Wednesday, February 22, 2017

MAIL CALL: My most recent eBay haul

Lookee-see, some recent ebay purchases arrived today!

INVADERS was a favorite title of mine when I was a kid. I believe my first issue was No. 19 (on-sale May 3, 1977) and I was hooked. Sure, Roy Thomas' scripts were a little wordy, but I was an uber-geek even at nine years old, and absolutely devoured every issue. Frank Robbins' art was certainly different from the standard Buscema-cum-Buckler that was the standard of the day, but it seemed to fit the World War II milieu somehow, which was the primary draw for me. I bought every issue after that, only missing a few here and there due to the spotty newsstand distribution of the era. 

The title ended at No. 41 (June 19, 1979), and I was sorely disappointed. Worse, we had a house fire in late August 1980 and I lost my entire collection to that point. I've since rebuilt the run. With this issue, I only need No. 1, 2, and 14 to complete the set.

For some reason, NOVA was not a title I recall ever seeing on the stands when I was young. Maybe it got limited distribution, or maybe there was some Nova fan in Winslow, Maine (and later, Skowhegan) who beat me to the corner store each month? 

Anyway, the title ran 25 issues, from June 15, 1976 to Feb. 13, 1979. The last eight issues came out on a bi-monthly basis, indicating it was not a strong seller, regardless of why I never saw it at the time. This issue completes the run for me and I plan to now read them all for the first time and post a "Full Run" review here in the near future.

SPIDER-WOMAN was a book I did see when I was a kid, but I avoided it like the plague, because, you guessed it, it starred, ewwwwwww, a girl! I can just hear my pubescent self now — "What's her power, super-cooties!?!" 

Strangely enough, a majority of the titles I follow today, particularly at Marvel, have female leads. This title ran 50 issues, from Jan. 3, 1978 to Feb. 22, 1983. Like Nova, it closed out its run on a bi-monthly basis, starting at No. 37, and it's a series I've built entirely as back issues, having never purchased one new off the stands. Still, the late-'70s to the early '80s is my collecting focus, given that it was my personal Golden Age, and today I'm fond of even those titles I turned my nose up at as a kid. 

Currently, I still need 10 issues to complete the run — Nos. 12, 13, 20, 21, 24, 33, 44, 46, 49, and 50.

It's true I was, with a few notable exceptions, more of a DC aficionado than a Marvel zombie back in the day. Still, I bought Spider-Man comics with some regularity. But for whatever reason, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN always struck me as an also-ran discount version of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. I did buy this title, but only sporadically, and not at all after the house fire. I can't tell you today which issue was my first, or how many I had when I lost them all. 

The series had a healthy run, lasting 263 issues, from Sept. 28, 1976 to Sept. 23, 1998. For some reason, the official title per the indicia was simply "Spectacular Spider-Man," even though the cover logo read "Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man," and I distinctly recall that, as kid, I had this filed on the closet shelves where I kept my comics under "P." 

Pete's name was added to the indicia with No. 49, but then removed from both there and the cover at No. 134. Today I have just 43 issues of the run. Apart from the "Golden Age" issues, I've only acquired copies over the years when they've come to me as part of large lot auction scores. 

Of the books I buy on purpose, I concentrate my buying dollar on the period of comics on sale in Nov. 1976 (the first appearance of the classic "DC Bullet") to May 1980 (the end of the 40¢ cover price). Of that era, which includes the first 45 issues of what I still think of as "the Peter Parker" book, I still need Nos. 1, 2, 21, 23, 24, 26, 29, 33-41, and 44.

Now for the bad news — I kind of overpaid for these comics, I think. The entire lot was $29.97, including $6.75 in shipping, or about $5 per book. All were advertised as being VF or better, although the Spider-Man has some ink staining on the upper left corner (a distributor stripe error?) and the Nova has some upper left corner damage that I'd say pushes the latter, at least, down into the FN+ range. 

Still, pegs the lot at $52, so I guess I didn't do too bad. Still, I like to score my back issues for less than the $4, each, price of a new comic (presuming at least VF for 1970s and newer, and VG/FN for older books) whenever possible. Just because.

Anyway, that's my package for the day. Here's wishing you happy collecting of your own.

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