So apparently Stan Lee is doing another signing in the Los Angeles area in a week or two, and every time that happens, we get a lot of people looking for anything he’s written for autographing purposes. And by “anything” I mean “pretty much just Spider-Man,” since 98% of the time that’s what folks want.
The problem is those early Spider-Man comics are in high demand…I get requests every day for them and our turnover rate on those particular issues is insane. They come in, they get priced, and they sell almost before we have a chance to file them into a box or put them in the case. For the stock I am able to maintain in our bins for more than a couple of days, the copies we have are either 1) in reasonably nice condition, and therefore a bit pricey for those folks just looking for something for Mr. The Man to sign, or 2) in “well-loved” condition, heavily read and affordable, but not with a lot of eye-appeal.
And then I remembered this:
…Amazing Spider-Man Annual #18 from 1984, featuring a script by Stan Lee (over a Tom DeFalco plot). It’s Spider-Man, it’s from the flagship Spider-Man series Amazing Spider-Man, it has a Stan Lee writing credit, and it’s inexpensive. (If I remember correctly, the copy I sold to a customer on Sunday was only about $3 for a nice copy, and there was a $2 copy still in the box.) Plus, we’ve got a good stock of them to sell. A good compromise, sez I, in case that several-hundred-dollar copy of the first appearance of the Green Goblin is too dear to deliver to Stan to sign.
It feels odd to me that Fantastic Four is rarely considered by folks, at least in these parts, for Stan Lee signing purposes. Let me emphasize that “to me” part, since I’m fully aware that Spider-Man is the more popular of the properties, if not the single most popular and identifiable character published by Marvel, period. Of course that’s the comic everyone wants Stan to sign. I personally just happen to prefer the Fantastic Four comics of this period, and if I were going to get a comic signed by Stan, I’d go with this FF issue, because it features the Thing (kinda sorta) and also it is awesome. Maybe if the FF movies were as popular and well-regarded as Spidey’s, we’d have more people dragging their boxes of those comics to Stan’s signings.
This is all anecdotal data, of course. I’ve never been in the presence of a Stan Lee signing since I’m already prone to headaches, why encourage them, and plus I’m not sure I could afford the ticket price to have Stan put pen to decades-old paper. Thus, I have no idea what people are actually shoving in front of him for his signature. That Rock Reflections of a Superhero record? Probably. Stripperella DVDs? Almost certainly. Copies of this? Well…okay, maybe not.
But around here, it looks like Stan fans want Spider-Man. At least until I can convince them they want this.