Foreign Comic Collector - Page 26

by Tim Bildhouser In August of 2011, I embarked on a trip that took far longer than I ever expected it to take. I had recently delved into the world of collecting foreign editions and while researching; I discovered that Editorial Novaro in Mexico had published an incredible amount of DC material. With the main focus of my collection being books with art by Neal Adams and Bernie Wrightson, there was quite an extensive list of books I wanted to find. Among those issues were the Mexican editions of the original Swamp Thing series by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. As luck would have it, I was browsing eBay one morning and stumbled across a copy of Relatos Fabulosos #160 (House of Secrets #92) with a “Buy It Now” price that seemed reasonable. Without even hesitating I jumped at the opportunity to own it. In hindsight, I’m very glad I did. As of this writing, and about five years later, I’ve only been able to confirm the existence of three other copies! It pretty much goes without saying that this book is one of the pride and joys of my collection. Approximately two months later I was Mi Gran Aventura #1 (Swamp Thing #1) with a classic Bernie Wrightson cover. This one’s almost as elusive as Relatos Fabulosos #160. searching eBay again. This time I ran across a seller who had listed Novaro editions of Swamp Thing (published in Mexico as Mi Gran Aventura) #1, 2, and 3. I remember, at the time, thinking that his price was kind of high but I really wanted these books though so, again, I hit the “Buy It Now.” Once they arrived, I was glad I didn’t decide to wait. I now had four of the eleven issues I was searching for. It took between nine and ten months before I was able to obtain another book for this run. A seller out of Mexico City started listing books from an original owner collection on eBay in the U.S. I was buying books he was Relatos Fabolusos #160 (House of Secrets #92) is one of the most sought after Mexican Bronze-Age keys. Only about 7 copies have surfaced in as many years. listing left and right and checking his auctions as much as three times a day to make sure I wouldn’t miss anything. Low and behold, after about a month, he listed some Mexican Swamp Thing editions. As I sat there refreshing the screen, they popped up one by one . . . #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and so on up to #24. No #10 though. It For Mi Gran Aventura #2 didn’t matter, I placed (Swamp Thing #2) Novaro bids on the others. I changed the header background ended up winning them color to red from the blue that DC used in the U.S. all and sent the seller a message to ask if he mistakenly forgot to list the #10. He replied that the whole run was in the collection except issues #1 & #10. “No big deal” I thought, how hard can it be to track that one down? I found ou t later that it was much harder than anyone might have guessed. I scoured the Internet for a copy—any copy of that book. I found a scan on some remote website, which confirmed that it existed but not a single copy was anywhere to be found. I put in notices with every comic seller from Mexico and South America that I knew of that I wanted a copy of it. Weeks passed and nothing. Months went by. Still nothing. Months turned into years. Still nothing. I raised my offer for how much I’d pay for any complete copy regardless of condition several times. It didn’t help. It seemed that this book was going to elude me forever. The header color change to blue from red on Mi Gran Aventura #3 (Swamp Thing #3) draws the eye to image of our tragic hero in the center of the cover.