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Friday, February 29, 2008

Keys leaving Home


First of all my apologies to The Beatles for the that terrible pun on one of their finer songs..but I've been sick and lost a lot of braincells and basically it's a miracle I could come up with that one. And with that you know the reason why it took so long for me to write the end to the previous blog...flue, the human kind. But I'm back now and I hope you are too.

Anyway as stated previously I traded my Amazing Fantasy #15 + my X-men #1 for something else, now what's worth about the same as these two keys ? (And probably worth more to me or I wouldn't have traded) ? Tough one ! Not a lot actually. Sure there are more valuable books, but these (Detective Comics #27, Action #1) are worth about 20 to 50 times as much...and nobody is going to give me that.
I couldn't think of any other Silver Age book (or a combo) either..so don't feel bad. But I never said I traded it for a book right ?
Both books went to a good friend and fellow collector who gave me this in return :

Yes, an original Watchmen page. I feel very privileged and lucky to get my hands on this as they are impossible to get. Not a lot of pages about and those who have them usually hang on to them.

Always wanted a Watchmen page with both Ozymandias and Rorschach, and not a lot of those around. Happy I was able to pick up this page which features 3 of the main protagonists (Ozy, Rorschach and Nite-Owl ). Now this might sound strange and even a bit pretentious, but a Watchmen page is not my grail piece like the AF #15 was. But too much had happened with my copy and it would always bring back some unpleasant memories and obtaining a Watchmen page was a once in a lifetime chance especially for one living so far from the rest of the collecting community.

When I got home with my page the first thing I did was go to my HC shelve and slide out my Absolute Edition of Watchmen. I bought this when it first came out and it had remained unread and still shrink wrapped (hey they go up in value and these command a premium don't you know) as I used my TPB copy to read the story.
I removed the shrinkwrap and opened the oversized HC. I flipped to the page I now owned and a warm sense of joy (or maybe capitalism ?) came over me as I now fully realized that I was the only one in the world who owned of this particular page of this masterwork. I then started reading the series again, probably for the 8th time in the last decade and fell in love with it all over again. Damn fine book, damn fine page.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

One is the magic number

Short and sweet entry this time. Just wanted to share this picture with you. Last week I pulled my Silver Age number 1s for a photo op.
Why I did it I'll explain later, but at the moment I just want you to take a look at the pic and look at the number 1s...and think about when #1 isn't #1. Confused ? Read on.

I put my nine most important (Silver Age) first issues in the picture, but only 6 of them have a #1 on the cover...but I assure you they are all "first issues". So what's up .
Well Fantastic Four #1, Avengers #1 Amazing Spider-man #1, Iron Man #1, X-men #1 and Silver Surfer #1 are self explanatory, but what about Amazing Fantasy #15...why does this Marvel Uber key carry the number #15 ? Well because it was the 15th issue in the series that spotlighted various new heroes/concepts and nobody had any idea that this Spider-man character would stick. Well he did and because of this we are stuck with this strangely numbered issue as the first Spider-man issue.

And what about Hulk #102...In 1964 the Hulk became the backup feature in Tales to Astonish (sharing the book with Giant-Man) and when in 1968 Marvel finally was able to renegotiate their distribution deal they seized the opportunity to expand their monthly titles and gave the Hulk his own book.
Tales to Astonish had run tot #101, so it seemed logical to continue the numbering on the first Hulk issue and so it came to be that the first issue of Hulk V2 was issue #102

Same thing with Captain America. Tales of Suspense had run to issue #99 when in 1968 Marvel could finally give both heroes (Cap and Iron Man) their own books. Cap continued the TOS numbering and started at #100. For some reason they didn't follow this logic with Iron Man and the first Iron Man issue got a #1 on its cover. But it could have easily (and logically) been #100 as well.

But why did I pull the issues and take the pic ? Why now ? Well mainly because this is the last time these books were all in my possession Two of the books in the pic have left my collection. I no longer own Amazing Fantasy #15 or X-men #1. I didn't sell them, I didn't lose them and they didn't get stolen. Nothing like that...I traded them.
To find out why I was prepared to do away with these two super keys, and more importantly what I got in trade...tune in next week

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