Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The Amazing Spider-Man
The heart of my comic book collection consists of my Amazing Spider-Man books. Up to issue #300 of the first series, I'm missing only #27 (third Green Goblin appearence) and #217 (not sure why I never picked this one up). Granted, not all of the books, especially early on, are in the greatest shape, but there are a few really nice copies. #13 with the first appearence of Mysterio and #14, featuring the first Green Goblin story, are particularly nice. #2 and #7, both with classic Vulture covers, are in overall nice shape as well. My #1, purchased for me by my mom for $325 in 1980 , is what I would consider a VG+/FINE – book. It’s a nice book (hey, it's Spider-Man #1!) but by no means a CGC 9.0. The same day that the Spidey #1 was purchased, we also picked up a Spider-Man #4, with the first appearence of the Sandman. I remember the day well, when Richie from Tomorrow's Treasures came over our house in Queens with some choice books. We knew him well from buying comics at his usual Acqueduct flea market set-up; he’s still operating after all these years. Richie is the first comic dealer you see at the NYC Big Apple Cons when you come up the escalator. The only regret from that day is that we didn't buy a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15. It was in better shape than the Spider-Man #1, but it was the same price. At the time Amazing Fantasy #15 was worth less in the guide than the Spider-Man #1. Of course, now that's changed and the #15 in high grade is worth more than the #1 in a comparable grade. My mom was making the money decisions and she figured I was putting together a collection of the Amazing Spider-Man, so it made more sense to go with the #1. Thinking about it now, I wonder why we didn't just buy both, but $325 for a comic book in 1980 was still a lot of money! Looking back at the Overstreet Price Guide from 1980 it's amazing to see that after #1, the prices for Spider-Man comics were actually pretty low in the high grades. The #4 probably cost around $40. I likely paid in the $10-$20 range for a lot of the other early Spidey books, most of which were acquired in the late 70's/early 80's. I've been debating whether to get the #1 professionally graded by CGC. I've also thought about having it “pressed.” a process used by comic restorers (although, technically, this isn't considered restoration) where they literally press the comic to remove wrinkles and some surface defects. It might raise the grade by a bit, for a relatively low price. Naturally this requires the book to leave my hands, so maybe that's what's held me back from doing it so far.