What are the most rare Whitman Comics from Aug to Dec 1980?


The Whitman comics published between August 1980 and December 1980 were only available in pre-packs, three comics in a package sold through department stores and non-traditional locations.  Many collectors and dealers consider the comics published during this period rare.  As an example, the following can be found on Doug Sulipa’s Comic World Website[1]

November / 2005 Rarest Whitmans; Revised RARITY CHART;

Based on CURRENT Market Supply, Demand & Prices;>> Based on CGC Census, Highest Graded copies observed, the collection of Top Whitman Collectors, previous items in stock, current items in stock, eBay observations & recent histories; >> [ Higher prices have brought some RARE issues into the Marketplace; Some of the secondary ignored issues have now become the toughest issues on the CURRENT Marketplace & Least contained within major collections]; **** LOW Values in OVERSTREET prevent the TRUE value & Scarcity from being known, as most collectors & dealers do not consider slabbing comics that guide under $50.00; Those that list HIGHER in OVERSTREET are now becoming easier to locate. When ALL the 8-12/1980 Whitman's guide at a $60.00 MINIMUM (as they should) the REAL RARITY will become more apparent and STABLE. HIGH PRICES make Pooh #22, Scrooge 179, Lulu 260, Donald 222 WDCS 480 & others, show up more &look MORE common than they actually are. If these books still listed at $25 each, they would be at the top of the Rarity chart. Thus i moved them back up the list a bit.

(A) >> 19 x RAREST; (Lowest CGC Quantity;Rare in High Grade Condition; Most difficult to find issues; Estimated that 25-50 copies each exist in the current marketplace); In approximate order of Rarity (beginning with the current VERY RAREST); (1) Woody Woodpecker #191; (2) Bugs Bunny #221; (3) Popeye #158; (4) Beep Beep Roadrunner #92; (5) Looney Tunes #35; (6) Tom & Jerry #332; (7) Super Goof #61; (8) Daffy Duck #130; (9) Little Lulu #260 (10) Super Goof #62; (11) Huey Dewey Louie #66; (12) Yosemite Sam #68; (13) Black Hole (Beyond the...) #4; (14) Winnie the Pooh #20; (15) Tweety & Slyvester #105; (16) Mickey Mouse #208; (17) Beep Beep Roadrunner #93; (18) Winnie the Pooh #22; (19) Battle of the Planets #7,

(B) >> 22 x RARE ; (Low CGC Quantity; Estimated that 51-75 copies each exist in the current marketplace); Beep Beep Roadrunner #91; Chip N Dale #69; Daffy Duck #131; Daisy & Donald #47; Donald Duck #222; Huey Dewey Louie #65; Little Lulu #261; Looney Tunes #34; Mickey Mouse #209; Pink Panther #76; Popeye #159; Super Goof #60; Tom & Jerry #330, 331; Tweety & Sylvester #106, 107; Uncle Scrooge #179,180; Walt Disney's Comics & Stories #480; Winnie the Pooh #21; Yosemite Sam #69; Woody Woodpecker #190;

(C) >>15 x SCARCE; (Scarce issues; Estimated that 76-100 copies each exist in the current marketplace); Battle of the Planets #9, Beep Beep Roadrunner #93; Bugs Bunny #222;Chip N Dale #67,68; Daisy & Donald #46;Donald Duck #224; Looney Tunes #33; Mickey Mouse #207; Pink Panther #75,77; Porky Pig #97,98; Uncle Scrooge #181; Walt Disney's Comics & Stories #482, Yosemite Sam #70;

The Appendix lists all of the issues published between 8/80 and 12/80 with additional columns for Sulipa’s rarity ranking, CGC census data, and Overstreet Price Guide (2007) NM prices.  Each of these pieces of data provides an indication of how rare these comics are, or at least are thought to be rare.  There have been blog reports that have repudiated some of the rarity claims, citing strong distribution in Australia and Canada.

Sulipa’s Top Ten

Doug Sulipa’s ten rarest Whitman comics are found in Table 1, listed from most rare to tenth-most rare.  As Doug states above, these rankings are “based on CGC Census, Highest Graded copies observed, the collection of Top Whitman Collectors, previous items in stock, current items in stock, eBay observations & recent histories.”  Given Doug’s long history as a comic dealer and his amazing stock of Dell, Gold Key and Whitman comics, I would tend to hold Sulipa’s Top Ten in the highest regard.

Table 1.  Doug Sulipa’s Ten Rarest Whitman Comics
Rank
Title
#
Date Code
Date
1
Woody Woodpecker
191
011
11/80
2
Bugs Bunny
221
009
09/80
3
Popeye
158
009
09/80
4
Beep Beep, The Road Runner
92
009
09/80
5
Looney Tunes
35
012
12/80
6
Tom and Jerry
332
012
12/80
7
Super Goof
61
009
09/80
8
Daffy Duck
130
010
10/80
9
Marge's Little Lulu
260
009
09/80
10
Super Goof
62
011
11/80

CGC’s Top Ten

Using CGC census data is another way to look at the rarity of Whitman issues.  Over the past five years, there has been a great deal of interest in Whitman issues published between 8/80 and 12/80, with some impressive prices seen for many eBay auctions.  This level of interest typically fuels a surge in CGC comic submissions.  As such, it is expected that the CGC Census data would be a good indicator of scarcity (Table 2).

The CGC census reports for the Whitman comics published between 8/80 and 12/80 found that Black Hole #4 and Beagle Boys Versus Uncle Scrooge #11 did not have any submissions, placing them tied as the two rarest according to CGC. There was one submission for Buck Rogers #8, ranking it third, and there were several submissions of 2 and 3 issues, creating ties for 4th and 8th

OPG’s  Top Ten

Another way to look at rarity is the Overstreet Price Guide (OPG) Near-Mint (NM) values.  Although not a clear indication of scarcity, there is typically a correlation between the rarity of a comic and its value.  This is skewed by the popularity of the title.  Uncle Scrooge and Little Lulu are favorites to many and will garner higher values, but they might not be as rare as some of the others.  Regardless, it is another indicator and the top ten are listed in Table 3.


Table 2.  CGC’s Ten Rarest Whitman Comics
Rank
Title
#
Date
CGC
1
Beagle Boys Vs. Uncle Scrooge
11
11/80
0
1
Black Hole
4
09/80
0
3
Buck Rogers
8
10/80
1
4
Beep Beep, The Road Runner
93
10/80
2
4
Beep Beep, The Road Runner
91
08/80
2
4
Mickey Mouse
209
12/80
2
4
Winnie the Pooh
20
08/80
2
8
Beep Beep, The Road Runner
92
09/80
3
8
Bugs Bunny
222
11/80
3
8
Chip 'N' Dale
67
08/80
3
8
Daisy & Donald
45
08/80
3
8
Huey, Dewey, and Louie
65
09/80
3
8
Super Goof
62
11/80
3
8
Tom and Jerry
330
08/80
3
8
Tweety and Sylvester
106
10/80
3
8
Uncle Scrooge
180
11/80
3
8
Walt Disney's Comics & Stories
482
11/80
3
8
Walt Disney's Comics & Stories
479
08/80
3
8
Woody Woodpecker
191
11/80
3

Table 3.  OPG’s Ten Rarest Whitman Comics
Rank
Title
#
Date
 NM OPG
1
Uncle Scrooge
179
09/80
 $ 675.00
2
Donald Duck
222
10/80
 $ 285.00
3
Marge's Little Lulu
260
09/80
 $ 250.00
4
Walt Disney's Comics & Stories
480
09/80
 $ 150.00
5
Mickey Mouse
208
10/80
 $ 110.00
6
Daisy & Donald
47
12/80
 $   75.00
7
Donald Duck
224
12/80
 $   65.00
7
Donald Duck
221
08/80
 $   65.00
7
Donald Duck
223
11/80
 $   65.00
10
Uncle Scrooge
180
11/80
 $   60.00
10
Uncle Scrooge
181
12/80
 $   60.00 

DellComicFan’s Top Five

In the absence of actual publication data for each issue, the scarcity of the Whitman comics during this period is admittedly subjective.  With this in mind, I proffer my five most rare Whitman comics (Table 4).  This ranking is based upon how difficult it was for me to locate these issues and how often I find them offered for sale through web sites, mail-order catalogs, and eBay.

Based on my experience, the rarest Whitman comic is clearly Black Hole #4.  The first three issues, which are all based upon the movie, are easily found, but I have only seen the fourth issue offered on two occasions.



Table 4.  DellComicFan's Five Rarest Whitman Comics
Rank
Title
#
Date
1
Black Hole
4
09/80
2
Buck Rogers
9
12/80
3
Beagle Boys Vs. Uncle Scrooge
11
11/80
4
Super Goof
62
11/80
5
Winnie the Pooh
22
12/80

50-Cent Price Variants

Note that there are also some 50-cent price variant issues that were published during this period.  There are 50-cent issues of Bugs Bunny 222 and Flash Gordon 30 confirmed.  CGC has second listing for Donald Duck 223, Donald Duck 224, Mickey Mouse 208, and Woody Woodpecker 190.  It is possible that these second listings by CGC are also 50-cent issues, but this remains to be verified.  If these are 50-cent variants, it would make these issues the rare of the rare, as there were not nearly as many 50-cent issues published during the 40-cent to 50-cent price transition period.  If not, it is not clear why there are two separate entries for these four issues.

What is Truly Scarce?

Although there is a scarcity of Whitman comics published between August and December 1980, there has not been a survey of all Whitman comics that have been published.  To date, I am not aware of a list of all the Whitman comics that have been published.  It is possible that some of the earlier Whitman comics that were published as counterparts to the Gold Key comics might be as scarce as the pre-pack comics.  It remains an open question whether there are other Whitman comics that might be considered scarce as well.


[1] http://www.dougcomicworld.com/INVENTORY-WhitmanComicsSite.html

5 comments:

  1. Concerning the rarity of Uncle Scrooge #179 and some of the other Whitman issues here listed:

    US # 179 was regularly distributed in Northern Europe. Duck comics are a big deal here in Finland and even back in 1980 American US and WDC&S were regularly sold at kiosks and bookstores (it was considered a fun way for kids to learn English, I guess).

    My near-mint copy was bought at the local kiosk and a quick call-around to friends who collected issues back then reveals that 179 is not any rarer than other issues from the early 80ties. I wonder if that is true for Sweden and Norway too? I believe Whitman comics were sold in those countries as well

    This may call the “only 200 copies left” that I’ve seen reported into question. Look to Northern Europe for missing issues on the list above. I bought my copies of the 1980 DDs and WDC&S new at kiosks too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. While US179 never made it to the Swedish kiosks (as far as I saw) it is true that WDC480 was available in my local kiosk in 1980. As it had a sticker with the price in Swedish Kronor on it I wouldn't call it Near Mint though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Only the first two issues of the Black Hole comic adapted the movie. The third issue was actually the first of two retitled 'Beyond...', and sold in the bagged set with the two-part movie adaptation (and thus fairly easy to find).

    ReplyDelete
  4. True, it is the 4th issue that is very hard to locate. I have only seen it offered a few times on eBay, and always at a high price.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe in 83/84 there were Whitman 75 cent price variants. Those are rarer than the 40 center from aug. to dec.1980. I have a Alice in wonderland in 9.2, and I’ve seen 2 in the last 11 years of searching. The 2 that I saw were 3.0 and 5.0. I have never seen any others. It is most likely that less than 10 in exist, or less. I only know of 3. that exist. Extremely Rare (R9.9). Much rarer than Uncle Scrooge 179

    ReplyDelete