Golden Age Comic Advice….. How I Use GoCollect Data

by Joseph Overaitis

Golden-300x157 Golden Age Comic Advice.....  How I Use GoCollect DataGoCollect asked you what you wanted.   The readers responded.  One sector wanted more golden age comics articles.  Another group wanted more insight into how to use GoCollect data.  This article combines the two requests from our readers to produce one blog. These are some tricks I use on GoCollect for Golden Age comics.

The Golden Age does not have hot comics!!!


GoCollect produces some of the most useful data as it relates to the comic book marketplace.  I am not being paid to say this as an employee, because I am not an employee.  This is a statement of fact from someone who is like you, the reader.  I get no peek at the data before you see it.  As a result, I must interpret the data as you do.

The weekly and monthly hottest comics lists that you can review usually involve some rumor or confirmed news that is driving those books to be popular. The MCU, TV, current comic book stories, and other factors drive what collectors and investors chase.  This does not apply to Golden Age books.  The Golden Age is different because these books have beenaround from at least the mid-1950s.  As a result,  it is very hard for a book that old to suddenly be “hot”.

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GoCollect has a hottest comics tab.  If you select that and then go to Golden Age Comics, look for trends.  Patterns will emerge in the market.  Walt Disney Comics and Stories #131 and  Walt Disney Comics and Stories #137 are in the top 50 at the time of this writing. Let us review the facts on these issues.

These books have a few sales in the past so a proper FMV can not be calculated.  In addition, these issues are not of particular importance to be called keys by collectors.  Finally, these issues are close in the sequence of the run and are numbers 43 and 44 in the “hottest” Golden Age books at the time this article was written.

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What that reveals to me is that a Golden Age Disney collector may have started to liquidate his collection. If I am a Golden Age collector I may want to look more closely to see if any more of these books then could be still on the market.

This trick applies to all genres where you see books listed in the hottest comics list that may not qualify as true keys.  I have used this trick before and actually located some books I wanted in a very large collection. If I did not use this trick I would have never found those books.

GoCollect is not Overstreet


I love the data collected by GoCollect.  There is so much there to dissect. The problem is that people view GoCollect as an online Overstreet price guide clone.  If you are a person that does that, please stop it!!!  There is so much more information at your fingertips.  Nowhere is this more important than for the Golden Age hobbyists. It is not difficult to find an Ultimate Fallout #4 or Incredible Hulk #181.  I can even find a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 for sale if I wanted.  In contrast, finding Golden Age books is entirely different. You need all the intel you can find on these elusive books.

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Readers should review all the information on a GoCollect comic issue’s page to see the advantages of GoCollect. I saw these advantages when studying books like Wonder Comics #17.  GoCollect gives you an advantage over other price guides.  A simple hobbyist would see an FMV of $2,400 for a 9.0 graded issue at the time this article was written and be done.

I want to teach you to see some additional information that is there for the reader to discover.  A quick review tells you that a total of 7 issues exist in the CGC census.  That population is rare.  Where the reader can really gather information is to review the total number of sales.  This issue in that grade has been sold a total of 9 times with the last sale coming out in Nov 2020.  This tells the reader that some of these sales must have involved the same book!  It is almost like a crime scene investigator finding a fingerprint and being able to track the sales of one actual book. That data is more than one can obtain from a simple price guide.

Bringing this lesson home

This article shows you all the information you can get from just the free version of GoCollect!!! The more you use GoCollect and the more data you can obtain, the greater your advantages over others. I did not have that advantage when I started to dabble in Golden Age books.  Even with my Photo Journal Guide to Comics I did not have a fraction of the information I can obtain from a simple page on GoCollect.  I made mistakes and missed plenty of great Golden Age books I should have purchased when I had the chance. Now, you do not have to make those same mistakes.

I plan to draft additional tricks and tools that can provide you information to make you a formidable collector of Golden Age books.  I have only one request from you, the readers.  You must all promise that if you ever buy a book using my tricks to your advantage against the collector who founded GoCollect that you never tell him I was the one who taught you these lessons.  You instead have my permission to blame Harry Stone III. Let him deal with it.

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Patrick April 6, 2021 - 11:59 am

I love Golden Age books and have commented before that more articles are desired – so thank you! The problem with Golden age is that some are so rare to eBay, shows etc they often go way above any ‘guide’ – it’s the most rabid and also most wealthy fan / collector base I have seen in my 45 years of collecting. I have a lot of EC Horror that even ripped, detached etc still demand $$. Keep it up! Thx

Joseph Overaitis April 6, 2021 - 1:55 pm


I asked before what do fans want and I received a ton of replies. Even other artists took notice of what our readers want. Guess what….you guys are getting what you asked for because we do this for you our readers.

octoberland April 6, 2021 - 1:40 pm

Nice write up! I would ask for a point of clarity, and this is getting nit picky but it’s for my own education. The use of ‘rare’ in some posts by various authors.

I’ve read on a few posts that a low census equals rare. While it _might_ mean a book is rare I think it more shows that a book is maybe rare at a specific grade or graded at all. Conan the Barbarian 1 for example. There are 1.9% of the graded books are 9.8. That’s pretty low and I’d be fine considering a 9.8 a rare copy. But the book also has 4,004 graded copies. That issue is not particularly rare to just find.

Following up on that, your reference to only 7 total Wonder Comics 17 on census is admittedly low. But that is just the number of books graded. The total census does not actually prove a book is rare or not, just that very few are getting graded. There could be a very large pool of raw copies out there hypothetically. A book I know more about, Books of Magic 1 (Prestige format), has 23 total graded. I personally own 25+ raw copies. It’s one of my favorite books. It is by no means rare despite what the census shows.

Yes, that is not an apples to apples in that BoM came out the year I graduate High School and Wonder Comics predates my parents. I am not challenging if Golden Age books are more rare. Instead I’m wondering how people can draw conclusions on a book’s rarity based on census numbers when all that is really showing is how many books have been graded. I am fairly certain the print run of WC in it’s day far out stripped BoM, but we also know historically books from those early ages are HTF in any condition and many were just pulped. Is there some formula that actually gives a books rarity (maybe scarcity?) on GoCollect?

As you note, there are many ‘casual’ collectors who grab the headline and move along. I wonder if they see ‘rare’ and jump on the book without more digging? While sometimes that’s accurate, maybe the better wording is rare to find graded or rare at this specific grade? Just for clearer context. I just do not want people thinking my adored BoM is ‘rare’ based off checking the GoCollect page and seeing only 23 copies. If that makes sense?

I LOVE this site and use it pretty extensively. I try digging into tools and finding insights or advantages where I can, but I only know what I know. If there is another unlocking of information I am missing, I’m super keen to learn!

– Craig Coffman

Joseph Overaitis April 6, 2021 - 1:54 pm


I use the term rare for the purposes of this article to deem in the CGC census. There are truly rare books that I mentioned before such as Green Giant that was published as a trial run. Those books are truly rare, be they graded or not. Yes there may be a few copies in the wild that are ungraded that may make other books not rare that may have only a few graded books in the CGC census. The book I used for reference though has famous artists that worked on the book. Most I have seen are graded and those that exist in the wild will be shortly after they come to auction. That is the case with Golden Age books that have famous artists, characters, or titles involved. The Golden Age is a different creature onto itself and if you go into it you have to treat it as such. IF you see an ultimate fallout #4 graded 4.0 you would ignore it,but if you see a Green Giant Comic #1 from Pelican Press in 4.0 you better buy it on sight LOL.

octoberland April 6, 2021 - 4:12 pm

You are right with that about GGC1…which I just learned about from you…compared to UF4. And that underscores why I was asking. There is definitely a difference between CGC rare and good luck ever seeing a copy rare. With so many new bodies moving into the space, that is why I was wondering if it should be spelled out better how the use of rare is used in sentences. It’s not as much for me as it is for potentially new collectors. The way some posts have been written make it hard to tell if you don’t already have a sense of what ‘rare’ means in context.

Also I know you are not in charge of other author’s posts, but I wondered if there was a bullpen or something where contributors share ideas. And maybe it’s just me getting unnecessarily granular, which I am prone to 🙂

FWIW in this article I think you used it very cleanly as you said the ‘population’ is rare.

Back to GoCollect tools. Is there anyway to know a Green Giant Comics 1 scarcity versus an X-Men 1? I mean, a simple eBay search should help, but are there tools within GoCollect to denote that? Or is it primarily intended to only show how rare it is on the census? I’ve only discovered the census portion.

Thanks again!

– Craig Coffman

Joseph Overaitis April 7, 2021 - 8:42 am


I am glad you liked the article and I will be a little bit more specific when it comes to rare books on census versus cgc census. I will ask if there is a way that the techs can add something to the site to help with rarity issue. As always we are here for you guys and gals.

dave stevens April 7, 2021 - 4:25 pm

CGC census gives no clue about rarity except relative to what is graded. If a comic has 4000 graded copies and only 100 better than F, it is rare in high grade. Golden age comics have few books that are common, period. That said, many books that are valuable still have low census numbers. These books are rare. Look at Matt Baker romance comics by St John. Very few of these have 20 or more graded copies and as a general rule, any of them in F or better will sell for $1,000+. The money is there but the copies are not. Other comics have neither copies nor demand so they fly under the radar. I have many GA comics with no graded copies. That doesn’t always mean they are rare as the money required to grade a 1.5 comic with no copies on the census is prohibitive. Golden Age in general has an inherent rarity regardless of the book, but is especially true when it comes to grading. If it is worth grading, chances are a high percentage of that book have been graded. If it isn’t, the number will be low. None of these numbers are high but the rarity of these ancient tomes is part of the fun.

Joseph Overaitis April 7, 2021 - 7:32 pm


Your comment is spot on. GA Books are inherently rare. The books though that fly under the radar as you say are also sometimes rare because of that very fact. I remember GA war books that years ago collectors laughed at and these books were not collected nor were they preserved. In the Bronze Age years ago Ms Marvel books were canon fodder and now they are in vogue. How many books were lost because no one thought they wanted them. I love your Matt Baker example because again some collectors laugh at Romance comics being worthy and yet to Golden Age collectors they see more than the title. The artist is also key. GA books have so many appealing factors that even common books are desirable.

I also love how you extrapolated rarity to books not being graded. I do that as well but then I have a question for you. I know of GA that are strict purists who never grade books. I know they exist and have seen them but do you think they now exist in such numbers that could impact that number? I ask because I have seen books come up in private auctions that are not graded. Would you be willing to share with the comment board what you see out there in regards to raw books and purist collectors?

Joe April 7, 2021 - 7:26 pm

My theory, we all end up in the same place eventually, the Golden Age. I never cared for the art or stories or history of the Golden Age when I first started collecting. Slowly, but surely, I started to appreciate Copper, then Bronze, then Silver, then Golden. With age comes wisdom, I guess.

Joseph Overaitis April 7, 2021 - 10:09 pm


Welcome to the boards and from one joe to another you hit it perfectly. You start to graduate and the lessons you learn make you want to challenge yourself. Welcome to the club. Just do not outbid me on books LOL

Keep posting and let us know your thoughts. These boards produce some great comments that makes us all better collectors and investors!

Patrick April 8, 2021 - 12:19 pm

I agree with Joe! I’ve always like the Golden Age, and with age also becomes more comfortable finances to buy them!

tabcom April 8, 2021 - 6:37 am

“ . . . a question for you. I know of GA that are strict purists who never grade books. I know they exist and have seen them but do you think they now exist in such numbers that could impact that number?”


I would say that trend died out about 10 years ago. Due to ‘father time’ of the collector and the ubiquitous presence of CGC. I’ve spent years trolling estate sales to find only one Gold mine of a PCH collection that was in the raw.

Joseph Overaitis April 8, 2021 - 4:02 pm


I found a few like you. So they do exist but not in the numbers we had in the past? Tabcom I want to thank you for your post. It helps me out because I know of a few but I wondered if they were isolated. You found one. I have found a couple, but that is all. That helps. keep posting though because your personal experiences on other posts can help us get a better picture of what his happening out there for estate sales. I cover those and private non ebay auctions. Sometimes what is happening in those sales never gets mentioned.

tabcom April 8, 2021 - 4:42 pm Reply

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