Foreign Comic Collector - Page 8

Comic Book Collecting With a Foreign Variant Focus continued from issue 1 What exactly is a foreign variant? To understand foreign variants let’s seek out the generally accepted definition of what an American variant is. Traditionally, an American comic book variant has been a comic book that was printed with a different cover, cover price, printing error, or special insert. Repeated printings of that same comic much later than the original print date in America are called reprints and are usually stated in the indicia. A foreign licensed comic book could be considered a reprint having been printed at a later date than its American counterpart, but many foreign variant collectors ask a couple of fundamental questions. Disregarding the later print date for a moment, what if this is the first time a particular story or cover has been printed in a particular language or country for the very first time? What if for the intended audience, the foreign readers, this is the very first time the comic cover or story has been available to them? Especially considering that with foreign books printed through the 50s 70s there wasn’t an American option. With the exception of maybe American military bases, for these specific readers these books are the original printing. Because of these questions, foreign variants don’t fit neatly into known traditional American classifications in the argument of variant versus reprint. Strange 107, French edition Further complicating the matter that collects multiple american issues including the important is the fact that many foreign 1st appearence of the puncompanies chose to take Ameriisher. Is this a French 129 forcan editorial contents and comeign variant? Yes, but the bine them into their own unique editorial decision to use different art instead of the classic specific release. Lets say for exAmerican 129 art on the cover ample the French decide to limakes this variant much less cense Batman issue 227. They desirable. use a version of 227’s American cover, but include not only the editorial content of 227 but 228’s and 229’s story in the comic as well. So which variant is it? 227’s, 228’, or 229’s? The easy answer is all of them are. Playing devil’s advocate you could say the answer being 227’s only, however, for a key piece of the others is missing, the cover. Even more perplexing is some companies decide to use completely different cover art than the American books. Ei- Page 8 (Part 2) ther brand new art created by foreign artists or even different American issue art! So you could have a Batman 227 story in a book with 229’s cover. This mis-marriage of covers and interiors or lack of defined parameters is another reason why some American collectors choose not to deal with the complexity of foreign comic books. Desirability So what is more desirable? Superamingos 18, Brazilian edition Just like collecting American that collects 3 american Batman iseditions there are different sues but does not include the interior of Batman 227. This issue camps of collectors that prefer features 227’s art after it has been certain things. Certain trends do altered to reflect the publishers destick out though. One thing for sire to feature Robin on the cover. sure is the closer the foreign Is this a 227 variant? Maybe, but some collectors might say no. This print date to the American print does not however change the fact date the more desirable the that this issue is of interest to book. foreign 227 collectors The proper marriage of cover and interior content is also preferred as well, or at least a foreign cover that still uses the American art as a general guide instead of completely new original artwork. This issue is up for debate though among some foreign collectors considering some original art created by the local artists can be considered quite desirable from a technical and novelty perspective. Print runs are also important just like in America. Rarity is a good indicator of what is desirable. For example, unlike in America where most comics printed after 1970 are plentiful, many foreign variants are incredibly rare even in their countries of origin. This is because some of these countries or provinces were quite small and therefore didn’t have large print runs. These books can be incredibly hard to find and source. Some foreign variant collectors speculate that some key books might be so rare that the population numbers of them in North America could be counted on one hand. Considering the rarity of some of these variants one would think values would be high. This interestingly enough is not the case with these books. A comic book’s worth in the comic collecting world is inextricably tied with price guides which help in determining value. Being