Cyberspace Comics market report, reviews and more

July 5, 2016

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #177 normalman

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 8:00 am

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

Famous Funnies began in 1934 and collected classic strips including Mutt & Jeff, Tailspin Tommy, Joe Palooka, and many other popular comic strips of yesteryear. One of the more notable characters featured in Famous Funnies was Buck Rogers and, as Famous Funnies was closing out its publishing history, they hired Frank Frazetta to draw Buck Rogers covers for the series from issues #209-217 (#218 was the last issue).

Famous Funnies #214
Famous Funnies #214
November 1954
Frank Frazetta
normalman #8
normalman #8
April 1985
Jim Valentino

On Ebay: normalman | Famous Funnies
On Amazon: normalman | Famous Funnies
On AtomicAvenue: normalman | Famous Funnies






June 28, 2016

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #176 normalman

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 8:00 am

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

The DNAgents are a team of superheroes that were created through genetic engineering by the Matrix Corporation. Admittedly it doesn’t sound like an advanced concept by today’s standards but, it was ahead of the curve when it debuted in 1983. (After all, Marvel’s own genetic manipulator, Mr. Sinister, didn’t debut for another four years.) The team consisted of five heroes: Amber, Rainbow, Sham, Surge, and Tank. A frequent guest-star called Crossfire debuted in issue #4. Crossfire got his own spin-off series that lasted for 26 issues (as well as a four issue mini-series shared with Rainbow). DNAgents lasted 24 issues before it was relaunched as the New DNAgents, which was published for 17 issues.

DNAgents #4
DNAgents #4
July 1983
Will Meugniot
normalman #7
normalman #7
February 1985
Jim Valentino

On Ebay: normalman | DNAgents
On Amazon: normalman | DNAgents
On AtomicAvenue: normalman | DNAgents






June 21, 2016

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #175 normalman

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 8:00 am

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

Will Eisner‘s the Spirit debuted in the Sunday pages of 1940 newspapers – the character is a masked vigilante that fights crime with the blessings of the city’s police commissioner. The Spirit has gone on to be featured in hundreds of comics as well as a feature-length film written and directed by Frank Miller.

Richie Rich #1
the Spirit
October 9, 1941
Will Eisner
normalman #6
normalman #6
December 1984
Jim Valentino

On Ebay: normalman | the Spirit
On Amazon: normalman | the Spirit
On AtomicAvenue: normalman | the Spirit






June 14, 2016

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #174 normalman

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 8:00 am

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

Richard Rich, Junior debuted in Little Dot #1, published in 1953. Better known as Richie, he’s the only child of wealthy parents and is the world’s richest kid. The character has also been featured in multiple animated series as well as a feature-length film starring Macaulay Culkin as Richie. Most recently, in 2015, Netflix released a live-action Richie Rich sitcom series.

Richie Rich #1
Richie Rich #1
November 1960
Warren Kremer
normalman #5
normalman #5
October 1984
Jim Valentino

On Ebay: normalman | Richie Rich
On Amazon: normalman | Richie Rich
On AtomicAvenue: normalman | Richie Rich






June 7, 2016

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #173 normalman

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 8:00 pm

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

I couldn’t find a specific cover that normalman#3 is paying homage but, it’s very clear that this issue’s cover design is honoring those classic horror titles published by E.C. Comics in the 1950’s: Two-Fisted Tales, Shock SuspenStories, the Haunt of Fear, the Vault of Horror and Tales From the Crypt (amongst others).

Tales From the Crypt #39
Tales From the Crypt #39
December 1953
Jack Davis
normalman #3
normalman #3
June 1984
Jim Valentino

On Ebay: normalman | Tales From the Crypt
On Amazon: normalman | Tales From The Crypt
On AtomicAvenue: normalman | Tales From the Crypt






June 1, 2016

Cyberspace Comics Market Report #70 June 2016

Filed under: Cyberspace Comics Market Report — Doorman @ 12:05 pm

I started selling comics full-time in 2010 and wanted to track my progress against the online back issue markets. Here’s a look at the current comics aftermarket and my progress in achieving my goal of becoming a prominent back issue dealer.

one month change one year change five year change
Listings in eBay’s comics section 2,443,311 -19.37% -15.18% +63.70%
Cyberspace Comics listings 93,780 +1.39% +19.54% +1,201.60%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on eBay 3.84% +25.84% +41.11% +695.13%
Number of eBay comic listings that are auctions 121,144 -18.97% +5.03% +67.92%
Percentage of eBay comic listings up for auction 4.96% +0.57% +23.95% +2.65%
Number of listings sold in eBay’s comics section (90 days) 1,099,070 -1.99%
Number of listings sold in eBay’s comics section divided by current listings 44.98% +21.54%


Total number of listings in eBay’s “comics” section

My current eBay feedback (unique): 46,254
My current eBay feedback (total): 89,406
My postive eBay feedback score: 99.9%

Here’s a look at the top five categories in my eBay store from the past 90 days.

Position Dollar Sales (eBay) # of Current Listings
First Marvel Comics Marvel Comics (19,888 listings)
Second DC Comics DC Comics (13,926 listings)
Third Graded Comics (CGC) (↑) Other Indies (8,700 listings)
Fourth Image Comics (↓) Image Comics (7,536 listings)
Fifth Other Indies (↑) Dark Horse (4,297 listings)
one month change one year change five year change
Listings on Atomic Avenue 1,219,500 +0.41% +0.32% -12.60%
Listings in the Cyberspace Comics Store on Atomic Avenue 89,808 +0.62% +18.06% +156.81%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on AtomicAvenue 7.36% +0.19% +17.64% +193.83%
Cyberspace Comics estimated “market share” of AtomicAvenue orders 8.14% -6.33% +14.81% +80.89%
Number of unique issues on Atomic Avenue 225,516 +0.62% +9.41%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of unique issues on AtomicAvenue 39.82% +0.01% +7.90%


Total number of comics listed on Atomic Avenue
one month change one year change five year change
Number of members on ComicCollectorLive 123,285 +0.18% +23.82%
Number of items for sale on ComicCollectorLive 1,666,999 +0.32%
Number of items sold on ComicCollectorLive 2,081,654 +0.56%
Number of stores open on ComicCollectorLive 100 -0.99%
one month change one year change five year change
Number of listings in Amazon’s Entertainment Collectibles – Comic Book section 178,775 +8.21%
Number of those listings that are in the Cyberspace Comics Amazon store 89,266 +1.95%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on Amazon 49.93% -5.79%
one month change one year change five year change
Number of listings in HipComic’s Comic Books section 160,060 -6.94%
Number of those listings that are in the Cyberspace Comics HipComic store: 92,546 +0.06%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on HipComic 57.82% +7.53%
one month change one year change five year change
Number of listings in Bonanza’s Comics section 131,711 -1.39%

 
 

This has been an interesting snapshot of the current market. Mycomicshop has suffered a database problem that caused them to go down over the weekend. Their dropout of the ebay marketplace has thrown the numbers off considerably as the total number of listings on ebay plummetted due to their loss. I suspect they’ll be back by next month and the growth in the next month’s market report will seem very high. Ebay’s new store plans have kicked into gear now – anchor stores get 10,000 free fixed price listings and 1,000 auction listings each month. The number of auctions on ebay hasn’t been this low since July 2015. It’ll be interesting to see what effect their new store plans will have on the auction/fixed price balance.

Atomic Avenue‘s total listings are continuing their slow climb out of their most recent 5-year low brought on by a combination of increased selling fees and stricter selling metrics that removed some members (while other members left proactively). But, more importantly, their number of unique issues continues to rise consistently – and has done so since I began tracking this data.

Comic Collector Live continues to see consistent growth in their user base even though one of their member stores has closed.

Amazon‘s collectibles marketplace is too new to draw any conclusions but is still showing steady growth in its selection.

HipComic, which debuted in January 2016, just hit a major snag. The marketplace has been temporarily shut down due to a legal motion from Stanley Gibbons. The website explains that a hearing on the matter was held on May 23 and they are currently awaiting the result.

Bonanza lost a small number of listings but nothing to be concerned about.

May 31, 2016

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #172 normalman

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 8:12 pm

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

It looks as if normalman #2 is paying homage to this classic issue of Fantastic Four (guest-starring Daredevil) but the logo is actually honoring the long-standing Spider-Man logo design that debuted on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #2 and dressed the covers of that series up through issue #394.

Fantastic Four #39
Fantastic Four #39
June 1965
Jack Kirby
normalman #2
normalman #2
April 1984
Jim Valentino

On Ebay: normalman | Fantastic Four
On Amazon: normalman | Fantastic Four
On AtomicAvenue: normalman | Fantastic Four






May 24, 2016

Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed #171 normalman

Filed under: Swiped: Comic Book Cover Swipes Exposed! — Doorman @ 10:00 am

After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

Superman #146
Superman #146
July 1961
Curt Swan, Sheldon Moldoff
normalman #1
normalman #1
January 1984
Jim Valentino

On Ebay: normalman | Superman
On Amazon: normalman | Superman
On AtomicAvenue: normalman | Superman






May 4, 2016

Cyberspace Comics Market Report #69 May 2016

Filed under: Cyberspace Comics Market Report — Doorman @ 8:59 pm

I started selling comics full-time in 2010 and wanted to track my progress against the online back issue markets. Here’s a look at the current comics aftermarket and my progress in achieving my goal of becoming a prominent back issue dealer.

one month change one year change five year change
Listings in eBay’s comics section 3,030,350 -2.24% -6.57% +96.82%
Cyberspace Comics listings 92,492 -0.15% +18.32% +1,2220.37%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on eBay 3.05% +2.08% +26.65% +570.87%
Number of eBay comic listings that are auctions 149,496 -4.43% +15.08% +66.30%
Percentage of eBay comic listings up for auction 4.93% +4.67% +32.17% -9.54%
Number of listings sold in eBay’s comics section (90 days) 1,121,401 +5.83%
Number of listings sold in eBay’s comics section divided by current listings 37.01% +8.27%


Total number of listings in eBay’s “comics” section

My current eBay feedback (unique): 45,628
My current eBay feedback (total): 88,006
My postive eBay feedback score: 99.8%

Here’s a look at the top five categories in my eBay store from the past 90 days.

Position Dollar Sales (eBay) # of Current Listings
First Marvel Comics Marvel Comics (19,537 listings)
Second DC Comics DC Comics (14,062 listings)
Third Image Comics (↑) Other Indies (8,615 listings)
Fourth Graded Comics (CGC) (↓) Image Comics (7,144 listings)
Fifth Wholesale (↑) Dark Horse (4,029 listings)
one month change one year change five year change
Listings on Atomic Avenue 1,214,507 +0.66% +3.77% -9.45%
Listings in the Cyberspace Comics Store on Atomic Avenue 89,252 +0.76% +18.09% +201.27%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on AtomicAvenue 7.35% +0.12% +13.76% +232.72%
Cyberspace Comics estimated “market share” of AtomicAvenue orders 8.69% -18.86% +100.69% +28.74%
Number of unique issues on Atomic Avenue 224,120 +0.85% +9.51%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of unique issues on AtomicAvenue 39.82% -0.09% +7.83%


Total number of comics listed on Atomic Avenue
one month change one year change five year change
Number of members on ComicCollectorLive 123,058 +0.61% +24.04%
Number of items for sale on ComicCollectorLive 1,661,622
Number of items sold on ComicCollectorLive 2,070,029
Number of stores open on ComicCollectorLive 101
one month change one year change five year change
Number of listings in Amazon’s Entertainment Collectibles – Comic Book section 165,205 +3.72%
Number of those listings that are in the Cyberspace Comics Amazon store 87,560 +1.65%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on Amazon 53.00% -1.94%
one month change one year change five year change
Number of listings in HipComic’s Comic Books section 171,997 +18.45%
Number of those listings that are in the Cyberspace Comics HipComic store: 92,487 -0.44%
Cyberspace Comics “market share” of comic listings on HipComic 53.77% -15.93%
one month change one year change five year change
Number of listings in Bonanza’s Comics section 133,573 +9.14%

 
 

From October 2015 to February 2016, eBay was giving away 10,000 free listings to sellers with store accounts. Despite the elimination of this promotion, the number of listings have dipped but not dropped off sharply.

Atomic Avenue‘s total listings are continuing their slow climb out of their most recent 5-year low brought on by a combination of increased selling fees and stricter selling metrics that removed some members (other members left proactively). This month, that slow climb took a slight hit. However, more importantly, their number of unique issues continues to rise consistently – and has done so since I began tracking this data.

Comic Collector Live continues to see consistent growth in their user base.

Amazon‘s collectibles marketplace is too new to draw any conclusions – as is the recently-launched HipComic, which debuted in January 2016.

Bonanza continues to see consistent growth in the number of listings since I started tracking that data.

April 30, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Fan Theory – Wolverine is a Horseman

Filed under: Speculation — Doorman @ 10:06 am

Possible Spoilers Alert

In 2000, the first X-Men film introduced us to Wolverine, a mutant with very little knowledge of his past. His mutant powers included a healing factor and three metal claws on each hand. In the sequel, X2, Colonel William Stryker hints at a shared past with Wolverine. Both of these films are set in the present day. In 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it was revealed that in the past, William Stryker recruited Wolverine as a part of Team X. He subjected Wolverine to a painful operation that reinforced his skeleton with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal. In 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, a distant-future team of X-Men sends Wolverine’s mind back in time to the 1970’s to inhabit the body of the Wolverine of that timeline. This 1970’s version of Wolverine has bone claws – so he has yet to be subjected to Stryker’s operation that laces his skeleton with adamantium.

Now, here’s where things start to get interesting. Thanks to the events of the time-traveling Wolverine, the X-Men events have been altered. For example, at the end of this movie, Stryker captures Wolverine – presumably, this is the point at which he will soon undergo the adamantium-bonding procedure. However, now that the events have been altered, at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s revealed that Stryker has not captured Wolverine – instead, it is Mystique posing as Stryker that has him.

So, as we last saw, Wolverine has no adamantium bonded to his skeleton and the person that was going to take him and administer that process doesn’t have control of him. On April 25, 2016, a new trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse dropped and, at the 2:27 mark, it shows a clawed hand. We’re to assume that Wolverine will be in this film – which is set in the 1980’s. The claws on this hand are clearly sheathed in adamantium – so, somehow, Wolverine got the adamantium on his bones again. Although, it’s now quite possible that the adamantium did not come from Stryker’s procedure. Simon Kinberg, the man who wrote the screenplay for X-Men: Apocalypse and produced the film, when asked if “Wolverine will still get his adamantium claws” said: “We don’t see it because he doesn’t pop his claws at the end of the movie [but like with elements of the story] perhaps how he got his claws is different. But he lands ultimately in the same destination.”






So … how else could the adamantium have been attached to Wolverine’s skeleton?

A big clue is that the main villain of this next film is Apocalypse (read our full Apocalypse: X-Men Villain bio) – an ancient mutant that is known for enhancing mutants and recruiting them to be his Horsemen. One of the most notable cases of this is, in the comics, when Apocalypse transformed Angel into Archangel by giving him new, metallic wings whose razor-like feathers he can shoot off like throwing knives. In the film, we know that his Four Horsemen will consist of Magneto, Storm, Psylocke and Angel. We also have seen a recent photo shoot showing Storm in an X-Men uniform alongside the team – this uniform is certainly different than her Horseman outfit.

Now, here comes the Cyberspace Comics fan theory! Let’s say Storm defects to the X-Men, leaving a void to be filled in the Horsemen. Looking to fill that void, Apocalypse recruits Wolverine and enhances him with an adamantium-laced skeleton. This provides us with a perfectly good explanation of how Wolverine gets his adamantium back and fits in nicely with the Apocalypse storyline.

Now, mind you, this theory doesn’t just come out of nowhere. There’s certainly basis for it in the comics themselves. In Astonishing X-Men vol. 2 #1 (cover date: September 1999), a new Horseman of Death is introduced. And, in X-Men vol. 2 #95 (cover date: December 1999), that Horseman was revealed to be Wolverine. That very same month, in Wolverine vol. 2 #145, it was revealed that Apocalypse had taken the adamantium-free Wolverine (Magneto ripped the adamantium out of him in Wolverine vol. 2 #75) and enhanced him with the rare metal – turning him into Death.

Could the movie be following this very same path of reintroducing Wolverine’s adamantium via Apocalypse? If so, is Wolverine going to be a Horseman of Apocalypse? It’s certainly possible – and would make for a great addition to the Apocalypse and Wolverine storyline in the X-Films.

If that happens, I expect a strong uptick in demand for the issues wherein Wolverine is the Horseman of Death. Those issues are Astonishing X-Men vol. 2 #1-3, Wolverine vol. 2 #145-147, and X-Men vol. 2 #95. And, even though it’s not in-continuity, I’d also look to What If? vol. 2 #111.


On Ebay: X-Men | Wolverine | Apocalypse
On AtomicAvenue: X-Men | Wolverine | Apocalypse






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