Today I wanted to post on another one of my favorite titles…the DC run of Tarzan by Joe Kubert. These are just fantastic books – good storytelling wrapped in stylistic art work that keeps the reader wanting to turn the page. Of course, he was working with great source material in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character, but new life is injected here that is well worth the relatively inexpensive cost of entry (you can put an unslabbed set of these books together for a very reasonable sum).
DC started this series in April of 1972 with issue #207, and while I cannot speak to it’s commercial success, artistically I think it was another example of very solid work for Kubert on a monthly title that was entirely his artistic responsibility.
Looking at the CGC stats on these books up through issue #231, the collector is faced with both an opportunity and a dilemma. Issue #207, being the first in the series is no problem…plenty of issues are available in high grade and at fairly reasonable prices if you search on eBay.
The problem comes as you try to assemble a high grade set of the books. These books list for $25 in NM- (9.2) in the Overstreet guide (2012-2013). Even if someone has a super nice copy, they may not send it in…and that is evidenced here. Finding a copy of issues 214, 215, 219 or 227 is a real problem. You will have a better chance trolling comic shops for a nice copy that you can send in, instead of waiting for a copy to show up online that has already been graded (assuming it is still slabbed).
And that’s the opportunity, I think, for this title and many like it. There may come a time when people realize that there aren’t that many of these books out there in high grade because they have spent the last forty years languishing in regular bins at comic shops around the country. Of course, there may never be a high demand for this book…but if one develops, and the books aren’t there, then the prices will head north. This is, of course, all speculation…there could very well be untouched stacks of each of these books in some warehouse somewhere. Time will tell!
Otherwise, there are a number of other oddities to speak to here. Check out the spike of 9.8 copies for issue 223. And why no 9.8’s for issue 231? I will leave you to ponder these things on your own!
For a list of what is currently available online, check out these current eBay auctions for CGC DC Tarzan books.
Until next time…
P.S. If interested, you can also find these books reprinted on Amazon…check out Tarzan: The Joe Kubert Years Volume 1