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

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Interviews,

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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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