We've sold "Classic Comics" before, shoot we've had a full run before from # 1 to about # 140 with tons of 1st prints and multiple HRN's of each issue. But we've never had something quite like this.
I got a call last Friday from a very nice lady from Florida asking me if we bought Classics Illustrated. I explained that we did but that the only one's with much value are the 1st printings in most cases. To be honest, most times I hear the word Classics Illustrated my head starts to hurt a bit as I think about how much time I have to spend in the guide, on ebay, and in recent sales to figure out which HRN I have sitting in front of me. But I'm always willing to look. She explained that she had # 1-20 of the series but wasn't sure what if any of them were first prints. Knowing that it's basically impossible to ID the HRN or edition of the printing without having the book in front of me, I told her to bring them by.
She pulled up and had this worn looking box in her hands. As I approached I saw something that I hadn't ever seen before, which doesn't happen that often when it comes to comics. She had an original Classic Comics Library Gift Box # 1 in her hands that she was using to hold the books. I didn't even know that existed but apparently after the first 5 or so issues came out they began offering groupings of 5 issues packed together in a "gift box." A golden age TPB if you will. They're all separate, but could be bought for "ONE LOW PRICE!."
I believe they offered these through the first 20 issues (4 boxes of 5) but she only had the box for the first one. The first 5 issues she had were a mix of 1st and 3rd prints with #'s 1,2,3 being 3rd prints and #'s 4&5 being 1st prints. So I'm not sure if those issues came directly from the "gift box" but it's certainly possible.
Don't get me wrong, I'm amazed when anyone keeps anything from the 60's or older that's made from paper. But the fact that she had this paper (cardboard) box from the early 1940's (at a time when paper was being rationed) was quite amazing. And, it's not even in that bad of condition, shoot, she was still using it hold the books together. Sure a couple of the corners are popped. But it's in overall mid-grade condition, which again, is quite remarkable for something that was surely thrown away by almost everyone that had one.
We were able to get to an agreement to consign the 20 issues for the lady and they can be found now in our ebay store. Just search the box code SS1 in our store search bar and they'll pull up for you. In all there are 7 that are first prints. The rest are either 2nd or 3rd printings. The # 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 20 are 1st prints. The # 8 that she had (Arabian Nights) is especially beautiful as the cover is absolutely trippy and aside from some stamps from the original owner, it's basically flawless.
Let me tell you about the original owner really quick. The story I heard is that the lady that consigned them to me's husband was neighbors with an old man in Pensacola for years. In recent years he fell ill and was moved into an assisted living facility. The lady that consigned them to me and her husband were friends of the family and were told after the family took everything they wanted from the home that they were welcome to go through and see if they could find anything they wanted. So, they went to the house and began looking in the attic when they found these in the original gift box sitting under a board. Is that not the coolest thing ever! I know it's unfortunate that there wasn't an Action # 1 and a Detective # 27 in there. But it's still very cool.
Anyway, enough rambling, photo's below of all the golden age goodness. Also, if anyone knows anyone looking for one of these boxes, let us know. No idea what it's worth as it's probably not even something that very many people know about. Honestly I'd love to keep it, but we're selling everything for someone.