So it was probably about time to add a “Turok” category to my site.

§ September 19th, 2016 § Filed under retailing, turok § 5 Comments

Because you demanded it…TUROK DINOSAUR HUNTER FOLLOW-UP:

So after my post on Friday, I was going through a bunch of boxes at home and found my stash of planned eBay fodder that predated opening my store. In that box was my personal collection of the Valiant Comics Turok run, up through about issue 30. I think that was about the time I’d stopped reading Valiant Comics anyway, after losing interest in what had been an entertaining/exciting line of shared universe books, but that’s probably a subject for another post. But I still have my very own copy of the embossed foil chromium-carded cover, which I’m oddly pleased by.

Speaking of which, Aaron said in response to Friday’s post:

“Pretty sure it was solicited as a chromium cover similar to Bloodshot #1 which also was basically just a glued on card. The solicits made a huge deal about X-O Manowar #0 being a full chromium wraparound cover which was way better (and cooler) than either the Bloodshot or Turok…”

That sounds likely. I mean, it’s possible it was originally solicited one way but released as we know it if it turned out the full chromium cover wasn’t feasible. But, if that happened, that would have been a pretty big deal, I’d imagine, and a sizeable egg in Valiant’s face that would have been noted somewhere in something more Google-able than anything I’m finding now.

Jer said:

“So Turok #1 goes for $2.25 these days, huh? It used to be one of the comics that I would regularly see in large blocks in dollar bins – just sitting there sadly hoping some child would pay a dollar for the shiny cover.”

Well, that particular copy in the shape that it’s in, I have priced at $2.25. I think it guides for…$4, maybe? Now at the previous place of employment, we had…more than plenty, shall we say, so we thought nothing of dumping ’em in the old bargain bin. Okay, maybe not “nothing” — I’m sure we sighed a little as we tossed in there alongside Wolfpacks and Semper Fis — but their familiarity in the storage room bred some contempt out in the front of the shop, so away they went, hoping someone would take pity on us and haul them away a copy at a time.

At my shop, I think I have just that one copy currently in stock. And I’ve sold a few since opening, none of which were out of the bargain bin. Twenty-something years on, it may not necessarily be as widely available as it once was. Stores that were around then that are still around now are few and far between, and stocks from old now-closed shops may be languishing in garages or storage units or landfills somewhere, effectively off the market. I mean, this is just me throwing a wild guess out there — you know where to debate me — but barring warehouse finds (or an E.T. Atari game-style archeological dig) newer stores, like mine, probably won’t have Turok #1s in depth. And like I said in that post on my store site, fancy covers are getting rediscovered by newer generations who weren’t make sick of them back in the ’90s, so there is a market slowly building for them again!

Wayne answers my question about what was under that chromium card on Turok‘s cover:

“…It was just blank white space beneath the glued on chromium. I’d forgotten about how many issues of this comic our store had left over. Our real death knell came when the four different covers for DEATHMATE came out.”

Thanks for that info, Wayne! And as for the overstock on Turok, a look back at my review of the animated Turok movie reminded me that in the extra feature, it was revealed that 1.7 million copies were shipped to stores. So, yeah, like i said in answer to the previous question, they’re likely out there, somewhere, waiting for their moment to strike, but as for now they’re probably not as widespread as they used to be. There are some larger shops still around now that were around back then, who may have Turok wings in their storage buildings, but like I said, newer shops may not have built up a stock on these yet. (As opposed to the 1992 X-Men #1, where I haven’t been actively buying them and yet I seem to have, out of nowhere, built up a pretty good supply of them, somehow.)

There’s also the “SHAZAM! Effect,” as described here in yet another post where I talk about Turok #1, where copies are dumped in bargain bins and generally mistreated for decades when suddenly, whoops, near mint copies are suddenly hard to find now. Okay, 1.7 million copies are quite a few to work through, but there may be a point, someday, where nice copies of this comic are the exception, not the norm. We may all be giant-headed cyborgs with spindly bodies in floating chairs by then, but, you know, it’s theoretically possible.

One other thing that can contribute to the attrition of nice copies of this comic (or any popular, way overprinted comic of the ’90s) came up in a Twitter chat I was having with pal Brandon. He was asking about the black-bagged Superman #75, and I noted that while there were a lot of copies sold of this, it seems like a lot of the copies I’ve seen come through the shop over the years were not kept in any kind of decent condition. This happens a lot: I direct you to this (gasp) 10-year-old post about an attempted investment collection where said investor did nothing to protect this investment. A lot of the people who bought comics in the ’90s are not buying comics now, and their collections have largely been discarded, shoved away in the garage, or otherwise no longer being stored properly since their owners have lost interest. A good portion of collections I see from this era are just straight-up unsellable. You’d think with all the bags and boards and top-loaders and high-end fancy-pants protectors we sold throughout the decade, more comics would have survived the trip.

Just to be clear: I don’t think near mint copies of Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1 are rare in the slightest. But they may not be as easy to find as they once were.

As for Deathmate…man, I may have to gather my thoughts on that turkey for future discussion, but I think it’s cute how hard folks tried to make Deathmate: Black a hot comic because Gen13 made an early appearance in it. Frankly, I think even typing the word “Deathmate” made all comics in my immediate area lose 20% of their value.

5 Responses to “So it was probably about time to add a “Turok” category to my site.”

  • Hey, Mike! I took the cover apart and taped it on the inside of the toilet lid to show employees how to not hit the bowl. (My previous attempt a humor was ECLIPSO: THE DARKNESS WITHIN#1, because the guy who ran the store took about half the purple stones off the covers to sell them separate.)

    I think when the store finally went under…man, all I can think about are those DEATHMATE covers mocking me. What’s funny is I’ll see copies at other stores, flip them over, and our stamp is still on the back. Bagged and boarded by me, what, 23 years ago?

  • John Lancaster says:

    In regards to that 1.7 million; I helped to lower that a bit. In about mid 1999 I was straightening up the back room at the shop I was Managing and near the bottom of the mountain of boxes I ran across 14 long boxes of ONLY Turok #1. These were loose, and crammed as tight as they could get in there. At the time I was also breaking down cardboard to take to the recycle. This was left over from the previous owners’ buying habits so we had no money in them. We ended up getting about $35.00 from the paper weight and I had the pleasure of dumping each box into the grinder (I really wish I had filmed it). If I hadn’t done that, you’d only be getting $2.00 for that book.

  • Stewman says:

    Oh man I have huge levels of Deathmate nostalgia. As a teen Image fan that series was a big deal and so exciting back then. Being older now I can appreciate that it wasn’t exactly as groundbreaking as I thought it was at the time, but every so often I still read through it and try to figure out just what the hell is going on in Deathmate Red… anyone???!!

  • Randal says:

    Saw the damnedst thing at a Goodwill yesterday. About a hundred copies of original flavor Bloodshot #8, jammed four to a bag, sitting on the magazine rack. Over twenty identical bags with four copies of the same book, priced at $1.99.

  • Joe S. Walker says:

    How did you get on with all those copies of Teen Titans, The Falcon and the rest? Still got any?