Hidden Gems: Offbeat Comics you may not know are valuable

by Blaise Tassone

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Everyone knows the big name books valuable to collectors. For example, if you’re digging through a dollar bin at a comic shop, and you see a copy of Avengers #4, you’d know that it’s probably been put in there by mistake, or else the person running the shop has no idea what his comics are worth. But when we go beyond the big name keys there are plenty of obscure comics you might find in the dollar box or at a garage sale for pennies to a few dollars that are actually worth a lot more to collectors.

These hidden gems are what I call offbeat comics. In this post I’ll list just four examples of comics that tend to fly off most people’s radars, but worth more than you’d think to collectors.

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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic #5 (April 1992) – First Appearance of Fight Man

We can start with the 1990s. Everybody remembers the movie ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ from 1989. For one thing, it was a genuinely funny movie. For another, it put Keanu Reeves on the map and made him an instant celebrity. Well, what you may not know is that the hit movie produced several comic book spin-offs in the 1990s, none of them really worth much today….except for this issue. The reason why is that it is the first appearance of Fight-Man, aka Frank Bigelow, a Superman parody created by Evan Dorkin. In CGC 9.8 this comic has a FMV of $60.00. That’s after 1 sale so obviously the desire for it is quite limited. That said, the rumor is that Bill and Ted do have a new movie in the works.

 

 

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Lois Lane #106 (November 1970) – “Black Like Me” story; Lois changes her skin color to black

From the Bronze Age we have a more sought out comic. This book features a new power you might not have known Superman to possess. It’s called Super-racism. No, just kidding. This comic is certainly controversial, but I doubt the writers were actually tying to promote racism. In fact, I’d wager the intent was the exact opposite. Unfortunately the execution of the idea is handled in a less than sensitive manner. The result is a cult-classic of the otherwise mostly forgettable Lois Lane comic run. Lois Lane #106 sells for upwards of $500.00 in high grade. For example, a 9.8 sold in a Heritage Auction for $657.25 on 11/13/2011. On 05/11/2019 a 9.0 sold for $260.00 and a ComicLink auction of a 9.6 on sold for a staggering $1,487.00. Holy Cow!

 

 

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Dracula #1 (November 1962) – Dell’s Dracula as Superhero Comic

No not Tomb of Dracula, you won’t find the first appearance of Blade here. Everybody knows that’s valuable, I’m talking about some Silver Age Vampire mayhem. This version of Dracula published by Dell lasted all of four issues. The series was trying to turn the Prince of Darkness into a superhero. They even gave him a Secret Cave. Issue #1 is the one you want to look out for as it’s worth a considerable amount: probably a lot more than you’d think. Most monster comics from the 60s are worth something, but Dell’s Dracula comic can fetch up to $800.00. It sold in 9.8 on eBay on 10/03/2016 for $875.00.

 

 

 

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Alf #48 (December 1991) – Controversial Innuendo Cover

Hey kids, it’s Alf! Mommy, what’s Alf doing to that seal? Look away!!! Okay, so the Alf television series was never all that serious and it didn’t seem to take itself all that seriously either. It was also a surprise hit for NBC back in the 80s. At the time, it wasn’t a surprise that Alf got a spin off comic book, what is surprising is the goofy cover to issue #48. It looks like Alf is doing something illegal with a seal. This comic has sold for as high as $350.00 (eBay sale 02/03/2018 of a certified 9.8). To prove that wasn’t a fluke sale, a 9.6 graded issue also sold on 06/06/2019 on eBay for $215.00.

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2 comments

Eric Haar June 26, 2019 - 1:14 pm

Interesting article, but that’s the incorrect Dracula cover. That’s the 1963 movie adaptation vs. the gonzo 1966 Superhero: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracula_(Dell_Comics)

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Blaise Tassone June 27, 2019 - 1:58 pm

Hi Eric, funny that’s the only picture GoCollect has up for the first issue of the Dell series. But it is the issue that’s worth the most. It seems that Issue #1 of the series was also cover dated 1962 and featured the L.B. Cole cover. Later the whole series was reprinted using the more cartoonish version of Dracula. From what I understand this was so Dell could get around the Comics Code Authority censorship of Vampires and still use the character. In any case, thanks for reading!

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