Can we all agree that Marvel Whitmans are not a thing?
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239 posts in this topic

22 minutes ago, RCheli said:

I have heard people say that the colors on the Silver Age pence copies were brighter so that meant that they were printed first. I don't know if that's true or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Why, you ask? Well, printers often give you quotes with a +/- 10% number. It takes a lot to start/stop these presses -- especially older ones from the 1960s. You don't just put a number in a computer and press a button. The print masters are eying this up. They know, generally speaking, how many can be printed every minute, and they're guessing when to stop the run. You say you want the print run to be 100,000, you can get 90,000 or you can get 110,000. (This is not true with digital printing, which prints to a specific number and usually overprints at a much smaller amount, and that's mostly due to having some extras due to bad printing/cuts/tears/etc.)

So if Fantastic Four #15 had a pence and a US version. if they're going to over or under print, at the end, it's going to be for the version that has the most copies. There were (again, I don't know the real numbers, but this is a guess) 10,000 pence and 190,000 cent. They run the 10,000, stop the press, change the screen, run 190,000, run a few more for your overage. 

I have no idea if this is how they did it, of course. But this is based on working in advertising for a long time, and going to the places where they had these HUGE offset printing presses, but I suspect that's why they did the pence first.

The CGC graders themselves have noted 'deeper colour strikes' on early pence copies covers which may indeed indicate they were printed first. My gut tells me that some likely were and some weren't. There's little evidence that things were done in any ordered manner back in the day. There's a body of anecdotal evidence, but nothing concrete, to suggest the orders of printing. If you check out my research on pence copies and early Marvel price font variations, you'll see examples which indicate that cents copies were likely printed first, depending on how they were printed. In the various instances for example where a cents copy has a black 10c price set against a single colour cover, where its pence cousin has a 9d price set in an etched out white square price box, logic seems to me to indicate the cents would have come first. I'm away from my desktop otherwise I'd post examples. I see the books myself as equals. I don't think it matters which came first - a run of 20k pence and 180k cents is still the same single run in my view, regardless of printing order. There would have to have been a significant gap between printings in my view for one to be called a second printing or reprint. And we're only talking covers here, which were printed separately - the interiors were identical so would likely have been run off in full for both edition types. 

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2 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

I don't think it matters which came first - a run of 20k pence and 180k cents is still the same single run in my view, regardless of printing order. There would have to have been a significant gap between printings in my view for one to be called a second printing or reprint. 

Oh, I don't either. One doesn't make it a second print or first. It's all the same. I just was thinking about why one would have brighter colors. Pence/Whitman/Test Price/Newsstand/Direct... if the insides were all printed at the same time, they're all first printings to me. 

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7 minutes ago, RCheli said:

Oh, I don't either. One doesn't make it a second print or first. It's all the same. I just was thinking about why one would have brighter colors. Pence/Whitman/Test Price/Newsstand/Direct... if the insides were all printed at the same time, they're all first printings to me. 

Spot on. 

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6 hours ago, RCheli said:

Whitman had a lot of multi-issue packs from publishers other than Marvel, of course: Battle of the Planets, the Black Hole, etc. And even though the issues in those packs had different publication months, I am not knowledgeable enough to know if they were actually printed at different times (so was Battle of the Planets #7 which has a date of October 1980 actually printed a month before #8 which has a date of November 1980). If they were printed at different times (which I suspect), then Whitman would certainly have a warehouse capable of holding onto numbers issues of a single title and then packaging them together when they had 3 copies available.

Battle of the Planets and Black Hole were only published by Western. Issues 6-10 of Battle of the Planets and The Black Hole were only available in sealed packs. The only Black Hole Comic available through newsstands was Walt Disney Showcase #54. Battle of the Planets 1-5 were sold under Gold Key on newsstands and Whitman in bagged sets.  

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55 minutes ago, bellrules said:

Battle of the Planets and Black Hole were only published by Western. Issues 6-10 of Battle of the Planets and The Black Hole were only available in sealed packs. The only Black Hole Comic available through newsstands was Walt Disney Showcase #54. Battle of the Planets 1-5 were sold under Gold Key on newsstands and Whitman in bagged sets.  

Right, but were they printed all at the same time or were they printed every month like their indicia indicates? I don't know if we'll ever be able to answer that question. 

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4 hours ago, RCheli said:

What's the free prize?

I've seen foreign currency in some that I have.  Don't recall that I ever figured out what it was but presumably worthless.   And others have little paper game/trick type prizes.  Here are a few pics of some of those that I've saved away.

x.jpg

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3 hours ago, RCheli said:

Right, but were they printed all at the same time or were they printed every month like their indicia indicates? I don't know if we'll ever be able to answer that question. 

My best guess would be that they would print them once the art was approved and stockpile the books. Battle of the Planets 8 (11/80) came with Black Hole 4 (9/80) in the pack I have, but the 1/81 price error books from 1/81 all came in the same packs. I suspect that it took from 8/80 to 12/80 for Western to get their stuff together, and by 1/81 they caught up. Some of the books from 8/80 came with issues that were from 4/80 and earlier. That’s the beauty of the sealed packs. They help decipher how the books were sold. 

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0C0DA5EA-E16C-4A09-A896-58DE721DB5E9.jpeg

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13 hours ago, Warlord said:

I've seen foreign currency in some that I have.  Don't recall that I ever figured out what it was but presumably worthless.   And others have little paper game/trick type prizes.  Here are a few pics of some of those that I've saved away.

x.jpg

y.jpg

z.jpg

LAME! :)

(This is as bad as the new Cracker Jack prizes.)

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11 hours ago, bellrules said:

My best guess would be that they would print them once the art was approved and stockpile the books. Battle of the Planets 8 (11/80) came with Black Hole 4 (9/80) in the pack I have, but the 1/81 price error books from 1/81 all came in the same packs. I suspect that it took from 8/80 to 12/80 for Western to get their stuff together, and by 1/81 they caught up. Some of the books from 8/80 came with issues that were from 4/80 and earlier. That’s the beauty of the sealed packs. They help decipher how the books were sold. 

I think you're right, but unless we get the details of when every issue was actually sent to the printer, we'll probably never know. 

It's a shame that for decades Whitmans were seen as the red-headed stepchild of comics, or we may have had more accurate information about their distribution. I know that when I started really collecting in the early 80s, if I had a choice between a Whitman and a non-Whitman, I would never choose the one with the "W" in the corner. Never!

The other problem is that, of course, Western stopped publishing with any real regularity by 1980, and seemed to only print when they had sold through their available multi-packs. We can't really trust their indicia when it came to actual printing or on-sale dates those last 5 or so years. 

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2 hours ago, RCheli said:

I think you're right, but unless we get the details of when every issue was actually sent to the printer, we'll probably never know. 

It's a shame that for decades Whitmans were seen as the red-headed stepchild of comics, or we may have had more accurate information about their distribution. I know that when I started really collecting in the early 80s, if I had a choice between a Whitman and a non-Whitman, I would never choose the one with the "W" in the corner. Never!

The other problem is that, of course, Western stopped publishing with any real regularity by 1980, and seemed to only print when they had sold through their available multi-packs. We can't really trust their indicia when it came to actual printing or on-sale dates those last 5 or so years. 

I think they maintained their printing dates up until mid 1982. No books seemed to have been published in 1983. Once they sold through their stock and resumed printing, the eliminated the dates on the cover codes. 

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9 hours ago, Morganmi said:

Very interesting reading about the history of the direct market diamonds in this thread. Came accross this comic today with a 2 toned yellow and blue diamond. Had never seen anything but black and white diamonds. Is this normal?

 

 

Interesting observation.   It's normal for this issue.  I don't recall seeing this color pattern on any other diamond.

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1 hour ago, Warlord said:
10 hours ago, Morganmi said:

Very interesting reading about the history of the direct market diamonds in this thread. Came accross this comic today with a 2 toned yellow and blue diamond. Had never seen anything but black and white diamonds. Is this normal?

Interesting observation.   It's normal for this issue.  I don't recall seeing this color pattern on any other diamond.

It's like that because Marvel took the relatively unusual step of colouring the price / issue box on the standard newsstand issue - usually that area is printed white.

The same blue/yellow colouring was applied the the revised 'Whitman' version, presumably unintentionally:

mgc73.jpg.92b61cb5c914c7bce0d287f8c9af4a03.jpgmgc73w.jpg.79c6ef5c31bf02efdc5e13e8f6bfa7c9.jpg

I'm sure there are other examples out there of this. 

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17 minutes ago, Get Marwood & I said:

I'm sure there are other examples out there of this. 

A similar scenario here, albeit single colour:

ca214.jpg.9af88c133d6eab5b9dbdbd85cfee07ff.jpgca214w.jpg.7363585fb4b86d468110277b230902d3.jpg

 

And here's one the printer gets right, by clearing the blue for the 'Whitman' copy:

hf2.jpg.a0932065f33c5616688dfc279dbfc9af.jpghf2w.jpg.ab1c1f401951a16b5323dac591b8f63c.jpg

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On 3/9/2020 at 12:49 PM, RCheli said:

Oh, I don't either. One doesn't make it a second print or first. It's all the same. I just was thinking about why one would have brighter colors. Pence/Whitman/Test Price/Newsstand/Direct... if the insides were all printed at the same time, they're all first printings to me. 

I was mentioning this over in another thread; but the term we're really looking for is "state", not "printing".  Distinct variants from within the same print run are different states.  It also can be used when there are known to be more print runs than actual variations in the books, so when 2 or more print runs are indistinguishable they're a single state.

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2 hours ago, Get Marwood & I said:

It's like that because Marvel took the relatively unusual step of colouring the price / issue box on the standard newsstand issue - usually that area is printed white.

The same blue/yellow colouring was applied the the revised 'Whitman' version, presumably unintentionally:

mgc73.jpg.92b61cb5c914c7bce0d287f8c9af4a03.jpgmgc73w.jpg.79c6ef5c31bf02efdc5e13e8f6bfa7c9.jpg

I'm sure there are other examples out there of this. 

Ah ha you guys are good and that explains it perfectly. So all MGC #73`s have this color pattern in the box and it's not some weird variant within a variant. Very cool to know. ☺

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25 minutes ago, Morganmi said:

Ah ha you guys are good and that explains it perfectly. So all MGC #73`s have this color pattern in the box and it's not some weird variant within a variant. Very cool to know. ☺

Correct :)

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32 minutes ago, OtherEric said:

I was mentioning this over in another thread; but the term we're really looking for is "state", not "printing".  Distinct variants from within the same print run are different states.  It also can be used when there are known to be more print runs than actual variations in the books, so when 2 or more print runs are indistinguishable they're a single state.

Is that a printers / industry term then Eric, state?

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