News flash! Someone over on the Collector’s Society boards has indicated that there was a warehouse find of these books back in ~2000. In his words:
There was a warehouse find of these books for sale on eBay back around 2000 or so. I didn’t keep the data but off the top of my head I believe there were 10-15 thousand books. Over 100+ copies of most issues (Vicki being less). There are a lot of these books out there.
If true…then my statements below of a small number of these in the “wild” would not be true (assuming the books have been cared for since found). Take from this what you will. In any case, these books are not heavily collected, and not that valuable in grade.
Recently someone over at Lyria Comic Exchange requested that I take a look at something obscure, like Atlas-Seaboard comics from 1974-1975. I wasn’t really sure what to expect here. When I first started collecting comics in 1985, these books had already been relegated to the quarter bins and only occasionally did I even notice them. I do have a few copies of Atlas-Seaboard comics in my collection, most notably the Ditko/Wood Destructor. But that’s about it.
So what does the data say? Well, it’s fairly predictable, but not entirely. Remember that Atlas was a ground breaking company in that it gave the artists more control over their work. They got the rights to characters that were created, and all art work was returned to the artists and considered their property. This was a totally new concept in the world of comic production. As a result, a lot of the industries heavy hitters came to work for the company. Adams, Heath, Ditko, Wood…etc.
Ultimately though, the characters were not well received. The books, and the company, failed. Relegated to the quarter bins, the books produced by Atlas-Seaboard languished. So what does the CGC data have for us then, given this unique history? I decided to take a look at the #1 issues for each title to get an answer to this question. Looking at this data does not give a complete picture…but it’s close enough. (Note…there were a few straggler issues graded below CGC 8.0 for these titles…but only ~5-10 total for the whole set of books. They are not represented on the graph)
As we might expect, there is a peak with The Destructor title (Wood/Ditko). The peaks at the Barbarians and Phoenix titles are not readily explainable. Howard Chaykin worked on The Scorpion, but no noticeable spike is present there. We need to bear in mind that these books do not guide in NM- 9.2 for more than ~$20 nominally…some a little more, some a little less (with the exception of Vicki…which guides for $65 in 9.2). So…they aren’t really worth sending in for a grade unless you are an Atlas fan.
The clear message here is, if you are not an Atlas fan, but are thinking of becoming one and putting a high-grade run together, it’s going to be a tough road. I suspect there are raw ones out there that are in good shape…but perhaps not (see above statement on possible warehouse find). For books not highly sought after, which are over 30 years old, we must always remember the ravages of the quarter bin! (Dollar bin these days)
So, that is about all I have for the Atlas-Seaboard books. In my next post, I think I will return to something a little more mainstream!
Until next time…