This slide is part of my post entitled Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates where I have collected quotes and graphics related to the discussion of relative newsstand rarity over the years, compared to direct edition copies. In this slide, I am discussing a quote from my Q&A with the seller of “The Doc Collection” (a large collection of 50,000 all-newsstand late modern comics):
“Q) I feel very fortunate to have picked off some of the Doc’s comics at auction, especially some Amazing Spider-Man books in incredible shape. But there are notable “holes” in the Doc’s ASM run, which seem to correspond to the UPC code that was used on them. At some point, Marvel started “cycling” the codes on these, alternating between “Amazing Spider-Man”, “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man”, and “Sensational Spider-Man”. It seems every third comic was missed by the Doc?
A) I was puzzled by Doc’s Amazing run when I first saw it — after they started putting Amazing and Friendly on the UPC code every third issue was missing! I found out later about the missed ones that they had Sensational Spider-Man on them!!!”
What is particularly interesting to me about this exchange, is the idea that this gigantic collection of 50,000 newsstand comics was missing every third ASM issue — and that those missed copies had to do with the distribution: Any copy with the Sensational Spider-Man UPC code simply wasn’t sent to the drugstore. I find this to be a very interesting highlight of the idea that newsstand distribution was spotty and unreliable, and that we may see quite a lot of variability in the numbers issue by issue depending on strange circumstances such as this.