ISSUE #36: A Very Good Year (A Cover Tunes Top 10 List)


Welcome back, CBSI, to 2018’s last issue of Cover Tunes. I hope the holidays treated you all well and that you found some amazing gems hiding in your respective stockings. To be fair, I don’t think anyone in my family understands comics well enough to have gotten me anything I actually wanted (or didn’t already have) that was comic-related and it’s probably better off that they all steered clear. Either way, it has been a VERY GOOD year of comics for yours truly. I hope 2018 treated you as well or better.

2018 has been an interesting year in comics, to say the least. We’ve had more dollar bin comics explode into keys than in any other year I can recall. We’ve seen the insane state of the variant market with books selling for $500 or more before they are even released. We’ve seen arguments over first appearances, we’ve had a very healthy year of film and television related spec and we’ve seen that in the short-term spec market the Indies are king. Most importantly, though, we lost a legend and 2018 will forever be remembered as the year we lost Stan Lee. I, for one, feel the void he left as I venture into 2019 with all of you wonderful people.

As we close out the year, I thought I would comprise a top 10 list from Cover Tunes throughout the prior 35 issues within which we’ve looked at over 200 covers! (Hard to believe, huh?). It was a tough choice as there were easily 20-25 choices that could have made the list for one reason or another. However, my choices for this list came down to three main factors…

  • A book that was listed in a given issue that got hot and/or became a key (usually a minor one) after posting it in Cover Tunes due to some unrelated circumstance(s) that had nothing to do with me or my featuring it.
  • A book listed in a given issue had many comments from you all telling me how much you loved it and/or wanted one.
  • A book from a given issue which began selling many more copies than usual due to it’s being featured in Cover Tunes whereas the community was alerted to a great cover or reminded of one they may have forgotten. These sales were tracked between Cover Tunes issues and were pretty obviously the result of them being featured, although, other factors may have contributed to their sudden spike in popularity, as well.     
  • My favorite book that I wrote about in a given issue of Cover Tunes.

So… away we go with the list. Please, cast your votes for your favorite. I will reveal the winner in the next issue.


The Beauty #1B (2015 Series)

PUBLISHED: Image Comics – August, 2015

ARTIST: Jenny Frison

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #31


This issue started selling like wildfire off of the bay after it was listed. Close to 40 copies sold in the week between Cover Tunes issues #31 and #32. More than half of those sold within the first 48 hours of publishing the article. Jenny Frison’s nuclear popularity this year coupled with an amazing interview by her probably assisted in the popularity on this one.


Swamp Thing #9 (1972 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC COMICS (Later, DC Verigo) – March/April, 1974

ARTIST: Bernie Wrightsonv

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #4


This one was just lucky timing, but I featured this puppy about a week prior to the news dropping on a Swampy series on the DC streaming Network. Either way it has become a classic cover and was, that week, so hot that it made Stein’s Hot 10 list.


Ms. Marvel #20 (1977 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – October, 1978

ARTIST: Dave Cockrum / Bob Wiacek

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #4


With a movie looming, all things Carol Danvers have exploded this year and once the initial frenzy for the 3 or 4 main keys happened, people began to gravitate towards secondary keys such as this costume-change issue. Prices on this one went from next to nothing to low-end key value almost overnight.


Justice League of America #51 (1960 1st Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – February, 1967

ARTIST: Mike Sedowsky

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #12


No one really cared about this issue until news broke of a potential Zatanna project from DC. Since other early Zatanna covers are pretty awful (or non-existent), the community instantly gravitated toward this beautiful baby. MANY copies have sold and it’s tough to get this one under $20-$30, now.


Queen Sonja #23 (2009 Series)

PUBLISHED: Dynamite Entertainment – November, 2011

ARTIST: Lucio Parrillo

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #8


All of the Parrillo covers for these Red Sonja series are pretty highly hunted, but this one stands out as the crowd-pleaser (I think the reasoning is pretty obvious). This one turned out to be pretty scarce and prices have gone way up over the past year if you can even find one.


The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #3 (2014 Series)

PUBLISHED: Archie Publications (“Archie Horror”) – July, 2015

ARTIST: Robert Hack

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #31


With the popularity of the Netflix show, all things Sabrina have exploded. These Hack issues had been highly underrated and fairly low-printed. Additionally, this one ends up being a minor key of sorts in that it is the first appearance of the Dark Lord.


Annihilation #4 (2006 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – January, 2007

ARTIST: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #18

Dell’Otto knocked this entire set of series out of the park. When it all shook out, this cover rose above the others. It has been mentioned by many on CBSI for various reasons including how amazeballs the art is. Rumors of portions of this story-arc making it into the MCU also bolstered values. This one is a tough find and commands $20 or more, now.


Final Crisis #3 (2008 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – September, 2008

ARTIST: J.G. (Jefferey Glen) Jones

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #23


This one had a huge surge in sales once it was featured. More than 20 copies sold within the week between Cover Tunes issue #23 and #24. It is also, one of my favorite covers I featured this year and, prior to writing about it, even though I knew it existed, I wasn’t really aware of how beautiful it really was.


Wolverine MAX #14 (2012 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – February, 2014

ARTIST: Mark Simpson “JOCK”

         Originally written up in Cover Tunes #17


Wolverine is and will always be many people’s favorite and many great artists have drawn him. When I featured this cover, there were A LOT of comments from you all saying that you’d never seen it and that you needed one. Many copies sold the week of feature and it seems to be on people’s radars, now, even though prices haven’t really risen.


Batman: Secrets #3 (2006 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – July, 2006

ARTIST: Sam Kieth

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #27

Much like the above Wolverine Max, it seems many readers were unaware of this cover until it was featured. As a result, sales went up by a fair amount even though prices haven’t. It is definitely a weird rendition of the Joker and one you just can’t unsee.



Marvel Age #8 (1983 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – November, 1983

ARTIST: Ron Zalme

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #32


The popularity of this one is pretty obvious. With the passing of the great Stan Lee, all of his covers and issues have seen a significant price bump. This one made the runner up slot merely because it’s not a great cover from an artistic standpoint, but it did get hot.



Psylocke #1 (2010 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – January, 2010

ARTIST: David Finch

Originally written up in Cover Tunes #19


This one only makes the runner up list because it has always sold fairly well. Prices have remained strong for this sexy beauty and I expect them to remain strong especially as Finch’s similar Wonder Woman #38 1:100 cover continues it’s upswing.



Okay, now it’s your turn to sound off and vote. Which one of these was your favorite Cover Tunes featured cover of 2018? Let me know in the comments section.




Thus, goodbye to 2018 and here’s to an unbelievably lucrative and SPEC-tacular 2019. Thank you all, so very much, for your support and information you all contributed to this column and all others on CBSI, this past year. We do it for you, but we couldn’t do it without you. As always, thanks for reading, be good to each other and happy hunting.


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