TITLE: Wizard: The Guide to Comics – The 100 Most Collectible Comics
YEAR: January 1993
COMPANY: Wizard Press
President/Publisher: Gareb S. Shamus
Managing Editor: Alan Binenstock
Associate Editor/Creative Direction: Patrick McCallum
Contributing Editor: Patrick Daniel O’Neill
Art Director: Bradley Fountain
Editorial Production Manager/Assistant Art Director: Douglas Goldstein
Editorial Assistant: Mercedes Cho
Assistant Editor: Craig Cornell
Writers: Nick Berrucci, Susan Cicconi, William Christensen, Mike Clark, Steve Geppi, Shawn Linkenbeck, Mike Lovitz, Mark Siefert, Robert J. Sodaro, Chuck Tooley
Back in the ’90s, making money from comic books was all the rage.
“Wizard: The Guide to Comics” magazine was no doubt instrumental in reaching out to the masses, who were not always hardcore comic book fans and unlike other comic book telephone guides, made a magazine that was acceptable but showing people what was hot. And a lot of people turned these comics into a profit.
These days, while certain older comic books rule the roost and even I learned when I tried to sell my comic books in the 2000’s, what was hot, doesn’t mean it will sell. Only the person searching for certain comics and are willing to pay a price for them is how you can make money. Older classics make money and a lot of those titles such as Valiant, Image Comics and even from Marvel or DC, not many of them are going to make people top dollar.
In fact, as many people go digital and some trying to sell of their collection, it’s safe to say that people are in search of the deal. A lot of comic books for the best price.
I learned that. Selling 75 comic books for $50, major collections that I spent much during the ’90s, all gone for not even the price I paid for them.
The only thing I recall making money when I sold my comics in the 2000’s is the first appearance of Deadpool and no, the first appearance of Gambit, I sold as a lot, not on it’s own.
Still, going back to the ’90s, you can’t blame people for wanting to make money on comic books. People did, it was a collector’s dream at that time. Buy comics and try to sell them and make a profit. Some people do that now on eBay but it’s nothing like it was back in the ’90s.
And so, “Wizard: The Guide to Comics” released “The 100 Most Collectible Comics” and the good news, with inflation and the perspective of what comic book is worth the most, the comics they feature in this special issue are still on the target list for hardcore collectors today because their rarity. And this special issue still has relevance for those with the money, wanting to get the first appearance or first issue of longtime comic books.
Granted, many of us will probably never own an issue featured in “The 100 Most Collectible Comics” but it’s good to see what is hot not just back then but also now!
The magazine goes into grading your comics, and of course, today that has all changed today as most people seek to get theirs graded professionally via CGC. But back in the day, trying to asses what was mint, near mint, very fine, fine, very good, good, fair and poor.
Interviews with Stan Lee (then chairman of Marvel Entertainment Group and Publisher for Marvel Comics) and Julius Schwartz (then Editor Emeritus of DC Comics), interviews with artist/wrier Jack Kirby and many others.
There is a chapter about comic book restoration by Susan Cicconi. Also, an interview with Will Eisner by Patrick Daniel O’Neill. And also, featuring various dealers across the country of their top 10 picks for most valuable comics. And this is very interesting as nearly all gave different answers, with a few selecting “Detective Comics” issue #27 ( first appearance of Batman) and others selecting “Action Comics” Issue #1 (first appearance of Superman) as the most valuable.
A lot of the selections were quite fascinating, especially to see the 1897 comic book “Yellow Kid Magazine” or the 1909 “Little Nemo”. Two rare comics but like all comic books, it all comes down to demand and while hardcore collectors will want these earlier issues, for those who want to purchase and can easily make a quick sale can always look towards first appearances to be the main targets for acquisition and also selling them in the near future.
Knowing that Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men will always appeal to collectors.
I often wonder if this magazine was revamped for 2017, would anything change? Probably not.
Possibly the final pages such as “Superman” issue #199 featuring Superman vs. the Flash in their first race, “Doom Patrol” issue #121″, “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” Issue #75, “Conan the Barbarian” issue #1 and “Amazing Spider-Man” issue #96 may not make the list for others “Top 100”.
But for the most part, I do feel that the selections in this special were justified and still have relevance today, although most of these comics may be worth much more today.
If you have a chance to catch this magazine on eBay for cheap, definitely check it out!