Comic Book Pedigrees
Comic Book Pedigrees
Mark Zaid (Owner of Esquire Comics) gives expert video advice on: Where can I purchase pedigree collection books?; How do I know if a book is from a pedigree collection? and more...
What is a 'pedigree' collection of comic books?
A pedigree collection of comic books is usually interpreted to be a very high-grade, key comic book collection. It could either be by special numbers, first issues, or in a complete runs of issues that were collected by an original owner-people like Edgar Church or Lamont Larson. Also publishers like William Gaines, who published Mad Magazines, who maintained certain numbers of their comic books in extreme high grade. And these are books that garner very high premiums, anywhere from one and a half guide over street guide prices to sometimes ten times guide. The key pedigree collection in the community is the Edgar Church mile high collection, a collection of 22,000 comic books that were collected over a span of the late 1930s into the 1950s or so, and were discovered in the late 1970s in Edgar Church's home in Colorado in essentially mint condition.
How does a collection become pedigreed?
The determination of when a collection is a pedigree comic book collection is essentially decided by a particular dealer, and then it's a question of is that determination upheld or adopted by the community. The certification companies like CGC are willing to consider whether to name a pedigree comic book collection. It has to meet certain criteria and is typically an original owner collection. It has to be a certain grade and it usually has to be a certain number of comic books in the collection. And it will all depend on whether or not then the community is willing to adopt it. A lot goes into marketing. Very often, for example, I will name a collection that I buy, not because to make it a pedigree, but for marketing purposes. The Hollywood Hills Collection. The Weston Missouri Collection. There's some significance into where that collection emanated from. But a pedigree comic book collection is reserved typically for the most rarest, high-end, high-quality comic book collections that will really garner an unbelievable premium and will be highly sought after by collectors and investors alike.
What are some famous pedigree collections?
Some of the most famous pedigree comic book collections are the Edgar Church Mile High collection, the Lamont Larson collection, the William Gaines collection, and the Tom Riley Collection, which is also known as San Francisco. And then there are a whole bunch of other pedigree comic book collections, really cool ones like the Cosmic Aeroplane comic book collection. Many times the comic book collections are named either after the individual owner, or from the city in which they were discovered.
Where can I purchase pedigree collection books?
Pedigree comic books can be bought just like any other comic book: at auctions, from dealers, at stores, and on the Internet. Usually they will be identified as such, and you have to be careful to make sure that there is a certain amount of provenance, to ensure that that pedigree comic book is in fact what they say it is, because again, those comic books will garner a premium upon the same book in the same grade. So a book in very fine condition, if it's the Mile High Edgar Church copy, will be worth three or four times more than another comic book in the same grade, just because it's an Edgar Church book. It has a smell to it, it has a certain page quality to it. This is the epitome of collection that is most sought after by people.