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Newsstand Edition comics 1992 and newer are heating up

I would be mindful and watchful for any 1992 or newer newsstand edition comic books that feature a UPC bar code on the covers that 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.

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.  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 LOL

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 books helps!
  • 1972-1990 doesn't really matter.  It was a 50/50 ration split in distribution.
  • 1990-2001 with bar codes.
  • 2002-2016 with bar codes that do not say "DIRECT EDITION".
  • Newsstand Edition error or recalled books are also wise investments

 

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Here's a good one to justify rarity of a recent very modern book.  This happens to be an error cover, as well.

Justice League #51, which accidentally has the cover for issue #52.  It retains the $4.99 price tag, even though there are even more rare books with the $3.99 price tag that are newsstand edition.

If you inspect the UPC bar code, it does not state "DIRECT EDITION".  It also looks different from the comic book store version.   This book has a 1:1000 ratio distribution rate.  The amount that appear on ebay are very slim to none.

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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) 

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