Posts Tagged ‘1930’s’

Don’t Fall for the Hype

March 15, 2012

Recently, a comic book collection was sold at auction by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Tx for $3.5 million. The collection was discovered by Michael Rorrer of Virginia. He was cleaning out his great aunt’s home when he found a collection of comic books from the 1930’s and 1940’s in a basement closet. Those comic books included:

  • Action Comics No. 1 from 1938, which features the debut of Superman. It sold for $299,000.  (Yes, the Holy Grail of comic books. Many experts feel that there are only 100 Action Comics No. 1 still in existence out of the 200,000 that were printed.)
  • Detective Comics No. 27 from 1939, which features the debut of Batman. It sold for $523,000.
  • Captain America No. 2 from 1941, which features a frightened Hitler on the cover. It sold for $114,000.

Before you start volunteering to clean out the homes of older relatives, it is important to note how lucky Rorrer is. Comic books from that era were throwaway items. They were printed on newsprint, so they were subject to wear and tear. They were also shared among friends, thrown out by Moms and collected as a part of wartime paper drives. Yet, the comic books in this collection survived all these years in good condition—good enough to get the prices in the hundreds of thousands range.

In addition, there are many comic books that aren’t that valuable. Yes, this collection featured Action Comics No. 1 and Detective Comics No. 27 two of the most valuable comic books out there.  What if the comic book collection contained Richie Rich or Casper The Friendly Ghost comics? One website sells Richie Rich comic books from the 1960’s for between $1.25 to $20.00. As for Casper, another website states that issue #60 from September 1952 sells for between $150.00 and $200.00. You can’t make enough money to quit your job by selling old Richie Rich or Casper comic books.

Which leads to this, it is great that Rorrer found the old comic books in his great aunt’s home, most of us won’t be that fortunate. Not every old item has value. Also, there are a lot reproductions out there. Taking Superman as an example, in 1974 DC Comics published an oversized exact reproduction of Action Comics No. 1. As you can guess, that comic book isn’t as worth as much as the original.

So, be happy for Rorrer that he found the comic books and made as much money as he did from them. Yet, don’t start seeing dollar signs when an old relative asks for your help clearing out stuff when he or she decides to move to a smaller home.



When the Famous Become Infamous

May 26, 2010

Recently there was a bench warrant issued for Lindsey Lohan’s arrest after she failed to appear in court.  Lohan has been in and out of court, since her 2007 drunk driving conviction and it was reported that she had been partying big time at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Before anyone start complaining about how spoiled some actors and actresses are these days and stating how actors and actresses of the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s conducted themselves differently, think again. Some actors and actresses of the past were just as bad.

Errol Flynn drank heavily, shamelessly chased after women and died in the arms of his teenage mistress when he was 50 years old. Joan Crawford was reported by her daughter Christina in her famous book Mommie Dearest as having been both physically and verbally abusive towards her and her brother.

Of course, this information came about after these persons died. Back in the day, there wasn’t TMZ, or Extra reporting about their exploits and the studios were willing to “bail out” a particular actor or actress, both literally and figuratively, when that person got into trouble.  While studio executives weren’t happy to learn about a particular star’s infamous exploits, they “protected” their stars.  They considered it the cost of doing business with these people. After all, the movies of Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford and others, made money for the studios, so the executives put up with “that” kind of behavior.

When the studio system dissolved, so did the protection it afford people. Yes, actors and actresses have more freedom to pursue projects to their liking, the flip side of being an independent contractor is that they are vulnerable to a spurned boyfriend or girlfriend, ex-employee or other person leaking information about drug habits, relationship problems or other juicy tidbits to the press and no one can do anything about it.

So, the next time you hear about some famous bad boy or girl du jour, remember this:  They’re just continuing a long and not so illustrious  tradition.