Geoff Rickly has been in the music biz for decades. He’s served as frontman for bands Thursday, No Devotion, and United Nations, he’s toured countless cities and countries, and he’s produced albums for young bands that would end up iconic in their own right. He’s certainly made his mark on the music industry. But did you know that Geoff Rickley is a comic collector?
It’s an origin story many of us know well. Copies of X-Factor and X-Men caught his eye from a pharmacy spin rack while spending time with grandparents in Florida. The books were read over and over and the hunt for more comics soon began.
From an interview with Intelligent Collector, “I became obsessed with X-Men, New Mutants, X-Factor, and then I realized you could go back and get back issues. I had a local comic book shop with a pull list and I got really into it.”
Music pulled him away from the books for a period of time, but once the harrowing schedule of Thursday began to settle down, Rickly was able to devote more time and interest to his original hobby, comics. This time, it was the more modern works that caught his eye, including the book by his long-time friend, Gerard Way. “The Umbrella Academy was really hitting, winning all these Eisner awards. I read that and was so blown away. Someone recommended Matt Fraction’s Casanova. And that blew me away even deeper.”
As happened to so many of us, Covid hit – and it hit hard. Rickly has been auctioning some of his more valuable comics via Heritage Auction, which is an interesting melding of our interests here at GoCollect as both music lovers and comic fans.
GoCollexpert Josh was lucky enough to interview Rickly on his hobby
Why are you selling your comics?
(The) pandemic made it hard to tour for nearly two years so far (and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a picnic for the next one, at least). Really didn’t have much of a choice but to put my comics on the chopping block.
What was the hardest comic for you to put in auction?
Probably the hardest to part with was Hulk #181. I remember how badly I wanted it when I was a little kid in the 80s… my Nana, who was so sweet to me and such a lovely woman, saved up for weeks and finally paid the big bucks for it (it was over a hundred dollars back then!).
What would you say is your “holy grail” comic?”
When I was a kid, Uncanny X-Men #1 kept getting away from me. I got close a few times.
Through all of your touring, what is one comic shop you would recommend if you had to name just one?
I always love Newburyport Comics. Come on. Records AND comics together? That’s heaven.
Want to own one of Geoff Rickly’s Books?
Should you be interested in purchasing a book currently owned by this Thursday frontman and supporting him in this age that’s been tough on so many, here is a look at what Rickly has up for grabs in Heritage’s
The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Marvel, 1974) CGC VG- 3.5 White pages. This is the book containing the iconic first appearances of the Punisher and the Jackal. It also features a Gil Kane and John Romita Sr. cover and Ross Andru art.
This is just about in line with the 1-year sales average of $1,112 and 90-day average of $1,228.
X-Men #94 (Marvel, 1975) CGC VF- 7.5 with Off-white to white pages. One might say this book has a lot going on. It has the second appearances of Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Banshee, and Thunderbird following their debut in Giant-Size X-Men #1. Angel, Marvel Girl, and Iceman resign, and Sunfire leaves the group as well. It’s also the third appearance of Wolverine. As for art, it’s got a Gil Kane and Dave Cockrum cover with Cockrum art.
7.5s have a 1-year sales average of $1,200, a 90-day average of $1,269, and a 30-day average of $1,137 as sales hold steady. Given that the X-Men are constantly rumored to be making their MCU appearance in an upcoming project, it stands to reason to assume that the book will continue to hold its value.
Iron Fist #14 (Marvel, 1977) CGC VF+ 8.5 White pages. The first appearance of Sabretooth has an Al Milgrom cover with John Byrne art.
There are 557 Blue Label 8.5s listed in the CGC census. Though sales have fluctuated during the pandemic, the latest several have settled within one range.
Most recently, identically-graded copies sold for $675 (10/21/21, eBay) after only 1 bid, $625 (10/11/21, eBay) after 15 bids, and $656.10 (10/3/21, eBay) after a whopping 41 bids.
Iron Man #55 (Marvel, 1973) CGC VG+ 4.5 Cream to off-white pages. This is the book containing the first appearance of Thanos, first appearances of Starfox (who appears in the Eternals movie), and first Drax the Destroyer (of the Guardians of the Galaxy), Mentor, Kronos, and the Blood Brothers. Jim Starlin provided the story, cover, and art.
This book has been hovering between $400 and $600 for the last year or so. Currently, it has an FMV of $600. Its 1-year sales average is $659 and the 90-day average is $716.
Even though Thanos may have already had his momentary share of the Marvel spotlight, this one could be a real sleeper, with so many first appearances and potential for character interest. It’s an affordable key worth keeping an eye on, at least.
The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (Marvel, 1988) CGC VF 8.0 Off-white to white pages. This book certainly needs no introduction. In this origin and first full appearance of Venom (Eddie Brock), Spider-Man wears the black alien symbiote costume for the last time. Plus, The Thing makes an appearance.
Todd McFarlane’s cover and art have spawned countless homages and imitations since this book debuted in the late 80s.
Wrapping things up
I’d venture to say that a lot of us have been in positions where we’ve needed to sell our beloved comics in order to keep things chugging in our lives. Should you be interested in supporting a musician who’s dedicated much of his life to his art, or should you be looking to put one of these keys on your wall, this is a fun opportunity to cross those to-dos off your lists.