Recent Pre-Code Purchases
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That Weird Terror cover is great; I've seen that one for sale a few times, seldom as nice as your copy! Weird Terror is one of those titles that I'd like to do a run of someday, but I've got a couple others I want to finish first (Black Magic and Beware! Terror Tales).

 

Oh, got another series of harrassing questions for POV laugh.gif I was going through the older pre-code threads and read about your attempt to compile one issue from every pre-code title. How's that coming along? Halfway there? What's the average condition of your books, and which ones have been tough to catch (I'm guessing that some of those Avon one-offs aren't easy to get at a reasonable price). Anyhow, just curious...your collection sounds like none other that I'm aware of! thumbsup2.gif

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I hadn't thought of the Horrific #3 as particularly high grade until you mentioned it, but it is a very glossy flat copy. When I bought it from Harley Yee 10 years back ( for a whopping $38), I think he called it a FN- , probably due to the spine wear (no splitting though) and the edge tanning at the top and bottom of the covers (more noticable on the inside). After looking at alot of CGC scans of GA books (and even buying a few) I'd feel safe calling it at least a FN 6.0

 

Here is another excellent Don Heck cover - when I was a Marvel zombie in the early 70s, I didn't appreciate his talents, but when I discovered there was more to pre-code horror than EC, I realized how great he was. And you've got to love the logos on the Comic Media horror books - did he design them?

 

595101-weirdterror7.jpg

 

893whatthe.gif ....I"ve got to get me that book....Amazing

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Oh, got another series of harrassing questions for POV I was going through the older pre-code threads and read about your attempt to compile one issue from every pre-code title. How's that coming along? Halfway there? What's the average condition of your books, and which ones have been tough to catch (I'm guessing that some of those Avon one-offs aren't easy to get at a reasonable price). Anyhow, just curious...your collection sounds like none other that I'm aware of!

 

I am at 42.016806722689075630252100840336% (approximately) complete. Have two in the G/G+ range. 12 in the VG/VG+ range. The rest are from F to NM. The Avon 1-shots have been hellish. Currently I have I currently have Night Of Mystery and Phantom Witch Doctor. Still need City Of The Living Dead, Diary Of Horror, Eerie 1947 and The Dead Who Walk. Cap 75 is the other major crook in my back, so to speak! Just too much $$$ for a plain old AA Horror book.

 

I could have gotten about 80% complete easily but am trying for covers I am looking for and in at least Fine (except for the ocassional real key). The Atlas books and ECs are easy to complete so they are lower on my list.

 

I used to joke about this but - my feeling is that precode hroor has kind of peaked for the average book. My last perusal at Wondercon 2004 was disappointing. A good amount of precode horror but really stupid prices and upon returning the next day - well - most all were still there. The prices being asked just are no longer in line with what folks will pay. I see a levelling of precode horror to a more reasonable level by dealers. It has already happened on ebay! But I tend to not order much anymore through ebay, unless i really know the seller.

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POV, I agree with you about the prices of pre-code horror. To be specific, I think that the prices for mid-low grade pre-code horror common issues without classic covers or artists is way overpriced right now. Who is spending $100 on a common mid-grade copy of Witches Tales, Adventures Into The Unknown or Web of Mystery? I'd like to hear more about the pre-code horror market from dealers because I simply don't see how they are getting the prices I see listed on websites and see at shows.

 

On the other hand, I still think there are a number of books that still sell for 1.5-2 times guide and books that should be broken out in the guide and given increases over other surrounding books from the same title.

Edited by paull
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POV, I agree with you about the prices of pre-code horror. To be specific, I think that the prices for mid-low grade pre-code horror common issues without classic covers or artists is way overpriced right now. Who is spending $100 on a common mid-grade copy of Witches Tales, Adventures Into The Unknown or Web of Mystery? I'd like to hear more about the pre-code horror market from dealers because I simply don't see how they are getting the prices I see listed on websites and see at shows.

 

On the other hand, I still think there are a number of books that still sell for 1.5-2 times guide and books that should be broken out in the guide and given increases over other surrounding books from the same title.

 

I agree with this! While the term "common" may be misleading, there ARE a lot of commons relatively speaking. Just go to, say, Harley Yee's boxes of precode horror and yes - there are a LOT of just so-so (again so-so is relative).

 

And I agree with the breakouts. I feel two of my favorite covers, Menace 11 and Mister Mystery 13 should be broken out. But - after a lot of thought about this, if they WERE to be broken out I would only be hapy if the breakout actually refected more being paid for those two.

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I agree that pre-code prices won't spike again anytime soon. At least another 3-5 years before we see significant increases, and some decreases and levelling out should take place soon, if it hasn't already. I think that there are a few titles that will always get nice multiples....weird mysteries, weird tales of the future, and dark mysteries always seem to do very well on ebay and elsewhere. Other books can't achieve crazy multiples, though, unless they're (1) from top-notch pedigrees like the spokane books, or (2) slabbed at crazy-high levels (9.4, 9.6, 9.8).

 

Still, it seems to me that most pre-coders like to read their books, and are consequently mid-grade collectors (F+ seems to do for most, no?) As a result, the mega-high grade books sit on comiclink, metro, etc., forever. They very rarely move, even when the prices seem pretty fair. Meanwhile highgrade SA breezes out the door at laughably high prices. I think this will change, as the market is fickle, and trends cycle in and cycle out. But I don't see a sudden shift in the forseeable future. If you're into spending the bucks for high-grade NM copies, now is the time to do it, as several of the major suppliers have more than they know what to do with. But some of those suppliers still need to drop their prices considerably if they expect to have cash in the register as opposed to a wall full of pretty books.

 

Thanks for the answers POV, sounds like you've got one of the nicest pre-code collections going! Almost halfway there, yikes, I've got some catching up to do, that's for sure!

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Still, it seems to me that most pre-coders like to read their books, and are consequently mid-grade collectors (F+ seems to do for most, no?)

 

F+??? Absolutely. Would be tickled pink to have a precode type set of Fine+!!!!!!!!

 

At least another 3-5 years before we see significant increases

 

893scratchchin-thumb.gif I don't know. Maybe on certain books yes. But as an overall genre? I honestly don;t see it even in 3-5 years, unless there more new collectors hit the market. But it looks like the BA, and especially DC BA Horror, is taking the banner now.

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There's no way that we're going to see a boom in pre-code horror prices like we saw in circa 1995-1996 anytime soon. Look at the top books in the genre: Eerie #1, Adventures Into The Unknown #1, Mister Mystery #12, Horrific #3, Vault of Horror #12, Tales of Terror Annual #1, etc. These books are all selling for over guide right now. It takes undervalued books by collectors and dealers for a boom to occur, and it just can't happen with pre-code horror. There may be specific titles, artists or publishers that will get more recognition and see appropriate price jumps, but it won't be genre-wide.

 

I predict that we're going to see a levelling off of the common issues. There's going to be some resistance to the prices that are out there right now.

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I think we also have to consider what would bring people to collect horror books (besides insanity of course)... does a lack of good, current horror books mean that people collect older ones? does a resurgence of current horror books push people to buy old ones? Is horror a timeless genre? If you say "of course!"... what about westerns? Where do you see the market for western-themed comics going in the next 10-20 years?

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Still, it seems to me that most pre-coders like to read their books, and are consequently mid-grade collectors (F+ seems to do for most, no?) As a result, the mega-high grade books sit on comiclink, metro, etc., forever.

 

The big problem with the Mega-High Grade (or even CGC 8.0 copies) is that there are NO SALES to compare it with. I would love to buy a bunch of Pre-Code books from ComicLink or Metro, and would gladly pay 150% of guide for nice CGC 8.0 to 9.0. But they usually have the CGC copies at 200-300% of guide, and certain pedigrees like the Spokane, are priced even higher. 893frustrated.gif

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An 8.0 key horror book is a holy grail. You're right... how often does an 8.0 Weird Mysteries #2 or Mister Mystery #4 trade hands? If you had one for sale, it might be the only one on the market at the time. Name your price...

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While I largely agree with you, Paull, the unknown quanitity here is the amount of pre-coders that will come to the genre in the future. If the number of collectors doesn't change much, then I think your predictions about pricing are basically accurate. However, as POV rightly points out, BA horror (particularly DC in NM) is on the move, and it's my hunch that if BA horror attracts enough dollars, some of those collectors will eventually migrate towards precode stuff. Not all collectors, but some. And the key here, as we've been discussing, is that pre-code in high grade is very scarce. There isn't enough to go around, if interest happens to increase.

 

You can add one or two dozen high-grade SA collectors to the market without rocking the boat too much. There's plenty of that stuff to go around. But the same isn't true of GA. A few new movers and shakers in the market could really upset things and make the high grade pre-codes harder to obtain than they already are.

 

Of course, this could all be wishful thinking, as I've got a few high-grades I'd like to sell someday for serious $$$ when the revolution comes!!!! yay.gif

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shrunkenhead, I tend to believe that the BA horror run right now is being fueled for the most part by the BA gold rush over the past few years, not because these people are necessarily horror fans. These people had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the price boom... I can't see how these same people who are used to paying $100 for a BA CGCed 9.2 book will react when they are paying 2-3x that for a VG raw copy of a GA horror book. I think they are more speculators than readers.

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Paull,

 

 

On that point you may be right, there are no doubt more speculators fueling than market than readers. So, I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.

 

Still, there's money to be made in ultra high-grade precode. I just noticed that a Tales from the Crypt #33 in CGC 9.6 sold on Comiclink for $3,500! Yowza! 893whatthe.gif

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And as far as westerns go, I don't think they'll ever see the same sort of spike that horror has. There's a number of reasons for this...primarily, though I think it's a genre that hasn't aged well. The covers are generally not grabbers, so many of the stories stink, and it doesn't have the "gore/gross" factor going for it (let's not forget that comics are a Male market--guys like covers with gore, guns, and boobs...sad, but true!). There are a few western keys that I wouldn't mind having, but I'm not likely to buy them as there's so much other material I'd rather have.

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shrunkenhead, I tend to believe that the BA horror run right now is being fueled for the most part by the BA gold rush over the past few years, not because these people are necessarily horror fans. These people had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the price boom... I can't see how these same people who are used to paying $100 for a BA CGCed 9.2 book will react when they are paying 2-3x that for a VG raw copy of a GA horror book. I think they are more speculators than readers.

 

I think, Paull, you have it backwards when you say "I can't see how these same people who are used to paying $100 for a BA CGCed 9.2 book will react when they are paying 2-3x that for a VG raw copy of a GA horror book."

 

I DO consider myself a precode horror collector. Actually had three long boxes of them! Really! And all differnt. A large percent of all pre-code horror.

 

But I honestly never knew about DC BA horror until last year and these boards, Thing is, DC in pre-code horror was a total DUD. Yes, a few cool things like Sensation (had them), early HOM (had them) etc. But overall? Nothing special. In my precode checklist I have three titles: House Of Mystery, Sensation Comics and Sensation Mystery. Certainly nothing to point me to precode DC horror.

 

For me the things was THE CODE - that horrid white stamp in the upper right corner that put a stop to horror in my world. Now it was many years, and overall, actually the 70's, that really showed the DC horror. But I ask you. Does someone who specializes in pre-code horror keep an eye on the 70's? If they are lucky, yeah! But overall, I THINK we tended to our own garden.

 

So what happens? Witches Tales. House Of Secrets. Ghosts. The Mansion books (Dark and Forbidden and their progeny), Weird War Tales, Phantom Stranger etc etc etc.

 

Now, I honestly ask, for someone intent on getting their beloved precode horror, how many of these titles would pass their eyes? In my case, none. But I may be an atypical precode collector. I honestly don;t know.

 

But from what I am seeing of the DC (AND Charlton) BA horror - many of them rival the precode.

 

Just one lone opinion in a sea of - well - opinions.

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As for me, I have no interest in BA horror. I have a number of books with Wrightson stories from HOS and HOM that I bought about fifteen years ago, but I don't foresee myself buying any more. The BA books simply aren't gruesome enough for me!

 

I think a lot of people are interested in BA books because of the price spike and quick return on investment.

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Myself, I love the BA horror comics, simply because I love HORROR COMICS! The DC material especially has art and story quality that all horror comic fans ought to be able to enjoy.

 

I personally started SERIOUSLY collecting horror with the pre-code books. Pre-code books were all "grails" to me at one time. I didn't want anything to do with a book with a code stamped on it. However, as a kid I had bought and read titles like Unexpected off the racks in the late 70's and early 80's. So, what happens to a lot of collectors my age is that one day maybe we don't have the cash for a pre-code book, or are maybe feeling a little stingy or are appalled by a dealer asking price, and we mosey along elsewhere and stumble upon a BA HoM or HoS and we pick it up for a pittance and realize..... hey! I remember these! They aren't so bad!

 

A friend of mine (and board member here, hehe) traded almost his entire pre-code horror collection to more quickly complete his HG DC and Charlton BA horror runs. At first, I thought it insane. Then I realized that the BA books have a more personal draw/attachment for collectors in my age range. We grew up on this stuff, but ignored it for awhile because of the stigma of that little white stamp. I think that is what has happened in the horror market. Prices were getting out of hand a few years ago for pre-code, and Gen X'ers moved slowly more and more away from that and toward the material that we have memories with.

 

Now, a couple years after the migration, the speculators are joining in and an unslabbed HoM advertised as 9.4 goes for over $300 while a nice VG Atlas pre-code ends on the same day for less than $10 !!! screwy.gif

 

Pre-code horror is always going to do well simply because it is what it is. Hopefully, the balloon inflation days of the mid 90's will never happen again. I know I'm happy to be paying less on average for a book now! thumbsup2.gif If only more dealers will wake up to the fact that more pre-code will move if priced accordingly. In the world of comic book collecting, you never know what is going to happen..... insane.gif

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Hey, this is semi-unrelated, but did you guys see the Thing #1 CGC 8.0 on ebay? Pretty nifty book. Sadly I bid my limit but was already outbid, and there's still several days remaining. Ah well, doesn't look like I'll be getting that sucker. Maybe one of you guys will grab it? 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

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