I'm writing an essay for my law grad class on the existence of counterfeit comics. I was wondering whether any of you guys knew where I could find information on them? Anything would be helpful but definitely things like: the extent of their existence? is it a highly specialized crime? to what extent are their creators caught and prosecuted? specific case studies would be great. any help would be great!
Hey Philv - I'm the Site Director for CCL, and I've helped contribute to this great thread that got started by the members on this topic - helped identify a couple of the counterfiets floating around myself.
Basically, there's not a whole to tell about these because the comic market is so fickle
. Why? Because the definition of what makes an item 'collectable' falls square on the shoulders of the collector
. While some dealers, (such as myself) in this business deem these books WORTHLESS
, it still doesn't keep others from deemed the book having MODERATE to OUTLANDISH
value simply because of their celebratory status as a 'bootleg
Look at the VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR #1 error variant. Word is that someone printing the book ran a series of them through without printing the red foil, and then flooded the market with these as rare printings. ERROR implies accidental. BOOTLEG implies forgery. But the market is divided on the topic. At one time, OVERSTREET
(what I consider to be the defacto standard for pricing comics) values this book as worthless. However, WIZARD
(a 'hipper' comic price guide found on the shelves of bookstores and department stores) at one time gave this book a TREMENDOUS value. Then CGC might grade a bootleg, (as they did with the THOR #1 GOLD) and then the infamy and confusion begins anew.
Oh, and as far as identifying a book, like the THOR #1 and the WORLD WAR HULK #1 GOLD as bootlegs? Word came from Marvel themselves on this one to me.
TO sum it up, it's all relative
as far as value goes on this topic. I would wager it's also VERY hard to prosecute someone for forgery of comics because, well, half the industry frowns upon it, while the other half supports it by buying the books and keeping the circulating which add to their mythical status.
Good luck on your paper. If you need anything else, let us know.