Here's a question for you Outcast, are there direct editions with the CCC and then others of the same issue direct without it?
None that I can think of, but I haven't seen everything.
I bought many copies of the Dr Strange / Ghost Rider special. I'd have to check them when I run across them. I'm hoping within the next couple of weeks I can get through all my extra boxes, which is now looking to be about 70 long boxes.
Also, were the Marvel comics with the UPC with a black line through it considered the direct editions of the time?
The very, very first distinguishing characteristic that Marvel used for direct-sales copies was a black line through the barcode. In less than a month, IIRC, Marvel added the diamond-shaped border around the price/number block. A few months later, IIRC, Marvel dropped the slashed barcode in favor of the Spider-Man face.
However, years before Marvel started the direct/newsstand split, they were printing copies for five-and-dime store multi-packs that also had diamond-shaped price/number blocks (these were not favored by collectors then, and when direct-sales comics started looking like multi-pack comics, some collectors initially resisted them). I think some of these may have also had a slash through the barcode.
Marvel began the direct/newsstand distinction, I believe, March 1979; cover date would have been June (I think there might have been a few late-shipping May comics that were handled this way). It's tricky to tell for sure, though. Somebody put up a photo here a few months ago showing a multi-pack with issues that were published after Marvel began marking direct-sales copies differently, and that looked like direct-sales copies. Apparently Marvel was using the same covers for both direct-sales and multi-packs, at least for a while.