
And in #63, we have “Goliath”:
Great covers, thanks Paw! 🙂
BTW: You published a list of hard to find modern newsstand comics and now I can’t find the list on your site. Before I lost track of the list, I decided to try and pick up the comics on it. I found most of them but some were really difficult to find. The most difficult, for what it’s worth, were these: 1) Daredevil 111 (first Lady Bullseye), 2) Hulk 1 (2008, first Red Hulk), 3) Wolverine 67 (Old Man Logan).
Overall, it hasn’t been that hard to find newsstand comics when the title or issue doesn’t matter but finding keys can be very difficult. Out of all the comics I’ve tried to find in newsstand edition, the ones that proved to be hardest to find were, in addition to the three mentioned above, the following:
4) Wolverine 66 (first Old Man Logan)
5) Hulk 15 (first Red She-Hulk)
6) Hulk 16 (first full Red She-Hulk)
7) Hulk 92 (first Planet Hulk)
8) Amazing Spider-Man V2 #20 (monster-sized issue)
9) Superior Spider-Man 1
10) Daredevil 21 (first Superior Spider-Man)
Still looking for a few others but have most of my target list at this point, after buying about 1,000 newsstand comics over the last few months.
I would like to find that list of yours though. Do you have any idea where it is? I remember it listed the DD 21, DD 111, Hulk 1, and Wolverine 67. I’d like to be reminded of the other comics on the list.
Hi Andrew, congrats on landing most of the books on your target list, that’s awesome! 🙂 [What will you collect next once you’ve completed your list?]. Based on the books you mentioned, I believe you are recalling a list of example keys from my 2016 post introducing the “$3.99 Newsstand Edition” comics, which followed CGC’s (great) decision to “break them out” on their census as distinctly tracked variants. The full post is here and the below quote from the post contains the list of example keys that I believe you are remembering (but if this is not the one let me know):
You’re right, that is the list! Thanks for posting. I spent quite awhile on multiple occasions trying to find it. The list reminded me of comics I didn’t get, like ASM 601 (almost got one but too expensive), 606 & 607 (I don’t like these covers), 611 and 617 (haven’t seen any yet), and New Avengers 35 (have seen one copy, for $4k).
Barring the discovery of any of those comics at a reasonable price, next I will be looking for the price variants published at the same time as ASM V2 #10-13. I only have one of these right now, the $2.49 ASM V2 #10. I’d like to track down some of the others as well, the Fantastic Four and Hulks. Not interested in Cable, and forgot the other titles involved (total of six).
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Speaking of your list, I decided to check and see if any new copies of New Avengers 35 have shown up on eBay. The answer is no. The $4,000 copy that has been there for months is still there, as well as a $225 copy I had forgotten about, also there for months. While there, I decided to look in on the other two interesting issues from the run, #11 and #27, first Ronin and first Hawkeye as Ronin, respectively.
Of the three comics, I counted all of the newsstand vs. direct editions available to get a sense of rarity. Here are the results:
New Avengers #11: 158 Direct/3 newsstand (avg NS price, $100), 1 NS for every 52.67 DE, rarity index: 52.67
New Avengers #27: 186 Direct/ ) newsstand. Zero NS copies out of 186. Rarity index >186
New Avengers #35: 65 direct/2 newsstand ($4,000 and $225, respectively), 1 NS for every 32.5 DE. Rarity index: 32.5.
Not only is New Avengers 27 harder to find than the other two issues concerned, it has the highest rarity index of any comic in my database. I have others where zero copies are available, but no others where I was able to find as many as 186 or more direct editions AND no NS copies.
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Having bought from newstands in the 80’s (Northern Ontario) the majority of my collection were CPV’s. I am scanning the books I have, starting with the Adventure digests. It’s a real chore since I keep adding to the pile. I would be interested in the Harvey, Charlton and Warren CPV’s that have yet to be accounted. I have scans of a few of the 89c and $1.25 Harvey’s if you need them for the eventual guide addition.
Harvey list is finished and coming your way as soon as Ben has time to work his magic, Marwood has pretty much a complete list of the Charltons done and I’m currently working on the Warren list. 👍🏻
Hi everyone, I’m thrilled to let you all know that the Harvey Type 1A research from Sal and Bill is now online! 🙂
There is some very cool stuff covered, including 35¢ variants from 1974 all the way backwards to the Silver Age (!!) with examples including Casper’s Ghostland #1 from Winter 1958-1959 (baseline non-variant guide value in NM- most recently $425), and Richie Rich Dollars and Cents #1 from August 1963 (baseline non-variant guide value in NM- most recently $435), just to name two examples of stand-out issues regularly priced at 25¢ that have 35¢ variants.
There are also a batch of 75¢ variants from 1982 and then Harvey “paused” their publishing (Sal found an article that they technically remained in business but let go all but one person, and their publishing of comics paused). Then there are also “Phase Two” CPVs from when Harvey revived, including the neat 89¢ variants that have been touched upon here in the comments forum in the past.
A look on eBay for “mis-listed” variants — listings that make no mention of the listed book being a cover price variant yet clearly picture the price variant — suggests that marketplace awareness of Harvey’s CPVs is quite low at present. So for those who find themselves interested in the Harvey CPVs, it sure looks like there is still a lot of opportunity to land the variants for “regular price” out there in the wild.
Here are just two example listings I found, where the listing title does not include any indication of the book being a variant, and yet when we zoom in on the picture, sure enough it is the CPV the seller owns (without realizing they have anything special); first, a 35¢ CPV example (listing at top; zoom-in on picture at bottom):
As you can see, this copy has a 35¢ cover price (versus the 25¢ expected)!
Next example, from Harvey’s “Phase Two” period is Back to the Future #1, a cool issue because it features the 1st appearance in Comics of Marty McFly, Doctor Emmett Brown and Clara Clayton (listing on top; zoom-in on picture at bottom):
Regular copies have a $1.25 cover price (for this one there exist both direct edition copies [listing both US and CAN prices] and single-price newsstand copies), but as you can see, this copy above is the variant, with its $1.50 cover price!
Cool variants, and with definite collecting opportunity out there. Big thanks to Sal and Bill for all their hard work documenting these! There are still many issues in the lists denoted as “Unconfirmed” so if you happen to have any of these still-unconfirmed issues and you find you own the variants, please let us know!
Continue on to read the Harvey post here:
Happy Harvey Hunting! 🙂
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FWIW: ANother variant + normal newsstand edition. This is for Hulk #9 (2008). One newsstand cover is of the Hulk jumping on the Thing (see image on Mile High Comics’ website), the other is an Art Adams homage cover similar to the famous Avengers “Lady Liberators” cover, with a vanquished hulk, seen from above, surrounded by female superheroes (I saw this on a CGC thread, think it was in the “never seen in the wild” thread, not sure.)
Thanks Andrew for your time spent in trying to track down pictures of the two Hulk #9 books you saw! For others following this thread of conversation, it turns out that the two Hulk #9’s Andrew found, while both very cool books, were not from the same series, with the book at left below being from 12/1999 (and the example pictured below carries a $2.29 cover price!) while the book at right is from the 2008 series, published 2/2009 with cool Lady Liberators cover swipe (of Avengers #83):
Here’s the original Avengers book that Hulk #9 above-right cover pays homage to:
Thanks Andrew for sharing these Hulk finds (even though we’re foiled again in uncovering new Marvel issues which have two newsstand cover versions of the same issue number).
– Ben 🙂
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I just took another look at those two covers and realized that, to my surprise, I think the Buscema is much more appealing than the Adams cover. The perspective is correct in the Buscema, but full of mistakes in the Adams.
I do enjoy your site, I have an issue of your methods of image collection. I did offer images from my collection, to which no one replied. As the images have been published on Instagram I own the copyright to them. I do not know if you pulled them from eBay or from my Instagram, so now I am asking you to take them down and formally ask for permission to use them. Those would be Adventure 497,500,501,502. In the future I would recommend you ask for permission to use any of my images from eBay, Instagram or Facebook as I am posting CPV’s regularly on those platforms. I can forward a release for images on your request.
My apologies; I have taken down the Adventure #497, 500, 501, and 502, pending your formal permission to use them — and I am reaching out to you by email to ask for that formal permission now. Please expect an email from me. Following your comment from a few days ago offering scans, I had gotten the impression you were offering to help provide images, and then I had subsequently noticed your eBay listings … I apologize that without thinking to ask your formal permission for those specific scans, I downloaded them for inclusion the guide. They have just been removed and I am emailing you now.
As stated in my email, feel free to use the images in the future.
The site is a real asset to CPV collectors and I thank all of you for your hard work.
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I noticed you were missing some pictures in the guide,
Message me bellow to my email, as I have these books and will take a picture for you to display.
Such as The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Special #29
Excellent Zack, thanks so much! I have reached out to you by email so please expect an email from me and if for some reason you don’t receive it let me know.
Courtesy of Andrew, below is a newsstand copy of Deadpool Kills Deadpool #2 (10/2013):
Notice it is identified as “X-Men Limited” by its UPC code:
And carries a $3.99 cover price versus the expected $2.99 found on direct edition copies.
Cool find Andrew, thanks for sharing it! 🙂
Hi everyone, I’m beaming after reading the below letter from Dave Sim (of Cerebus fame), and in the letter he gives permission to share it publicly to promote Doug Sulipa’s Comic World (dougcomicworld.com), so therefore I’m very happy to be able to share it with you now — I know it will bring a big smile to the faces of fellow CPV collectors out there to learn of Dave Sim’s interest in Canadian Price Variants! 🙂
Here is the letter: https://rarecomics.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/dave-sim-cpv-letter.pdf
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Quick question, is there a CPV of the Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel? Most books I have seen have the $5.95 price listed on the cover but there are also copies with the $5.95 and CAN $6.95 prices listed. There is someone on Ebay who is listing a copy as a CPV of this book but it has the $5.95 price
Good question! I just found the eBay copy you came across and I’m guessing the seller mistakenly thought they had a CPV because $5.95 is the variant cover price for the #3 and #4 Marvel Graphic Novel CPVs which are regularly $4.95… but for Death of Captain Marvel (Marvel Graphic Novel #1) the regular cover price was $5.95.
Both Mile High’s website and the CGC census have the book going out to nine printings (!!) and the “Can. $6.95” below the $5.95 looks to begin to appear at printing number four, with printing number three still having just a single cover price amount of $5.95.
Researching the Marvel Graphic Novels is quite a bit trickier than with Marvel’s comics, without a direct edition / newsstand division, and without an issue date that includes a month — everywhere you look online for information it just says “1982” with no month, for the issue date — but as we go out to later printings of the book the indicia actually does include more information about the month. Here below is a third print indicia for example:
Given the April 1982 date on this third print example — many months before Marvel’s CPV window opened for their comics in October — I don’t think we’re going to find any single-price $6.95 CPV first print examples of Marvel Graphic Novel #1 in existence (if they do exist they are hiding extremely well; certainly I’ve never seen one, and if one were ever to turn up I’d be shocked). Similarly, I do not believe we’ll see a CPV for Marvel Graphic Novel #2 either (Elric the Dreaming City), which also had a regular cover price of $5.95. The only Marvel Graphic Novel issues with confirmed CPVs at this point are #3 and #4, and then at #5 first print copies simply carry both US and CAN prices on the cover — so #3 & #4 look to be the only examples with CPVs.
Regarding publication dates, you can find all the info you need on mikesamazingworld.com you can search for individual books or
you can look at the month of January 1982 and it will show
everything published that month, including Graphic novel # 1.
Hi everyone, when we launched the 2020 guide in November I had mentioned here that we were attempting to collect pictures of every Marvel & DC variant that we believe should exist out there and that we were up to 92% picture coverage; I had asked for your help with the remainder…
Thank you so much to all of the guys and gals who offered to help out and provide missing pictures — with your overwhelmingly-incredible assistance, as of today we’re now at 97% Marvel & DC picture coverage!! 🙂
Of all of the titles we listed in the guide, there have remained four titles to date where there was reason for us to believe CPVs should exist out there for the title and yet where we’ve been unable to find even a trace of a picture of one to date. (There are many other titles where we still have some number less than 100% of the issues pictured but have at least one issue pictured; but here I’m talking about the four titles where we still have had zero CPV pictures).
But I’m posting today to share with you that it looks like the aforementioned list of four is actually down to three titles. Here’s the story: Generic Comic #1 direct editions have a “logo box area” at the bottom left corner of the front cover (which suggested the existence of corresponding newsstand copies), and meanwhile MyComicShop has had a VG grade Canadian Price Variant copy listed on their website for some time (albeit with a blank picture shown on the website). However, the news is that it turns out that the VG copy of theirs was actually just a mistake — a direct edition categorized as a CPV by accident… here it is below:
Outside of that MCS listing, which has now turned out to be a mistake, there isn’t a trace on the Internet that we can find of any newsstand copies of this book out there. If you have a newsstand copy of this issue — either 60¢ or 75¢ — can you let me know? Otherwise, seeing as how the MCS copy that was supposed to be the CPV turned out to actually be a direct edition, it looks like Generic Comic #1 is most likely a case of a direct-edition-exclusive.
p.s. Here by the way are the other three titles where we have yet to find a trace of the CPVs to date but where we believe they should exist, and in all three of these other cases our belief is that the CPVs should exist because we have seen single-price corresponding regular newsstand copies, which confirms that newsstand distribution did indeed occur:
(1) Zatanna Special #1
Apparently this special was originally intended to be a 4-issue mini series, but they switched directions and edited it down to one enormous issue instead, with a whopping $2.00 cover price on US newsstand copies, and the CPV would have a $2.85 expected cover price.
(2) Heroes Against Hunger
Regular $1.50 cover price US newsstand copies exist, and the CPV would have a $2.10 expected cover price.
(3) Angel Love
While the other titles I mentioned were one-shots, here we have a full eight issues where we’ve still yet to see the corresponding CPV for a single one of them; and yet newsstand distribution did indeed occur for this title, as evidenced by these US newsstand copies:
What an incredibly amazing job you’ve done on the 2020 CPV Guide. The amount of work that must have gone into compiling all these variants is just mind boggling. I’ve been collecting CPVs for the past 5 years, ever since I became aware of their existence, and this current version of the guide is the best resource I’ve ever seen on the subject.
I truly believe that CPVs are an undervalued subset of the comic collecting world. Although the grading companies recognize these variants, it seems that authorities like Overstreet are still in denial and refuse to break down their values. If it ever does happen, it will be because of all the effort you and your advisors have put in here.
Truly exceptional work. I can’t wait for the next update.
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Courtesy of Andrew, the below neat newsstand finds for Incredible Hulk (2011 series) are further examples of newsstand issues where the UPC code identifies the book as a different title — instead of “Incredible Hulk” as we might have expected, all three of these examples below show “Marvel Adventures” instead! Very cool finds, thanks Andrew! 🙂
The Betty’s Diary #36 mystery is finally solved, all thanks to Brian Zimmer who shared his CPV copy below!! 🙂 [To remind about this mystery: direct editions of issue #36 have a CAN $1.25 price on the cover but $1.20 specified in the indicia and we’d never been able to find the CPV to see what the actual cover price is for the CPV.] As you can see by Brian’s CPV copy below, it carries a $1.20 cover price:
Mystery Solved! Thanks so much Brian!! 🙂
Thanks Ben! It’s a thrill to hunt for all the hard to find and key books that you and others have painstakingly researched over the years. Keep up the great work!
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Hey there, just wanted to share a blog post I wrote that might be of interest to CPV collectors. I analyzed eBay sales from December through early March right before COVID really took off in Canada. I plan to do a similar analysis in June and every three months afterwards to see how CPV sales are trending and how COVID is affecting CPV sales online.
Thanks Mat, great work on the report! I enjoyed reading it and I look forward to your future reports! 🙂 Can I ask you to double-check the values you show for the ASM #238 CGC 9.8 auction sale? Based on eBay’s screenshot below they have the winning bid at $4650 USD and their own conversion of that number over to CAD comes out to $6545, although that value looks to be based on today’s rate at the time of the screenshot not the rate at the time of sale; the conversion rate I find online for March 1st is 1.34 which would make it ~$6231 CAD which differs materially from what is shown in your table [is it possible your spreadsheet accidentally treated it as a 70% best-offer instead of an auction?]. Thanks again for sharking your work and looking forward to your future reports! Best, – Ben
Thanks fixed! That sale didn’t even come up in my search parameters because it doesn’t appear on eBay.ca. I knew about it from a Reddit thread but looking back again, I now realize the price I had been looking at in the Reddit photo was with 1h7min still left in the auction. Should’ve looked closer.
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Nice report Mat. Your statistics are pretty eye opening regarding sales of CPVs. I just did a quick ebay count of all CPVs sold between March 8- April 14 and it’s already at 490 sales. It seems as if sales have jumped big time compared to your month to month stats from Jan-March, and I’m guessing that would be directly attributed to people spending more time on eBay. It also appears that your finding that most of the CPVs selling are in the under $10 range, most of what I saw while scrolling though puts the majority of sold copies in this group. Can’t wait to see your next report. Cheers.
Well turning out my loft on lockdown in uk. I decided to list all the marvel and DC comics my sons used to collect
Such as DC Wonder Woman june1988 and superman’s d Mr Miracle October 87. And endless number ones of image dc dark horse marvel. how does one get an honest valuation on them I have hundreds. Keeping me occupied
Be glad of your advice
Having read your blog. Wow
Hi Diane, sounds like a fun project to pass the time during lockdown, I wish you well with your listings! Right now with so many people strapped for cash because of the economic shutdowns worldwide, it is a hard time to gauge prices where specific comics will actually sell right now… but here are some general comments and advice.
About 17 years ago I decided to sell off my childhood comic collection on eBay which took a long time and a lot of listings to accomplish (and ultimately it only got me “re-hooked” on the hobby), and one of the things I observed over the course of that experience was that selling off the “key” issues (like important first appearances) with stand-out value was a much different selling experience versus selling the in-between-the-key issues…
I found that there were a lot of views and a lot of bidders for the keys, but for the in-between-the-keys my experience was that I needed to sell large lots of comics at a time to get any meaningful bids (which makes sense given the shipping cost factors into what someone is willing to bid). The condition of the books is also a very big factor that plays into what a collector out there is willing to bid for your listings. If you don’t have experience assigning a grade to a comic, then the next best thing is to take as many pictures as possible, including close-ups of any nicks/bends/scratches you may notice (look along the spine in particular, and all four corners, front and back).
So my first piece of advice would be to go through what you have and look up the price guide values (you could use any of the free online guides or look up each issue on eBay to see recent actual sales) and sort out which books are worth meaningfully more — for those high value books, maybe consider listing those individually depending on the values. For books with low value you might think about selling groups of them together, because individually they might not be worth more than the shipping cost.
The last thing I want to mention is that being from the UK, depending on the time period of each book there’s a chance you might have some Pence Price Variants — you mentioned some 1980’s books in there… if you have books from December 1981 and earlier then you may have some variants — here’s a pence price variant issue guide: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/pence-price-variant-issue-guide-marvel-dc/
Good luck! 🙂
I can provide a number of the books whose cover images are missing for the CPV Stars books. Please let me know if you’re interested. Take care!
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Who’s Who Update 87 #5 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Who-s-Who-1987-5-NM-Canadian-Price-Variant-CPV/184283818699?hash=item2ae82beacb:g:TF0AAOSw62letP0z
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Question: I wonder if Secret Wars #1 Blue Galactus in ‘Canadian Price Variant’ as CGC refers to them as ‘Canadian Edition’ EXIST?
Hi Bryan, yes — I noticed one on eBay not long ago, here is a picture, it was CBCS graded and the label includes “Blue Galactus Var.” in the variant field:
Here’s a link to the listing in the sold section:
Also: Happily, both CGC and CBCS have changed to now call them “Canadian Price Variant” instead of the old Edition terminology 🙂
CGC census link for Secret Wars #1
And here’s the CBCS census — as you can see they have a multitude of different census entries for issue #1, and based on the names they appear to have Canadian Price Variants in there both ways (for example I see “$1.00 Canadian Price Variant” as well as “Blue Galactus Canadian Variant”, and also the old “Canadian Edition” as well as “Canadian Ed / Blue Galactus Var”):
Interestingly enough, it appears that the vast majority of books CBCS has graded for issue #1 fall under their regular “Blue Galactus Variant” entry.
How do I add/post picture in this reply box?
Hi Bryan, thanks for emailing me the pictures you were trying to attach, nice looking book you’ve got! 🙂 I’ve attached the pictures below (sorry it wasn’t possible to paste them in yourself; WordPress only currently makes it possible for blog authors to include pictures in the comments forum [but hopefully in a future version they will expand that]).
As far as I know, there is no “tell” from the outside of the book which version is inside. But I would agree that it isn’t worth cracking out your book to see whether you’ve got the “Blue Galactus” version or the corrected version — if it were my book I myself wouldn’t bother. It isn’t clear to me whether the “Blue Galactus” version is any more rare or more common than the corrected version, either overall or among CPVs; based on the CBCS census counts it may actually be the more common version (or, perhaps because CBCS denotes it as a variant while CGC does not, CBCS merely attracted more copies for submission of the Blue Galactus type?).
But as far as CGC treatment, their census shows just three entries — “regular”, CPV, and 2nd printings — so over at CGC they apparently aren’t (currently) separating out the Blue Galactus version as a census variant.
Hi, I noticed you were missing an image of the Canadian Ewoks #5 and found it here…
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The problem with pence copies is its a completely different currency, so how do you compare? You can’t. Which do you want cent copy or pence copy? Everyone prefers cents, even the Brits. Pence copies will always be a lot less in value, due to the providence of the comic industry.. Brits try to bolster there pence copies because they want their pence copie to be worth more, but all it does is water down the currency. Their is a finite amount of money in the collectors community, so the more you add pence, frank, ruby, peso copies the lower the value becomes in all collections, due to the watering down effect, which there is a finite amount of purchase power in the comic community. This is very true
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I’ve never seen a Francs, Rubies, or Pesos cover priced Type 1A price variant before. If they exist, that’s news to me. I group those examples you gave all under the “foreign editions” comic book category — the indicia and interior contents of such copies differ from regular copies, and they were published abroad at a different time and place from the original, published by a different publisher and produced on different manufacturing equipment.
What do you make of this example comic below? “Collectability” and “value” questions completely aside, let’s just consider these facts of the comic: It was published by a different publisher, published in a different country than the original, published at a later date than the original, and in a different language than the original, so therefore let’s agree that it is not a 1st print variant of ASM #361, agree?
A later foreign edition, versus a 1st print Type 1A price variant, to me is a big ‘philosophical’ difference in terms of how I think about them! There are three known instances of Type 1A price variants (Canadian Price Variants, Australian Price Variants, and U.K. Price Variants), and of those three the pence price variants are probably the hardest for your typical US collector to warm up to… But consider that pence price variants even while not having cover prices with a ‘$’ or ‘¢’ sign, were US-published, were manufactured on the same equipment as regular copies, were from the same publisher, and it is not possible to determine printing order of the types from comparison of the indicia pages. And with a pair of scissors and a limited number of snips you or I can render the typical pence price variant indistinguishable from the regular cents version that was distributed in the US. Physically speaking, that’s a world of difference compared to foreign editions!
As far as potential future value of pence price variants, I would agree that the pence cover price is an important consideration: I do think a huge challenge to pence price variants is that most US collectors don’t know what p, d, and 1/- mean and that those symbols absolutely ‘look foreign’ to the average US collector… So if you’re actively looking for a reason not to collect them, I don’t fault you for ‘drawing your own line’ around the comics you personally choose to collect, in your own way (and if you demand a ‘$’ or ‘¢’ cover price to collect it, I say to each their own).
But on the other hand, I hope you will consider that there are valid reasons why collectors would embrace pence price variants as 1st print originals (especially after CGC’s change to labeling them as price variants), and there is genuine interest in these including outside of the UK (I myself am in the US and I’ve collected a bunch of them; outside of any doubles, I collected them to own, not to flip).
And speaking of pence price variants, how gorgeous are these?! (Courtesy of Paw Kruse – thanks Paw!) 🙂
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Hi everyone, I was asked an interesting question today: what are the “hot” newsstand comics right now? It made me think, first of all, that normally one might answer a question of “hot” comics by looking at how many sales transactions took place for given issues over a certain measurement period, and the issues seeing the highest level of sales activity (i.e. the most copies sold) could be considered “hot” — and another measurement might be to look into how many copies have been recently submitted to CGC for grading, and the issues seeing the biggest flurry of submission activity could be considered “hot”…
But both of these methods of measurement would be a whole lot more difficult in the world of newsstand comics where some issues are so hard to find in newsstand that they hardly ever sell, and there are some issues that are exceptionally sought after where CGC “breaks out” the newsstand copies on census and we can see that very few have ever been submitted for grading, let alone submitted “lately”, simply because there are so few of them out there. So how are we to define “hot” for newsstand comics? Ideally we’d be able to poll the entire comic collecting community and ask: “what newsstand comics are you most interested in finding right now?” The most frequent answers could be the most “hot” newsstand comics.
Another thought that occurred to me is that eBay is a huge worldwide marketplace… and I was curious what I would find if I typed “newsstand” into the search bar, selected the collectible comics category, and then toggled over to the Sold section (which goes back three months I believe), and sorted the results by highest sales price? I just did this exercise and I found that the “hottest” newsstand comic as measured by the most money paid recently, went for $8,100. This was a surprisingly high number to me, so I thought it was well worthy of sharing with you all. The top result? An Ultimate Fallout #4 newsstand copy in CGC 9.8. The second highest? A newsstand copy of Batman Adventures #12 in CGC 9.8, at about $3,000. Take a look:
I haven’t actually followed either of these two books lately to know there their direct edition counter-parts have been selling recently, so I looked them up: Turns out that the $8,100 sales price for the newsstand copy of Ultimate Fallout #4 compares to about $1,400 for a direct edition in the same grade; meanwhile the $3,000 sales price for the newsstand copy of Batman Adventures #12 compares to about $1,900 for a direct edition in the same grade:
So, what newsstand books are you out there looking for these days? Chime in! Recently a collector told me they were going through Amazing Spider-Man “by the hundreds” looking for newsstand copies, i.e. they wanted to collect an ASM #200 newsstand, #300 newsstand, #400 newsstand, #500 newsstand, #600 newsstand, and #700 newsstand. I thought that was a cool idea. Other collectors seem to be mostly after price variants.
What about you, Ben, what newsstand books have you been looking for lately? OK: I’ll share my most recently landed newsstand comic that I’m most excited about finding (after years and years of trying to find one in Near Mint shape without success): Star Wars #92 with $1.25 cover price (1st Jan Duursema Star Wars art, and a painted cover by Cynthia Martin & Bill Sienkiewicz that I find stunning — I’m a total sucker for painted covers).
The newsstand book I’d most like to upgrade at this particular moment is my APV copy of Hulk #377. The newsstand book I’d most like to find at this particular moment that I do not already own in any grade, is a Zatanna Special #1 with $2.85 cover price!
– Ben 🙂
Hi everyone, I’m pleased to bring you the amazing story of “The Wawa Collection” as told by the team who acquired the collection from its original owner — if you were a collector of newsstand comics in the 2014-2017 timeframe the “WaWa” name will definitely ring a bell; many CPVs from the collection were graded by CBCS and consigned to MyComicShop back then, and I know that the crown jewels of many CPV collections out there originated from the WaWa. I’ve been asked a lot of times over the years if I knew the story behind this collection, because it is thought of by many as the first “pedigree” high-grade CPV collection to ever hit the market.
As you will read, there are many fascinating aspects to the story… but one aspect that I found particularly striking was that the original owner/collector used the Overstreet price guide to price every book in the collection… and regardless of being newsstand, regardless of being CPVs, and even when the true grade was higher than 9.2, he still gave the books the “regular Overstreet 9.2 prices” when formulating his asking price in the negotiation for the collection! Wow.
Here’s the full story: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/the-story-of-the-wawa-collection/
– Ben p.s. This reminds me, that I really feel that it is beyond time that Overstreet begin recognizing newsstand comics in the guide, and price variants in particular, so that owners of these books have a sporting chance to recognize when their copy is different from the “regular” ones and potentially much more valuable. Can you imagine if you owned, say, a Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 Canadian Price Variant newsstand copy in 9.6 shape, can you imagine turning to the corresponding page of the Overstreet guide, looking up the regular 9.2 value of issue #37 and proceeding to quote $140 as your ask? (That — repeated for thousands upon thousands of books — is essentially the opportunity that Craig & Phil found!).
I realize that the physical “real estate” is limited in a printed price guide, but I hope that the Overstreet guide will consider other ways to incorporate newsstand coverage in future editions, that take up little-to-no extra/additional space. For example, a CPV “icon” could be included in the guide pages next to those titles where CPVs are known to exist, and then a “legend” at the bottom of that same page could point readers to a “fixture” in the guide that explains what CPVs are, and how they are more valuable. Here’s a visual example of how this idea might look (notice it takes up no “extra” real estate in the page to accomplish this):
Who’s Who Update ’88 3-4 are unlikely to exist as the latest DC CPVs are dated September 1988 and WWU88 3 is October 1988 and 4 is November 1988. Also GCD lists a CPV of DC Graphic Novel 1 Star Raiders @6.95.
Thank you Jim, great catch on the Who’s Who Update ’88 error, you’re absolutely right, #3 and #4 are outside the price variant window and were in there by mistake. Regarding the Star Raiders DC Graphic Novel #1, I haven’t held this one in my hands, but I believe the Canadian price is on a sticker? Here’s a side-by-side picture below:
The 6.95 has a gray background, whereas the US version’s price has the tan background color with white font, and the edges around the gray look raised, so I’ve assumed it to be a sticker and thus not a printed price variant. If you know otherwise please let me know!
Applause and congratulations to the two recipients of this year’s John Verzyl Overstreet Advisor Award: Michelle Nolan, and our CPV team’s very own Doug Sulipa! Below is from pages 94-95 of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #50 just recently published (my own copy arrived just today):
The John Verzyl Overstreet Advisor Award is presented annually to Advisors whose knowledge, contributions, ethics, and reputation are held in the highest esteem by their peers. As mentioned in the above pictured award presentation pages, Doug Sulipa has most certainly influenced and advanced the worlds of comic books, their creators, and their fans, by actively sharing his knowledge with others.
I’ve said this before about Doug and I’ll say it again: he has contributed absolutely encyclopedic knowledge towards our CPV guide; there’s that old saying about super-knowledgeable people, and it certainly applies to Doug, that he’s so knowledgeable about comics that he’s probably forgotten more about comics than I’ll ever know!! To think that as a Senior Overstreet Advisor he’s been contributing to the Overstreet guide since edition #2 in 1972 and now they are at guide #50. Remarkable contributions over the decades, that most certainly have greatly enriched the perspectives of comic book enthusiasts everywhere.
Bravo Doug!! Well deserved! My hat is off to you and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with such an industry giant as yourself, on our CPV guides over these past few years. You and Jon as our senior-most CPV team members have been the backbone of our team effort, and we never could have contributed our CPV guides to the hobby if it were not for you. I am so glad to see you getting this award! 🙂
A big Thank You to Overstreet Advisor Bill Alexander for honoring me with the invitation to contribute to your Overstreet #50 Market Report! My copy of OPG #50 arrived today and it was a thrill to turn to page #100!
I have been watching an antique dealer from Edmonton on Youtube Curiosity Incorporated. He bought a 10000 comic book collection of Golden Age books, in amazing condition. some books I’ve never seen before, a Roy Rogers Giant Annual 1947 Canadian edition only. CGC census shows only 11 copies known to exist, and confirms there is no US version.
Thanks for the heads-up Mark, that’s interesting, and I see what you mean about the CGC census for the issue having a Key Comments note stating that there is no corresponding US version (screenshot below for others to see, with the note circled in red).
Just found this link….
Find I have one you don’t have listed. Walt Disney’s uncle Scrooge 209, $0.75 cover. I emailed a photo to two people on the list of people. Thanks again!
Thanks Stephen! 🙂 Whitman CPVs haven’t made it into the CPV Price Guide just yet, but in August I put up the following post about them which included the Uncle Scrooge #209: https://rarecomics.wordpress.com/2020/08/05/whitman-1984-canadian-price-variants/
Love the guide. Very much looking forward to the next edition for 2021. Can you let us know when it’s likely to be published?
Thanks Tobi, we’re hard at work on a 2021 edition but I don’t have a likely ETA just yet.
Tried to submit a photo of
A CPV you didnt have an image of, Phantom Stranger #2,
I am not that tech savvy, can you advise how I can attach this photo too this link to send you?
Thanks Marvin! We got it! 🙂 Really appreciate the help!!
Weird War 120 on ebay.ca
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Hi everyone, a reader emailed me the below — ComicLink has started to indicate “NEWSSTAND EDITION” on listings. For example, this New Mutants #98 below, in 9.8, which auctioned for $1,550. Beneath it is a direct edition in the same 9.8 grade, which ended the same night, and went for $565 less than the newsstand copy.
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Hi everyone, there have been some noteworthy recent newsstand auction results on eBay, which are shown in the below screenshot:
— Batman Adventures #12 in CGC 9.8 NEWSSTAND achieved $4,617.89 at auction with 46 bids
— Ultimate Fallout #4 in CGC 9.2 NEWSSTAND found a bidder at $3,500
— GI Joe #21 CGC 9.8 NEWSSTAND was bid to $2,950 at auction with 40 bids
— Amazing Spider-Man #300 in CGC 9.6 NEWSSTAND was bid to $2,850 at auction with 55 bids
— Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1 in CGC 9.8 NEWSSTAND was bid to $2,600 at auction with 80 bids
Hi everyone, I wanted to share that we reached a fun milestone today: we have just surpassed 1,000,000 hits at cpvpriceguide.com since the November 2019 launch of the site (and November 2020 is on track to be among our strongest months of site traffic yet).
Hi Ben..please contact me about a tough to find xmen 9.8 newsstand. Thanks!
Good luck on your X-Men 9.8 newsstand quest! If anyone reading this can help, he is looking for an X-Men #266 in CGC 9.8 newsstand. [I just checked eBay and ComicLink and both are completely devoid of 9.8 newsstand copies of this book at the moment].
Just a follow-up to let you know that (A) a reader emailed me the below, which is an X-Men 266 sale from six months ago on ComicLink of a 9.8 newsstand copy that went for $1306, and (B) a 9.8 newsstand copy of the issue has just been listed on eBay asking $1500: https://www.ebay.com/itm/143856436906
Hi everyone, reports are pouring in about a new record-high 9.8 CPV Newsstand sale over on Heritage Auctions. The below ASM #238 went for $7,800 there:
Also, if anyone has information about the Hulk #1 (2008) $3.99 Newsstand sale I’ve been hearing about please let me know where it sold and if you can verify the $3,000 sale price?
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I have a Walt Disney Showcase #10 Comic with 20c instead of 15c is it a Canadian variant? Can’t find any anywhere.
Hi Kathy, thanks for sending me pictures of what you found! You’ve got a CPV 🙂 Gold Key / Whitman produced a bunch of CPVs around this time; Doug Sulipa has thus far documented them from 5-8/1968, 3/1972-4/1973, 12/1977-3/1978, and 1-7/1984.
Hello. I just stumbled onto this page and I came out of this with more questions than I came in with. I just recently found my old collection and the first book that I literally looked up was the New Mutants Graphic Novel with from what I am reading the Canadian price on it. These comic are in spectacular shape considering where my dad had left them!
Now, that I have been reading this page, do you recommend me getting this edition certified with the CGC or should I take it to a local place first?
Looking for some advice.
Hi Greg, if you think that “spectacular shape” might translate into a chance at CGC 9.8 grades, then if I were in your shoes I’d definitely get them graded by CGC, as the premiums CPV keys have been getting in CGC 9.8 are truly astonishing these days (an ASM #238 CPV in 9.8 for example just recently auctioned for $7800 at Heritage Auctions.
Good luck! 🙂
Hi everyone, our 2021 CPV Price Guide is officially launched, at cpvpriceguide.com, and we were featured in Gemstone’s Scoop at https://scoop.previewsworld.com/Home/4/1/73/1012?articleID=248196
Great job with the CPV Price Guide. Missing cover at https://www.cpvpriceguide.com/2021/star-trek-the-next-generation/5/ is here at https://startrekcomics.info/images/dc/1/l/tngmini5nc.jpg
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So this may not be something new, and apologize in advance if this is a known issue.
I wanted to get thoughts on Wolverine Origins #6. I have 2 copies, both say DIRECT EDITION topside of UPC, however one of them CLEARLY has the normal barcode I see and check for Newsstand copy. UPC codes are different. I’m thinking this is the newsstand version, but labeled as Direct in error (and as many of the ‘labels’ have nothing to do with the actual comic, so random I think in many cases).
I have pics but apparently can’t find a way to send them via this post.
Well spotted, Alan! I completely agree, that you definitely have a newsstand copy, and they just neglected to toggle out the “Direct Edition” wording, by mistake. A similar instance which someone once pointed out to me exists on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1, where “Direct Edition” appears above what is clearly the newsstand bar code.
Hi can you help me with information regarding the Simpsons. I want to know for their 1st all and issue number 1 even bartman issue 1. How does the Direct vs Newsstand work for these books. Some are saying the direct is more rare for these books? How when the simple logic is newsstand is more and many books during this time prove that like ASM 361. Need help.
Hi Jay, I haven’t personally seen any industry experts talk about newsstand sales trends/percentages for Bongo Comics Group specifically, that I can recall. But I could see though how some collectors might make an argument comparing the “target audience” for their style of comics to that of Archie Comics, which as a publisher was very newsstand-focused historically — for example, for the main Archie title the first Direct Edition example we found was way out in September 1988 (by then Marvel and DC were predominantly Direct Edition, and yet the main Archie title was just seeing its very first Direct Edition example!)… ( More Archie details here ).
That being said, I think there are two resources that can help us study Simpsons Comics specifically, to get a handle on the newsstand :: direct edition disparity:
(1) CBCS Census
Unlike CGC which, unfortunately, still “lumps together” most newsstand comics with their direct edition counter-parts making it impossible to use their census to examine the graded copy counts by type for most books, fortunately for us their competitor CBCS started “breaking out” newsstand versus direct edition broadly some years ago. While their census numbers are still small in total as a younger company, for Simpsons Comics #1 they have received a total of 25 copies submitted for grading since they began to break the types out, and of those 25, only 3 are Newsstand and the other 22 are Direct Edition:
Keeping in mind that these 25 census copies are all “grading candidates” by definition (people paid CBCS to have them graded), this census data is showing us a figure of 12% newsstand for the issue.
(2) Marketplace availability observation – eBay
Another resource we can turn to is the eBay marketplace. Conducting a refined search to try and show only Simpsons Comics #1 like this example search linked here we can then scroll through and count how many bar codes we see.
Of the 36 results pictured below, I count 7 with bar codes, for a marketplace availability result of 19% newsstand.
I hope this helps, Jay! Between the CBCS census data and the eBay availability, it sure looks like the newsstand version is out there in smaller numbers than the direct edition version for Bongo’s Simpsons Comics #1.
Awesome thank you Ben.
Can you also confirm the same for the Simpsons 1st app. Comics and Stories issue 1?
Have you made any effort to come up with a rarity index for newsstand comics? It would have to take into account print run, distribution split between direct/newsstand, survivability, market availability, and specific issue-related variables.
For instance, some titles within Marvel and DC appeared to have a different NS/Direct split than others. Some comics were such events, like ASM 361, that collectors were driven to newsstands to get copies not snatched up by speculators. That increased NS survivability for those issues, but not others from the same time frame.
Some publishers clearly had a stronger NS presence than others, such as Archie, and (since it was recently mentioned) Bongo. Personally, I think the way to price NS comics is to have a credible rarity index figure that can be assigned to every comic. That can be used as a direct value multiplier or as an explanation for a higher price even if not based on a strict value x multiplier figure.
For instance, an NS issue might be 10x rarer than its direct counterpart, but the price premium is only 20% because it isn’t a popular issue or title. By separating the rarity index from the price, people are free to use it more transparently for whatever pricing/desirability scheme they want to use.
I’ve noticed that when I find NS comics, I often go through a mental desirability checklist to desire whether I will buy them or not. If the price is very low, as happens sometimes, I am more willing to buy, but usually, the criteria looks like this:
1) CONDITION: is it 8.0 or better? If yes, go to the next item. If not, is it a valuable key issue? If not, don’t buy.
2) PUBLICATION DATE: is it from 1999 or later? If not, is it from a popular series or a series I collect? If no, don’t buy. If yes, is a premium charged because it is NS? If yes, don’t buy. If no, buy.
3) SERIES VALUE: Is it a low value title or issue (less than $100)? If yes, buy only if in 9.4 or better for no NS premium price. Otherwise, don’t buy.
4) KEY ISSUE: Is it a key issue? If no, buy only if the price reflects a low or slight premium. If yes, buy even if premium charged for NS status.
5) DIRECT VALUE: What is the corresponding direct edition worth? Pay premium based on sliding scale relative to direct value in the following groups: 0-$100 (no premium), $101-$250 (premium scale 1), $251-$500 (premium scale 2), $501-$1,000 (premium scale 3), $1,001-and up (premium scale 4).
Looking at the criteria I use, I see that when I pay a premium, I am more willing to do it for valuable comics rather than rare comics. That said, the valuable NS comics I buy tend to be very hard to find, like copies of ASM 606 and 607 I recently bought.
Speaking of which, the NS issues I have had the hardest time finding are:
Supergirl (2005) #50 (many other issues from this set are very hard to find)
Batgirl (2009) All issues
Catwoman #1-4 (2002? Darwyn Cooke)
Daredevil #111 (Lady Bullseye)
Wolverine 66, 67 (Old Man Logan)
Hulk (2008) #1-6
ASM between #606-699
1999/2000 NS price variants, particularly $2.29-priced comics (These are harder to find than anything else I’ve tried to find. Of 18 $2.29 variants, I have one. Of 18 $2.49 variants, I have 6, of the 18 normally-priced $1.99 version, diluted by the price variants, I have 3)
For Marvels, the most difficult years are 2000-2009 (for me anyway). Not sure why, but lower NS print runs from 2010-2013 do not seem to have resulted in greater scarcity for issues published in that time frame.
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I would just actually enjoy a site that listed the available known Newsstand issues for a given year.
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Ben can you also answer another question for me. Would you say that when you look at the cgc census for books that contain newsstand editions. Is it a safe bet to say that for most books only 20% are actually in the wild? I know articles claim 80% but you have proved thats not the reality. In reality high grade newsstands are hard to find. So my question is when looking at a cgc census, whats a safe bet % to say out of those census this % is what actually exists in newsstand and more importantly 20%. For example gambit uncanny xmen 266. Would you say looking at that 9.6 or 9.8 cgc census that 20% of that actually exists in newsstand? Or what % would you give? Thank you.
Hi Jay, yes, Comics & Stories #1 looks similar. The CBCS census count for Comics & Stories #1 is very low still (only eleven lifetime for CBCS), with only 1 newsstand copy broken out vs. 3 direct edition copies. So I don’t think CBCS is a great resource at this time for that one, just because the numbers are so low still. Which leaves us with marketplace availability as our best tool to study the newsstand:direct disparity for the issue.
The eBay availability exercise looks similar for both Simpsons #1 and Simpsons Comics & Stories — I just tallied 8 newsstand copies and 52 direct edition among the first 60 results I counted, or about 13% newsstand for Comics & Stories #1. [But don’t just take my word for it, you can do this same exercise on your end, for any issue!].
Regarding your second question about the likely CGC census breakdown — given that they unfortunately do not give us the breakdown for the vast majority of books — I think two good ways to approach it are as follows:
(1) In certain situations there are two issues that are close together, where for one issue CGC doesn’t break out the newsstand version, but the other issue they do. One example would be Spawn #1 & #9 (for #1 the data is lumped together, whereas for #9 the newsstand count is distinct, due to the manufacturing difference making the newsstand version “variant-worthy” in CGC’s eyes). By looking at the CGC census data for #9, for example the 9.8 direct edition count versus the 9.8 newsstand count, we can in turn extrapolate that percentage over to the #1 census data.
To illustrate what I mean, the CGC census shows 2,040 direct edition copies of Spawn #9 on record in 9.8 today, versus 39 newsstand copies in 9.8. That’s 1.875% newsstand. Meanwhile, over at Spawn #1, the lumped-together 9.8 count is 9,025 copies. Extrapolating the #9 percentage over, would imply 169 newsstand copies in 9.8 versus 8,856 direct editions.
(2) Creating yourself a CBCS account would be a good idea, because then you can plug any issue into their census and see their newsstand:direct breakout… which I should think would be very close to CGC since the two are direct competitors with similar grading costs and customers having similar motivation when it comes to selecting which books to get graded.
For instance, for Wolverine Limited Series #1 from 1982 — where the experts have told us that 80% of the original sales should have been newsstand in that year — the CBCS census reveals that they have graded 4 newsstand copies at the 9.8 tier, versus 124 direct edition copies in that grade… That’s about 3% newsstand. But I wouldn’t rely on one issue to speak for an entire year at large; it is really going to vary issue by issue depending on how strong the newsstand sales happened to be (as others have touched upon, certain “event books” which sold out quickly at comic shops, would have seen collectors driven over to the newsstands).
For X-Men #266, the CBCS census shows 6 newsstand copies at the 9.8 tier, versus 68 direct edition copies in that grade… which is about 8% newsstand.
Something I wonder about with CBCS, is how much of a “special draw” their newsstand labeling is (i.e. are collectors sending extra newsstand volume CBCS’s way?), which in turn could skew their newsstand percentage higher that it otherwise would be… But I don’t know the answer to that.
(3) I’ll add a third way… if CGC hears enough voices pressuring them to start “breaking out” newsstand comics broadly, then perhaps they will finally give in to the pressure and follow CBCS’s lead… Which wouldn’t give us data immediately, but, would give us data eventually! So if you haven’t already, ask CGC to start breaking out newsstand comics!! 🙂
I hope this helps Jay!