With ELEVEN Classic Comics issues vaulting up the weekly chart and entering the top 100, sneaky moves might not be what we can call the run Classic Comics is enjoying right now. Speculation from part one seems to be fulfilled after this week’s chart sees each of these issues rise over 900 spots! Part two will review which printings to mull over as you try to decide which of the Classic Comics/Classic Illustrated pieces to enjoy in your collection.
Classic Comics Enjoying a Strong Run
Classic Comics #12 Rip Van Winkle leads the way, moving up 927 spots to number 72 on the Weekly One Thousand List. Similarly, Classic Comics #5, #11, #15, #16, #17, #18, #23, #28, and #29 all landed in the top 100. It shouldn’t be surprising that Classic Comics/Classic Illustrated issues are hot. For some incredible art, see Moby Dick, Rip Van Winkle, and Arabian Nights, to name just a few. They are EARLY Golden Age Releases, and finding them in high-grade form IS NOT easy. Still, CGC 8.0 issues were pretty affordable. Really nice-looking CGC 8.0s can be had for under $200 based on recent purchase results.
What’s really interesting about the issues in this week’s top 100 is that not all of them are first printings. In part 1 of the Classic Comics/Classic Illustrated sneaky moves piece, it was mentioned to watch out for purchasing older printings of certain issues and that is very much still true now. However, sifting through the tea leaves of what is trending, it appears that you are safe to pick up any printing that still has the Classic Comics banner on it. How many printings that is depends on the issue, but it looks like first through third or fourth printings may be key comics to look for. How do you determine printing is a bit tricky with Classic Comics/Illustrated. Patrick Bain’s article is a great place to start. Looking at the back cover is really where the key to determining your print run lies.
HRNs are the Key to Determining Collectability
Using issue #4 Last of the Mohicans (great book and movie!) as an example, there were 24 printings of this issue. Many of those printings do not have much value. To determine which printing you own, or if a printing you are thinking about buying is worth the investment or a decent return on your investment, turn to the inside back cover. The HRN number is the number of advertised issues Gilberton lists on their advertisement. The first printing of issue #4 has no HRN number. If you go to the inside back cover and it has issue numbers 1-12 advertised on the inside back cover, you have a second printing and can be identified as HRN-12. This particular issue advertises the first 36 issues in the Classic Comics/Classic Illustrated series. It is an HRN-36 or a 7th printing.
Determining its value is easy at this point with your handy, dandy Overstreet. However, if you were to speculate a profit return, this printing will not generate much value in even high-grade form. First, it is the first printing that modifies the original cover. It no longer says Classic Comics. Second, this printing occurs more than TWENTY years AFTER the original publication. What you have here is a Silver Age Reprint of the original.
What’s a Good “Rule of Thumb” for Purchasing Classic Comics/Illustrated?
This copy of Last of the Mohicans typifies where to draw the line on which printings to buy. Generally, speaking, the first printings are the IDEAL issues to invest and/or own. However, the market is clearly signaling that OTHER printings are valuable too. First, ONLY consider printings within a year or two of the original publication. So, looking at this issue as an example again, HRN-12, 15, and 21 are all published in the same year as the first printing. All of these HRNs will be sound purchases. However, look at the quality of the comic. The higher the printing of a particular issue, the higher the grade likely needed to enjoy a solid return on the investment.