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Larry on Star Wars #1 Comic Books

January 15, 2015

After a Spectacular day in shop & online, I thought that I’d update:

I guess I did speculate.
My shop ordered 2,000+ Star Wars #1’s.
The one million+ print run has me a bit paranoid, so I just reviewed my order.

My cost roughly $4,500.
Great product with “legs”, ton of interest from civilian Star Wars fans & the LCS regulars alike. I actually have sold to shops that fell short as Diamond is already sold out. Most retailers in my circle are reporting big days.

The edge I’m getting is the incentive variants that the shops emptying their bank accounts for shop variants are going to for the most part miss.

I was dead balls right with this. Fans are hopping shop to shop looking for the best selection.

My gut:

STAR WARS #1 BLANK Variant ( no worries here, these will sell eternally in my show stock at $5-$10 depending on guest list. Money in the bank )
I sold them at cover today & moved 25+

STAR WARS #1 CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE Variant. ( should sell great at cover price for a month then I can’t see it not being an infrequent seller in the $10 range. )
Sold 40 copies at cover price day one. Have 60 left. Online it’s slightly above cover.

STAR WARS #1 CHRISTOPHER HUMOROUS PARTY Variant. ( Humorous cover, will be lucky to sell at cover price. Meh. )
I sold ALL 66 copies today at cover. I under-ordered. Cover is extremely well done & hilarious.

STAR WARS #1 1:20 PICHELLI Variant ( Dead weight. Meh. Loss )
Minimal takers at $10. Sold 7. I’m stuck with a ton.

STAR WARS #1 YOUNG Variant ( I’m easily going to sell 50-100 at cover price. My customers adore SY ) This cover was a cover price beast. Sold 90 copies & have other shops begging to buy them.

Wrong listing: STAR WARS #1 ROSS SKETCH 1:500 Variant It’s a 1:200 ( If my 3 copies are nm, I’ll get $400 ea. I have existing customers ) sold three at $99 which is currently market price. It’s damn ugly compared to the color masterpiece.

STAR WARS #1 ROSS 1:50 Variant ( I’m going to get $40 x 30 easily on this book. This is the most requested in my shop. ) SOLD OUT $30-$60 in shop or on Ebay or Amazon. Killer!

STAR WARS #1 QUESADA 1:300 SKETCH VARIANT Wrong data its 1:500 ( struggle to get 5 X $100 for this mediocre cover. ) Sitting online ay $299. NO takers day one

STAR WARS #1 QUESADA 1:100 color variant ( honestly lucky to get 15 x $10.meh ) This is a rock solid fifty dollar bill. Sold 8

STAR WARS #1 MOVIE Variant ( dead weight. loss )
Sold 26 at cover price. Still have 74

STAR WARS #1 1:25 MCLEOD Variant ( dead weight loss, I do not have a single copy on preorder ) Sold 7 at cover price. This seems to be the stink finger of the lot.

STAR WARS #1 CASSADAY 1:25 TEASER Variant ( another stink bomb. Loss ) Ok. This one sucks too. 7 at cover as well. Damn ugly.

STAR WARS #1 CAMPBELL CONNECTING VAR A ( ca$h money. NO problem moving 50 at cover price then 50+ $10+ ) This was a 1:50 and I sold out in shop & online at $30. JSC is a stud.

STAR WARS #1 regular 1st print cover. ( 1,500 copies will sell forever. Some at cover price, some at a dollar. Some at $10. This book will NEVER not sell. It’s money in the bank ) Shops are ALLREADY out & begging for them at wholesale. I consider this a Quality purchase on my part.

I feel “ok” with my order. I’m glad that I did not go for the shop variant. ( I was VERY close to pulling that trigger )
I truly regret NOT commissioning a variant for my shop or Phantom. This was a missed opportunity.

It will be a year long grind, but there is ca$h to be made here for shops, but little meat on the bone for speculators.
( screening & signature series opportunities do abound for collectors though )
I’m profitable day one. Stellar job by Marvel!

There will be 5,000 “collectors” in for a penny, in for a pound on these. They will build sets.

Let’s see how it plays out.


2013 Best

December 25, 2013

The Ten best by rank for me
1. Mind MGMT
2. East of West
3. Forever Evil
4. Rachel Rising,
5. Todd
6. Lazarus,
7. Five Ghosts
8. Uber
9. Rat Queens,
10. X

State of the Market

December 13, 2013

From dealers. 

There are plenty of New 52 #1s that are still selling for well above cover for me at shows. Animal Man #1 1st is $8-$10, my Aquamans all sold at $15, as well as Justce League (Johns/Lee) #1 (I got as high as $20 for a copy). Batgirl, Batman & Robin, Batman TDK, Flash, Justice League Dark and Wonder Woman go for as high as $15 locally at shows, with most of the others selling in the $6 – $12 range. There are definitely some duds (e.g. Frankenstein, Blue Beetle, Legion) but overall the books still sell well when I put them on the table.

The only recent Marvel book that sells for more than $1 are the Deadpool titles. Outside of the odd variant, the rest are dead except for ASM #700 – I still move the odd one at $20-$25.

New X-Men #128

New X-Men #129

Sales are kind of wonky, and all over the place, but it generally looks like the price has come down, from about $40 or so for #128 to $25 or so


Comment on selling

December 4, 2013

The back issue/collectible comics market could no longer exist if collectors didn’t have a venue for selling their stuff outside of comic shops who, for the most part without ebay would be paying 2 cents on the dollar for what comes in their door. otherwise you are just buying stuff that you are told is worth something only to find out you can only get a tiny fraction for it when you sell unless you are willing to become a part-time dealer and set up a table at local shows. how many people want to do that?

so the shop owner who kvetches about the new fangled world ought to realize that whatever back issue business he has left (as well as a certain % of his new book sales) he has the liquidity of the internet to thank for.

honestly, i don’t know how the hobby survived in the 70s and 80s except there were so many buy and hold collectors who never needed to “cash in”. those who needed to cash in were likely to find themselves sorely disappointed because you needed to really buy low to make a profit selling your better stuff to a shop for 10-20% of OPG and getting pennies for everything else. 

Man sells comic book collection to pay for health care‏

November 30, 2013

KILDEER, Ill. (AP) – It could be a plot from a classic comic book. A child had the good Spidey sense to treat his comics like priceless manuscripts, which as a man he must use to fight his greatest foe – a rare disease threatening to rob him of his ability to walk.

Suburban Chicago dentist Steve Landman is selling 420 of his pristine collector comics in an online auction. They could fetch $500,000 or more.

The 62-year-old has been diagnosed with anti-MAG IgM peripheral neuropathy, an autoimmune disease that attacks the nerves. He is weighing his options for treatment, but knows parting with some of his boyhood comics will help pay for the challenges ahead.

Landman also is sending up his own Bat Signal to those who know of alternative treatments.

A new Low. DC wants naked Harley Quinn suicide in bathtub drawings.

September 10, 2013
  • PANEL 1
    Harley is on top of a building, holding a large DETACHED cellphone tower in her hands as lightning is striking just about everywhere except her tower. She is looking at us like she cannot believe what she is doing. Beside herself. Not happy.

    PANEL 2 
    Harley is sitting in an alligator pond, on a little island with a suit of raw chicken on, rolling her eyes like once again, she cannot believe where she has found herself. We see the alligators ignoring her.

    PANEL 3
    Harley is sitting in an open whale mouth, tickling the inside of the whale’s mouth with a feather. She is ecstatic and happy, like this is the most fun ever.

    PANEL 4
    Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of “oh well, guess that’s it for me” and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.

  • Please have your final artwork fit the following specifications:

    • .jpg
    • 11″ x 17″
    • 72 dpi
    • Preferably 500 KB, no larger than 1MB.
  • Fill out the form below by 10:00am PDT on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, attach your artwork, and click “Submit.”

– See more at:

DC has a contest wanting insane subject drawn by fans
Here is cut and pasted the article and a link to it..

Harley Fans asked to draw her naked and suicidal

“DC Comics isn’t making any new fans this month: Last week, the editorial team responsible for Batwoman resigned after the comic book publisher refused to let them show their main character Kate Kane’s long-awaited same-sex marriage on panel. And on Friday, just a few days shy of National Suicide Prevention Week, DC initiated a talent search asking aspiring artists to submit drawings of villainess Harley Quinn, naked and taking her own life.

The obvious discrepancy is glaring to some fans: Same-sex marriage for a character who’s long been an out lesbian isn’t allowed, but objectifying a mentally ill female figure in a gratuitously naked death scene is a moment to be celebrated. 

The open contest invites the public to “Break Into Comics!” by submitting four panels depicting Harley Quinn in various suicide attempts, the last taking place while she’s naked in a bathtub surrounded by plugged-in appliances like toasters and blenders. The winner will have their work appear in an upcoming issue. 

The comments underneath the announcement on DC’s website are mixed. While some readers defend the publisher’s choice, messages that have received the most “Likes” include ones like the following:

“This is disgusting and you should feel disgusting. Suicide is not sexy and it’s not funny and it should NEVER, EVER be played as either and it should not be used in this manner. Anyone from DC that is voluntarily involved in this should feel like horrible people for it.

No, DC, you’ve *already won* Alienate Your Audience Bingo. You don’t have to keep playing! You can stop now!

I named my kid after Harley Quinn and you think that I’ll come even close to drawing this ****?”

Some Tumblr users are attempting to make the story go viral to not only launch a boycott of DC, but spam the company’s inbox with protest art. 

” In order to participate in DC’s latest talent search, you have to draw a female character committing suicide naked.

I’m gonna assume I don’t have to explain what’s****** up about this.

But guys, they left an open submission form on their page! They claim they will personally review every submission!

I see this as an opportunity to spam their box with a Hawkeye-Initiative style inversion of genders. Or just give them an angry letter. Whatever you want.

I say we make this viral and shame them out of this talent search.”


DC Forbids Batwoman’s Gay marriage, creative team walks.

September 6, 2013

J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman have announced they’ll be leaving as the editorial team on Batwoman, citing DC’s editorial interference and in particular, the publisher’s refusal to allow characters Kate Kane/Batwoman and her partner Gotham City police officer Maggie Sawyer marry each other.

That’s right, while Batwoman has proposed to Maggie twice — twice on panel — DC not only refused to let the wedding be depicted on panel, but refused to let them be married at all. “[We] were told emphatically no marriage can result,” said Williams on Twitter. He later added it was “was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage.” Although how refusing to let people marry — even fictional characters — is not anti-gay marriage is beyond me.

Williams and Blackman will leave the series after issue #26 in December; given that Batwoman is one of DC’s best titles — and arguably its best-looking comic period, thanks to Williams’ incredible art and panel experimentation — it’s a loss readers will feel keenly, even if DC doesn’t.

On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t matter if the creative team left, given the hassles DC was giving them. Here’s a list from Williams’ and Blackman’s official statement, detailing the editorial interference:

Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.

We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry — because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26.

Grading 9.8s

September 3, 2013

Overstreet volume 2 says flecks on a 9.8 are acceptable while a stress line is acceptable on a 9.2.

You will regularly see 9.4s with 5 small ticks. on a 9.6 not uncommon to see two or three.

Here are some photos to give you an idea what to avoid in slabs and raws if you want a 9,8. 








May 2006 Comic books break the 10 year slump

August 19, 2013

As always, Newsarama’s partners at Comics Buyer’s Guide have provided us more detailed analysis of May’s sale charts as well as estimates for the Top 300 comic books and Top 100 graphic novels sold to the direct market (click the preceding link for the charts). According to the analysis of CBG”s John Jackson Miller, comic book orders in the direct market in May were higher than they have been in nearly a decade. 

Diamond’s overall sales – including all comics, trade paperbacks, and magazines (not just those reported in the Top 300 and 100 charts – rose an “astounding” 40% over May 2005 to $37.58 million. ”Year-over-year increases of that magnitude have not been seen since the beginning of the 1990s color comics boom,” reported Millar, who cautioned this rapid growth is not yet something to be nervous about. 

“There are a few key differences with these figures,” he said. “There were only four shipping weeks in May 2005; this year there were five. While New Comics Day wasn’t until Thursday, June 1 in most places because of Memorial Day, those sales are all counted as part of May. When we compare four-ship-week June 2006 with five ship-week June 2005, we’ll see how well they stack up.” 

“Another difference is there are fewer comics stores this time around”, Miller said, “and without a major proliferation in the number of stores, there’s a natural check to the speed with which the market can accelerate. If we were seeing the number of shops doubling or tripling, as it did back then, we would be more likely to see the year-to-year doublings of sales we saw back then. But for now it appears that we simply have stores which are doing higher numbers in their existing locations.” 

Breaking the figures down some, the Top 300 comic books had retailer orders of 7.58 million units in May, a “whopping” 23% more than May 2005, which had one less shipping week. That’s the highest total seen in that category since December 1997, the month that Top Cow’s Darkness #11 and its 11 covers had pre-orders of 357,000 copies. 

For the first five months of 2006, the Top 300 comics from each month have sold a combined 32.44 million copies, an increase of 10% over the 29.47 million copies sold in the period in the previous year. 

CBG is estimating May’s bestselling title – Marvel’s Civil War #1 – sold at least 260,700 copies (well above our own very rough early estimate) and missing July 2005’s All-Star Batman and Robin #1 by a mere 400 copies as the highest selling title this decade. Orders for DC’s first four issues of 52 were only estimated by Diamond, owing to that title’s returnability – but estimates for all four were above 120,000 copies. 

The growth is being seen all the way through the charts. “The bottom of the Top 300 chart is at 2,800 copies,” Miller said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the bar set so high.” 

The Top 100 trade paperbacks and graphic novels reported by Diamond had orders worth $3.65 million at full retail in May, an increase of 3% over the same month in 2005. For the first five months of the year, the Top 100 trades for each month total $18.24 million, off 2% from the same period in the previous year, when sales were $18.69 million. 

For the first five months of 2006, the Top 300 comics and the Top 100 trade paperbacks from each month had orders worth $117.58 million, 15% over the $102.69 million ordered in the same period in 2005. 

Again, for much more analysis, including CBG<’s exclusive Diamond “Overall” sales analysis (which includes titles not in Diamond’s Top 300/100), click on the link. You can also click here for CBG’s archive of every Top 300/100 lists since 1997. 

Based on Actual Sales for Comics, Magazines, & GNs Invoiced in May 2006 

Comics, Magazines, & GNs Dollar Share 
Comics, Magazines, & GNs Unit Share 




Chicago Comic Com and Stolen Comics.

August 16, 2013

From Forums:

As some of you may have heard, several comics were stolen at Wizard World Chicago this past weekend. While some of the books were discovered on site and some of the perpetrators were found, there were still several books unaccounted for and thieves that were not caught.

Here’s an update on some that were recovered after the show and what’s still hanging out there.

1) Hulk 181 cgc 9.2 recovered by Jamie Graham of Graham Crackers and to be returned to Gold Mine Comics

2) Marvel Mystery #55 CGC 2.5 recovered by Jamie Graham of Graham Crackers and to be returned to Victory Comics.

The police were called immediately but did not make an arrest at this time. They did confiscate the books and as soon as the owners contact the police they will have their property back.

Keeping an eye out for others works sometimes. Kudos to Jamie Graham for being so vigilant and for helping these people get their property back!

Not yet recovered:

1) Iron Man #1 (possibly 8.0 waiting for confirmation) stolen from Comic City booth #205 
2) Amazing Spider-Man #1 cgc 4.0 from JHV Associates
3) Amazing Fantasy 15 cgc 7.0 restored Bechara Malouf (nostalgic investments)
4) X-men 61 and Batman 16 from Harley Yee, raw, grades unknown at this time.

There may be more but this is most of the missing that was reported and not recovered at the show.

I bought that ASM 1 7.0 restored from Bechara. He had both the ASM1 and AF15 displayed next to each other. I saw them on Saturday, and a couple hours later I came back to make an offer on the ASM and the AF was gone. Bechara’s display didn’t have a back, so the thief was able to snatch it from behind (that’s what Bechara thought happened).