Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide

The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (or Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide) is an annually published comic book price guide widely considered the primary authority on the subject of American comic book grading and pricing in the hobby/industry. Many observers tie in the growth of the direct market distribution system and comic book specialty shops to the general acceptance of Overstreet's annual guide as a standardized inventory and pricing system.[1]

Begun in 1970 by Robert M. Overstreet as a guide for fellow fans of Golden Age and Silver Age comics, the Overstreet guide has expanded to cover virtually the entire history of the American comics publication as far back as the Victorian Age and Platinum Age. The annual edition also covers promotional comics (giveaways and advertising) and "big little books," while continually updating new publications and market reports that cover the prior year of market activity.

Overstreet's annual guide to the comic book collecting hobby has itself become a collectible, and since the 1980s each edition of the Price Guide includes a page listing collector's values for older editions, with hardcover editions, in particular, selling for a premium. Currently, the Price Guide is published in four formats: hardcover, softcover, a larger, ring-bound edition and an electronic edition, often with multiple covers for each version.

History

Robert M. Overstreet grew up as a comic book, coin, and Indian arrowhead collector. In the 1960s, after abandoning a project to create an arrowhead price guide, Overstreet turned his attention to comics, which had no definitive guide.[1]

Comic back-issue prices had stabilized by the end of the 1960s,[2] and, Jerry Bails, who had recently published the Collector’s Guide to the First Heroic Age, was considering creating a comic book price guide. He was contacted by Overstreet, who was doing the same thing. Bails' extensive notes, supplemented by Overstreet's study of dealer listings, "became a backbone to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide."[3]

Under the auspices of Overstreet Publications, the first Comic Book Price Guide was published in November 1970. Priced at $5, saddle-stitched and published in a print run of 1000 (a second edition of 800 was released subsequently),[4] the book included 218 pages of listings. Among other things, Overstreet's guide included inventory lists, and it instantly became an invaluable resource tool for comic book collectors and dealers.[2] By 1976, the guide had achieved national distribution.[1]

An early decision was made by author to exclude the niche of underground comix, an adult-oriented expression of the genre that Mr. Overstreet had no interest in documenting, for reasons he has never made public, despite the book being promoted by its publisher as "the most complete listing of comics from the 1500s to the present."

Overstreet periodicals

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Overstreet also produced publications that would serve price updates regarding newer comics releases from the present, to selected titles dating from the Silver Age, including a price guide to current and valuable comics, as well as comic book and collector news, and interviews. There was also some editorial content from the publishers, and from polled bookstore owners. Various incarnations of the publication (which were published quarterly to bi-monthly, and eventually monthly) included Overstreet's Comic Book Price Update, Overstreet's Comics Price Bulletin,Overstreet Comic Book Monthly, and Overstreet's Fan, with this last incarnation showing a great deal of similarity to the successful comics news magazine Wizard: The Guide to Comics. Overstreet also published twenty-one issues of Comic Book Marketplace between Mar./Apr. 1993 and January 1995. Ultimately, most titles were canceled, including Overstreet's Fan which ceased publication in 1997.

Sale to Gemstone

Overstreet sold the business to Gemstone Publishing in 1994, and continues to serve as author of the annual guides and associated publications.

In July 2003, Gemstone attempted another monthly by publishing Overstreet's Comic Price Review, which ran only for nineteen issues.

The 48th edition (2018-2019) of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide went on sale July 18, 2018.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c "Who is Robert M. Overstreet?" Arrowheads.com. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Maggie. "November 1970: Mint Never Meant So Much Before," "The 1900s: 10 biggest events from 100 years in comics," Comics Buyer's Guide #1365 (Jan. 14, 2000).
  3. ^ Ray Bottorff, Jr., quoted in "With a Little Help From His Friends...", Alter Ego vol. 3, #25 (June 2003), pp. 14-19.
  4. ^ "The Semi-Secret Origins of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide," Scoop (Mar. 15, 2003).

External links

Clock (comics)

The Clock is a fictional masked crime-fighter character created in 1936, during the Golden Age of Comic Books. According to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, he was the first masked hero to appear in American comic books.

Comic book price guide

Comic book price guides are generally monthly, quarterly, or yearly publications which detail the changes in the resale value of a comic over a period of time. Price guides are also important tools for collectors looking to sell their collection or determine their collection’s worth for insurance purposes.

Each collector will have his or her own preference regarding which authority to follow, but popular and respected guides have included The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, Comics Buyer's Guide magazine, Wizard Magazine, the Comics Buyer's Guide Standard Catalog of Comic Books, and Human Computing’s ComicBase, an inventory/databasing software program. Popular online price guides include comicbookrealm.com (free), ComicsPriceGuide.com (free and paid services), RarityGuide (free and paid), and GPAnalysis.com specifically for CGC (certified) Comics (paid). Online and print price guides will have their own discrepancies, so a combination of several sources is often used by collectors to arrive at an accurate estimated value. Checking completed auctions at eBay and Heritage is also very helpful.

Although many price guides come and go, long-standing publications such as Overstreet (which has been running for over 35 years) or the more recent Standard Catalog of Comic Books, have long since become inextricable elements of comic collection history. These guides are popular resources for collectors and enthusiasts seeking information on anything from storylines to writers and artists to the original cover price of a comic. Grand Comics Database and comicbookrealm.com, in particular, offer users the ability to quickly search for characters by appearances and deaths. The Big Comic Book DataBase combines a searchable database of per issue character and creator information and a linked price guide.

The advent of certification enabled increased liquidity of comic books by removing disputes over grading and by disclosing restoration, and accelerated sales of comic books through online auction sites such as eBay or Heritage Auction Galleries. Certification is also valued by some comic price guide providers, as certification leaves the perception of removing the uncertainty about the actual grade of the comic book being sold, although, because books that are certified are graded by numerous different individuals, the dependability of these services is not universally agreed upon. Individual and/or aggregated reports of certified comic book sales are available online.

Diamond Comic Distributors

Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. (often called Diamond Comics, DCD, or casually Diamond) is a comic book distributor serving retailers in North America and worldwide. They transport comic books and graphic novels from both big and small comic book publishers, or suppliers, to retailers, as well as other pop-culture products such as toys, games, and apparel. Diamond distributes to the direct market in the United States, and has an exclusive distribution arrangements with most major U.S. comic book publishers, including Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, and more.

Diamond is also the parent company of Alliance Game Distributors, Diamond Book Distributors, Diamond UK, Diamond Select Toys, Gemstone Publishing, E. Gerber Products, Diamond International Galleries, Hake's Americana & Collectibles, Morphy's Auctions, the Geppi's Entertainment Museum, and Baltimore magazine,

Diamond is the publisher of Previews, a monthly catalog/magazine showcasing upcoming comic books, graphic novels, toys, and other pop-culture merchandise available at comic book specialty shops. The publication is available to both comic shop retailers and consumers.

Fast Fiction

Fast Fiction was a market stall, magazine, mail order distributor and news sheet that played a key role in the history of British small press comics. It existed in its various forms from 1981 through to 1990 under the stewardship of Paul Gravett, Phil Elliott and Ed Pinsent.

The name was taken from a Classics Illustrated knock-off spotted in the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

Four Color

Four Color, also known as Four Color Comics and One Shots, was an American comic book anthology series published by Dell Comics between 1939 and 1962. The title is a reference to the four basic colors used when printing comic books (cyan, magenta, yellow and black at the time).More than 1,000 issues were published, usually with multiple titles released every month. An exact accounting of the actual number of unique issues produced is difficult because occasional issue numbers were skipped and a number of reprint issues were also included. Nonetheless, the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide lists well over 1,000 individual issues, ending with #1354. It currently holds the record for most issues produced of an American comic book; its nearest rival, DC's Action Comics, reached the 1,000-issue milestone in 2018. The first 25 issues are known as "series 1"; after they were published, the numbering began again and "series 2" began. Four Color published many of the first comics featuring characters licensed from Walt Disney.

Harvey Hits

Harvey Hits was an American comic book series, published by Harvey Comics. The series ran from September 1957 to November 1967; in all, 122 issues were published. Harvey Hits was similar to DC Comics' Showcase in that it was an anthology tryout series which often featured characters that did not have their own comic series. Harvey Hits should not be confused with Harvey Comics Hits, which ran in the early 1950s, or Harvey Hits Comics, which ran from 1986-87 during a revival of the Harvey Comics line.

Several issues of Harvey Hits are notable. Issue #3 (November 1957) was the first comic book to feature Richie Rich prominently; #7 (March 1958) was the first comic devoted to Wendy, the Good Little Witch.Besides Richie Rich and Wendy, many other characters featured in Harvey Hits later received their own comic magazine, including Little Sad Sack and Stumbo the Giant.

By the mid-1960s, Harvey Hits settled on a rotating cast of characters that appeared every few months, including Muttsy, G.I. Juniors, and Gabby Gob. G.I. Juniors were featured in the last issue of Harvey Hits, #122, cover dated November 1967.In 2017, a new version of Harvey Hits was published by Joe Books, a Canadian-based publishing house and book packager. The book features art by various artists, including Art Baltazar.

Headline Comics (For The American Boy)

Headline Comics (For The American Boy) was an American comics magazine published by Prize Comics (under the indicia titles American Boys' Comics, Inc. for 21 issues, and Headline Publications, Inc. for 26 issues) from February 1943 – October 1956. The comic was transformed from a boy superhero/adventure title to a crime comic in 1947, with issue #23 (March). The publication became an anthology of the deeds of gangsters and murderers.The alteration was the work of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. The first feature which Simon and Kirby did for Headline Comics was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. The popularity of the switch in comic genres was sufficient to introduce a companion crime comic, Justice Traps The Guilty, in October/November 1947.Simon and Kirby differed from other comic competitors by turning out a crime comic which showed restraint in regard to sex and violence.

Howard Keltner

John Howard Keltner (1928 – July 29, 1998) was an American comics publisher, artist, writer, and indexer. He was a founding member of the Academy of Comic Book Arts and Sciences, co-editor and co-publisher of Star-Studded Comics, created the character Doctor Weird, and provided art to fan publications such as CAPA-alpha and The Rocket's Blast. His Golden Age Comic Books Index, begun in 1953, influenced other later indexes, such as the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

Little Archie

Little Archie is a comic book published by Archie comics from 1956 to 1983, lasting 180 issues. Little Archie #1 is considered to be "scarce" by the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (only 20-100 copies exist).

Michael Eury

Michael "Mike" Eury is an editor and writer of comic books, and of reference works pertaining to comic books and their history. He has worked for DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics and Comico Comics, and is the editor of Back Issue!. He is also an advisor for the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.Eury was diagnosed with otosclerosis in 1994, and wears dual hearing aids; as a result, he is an advocate for the rights of people with hearing loss.

Motion Picture Funnies Weekly

Motion Picture Funnies Weekly is a 36-page American comic book created in 1939, and designed to be a promotional giveaway in movie theaters. While the idea proved unsuccessful, and only a handful of sample copies of issue #1 were printed, the periodical is historically important for introducing the enduring Marvel Comics character Namor the Sub-Mariner, created by writer-artist Bill Everett.

Novelty Press

Novelty Press (a.k.a. Premium Service Co., Inc.; a.k.a. Novelty Publications; a.k.a. Premier Group) was an American Golden Age comic-book publisher that operated from 1940–1949. It was the comic book imprint of Curtis Publishing Company, publisher of The Saturday Evening Post. Among Novelty's best-known and longest-running titles were Blue Bolt and Target Comics.

During its nine-year run, Novelty had a roster of creators that included Al Avison, Dan Barry, Carl Burgos, L.B. Cole, Bill Everett, Al Gabriele, Joe Gill, Tom Gill, Jack Kirby, Tarpé Mills, Al Plastino, Don Rico, Joe Simon, Mickey Spillane, and Basil Wolverton.Although published in Philadelphia, Novelty Press's editorial offices were in New York City.

Overstreet

Overstreet is an English surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Baker Overstreet (born 1981), American artist

Chord Overstreet (born 1989), American actor, singer, musician and composer

David Overstreet (1958–1984), American football player

Harold G. Overstreet (born 1944), United States Marine Corps officer

Harry Allen Overstreet (1875–1970), American writer and lecturer

James Overstreet (1773–1822), American politician

James W. Overstreet (1866–1938), American politician

Jason Overstreet, American politician

Jeffrey Overstreet, American novelist and film reviewer

Jesse Overstreet (1859–1910), American politician

Morris Overstreet (born 1950), American judge

Paul Overstreet (born 1955), American singer-songwriter

Tommy Overstreet (1937–2015), American singer

Will Overstreet (born 1979), American football player

William Benton Overstreet (1888–1935), American songwriter, bandleader and pianist

Robert Beerbohm

Robert Lee Beerbohm (born June 17, 1952) is an American comic book historian and retailer who has been intimately involved with the rise of comics fandom since 1966. Beginning as a teenager in the late 60s, he became a fixture in the growing comic convention scene, while in the 1970s and 1980s he was heavily involved in Bay Area comic book retailing and distribution.

Beerbohm has been a consultant and author detailing the early history of comics in the United States, including rediscovering the first comic book in America, Rodolphe Töpffer's The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck. He has supplied data and visual aids as listed in the acknowledgements of over 200 books on comics and counting.

Sean Linkenback

Sean Linkenback, is an attorney and author known for writing the Unauthorized Guide to Godzilla Collectibles the first comprehensive guide on the subject in the English language. Before that he was an adviser to Warren's Movie Poster Price Guide, the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, as well as being an adviser on the first Sotheby's comic book auction, and a frequent writer about comics including the feature "CBM Presents Sleepers" in Comic Book Marketplace. Currently he works as an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia as well as being an infrequent columnist for the magazine Movie Collector's World.

In 2014, Linkenback released The Art of Japanese Monsters, a comprehensive guide to worldwide movie poster artwork from Japanese science fiction and horror (kaiju) films of the past 60 years. It especially focused on the Godzilla and Gamera series of films produced by Toho Films and Daiei Film respectively.

This book is available as both a regular hardbound edition and a limited leatherbound edition of 100 copies that was signed by Godzilla series star Akira Takarada and suit actor Haruo Nakajima.

Steve Geppi

Stephen A. Geppi (born January 24, 1950) is an American comic book distributor, publisher and former comic store owner. Having established an early chain of comic shops in Baltimore in the mid-late 1970s, he is best known for his distributing business. Geppi founded Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest comic direct distribution service in 1982, and has served as the company's head to the present. Diamond Distribution became the successor to direct market pioneer Phil Seuling's distribution dream when Geppi took over New Media/Irjax's warehouses in 1982. He further bought out early-distributor Bud Plant in 1988, and main rival Capital City in 1996 to assume a near-monopoly on comics distribution, including exclusivity deals with the major comic book publishers.

Geppi became part owner of the Baltimore Orioles in 1993, and in 1994 purchased Baltimore magazine. He is president and publisher of Gemstone Publishing Inc., through which he publishes Russ Cochran's EC Comics reprints, Disney comics and Blue Book price guide The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.In 1995, he founded Diamond International Galleries, which acquired Hake's Americana & Collectibles auction house (2004), and in 2005, Pennsylvania-based Morphy Auctions. In 2006, Geppi founded Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore.

The Reign of the Superman

"The Reign of the Superman" (January 1933) is a short story written by Jerry Siegel and illustrated by Joe Shuster. It was the writer/artist duo's first published use of the name Superman, which they later applied to their archetypal fictional superhero. The title character of this story is a telepathic villain, rather than a physically powerful hero like the better-known character. (Although the name is hyphenated between syllables due to it being broken between pages on the story's opening spread, it is spelled Superman in the magazine's table of contents and in the story's text.)

Venus (comic book)

Venus is an American romance comic book published by Timely Comics in the United States. Running for 19 issues from 1948 until 1952 it transformed over its run from its romance led stories to finish as a science fiction and horror anthology. It is noted for introducing the Marvel character Venus and an early incarnation of Loki who would later become the nemesis of Marvel character Thor. The final three issues were published through Atlas Comics.

Whiz Comics

Whiz Comics was a monthly ongoing comic book anthology series, published by Fawcett Comics from 1940–1953, best known for introducing Captain Marvel.

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