Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 20, where we take a nostalgic look at six comic books I currently own, and one that I let get away. If you enjoying reading about my trip down comic book lane, consider signing up for my newsletter. There are perks to being a subscriber, and you’ll have the inside track to my writing projects.
For each of the comic books below, I list the current secondary market value. This is according to the listings at the website www.comicbookrealm.com. They list out the near mint prices, which are on the comic book grading scale of 9.4. If you go to the website to look up any in your collection, you can click on the price and see the value at different grades. Not all of my comics are 9.4. Some are probably better, and some are worse. But to simplify it, that’s the grading price I use here. And remember, a comic book is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
I welcome any comments you might have, and hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I do writing about them. And now, Episode 20…
This is another reprint comic I added to my collection. As I buy more comics from the seventies, I continually discover that many of the monster titles were rehashes from the sixties. But due to their age and the value of the original, even these reprints don’t come cheap. The stories in Where Creatures Roam #5 originally saw light of day in Tales to Astonish #12, published in October 1960. The current value on this one is $700, which doesn’t exactly fit my budget. I don’t know what the philosophy was behind all the reprints, but today I really appreciate being able to get some of these stories at affordable prices. Speaking of reprints, I remember when I was young and first started buying comic books. In The Amazing Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy had just died (my first “official” issue was #124), but in Marvel Tales, she was somehow still alive! Little did I know that Marvel Tales were reprints of The Amazing Spider-Man. Later, when I did find out, I was so angry at first that I thought I’d turn into the Hulk! Today I realize that it presented a great way for kids to have an opportunity to read the older stories. And if it weren’t for reprints, I never would have had the chance to read about Gorgilla! I bought this comic in January at Kenmore Komics in Akron, Ohio, for $4. The cover price of Where Creatures Roam #5 is 15 cents, while the current value is $32.
A shocker concerning the Falcon is revealed in Captain America #185, and though it’s nearly 41 years in the past, I won’t expose the spoiler here, because many of these Captain America back issues are currently pretty affordable, and you may decide to start collecting them. I bought this comic book fresh off the rack at Slicks in Martins Ferry, Ohio, back when I was twelve years old. Do you long for those innocent times of your past? Back in those days, Captain America and Spider-Man were symbols of justice to my friends and me, and the enemy in this issue, the Red Skull, represented a dark evil our country would never let come to the fore again. Right was right and wrong was wrong. As we mature, we come to understand that sometimes things aren’t so cut and dried as we had believed. Which brings me back to that thing about the Falcon…oh yeah, I promised not to talk about that. Anyway, this issue features other familiar faces, such as Peggy Carter (…are you watching her show? It’s really good…), Sharon Carter, and Batroc. You know, the French bad guy from the last Captain America movie? If you haven’t seen them, watch them soon, because Captain America: Civil War is coming to theaters in May. The cover price of Captain America #185 is 25 cents, while the current value is $16.
I just purchased this comic over the weekend at a fun little store in Canal Fulton, Ohio, called The Toys Time Forgot (at the time I put this link here, the website wasn’t finished yet, but the Facebook button takes you to their Facebook page). As constant readers know, I’m trying to put together complete runs of seventies comics when I can. Which basically means when they’re affordable. And after making this purchase for $9, I’m now just one issue away from being finished with Ms. Marvel. If you’re ever in the greater Akron, Ohio, area, and you love vintage toys, The Toys Time Forgot is a must for you. From Star Wars to Planet of the Apes to Shogun Warriors to Johnny West, this store seems to have everything. Games, action figures, collectible cards, newer things like Funko Pops, tin toys, Little Big Books, and plenty of scary clowns fill the shelves from floor to ceiling. The aisles get crowded fast, but you’ll find yourself completed immersed in your past as you start pointing out the treasures you had and lost as a child. A friend of mine sent me a link from The Akron Beacon Journal about a recent acquisition they made of 14,000 comic books from a collector. Which is what drove me to seek out my final two Ms. Marvels. While I was disappointed that I couldn’t finish off my set, part of the fun is in the looking. It keeps me feeling young. The cover price of Ms. Marvel #12 is 35 cents, while the current value is $14.
By now you know of my love of monster comics, especially those from the seventies. During my third phase of comic collecting (1993 – 2003; I’m now in my fourth phase, which I never thought would happen…it started off with cheap trade paperbacks in 2014 at Books-A-Million, then Afterlife With Archie, and recently I’ve started to haunt back issue bins for the magic of my youth), I was wise enough to buy back issue copies of Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf By Night when I could get good deals. But I never did lay my hands on any Frankenstein comics. The series I’m after has just 18 issues, and came out from 1973 to 1975. And during my last visit to Kenmore Komics in Akron, Ohio, I made sure to search out the Monster. I came away with two issues, and after reading this one, I’m very happy with my purchase of the comic, which cost me $8. This is the Frankenstein Monster with intelligence, who can talk and think and respond more like a human, which to me is much more interesting than the brutal monster with the abnormal brain from the Universal movie (don’t get me wrong; I love those old movies, but I read the book by Mary Shelley, and 99 percent of the time, the book is better). Another plus about this issue is that Dracula is in it. Don’t you just love when those monster friends get together and knock the stuffing out of each other? Unfortunately, the issue ended with things unresolved, so I need to search out issue 9. The cover price of Frankenstein #8 is 20 cents, while the current value is $35.
Everyone should have a Paradox Bookstore in their life. As I’ve mentioned here before, this wonderful used bookstore is located in Wheeling, West Virginia, at the Centre Market (across the street from Coleman’s Fish Market…if you are in the area, these are two must stops…get the best fish sandwich ever, then go browse the books). When I was young, Paradox was located in the downtown area, so my mother would do some shopping and drop me off at the store so I could look at all the used comic books that were just a dime. And that’s where I bought this issue of Strange Adventures in the mid-seventies. At the time, I was really into super-heroes, but one time when I was in there, for some reason, I bought several issues of Strange Adventures, and I’m glad I did. I mean, seriously, look at this cover, and the sensational words, “Featuring…The Gorilla Witch!” At the time, I was very much into both King Kong and The Planet of the Apes, so it was a no brainer to snag this off the shelf. This issue turns 50 in March. And it’s hard to believe that I bought this over 40 years ago. Where does the time go? The cover price of Strange Adventures #186 is 12 cents, while the current value is $45.
Back in the nineties, when I started my third phase of comic book buying and collecting, I really started liking Thor, so I added him to my official “back issue comics to buy” list. Sometimes I’d make a special trip to Titan Comics in Atlanta, Georgia, just to look through some of the many back issue boxes they had. And Thor was often one of my first stops. I paid $1 for this issue, which is a bargain. Some of the Asgardian staples grace its pages, such as Balder the Brave, Volstagg the Voluminous, the Lady Sif, and Loki. And the Silver Surfer also makes an appearance in these pages. There’s a lot to like about this cover. You can’t help but be drawn in with the bright colors, but more than that, Thor looks like he’s really taking a beating. We like our heroes to win, but if it’s too easy, that takes the fun out of it. Also, I love the line directly under Thor that states, “And There Shall Come A Day…” It makes you wonder if Thor really will be able to recover from that mighty blow and vanquish his foe. I’m just a sucker for these seventies comics, and not afraid to admit it. They make me feel like a kid again, and is that really such a bad thing? The cover price of Thor #192 is 15 cents, while the current value is $100.
This dystopic vision of a future in which all male mammals, with the exception of our hero, Yorick Brown, and his pet monkey, Ampersand, die simultaneously, is definitely worth a look if you aren’t already familiar with it. Published by Vertigo, a subsidiary of DC Comics, from 2002 to 2008, this comic provides not only fights and run-for-your-life scenarios, but also deep mysteries about how and why this seemed to have happened. As of this writing, FX is planning on making a TV show based on the comic, which was written by Brian K. Vaughan (born in Cleveland, Ohio, which is just a stone’s throw from where I live). You might know Vaughan’s name from his involvement in genre TV shows such as Lost and Under the Dome. This issue came out thirteen months before the end of my third, and longest to date, era of comic collecting. So why don’t I have this really cool comic anymore? I didn’t sell this off when I needed more living space. This came a few years before that, when I was selling some hot newer comics on eBay. I can’t remember how much I got for it (I sold all 13 issues in one lot), but I definitely made well above the cover price. And with the upcoming TV show (if it pans out), I can see the value of this series continue to rise. I bought this issue off the rack at Kenmore Komics in Akron, Ohio. The cover price of Y: The Last Man #1 is $2.95, while the current value is $120.
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