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Whitman comics: white/yellow W logos Options
outcast
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 6:50:15 PM
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I'm kind of amazed I haven't paid attention to this before.

In 1982, comics produced by Western Publishing (also known as Whitman comics, thanks to the name in the large "W" colophon in the upper left corner of covers) were available in two variations: a yellow W and a white W. The yellow variation had been used by Western for years preceding this time period, and was used again in years following. The white variation seems to have been created for comics published at this time. Here is an example:




In titles I have checked so far, there are no more than five issues per title known to have such variations. Given the time period, it's tempting to conclude that the intent was to distinguish returnable from non-returnable comics, but I haven't yet found evidence of this. I'm not even sure it makes sense, because Western had, only two years earlier, retired the Gold Key colophon that had appeared since the early 1960s on its newsstand (returnable) comics.

The CCL library does list some (not all) of these comics as having variants; from my quick spot-check, the white-logo variants appear to bring higher prices than their yellow-logo counterparts.

Does anyone have any information about these comics? I would particularly like to know (1) What was the significance of the differently colored logos? and (2) What is the perceived basis for the higher value that one version has over the other?
Xylob
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 8:30:16 PM

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outcast wrote:
...Given the time period, it's tempting to conclude that the intent was to distinguish returnable from non-returnable comics, but I haven't yet found evidence of this...
If you have one each version of the same issue, can you look at the top cross-section of the book pages to see if one has a color band to indicate when the book should be pulled from the shelves, and one doesn't?

It doesn't matter if it's 50 Cents or 50 Dollars - if you list it as NM it better be NM.
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outcast
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 9:08:38 PM
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Xylob wrote:
If you have one each version of the same issue, can you look at the top cross-section of the book pages to see if one has a color band to indicate when the book should be pulled from the shelves, and one doesn't?
No, but I've got the next best thing—a collection that, for the time period under consideration, includes some white-logo and some yellow-logo issues.

Trouble is, the color band that you refer to had disappeared from Western comics at the same time the Gold Key colophon went away (this strengthens my belief that only Gold Key versions, and not Whitman versions, were returnable). The color band didn't reappear during the white/yellow logo period, either on white-logo comics, or on yellow-logo comics. Nor did the color band reappear on Western comics after the white/yellow logo period.
comicscastle
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 9:41:11 PM

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Here is what I've found out through my research on this. The yellow logo was used on comics sold in bagged lots. The white logos were used on non-bagged issues sold directly to comic shops. The white logos were not returnable while the bagged comics were. This experiment did not work and most white logo comics were not ordered to any degree. For some reason comic shops didn't order them. My guess is they weren't offered through direct market distributors, or at least not the largest ones. The white logos are much rarer than the yellow and often demand a premium price. I know from collecting Turok that issues 129 & 130 had white logos. I have only seen 130 white once, and it was in a bound volume. I have been looking for one for close to 10 years so I know just how rare it is.



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Thundercron
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 11:35:48 PM

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Pat's right. It's the same story I've heard over the years. Whitman was already on it's way out at this point, and most comic shops weren't interested in selling the types of books Whitman was offering.
outcast
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013 6:38:46 AM
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Thanks, guys. What an interesting story.

It's particularly fascinating to me that, for Western Publishing, it's the direct-sales versions that appear to be scarce and more highly valued—just the opposite of what I've come to expect from my attempts to collect newsstand versions from Marvel, et al.

It's also interesting to me that, without even trying, I have managed to include so many white W versions of the Disney comics in my collection. I wonder if there were regional differences in comics-shop ordering rates (I'm in the central part of the country).
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