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Hey Comicwiz, is this a decent price for this book?

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Sorry Bonds25

 

I was away on vacation... cool.gif

 

In case you missed the auction, don't sweat over it; I've seen plenty of 2nd printing copies of Zap 2 in my time, and I've got two slabbed at NM 9.4, and at least three other copies which have been recently acquired in the NM+ 9.6 - 9.8 range. If you are looking for one, let me know. A CGC VF 8.0 copy leaves much to be desired.

 

The first printing copy is actually the tough one. I've only really seen a handful, and Jay's (please refer to Jay Kennedy's New Wave & Underground Comics Price guide, 1982) notes on distinguishing a first print are... well, kind of useless. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Jay intentionally reported an error on this copy in his guide (It is a well known fact that Jay Kennedy, in an effort to protect his work from getting ripped-off by other "would-be" underground comic guides, intentionally printed errors in his guide -- this way, if someone decided to rip his stuff off, he would have proof). The reason why I think this book is erroneously reported is because I've had 1st and 2nd printing copies up against one another, and no matter how good you are at determining paper weight, the Zap Comics #2 is not the easiest to distinguish from a 2nd print.

 

There is a way of determing a 1st print Zap #2 that not many know about.. and that includes Jay (I've got it written down in my notes)... I just got back from my trip and badly need to get some shut-eye. I'll post it in a reply tomorrow...

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How To Distinguish A First Printing Copy Of Zap Comix 2 (I'm sure heritagecomics.com would have appreciated this tid-bit of info before buying their copy grin.gif )

 

Please visit the following link (simply click on the link below)

 

http://www.mindscapemedia.com/zap2cutoff.jpg

 

If you had a copy of Zap Comix # 2 in front of you now, you would see a full page story from underground comix legend S. Clay Wilson about 3/4 of the way through the book -- the story entitled " Head First ." Near the end of the story (and in that exact cell drawing depicted on the image I have provided) is a drawing of a pirate who cuts of a man's "pr_ck-off" in a bar -- a play on humor that really costs the guy on the other side of the knife. shocked.gif

 

A second printing copy would have about 2-3" inches of space below the border of that same cell. A first printing copy seems to exhibit a rather crude trimming job that nearly affects the story line. What has become apparent in my findings, as well as other underground collectors is that first printing copies are the only copies in a series of various printing variations, to exhibit this printing defect. Although not necessarily as much a "printing" error as much as it is an assembly and "trimming" error, the cutoff cell in that story -- the critical scene of the "mates" pr_ck being sliced-off, remains the only real way to determine a first print copy of Zap Comix # 2.

 

If you own a copy of Zap 2, and the cell (drawing) cuts off at the bottom of

the page like it does in the image I have provided, then its a bonafide first printing copy -- and I'm ALWAYS interested in buying grin.gif

 

BTW: for those of you frantically peering through your copies, to reiterate, *that story is found in 3/4 of the way through the comic. smirk.gif

 

All the best

 

* Head First -- S. Clay Wilson: appearing in Zap Comix # 2

 

 

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Thanks Bronty

 

Most of the information I collected began about 10 years ago, and I really only started compiling the really useful stuff after I began going through some of the material myself, and comparing what Jay wrote in his guide. I found some inconsistencies, and began realizing that there must have been a reason why Jay made such blunders... I lobbied the idea over to some other underground guys and they seemed to think I should leave the crack pipe at home smile.gif

 

And then Jay emailed me about a book I put up on ebay; he was still new to the concept of slabbing, so I explained some of the advantages. During this time, I lobbied the question to him myself, and he concurred that in fact those errors were intentional... and then I came across this neat interview:

 

http://www.ugcomix.info/mailbag/mailbag.html

 

Under the "Frequently Asked Question" column of the above page, you will find an interview entitled "02/22/2001 INTERVIEW with JAY KENNEDY" -- read that and you'll understand better why those errors were published intentionally.

 

Happy Hunting!

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Comicwiz, thanks for the detailed answer! I guess I didn't get such a great deal afterall, but luckily I didn't pay too much for the book!

 

Not necessarily true; I didn't mean to illustrate that a second printing copy is worthless; on the contrary, I do believe that anything before third and later printings are more valuable than most underground comic collectors believe them to be.

What must be realized is that early printing undergrounds, like the Zap 2, did not go into major print runs until it was understood that a demand existed. This was not established well into the time, and in some cases not until Jay's guide came out in 1982.

 

By then, underground comix publishers budgets were already run thin. Most did not surivive the last gasp and ended up getting evicted, kitchen sink et al. So for the record, a Zap 2, 2nd printing, which may not have hit the 30,000 print mark, is still not as rare as lets say a Zap 2 1st print run of perhaps 5-10,000 comics, but when looking at the numbers, one must consider that distribution is always a key determinant. Were not talking Diamond here, were talking head shops, and some specialty book shops at best... NOWHERE near the complexity of distribution comics have felt in the last quarter century. Case in point; Mickey Mouse meets the Air Pirates Funnies... this is the book which marks the landmark case launched by Disney against Hell comics for ripping-off their most bankable asset: Mickey Mouse. Although the comic had a print run of about 30,000, because the presses were halted once Hell comics recieved their court injunction, and because the book only had that single solitary print run (a second issue -- ie # 2 -- was later printed against the court & disneys wishes), and because the books were not only banned from future sales, but were actually confiscated from the press, the rarity of this book is still uncertain. I would be hard-pressed to believe that more than 1/3 actually got distributed, and Hell had to pretty much eat the rest. If you find a high-grade copy, buy it! I've got a CGC VF+ 8.5, and a NM+ copy I'm not willing to let go for anything... if anyones interested in the VF+ copy, let me know.

 

All the best

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Were not talking Diamond here, were talking head shops, and some specialty book shops at best... NOWHERE near the complexity of distribution comics have felt in the last quarter century.

 

It is fascin8ting to read about the underground books. Donlt know a lot about them except I read a lot of them back then.

 

ComicWiz - you seem to have a good handle on this. My assumption is that, especially with the 1st and 2nd printings, that a lot of these books are not in very good condition becuase of the circumstances? Not to put too fine a point on it, but getting stoned may not be the greeatest contributor to proper handling of a comic for maximum longevity. Thoughts?

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It is fascin8ting to read about the underground books. Donlt know a lot about them except I read a lot of them back then.

 

Back in the early 80's, I inherited a massive collection of comics. The collection was divided between 75% mainstream, and 25% underground comics. Its safe to say that for the previous owner, money was no object. Because I was still too young to appreciate UG's back then, it wasn't until later that my interest shifted to undergrounds. I guess what made it most fascinating for me was the thrill of the hunt; locating high grade examples of key UG's is tough, much tougher than say key DC''s, Timelys and Marvels. Although the previous owner was Canadian born, he spent most of his time down south, and for the most part, he purchased a high percentage of his undergrounds from the Bay area. S.F. California is where some of the highest graded examples of UG's have come from time and time again.

 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but getting stoned may not be the greeatest contributor to proper handling of a comic for maximum longevity. Thoughts?

 

Charlie Plymell wrote an interesting essay entitled "Zap's first Printer on Robert Crumb" from his book Hand on the Doorknob which touches on the point of assemblers of Zap Comix 1 being stoned on LSD and pot while the book was in production:

 

http://www.mindscapemedia.com/comicwiz/charles_plymell.htm

 

With the benefit of hindsight, I'm not sure whether mentioning how everyone was stoned was really nothing more than Charlies alibi for not producing the quantities expected of that print run; Don Donahue, the original publisher, and second printer of Zap Comix 1, had told me in an interview that one of the reasons why Plymell did not continue with the job (2nd printing) was because Don had to constantly nag him to come up with the numbers (originally, Zap Comix 1 was supposed to reach a print run of 5,000, but if you read the essay Charlie wrote, it suggests that those final numbers being much lower). Zap 1 was "the" project which allowed underground comics to flourish - in a sense, gave the counter-culture community the legs it needed to express itself in a medium that seemed, well, accepted; artists began congregating and assembling works for a variety of projects. Although counter-culture was still a "no-no" even in the eyes of J. Edgar Hoover and his band of Men in Black , companies like kitchen sink, apex novelties, and last gasp began employing the same production methods as some of the more successful mainstream comic companies, and in doing so, began producing commercial status numbers. Producing MORE comics had to mean less of a human element... which mean less handling on the production side. By the time this happened, most of the popular underground comic titles were well into 5th and 6th printings. Finding higher grade examples of later printings is always much easier than the first two.

 

My assumption is that, especially with the 1st and 2nd printings, that a lot of these books are not in very good condition becuase of the circumstances?

 

Yep, and that's what everyone thought when I started collecting undergrounds; but the truth is, there were a handful of UG collectors in the U.S. that began adopting preservation approaches to storage, and preserving comics from the counter-culture era of the late 60's and early 70's. The covers on most underground comics from that era were consistent with, and sometimes even higher in quality than their mainstream counterpart. For the most part, Zap Comix 1 and a few other low distribution undergrounds like Das Kampf and Adventures of Jesus were hand assembled, and finding a copy of one of these books which was either complete, or was completely free of smudging and fingerprints is near impossible. The biggest challenge with undergrounds were the guts; newsprint paper which quickly yellows and tans, unlike the properties of pulp used in mainstream comics, UG's guts tend to age much, much quicker. Keeping them in air-tight environments free of any humidity is important. I had two copies of Homegrown Funnies, both graded by CGC as NM/M 9.8, one was Cream-OW, and the other was Cream Pages. The one with the better page quality was in a different storage facility, and later, I discovered that the backing board used on that book was acid-free, but the other wasn't. So something as simple as insuring the backing board is acid-free can make it or break it for UG comics when speaking of page quality.

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