PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #208  (Vol. 5, No. 12)  This edition is for the week of March 15--21, 2004.

Florida Indies Film Review: "Light of Blood” Update
 by Will Moriaty
"Dawn of the Dead"
 by Mike Smith
FL Indie Film Spotlight: An Online Interview With Andrew Allan
 by Andy Lalino
Collecting In The New Millennium....Watchlist--The Comic Industry
 by Brandon Jones
Blimey, It's St. Patty's Day....Classic Monster Collection....Mega-Conned
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Maybe It Was Nessie....TVLand Awards #2....Maybe His Underwear Are Too Tight....Passing On....2nd Time Is The Charm....Meet The Beatles, Part 9
 by Mike Smith
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Collecting in the New Millennium – Part 1

Following MegaCon and a prelude to another one of my intense collectible yard sale extravaganzas, I wanted to review the complex, ever-changing world of collecting today. Long gone are comics cover priced under $1 and sports cards come sequentially number or with pieces of memorabilia embedded into the “card.”

The almighty dollar drives the comic book and sports cards markets just as cash controls nearly every facet of our culture. With that said, break the comic “hot lists” into two categories: comics driven by the comic industry itself and the other to be comics influenced by Hollywood and appeal to the masses. (prices are near-mint values in the recent Wizard price guide.)

Watchlist – the comic industry

10. Superman/Batman – the new series teaming up these two icons has stimulated interest in older issues. Action Comics #309 has creeped above $50 and issues are harder and harder to locate. Action Comics Annual #1 is still a bargain ($6) and the recent Jim Lee run on Batman (especially # 612) which features Supes.

9. Teen Titans – Geoff Johns has rejuvenated the Titans and the cartoon series has brought young readers to the title. “The Judas Contract” storyline, which includes the first appearance of Dick Grayson as Nightwing and New Teen Titans #2 (the first Deathstroke) are hot after gaining dust for several years.

8. Hellboy – fanboys should beat their chest, because the upcoming movie is for them. Ron Perlman is one of those actors that people refer to as “that guy” and the comic isn’t for the weak-minded comic readers. So, will Mike Mignola’s cult masterpeice reach new heights? I hope so. Check those closets for a copy of John Byrne’s Next Men #21 which is the first appearance of Hellboy and demands about $25. A graded copy at 9.8 goes for nearly $300!

7. Uncanny X-Men #101 – remember the flaming Phoenix image at the end of Bryan Singer’s “X2”? Fanboys do and they’re banking on the Dark Phoenix Saga to be a key story arc to the third installment of Hollywood’s “X-Men.” This is where it all begins with Jean’s death and the first appearance of the Phoenix. Marvel is tying the Phoenix in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men and is slated to show up in Ultimate X-Men.

6. Amazing Spider-Man #3 and #129 – Doc Ock and Punisher began here respectively. So, if you can bankroll the $4,000 to get the first Doctor Octavius – let me know, I have a whole collection that you can have for that. $250-$300 will get you the first appearance of Punisher, but expect that price to jump up in the next couple of months. Alfred Molina and Thomas Jane can check their fan appeal by watching these two issues.

5. Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 – How could Alan Moore NOT be on my list? The upcoming “Hellblazer” starring Keanu Reeves will introduce one of the best characters in DC history to the mass audience. This is a pretty rare comic that is finally getting its due. Hellblazer #1 and the Garth Ennis issue #41 are also under $20 – for now.

4. Daredevil #158, 168 & 181 – Frank Miller took over the man with no fear and created Elektra less than a year later. Of course, he killed her off about a year later and so goes the life of Matt Murdock. Who cares? Well Elektra does have her own title, she’s getting her own movie and she doesn’t mind taking it all off. That’s always a fan favorite. (see issue #3)

3. Uncanny X-Men #221 – I bet you thought this was just the first appearance of Mr. Sinister, but this is also the first issue that artist Marc Silvestri worked on the X-Men. Silvestri is teamed with Grant Morrison on New X-Men and the fanboys are going nuts. It seemed like yesterday this was a $6 comic and pretty common. Now, you need to shell out atleast an Andrew Jackson – you better hurry, they’re going disappearing to the grading factory.

2. Punisher – more specifically, the work of Garth Ennis. The early issues in the late 80’s mini-series and regular series have already picked up. Keep a closer eye on the Ennis work, not just on Punisher. The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe is Garth’s first Punisher and is a REALLY, REALLY hard book to find. The dark, gritty style of Ennis is already a fan favorite (check out Preacher) and will only get more and more recognition when the film is released.

1. Incredible Hulk #181 – the first appearance of Wolverine continues to be one of the hottest comics of all time, with the book price hitting $1,275.00. I don’t want to discount the popularity that the movies have brought the X-Men franchise, but Wolvie has been a fan favorite for over a decade. Most X-titles maintain or increase in value, but not like this comic that continues to climb. A high-grade issue 9.8 is nearing $20,000.

Next time we’ll dive into sports cards, particularly football cards and you’ll see even more injustices as “it’s all about the Benjamins.”

Long gone is Spawn’s fan base. Sorry Catwoman, I’m not sure you ever had a fan base. Companies are recycling our past: Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Thundercats. First issues and first appearances still rule while Indies still struggle. Sound familiar?

"Splash Page" is ©2004 by Brandon Jones.   Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.