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WHAT'$ CAPTAIN CANUCK WORTH THE$E DAY$?


I seem to receive that question a lot.

People come upon old Captain Canuck comics in their basement and wonder if they're worth something. Everyone's heard of the idea that old comics can become much sought after collectibles by some fans, with some very old, very rare comics being priced at tens of thousands of dollars. But for those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the "market place" it's important to realize that the whole collectible field is an imprecise science -- at best.

Firstly, generally prices quoted for a comic are "near mint" (N/M), which means it looks as though it just came off the store's shelf -- or, better yet, never even left the warehouse. A few nicks and scratches and folds can decrease the value sharply. Sometimes. Other times, if a comic is sufficiently hard to find in N/M condition, even a dog eared copy can be worth something. Secondly, just because something's old, doesn't mean it's valuable. And just because something isn't valuable now...doesn't mean it won't sky-rocket five years from now (maybe a supporting character in the comic will suddenly be the star of a hit comic, and his early appearances will become much sought after). Finally, a comic is basically worth...well, whatever someone is willing to pay you for it. It's as simple as that. I've seen old comics that are "officially" valued at, say, ten dollars, go for twenty or thirty dollars on e-Bay...and other comics that are valued at ten go for only a couple of bucks.

Anyway, enough of the pre-amble.

The best way to guage the current "official" value of an old comic is to find a comic book price guide at the library or a bookstore (many bookstores have collectible or hobby sections). But just to give you an idea of the capriciousness of the market, I looked up Captain Canuck #1 (1975) in three different price guides...one valued it at, I believe, $12.00...while another at only $3.00 (with subsequent issues proportionately less). The 1993 series is usually valued at basically cover price or less.

In  other words, if you have some copies of C.C., you might make a few bucks off them...but you aren't going to get rich. Though, who knows what the future holds? If the rumoured on again/off again series by Mark Shainblum and Sandy Carruthers ever gets published, interest in old C.C.s might be stirred. So if you want an investment, put the comics in plastic comic bags for storage (you can purchase bags and boards at comic shops), but otherwise, just enjoy 'em, and know you own a piece of history.

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