Addendum - Looking back at the signature on the #11, it's in a bit of a different style for Stan. The way the 'S' leads into the 't' is more of a cursive 'l' than the normal upside down and elongated 'V' shape that he usually uses. On March 31st, 2012, I met Stan again (for the 3rd time) at the New York Comic Book Marketplace, where he signed my copy of IDW's The 'Amazing Spider-Man John Romita Artist's Edition.' (btw, a video I put together showcasing this book can be seen here: John Romita - Amazing Spider-Man Artist's Edition The signature he used on that is closer to the one on the #14 here, than it is on the #11. So that makes the #11 even that much more unique!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Stan Lee Ripped My Comic !!!
Sometime in 1979 (if memory serves me correctly; it may have been 1978), my childhood friend and fellow comic collector, Joe Carbone, and I, were taken to a NYC comic con by his dad. I think I went to the show with maybe $50 or $60, deciding that I was going to put a good portion of it toward getting one really nice book. I wound up choosing issue #11 of The Fantastic Four, featuring the origin and first appearence of the Impossible Man. I think I paid around $30 for the book. The Overstreet Guide from 1979 places the value in Fine at $33, so I guess $30 sounds about right for the condition of this issue, which I'd put around a Fine -. The 2006 guide has it at $264 in Fine and $1750 in Near Mint. The Excelsior himself, Stan Lee, was at this con and signing comics. I got in line with my new purchase, figuring, “Ah, perfect, I can get my #11 signed by Stan Lee himself! The line wasn't too long and it was set up in the hallway of the convention. I can't remember what hotel it was being held at, but it was a relatively small space in the crowded hallway. When I got to him, Stan, sitting behind a small table, asked me my name (and made some now forgotten comment about the old F.F. issue) and proceeded to inscribe it to me and sign it. Unfortunately, Stan pressed fairly hard on the cover and as he signed it, his ball point pen sliced right through the (then) 16-or-so-year-old-paper. I noticed that and showed it to him, so he took it back and wrote the now infamous line , “I'm sorry I Ripped It - Stan.” On the one hand, I was pretty pissed that Stan had ripped what had been a pretty proud investment for an eleven-year-old, and on the other, I had a special, one-of-a-kind note on my book from Stan Lee! As I was leaving the table, I showed the book to my friend's dad who got pretty upset and used a couple of expletives about Stan ripping a kid's comic and how he should have paid for it. I let it slide and I guess the book is fairly unique. I've often wondered if I'd prefer to just have a nice clean copy of the book, without any signature at all, as, to many collectors, writing on the cover of a comic, other than maybe a store date, is frowned upon. Later on, I did a trade with my friend Joe for his Fantastic Four #14, which he bought that day and also had signed. Looking closely at that signature, you can notice that Stan tore into that cover a bit as well!