Aside from August 7th being my mother's birthday (Happy Birthday, Ma) it is also the anniversary date for the release of the “Senses Shattering 1st Issue” of Jim Lee’s WildC.A.Ts Covert Action Teams. Twenty nine years after its release, WildC.A.T.s Covert Action Teams #1 is making me rethink my strategy for collecting retailer incentive covers. In this blog post, I’ll explain why.
First, let me say that this issue holds a special place in my heart as it was my first Image comic. Back in 1992, to celebrate my mother’s birthday, we took a trip to Abbeville, SC to eat lunch at an Amish Restaurant (yes, that's a thing we actually did as a family - God, we were lame.) While in Abbeville, we stopped in at a little comic shop because, ya know, comics.
Since Jim Lee was my favorite artist at the time, this cover grabbed my attention like nothing else in the store, so obviously I had to have it. After reading it I was hooked and I decided that on my next trip to my local comic shop (LCS) I’d get every other Image Comic published up until WildC.A.T.s.
Fun fact: up until my LCS closed in 1995, my pull list consisted of every single Image title. Every. Single. One. I’m telling you, I was obsessed with Image Comics.
On one of my Image comic buying trips, I spotted the Gold Foil edition of WildC.A.T.s Covert Action Teams #1 on the wall at my LCS. It was being offered for sale for a jaw dropping $100! At the time that may as well have been a million to me, so it was out of reach. I quickly just chalked it up as something I’d never have and moved on.
15 years later, in 2007, I was feeling nostalgic one day and decided to look into that sweet Gold Foil Embossed Retailer Incentive issue. To my surprise, I was able to get one for $20 on eBay - $80 less than its price in 1992. (Note: it can now be found on eBay for around $50.)
I mention this story only because I see so many retailer incentive books being sold now. Every time I shell out $100 for a Spawn raw pencil sketch cover or a Last Ronin retailer incentive cover (which I am very guilty of doing) I can't help but wonder if I'm being foolish and if I should be spending my money on more established books.
I have a little voice in the back of my head reminding me of my Gold Foil WildC.A.T.s Covert Action Teams #1 and how I got it 15 years later for $80 less than its original fair market value.
With the upcoming launch of King Spawn #1 and its 1:250 signed and numbered cover, I can’t help but wonder what it will sell for in 15 years.
I mean, that’s not going to stop me from buying it, but it’s making me rethink things for sure. 😁
Happy Collecting, Josh