“I’m the best there is at what I do…”
John Tyler Christopher’s Wolverine #1 negative space cover has clearly established itself as one of the hottest comics of the year. The variant, limited to 3,000 numbered copies, was commonly believed to be a C2E2 exclusive. If you weren’t fortunate enough to attend the con and get a copy there, you were left to the resale market if you wanted one – at a cost. As of this writing on May 26, 2020, gocollect reported the Fair Market Value of a CGC graded 9.8 slab of the book to be $350 based on 25 sales. While the sales of five 9.6 graded copies of the book established FMV for that grade to be $250. Raw copies have recently sold on eBay for prices ranging from $135 to $214.50!!!
I mentioned this book was commonly believed to be a C2E2 exclusive, but in reality the 3,000 count limited run was to be split between that show and Emerald City Comic Con, which was scheduled to take place in Seattle in mid-March. However, the show was moved to August due to the COVID-19 crisis. What then would become of the JTC Wolverine book and other exclusives?
In the early AM hours of May 17th, I was among the lucky collectors who learned via social media that ECCC was selling its supply of these exclusive books on their website. Since the show was reportedly rescheduled for August, this web sale may portend that a cancellation will be announced. Why sell the books now if the show will still be held? In any event, I ordered three copies of the JTC Wolverine exclusive before the ECCC store quickly sold out of its allotment.
This afternoon, I received the following email from ECCC.
Certainly there will be people who ordered multiple copies who will not be happy receiving a maximum of two. Although I won’t be getting the three copies that I originally ordered, I consider myself fortunate to have learned of this opportunity through which I’ll receive two copies. I picked up two copies of the Chip Kidd die-cut cover variant of Wolverine #1 upon release, but never expected to be able to buy the JTC limited edition at the regular con price, so thanks to ECCC for getting these books out there.
Within an hour of receiving the email saying I would be receiving two copies, the package was dropped off on my porch by the US Postal Service. As seen in the picture below, the priority mail box containing the shipment from ECCC was intact, but pretty battered. Upon opening the box, the books were in a padded envelope, with a sheet or two of crumpled paper taking up the empty space in the box. Not throwing shade at ECCC or tooting my own horn, but quite honestly, I ship 99 cent eBay sales with more care than I found to have been taken with the shipment of this high profile book. Fortunately again, the books did not appear to sustain any damage on their cross country trip to join my collection.
Only time will tell how the distribution of these copies from ECCC will affect the FMV for this book. There weren’t any more copies produced – these are still part of the original run of 3,000. However, the number of copies potentially available on the market just doubled. What then does the book have going for it as far as an investment? How about a striking cover of one of the most popular characters in comics, wrapped around two stories, each of which featuring a first appearance – the Pale Girl, and Louise of the vampire hunting Nightguard. In my opinion, these factors add up to the book continuing to be a coveted collectible.
I’ll probably get my copies pressed and slabbed at some point in the near future. I’ll be sure to share the results here when I do, so check back often.