If there’s any Copper Age first appearance that’s gonna be tough for me to reacquire for my collection, it’s NOT New Mutants 98, rather, it’s going to be New England Comics Newsletter 14, the first print appearance of Ben Edlund’s The Tick.
Notice how I used the word “reacquire,” because yes, that means, I did own it when it was originally mailed out to NEC’s list back in 1986.
I’m almost positive that this was the first NEC newsletter I received in the mail, and the dates add up; I started collecting monthly comics right around Marvel’s 25th Anniversary, which NEC proudly parodied with their cover below.
I can’t remember when I actually tossed the newsletter (or why I did it, I loved the cover!), but it had to have been within a couple of years of me receiving it, as I DO remember regretting it once The Tick regular series — and subsequent animated series — came out, and were hits.
Unlike the continuous stream of high-grade New Mutants 98 copies that are available on eBay, copies of New England Comics Newsletter 14 are legitimately rare — in any condition — and only turn up once in a while. Maybe three or four a year on eBay (which the watermarked scan below was grabbed from a while back), and I’ve seen a pretty broad range of winning bids for it…it’s gone from anywhere from $150 to $1000. All non-CGC, I don’t think they’ll grade an all-newsprint publication, but not sure on that.
Anyway, I can’t currently justify ponying up that much to get this back in my Copper Age collection…but someday I will.