Comics, Pulps, and Paperbacks: Why such a discrepancy in values?
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I'm partial to the Woolrich - in France they considered it an important addition to their existentialist philosophy, and I concur. But Dash is super. Latimer's 'The Fifth Grave' is something of a 'Red Harvest' sendup but superbly enjoyable.

 

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Interesting about Woolrich being interpreted as an existentialist. I'd never heard that. Then again, Sartre's "Nausea" wouldn't have been too out of place as a 1940s Popular Library PB.

 

The larger point worth dwelling on is how unpredictable the future market for any "collectible" will be. Just because there is still interest in super-heroes that is lifting all boats in comic fandom now, does not mean that this interest will still be there in the next generation. I remember that doowop records used to be super expensive and coveted items, because the '50s and '60s east coast generation loved them. But they have long since been overtaken by '60s rock and soul records which the younger collectors (worldwide) love much more than doowop.

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I'm partial to the Woolrich - in France they considered it an important addition to their existentialist philosophy, and I concur. But Dash is super. Latimer's 'The Fifth Grave' is something of a 'Red Harvest' sendup but superbly enjoyable.

Really enjoying the details about the writers and stories. If you ever feel like holding forth on other aspects of the texts, writers, etc., I will definitely be reading. (P.S. Is that a Belarski cover?)

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could well be Belarski and he did many for Pop Lib so... I’ll see if I can do more on stories-/-writers. 20 years ago wrote first draft of ‘Vintage Paperback Mystery Masters’ which I hope to revise and publish this year. The McCoy is lean and mean candidate for ‘great American novel’ and the Gresham that cool combo: super story with sweet (Avati) cover.

 

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I collect vintage paperbacks to read, first and foremost - there were some amazing writers churning out pulp noir paperback originals in the 50's. And there's just something about reading a copy that once graced a spinner rack in a 50's drugstore - it really puts you in the mood, so much more than reading a modern printing.

 

Maybe it's just second hand nostalgia. As a kid, we always had old paperbacks around the house - my parents would buy them at used bookstores, usually stocking up during the summer holidays. Creases, peeling cellophane, and covers that looked so fascinatingly grown-up to me as a kid... these vintage paperbacks continue to cast a powerful spell on me.

 

So here's a few more:

 

Fredric Brown mystery with a serial killer on the loose in Chicago, and a reporter hero who drags himself out of the gutter to solve the case.

 

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Another Frederic Brown classic, another unforgettable title.

 

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This was one I remembered vividly from my parents' bookshelf. With that striking cover image, it reeked of smoldering secret stuff. Even though it looks like just another Peyton Place potboiler, it packs a punch with its last chapters getting into the mind of a twisted young hoodlum.

 

kkkk050.jpg

 

Anyone know who did that cover? hm

Edited by Arkadin
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Hi,

 

Careful about the sales of 6th street books, as that is mainly with Spicy's. The other thing to watch is the fact that the one Spicy that sold for $5600 was re-listed by six street books and just sold for around $800.

 

Spicy's have always been great sellers, but believe it or not, their market has been higher and hotter in the past decade, and other than in this single owner collection which has gathered hype, the Spicy sales are not where they once were.

 

The reason that these Spicy's have sold so well is that it was a single owner collection and nearly a complete Spicy collection. One guy re-listed a couple of sixth street books on his own after purchasing some, and realized only half the value that he originally paid. Nevertheless, the collection is great, and the books are very nice, and the dealer selling them is very forthright and honest.

 

I have been following pulps the pulp market very carefully, and have been buying and selling high end pulps and collections over carefully over the past 15 years. Right now the market is in a slump, and other than the Ultra rare issues, high grade early hero titles (first or second year if the title), Spicys, and some Weird tales, pulp prices are much lower than they were six to ten years ago. I have an ultra high grade Shadow run, and I can tell you that the prices on hero pulps are down at least 50% from what they were from 2000-2008.

 

 

The pulps certainly have room to grow, but a number of factors inhibit this.

 

1). Availability, especially in grade

 

2). An aging collector base that grew up on the pulps and the pulp Hero's.

 

3). In order to create a frenzy, there has to be a fervour created, and to do that you need continuous sales, especially of the rare issues and high grade issues and there just is not enough supply to create this.

 

4) no slabbing (thank goodness) to create the investor market. You could slab the 1940's pulps, but not the 20's and 30's pulps with the large overhangs, without damaging the overhangs themselves.

 

5). The heavy hitters in the market, especially the silver age, have not grown up on the pulps, and maybe other than the Shadow, this generation and especially the previous generation have no affiation with the characters or pulps themselves.

 

6). Pulp collectors tend to collect for authors, and stories etc., and in general are not as demanding for the grade, therefore less competition.

 

7). A number of comic dealers jumped on board and then quickly got off the pulp bandwagon around 2000-2005, and a number of the heavy hitters that once collected the pulps (especially hero) are no longer collecting. I bought out 7 hard core Shadow collectors that would pay high prices, and now there are less collectors, and less demand.

 

8). Only a handful of all pulp collectors will spend some serious cash. Frank Robinson's lifetime collection of high grade pulps sold primarily to two people, with one person buying nearly 75% of the entire collection.

 

9). There have not been a string if successful movies created from pulp characters, just a couple of flops.

Dwight

 

I would have to say that would be the number one reason instead of ranking reason 9.

From what I gather there have been 7 major big time characters who came from pulps. 7 for all intents and purposes is a minimal number compared to comic book or videogame characters that could have movies developed about them.

1. Tarzan.

2. John Carter.

3. The Shadow (technically old-time radio).

4. Doc Savage.

5. Buck Rogers.

6. Zorro.

7. Conan the Barbarian.

Looking at those seven characters I would say Conan the Barbarian would be the best bet going forward in that his stories can still be told today without seeming dated.

Then maybe Tarzan and Zorro if rebooted correctly for modern audiences.

Although I think pulps are cool their lack of a modern character that mainstream movie audiences can relate to seems to be the main reason pulps have stagnated.

hm

Maybe the upcoming Tarzan and Conan big blockbuster movies will bring new interest back?

 

 

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Thought this was pretty cool, original art from a classic PB for auction-

 

Original art Link

 

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From this paperback-

 

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That is awesome thanks for posting!

 

 

 

 

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Just reading through these old messages, and wondering: Why isn't there more activity in here among collectors of vintage paperbacks? Is there another message forum where they are more likely to congregate?

 

Here are some books from my collection. I took these photos a few years ago and probably already posted them somewhere in the CGC forums, but not this thread. Since then, I have added quite a few cool books. Eventually I'll get out the books and the camera and take some much better pics.

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PB's were real hot 10-15 years ago among some comic collectors but the interest has just died off. Same with pulps. I feel the same with premiums and pinbacks (even if they are directly related to the comic books themselves). The covers you posted are jaw droppingly beautiful. I have many you have shown and love them for their covers and subject matter. I think comic book collectors just want comic books. On the bright side, dropping prices are wonderful for us collectors that appreciate and want them!

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PB's were real hot 10-15 years ago among some comic collectors but the interest has just died off. Same with pulps. I feel the same with premiums and pinbacks (even if they are directly related to the comic books themselves). The covers you posted are jaw droppingly beautiful. I have many you have shown and love them for their covers and subject matter. I think comic book collectors just want comic books. On the bright side, dropping prices are wonderful for us collectors that appreciate and want them!

What you say aligns with my observations. If that means I have a shot at some of the tougher books, then I'm all for it, though the books that are high on my wantlist tend to have the most competition.

 

I have a number of duplicates and books that I don't really want to keep, and I'm sorry if the market drop means I won't get much for them when selling. But then again, I didn't spend much to get them, so it's not a headache like it would be if the comic book market imploded.

 

P.S. I'm glad you enjoy the covers I posted!

 

To all vintage paperback collectors: Please continue posting here, and share your collections if you can!

 

 

 

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