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Friday, March 29, 2024 

Superman back issue auction farce continues, and what kind of free Batman comics are being given away in NYC?

The New York Post gives the latest fluff-coated news on the speculator market, and how another of the ancient issues of Superman still in existence:
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the most expensive comic book ever!

A nearly pristine issue of Action Comics #1 — the first appearance of Superman — goes under the hammer next month and is expected to surpass the world’s highest-ever comic book price of $5.3 million.

“Without Superman and Action Comics No. 1, who knows whether there ever would have been a Golden Age of comics — or if the medium would have become what it is today,” said Barry Sandoval, the vice president of Heritage Auctions, which is staging the April 4 sale.
Without the repeated focus on auctions, maybe we'd have a far more robust industry than we do now, with far more attention devoted to merit than money. No mention of the dire state of writing and art alike in the mainstream, and it wouldn't be shocking if it turned out the doubtlessly "slabbed" back issue has been in the news - and sold at auction conventions - before. For higher and higher prices all the time, and never read, and kept locked up in steel safes much of the time, rather than move to a museum. It's just shameful, right down to how the paper makes it sound like this is the first time it's happening. Sadly, it won't be the last.

Here's also a Time Out announcement for what's taking place on Batman Day, when free specials are being given out, something that may not happen on Superman Day, if there's any such thing at all, and the following is fishy:
To honor the anniversary, Warner Bros. Discovery and DC are hosting a number of comic book giveaways all over town this weekend, on March 30, all centered around a pop-up at SoHo News International, the beloved corner magazine store at 186 Prince Street near Sullivan Street.

The destination will transform into a more "classic" looking newsstand and the staff will give away limited copies of a Batman 85th anniversary special edition of Detective Comics #27, which features a modern retelling of "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate." Keep in mind that each visitor will only be allowed to grab one on a first-come, first-serve basis between 11am and 6pm.
Would this happen to be a special that was written by the blatant novelist Brad Meltzer a decade ago? Well that makes the free giveaway even worse, and explains perfectly why freebies can be a very bad thing, especially if they're laced with political propaganda. Nobody with common sense should waste time on the free special being given away, after what Meltzer did with Identity Crisis in 2004.

What's surely galling about these kind of events is that they fail to improve the marketing approach to comicdom, since they continue the spotlight on pamphlets instead of concentrating energy on the need to abandon such a format and try paperback/hardcover instead. None of this ever seems to be explored in the press, and they keep on concentrating so much energy on petty subjects like auctioneering, which does nothing to boost the medium in the right way. At worst, it makes it look like back issues are only made to be collected for monetary purpose, and too expensive for anybody interested in reading material. While as for free items, it makes it look like they're trying to take advantage of those less wary to how comics came to employ bad writers, and even for distributing political propaganda.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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