FW Presents – Holy Grails

Network All-Stars Rob, Chris, and Ryan and special guest Paul Kien pretend they had Bruce Wayne Money and discuss their "Holy Grail" comic book and toy purchases!

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23 responses to “FW Presents – Holy Grails

  1. How appropriate to be discussing Holy Grails on this Easter weekend. Well done my friends, well done.

    For comics, the obvious holy grail for me is Action #252, Supergirls first appearance. I almost had it once. About 10 years ag, it was at my local store for $400. I was afraid to commit so much and asked if I could do it on layaway and they said no. A friend of mine said he almost bought it for me to pay him back on layaway but he didn’t do it. In retrospect, I should have because that comics price has skyrocketed in the last 10 years.

    A close second would be Adventire 247, the first appearance of the Legion.

    I am not a big toy collector but I do get sketch commissions at cons. Grail commissions would be Amanda Conner, Brian Bolland, and John Totleben. I have seen Conner a bunch of times, but she is never sketching. And she has probably outpriced me by now if she is ever sketching.

  2. This was such a fun episode. There is something contagious about the level of excitement we get for these grails. I almost can’t wait for comic conventions to start back up so I can continue my hunt for great original art that won’t break the bank. Presuming I can find some.

    I loved Rob’s idea of getting an Ira Schnapp advert paste up. That would be a wonderful thing to own. I’ll have to keep an eye out.

    Great episode as usual.

  3. let me tell you a story about how stupid i am.
    about 8-10 years ago at the steel city con in pitts pa. A dealer had that old hardcover of monster society of evil.
    and he said it was $25.00.
    i had the money, that was not the issue, but i passed on it….cause get this people….. i didn’t want to carry that oversized book around the convention.

    yes, feel free to mock and make fun of me. i deserve it 🙂

    looks like i am going to buy that reprint on amazon. good looking out!!!!

  4. A few years ago, I sold most of my single issue comics (for way too little) to lighten the load for a move. I’ve since been replacing that collection in trade paperbacks. This has created two holy grail items. Swamp Thing Regenesis by Rick Veitch and Hulk Visionaries volume 5 by Peter David and Dale Keown. Both are available to purchase online, but because both are out of print, they tend to go for anywhere from. $90 to $200 apiece. I could afford that, but in the age of digital access, that just feels too high.

  5. I could have sworn I emailed in, but I have this way of thinking I have done things but not actually doing them.

    Anyway … after much thought, I have to say that I don’t think I have a particular comic that I would own if time/money were no expense. That’s probably because The New Teen Titans #2 was my “holy grail” at one point and I got that 25 years ago from Mile High Comics for $36. Still the most I have ever paid for a single comic book.

    BUT … if time and money were no object, I’d buy some original pages or cover art. When I’m at shows, I often find myself flipping through pages that an artist has for sale but have never bought any because of the price.

    So if I could obtain them, what would I buy? Well, the possibilities are endless, so here are five.

    1. Something by George Perez, especially from Crisis on Infinite Earths or The New Teen Titans.

    2. Ditto Phil Jimenez. Granted, I’ll settle for that massive JLA/Titans poster (yes, Shagg, I know you have it).

    3. Michael Golden-drawn pages or covers from The ‘Nam.

    4. A page or cover art of Batman by Norm frickin’ Breyfogle.

    5. The original artwork for the covers of G.I. Joe #46 or #61 by Mike Zeck.

    Aside from that, I want that 1980s DC Style Guide by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (praised be his name).

    Great show, guys!

  6. at my first con I FOUND YELLOW Claw 1 which i’d never seen for more than 50 bucks, right? I was so happy. I gave him 80 bucks (hey man there’s a tip) he says “that’s great where’s the other 180? I went up to 150 and he said NO WAY 220 FIRM. I said “take my money those books won’t sell!
    we did that dance four years. He never dropped the price and he DIED with those books unsoild

  7. Several years ago I nearly purchased a life-size Han Solo frozen in carbonite that had been sold years ago thru The Sharper Image. They were asking $1000 and you had to drive a couple of hundred miles and pick it up. I should have pulled the trigger, but reconsidered. That’s a regret.

    There aren’t really any specific physical items that I’d consider a “holy grail” I’m longing to have. Instead, my holy grails are travel-related these days. I’ve gone to the TCM Film Fest & taken a couple of their cruises in recent years and that’s been a thrill. I even saw Stan Lee crossing the street when I was walking in Beverly Hills. Another surreal experience was having lunch in the Cayman Islands with Eva Marie Saint, Louis Gossett Jr, Alex Trebek & others as we spent a day on a small private tour. I was definitely the riff-raff on that trip.

    A couple of years ago I finally made my long-desired trip to Italy. It was two wonderful weeks and worth every cent. Last summer I was set to spend two weeks traveling thru the south of France & Monaco until COVID extinguished that plus my TCM trip. Hopefully, next year I’ll be on the road again.

  8. Thanks for a fabulous show, and especially to Paul for the Monster Society of Evil tip, I’m off to check that out.

    When I worked for Egmont Fleetway, working on the UK DC reprint comics, we had a copy of the JLGL DC style guide, folder and all. My old boss Brian M Clarke has it these days. Thinking on, I should have asked DC’s licensing liaison Phyllis Hume – a lovely person with whom to deal, sadly gone now – to send me one. A coffee table book version is a great idea, shall we have a Twitter campaign?

  9. Thanks for the fun conversation.
    Personally, I’m not much of a collector – actually not really a collector at all. To me, it’s always been more important to be able to read something, so I’m fine with reprint collections (in fact, I usually prefer them). I’ve also never had more than a passing interest in the ancillary merchandise. So at this point, I’d say my only real holy grail would be the illustrated version of Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, adapted by Byron Preiss and Howard Chaykin – the complete version from the early 1990s, which is apparently pretty rare and is never cheaper than about $50 when it does show up somewhere.

  10. Great conversation, gents!

    Rob, what is this, “We went to art school together”? You mean you went to the Kubert School together! You stay on brand, mister!!! We in the listening audience have certain expectations, you know.

    I still haven’t read Amazing Spider-Man #102. I know, it’s probably reprinted a million places. I’ll get there. It only took about forty years to get around to #101. I bet I can do #102 in half the time!

    In my comments on Patreon, I mentioned the Superman/Wonder Woman Treasury. The day after I posted, I bought the recently published hardcover, and it is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

    If I could have any original art for purely sentimental value, I’d get a page or several from The Untold Legend of the Batman. I know Chris and Rob are with me on this. The phase never ends.

    I like how Chuck put experiences in his Holy Grail list. I have a few of those — some comics related, some not. At one con, Bob Layton gave my wife a signed Iron Man print when she mentioned it was her birthday. That isn’t something I ever hoped for, but it was pretty cool when it happened. My daughters and I spent a long time at two different cons talking with Jim Steranko. He was both fascinating and a true gentleman. My oldest daughter and I paid good money to get a picture with Stan Lee a few years ago. We had just enough time with him for me to say, “Thank you for entertaining us and inspiring us all these years.” He replied, “You’re WELcome!” He was a tiny, aged, man, but he said it with the same clarity and enthusiastic zeal with which he said everything I ever heard his recorded voice say.

    I wish I could thank them all.

      1. Rob, don’t worry about it. I had one job where my constant Afghanistan stories were such a running joke that I put up a map of Afghanistan with a caption saying it was where I went to band camp. You know, “This one time, in Afghanistan…”

        JKS was an arduous experience where you met amazing people — including some lifelong friends — and did really difficult, but really cool things. It changed your life, and it was one of the experiences that made you who you are. We bag on you ’cause we all looked at the ads and wondered what it would be like, but you actually went. And Joe called you “son”! Just own it, man. I smile every time you say it.

  11. Just want to chime in and say that a coffee table reprint of the original DC Style Guide would be an instant purchase for me, probably several times over to give away as gifts! The pages I’ve seen from this book are just so beautiful and inspiring. PBHN, indeed! I don’t know why DC hasn’t done this already.

    Also, a reprint of Canceled Comics Cavalcade would be awesome. With it being in black & white, they could have done it as a Showcase Presents volume back in the day. Or even now! Come on, DC, take my money! You guys mentioned that Firestorm #6 was reprinted in the Firestorm (original series) TPB, and I think you mentioned a few others, but there’s one more that has recently come to light: Joker #10 was printed, in color (including a great Ernie Chua cover), in the recent Joker Omnibus. I’m not particularly a Joker fan, so I waited a while to pick this up, but I have to tell you, this is a wonderful omnibus! The paper is perfect for this material — flat, not glossy like most omnis, and just the right thickness. The art and stories are by all of the Batman greats. In fact, just as a Batman collection, this thing is pretty awesome!

    I can also second and recommend Gwandanaland publications for public-domain stuff. I have a few of them and they are pretty good quality. They are just public-domain scans, printed onto coated white paper and bound, and the overall design is not very inspired — they look a little “home-made” — but I find them to be more readable than those PS Artbooks collections of similar material (those are too dark and muddy for me). They’re also cheaper! Gwandanaland seems to be a one-man operation run by Forlance “Lance” Jones. I communicated with him once about an order and he seemed knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what he’s doing. He also customized a cover for one of my collections without any extra charge — just changed the files at Amazon’s print-on-demand service, then had me place the order, and it came out just the way I had hoped! Big props for that. I recommend ordering through Amazon and not through the Gwandanaland web site (if it still exists). I had much faster service with Amazon.

    Thanks for another great podcast!

  12. It was so great to hear about your Holy Grails! So many fun choices and it was fun to hear that Paul finally got his grail! And I could listen to Chris talk all day about toys and some of the obscure knowledge behind those toys. We need more Give Me Those Wonderful Toys history lessons.

    I mentioned on Patreon that most of my grail items are memory based from when I was a kid and hold a sentimental place in my heart. But, honestly, like a bunch of you, I’m okay if I just read the reprints of the stories. For me, the only reason now to spend money on these old comics is for the vintage ads. A Nuclear Sub for kids! Dismember Girl Victim in the Aurora Monster Scenes kits! The great look of Hot Wheels. That’s why I’ve enjoyed some of these “facsimile” editions that have come out from DC and Marvel, because they reprint those ads.

    The one exception was I bought Shazam! #1 from 1973 (the first DC appearance of Captain Marvel) and I immediately sent it away to get it graded. This wasn’t so much me wanting to own it (though I really, REALLY did) but preserving a piece of history that I love. It belongs in a museum!

    And I will wholeheartedly agree with other commentators, I would buy that DC 1982 Style Guide as a coffee table book in a heartbeat! Are you listening, DC?!

    Great job as always, gentlemen. Keep the great work!

  13. I’ll play.

    I do have the Monster Society of Evil and Limited Silver Surfer books. The Daredevil Man Without Fear one is really nice as well. The Wonder Woman Through the Ages poster was a grail and that was obtained and signed by George Perez (thanks to help from Diablou Frank!).




    For Comics Grails (Did this collection ever come out? I never see it), The Lone Ranger Comic Strip Archive.

    For Toy Grails, there aren’t very many 30-inch Anti-Monitors, and I considered bidding on one, but my Bruce Wayne money wasn’t up to snuff at the time:

    There was also a ‘Powder Blue’ DC Universe Classics Superman that never was released to retail, but some number leaked from overseas.

    I’ve been getting into statues and original art lately, too. I started buying Tweeterhead statues along with some of the older statues I have from DC and Marvel. I own a couple of Maxima related Justice League and Action Comics pages and recently got the original art to the cover of The Thing #4.




    For Statues and Original Art Grails:
    This Guardians of the Galaxy Bowen set is getting pricey and isn’t easy to find – –

    If possible, I’d like to get commissions from Joe Jusko and Art Adams. Jim Lee if I had the Bruce Wayne money.

    For Original Art wants, if I could somehow get Earl Norem original art from Wheelie The Wild Boy of Quintesson….


    By the way, the Jim Lee cover for Transformers #67 went for $34,350, so I can feel the “I’m not in this game” pain.


  14. They published part of the DC style guide by JLGL (pbhn) in the DC in the 80’s collection from last year. That book also includes another holy grail.
    Alan Moore’s proposal for The Twilight of the Super Heroes!

  15. Ryan, I was a huge G.I Joe, A Real American Hero fan. I started with issue #7 from my local 7-11. Pretty much what I consider the start of my comic book collecting habit. And like you, I bought every issue, and stayed with it until around #150. So, of course, missed those final issues. During my first San Diego Comic Con back in the mid-80s, I went back and got the first six issues. I even remember spending $15 on a standard sized issue 1, having already gotten the treasury edition #1 off the stands.

    I have long since sold off my collection. And I don’t really have any holy grails, but, just last week I wandered into a comic shop, and saw issue #7, in Near Mint condition, in the case. It was going for $70. My wife would kill me if I bought it, so I didn’t, but boy it would be fun to buy it, frame it, and put it up on the wall.

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