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John Morlar's Journal Summary Page

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Get Marwood & I


Hello :)

Thanks for visiting my Journal. Or John's, if you're into frippery.

My name is Steve, I'm based in England, and for the last ten years or so I have been on a mission to confirm and record every first printing UK Price Variant that exists for the seven known American comic publishers that produced them. As well as that I have gathered data on other types of first printing price variants including Canadian and Australian books. Basically, all those little nuances that most people wouldn't give a flying fart at a rolling doughnut for.

You will find posts in the journal which summarise the latest position on 15 separate research strands (the first seven are the UKPV summaries):

  1. Archie UK Price Variants
  2. Charlton UK Price Variants
  3. DC UK Price Variants
  4. Dell UK Price Variants
  5. Gold Key UK Price Variants
  6. King UK Price Variants
  7. Marvel UK Price Variants
  8. Charlton Canadian Price Variants
  9. Charlton 15c Price Variants
  10. Marvel Australian Price Variants
  11. Marvel L Miller UK Indicia Variants
  12. Marvel 1999/2000 US Newsstand Price Variants
  13. Marvel Thorpe & Porter Indicias
  14. Marvel US Price Font Variations
  15. Thorpe & Porter UK Distribution Price Stamp Numbering

Each summary post has a hyperlink to discussion threads in which you will find a lot more detail if you are mad interested. 

For the lazy, each square below will take you to the respective Journal entry:






How to Tell a UK Price Variant From Something Else That Looks a Bit Like It

A question I am often asked, especially offline by those who can't bring themselves to post at CGC. Take a look at these four books (pictures always help I find):

97nds.thumb.jpg.c2c8befc07aa163dd48c3977dade7c54.jpg 97p.thumb.jpg.f02d9c261b9a3cf964679f59a1b68635.jpg 97s.thumb.jpg.c077eff93d7ae10a73f1f97886ca36c6.jpg 131.thumb.jpg.3d01483eb7644e083c95bebbc608ff55.jpg
                1.  US Cents Copy                             2.  UK Price Variant                     3. US Cents Copy (UK Stamp)                    4.  UK Reprint Title

The four books are:

  1. US Cents Copy 
  2. UK Price Variant
  3. US Cents Copy (UK Price Stamp)
  4. UK Reprint Title

The first three were all printed in America, at the same time on the same presses - they are part of the first end to end printing run / state. The fourth book is a reprint, manufactured in the UK specifically for the UK market and long after the original US production event. 

Of the four, only number two (get your jokes in now) is a UK Price Variant as it is the only copy from the original US production run with a printed UK price. A cents copy with a UK distributor stamp (our example book 3) is just that - a cents copy. It is not a UK Price Variant or a 'pence copy'. If you ever see a cents priced book with a UK distributor price stamp referred to as a 'UK Price Variant', or 'pence copy', know that that is wrong. Similarly, if you ever see a reprinted / repackaged title with a UK price on it, know that that also is not a UK Price Variant. A UK Price Variant can only exist if there is an original US publication for it to be the variant of, and only where both books were printed at the same time on the same presses.

So, those four books again:

  1. US Cents Copy - the original book, produced by the US for the US market. The guvnor. A first printing.
  2. UK Price Variant - produced at the same time as the guvnor, as part of the same print state, but with a price plate change for the UK market (we like them too). A first printing.
  3. US Cents Copy (UK Price Stamp) - the guvnor again, just with a UK price stamp on it to show that the book was shipped to the UK to be distributed and sold there, usually because no UKPV was made.  A first printing.
  4. UK Reprint Title - nothing to do with the first three books. Not a first printing. Just a book the UK obtained the rights to to produce an after the event, repackaged title for the UK market. Such books should never be called the 'UK Edition' of a US original comic as they often are when they share a common cover or content. They are not - they are their own publication and nothing to do with the original US title that they reprint whether in whole or part. In the example shown, 'Spider-Man Comics Weekly' should never carry the designation of 'UK Edition'. It is a specific UK publication and should be referred to as such. 

Hope that helped.

While we're on the subject, here are two examples of my many attempts to explain why I favour the term "UK Price Variant" which you'll find scattered among CGC board threads:




UK Price Variants - How Many of the Bloody Things Can There Be?

As I said earlier, there are seven known US Publishers who produced UK Price Variants and here are the up to date issue totals for each as at the 11th of December 2022:

  1. Archie UK Price Variants - 26 confirmed issues 
  2. Charlton UK Price Variants - 598 confirmed issues
  3. DC UK Price Variants - 840 confirmed issues 
  4. Dell UK Price Variants - 223 confirmed issues
  5. Gold Key UK Price Variants - 122 confirmed issues
  6. King UK Price Variants - 24 confirmed issues
  7. Marvel UK Price Variants - 3,023 confirmed issues 

That makes a total of 4,856 confirmed UK Price Variants if you're feeling ambitious. And patient. And rich.

Have a read of my discussion threads and / or journal summary pages to see how many more UKPVs may be out there for each confirmed publisher.

Thanks for looking and be seeing you... 



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Recommended Comments

It would appear that both UK price stamps on that ASM are second hand prices, initially 5p for a book that had a shilling price for the UK variant, and then later a 3p sale price, which would differentiate it from an American edition with a distributor stamp for a UK price, which as you say was generally reserved for books where there was no UK price variant. 

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6 hours ago, rjpb said:

It would appear that both UK price stamps on that ASM are second hand prices, initially 5p for a book that had a shilling price for the UK variant, and then later a 3p sale price, which would differentiate it from an American edition with a distributor stamp for a UK price, which as you say was generally reserved for books where there was no UK price variant. 

Indeed. The salient point is that such a stamped book is not a UK Copy, or a Pence Copy, or a UK Variant. It's a US Copy, distributed in the UK. 

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