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Variety value on another analogy to comics collecting

Mile High Comics owner Chuck Rozanski offered end of January 2009 an “OBAMA/SPIDER-MAN giveaway offer.”
“As a general rule, [Chuck] tr[ies] to avoid promoting in this newsletter what [he] consider[s] to be short-term fads, and I definitely avoid mentioning politics at all costs. That having been said, however, the current wave of enthusiasm for our new president has created an unprecedented groundswell of demand for these OBAMA/SPIDER-MAN comics. [Mile High Comics] received just a few copies of the first printings, which sold out almost immediately. We are now almost out of second printings (which feature a slightly different cover...), and waiting on delivery of our order of third printings (which seem to have the best cover of all).”
He then listed the following “limitations”: “First, since we're almost out of second printings, and we only have 300 copies of the third edition on order right now (I'm really springing this promotion on our new comics ordering staff with no advance notice...), this promotion is technically limited to the first 300 orders of $50, or more, received by Friday of this week. I'm going to ask Will to order in another batch of OBAMA/SPIDER-MAN issues from Diamond this morning, but I have no idea if they will be available, and if they are, what printing we will receive. By now, Marvel could be on a fourth, or fifth printing of this insanely popular comic. As a result, we can't guarantee any specific printing will be sent to you, only that you will receive a free copy of the OBAMA/SPIDER-MAN comic with an $50 order. A thought that occurs to me, however, is that which printing you will receive really does not matter on this comic. If you peruse recent "second" printings prices of many Marvel and DC comics, you will find that we actually sell later printings for more than first editions. Simply put, that is because secondary print runs (often with alternate covers) usually have far smaller print runs that first editions. I have no idea of whether that is the case with this OBAMA/SPIDER-MAN issue, but [Chuck] strongly suspect that as time passes, the back issue price of the first printing will go down a little, while the later printings rise in value. A lot of people want all the variant editions of given comics these days, and that tends to leaven out prices for all editions over time. Whatever the case, your copy of the OBAMA/SPIDER-MAN will be absolutely free, so you can only win!”

John Carey and I have elsewhere debated the relation of Geographics to comics collecting, which I will admit is not direct and identical, but I thought the foregoing illustrative. Happy collecting!
Paul Crist, Houston

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