Let Me Remember Things I Don’t Know

April 1, 2017

mondegreen, Hulk 181These famous lyrics came out in July of 1969 and I’ve been singing them for what’s almost 50 years now. At least that’s what I thought. Imagine my surprise when I JUST found out that it’s a mondegreen! (make it your ‘word of the day’). Listening, several times, to Mr Fogerty twang the song in that southern drawl of his since the discovery and I still don’t hear the supposedly original lyrics. In fact, these are better and are a great mondegreen. (It’s hard to let go of something one believes in, even if it’s shown to be untrue. That wouldn’t make this an “alternative fact”, would it?)

Hidden way back in my memory, and only surfacing the other day, was the “Mark Jewelers” comic book variant. A customer came in with a small stack of significant books to sell. When he called earlier in the day and started going through some of the titles and issue numbers he had, I told him that he had something special when he mentioned Hulk 181. He said he also had 180 and 182. I let him know that he had the first appearances of Wolverine and that, “Yes, I was definitely interested!”

Mondays are slow anyway, but the time really seemed to drag in anticipation until he arrived with wife and child in tow. I showed him the guide and he had already done some research online (his site listed the 181 higher than Mr. Overstreet), but he knew that condition mattered and was aware that he didn’t have near mint copies. Very refreshing!

Naturally, I checked the 181 first and looked for the possibility of the value stamp missing. Immediately, I noticed a thick bluish insert right in the center of the comic – an advertisement for “Mark Jewelers”. That clicked and I went to the net and put in “Hulk 181 variant”. Yep, the ‘Mark Jewelers insert’ version came up. Evidently, Marvel Comics targeted servicemen by inserting ads in and near military bases (especially overseas) as early as April, 1971. The first insert was an ad for stereo equipment, followed by ones consisting of lingerie ads with a two month stretch exception in November and December of 1972 with ads for Mark Jewelers pushing diamonds for their sweethearts. The Mark Jeweler inserts returned in July of 1973.

Naturally, these were more limited in production compared to the regular issues and when I saw the insert, my first instinct was that I might have some sort of reprint in my hands. Fortunately, the internet calmed my fears. The copy of 180 not only had the insert but had the familiar 6 pointed star stamp. I have seen this many times and have come to believe that it is an indication of having been offered at a PX. Oh, and, yes, the value stamps for all three Hulks were present!

Dr. Strange #1, Hulk 181, mondegreenBesides the Hulks, he had a copy of Dr. Strange #1, Special Marvel Edition #15 (1st Master of King Fu), Amazing Spider-Man #149 (clone story!), Daredevil #111 (1st Silver Samurai), and Captain America # 168 – all having the Mark Jewelers insert. These are (as of 3/28) in the showcases for you variant seekers!

Full disclosure: all are marked above guide due to the variant factor, and the 181 is way over. This is due to first hand observations of what lower grade, raw copies are bringing at auction – a route I may take, so, if interested, better take that leap now.

Speaking of Hulks, recently a 0.5 CGC graded copy of Hulk #1 sold for $2,962 (check eBay item # 201839747677). Overstreet says a 2.0 only has a value of $4,000.

Our man Dave collects old Patsy Walker comics (he was into them before they became “hot”), so when I saw a low grade copy of #1 listed on eBay, I thought about surprising him with one. When I stumbled upon the listing, it was only at about 30 bucks. Dave’s a nice guy, so I hit ‘watch this item’ on eBay. This was a 1.0 CGC graded copy (eBay item # 201839748171). Overstreet lists a 2.0 at $97, so I’m thinking I might score this one for $50 or so. Eh, no, it went for $405! Sorry, Dave, you’re a nice guy, but not $400 plus nice!

Galactic Con was a success! I’ve done better, sales-wise, at the other three shows I’ve set up at, but all and all, pleased. The new site at the Appoquinomink High School was certainly nice and probably the biggest show, table-wise, where I have been a vendor. Although my space within the store is limited, not being the owner anymore, I still can’t help myself when I’m out at an auction and see some neat stuff offered – even though I might have to wait to do such a show or flea market to display it. That said, I did move a good bit of comic book related material – stickers, Pez dispensers, Hero-clicks, that 31″ tall Batman that was in the shop, and a number of other “odd-ball’ items. I moved a whole long box of ‘dollar’ books and a few ‘wall’ books, but nothing over $50. It was a nice family oriented affair with loads of interesting vendors.

Next up, after Free Comic Book Day, of course, will be our Memorial Day Flea Market. I’ll have even more ‘stuff’ at my tables that day. Interested in setting up? It’s only $15 for a parking spot (approx. 10′ by 20′) and I’ll be calling past vendors in a few weeks.

goldLEGObrick, Hulk 181, mondegreenThat will be followed by the First State Comic Con on June 26th at the Millcreek Fire Hall – a must attend for the die-hard comic book collector – probably more actual comic book dealers than some of the big name cons!

Wanna hear something sad? You’re probably aware that drug dealers label their products to help distinguish from the competition. A recent ‘brand’ to hit the Wilmington streets – “Whitehouse”

Wanna hear something silly? Apparently, the LEGO Company, between 1979 and 1981, gave out roughly 10 gold Lego bricks to business partners or employees of 25 years or more. One recently surfaced and sold at a London auction for $19,793.

Stop in the shop when Paul is on duty (usually Sundays, Mondays, & Thursdays) and mention the song title that contains my mondegreen above, and take 50% off all green-tagged comics NOT in the showcase – until April 17th (last day to file with the IRS). Bet you’ve been humming the song to yourself.

2 Comments
  1. el Guapo April 12, 2017

    Will there be those delicious hot dogs for sale again at the Memorial Day Flea Market?

  2. Dave Williams
    Dave Williams April 15, 2017

    Wasn't that you?

Leave a Reply