Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I was watching an episode of TOY HUNTER on the Travel Channel the other day and something Jordan did and said really cheesed me off.

If you've ever seen this show (or others like it), the so called expert is required to lecture the seller/owner of the collectible about what he/she is in possession of, when it was made, by whom, the value, rarity and scarcity of the item, etc. It's a necessary info dump performed for the benefit of the viewers watching the program who may not be aware of the history and back story of all of these fabulous treasures.

What it does is make the owner of said treasure look like a complete and utter moron. Of course, some people own some collectibles that they may not know the entire story of but if a guy's got an attic full of vintage toys and he's been collecting for twenty-some-odd years, it's a safe bet to assume that the guy knows his stuff. Otherwise, why would he seek it out, buy it and keep it? He's got to know something about it, right?

So here's Jordan at the home of a Spider-Man collector. This guy has an entire room devoted to all things Spidey. Tons of cool stuff, some old, some new, some rare and valuable, some common. Nonetheless, it's a lot of merchandise on display.

Among the collectors' treasures is a copy of AMAZING FANTASY #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man from 1962. This comic is one of the Holy Grails of Silver Age Marvel Comics. I should know. I own a copy. In fact, my copy, worn as it is, is in better shape than the roached copy the guy on the show had on display. I paid $75.00 for my copy when I was a senior in high school (1974) and I've hung on to it for all of these many years. I had it appraised at $1100 a few years back and I'm sure the price has since gone up. But don't bother asking. It's not for sale.

Jordan takes the plastic encased comic book down from where it's on display on the wall (not a good idea) and promptly begins to lecture the owner about his own damn comic book. "This is the first appearance of Spider-Man," says Jordan. "It was published on August 15th, 1962. See, it says so right here on the front cover."

Whoa, Tex. That's not quite right. It's not anywhere near being correct. It's flat out wrong.

The book was published in August, 1962 all right but that number "15" on the cover indicates the issue number, not the day of the month it was published. No comic book has ever had an exact day of the month publication date on the cover as far as I know. The month and year, yes, but not the day of the month. And remember, most comics have a cover month that is two months ahead of the actual date the comic went on sale. This is so that retailers would keep the books on the stands longer and generate more sales. So, AMAZING FANTASY #15 with a cover month of August, means that it actually went on sale in June and should have been taken off of the stands in August of that year.

When a so-called expert makes an obvious, blatant, glaring mistake (the owner wasn't shown correcting him, after all, Jordan's the star of the show), it makes me wonder if he really does know what he's talking about when it comes to the other toys and items he finds on the show. If he can get this one wrong (in a big way), what else can he screw up? Granted, he's a toy hunter, not a comic book hunter, but still, if you're going to open up your yap and start sounding like the ultimate pop culture expert, please do a little homework first to maintain your credibility.

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