Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

How many exist?

36 posts in this topic

Is there anywhere/how to find out the amount of existing copies known to exist of major titles? for example:

Action

Marvel

Sub

Detective

etc.

 

I know in OPG they state some specific issues, but are ther any better sources?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

good question.....but there are only estimates. Many years ago I remember a guy wrote an article in CBG after doing research to answer this question. I think it was a Lawrence something or other.... It was a well regarded survey he had done by speaking with top collectors and dealers as to how many they had ever seen, bought and sold.

 

This is the kind of question a site like this would be useful for...but I dont think even here we are getting enough breath of collecting experience to answer it. I didnt get all that many informative answers to the threads I started...(no offense) just mostly hearsay and passed along rumors like the whole retouched MH Action #1 thing. Not that many people have ever seen all that many copies of these books....and only THEY can guestimate the numbers accurately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there were some estimates made by Gerber on all the major Gold and Silver books (may have been just Marvel?) not sure what the publication was.

Try running a search on the boards I'm sure there was a thread a while back with key book estimates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got to agree with you, they are only estimates, just wondered if this was in print?

 

I am a great believer/optimist that there could very well be a NM copy of Action #1 in someone attic, among a pile of newspaper or whatever. Even 100 years from now this could be the case. As time goes by, it becomes more unlikely, but never say never!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think anything is possible when it comes to discovering items. I recently saw that a lost Rembrant painting was found. There was also a thread recently about a business from the 1950's with original contents that is now being sold. I guess we will have to wait and see, but you never know.

 

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you don't have the two volume set of Gerber Gold/Silver Picture Guide to Comics, GO BUY IT. It is absolutely wonderful.

 

Seeing all the covers is great but he has a rarity number by every issue of every Golden Age title and many Silver Age titles.

 

Is it perfectly accurate, of course not. But it was based on the information he got from many dealers/collectors as he ran around the country photographing the nicest copies in exsistence he could find.

 

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a great believer/optimist that there could very well be a NM copy of Action #1 in someone attic, among a pile of newspaper or whatever. Even 100 years from now this could be the case. As time goes by, it becomes more unlikely, but never say never!

 

Anyone here ever tried to mine the census bureau's data? For example, find out how many people who would have been of "collecting age" in the late '30s are still alive ... cross referenced with housing data (i.e. length of current residence) ... cross referenced with ...?

 

Could make for an interesting experiment.

 

Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Gerber makes estimates for every issue listed and assigns a numeric value to indiacte scarcity. (7 or 8 is quire scarece, 3 is average availability for the genre/timeframe) etc. Of course it is impossible for this to be really accurate but I think it does give a feel for the more common and less common issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...and dont settle for the first set you see. Many went unsold and you can find bunches of them cheap here and there. Check with Diamond/Geppi/Gemstone too, since they bought the publishing company and , probably, all the inventory too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As many of the earlier posters have been telling you, the Gerber Photo-Journal Guide is the best place to go. Volumes 1 and 2 covers the Golden-Age books and provides full-colour photos (21,000) of most of the golden-age books. Larger photos are provided for key comics and classic cover comics. I strongly believe that the issuance of this two-volume set spawned the classic cover craze which we have been in for the last 10 years.

 

As to your census query, Gerber attempts to estimate the number of copies in existence for each Golden-Age book with a Scaricity Index. For example, a book with a scarity index of "6" such as Captain America #3 is considered to be Uncommon with an estimate of only 50 - 200 copies in existence for ALL grades while Captain America with a S.I. of "4" is considered to be Average with possibly 1,000 to 2,000 copies remaining in existence. Some of the classc covers such as Target Comics #7 had a S.I. of "8" which stood for Rare with only 11 - 20 copies remaining; or Suspense Comics #3 which had a S.I. of '9" or Very Rare with only 6 - 10 copies remaining in existence. As your other posters also suggested, these are only based upon "best guess", but still better than nothing.

 

As a matter of fact, when I was purchasing Golden-Age books back in the early 90's, I always used this book as an invaluable reference guide since it let you know what the cover looked like prior to purchase along with the S.I. The other book which I used as a reference was of course the Overstreet Price Guide. Needless to say, this was all before the advent of the Internet. Still, I believe that it would be more than worth your money to pick up these two volumes since they should still be available from Diamond

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...and the Gerber guides accelerated (if not created) the trend toward buying the cooler covers in runs, since you could look at it like a catalogue and make lists of the comics that really stand out...causing an increase in demand, leading to OS price increases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just did an OCR scan of my Gerber Guide for the Scarcity Index - left out the commentary and included the raw numbers. If any representative of Ernest Gerber's estate is seeing this and you do not want it listed, please send me a PM and will gladly remove or have it removed.

 

(1) Very Common, likely every comic store in the country has copies of this comic book.

 

(2) Common.

 

(3) More than average for Gold Age Comics. There are more comics in existence than the average for comic books published between 1933 to 1960.

 

(4) Average Scarcity. This index number indicates that there are about 1,000 to 2,000 in existence, or is about average for collectors' comics for 1933-1960.

 

(5) Less than average in existence. Generally between 200 and 1000 still exist...

 

(6) Uncommon. Between 50 to 200 still exist.

 

(7) Scarce. Between 21 to 50 still in existence.

 

(8) Rare. Between 11 to 20 in existence.

 

(9) Very Rare. From 6 to 11 still i existence.

 

(10) Unique. Or close to it. Less than 5 known copies in existence.

 

(11) Non-existent, but known to have been printed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got to get me some of those guides! I've been looking into them and foulnd that 4 exist? Ad from what you guys have said, the first 2 are best. But should I look to get the whole lot?

Link to comment
Share on other sites