Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Showcase Presents II

So I just checked and DC is releasing in Feb. 2006, Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery.

Written by Len Wein, Robert Kanigher, Gerry Conway and others; Art by Bernie Wrightson, Neal Adams, Gil Kane, Alex Toth and others; Cover by Joe Orlando

Do you dare to enter…the House of Mystery? Everyone who does will find a full 22 issues of this classic DC series! Beginning with editor Joe Orlando's first issue (#174), this 552-page black-and-white trade paperback features a wealth of art from macabre masters!

DC Universe | 552pg. | B&W | Softcover | $17.99 US | ISBN 1401207863

On Sale February 8, 2006

Finally, I can read some of the early stories.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Showcase Presents

In the same tradition as Marvel Comics's Essential series of books, DC launches their version. Entitled Showcase Presents, each volume will feature a different hero/group. Unlike Marvel, DC has printed their version with much better paper stock. Now DC fans can finally relive many of those stories reprinted. So far 4 volumes have been released with 2 more soon to be released.

Here is the breakdown of issues featured:

Showcase Presents: Superman Vol. 1
---SUPERMAN #122-133
---ACTION COMICS #241-257

Showcase Presents: Metamorpho Vol. 1
---THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #57-58, 66, 68

Showcase Presents: Green Lantern Vol. 1
---SHOWCASE #22-24

Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex Vol. 1
---ALL-STAR WESTERN #2-8 and #10-11
---WEIRD WESTERN TALES #12-14 and #16-33

Showcase Presents: Justice League of America Vol. 1

Showcase Presents: Green Arrow Vol. 1
---ADVENTURE COMICS #250-266, 268-269
---THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #50, 71, 85
---WORLD'S FINEST #95-140

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ghost Rider Movie

The next big thing in comic book movies is here with Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider. This features Nic Cage as tormented Johnny Blaze and Eva Mendes as love interest Roxanne Simpson. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson, who directed both Daredevil and Elektra. I look forward to either hating it or loving it.

Official Site

Doc Frankenstein

The coolest new modern comic I have seen in a long time has to be Doc Frankenstein. I was a little hesitant to but it, because I figured it would just be another attempt at making a monster character interesting. However, after reading the first issue I was blown away by the artwork and the story. The frequent oversize panels with extreme detail was mind-blowing.

The only criticism I have of the title is the shipping schedule which seems to be every other month.

Burlyman Entertainment

Also check out Shaolin Cowboy while you're at it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

OA Commissions

I am not a big fan of OA, but I can understand the enjoyment some might get from spending thousands of dollars on it. One thing I do like is having artist commissions done of your favorite character. Here are 2 websites that offer artist commissions.

Fred Hembeck

During my childhood reading comics in the 70s and 80s, one of the things I can remember was the artwork of Fred Hembeck. As far as I know Fred never drew a title of his own. However he did draw an issue of Spider-man, and he did several other pieces of humorous art. His trademark on his characters being the swirled knees.

Here is website for your enjoyment.

New CGC Labels

So the brain trust at CGC has decided their labels were not confusing enough and have decided to "simplify" them by changing them. The word on the street is that CGC was getting pressured by dealers to correct the stigma associated with PLODs (Purple Rrestored Labels). So CGC has listened and has changed the Universal Label to Certified Label, and the Restored Label to Apparent Label.

IMO, this is a tragic change that CGC should not make. Timie will tell if it was a smart move.

Here for your enjoyment is the link to their press statement and pictures of their pretty labels.

Proposed Label Changes

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Minimate Madness

Here is a very clever site that displays minimate figures to tell a story. Some great humor is involved in this. Especially the use of recurring gags, like the Bendis reference.


Minimate Madness

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sid's Luncheonette Collection

An unbelievable early Silver Age collection of 100 high grade DCs from noted CGC forum member and collector Harry Banks will be sold on There will be 10 books listed each night for 10 straight nights, each one being in CGC certified 8.0 or better (mostly better!!). Amazingly, every comic from this group was purchased by Mr. Banks himself from the same luncheonette (Sid's Luncheonette) in Orange, New Jersey and stored away for the past 44 or so years. Many of these copies represent the highest or second highest certified grade according to the CGC census and are truly scarce in even Very Fine. Most have off-white to white pages and all have incredible structure, ink reflectivity and a fresh, unread look (a testament to Mr. Banks' foresight in carefull storing each book since its date of purchase). You will probably never see such a high grade original owner group of early 1960's DCs ever again!!

#4 - 9.4
#5 - 9.0
#10 - 9.4
#15 - 9.2
#16 - 9.2
#18 - 8.5

#1 - 8.5
#2 - 9.0
#3 - 9.0
#7 - 9.2
#9 - 8.5
#10 - 9.4
#11 - 9.2
#12 - 9.2

#146 - 8.0
#148 - 8.5
#149 - 8.0
#150 - 8.5
#157 - 9.0
#158 - 8.5
#159 - 9.2
#160 - 9.0(Q)
#161 - 8.5
#163 - 8.5
#165 - 8.5
#166 - 8.0
Ann#5 - 9.4

Brave & Bold;
#42 - 8.0
#43 - 8.0
#48 - 9.2
#49 - 9.6
#51 - 9.0
#53 - 9.2
#56 - 8.0

#126 - 9.0
#127 - 9.0
#129 - 9.0
#130 - 8.5
#131 - 8.5
#136 - 8.5
#137 - 8.5
#140 - 8.5
#145 - 9.4

Green Lantern;
#14 - 8.5
#21 - 8.5
#22 - 9.0
#25 - 9.2
#27 - 8.5
#30 - 9.0

#5 - 9.0

#10 - 8.0
#11 - 8.0
#14 - 9.0
#20 - 9.0
#23 - 9.2
#24 - 8.5
#27 - 9.2
#28 - 9.6
#29 - 8.0
#32 - 9.0

Metal Men;
#2 - 9.4
#3 - 9.6
#4 - 9.4
#6 - 9.0
#8 - 9.2
#9 - 9.0

Mystery in Space;
#75 - 9.2
#76 - 8.5
#84 - 8.0
#86 - 8.0
#87 - 8.5
#91 - 8.5

Sea Devils;
#3 - 9.0(Q)
#4 - 9.2
#5 - 9.0

#35 - 8.0
#37 - 8.0
#38 - 8.0
#40 - 8.5
#43 - 8.0
#45 - 8.5

#153 - 9.0
#154 - 9.0
#158 - 9.4
#162 - 8.0
#163 - 9.2
#165 - 9.2
#167 - 9.0
#168 - 9.0
#170 - 9.2

Wonder Woman;
#127 - 9.2
#128 - 9.0(Q)
#131 - 8.5
#139 - 9.4
#140 - 9.0
#142 - 9.2
#143 - 9.6
#144 - 9.4
#145 - 9.4
#147 - 9.2

Thursday, July 07, 2005

DC's Checkerboard

One of my favorite comic book gimmicks has always been the use of the checkerboard. This was the black and white artwork at the top of DC comics which was featured on all DC titles from February 1966 – August 1967. Several classic covers have the checkerboard at the top of the cover, covers like Detective #357. The checkerboard appeared the most on Action comics, a total of 20 issues. Three titles started with checkerboard covers on them, including Swing with Scooter, Plastic Man, and Inferior Five. In all, 535 issues carried the innovative design on the cover.

Known as Go-Go Checks, the checkerboard pattern that ran across the top of every issue for a year and a half was not simply a reflection of the era's pop-art movement. Since some newsstand racks displayed comics vertically, revealing only the upper portion of a book, the pattern was intended to make DC's comics stand out and thus, theoretically, increase sales. "What a ridiculous thing," Carmine Infantino declared. "It was the stupidest idea we ever heard because the books were bad in those days and that just showed people right off what not to buy." But Donenfeld disagreed: "I was trying to find a way of making DC Comics pop out on the newsstand. It wasn't a bad idea; it just didn't work the way I wanted it to. It didn't add anything, but I thought it might." In fact, total sales for the entire DC line during this period were at their peak for the 1960s, sales for Batman-related titles increased dramatically, and DC was outselling all of its competitors. The checks were most likely cancelled as a waste of precious cover space, and interestingly, sales did begin to stall about a year later.

Here is a checklist of checkerboard covers:

Action Comics #333-352 (20)
Adventure Comics #341-358 (18)
Adventures of Bob Hope #98-106 (9)
Adventures of Jerry Lewis #93-101 (9)
All-American Men of War #114-117 (4)
Aquaman #26-34 (9)
Atom #24-32 (9)
Batman #179-193 (15)
Blackhawk #218-234 (17)
Brave and the Bold #64-72 (9)
Capt. Storm #12-18 (7)
Challengers of the Unknown #49-57 (9)
Detective Comics #348-365 (18)
Doom Patrol #102-112 (11)
Falling In Love #82-92 (11)
Flash #159-171 (13)
Fox and the Crow #96-104 (9)
G.I. Combat #117-124 (8)
Girls’ Love Stories #117-128 (12)
Girls’ Romances #115-126 (12)
Green Lantern #43-54 (12)
Hawkman #13-20 (8)
Heart Throbs #100-108 (9)
House of Mystery #157-168 (12)
House of Secrets #77-80 (4)
Inferior Five #1-3 (3)
Justice League of America #43-54 (12)
Metal Men #18-26 (9)
Metamorpho #5-13 (9)
Mystery in Space #106-110 (5)
Our Army at War #165-183 (18)
Our Fighting Forces #98-108 (11)
Plastic Man #1-5 (5)
Sea Devils #28-35 (8)
Secret Hearts #110-120 (11)
Showcase #61-69 (9)
Star Spangled War Stories #126-133 (8)
Strange Adventures #185-202 (18)
Sugar and Spike #64-71 (8)
Superboy #127-140 (14)
Superman #185-198 (14)
Superman’s Girl-Friend Lois Lane #63-75 (13)
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #91-103 (13)
Swing with Scooter #1-7 (7)
Tales of the Unexpected #94-101 (8)
Teen Titans #2-10 (9)
Tomahawk #103-111 (9)
Wonder Woman #161-171 (11)
World’s Finest Comics #156-167 (12)
Young Love #54-62 (9)
Young Romance #141-148 (8)

Monday, June 06, 2005

San Diego Comic-Con 2005

Once again, the largest comic convention in the country is about to hit. Of course as the title suggests, it is the San Diego Comic-Con. This year the convention is July 14-17, 2005. Preview Night is July 13, 2005.

This year, as in years past will have a variety of events and guests for any and all people interested in Science Fiction, Comics, or just Spectacle.

As in years past, one of the highlights of the show is the CGC forum dinner. This casual dinner allows those of us who post on the CGC message boards to get together and talk comics. We get to meet new members who haven't been to prior dinners. Truly one of the best things about the hobby is to share the zeal for comics.

Here is the SD con official website ---->LINK

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Funny X-men cartoons

If you are a fan of the X-men you have to check out these cartoons by Matt Gardner.

X-Men: Death Becomes Them

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Rising

Rob Liefield - Official Website


For those of you who have not heard of Rob Liefield. He was the superstar artist in the 1990s who set the comic world on fire with his art. He was so successful that many long time writers changed their style to imitate Rob's. Rob eventually started his own company with several other successful writers, like Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee, named Image Comics.

After the dust settled from the 1990s, comic readers took a hard look at the artists body of work and Rob was hit the hardest. His use of body proportions gorssly disfigured most characters. His characters all had the same facial expressions. To this day Rob continues to draw even though work is difficult to come by.

An example of Rob Leifield's work:

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Wonder Woman #25 review

written by Joanna Sandsmark

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Lamont Larson

Joe Tricarichi found the collection. Jon Berk found the collector.

When Tricarichi, a Cleveland dealer, unearthed Larson's distinctively marked collection of 1,000 Golden Age books in the early '70s, he jealously guarded the identity of the original owner. It took Berk, the president of the American Association of Comic Collectors in 1994, to track Larson down, not far from where Larson grew up in Nebraska.

Born in 1927, Larson began reading comic books in 1936, picking up his favorite issues at the Cruetz Drug Store. Because the kid periodically missed a comic, store owner Fred Cruetz said, "I'll tell you what: We'll put your name on them...and when you want to come in and get them, they'll be here."

To reserve the comics, two store employees- Tryg Hagen and Cecil Coop - would scrawl his name on the covers. Larson told Berk that Hagen wrote either "Lamont" or "Larson" in a flowing cursive," while Coop, who came on staff after Hagen died in 1940, wrote "Larson" in a somewhat tighter script. The initials on some of the comics - "PN" for Publishers NEws and "ON" for Omaha News - marked the distributors to which unsold books would be returned.

Larson stopped reading the funny books in 1941, but he carefully stored his comics in a box. That box ended up in a Nebraska barn for most of the next 30 years. The comics were eventually purchased by antique dealer Dwaine Nelson, who in turn sold the collection for less than $100.

The condition of the Larson books varies, often falling far short of the Mile Highs, but the two characteristics of the collection- its original owner and the length of time it remained intact- warrant its pedigree.

--Comics: Between the Panels

Monday, March 21, 2005

IRS Collection

The IRS name is a misnomer - collector Aran Stubbs worked for the Colorado Department of Revenue, not the Internal Revenue Service - but we're stuck with it, as we shall explain in a moment.

Aran Stubbs was, in the words of his lawyer, "a little different than the average person." "Very eccentric-looking," said Dorothy Dahlquist, a publicist with CDR. "Very eccentric-acting. And absolutely brilliant." "He had a very special Spartan lifestyle," according to attorney Steven Katzman. "It was just Aran and his dog." And as far as anyone could tell, Stubbs didn't care a whole bunch about the dog. He had two passions in life - computers and comic books - and his genius was figuring out a way to use the first to acquire the second.

When Stubbs was first hired by the Department of Revenue, the agency didn't run background checks, so the agency never discovered that its new clerk had two convictions for burglary as a teenager and in 1979 had pleaded guilty to mail fraud, serving four months of a four-year sentence. All CDR knew was that Stubbs was very good at his job and very adept with computers. He rose steadily through the ranks and kept his eyes open. By the time Stubbs became a chief computer programmer in 1990, he knew how the system worked.

He knew, for example, that if someone prepaid an estimated tax, then died due a refund, CDR would never send it out. Because no one would file for the refund, CDR would stow the money in that unopened account forever. "Never say forever." That was Stubb's motto. He had a huge comic book collection - several hundred long boxes - but he didn't have the money to fill in all the holes until he started tapping those unopened accounts.

"Aran would manipulate the system," Dahlquist explained, "forcing it to issue a check, either to himself or to the account. then he would either intercept the check or have it sent to his house." Dahlquist said agency investigators believe Stubbs began diverting funds in August 1991, and for several months no one was the wiser. Stubbs kept the checks small and his ears open, in case CDR had plumbers listening in for small leaks. As he hit the major-league mail-order dealers around the country, he always paid with cash.

But the caution didn't last. "The process got addictive," Katzman said. "You don't know when enough is enough. Greed overtakes your better judgment. The thing overtook him." Stubb's mistake was to begin paying for his larger orders not with cash but with the actual state warrants. "He contracted at least one dealer," Dahlquist said, "saying, 'I am representing a group of people who want to invest in comic books. I will send you a Colorado state income tax warrant. It will be endorsed. Just use that as payment.'"

The scheme quickly pricked the suspicions of one dealer, Harley Yee of Detroit, who called the Department of Revenue and asked if the check was good. When the investigator researched the refund check, he discovered the name on the check belonged to a dead man. Dahlquist said the agency security systems were already tracking a thief inside the agency: "We knew someone was doing it. The comic book angle identified Aran."

Stubbs was arrested on March 19, 1992. "If the scheme had run its full course," Katzman said, "Aran would have been out of the country. He didn't expect them to find out about it so soon." Estimates of what Stubbs stole ranged from $150,000 to $500,000, but the state eventually settled on $180,000. Stubbs was charged with a Class 3 felony - theft over $10,000 - and pleaded guilty to a Class 5 offense, embezzlement of public property.

Stubbs could have gone to jail for up to 16 years on the original charge; he ended up escaping prison time entirely. Instead, he was sentenced to four years' probation and ordered to forfeit his collection to repay the Department of Revenue. The collection consisted of 400 long boxes, or approximately 60,000 comics. Stubbs had stored the best of the lot - Detective #38, for example, and Showcase #4 - in three freezers in his house. In no mind to go into the retail business, the CDR decided to auction off the entire array in one lot by sealed bid.

The winners of the auction - RTS Unlimited of Golden, Colorado - quickly dubbed their take the "IRS Collection" in huge, obnoxious ads in the Comics Buyer's Guide. Although others who had viewed the collection came away unimpressed by its quality or the number of key books, RTS promised buyers that "each comic will be issued with a certificate of authenticity to validate it's pedigree and unique origin from this important part of comicdom history."

How important? RTS demanded $22.85 ($19.95 for the catalog and $2.90 for shipping and handling) for the "100+-page inventory listing" of Aran Stubb's ill-gotten gains.

--from Comics: Between the Panels

Hooded Menaces

Many themes occur on comic covers, themes such as bondage covers, headlight covers, or even Robin corner shock covers. One such theme is Hooded Menace covers. These covers depict the villain with his head covered, typically in a red colored hood.

The most prolific artist to depict such hooded menaces was legendary GA artist Alex Schomburg. "It was just whatever came out of my stupid head," Schomburg said. "Then I put a swastika on them and made them nazis."

Below is a partial list of Hooded Menace covers:

Avon #27
Black Terror #20
Blue Beetle #29
Daredevil #27
Daring #2
Detective #191
Exciting #42
Fighting Yank #11, 23
Flash #20
Green Hornet #15
Human Torch #6, 16
Kid Komics #4, 9
Marvel Mystery #18, 28, 29, 45, 51, 52, 69
Master Comics #98
Mystery Comics #2, 4
Mystic #1
Shadow #61
Shock SuspenStories #6
Startling #20, 40
Sub-Mariner #13
Super-Magician vol. 4 #5
Suspense #3
Terrific #5
Venus #18
Wow# 3

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Comic Butcher/Scam Artist

In case some of you have not heard of Daniel Dupcak aka Comic-Keys aka Hammer.

Please check out the following site which will enlighten you as to the shameful practice he perpetrates upon the collecting community.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Marvel Comics #1

Possibly one of the greatest comic book grails of all time. Given the higher number of Action Comics #1 appearances, I would think this book to be rarer. This is the beginning of the Marvel Comics empire. This is by far the best copy I have ever seen of this book, notice that it is unrestored. Currently being offered on Ebay --->LINK

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sin City Movie

From legendary artist Frank Miller comes the gritty pulp Sin City to the big screen. Several of Miller's books are combined into one movie. What makes this film unique is the way the filmakers attempted to recreate the comic book feel. Much of the film is done in Black and White with CGI color added to it as well as CGI effects to make it seem more like a comic book.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez / Frank Miller
Hartigan.............Bruce Willis
Nancy................Jessica Alba
Gail....................Rosario Dawson
Jackie Boy...........Benicio Del Toro
Dwight...............Clive Owens
Marv..................Mickey Rourke
Shellie................Britney Murphy
Yellow Bastard.........Nick Stahl

Official Site

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Deathlok Chronology

So here is the chronology for Deathlok, or Luther Manning. This is only for the original Deathlok and does not include John Kelly or Michael Collins or any other person.

  • Astonishing Tales #25
  • Astonishing Tales #26
  • Astonishing Tales #27
  • Astonishing Tales #28
  • Astonishing Tales #30
  • Astonishing Tales #31
  • Astonishing Tales #32
  • Astonishing Tales #33
  • Astonishing Tales #34
  • Astonishing Tales #35
  • Astonishing Tales #36
  • Marvel Team-Up #46
  • Marvel Spotlight #33
  • Marvel Two-In-One #26
  • Marvel Two-In-One #27
  • Marvel Two-In-One #28
  • Marvel Two-In-One #34
  • Captain America #286
  • Captain America #287
  • Captain America #288
  • Marvel Fanfare #4
  • Marvel Comics Presents #62
  • Deathlok #1

02/23/05 New Comics

Here we go True Believers, this weeks picks:

  • Batman: The Man Who Laughs GN
  • Seven Soldiers #0
  • Amazing Spider-Man #517 (Skin Deep pt. 3 of 4)
  • Batman #637
  • Rogue #8 (Forget-Me-Not pt. 2)
  • Excalibur #10
  • Fantastic Four #523 (Rising Storm pt. 4 of 4)
  • The Flash #219
  • X-23 #3
  • Uncanny X-men #456

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #35

The release date for the 35th Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (OCBPG) is fast approaching. Not only does the OCBPG contain the current publishing data for almost all published comic books as well as current condition values, it is chock full of informative articles. The OCBPG is an invaluable tool for any transaction in the comic book hobby.

In today's market the biggest criticism the OCBPG receives is that of minimizing the effect of slabbed books on the market. The OCBPG does include a bit of prices realized in the past year for slabbed books. However it generally only reports key issues of benchmark sales. I suppose the thinking is that since such a small fraction of comic books that are sold/bought are slabbed, that the majority of the market is still in raw comics. So the OCBPG caters to this portion of the market.

Overstreet also publishes a quarterly pamphlet that tracks prices realized for slabbed books within the previous quarter.

Here is a sneak peek at the upcoming cover the 35th OCBPG:

Sunday, February 20, 2005

02/16/05 New Comics

This weeks releases:

New X-Men #10
Astonishing X-men #8
Ex Machina #8
Green Lantern Rebirth #4 (of 6)
Marvel Knights Handbook 2005
She-Hulk #12
JLA Classified #4
Teen Titans #21
Stormbreaker #2 (of 6)
JSA #70
Spectacular Spider-man #25 (Sins Remembered pt. 3)

Friday, February 18, 2005

Detective Comics #359

1st appearance of Batgirl

The story opens with Barbara Gordon, daughter of Police Commisioner Gordon, sewing her costume for the Policeman's Masquerade Ball that night. On her way to the Ball she sees several Moth-men attempting to kidnap Bruce Wayne. Barbara leaps from her car dressed as Catwoman, and using her learned Judo skills fights the Moth-men. This allows Bruce Wayne to escape and change into his identity as Batman. Suddenly Killer Moth flies in via a strong wire suspended from an unknown source. Killer Moth overpowers Batgirl, until Batman shows up and saves Batgirl, while Killer Moth flies off.

The next morning Bruce Wayne learns from a letter mailed to him that Killer Moth plans on attacking Bruce Wayne until he pays him #100,000. Bruce, as Batman, learns that Killer Moth has sent similar letters to all the millionaires in Gotham City. Batman devises a plan to capture the Killer Moth.

Meanwhile, Barbara has been in training to keep herself in top physical shape. Later she receives a rare book that is on hold for Bruce Wayne. She decides to deliver the book in person. Upon arrival in the house she witnesses Killer Moth shooting Bruce Wayne in the back and killing him. Ingeniously she has developed her costume to be disguised as her clothes. Her beret pulls down to become her mask, her skirt pulls away to become her cape, her handbag becomes her utility belt, and her boots unfurl to reveal Bat-boots. Batgirl fights the Moth-men, while Killer Moth escapes. Batman and Robin watch from inside a side room and come out to help her. Batman reveals to Batgirl that it was a trap for Killer Moth, they used a dummy which was shot and Robin placed a homing device on the Moth-mobile. Batman & Robin leave Batgirl to track Killer Moth.

Batgirl removes a motor-bike from her truck, which she has modified into a Batcycle. When Batman & Robin at Killer Moth's hideout, a trap is sprung capturing them. It's up to Batgirl to rescue them from the trap. Upon release all three heroes search the hideout for Killer Moth. Batgirl is able "smell" Killer Moth behind a fake wall. Batman deduces that during her fight earlier, some of her perfume rubbed off onto Killer Moth. So she was able to smell it on him from the other side of the fake wall.

Quote from this issue: "Holy Interference!" - Robin

Credits: Gardner Fox (Script), Carmine Infantino (Pencils), Sid Greene (Inks)

Friday, February 11, 2005

02/09/05 New Comics

A little late this week, but a some good reading:

  • Alpha Flight #12 (Days of Future Present, Past Participle pt. 3 of 4)
  • Captain America #3 (Out of Time pt. 3)
  • District X #10 (Underground pt. 3 of 6)
  • Captain America and the Falcon #12 (Brothers and Keepers pt. 5 of 5)
  • JLA #111 (Syndicate Rules pt. 5)
  • Young Avengers #1 (Sidekicks pt. 1)
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroes #7 (of 8)
  • New Thunderbolts #5
  • Fantastic Four: Foes #2 (of 6)
  • Action Comics #824

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Fantastic Four Movie

FF Main

Well July 8th, 2005 is quickly getting closer. I am very excited to see how they interpret the Fantastic Four to the big screen. I really hope they dedicate the same attention as they did for the X-men movies, and not the dreck that they distributed as the Punisher movie. Although initial photos of the Thing does not instill any confidence that they have.


Here is the cast for the movie, also Legendary creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as FF mailman, Willy Lumpkin.

Ioan Gruffudd .... Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic
Michael Chiklis .... Ben Grimm/The Thing
Jessica Alba .... Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman
Chris Evans .... Johnny Storm/The Human Torch
Julian McMahon .... Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom
Kerry Washington .... Alicia Masters

Thursday, February 03, 2005

02/02/05 New Comic Listing

Here are the books I picked up:

  • Uncanny X-men #455
  • Superman/Batman #17
  • Firestorm #10
  • Excalibur #9
  • Exiles #59
  • Superman #213
  • Shanna, The She-Devil #1 (of 7)
  • New Avengers #3
  • Justice League Elite #8
  • Detective Comics #802
  • X-Men Unlimited #7
  • X-Men: Phoenix Endsong #2 (of 5)
  • X4 #3 (of 5)

Comic Book Pedigrees

The term pedigree is used quite frequently in the comic collecting community. There is a certain aura of excitement when a book is from a pedigree. Pedigree collections range from Golden Age books from the 1930s to Bronze Age books in the 1970s. They range from Superhero, Horror, Western, Romance, and more.

This is a list of pedigrees that are recognized by CGC:

  • Allentown
  • Aurora
  • Bethlehem
  • Big Apple
  • Boston
  • Bowling Green
  • Chicago
  • Circle 8
  • Cosmic Aeroplane
  • Crowley
  • Curator
  • "D" copy
  • Denver
  • Diamond Run
  • Gaines File
  • Green River
  • Hawkeye
  • Larson
  • Lost Valley
  • Massachusetts
  • Mile High (Edgar Church)
  • Mile High II*
  • Mohawk Valley
  • Northland
  • Northford
  • Nova Scotia
  • Oakland
  • Ohio
  • Okajima
  • Pacific Coast
  • Palo Alto
  • Pennsylvania
  • River City
  • Rockford
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Green River Pedigree

reprinted by permission:

The Green River Collection

by Brad Hamann

Belying its serene-sounding title, the Green River Collection actually claims an indirect connection to one of the most horrific series of murders on record in American history.

William J. Stevens II began assembling this collection of mainly Silver Age Marvels and DCs in the 1960s when he was a boy. Stevens’ father operated a 1,200-square-foot pharmacy on a secondary road by Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and Stevens and his adopted brother Robert would steal comics and boxes of trading cards from the store. Stevens meticulously cataloged and stored this quickly-growing collection.

The collection first began to surface in the early 1990s when Stevens, now in his forties, began selling some of the books to Craig Barnett, a local dealer who ran a store in Spokane called The Comic Book Shop. Stevens would arrive at the store with stacks of comics packed in brown paper grocery sacks whenever he needed money. According to Barnett, Stevens was looking to raise money for a microwave receiving station to track police calls as part of his apparent fixation with law enforcement. Barnett has described Stevens as very personable, and “a really nice guy, but an incredible con man.” These transactions went on for about a year and then stopped. Later, Barnett learned from Robert Stevens that William had died as a result of cancer. What Barnett did not know at the time of his purchases, was that William was not only a con man, but a convicted felon.

Convicted of burglarizing a uniform store in 1979, Stevens had served a two-year stint in prison. Then, in January of 1981, he had simply walked out of a King County jail work-release program and dropped completely out of sight. Stevens traveled extensively under several aliases and resided in the Portland, Oregon area until May of 1985, when he returned to Spokane and enrolled at Gonzaga.

Police discovered and arrested Stevens at his parents’ home in January of 1989 after several phone tips resulting from the television program “Manhunt Live: A Chance to End a Nightmare!” At the time, Stevens was in his last year at Gonzaga University School of Law and serving as the president of the Student Bar Association. He promptly issued a statement denying any wrongdoing. “I am not the Green River killer. They have made me out to be a very bad person, and I am not,” he declared.

After a search of his parents’ home, where Stevens was then living, police found 29 firearms, and a box full of phony driver’s licenses and credit cards acquired under assumed names. Credit-card fraud and robbery were apparently a means by which Stevens had survived through the years. Also discovered were more than one hundred police badges, and a large collection of pornographic videotapes and sexually explicit Polaroids of naked women.

Stevens seemed a strong suspect in the series of murders in the Seattle-Tacoma area that began in the early 1980s. In all, the Green River Killer had tallied 48 victims between 1982 and 1984. The killer systematically left his victims, all women, near the banks of the Green River outside of Seattle. Many were prostitutes, but several runaways and hitchhikers became the unfortunate victims of the most prolific killer in American criminal history. After his arrest, Stevens was exhaustively interviewed about the Green River murders, but a series of alibis placed him on trips with his parents out of the Seattle area at the time of some of the murders. Police eventually released Stevens and took him off the list of suspects. Stevens died of cancer on September 20, 1991. In 2003, Gary Ridgway, another longtime suspect, confessed to all of the murders.

Craig Barnett has not kept a detailed list of the nearly eight hundred books he purchased from William J. Stevens, but after Stevens’ death in 1991, Barnett announced the as-yet-unnamed collection in one of his market reports in the Overstreet Monthly Price Guide Update.

In an April 2004 e-mail to a collector, Craig Barnett recalled some of his 1990-1991 dealings with William Stevens:

Bill kept me on the hook as far as what other books he had and mentioned over and over that he had between five and fifteen Amazing Spider-Man #1’s and would bring them in as soon as he found them. Considering some of the quantities of some of the books he did bring in I really had no reason to doubt him. I don’t remember having any quantity of the major keys so it's unlikely that he sold me more than one or two of any keys that he did have, but I really don’t know which ones they might have been and in the grades they were in, they would have sold rather quickly. He did bring in quite a few annuals and specials ─I remember getting several copies each of the FF and Spider-man annuals and specials early on as Bill thought they would be worth more because they were larger but I have no idea as to what quantities of each there were─ most of the books were grouped together in threes and fours with an occasional grouping of five─ I don’t remember getting more than five of anything.

What emerged over the course of time was that in addition to the books he sold to Barnett, William J. Stevens had bartered the sale of nearly 1,650 of his books to attorney Craig C. Beles in order to pay off some of the legal bills that had accumulated as a result of his run-ins with law enforcement. After reading through the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, Beles sent out a letter to many of the dealers who advertised in the book, notifying them that the collection was for sale.

John M. Hauser, a well-known dealer from Madison, Wisconsin was alerted to the solicitation by a fellow Wisconsin dealer, Jef Hinds. Hauser flew to Seattle and initially viewed about one hundred of the comics. “After seeing these, I knew I wanted the rest,” said Hauser. “I put in a competitive bid and won out against the crowd of dealers.”

Hauser purchased the collection in partnership with James Haack, another dealer. Each put up half of the $25,000 winning bid. The collection they acquired contained a wide selection of DCs and Marvels. “There were multiples of almost every annual I received. I think [the Stevens brothers] stole more annuals, as the cover price was higher and they thought they would be worth more. Most of the annuals have graded at 9.4 or 9.6. Sadly, all of the Flash’s I bought were water damaged,” said Hauser. The Amazing Spider-Man #1 that Hauser and Haack purchased was later graded a 7.0 by CGC.

At the time of the purchase, Hauser was unaware of Barnett’s connection to part of the collection. Later, Hauser read in one of Barnett’s market reports in the Overstreet Monthly Price Guide Update that Barnett had sold multiple copies of Fantastic Four Annual #1 and Spider-Man Annual #1. Hauser then contacted Barnett, but by then most of the DCs and Marvels had been sold. Barnett still retained a number of Gold Keys and books by other publishers.

Hauser and Haack first offered their books for sale to the public in 1993 when the two dealers ran an ad in the March 26, 1993, issue of Comics Buyer’s Guide. The books listed for sale included nearly complete runs of Silver Age X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Daredevil, Journey Into Mystery (from Issue #91 up), Sgt. Fury, and Fantastic Four (from Issue #8 up). The collection also included a large assortment of DCs and some Gold Keys, as well. Once Hauser and Haack had recouped their initial investment, they split up the remainder of the books.

According to Barnett, John Hauser coined the name for the Green River Collection. Once the name became better known, Barnett began to put a certificate explaining the collection behind each backing board, along with the shop stamp.

The collection was officially recognized as the Green River Collection by Comics Guaranty Corporation in 2001. Mark Haspel, senior grader and pedigree expert at CGC says that the collection was already well-known when John Hauser began submitting books to CGC for grading. The existence of the original sales lists made it that much easier to document and verify the books in the collection.

In 2003, Craig Beles attempted to sell a raw copy of Daredevil #11 on eBay. The book did not meet reserve and an interested collector took the initiative and contacted Beles directly to negotiate a price for the book. When Beles told the collector that he had other books as well, a deal was struck for an additional 75 books.

The books that make up the Green River Collection number approximately 2,400, and are among the easiest to identify of all the major pedigrees. The vast majority of these books carry a small red arrival date stamped on the front cover. The books are characterized by incredibly white pages, terrific cover gloss, great color strike, tight cover wrap and an overall unread, right-off-the-newsstand freshness. Edges and corners are razor sharp. When examined first hand, it is hard to believe that these books are forty years old.

The collection contains single copies of many of the books, but also cases of multiple copies, as mentioned; for example, the original sales manifests compiled by Beles listed six copies of Avengers #22, and nine copies each of Strange Tales #138 and Fantastic Four Annual #3.

The majority of the collection has yet to be graded by CGC, but those books that have been graded received outstanding marks, ranging generally from 8.5 to 9.6. Books graded at 9.6 include Amazing Spider-Man #29, Daredevil #11, and Tales of Suspense #83.

Collector Shin C. Kao has compiled a near-complete list in PDF format of all the titles in the original sales manifests, along with a scan of the original Comics Buyer’s Guide ad. This additional material can be found at

©2004 Brad Hamann

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

.25 cent PictureFrame issues

Between November 1971 and March 1972, Marvel Comics experimented with their titles by releasing .25 cent issues. By today's standards this seems very inexpensive, however comic books at the time only cost .15 cents. So a ten cent jump seemed excessive. Marvel eventually only raised the cover price by five cents to .20 cent issues.

Another change Marvel made was the introduction of the Marvel Comics bar across the top of their comics, which has become a mainstay for most of the 1970s to 1980s.

Here is a complete list of the .25 cent PictureFrame issues:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #102

  • Avengers #93

  • Avengers Annual #5

  • Captain America #143

  • Captain America Special #2

  • Chamber of Darkness Special #1

  • Conan #11

  • Daredevil #81

  • Daredevil Special #3

  • Fantastic Four #116

  • Fear #6

  • Incredible Hulk #145

  • Incredible Hulk Annual #4

  • Iron Man #43

  • Kid Colt Outlaw #156

  • Marvel Feature #2

  • Marvel's Greatest Comics #34

  • Marvel Special Edition #4

  • Marvel Spotlight #2

  • Marvel Tales #33

  • Marvel Triple Action #1

  • Mighty Marvel Western #16

  • Monsters on the Prowl #14

  • My Love #14

  • Rawhide Kid #93

  • Ringo Kid #12

  • Sub-Mariner #43

  • Sub-Mariner Special #2

  • Thor #193

  • Where Monsters Dwell #12

  • Western Gunfighters #7