H&D Owner Acquires Gaines File Copies


Our store owner, Chris Foss, recently bought a complete set of Gaines File Copy ECs!  These books are for his personal collection and were quickly stored away in a vault for safe-keeping — they won't in the store for public viewing any time soon.  But we thought you might like to know more about the purchase, so we're reprinting two articles here — one from the COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE and one from the Heritage Comics Newsletter.

Update:  We've added a third article from Gemstone Publishing's weekly newsletter THE SCOOP.  Thanks to everyone for all the publicity and kind words!


 

A "Weird" Group of Gaines File Copies
Heroes and Dragons' owner acquires a complete set

by Nathan Melby for COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE
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Chris Foss, owner of Heroes and Dragons in Columbia, SC, has purchased a complete set of Gaines File Copy science-fiction issues from Heritage Comic Auctions and its co-owner, Jim Halperin.  No exact figure on the purchase price was given, but it was said to be a low-to-mid-six-figure price.

The issues are 22 issues of WEIRD FANTASY, 22 issues of WEIRD SCIENCE, WEIRD SCIENCE-FANTASY # 23-29, and INCREDIBLE SCIENCE FICTION # 30-33.  More than 75% of the issues are CGC-graded at 9.4 (NM) or 9.6 (NM+).  The first issue of WEIRD FANTASY is a 9.6, the first issue of WEIRD SCIENCE is a 9.4, WEIRD SCIENCE # 5 is a 9.8 (NM/MT), and WEIRD SCIENCE-FANTASY # 29 is a 9.4.

Foss said that he didn't know what Gaines file numbers the issues are but said that it does not really matter to him.  William Gaines, publisher of MAD, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, and other classic comics titles of the early 1950s, set aside 12 file copies of most E.C. Comics between 1950 and 1955.  These "Gaines File" copies are now among the most collectible of all comic books.

"There's only a couple of those still existent as a complete set, which is the tough thing with Gaines File copies," Foss told CBG.  "So many of the sets have been broken up and sold individually in these auctions.  If you're trying to put a complete run together, it's very tough."

Foss bought a few of the comic books at Heritage's Signature and monthly internet-only auctions beginning in March — and the rest directly from Halperin when Foss visited Heritage's offices in late June.

He said, "The science-fiction stuff has always been my favorites, and, when you look at the artists on those books, it is just like the Academy Awards of comics.  Everybody from Wally Wood to Al Williamson.  So many people get their start there.  Some of the people, like Al, are still around.  I don't know, this may have been the apex of quality comics for art and storytelling throughout."

As for Foss's plans for the comic books, he said he does not yet know what he is going to do with them.  "I don't think any collector can say they are going to buy anything really expensive in today's market with the thought they are never going to sell it.  I'm buying them as an investment, because, when they're slabbed, you can't read them for probably at least several years; I haven't thought about it 100% for the long term."

He indicated he has big plans for future purchases.  He said that he would like to buy ACTION COMICS # 1.  He already has a SUPERMAN # 1 and a BATMAN # 1, and the ACTION COMICS  would complement the two nicely.

 

 

Chris Foss Purchases Complete CGC-Graded Gaines File SF Set from Heritage

by John Petty for Heritage Comics
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Chris Foss, owner of the Heroes and Dragons of Columbia, South Carolina, has purchased a complete set of Gaines File science fiction issues from HeritageComics.com and its co-owner, James Halperin, for a low-to-mid six-figure price. The issues are WEIRD FANTASY # 1-22, WEIRD SCIENCE # 1-22, WEIRD SCIENCE-FANTASY # 23-29, and INCREDIBLE SCIENCE FICTION # 30-33.

The average grade of the set is quite high. Over 75% of the issues are in 9.4 or 9.6 condition. The key WEIRD FANTASY # 1 is a 9.6, WEIRD SCIENCE # 1 is 9.4, WEIRD SCIENCE # 5 is 9.8 (!), and the coveted WEIRD SCIENCE FANTASY # 29 is 9.4.

William Gaines, publisher of MAD, Tales from the Crypt, and dozens of other classic comic titles, set aside 12 file copies of most EC comics issued between 1950 and 1955. These "Gaines File" copies are now among the most desirable of all comic books.

A few of the comic books were purchased at Heritage's Signature and monthly Internet-only auctions beginning in March, and the balance from Halperin directly when Foss was visiting Heritage's offices in late June to view lots for their July 4-6 Wizard World Signature auction.

According to Foss, "I learned that Jim Halperin bought a full set of Gaines File books from Steve Geppi back in March. I collect science fiction comics and had already started to buy a few Gaines File issues from their auctions. So I immediately approached (Heritage's Director of Acquisitions) Ed Jaster about buying the science fiction titles to fill in the rest of my then-incipient set. Ed promised that Jim would offer me the books I needed after all the books came back from CGC, and they were true to their word. Jim gave me a very fair deal, too. I didn't even have to negotiate the price. The entire transaction took just a few minutes."

"Chris has been a consistent consignor and bidder in our auctions, so Jim was more than happy to accommodate his request," said Jaster.

Foss tentatively plans to hold the books for a few years as an investment. "I'm just thrilled to be the temporary custodian of these treasures!" enthused Foss.

 

 

Chris Foss Purchases Complete Gaines File Set from Heritage

from The Scoop
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Chris Foss, owner of the Columbia, SC mega-store, Heroes and Dragons, has recently purchased a complete set of CGC-graded Gaines File science fiction issues from HeritageComics.com and its co-owner James Halperin. The coveted issues, purchased for a low-to-mid six-figure price, are WEIRD FANTASY 1-22, WEIRD SCIENCE 1-22 WEIRD SCIENCE-FANTASY 23-39, and INCREDIBLE SCIENCE FICTION 30-33.

The set is the result of William Gaines, legendary publisher of MAD, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, and dozens of other classic comic titles, putting aside 12 file copies of most EC comics issued between 1950 and 1955. These "Gaines File" copies are now among the most desirable of all comic books. Over 75% of the issues in this amazing set are in 9.4 or 9.6 condition, with WEIRD SCIENCE 5 coming in at 9.8(!).

A few of the books were purchased at Heritage's Signature and monthly Internet-only auctions beginning in March, with the rest coming from Halperin directly during Foss' late June visit to Heritage to view lots for their July 4-6 Wizard World Signature auction.

According to Foss, "I learned that Jim Halperin bought a full set of Gaines File books from Steve Geppi back in March. I collect science fiction comics and had already started to buy a few Gaines File issues from their auctions, so I immediately approached (Heritage's Director of Acquisitions) Ed Jaster about buying the science fiction titles to fill in the rest of my then-incipient set. Ed promised that Jim would offer me the books I needed after all the books came back from CGC, and they were true to their word"

"Chris has been a consistent consignor and bidder in our auctions, so Jim was more than happy to accommodate his request," said Jaster.

Foss tentatively plans to hold the books for a few years as an investment. "I'm just thrilled to be the temporary custodian of these treasures!" he says.

All past Heritage auction records may be viewed along with full-color images, descriptions, and prices, at www.HeritageComics.com, while Foss's Heroes and Dragons can be found at www.HeroesAndDragons.com.