Wednesday, August 3, 2011

1982 - The Marvel Comics Guide To Collecting Comics!

The Marvel Comics Guide To Collecting Comics was published in November 1982 as a 16-page bonus insert in Amazing Spider-Man #234.

It featured a lovely cover by Walt Simonson and was put together by Mark Burbey. It provided a basic introduction to comic book collecting, including a list of terms (Back Issue, Silver Age, Fanzine, etc...), comic book condition guidelines, an investment guide, a storage guide, and a variety of other great collecting tips.


  1. Apparently, the number one rule is "sure, stack your comics and use them as armchairs!"

    I bet the number two rule is "don't bother buying those icky comics from our Distinguished Competition. They'll never be worth anything."


  2. The ultimate irony, of course, is that I found a digital copy of this and downloaded it in order to read it.

    Fascinating historical document that explains a lot about comics at that time.

    I can still remember moving in Sept 1986 to a larger town that had a direct comics shop. The owner put an ad the local Wednesday newspaper-ad-thing that was put in every mailbox (remember those?), in the summer of 1987, and I found back issues for the first time. (Probably the best ad anyone ever placed, since I was a loyal weekly customer thru probably 1994.)

    True story: In 1979, I got my first (real, non-kiddie) comics - Star Wars. I got three bags of comics, which extended from #11 thru #18. I didn't find the conclusion until I went to the comics store in 1987! For a kid, that's a LONG time. I finally found out what happened after the cliffhanger ending of #18 when I bought #19 as a back issue.

  3. Hey FanOfClaremontNM, thanks for sharing!

  4. Don't encourage me to tell stories about old comics.

  5. The first (non-kiddie) comics I ever got were the SW comics in bags. Readers probably wouldn't know where this is, but I lived in Kingsport TN in 1979 and there was Aunt Emma's restaurant (EXCELLENT food) beside Rose's, and you could go into Rose's from the restaurant. One day, when I went into Rose's after, there they were, on a big spinning rack. I didn't know anything about comics, of course, but I knew about SW.

    A year or so later (so we're in the 80s now), I was at a place called Santa's Land, near Maggie Valley. (It's still there, if anyone wants a unique vacation trip. They have a large zoo. Not sure what that has to do with Santa, but that's what they have.) On the way back, there was a little Christmas ornament shop. I didn't get any ornaments, but they had some bagged comics. I got a bag of LSH issues (Superboy + LSH #255-257) and one of Brave and Bold issues (Batman/Red Tornado #153 and Batman/Metamorpho #154), plus Green Lantern #120 (this one was VERY hard for me to track down - GL and GA encounter Ponce De Leon during a Florida hurricane).

    In the early 80s, I lived in Hendersonville. I bought comics initially at Sherman's Superette. I bought a lot of war comics because my grandfather told me about his experiences in WWII. (Many Fighting Army and Marines, because they were CHEAP.) Eventually a bookstore opened that carried comics, and finally a mall with Waldenbooks.

    My favorite comic in the early 1980s was the Empire Strikes Back adaptation. I read it over and over. Some of the best art and storytelling I've ever seen in a comic book.

    I didn't start getting back issues until 1987 when I had access to a comics store.

    See, don't get me started.

  6. Cover prices...what happened to you? I sometimes fantasize about going back in time to when I was 7 or 8 and retaining the sensibilities about comics that I have now. I'd have horded them with more vigilance.
    Come by and visit my comics blog if you have a moment:
    and if you're into art at all, I have some posted at my art blog:
    I'd like to have more followers so I know I'm not just talking to myself.

  7. That was a great little insert. Although I had been reading comics since the late 70s, that guide really got me SERIOUS about Collecting. And the Walt Simonson cover IS beautiful.

  8. Not only was it an insert, I think the shops used to give it away on its own too. I think that's how I ended up with two copies, one to read and one to bag



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