Dry Cleaning Comic Books with a Pencil Eraser

1974 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129. Heavy surface cleaning for over an hour with just a simple pencil eraser top and periodical cleaning of eraser head with absorene erasure pad. Moisture and humidity exposure for 15 minutes under steam. High heat dry press for 10 minutes. Left in cold press machine for 5 days.

1974 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129. Heavy surface cleaning for over an hour with just a simple pencil eraser top and periodical cleaning of eraser head with absorene erasure pad. Moisture and humidity exposure for 15 minutes under steam. High heat dry press for 10 minutes. Left in cold press machine for 5 days.  (CLICK TO ZOOM)

Greetings!  Today I want to talk to you about basic cleaning of a brand new modern age comic book, fresh from Diamond off the rack at your local comic book store.  These books get dirty!  Production flaws and rollers can cause dirt and debris to collect on your thin magazine glossy paperstock quality comic books, especially from Marvel.  This method can be used on older books, too!

So this is a pretty big secret, even if you don’t press comics.  You can clean most comic book covers in this manner, regardless if you are pressing the book or not!  You don’t need a press in order to perform this method.  

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

Let’s take a look at this 2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant.  This is a $500 book in 9.8 grade, but thanks to Marvel and Diamond, somebody thought, “Hey, let’s put a black border around the spine and front cover!” to destroy any chances of a 9.8 grade.  This one is likely a 9.4.  You can see all the dirt and roller debris on the white areas of the cover:

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

If you remember in my guide on “How to Press Comic Books with a T-Shirt Heat Press“, I suggested using Number 2 pencils and an Absorense Eraser Pad. It’s always best to start non-invasively so start small with just a clean eraser from a Number 2 pencil.  I also use eraser tops as well.  You will need to clean your pencil eraser often as you lift the dirt and oils from your comic book.  Use the Absorense Eraser Pad.  to clean your pencil eraser like so:

If you remember in my guide on "How to Press Comic Books with a T-Shirt Heat Press", I suggested using Number 2 pencils and an Absorense Eraser Pad. It's always best to start non-invasively so start small with just a clean eraser from a Number 2 pencil.  I also use eraser tops as well.  You will need to clean your pencil eraser often as you lift the dirt and oils from your comic book.  Use the Absorense Eraser Pad.  to clean your pencil eraser like so:

Using Number 2 pencils and an Absorene Eraser Pad. For dry cleaning it’s always best to start non-invasively so start small with just a clean eraser from a Number 2 pencil.  I also use eraser tops as well.  You will need to clean your pencil eraser often as you lift the dirt and oils from your comic book so use the Absorene Eraser Pad to clean the eraser top.

Press very lightly and use the pencil eraser in circular swirls on the white areas only of the comic book cover. I would not risk using the eraser over solid black inks or colors. You really don’t want to lose any of the cover’s glossiness or it can become quite evident. Remember, you are only trying to lightly clean off the surface of the book. Try not to make it obvious someone attempted to clean the cover.

Press very lightly and use the pencil eraser in circular swirls on the white areas only of the comic book cover.

Press very lightly and use the pencil eraser in circular swirls on the white areas only of the comic book cover.

Press very lightly and use the pencil eraser in circular swirls on the white areas only of the comic book cover.

Press very lightly and use the pencil eraser in circular swirls on the white areas only of the comic book cover.

Finally, you will try to use the Absorene Eraser Pad very lightly across the entire surface of the book to remove and lift off any traces of remaining rubber from your eraser top.    You are now ready to press the book.  Be careful as many modern Marvel books like this one have a digital code in the back that can imprint through the rear cover and surrounding pages.  I will discuss this very technique in my next post.

Finally, you will try to use the Absorene Eraser Pad very lightly across the entire surface of the book to remove and lift off any traces of remaining rubber from your eraser top.

Finally, you will try to use the Absorene Eraser Pad very lightly across the entire surface of the book to remove and lift off any traces of remaining rubber from your eraser top.  You are now ready to press the book.  Be careful as many modern Marvel books like this one have a digital code in the back that can imprint through the rear cover and surrounding pages.  I will discuss this very technique in my next post.

When all else fails, you can also use your latex gloves as well for cleaning.  Same prinicple, same concept, just lightly rub over the white or light areas of the book and use the Absorene Eraser Pad to clean your fingers.

When all else fails, you can also use your latex gloves as well for cleaning.  Same prinicple, same concept, just lightly rub over the white or light areas of the book and use the Absorene Eraser Pad to clean your fingers.

When all else fails, you can also use your latex gloves as well for cleaning.  Same prinicple, same concept, just lightly rub over the white or light areas of the book and use the Absorene Eraser Pad to clean your fingers.

Here is the same comic book, after an hour under a normal regular common household pencil eraser. No photoshop filters or edits were made to this image, either. This is in my opinion the best non-evasive way to clean a modern age comic book.

Here is the same comic book, after an hour under a normal regular common household pencil eraser. No photoshop filters or edits were made to this image, either. This is in my opinion the best non-evasive way to clean a modern age comic book.

Here is the same comic book, after an hour under a normal regular common household pencil eraser. No photoshop filters or edits were made to this image, either. This is in my opinion the best non-evasive way to clean a modern age comic book.

Here’s a side by side comparison of a full back cover photo before and after results from cleaning a very valuable book, in this case an Amazing Spider-man #129:

1974 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129. Heavy surface cleaning for over an hour with just a simple pencil eraser top and periodical cleaning of eraser head with absorene erasure pad. Moisture and humidity exposure for 15 minutes under steam. High heat dry press for 10 minutes. Left in cold press machine for 5 days.

1974 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129. Heavy surface cleaning for over an hour with just a simple pencil eraser top and periodical cleaning of eraser head with absorene erasure pad. Moisture and humidity exposure for 15 minutes under steam. High heat dry press for 10 minutes. Left in cold press machine for 5 days.  (CLICK TO ZOOM) 

Removing Deep Divots, Dents, and Writing Indentations

A dent or divot in the cover of a book can be frustrating.

A dent or divot in the cover of a book can be frustrating.  This can be pre-existing or if you have debris and dirt on the pressing plate (or cover of book) before pressing.

USING A BALL BEARING AND TACK IRON (ADVANCED)

If you have been studying my guide on “How to Press Comic Books with a T-Shirt Heat Press“, I have mentioned there are some advanced aspects to pressing comic books on your own.  One advanced technique I would like to talk about today is deep writing indentations.  Or, you might have a divot or a tiny crater on your comic book cover, affectionately called “pebbling”.

Pencil writing can be erased but often leaves the indentations as a reminder.  Deep writing from a sheet of paper that was on top of a comic book long ago, a divot or dent in your cover can certainly ruin the eye appeal of your book.  Do not worry, you can try this trick out before making the final pressing.   Or, if you had some dirt or debris on the pressing plate and/or comic book then you can try this method to fix your mistake.

 

What you will need:

  1. Sealing Tack Iron
  2. Ball bearing, a single 1.5″ diameter silver chrome ball bearing
  3. Magazine Sized backer boards
  4. Silicone Release Paper (SRP)  ULINE has boxes of 1000 sheets cut to size for $85 shipped

 

How the process works and a few guidelines before you begin:

  1. Wipe your balls!  The ball bearings will have an oil coating on them to prevent rust and corrosion.
  2. This will not remove writing such as ballpoint pen or sharpie marker.
  3. You can attempt to erase pencil writing and use this method to remove it completely
  4. This process is time consuming and you must be very patient
  5. You will apply heat to the area, then roll the ball bearing around across it several times
  6. Repeat as necessary until removed completely
  7. Press as usual

 

One ball bearing, 1.5" inch diameter.

One ball bearing, 1.5″ inch diameter.

If you see a pre-existing divot or dent in your cover you can try this trick out before pressing.   Or, if you had some dirt or debris on the pressing plate and/or comic book then you can try this method to fix your mistake.  Find or purchase a one and a half inch (1.5″) or two inch (2″) steel ball bearing.  These ball bearings are coated in oil from the factory to prevent rusting or corrosion.  Be sure to wipe your balls clean with a Clorox wipe.  Yes, I said to be sure to wash your balls.  You do not want your balls exposed to bare cover, either.  Always use silicone release paper squares when doing this trick with the ball bearing:

A tacking iron helps localize the area being worked on. You can also try flattening out spine ticks this way as well.

A tacking iron helps localize the area being worked on. You can also try flattening out spine ticks this way as well.

A tacking iron speeds this process up instead of using the press machine.  You can use the press machine if you don’t have a tacking iron.  The tacking iron helps localize the area being focused on.  Start by placing SRP underneath the cover being worked on.  Make sure a clean smooth surface is underneath the comic book.  I use a golden age mylite2+fullback so I can move the book around with ease.

After placing SRP above and below cover, heat and flatten the spot with a tack iron for only a few seconds.

After placing SRP above and below cover, heat and flatten the spot with a tack iron for only a few seconds.

Place a small square cut sheet of SRP on top of the cover being worked on.  You can place a backer board underneath the cover as well if the initial process doesn’t work the first time.  Keep in mind this method doesn’t always work.  For example, if you can see the divot pass through onto the next 4 or 5 pages of the book, this method might not be successful for you.  If the divot or dent removed ink and caused a color breaking divot you can press it back out but the ink removed will still show the dent.

After placing SRP above and below cover, heat and flatten the spot with a tack iron for only a few seconds.

After placing SRP above and below cover, heat and flatten the spot with a tack iron for only a few seconds.

After you now have the SRP and backer board in place, begin heating up the tack iron to 140-150 degrees for moderns or 160-165 degrees for bronze and copper.  After just a few seconds the book should be warm to the touch.

 

Set the ball bearing down on the heated spot, and press down firmly with the palm of your hand, rolling the ball bearing around the spot in a circular motion.

Set the ball bearing down on the heated spot, and press down firmly with the palm of your hand, rolling the ball bearing around the spot in a circular motion.

 

 

Place your clean and washed ball bearing down on top of the SRP square sheet on cover and begin rolling the ball around the location of the divot.  Press firmly with the palm of your hand as you press down with pressure and roll the ball in circular motions.

 

You can pinch the ball bearing as well and roll it around firmly in a circular motion.

You can pinch the ball bearing as well and roll it around firmly in a circular motion.

 

You can also pinch the ball bearing with your thumb and 2 index fingers while pressing downward with firm pressure.  Alternatively, you can carefully open the cover and perform the process on the underside of the cover if you can see the bump from other side.  This method is risky because you can put stress on the spine and create spine ticks.  Only try the underside if you feel the ball bearing isn’t working well on the top side of the cover.

Set the ball bearing down on the heated spot, and press down firmly with the palm of your hand, rolling the ball bearing around the spot in a circular motion.

Set the ball bearing down on the heated spot, and press down firmly with the palm of your hand, rolling the ball bearing around the spot in a circular motion.

The divot is gone from the trade dress logo on cover. The cover will be wavy from the localized tack iron. You are now ready to press the book as you normally would.

The divot is gone from the trade dress logo on cover. The cover will be wavy from the localized tack iron. You are now ready to press the book as you normally would.

The divot is gone from the trade dress logo on cover. The cover will be wavy from the localized tack iron. You are now ready to press the book as you normally would.

The divot is gone from the trade dress logo on cover. The cover will be wavy from the localized tack iron. You are now ready to press the book as you normally would.

The divot is gone from the trade dress logo on cover. The cover will be wavy from the localized tack iron. You are now ready to press the book as you normally would.

The divot is gone from the trade dress logo on cover. The cover will be wavy from the localized tack iron. You are now ready to press the book as you normally would.

 

You can see the final results of this 1975 Marvel Comics GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1 in this photo album.

 

Pressing Comic Books with Digital Codes or Inserts

All modern age Marvel Comics comic books will feature a digital code sticker for reading your comic book online.

All modern age Marvel Comics comic books will feature a digital code sticker for reading your comic book online.

If you have been studying my guide on “How to Press Comic Books with a T-Shirt Heat Press“, I have mentioned there are some advanced aspects to pressing comic books on your own.  One advanced technique I would like to talk about today is the modern age books from Marvel Comics.  These comic books all have a Marvel Digital Code stamp insert.  You peel the sticker off and unlock the digital code online for your reading enjoyment and for any additional extra content the issue might offer to its reader.  Of course, if the sticker is peeled off one of these comic books you can immediately knock a grade or two off the overall condition with a dreaded “INCOMPLETE” on the label.  Obviously, most collectors (and you included reading this guide) leave the sticker intact and proceed to press the book and have it graded.

You might ask: “But why would I press a brand new book?”.  Brand new comics (variants, store exclusives, limited print runs, virgin covers, etc) worth over $100 should definitely be pressed to smooth out the production and printer bumps/waves. That can make all the difference in the world from a 9.6 to a 9.8 with no spine ticks or splits.

Never giving any thought, if you try to press one of these books, you are in for quite a surprise:  an ugly square shaped imprint glaring at you right in the face on the back cover and the last 4-5 pages as well.  Click to zoom any image in this article for a closer look. 

Look at the back cover of this pressed 2018 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 Young Guns Variant by Aaron Kuder. Oops! See the square imprint to the left of the "G" on the Young Guns logo? Look closely at the square white bump. (Click to zoom in for a closer look)

Look at the back cover of this pressed 2018 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 Young Guns Variant by Aaron Kuder. Oops! See the square imprint to the left of the “G” on the Young Guns logo? Look closely at the square white bump. (Click to zoom in for a closer look)

Look at the back cover of this pressed 2018 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 Young Guns Variant by Aaron Kuder. Oops! See the square imprint to the right of the Young Guns logo? Look closely at the square white bump.

Look at the back cover of this pressed 2018 Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797 Young Guns Variant by Aaron Kuder. Oops! See the square imprint to the left of the “G” on the Young Guns logo? Look closely at the square white bump. (Click to zoom in for a closer look)

As an amateur presser, you must take extra steps to prevent this from happening.  I will write a future article on “How to fix Marvel Digital Code Imprints on Back Covers”.

 

These steps will ensure you don’t cause damage to the back cover, or subsequent pages either.  This technique should also be applied with care when considering any comic book that features a Tattooz insert (such as Amazing Spider-man #238), Image #0 Coupons, etc) or poster pullouts.  There are also comics that feature Mark Jeweler’s Inserts but those aren’t a problem at all.

Depending on the thickness of the book, you will use one of two types of fillers for this method to work.  You are going to use either comic book backer boards, or bright white copy paper.  Thick books with over 60 pages should use copy paper.  Thinner books that are less than 40 pages should use comic book backer boards.

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant

Let’s begin with a thinner glossy magazine pages paperstock modern age book.  This is the same book I featured in my blog post entitled, “Dry Cleaning Modern Age Comic Books with a Pencil Eraser“.    The book in question is $500 raw 9.4 copy of 2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 Todd McFarlane 1:1000 Incentive Remastered B&W Variant, as seen in this photo:

 

First thing you want to do is clean the book with a common pencil eraser or Absorene Eraser Pad and dust it off with a can of compressed air or a lotion-free tissue.  This is a black spine book, so we must take extra care of the spine and not cause any additional (one spine tick!  Can you believe it?!) spine damage to the book.  There is also a minor spine split at the bottom as well.  You must take absolute care as to not cause the existing spine split to split even more.  That is why we are doing a very light press on this book in this article, just to take out the cover bumps from production.

we are doing a very light press on this book in this article, just to take out the cover bumps from production

We are doing a very light press on this book in this article, just to take out the cover bumps from production and to avoid any damage to spine or cause a bigger spine split at bottom.

Since this is a thinner book, I am choosing to use the comic book backer board method to prevent a digital code imprint transfer during the pressing process phase.  You can use any size of backer board, such as modern age, silver age, or even magazine size.  In the following example I have chosen to use modern age size backer boards for in between the pages.  This book unfortunately already has a tiny spine split at the bottom, as seen in this photo:

Tiny 1/16" spine split at bottom of a spine on a 1:1000 inventive variant valued at $500.

Tiny 1/16″ spine split at bottom of a spine on a 1:1000 incentive variant valued at $500.

Find the centerfold of your book.

Set the black spine down on a sheet of Silicone Release Paper.  Find the centerfold of your book.

Take great care of the spine of your book and set the book down on a sheet of Silicone Release Paper. Find the centerfold of your book.  Place a backer board at the centerfold.  Do not snuggle the magazine size comic book backer board underneath the staples or on top of the staples.  Just up against the staples.

Place a backer board at the centerfold, against the staples. Not above or below the staples. Against the staples.

Place a backer board at the centerfold, against the staples. Not above or below the staples. Against the staples.

Next you will carefully close the book. Flip the book over, back cover side up. Find your digital code page.

Next you will carefully close the book. Flip the book over, back cover side up. Find your digital code page.

Next you will carefully close the book. Flip the book over, back cover side up. Find your digital code page.

Place a magazine size comic book backer board at the page where your digital code sticker page is resided.

Next you will carefully close the book. Flip the book over, back cover side up. Find your digital code page.

Next you will carefully close the book. Flip the book over, back cover side up. Find your digital code page.

Flip to the back cover. Place a magazine size comic book backer board at the last page between where your back cover and last page reside.

Place a backer board at the last page and back cover.

Place a backer board at the last page and back cover.

Be sure to place a third and final magazine size comic book backer board (or copy paper if it’s a thicker book) between the digital code sticker page and the page before it. This makes a total of three backer boards inside this book.

Be sure to place a final and third comic book backer board between the digital code sticker page and the page before it. This makes a total of three backer boards inside this book.

Be sure to place a final and third comic book backer board between the digital code sticker page and the page before it. This makes a total of three backer boards inside this book.

Be sure prior to pressing the book you back off the pressure adjustment screw on your press and lighten the pressure for the book’s thickness. You are pressing lightly so you do not need to worry about a vertical line traveling along the spine from the inconsistent size of the magazine size comic book backer boards against the inside spine of book.

You are pressing lightly so you do not need to worry about a vertical line traveling along the spine from the inconsistent size of the backer boards against the inside spine of book.

You are pressing lightly so you do not need to worry about a vertical line traveling along the spine from the inconsistent size of the backer boards against the inside spine of book.

Place 2 magazine size comic book backer boards on your press mat. Set 1 sheet of Silicone Release Paper on those 2 magazine size comic book backer boards.

Place 2 magazine size backer boards on your press mat. Set 1 sheet of Silicone Release Paper on those 2 magazine size backer boards.

Place 2 magazine size backer boards on your press mat. Set 1 sheet of Silicone Release Paper on those 2 magazine size backer boards.

Set the book down on the press carefully with SRP Paper and Magazine sized comic book backer boards.

Set the book down on the press carefully with SRP Paper and Magazine sized comic book backer boards.

Set the book down carefully and apply light pressure with your fingers to bump the cardstock up against the staples and spine. Place another sheet of Silicone Release Paper down on the book. Set a final pair of two magazine size comic book backer boards down on press.

Set the book down carefully and apply light pressure with your fingers to bump the cardstock up against the staples and spine. Place another sheet of Silicone Release Paper down on the book. Set a final pair of two magazine sized comic book backer boards down on press.

Set the book down carefully and apply light pressure with your fingers to bump the cardstock up against the staples and spine. Place another sheet of Silicone Release Paper down on the book. Set a final pair of two magazine sized comic book backer boards down on press.

Turn the press on and set your temperature to 150 degrees. Set your time to 500 seconds. Turn the pressure adjustment screw down to compensate for the thicker book and to prevent spine split.

Turn the press on and set your temperature to 150 degrees. Set your time to 500 seconds. Turn the pressure adjustment screw down to compensate for the thicker book and to prevent spine split.

Turn the press on and set your temperature to 150 degrees. Set your time to 500 seconds. Turn the pressure adjustment screw down to compensate for the thicker book and to prevent spine split.

After 500 seconds is up, you will flip the book over front side up and repeat the pressing for another 500 seconds. When the 500 seconds is up, turn off the press machine and leave the book inside machine for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, the book has been carefully removed from press to admire our handiwork.

After 24 hours, the book has been carefully removed from press to admire our handiwork.

We then flip through the book and examine the back cover to make sure the digital code has not imprinted onto the back cover or subsequent pages.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

We flip through the book to examine each page to make sure the digital code sticker has not imprinted itself onto any pages or back cover of book.

There will be trial and error through experience and doing more of these books over time, trust me. If you still see bumps, try applying slightly more pressure and try again. Always better to do light pressure and not enough, than to overdo it and ruin a valuable book!

Press on

Collecting High Grade Newsstand Editions for Investing in Comics

Remember when you could go to the grocery store or pharmacy with mom and get a comic book?  You could even go to these ancient bookstores called Waldenbooks or B. Dalton Booksellers and could buy a comic book off the spinner rack!   That was a long time ago.  If you are a comic book collector now, in 2017, you buy your comic books on ebay, an online retailer, or even at a local comic store. In almost 30 years, this is what happened to newsstand edition comic books:

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers (Old Chart)

Because of all of this, I would be mindful and watchful for any 1992 or newer newsstand edition comic books that feature a UPC bar code on the covers – especially if they are high grade. Specifically, any comics that are in a grade of 9.4 or higher and newsstand edition are selling for significantly more money than regular market value. Examples include Batman Adventures 12 Newsstand Edition, and any other modern day key issue book:

1993 DC Comics BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 Newsstand Ed. CBCS 9.4

1993 DC Comics BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 Newsstand Ed. CBCS 9.4

For earlier titles, there are exceptions to the rule. Some comics have the bar code on the back, like Marvel Comics Presents #72.   Any books post 2002 would have a UPC barcode on them no matter what now, but the difference is they all state “DIRECT EDITION”. You are looking for 2002 and newer comic books that have UPC Barcodes that do not show the words “DIRECT EDITION” in bold letters above or below the bar code.

Okay I broke down some maths. Let’s look at Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane.

1992 Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane

1992 Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane

That’s a very publicly well known number having a 1.7 million copy print run in 1992. 15% of comics in 1992 were allegedly newsstand. 225,000 (1/4 million copies) I estimated the newsstand edition to be a 1:1000 ration of rarity. So 1:1000 is not accurate, that was hand grenade accurate. 32 is more accurate. I think it’s even more accurate to say it’s a 3:100. Or, 30 in 1000, if you will. That’s still a very low number. Still rare. But not even a 1:100.

In summary, here’s what you need to know about High Grade Newsstand Collecting for Investing:

  • High grade. 9.4 or higher is ideal. Pressing services for comic books helps greatly!
  • The years for comics in 1972-1990 doesn’t really matter. It was a 50/50 ratio split in distribution of direct editions over newsstand editions.
  • Search for comic books from the years 1990-2001 with UPC bar codes on cover.
  • Search for comics from the years 2002-2017 with bar codes that do not say “DIRECT EDITION”.
  • Newsstand Edition error or recalled books are also wise investments.

You can experiment with this with your own Spawn #1 Newsstand search terms on ebay.  Try it!  This is the new hunt, people!  Have fun! The only place where I can find modern day 2016-2017 newsstand edition comic books is:

  1. Barnes and Nobles bookstores
  2. Books-a-Million bookstores
  3. Wal-mart
  4. Toys R’ Us

Good luck!

Marvel ended it’s newsstand marketplace in 2013.  2017 was the final year for DC Comics newsstand comics.   As of 2018, both have now since discontinued their newsstand marketplace to retailers nationwide.  A handful of comic book publishers still sell to newsstands, but mostly Marvel magazines and Archie comics.  I have updated the chart for a better visual of what’s happened to the market today.  Comic Book Grading Companies should distinguish the differences on their labels.  Specifically, after 2001.

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers by year and percentage.

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers by year and percentage.

 

Here are some examples of high grade newsstand edition rare covers of J Scott Campbell with his run on Amazing Spider-man. This is some of his earlier work, too:

Amazing Spider-man 476 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 476 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 492 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 492 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 493 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 493 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell-newsie-001

Amazing Spider-man 601 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell Very rare

Amazing Spider-man 601 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell with rare $3.99 cover price.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

The Secret to Obtaining Expensive “Low Print Run” Comic Book Variants for CHEAP

KRS COMICS EXCLUSIVE: LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES CON EXCLUSIVE: ONLY 150 AVAIL ONLINE ON KRSCOMICS.COM

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #1 reboot Mike Mayhew Variant KRS COMICS EXCLUSIVE: LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES
CON EXCLUSIVE: ONLY 150 AVAIL ONLINE ON KRSCOMICS.COM

The Secret to Obtaining Low Print Run Expensive Comic Book Variants for CHEAP

by KaptainMyke

This discussion popped up on the CBCS discussion forums today.  Many have asked how to obtain the newest Mattina Metal Virgin Variants and not pay the ridiculous $300 price tag on ebay.

Welcome to the new form of ticketmaster and stubhub!  Instead of concert tickets it’s comic books.  The real secret is to have “liked” their facebook page, and sign up for accounts with:

www.asseenonadultswim.com
The Aspen Store
braintrustcomics.com
The Nerd Store
kevineastmanstudios
Golden Apple Comics

Scorpion Comics
thecomicmint
ComicsExposure
www.7ate9comics.com
Sad Lemon Comics (UK)
Frankie’s Comics

unknowncomics.com
krscomics.com
Jetpack Comics
Midtown Comics
jscottcampbell.com
Marc Ellerby, (UK) (Rick and Morty)
and Tony Moore  websites, etc and so on.

This is just a fraction of what’s out there.  Google your favorite artist or comic book store online.  Sign up for an account and be sure to subscribe to their newsletters or emails.  When you get an email that a pre-sale is happening, hypothetically say, Saturday at 9am EST time zone, you should set your calendar 10 MINUTES EARLY and log into your account.  Go to the page you want to buy the book from, and be sure to sort at the top of results “New to old” and be one of those people hitting refresh every 2 seconds buying that store exclusive 3 pack featuring a B&W Variant, Trade Dress Variant, and Virgin Variant all for just a mere $75 while everyone else is stuck paying $300 for the Virgin variant art and $100 for the trade dress version.

With today’s modern variant trend continuing, it’s also smarter to go ahead and buy the CGC 9.8 prescreened and guaranteed graded slabbed pre-orders.  Any variant over $50 is worth the extra $25 to get a 9.8 guarantee.