Wait … Die Hard with who? And with what? A box and bear?

Hans Gruber: [on the radio] “Mr. Mystery Guest? Are you still there?
John McClane: “Yeah, I am still here. Unless you wanna open the front door for me

Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI friends. Next year everyone’s favorite Christmas movie
Die Hard will turn 30 years old on July 15, 2018. Here are some well known, and not so well known facts about its legacy and plays into this weeks book of the week. The movie was made for $28 MM. That’s a salary for one actor in a movie today. Die Hard was based on a book by Roderick Thorp titled “Nothing Lasts Forever” which is a sequel to his novel “The Detective”. This was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra. A clause in his contract from that movie stated he would be the first person offered the role of John McClane even though he was 73 years old. On the flip side, Bruce Willis first feature film debut was “The First Deadly Sin”. In his first scene on camera he was walking out of a bar as Sinatra walked into it. How’s that for things coming full circle? Ready for some more tidbits? Sam Neil (Yes that one who was in Jurassic Park) turned down the role of the infamous Hans Gruber. This led to late Alan Rickman’s iconic portrayal which was his feature film debut. Not a bad first film and role huh? A few more for fun…The screenwriter of Die Hard, Jeb Stuart made reference to the fact that the finished product would not have been what it was without a stray cardboard box. The story goes one day when he was writing the script and got into a heated fight with his wife. He decided to leave the house, peeling out in his car he hit the road and a refrigerator cardboard box fell out of the vehicle in front of him. Thankfully, it was just a box and not a full refrigerator. However, the shock of seeing the box made him revise the script in the following way: “It’s not about a 65 year old man whose 40 year old daughter gets dropped off a building. It’s about a 30 year old guy who should have said he’s sorry to his wife, and then bad stuff happens.” Funny how the smallest things in life can have the biggest impacts! Last one I promise. The teddy bear John McClane is taking to his daughter belongs to director John McTiernan, who used the same teddy bear as a prop for Alec Baldwin’s Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October.

Ok, onto the books for the Week of December 14, 2016. The book of the week goes to a Christmas Holiday Special. What? Are you serious? Yes, this book is what we like to say a certified ghost. It’s Gwenpool Holiday Special Merry Mix Up Die Hard homage Chip Zdarsky 1:100 Variant. Have fun finding this one.

  • #81 via Comichron month of December
  • Total print run – 32.2K
  • Total approx. 1:100s – 332 *Probably less with LCS’s having to bring in 100 of a Holiday book
  • Current slabbed on Ebay – None, Ghost
  • Current raw on EBay – None, Ghost
  • Recent EBay sales – You get the picture. None, Ghost

The scarcity of this book is for several reasons:

  • 1:00 Holiday Book – Again, this book is dead in the water a week later. Who orders 100?
  • Die Hard homage – There are many of us out there
  • Zdarsky rare variant – Parallels his Vader Down on a smaller scale. Ask Trey about that one sometime!
  • Gwenpool completists – There are fewer of those out there

ROI Scale:

Honorable Mentions

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey # 5 Cover B by Karmome Shirahama
28.8K total run / 14K of these
Detective Comics #946 Cover B by Rafael Albuquerque
66.3K total run / 33K of these
Flash # 12 Cover B by Dave Johnson
64.4K total run / 33K of these
Red Hood and the Outlaws # 5 Cover B by Matteo Scalera
32.8K total run / 16K of these
Suicide Squad # 8 Cover B by Lee Bermejo
60K total run / 30K of these
Superwoman #5 Cover B by Ben Oliver
24.7K total run / 12K of these
Wonder Woman # 12 Cover B by Jenny Frison
54.5K total run / 27K of these

Red Sonja # 0 1:100 J. Scott Campbell Variant
25 cent issue so not listed via Comichron

Transformers Lost Light # 1 Paul Pope 1:50 Variant
11.3K total run / 226 of these
Uncle Scrooge #21 Marco Gervasio 1:10 Variant
4.6K total run / 465 of these

Reborn #3 Greg Capullo 1:100 Sketch Variant
36.7K total run / 367 of these

Amazing Spiderman: Renew Your Vows #2 J. Scott Campbell Variant Jessica Jones # 3 1:25 Stephanie Hans Variant
38.6 total run / 1544 of these
Mosaic #3 Joyce Chin XCI Variant
31.1K total run / 1244 of these

Week in Recap

  • Gwenpool Holiday is a must buy if found cheap – Ghost, find and flip
  • Paul Pope Transformers Lost Light <250 copies – prices raw $40 via EBay
  • Reborn #3 1:100 Sketch <375 copies – prices raw $40 – $100 via Ebay
  • Uncle Scrooge Christmas cover <500 – zero on EBay
  • Rebirth Cover B continue to be winners as we know the ratio is not 50/50 so there is even less then the copies mentioned above. All around cover price via EBay. However, worth a grab for those artists and covers you find appealing
  • Marvel 1:25s <2K total run. However, these from this week as with most can be found under ratio cost. This is a microcosm of 95% of Marvel variants – steer clear!

That’s all for this week, citizens of Nakatomi. All and all this week had some descent covers. I do believe the market is slower for this time as we see higher ratios sitting below cost. As the calendar moves forward, these Rebirth titles will show promise as more 1st appearances become realized. Small Press is a crapshoot. Even higher ratios with strong artists, coupled with low print runs, and popular properties do not equal financial success – See Pope’s TF Lost Light as example. Let’s keep playing this game together, and will all get better in our discipline including our buys, sells, and holds as a unified crew. One more Die Hard quote to close. Also, this echos my competitive nature about beating this comic market

Hans Gruber: “Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr Cowboy?
John McClane: “Yippie Ki Yay – Mother******

Talk soon, Clint

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