Pictured above is DELL FOUR COLOR COMICS #1245 featuring THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. This issue was published in late 1961 and it's the second appearance of the durable sleuth in the long running Four Color series. I scored this beauty at the recent Wizard World Austin Comic Con but finding it took some time and effort. Allow me elucidate Watson.
I stopped at one of the few comic book dealer booths I could find at the convention. There was a nice, friendly guy behind the table and behind him was a wall display of comics. Along the bottom row were some Dell and Gold Key comics that caught my eye. I couldn't get to them though because the entrance to the interior of the booth was blocked by a table full of long boxes. I asked the guy if I could please see the books that had caught my eye and he politely complied.
The books I examined were an issue of Gold Key's HANNA-BARBERA SUPER TV HEROES, a Gold Key issue of SUPERCAR and a Dell issue of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. HB SUPER TV HEROES had a price tag of $75.00, too rich for my blood. SUPERCAR had a price tag of $75.00 also. Again, a nice looking book and one I'd certainly like to have but not at that price. THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW issue was in incredibly rough shape yet the dealer wanted the same $75.00 for it that he was asking for the other two books. Three books, three different conditions, same price each. Not for me.
Still, I didn't want to give up. I figured if this guy had these comics on display, he might have some other lower priced goodies in stock so I asked him if he had any other Dell and Gold Key comics. He did but he first had to disappear under his table, move several other boxes of comics and resurface with a short box in his hands. He proceeded to pull out and hand to me no more than about a dozen Dell and Gold Key comics. He said they were all he'd brought to the show, that he had many more back at his shop and that his shop has a website where those books are posted for sale. All well and good but I wanted to buy something in the here and now. After all, that's what I'd come to Comic Con to do: buy comic books.
I finally settled on the comic book pictured above. I paid $25.00 for it. It's in very nice shape, I'd never seen it before and as Frank and Mike on AMERICAN PICKERS always say, "the time to buy something you've never seen is when you see it." Truer words have rarely been spoken.
But I would have bought it much sooner if it had been on display instead of hidden in a box under a table where only the dealer could get at it. Lesson learned, Watson? When you don't see what you're looking for at first glance, it never hurts to ask. Sometimes you''ll find a real gem.