You Can’t Make This Stuff Up…

I wanted to fill you in on a couple of collecting oddities that have happened to me recently.  These things don’t happen often but when they do it’s always fun to share the stories with other collectors and those in the TMNT community.  I classify these under the heading of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up…” because, if you were reading this as part of a fictitious story line, you likely wouldn’t believe it (i.e., it would sound made up).  Ultimately, the stories and events such as these that lead to the acquisition of certain items are what ultimately make the pieces in any collection personally unique and valuable, regardless of their rarity.

  • TMNT #9 (Image) error edition – For the past 15 years I’ve been unable to find a copy of the error edition of TMNT #9 from Image (May, 1997) that had the inside front and back covers switched.  About a month ago, while sifting through my TMNT comic database, I came across the entry for this issue along with the glaring notation of “NEED” (which is the descriptor I use for the few remaining TMNT comics I haven’t yet acquired).  It’s been one of those elusive comics that I’ve just never come across and I had kind of forgotten about it.  Since I’d never seen a copy I didn’t even really know what “switched inside covers” meant so I had to ask a fellow TMNT expert (thanks Roseangelo!!).  I decided to begin an active search for it.  After a few hours of searching it was clear that there weren’t many copies of the non-error TMNT #9 from Image for sale, let alone the error edition.  I also had a feeling that many people wouldn’t even know about its existence and may actually be selling the error edition and not even know it.  So, I emailed all of the stores and eBay sellers that had a TMNT #9 from Image for sale to see if they could check the inside front and back covers for me.  However, all of them (at least those that responded) stated that they did not have immediate access to the issue and would not be able to check.  So, my only possible course of action (other than to just give up) was to, one by one, begin purchasing every available copy of TMNT #9 from Image that I could find.  Maybe, by chance, one of them would turn out to be the elusive error edition.  So, since I was already ordering a few back issues with Mile High Comics and needed just a few dollars more to get free shipping, I added the one copy of TMNT #9 from Image that they had in stock (VG condition, $2.05).  You can see where this is heading…  🙂  When my comics arrived a few days later, I opened up the box, took out the TMNT #9 from Image, and…THIS is what I found.  Unbelievable!!  I found it on my first attempt.  This also proves my theory that many don’t even know this error exists…even the huge internet comic book retailers.

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  • TMNT / Viking Heroes Limited Edition – For whatever reason, copies of this 1992 book (that collects the Viking Heroes Summer Specials #1-3 and is signed and numbered by Michael Thibodeaux) are extremely hard to come by.  I’ve only ever seen a few copies for sale but the size of the print run was 1,750 copies.  That doesn’t seem to indicate it should be too hard to find but, regardless, it is a difficult issue to track down (but typically not too expensive when it is found).  Just about a year ago I first acquired a copy of this edition.  It was numbered 878 of 1750.   You may have seen my blog post about it.  Anyway, just the other day I came across another copy of this edition for sale.  Given that it’s not seen for sale too often I decided to go ahead and buy it since the price was very low.  However, I didn’t pay any attention to the details of the item at the time of purchase (i.e., the limited edition numbering).  It wasn’t until later that day when my curiosity piqued and I wondered about the unique number assigned to it.  So, I checked to verify the number of the copy I already had (878) and then I went back and re-read the description for the one I just bought.  To my utter astonishment I read that my newly purchased edition was numbered…877 of 1750!  What are the odds?  This was only the 2nd copy I’ve even seen for sale and the first is the one I bought a year ago.  Finding two consecutively numbered copies of a 1,750 copy print run signed and numbered limited edition comic book, both of which were purchased by the same collector (me) nearly a year apart and from different sellers in different parts of the country, and all this 20 years after the issue was initially released…now THAT is truly amazing!  While I paid very little for both copies and they’re valued at only about $4 apiece, these issues definitely make the list of my top 10 favorite items within my collection…and mainly just for the cool story behind their acquisition.

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