So you could keep up with . . . → Read More: Mutant Massacre Map Promo Poster, 1986
. . . → Read More: Creation Conventions Schedule, Fall 1984
Okay, comic book retailer reports that were written late summer 1989, for publication in the October 1989 issue of Overstreet’s Price Update.
These are select short excerpts (by far not complete) from some of the market reports. Interesting to compare what was forecasted to happen, to what happened in the short-term, then to what happened in the long-term…
…but great collecting (speculating) nostalgia from a snapshot in time! Here we go…
From GOLDEN AGE COLLECTIBLES, in Seattle, WA:
“The price limit for most comic buyers appears to be $1.50. Any comic which costs below $1.00 is more likely to sell in greater quantities than those at $1.50 or more. New comic sales may be good, but most of the sales come from those priced less than $1.50. Thus, more copies of Spider-Man are being sold at $1.00 each than new issues of The Question at $1.75.
The threat to the comic market is that with more and more expensive comics being released, comic buyers will not have enough money to buy it all. An excellent example of this was the prestige format glut last December.”
From SUPER GIANT BOOKS & COMICS, in North and South Carolina:
“What we do see is an increased emphasis on buying a comic after it has increased in value. It seems to a lot of buyers, a new comic for $1.25 or a back issue for a buck is ho-hum stuff. But let that comic go to five bucks, and suddenly they are interested. Some of these folks are speculating the $5 comic will climb to $10 or $20.”
From CLIFF’S BOOKS, in Deland, FL:
“Well, the summer of ‘The Bat’ is winding down, and what a summer it was. The movie had only been out for a few weeks and things were really getting stupid at my shop. People were buying ‘Bat’ anything in a frenzy reminiscent of sharks feeding on fresh chum.
Independents. Dark Horse has definitely taken over the top spot — outselling everyone else (even the Turtles) 5 to 1. I have had sellouts on both the Predator books as well as the second volume of Aliens. Predator #1 is selling briskly for $5 and Aliens Vol. II is moving well at $4. All the back issues of Aliens Vol. 1 have been doing well.”
From KEITH CONTARINO in Powder Springs, GA:
“Recent Marvel Back Issues: Punisher, War Journal, Wolverine, and Spider-Man continue to sell well. War Journal #6 has settled at $8 and #7 at $4. We sold many Spider-Man #’s 298 and 300 at $12 at the Fantasy Fair. We had over 40 copies each of 301-310 in our retailer boxes and are now almost wiped out of those numbers.”
Tony Wolf is an actor, voice-over artist, and illustrator in New York City. He co-hosts a pop-culture podcast (theactionroom.com) and will be drawing an upcoming webcomic written by Flash Gordon and Casper writer Brendan Deneen. Tony talks in-depth about his introduction to comics during the Bronze Age, and then his nostalgia for really getting into collecting during the Copper Age…
Tony: My mother would get me some digest comics to keep me occupied while she drove me all around town with her on various shopping trips, running errands, etc. I remember lots of little Archie digests and a few of the early ‘70s DC Comics digests where they reprinted old All-Star Comics, Justice Society stuff, and one digest in particular which reprinted a bunch of DC’s Super Friends comic books (which contained both Super Friends stories and some ‘60s and ‘70s Justice League stories).
I also remember some Legion of Super-Heroes digests from way back then, as well as some reprints of classic Joe Kubert Hawkman stories. This was when I was anywhere from 5 to 10 years-old, I think. I loved these books and devoured ‘em. I also remember getting those odd reprints of the first thirty or so issues of Ditko’s Spider-Man (I say “odd” because they were digest-sized, but yet much more shaped like a regular small paperback book than the typical “square” digest format). Those first Spider-Man stories were a revelation.
I remember Marvel’s over-sized books. I had a bunch of those before I got into real comics collecting — I remember Herb Trimpe Hulk stories being reprinted in those, DC “Heroes vs. Villains” collection (complete with classic cover of all the heroes lined up on the left side and villains on the right), and I think I had the Superman / Muhammad Ali treasury edition too.
I also was an artist as a kid, and was constantly drawing comic book and cartoon characters, just drawing non-stop. My older brother was a talented artist and I may have started emulating him a bit. But all these little reprints and digests were before I went real hardcore into comics.
Another thing that contributed to my interest in comics and superheroes was the endless stream of (new and rerun) cartoons available to a kid in the mid to late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Bugs Bunny, Mighty Mouse, Speed Racer, Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse(!), Popeye, the Plastic Man cartoon, Herculoids, Thundarr the Barbarian, the Tarzan cartoon, Robotech, Star Blazers (LOVED that show intensely), Super Friends (which later became Super Powers), those old Filmation Aquaman, The Atom, Hawkman and Flash cartoons (instrumental in introducing kids to DC’s B- and C-list characters), the wonderful and bizarre Ralph Bakshi Spider-Man cartoons made in the late ‘60s, and the Marvel cartoons that were those overly simplistic Jack Kirby drawings which had an arm or leg move here or there (jokingly referred to here as “the first motion comics”).
Also, the great Hanna-Barbera Fantastic Four cartoons — which featured pretty literal retellings of early Lee / Kirby FF stories, like Dr. Doom in the pirate era, something like Kang in ancient Egypt, if I recall correctly, etc. The early ‘80s FF cartoon with Herbie the Robot in lieu of the Human Torch was also fun.
I think any kid who was remotely into fun genre entertainment like I’ve listed above would also have been into the Godzilla movies, which played over and over in local NYC and Long Island TV stations. Add to that anything remotely sci-fi or monster-related.
And then, of course, the phenomenon that hit countless young kids in 1977 — a little thing called “Star Wars”. Although not (initially) a comic book, of course, the adventure / pulp / comic sensibility was undeniable, and any child who was into that sort of stuff was going to fall in love with Star Wars.