Zinjanthropos Offline
I’m not a collector of anything. However my Son-in-law is. He collects comic books and anything related to them. Another thing I don’t usually do is browse through flea markets. Except a couple weeks ago a friend dragged me into going. Once there I decided to focus on finding a comic book for my SIL, hoping to find a nugget. 

Came across this random pile of comic books and one caught my amateur eye as I leafed through them. In the comic book world, condition is important. Although the book I was looking at was old, it was not so bad and I bought it for fifty cents. It was a Marvel comic from 1965 entitled Strange Tales, and was #130 in what was a series. It wasn’t so much that this edition contained the death of a certain villain that got my attention, it was a little note on the cover, an obvious attempt by Marvel to boost sales.

On the cover were printed the words, MEET THE BEATLES, and that piqued my interest. That plus one of the superheroes (The Thing) is depicted with a Beatle Hairdo. Couple days later I visited my SIL and took the comic to add to his collection. He checked it out online, something I never even thought of when I was searching through the pile. He actually belongs to some site that updates prices of comic books daily, if not hourly, just like the stock exchange. 

The comic book’s condition he judged to be fine. He paid particular attention to the artists involved in the comic’s production. Stan Lee, Bob Powell and someone with the last name Kirby were on the list of credits. Apparently, just like real life, art is more valuable when artists are dead. This was more important than the story, my SIL doesn’t even read the books he owns. Also this was the first time Marvel had used The Beatles in one of their books, something they did a few times over the years. 

Anyway the book was valued at $70. Not a huge sum but pretty good. My SIL is going to hang on to it until the remaining Beatles pass on and then see if their memorabilia prices go up. We’re not even sure if Beatle collectors know about this one but I’m sure some do. When I feel the urge to go to another flea market I go golfing instead. Smile
C C Offline
I didn't know there were old physical comic-books still floating around and surviving abroad in that quantity, what with the number of new ones existing on real paper supposedly being few-produced in this late cyberspace era. Figured by now they'd be locked away in thick-steel vaults with moisture vacuumed out.

Whoa -- the "Fantastic Four" were regularly featured in Strange Tales that year? Guess that was their origin source, before they got their own comic book. Should have gotten a precognitive vibe when you mentioned Jack Kirby being one of the artists, and The Thing with a Beatle hairdo. It would have garnered yet more value if the Four were as popular now as they were back in the second half of the '60s.

Hah... "The Merry Marvel Marching Society" after that story ends, offering the membership card and certificate. So many things I'd forgotten from School Daze via foraging around in my brother's inherited stash of ancient publications.

Following that is the classic X-Ray Glasses ad, but minus the graphic suggesting to desperate teen-nerd boys that they could see through clothing with it.

"Dr Strange" predictably in the second half of that issue. The advertisement after page-7 of that story is about the martial art of "Yubiwaza". What the heck is that -- never heard of it.

Ooooo... What a trip into the past with the "Strange Mails" page of fans communicating to Marvel by slow-mail in 1965. One selection:

Dear Stan and Bob and Steve,

I am an English major at the University of Miami, and am pretty well versed in mythology, history and plain ol' American English -- I plan to major in English literature. I keep noticing throughout your magazines that you keep pressing old Stan to turn out more and more stories. He must be pretty busy, for I noticed his name as the writer of that hilarious MONSTERS TO LAUGH WITH. I keep reading your magazines (notice I don't call them comics, for I feel they are on an adult level) because they are simply great! [...]

You bet Stan Lee was working all the time. His wife was formerly a model/actress and accordingly high maintenance. If he hadn't gone all patriarchal and suggested she quit work then she could have still been making enough money to support both of them and the daughters, rather than vice-versa. Fortunately for the future of Marvel that didn't happen, thanks to Lee's masculinist insecurities.
Zinjanthropos Offline
I’ve heard stories about Stan Lee’s womanizing but not sure about validity. Yes I looked at those ads et al, remembering them from my youth also. 

At the same flea market stand I bought another comic book, had to make my overall purchase an even dollar. This one was a Man from U.N.C.L.E. comic about a Great Brain Drain (future POTUS elections? Smile ) Leafing through it I found a page upon which someone had printed their name and from what I understand, devalued the book. Wasn’t worth much anyway, I think 5-6 bucks. My SIL has it now.  Had Robert Vaughan and David McCallum’s pics on cover. I watched that show every Friday night, never knew they’d made a comic book of it.

Something else I didn’t know about comic books....My SIL was telling me that even if you don’t have a complete comic book and depending on its rarity, a single page could be worth thousands of dollars. So if you have one that’s beat up, don’t despair, people may be interested.

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