View Full Version : Anyone 'collect' these butchered type books?
08-13-2010, 06:38 PM
I've seen stacks of books that had their covers mutilated like this...the last instance being several 30-inch high stacks of Warren Magazines (Vampirella etc) from the mid 70s. I was told it had something to do with getting a rebate for unsold books?
I can see why certain silver and bronze age books go for high amounts in higher-grades...because returns were subjected to this treatment.
They make good reading copies if anything else...but I don't consider reading copies 'collectible'...unless it's brutally expensive even as a tatty-poo rag in 0.5/10 condition. I do know of one collector who got hoardes of these type of slashed cover books for next to nothing :biggrin:
08-13-2010, 06:45 PM
i saw someone trying to sell a copy of Daredevil Battles Hitler # 1 without a cover for around £400(ive seen NM copies of this advertised for £16,000) so i suppose for really rare issues it is the only way many people would get to own them and so they retain at least "some" value
i personally wouldnt really pay anything for a comic like that.
08-13-2010, 08:08 PM
Yes, this was done to returns. They would cut off the logo and send it back to prove they hadn't actually sold the comic. Nowadays they tear the whole cover off and return it. I personally would only pick these up if they were dirt cheap and I wanted to read the stories. I saw an Adventure Comics #73, the first Manhunter, in absoultely gorgeous condition on ebay, ecept it had the logo cut off. The remaing part of the cover was great, glossy, awesome color... very sad to see, really. They wanted $400 for it.
08-13-2010, 09:12 PM
I've been collecting these books for years.
My last big bunch was about 20 silver age books for $5 at a show someone was looking to unload them.
Also get date stamp/store stamp and subscription copies.
08-13-2010, 09:14 PM
I don't go out of my way to collect them, but I'm always happy to see them.
It usually means a cheap price on an older book. And the condition of any comic is meaningless to me, as long as it's readable.
08-14-2010, 10:44 AM
Also get date stamp/store stamp and subscription copies.
I don't mind date-stamped copies...got lots of bronze and some silver books with a neatly stamped date on the cover.
08-14-2010, 01:42 PM
nope cant say i do. i mean i have bought comics in good condition but i usually dont end up keeping them. and if they have a quarter of the cover missing its just too much. i either trash em or give them away because it drives me bonkers looking at butchered books/comics/magazines.
08-14-2010, 02:01 PM
As said above, it's standard practice on returnable publications to strip the cover and return that. A bundle of covers costs a fraction to ship that returning the whole book/magazine would. This is why you'll see a bar code on the inside front cover of a paperback book in addition to the one on the back cover - it's there for the publisher to scan to record books that have been stripped and returned. The seller returning the product is supposed to destroy it after removing the cover. In some books, you'll even see a disclaimer on the copyright page saying something to the effect that if you bought the book without a cover that it has been reported as destroyed.
08-14-2010, 02:05 PM
Amazing Spider-Man #38. It's valuable because it was Ditko's last issue. The story itself is rather bland.
08-15-2010, 01:16 AM
I don't particularly collect them but I have a ton I got in the early '70s. The barbershop (yup, barbershop) at the end of my street had them packaged three for a quarter (I assume they were "illegal"). The ones on the outside were razored like that and the one on the inside would be missing the front cover.
Got a TON of great late '60s and early '70s stuff that way, including things like Thomas/Adams X-Men.
08-15-2010, 05:03 AM
I have several "Savage Sword of Conan" issues that look like that. Being primarily a reader I couldn't care less.
I also have some old issue (Steranko-Fury) were somebody cut out the upper left corner with the logo. Cost me €1 each.
08-17-2010, 10:58 PM
My understanding is that in the beginning, retailers would strip the entire cover off the comic and return it to the publisher / distributor for a full refund. The retailer would then have to destroy the leftover comic. Of course, many shady dealers sold the stripped copies off in junk shops.
Later, they switched to just stripping the titles off the comics and returning those. Same story -- many copies that were supposed to be destroyed ended up getting sold anyway, at a deep discount to kids who didn't care that the title was missing.
Later, they went to "affadavit returns." In this case, no stripping is done at all. The retailer just signs a sworn statement that says: "I destroyed 13 unsold copies of X-Men #22. Please refund my $6.00." Of course, those mint condition copies were not getting destroyed but were getting sold cheap right off the back of the distributor truck to the emerging collectors' market, or kind of under the counter in the same shops that were supposed to have destroyed them. And they wonder why newsstand sales went to hell in the 70s...!
Stripping covers for return is still common practice in the book trade. That's why you often see the message on the first page which says something to the effect of: "If you bought this book without a cover, it has been purchased illegally."
08-18-2010, 08:21 AM
I picked up a bag of old comics about a year ago in an antique shop. The best condition comic of the bunch was an old "stripped" Dick Tracy. I smiled when I looked at it, because there is an element of comic book history to it, even though it is damaged.
08-19-2010, 03:33 AM
I bought older books like this to read if I hadn't already read the story. I later replaced it with a better copy.
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