Independent Declarations

Spec Game Proper

Satisfies the Spec Hunger

Independent Declarations
1st Appearance Speculation

Thinking outside the box is fun, I mean honestly, I can't wait to open them when they come in the mail to see what's inside. A story with amazing art usually resides and opens up paths that lead the mind to choose between paths. It really doesn't matter which way we go, just as long as we don't end up in the box.

Many comics are optioned these days, causing prices to jump and the internet to be picked dry. It's actually quite a bit of madness, but what makes comics exciting, besides what they were made for of course, to read.

Focusing on a few independent comics that either have not been optioned, have been forgotten about, or remain an important part of comic history, highlighted below are some important characters and their first appearances.

Left out are the Preacher and Walking Dead issues and a few other independent issues that the market is already very keen to.


1st App Alana, Marko, The Will, and The Lying Cat

It's only a matter of time before Saga gets optioned. Debuting in March of 2012, this has become one of the most popular modern books of any publisher. Raw NM copies of Saga #1 are already fetching $100 and feature the 1st Appearances of Alana, Marko, The Will, and The Lying Cat. Chew, on the other hand, is currently in production to be an animated movie. Raw NM copies of Chew #1 are going for $200+ and feature the 1st Appearance of Tony Chu.

1st App Tony Chu

1st App Tank Girl

Considered the 1st Published Appearance of Tank Girl, Deadline #1 is hard to gauge. This is a very rare magazine format comic with none currently for sale on eBay. It seems people don't know the true value of this book and to me, it sells for lower than it should. The 1st Published Comic of Tank Girl was released by Dark Horse in 1991 as Tank Girl #1 and features an iconic cover. You will want the trading cards intact as this pushes the value of the book over $50. Already released as a movie in 1995 (check it out if you haven't, you'll be amazed), it's only a matter of time before this movie is remade.

1st App Judge Dredd

Another candidate for a movie remake is Judge Dredd, who's 1st Appearance is 2000 A.D. #2 and remains an undervalued Bronze Age key. A high grade raw copy of this magazine format issue w/the Biotronic stickers will run you north of $500. 2000 A.D. #376 is the 1st Appearance of Halo Jones, a character I've written about before, and still remain high on. Becoming increasingly difficult to find anywhere, and also in magazine format, there is only one copy for sale on eBay at the moment and one sold in the last 60 days, which somebody snagged in a lot for a super steal.

1st App Halo Jones

1st App Katina “Katchoo” Choovanski

Surprisingly never optioned for a TV show, with its (at the time) controversial content, Strangers in Paradise #1 is the 1st Appearance of Katchoo and will run you north of $200 for a high grade 1st Print raw copy. Beware that prints 1 through 3 all look similar. Leading into another controversial book, Sex Criminals #1 features the 1st Appearance of Suzie and John, a great cover and can be had for under $20 for a NM raw 1st Print copy. At this price, buy now is all I can say. BUY NOW!

1st App Suzie and 1st App John

1st App Witchblade

Already appearing in a made for TV movie and a TV show on TNT, Witchblade continues to have a strong following, backup up by it reaching issue #182 in April 2015. Witchblade's 1st Appearance is in Cyblade/Shi: The Battle for Independents #1. NM raw copies can be had for under $5 and this remains a steal. Love and Rockets B&W Ashcan, on the other hand, is going to run you some money. Featuring the 1st Appearance of Hopey and Maggie, I don't how to value this comic as I can't find any sale information. If you see this anywhere, grab it, as long as the price is not too out of this world. Little may know, but a script is currently being written for a movie based on L&R titled “Palomar”.

1st App Esperanza Leticia “Hopey” Glass AND 1st App Margarita Luisa “Maggie” Chascarrillo

1st App Lone Wolf AND 1st App Cub

Lone Wolf and Cub #1 by First is the 1st American Published Appearances of Lone Wolf and Cub. Featuring three prints, make sure to grab the 1st Print, which can be nabbed for under $10 and remains undervalued, considering how popular Lone Wolf and Cub is in Japanese media history. Scalped #1 features the 1st Appearances of Dash and Red Crow and is currently in development by WGN for a live action TV series. High grade raw copies are still going strong for around $50.

1st App Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse AND Chief Lincoln Red Crow

 

1st App Invincible

Invincible #1 features the 1st Full and Cover Appearance of Invincible and continues to rise in price (Raw high grade copies are speeding past $100), which is astounding, since only a motion comic exists and no TV or Movie news have ever been released. Probably a little over-valued at the moment, I would not buy at these prices, unless a movie or TV show is announced, then this book may explode. Possibly one of the best names (and characters) in comic history, Spider Jerusalem's 1st Appearance is in Transmetropolitan #1. With nothing optioned at the moment, this book will explode if a TV or Movie option ever is announced. Expect to pay at least $25 for a raw high grade copy of this book.

1st App Spider Jerusalem

1st App Yorick Brown AND Ampersand

Y the Last Man? Because this book is still getting ridiculous prices. Even though the movie is now dead as the rights have reverted back to co-creators Pia Guerra and Brian K. Vaughn. Expect to cough up close to $200 for a raw high grade copy of Y the Last Man #1, which contains the 1st Appearance of Yorick Brown and his sidekick Ampersand. Another key issue from this series is Y the Last Man #5, which is the 1st Appearance of Agent 355. This issue can be had for between $10-$15 high grade raw and will go up if a movie is ever made, as Agent 355 will surely be a main character.

1st App Agent 355

1st App Groo the Wanderer

Not only does Destroyer Duck #1 have an awesome cover, but it also is a part of comic history, as the purpose of the publication was to raise money for a legal battle over creator rights. As a bonus, it is also the 1st Appearance of Groo the Wanderer. You can still find high grade raw copies for under $10 and that is a steal of a deal. A polar opposite in pricing, the 1st Appearance of The Goon, which is in Dream Walker #0, is going to run you close to $200 high grade raw. Still in pre-production, a movie is still supposedly in the works, but regardless, The Goon is an awesome character.

1st App Goon

1st App Mina Harker

Two books that have already been made into movies, but remain important to the history of indy books are The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1 and V for Vendetta #1. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1 features the 1st Appearance of Mina Harker and can be found for under $20. V for Vendetta #1 contains the 1st Appearance of V and can be grabbed for under $5. Probably not a lot of movement for these two books short term, but they both remain long term holds.

1st App V

1st App Phoncible P. Phoney Bone AND Gran’ma Ben

The 1st Published Comic Appearance of Phoncible P. Phoney Bone AKA Bone and Gran’ma Ben can be found in the Thorn: Tales from the Lantern One-Shot. Zero available on eBay and Zero sold in the last 60 days. If you find Thorn: Tales from the Lantern, you have struck gold. Another almost impossible to find book is Albedo Anthropomorphics #2, which features the 1st Appearance of Miyamoto Usagi (of Usagi Yojimbo lore). Prices are climbing near $1,500 for high grade raw copies.

1st App Miyamoto Usagi

Cameo Savage Dragon

The 1st Cameo and 1st Full Appearance of Savage Dragon can be found in Megaton #2 and Megaton #3, respectively. High grade raw copies are pushing past $20 for Megaton #2, while Megaton #3 is moving past $40. Both of these books remain undervalued.

1st Full App Savage Dragon

1st App Grendel

Shout out to resident CBSI comic aficionado Jon Z. for these two. They were nowhere near my radar and now I see them as must haves for any comic collection. Comico Primer #2 features the 1st Appearance of Grendel and high grade raw copies are now blowing past $125. Caliber Presents #1 is the 1st Appearance of The Crow and you will be shelling out close to $100 for a high grade raw copy.

1st App The Crow

1st App Prince Valiant

My two Out of Left Field picks are Ace Comics #26, which features the 1st Comic Appearance of Prince Valiant. With the heat that the Valiant label is getting these days, and even though there is no direct link, why not? You are likely to never find a copy, but if you do, I'd grab it anyway since it's an early copy of Ace Comics. Ghost World One-Shot features the 1st Appearance of Enid Coleslaw, another great comic character with an astounding name. Already made into a movie featuring Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, and the great Steve Buscemi in 2001, this book deserves some attention and may gain in value with the female comic audience rightfully increasing at a rapid pace. With 13 printings, make sure to grab the 1st Print, which can still be found for under $20. Grab any other print for a great read!

1st App Enid Coleslaw

Recommended Reading

Below are seven trade paper backs worth picking up if you are interested in some well done comic writing and art. Invincible Vol 1: Family Matters collects issues 1-4 and Lone Wolf and Cub Vol 1: Assassin's Road collects the first historic original Japanese Manga stories with a cover by Frank Miller. Love and Rockets Vol 1: Music for Mechanics contains issues 1 & 2 and the Saga Vol 1 TPB collects issues 1-6. Scalped Vol 1: Indian Country features issues 1-5 and Transmetropolitan Vol 1: Back on the Street includes issues 1-3. Finally, and possibly containing the best stories of all these books, is Y the Last Man Book 1: Unmanned, which contains issues 1-5 and I almost guarantee will have you buying Book 2.

 

BONUS!
Here are 4 variant issues worth tracking down. Cyblade/Shi: Battle for the Independents Golden Apple Foil Edition #1e and Limited Boxed Set Edition #1d are very tough finds, especially in high grade. Although, as a hot tip, the actual seal boxed set that contains the Limited Boxed Set Edition can be found from time to time at a decent price. If you ever see a Saga #1 2012 C2E2 Diamond Retailer Edition Variant (RRP or Retail Roundtable Promotion), buy it. You simply do not see these anywhere for sale, ever. On the flip side, a readily available Variant that does not command much value at the moment, but has potential, is Strangers in Paradise #1 Wizard Ace Edition Variant.

As always, thanks for reading, and yes, I do still believe in heroes!

And remember . . . there are ALWAYS two sides to EVERY story.

 

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