The Original Ghost Rider
Salutations, dear reader,
Something terribly amiss from the discussion on ComicbookInvest is a reflection of the truly dedicated collectors who vigorously curate truly unique and wonderful comic caches.
These are the silent aficionados who without doubt imbue comic collecting as a pursuit with elan. So we dedicate this column to showcasing the formidable and the inspired.
It is my honor as Sad Junk to hold forth with the gentlemen and ladies who have invested their time and fortunes toward comic collecting.
It is our hope you will wonder at the veritable Comics Concours d'Elegance that will grace this venue. We also hope to provide guidance and insight on how best to construct a truly unique comic portfolio.
After all, dear reader, the joy of collecting is in sharing.
We inaugurate this feature with Greg Dawson, a self-proclaimed rabid comic collector.
Mr. Dawson, 23, hails from New Jersey, which features a veritable smorgasbord of comic shops and easy access to New York and Philadelphia dealers too.
This is fortunate for Mr. Dawson, as it has allowed him to cobble together an impressive collection dedicated to the original Ghost Rider.
Dawson: My Western Ghost Rider collection started out with Ghost Rider #4 from 1967. I was around 13 at the time and had been collecting comics for a year or so. I never knew about the Western version of the Ghost Rider until I saw it on a vendor's rack at my first Wizard World Philly. I got that issue and I have been hooked on the character ever since!
ComicBookInvest: Why did you choose to focus on that character?
Dawson: I chose the Ghost Rider because he was just so different. I always liked the Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch Ghost Riders, but the Western version just interests me more. He is just a normal guy during the day and at night he turns into a mysterious, eerie hero. I like that he has no superpowers and how he relies on his own ingenuity to defeat his foes.
ComicBookInvest: How did you source the books in your collection?
Dawson: Most of the books in my collection were found at different cons and local comic shops. I also found a lot on eBay like my Tim Holt #11, which is the first ever appearance of Ghost Rider in any comic from 1949. I was also fortunate enough to find a CGC graded issue #4 from 1950 which has a very beautiful (my favorite) Frank Frazetta cover.
ComicBookInvest: What was the hardest book to find?
Dawson: The hardest issue to find is probably either Tim Holt #11, because it's his first ever appearance; or Best of the West #9 because that issue is not even featured in the Gerber photo journal books from the 80's, and he was able to photograph most comics that were released in the golden age.
But the rarest of rare for the western Ghost Rider is for sure the mail away mask from the early to mid-1950's. It cost only $1 to mail in for it, but it's insanely rare. The only ones that have ever shown up were in auctions and they sold from $3,000 all the way to $8,000. But those prices are from a few years ago, so it's probably worth more now. I'm so happy that I am able to have one of four now known to exist.
ComicBookInvest: What was the most you had to pay for a book?
Dawson: The issue I had to pay most for was Tim Holt #11. It's a super nice copy and I was able to get it at a steal for around $200.
ComicBookInvest: What are you still hunting for?
Dawson: Currently I'm still searching for around seven more Ghost Rider issues from the 1950's, along with a decent amount of Tim Holt's and Best of the West's.
I went to Wizard World Philly this past weekend. I was able to snag a couple new books with Ghost Rider in them. One was Best of the West #3 which has a really neat and has Ghost Rider on the cover. And also Tim Holt #23 which has a nice Frazetta cover.
ComicBookInvest: Well congratulations, it's an amazing and unique collection. What would you tell someone who'd like to build one of their own?
Dawson: My advice to any collector who wants to start a dedicated collection is … to have patience! To build a collection like mine where there is anything and everything Ghost Rider from light switches to posters, it takes time! I think it takes me longer because I like to have a story attached to each item in my collection. That's why most of my stuff is not just bought offline. It's been obtained through cons, different stores and many other places. To have a super dedicated collection it's going to take years. Don't get discouraged when something slips by or you miss out on something, there will be more — you were just meant not to have that item yet and you will find a better one in the future!
Want to share your collection? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!!!