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Q&A: J. C. VAUGHN & The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Interviews,

I have a total fancrush on The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. For years, it was the only regularly published reference for comic books and while I didn’t really care if my personal collection increased in value, I did like to use the book as my first line of “nerd defense” (“See? This comic book is worth more than your car!”). I might have mentioned that I have relatives in the antique business and whenever they’d stumble across a handful of old comics at some flea market or in the back of a dusty old store, I’d be the point person because, thanks to Overstreet, I knew the difference between Donald Duck #9 and Four Color Comics #9.

Overstreet is a reference book that no fan should be without as it reports on the back issue market for comic books – and not in a rapid-fire “this book is hot-hot-hot now-now-now!” way, but in a calm and measured long view of the industry. In addition to prices based on condition and sales data, it’s a valuable tool for first appearances, collectible issues, rare comics, new costume designs, high profile artists’ work, team-ups, you name it. It’s as valuable to funny book fanatics as Leonard Maltin’s movie book is to Turner Classic Movie nuts.

I also like the idea that Robert Overstreet staked his claim on a piece of the marketplace decades ago that didn’t involve writing, drawing, publishing or selling comic books. He took his home-based business idea and grew it into an empire. We should all be that smart.

My friend J. C. Vaughn has for many years been the Executive Editor and Associate Publisher of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. He knows more about comics, prices, retail trends, auctions and back issues than I think is humanly possible. And he tracks it all without a Blackberry or iPhone. Just walking around Comic Con International with him is an adventure. With the new edition of the Guide set for release on 3/25, J.C. took a few minutes to talk shop.

TOM MASON: How long have you been the Executive Editor and Associate Publisher of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide?

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WATCHMEN WEEK: Where Were You in 1986? Part 2

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Interviews,

Hey, Welcome back! If you’re just joining us we’re in the middle of Watchmen Week, celebrating a case of Watchmen Fever now that the movie is finally coming out. I took a little survey among my longtime friends and acquaintances in the comics industry about where we all were in June 1986 when Watchmen #1 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons went on sale. If you missed part 1, it’s still available right here along with a much better introduction that I encourage you to click over there, read it and come back here.

If you remember where you were and what you were doing back when Watchmen #1 debuted, feel free to leave your story in the comments. And now, here’s Part 2 of Where Were You in 1986:

FRANK MANGIARACINA: I remember 1986 as an exciting–maybe even turning point–year in comics. The guys at my warehouse and stores, and me, were all already excited about the Dark Knight, which had come out earlier that year. Besides the book itself, we were also gratified by the reception it was receiving: the Chicago Sun Times had put the cover of Dark Knight #2 on the front page! Though we loved Frank Miller, I think most of us were even bigger Alan Moore fans, and I remember the early looks at Watchmen were exciting – we’d never seen anything that looked like this before. As #1, and subsequent issues, came out we all read them the day they came out, and would talk about ‘em on smoke and lunch breaks. You have to remember that in the ‘80s comics weren’t respectable. 

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