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Posted January 3, 2006
The Overstreet Comic Price Guide has been around so long that it's become ubiquitous in the industry. It's the default standard of most collectors. Now while Krause Publications does out their own yearly price guide, the Standard Catalog of Comics is a whole other animal. This massive, 1600 plus page tome lists more comic titles than any other guide at over 165,000 comics, far more than any other guide going, and includes hundreds of variant issues. The Standard Catalog of Comics is the blue collar guide to comics. It isn't filled with fluff articles about Superman or Archie, this is a guide designed for and by comic book collectors and enthusiasts. First, this book does a far better job of explaining comic grading and conditions than Overstreet, and features close-up photos of standard defects such as creasing, spine-roll, rusty staples, and stress creases. But what really sets The Standard Catalog apart from its competitor is it's pricing data. With Overstreet, we get dozens of pages of retailer reports offering their opinions and a handful of recorded sales that to me has always been fairly useless. Today, the internet, and particularly eBay has changed the way comics are bought and sold and pretty much replace retail shops and conventions as the preferred place to buy and sell back issues. What this book provides is real date culled from real sales, and a lot of it. What the editors have done is to track up to 25 recent auction closings for various combinations of CGC graded comics. For example, Daredevil #1 had at 25 reported closings in a condition of CGC 6.0 over the evaluation period. These books closed with a low of $455, a high of $911, and an average of $640. In another example, Marvel Team-Up #24 had 4 closing (and three is the minimum used for reporting) in a grade of CGC 9.8. The high was $147. Now this book in standard NM condition is only valued at $8 so you can see the wide disparity in slabbed comic books. This is real world data that is invaluable to collectors like myself who have moved to eBay to buy and sell comics. Where there is no auction data each book is given only a NM grade and then there is a chart to calculate the value of a book in lower grade. This information comes from the Comic Base, as well as convention and mail order sales. Purists may be bothered by that but really, what more does one need? The CGC data is what is going to appeal to most collectors anyway. Another thing setting the Standard Catalog apart is its circulation data. With records of capital City and Diamond orders along with the publisher's statement of ownership figures, circulation totals are provided for thousands of comics. Now you can know just how many copies of the supposed 'rare' title were distributed. Again, this is invaluable information for collectors. Listed for issues are items such as notable character appearances, events, origins, first appearances, artist/writer credits, they even list the title of the story for hundreds of thousands of individual issues. In addition brief capsule essays are provided for nearly all mainstream comic titles. The book is clearly and concisely written. The information is provided in a well laid out format and is easy to follow and locate. Is it perfect? Well not quite. While there are over 2,000 comic photos that only averages to just over one per page and more photos would have been welcome. Still the wealth of valuable information in the book makes it absolutely indispensable for any comic book collector and should be in the possession of anyone who is series about comics. Reviewed by Tim JansonWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 15, 2005
This book is so much more than a price guide. Don¿t get me wrong, as a comic book price guide it¿s a good one, not only giving you the average comic store retail value of books, but that the average online auction value is in several CGC grades. It¿s fair and accurate on most books, though it doesn¿t give insanely high values to some of the `hot new¿ books. Also, it has individual listings for each comic book with check boxes by every issue so you can keep track of what you have and what you need. But this 5.5 pound monster isn¿t just about how much your comic is worth. For most series it gives a background and description of the series. It tells you who wrote and drew every single comic, and it even has how many issues were printed for most comics. Newcomers to comic books can enjoy this rich wealth of comic book information but I believe the long time comic book fanatic will best enjoy it. For the long time fan this book will not only help you keep track of your vast collection, but it will allow you an opportunity to discover new comic series. It will reacquaint you with lost comic book loves, and it will provide you hours of reading. This is a must have for every comic book fan new and seasoned, young and old. I can¿t recommend this enough!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 15, 2002
The gigantic book attempts to catalog every comic book published since the 1930s. It includes dates, cover prices, circulation information (where available), and collector's market values for near mint grades. It also features short essays about selected titles. While it touts listings of creator credits, this information is far from complete. Not even major titles from Marvel and DC have complete credits. Still, the work is a tremendous effort and I often find myself simply flipping through it enjoying the essays and illustrations. Unlike the Overstreet guide, every issue has its own listing, which could allow the book to be used as a checklist (although at 6+ pounds, I can't image lugging this beast around at a convention).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.