Rodney Dangerfield Has Nothing on Tony Stark!
August 30, 2017
Rodney Dangerfield Has Nothing on Tony Stark! The poor man can’t get any respect! Last week, while checking out the auction listings online, I found a site that showed comics for its next sale. Besides shots of a ’67 Mustang convertible, a ’99 Vette, a set of Three Stooges chalk figures, there were about 10 pics of the comics being offered. Of those 10, 3 were of a Tom Landry comic (yes, the Cowboys coach from years ago!). It showed the front. It showed the back. It showed the splash page. However, the rest of the pics showed anywhere from 4 to 6 comics at a time. Tucked in the corner of one shot was a Tales of Suspense #39 – Iron Man‘s first appearance!
With an 8:30 AM start and it not being a ‘catalog’ sale (in other words, no knowing the order of the items), I headed out for the hour and a half ride around 6:30 on a Saturday morning. A beautiful day, light traffic on back roads and the Sirius radio blaring as I bounced the dial between 5, 6, & 7, it was a pleasant drive. Arriving in time, I found the Landry comic (separated from the rest) and a pile of the others shown on the website – EXCEPT the TOS 39! It was then that the auctioneer announced that those of us there for the Iron Man book would see it auctioned off at noon. I found it up by registration. A very decent copy, probably a fine at least BUT, it had a piece missing along the bottom edge by the spine – about a 1/2″ wide and 2 1/2″ long and continued on the back of the book. A strange piece to be missing. Okay, a 2.0 gets a $1700 value assigned to it in the new guide. What grade does this get? I’m thinking that I could likely get away with asking the $1700 for it. Even with the flaws, due to its importance and the grade I saw another key issue get from CGC recently (see below), I figured it was reasonable. After all, the guide is just that – a guide.
Although I had loads of yard work to do, I stayed the additional three and a half hours. During that time, the 3 Stooges chalk statues, with many chips, sold for $130 plus a 10% buyer’s premium. Finally, the noon bell rang, and they sold a classic 1957 guitar for a little over a thousand bucks, the accompanying Gibson amp for $500, and then the comic was brought to the front. Someone left an absentee bid of $600 for it. I jumped right in. Dropping out at $1200, it sold to a bidder I had seen several times in the past for $1250 (not including the 10% B.P.). With our generous discount, Joe’s commission, I just didn’t have any room left. I don’t mind breaking even to have a key in the showcase, but I do hate to lose money! So, I headed back to my lawn mower at home, but as I left the auction, I saw them sell the Mustang for $19,500.
The previous week, I saw a mess of key issues at a place I never expected to see them – the Dover Comic Con. While still in the process of setting up, I was approached by a gentleman with a thick British accent, asking if I had any key Silver Age books. I explained that I couldn’t take the risk of bringing them to an outdoor setting like this and expose them to the heat. Little did I realize that he was also a vendor and when I stumbled upon his stand later that morning, I see his backdrop full of CGCed issues. Granted, most were under the shade of his canopy, but a fairly sizable section was getting direct sun! I don’t know about ‘slabbed’ books, but I do know that ‘bagged’ books will develop moisture inside when exposed to sun and heat. Was it worth the risk? I wouldn’t have MY copy of Tales To Astonish #27 (1st Ant Man!), Hulk #181 (1st Wolverine), or Amazing Fantasy #15 (1st Spider-Man!) plus all of the others I saw on his display out there. Not only was the heat a factor, we did enjoy some decent gusts of wind occasionally – with enough force that my immediate neighbor took his backdrop down after having it blown over several times.
The AF 15 was graded as a 2.5 copy, however the front cover had two pieces, each about the size of a half dollar, missing. A 2.5? I am not of the belief that an older issue or a key issue should get graded on an easier scale. It either makes the grade as defined or it doesn’t. Of course, as far as I know, the third party grading companies have yet to release their criteria for grades. It is hard though, as one flaw could be balanced by many positive attributes. Anyway, the vendor had a price tag of $13,500 on his copy. Did that Stan Lee autograph add that much to the value?
Just picked up an also complete set of Classics Illustrated comics. Is that a collected yawn I hear out there? Yeah, slow, very slow sellers and many were quite beat, but the gentleman was even older than me so I bought them. There were a number of first printings. Any one interested? Bueller? Bueller?
As of 8/28, only 4 customers have taken advantage of the fantastic, never been done before, greatest the world has ever seen (believe me) offer that I made in the last blog. Crickets.