Comics have been in circulation for quite a long time. It is so long that I am sure you have heard stories of your father and his father talk about the evolution of comics and how it has changed. The history of comics has gone through many nuances throughout the years that people may not even know. One nuance is the interesting variants and prints of certain comics. For this discussion, I wanted to inform everyone about the “Mark Jewelers Insert” variant in comics and how it differs from a regular issue.
MJI Variant Comics
One of the things I want to discuss is “Mark Jewelers Insert” variant comics. These are special variant comics that have exactly the name that I just mentioned. Obviously, this variant involves this company displaying an advertisement for their jewelry. Generally, the advertisement is displayed for about four pages. These special variant comics were only sold near the United States military establishments in the United States and overseas. The intent is to assist soldiers to buy jewelry for their significant individual back at home. Their jewelry that was available to buy included rings, watches, necklaces, and more.
View from the top!
It is estimated that comic publishers, DC Comics and Marvel started running these ads for Mark Jewelers around the 1970s. I want to let you know that the comic itself is the same as a regular one and nothing on the exterior of it is changed. Comics with this insert will feel more heavier and rigid. It is also easier to identify a comic with the insert by viewing it from the top. When you view it from the top, there is a very noticeable block of pages that sticks out from the comic. In the picture shown, there are pages that are more profound and are easily identified.
The fewer there are, the higher the reward
Generally, for this instance and many, variants for comics have a lower print than the regular covers. I do not have an exact confirmation on the print run for these “Mark Jewelers Insert” variants, but it is almost guaranteed to be less by a wide margin. As I have stated previously in previous blogs, books that are highly sought after and have lower print runs mean it will be worth more. When I mean worth more, this directly means to the regular copy of that issue. In addition, it is very difficult to find these issues in a high grade. The reason is because of the intent of the soldiers would use the comic for its actual purpose. Meaning, they would hold it and read the comic as intended.
Lastly, for collectors, comics with these inserts tend to have a higher value than the regular cover. For example, here is a price difference between a regular copy and a “Mark Jewelers Insert” book. Werewolf By Night #32 is a very key issue for Marvel since it details the first appearance of Moon Knight. It is a very expensive issue as the Fair Market Value (FMV) for a graded 6.5 copy is estimated at $975. In contrast, the same issue with the “Mark Jewelers Insert” last sold for $1,975 on 10/31/20 on eBay. That is a difference in exactly a thousand dollars! So it is important to notice these differences and it is a big deal in determining the value of an issue.