Sea Hunt Comic Books
Sea Hunt comic books are often the first bit of memorabilia that Sea Hunt fans see and start collecting.
That was the case for myself. While visiting my parents in my childhood home I found an old Sea Hunt comic. I sat down and re-read the entire comic and I really enjoyed it! Needless to say I started thinking about Sea Hunt again and was soon wondering if there were other comic books available. As they say, the rest is history. My collection now includes hundreds of Sea Hunt items.
Comic books are easily available on a dozen websites. eBay is probably the best source. Prices range from $0.99 to $99.00 and it often seems that the only difference is in the seller’s mind. Certainly a near-perfect comic is worth a lot more than a well-read book but when starting a collection just for fun, just get a set of comic books. You can always get pickier later and trade or buy and sell until you have a set that you’re happy with. Again, that’s what I did so I now have a set of books that is near-perfect plus I have hundreds of extras that I sell or trade for other items.
Don’t be fooled by the seller’s descriptions that say “RARE”. They’re NOT rare. Also be skeptical about the descriptions as well. Comic book dealers are usually the best source. Individual sellers will always say their Sea Hunt comic book is excellent. If you see “In great condition for a 60 year-old comic” be careful. It could mean that it’s been read daily every day for 60 years. It either is in great condition or it is not!
Great condition should mean that the comic book is completely intact with no missing pages, no tears, no chips of cover missing, etc. The pages will have yellowed over the years but a good one will have largely white pages with just some yellowing on the edges. The staples will be in good shape, not rusty or loose. There should not be any wrinkles in the cover.
There are a few things to keep in mind when grading your comics. The paper is bound to be brittle because of its age. When inserting your comics into a plastic sleeve be careful to not catch the edge of the cover and break off little chips. I use a cardboard to stiffen the book in the sleeve. You can get proper comic book cardboard that does not have chemicals that will affect the comic. Unlike comic book dealers, I put my cardboard at the center of the book – on the staple page. That way I can see the back cover which can be important as you’ll see if you read on. Comics with a dark (black) cover are particularly hard to find in nice condition. The black is affected by bending and most comic books are bent (when being hidden in a math text for instance, or under the bedcovers).
So let’s look at the comics in my collection. This might be interesting for you since there were 13 comic books published in North America but I have 22 of them in my collection. Read on and you’ll see why.
The American comics
This is Sea Hunt #1, the first one published by Dell in August 1958.
I have three of this issue, sort of. Let me explain.
First, I have an very nice copy of #1 that has an advertisement on the back cover for Juicy Fruit gum. Apparently chewing Juicy Fruit gum helps keep your teeth clean too. Didn’t know that! I think the advertising guidelines in 1958 were less stringent than today.
Second, I have an equally good copy of Sea Hunt #1 that is absolutely identical in every way – except for the back cover which, instead of an ad for Juicy Fruit gum, has a cartoon story called ‘The Temple of the Depths’. It comprises five windows of art with accompanying text that tells the story of a Roman Galley that sank in the Mediterranean and the efforts to recover the wreck and contents by the Greeks first and later by the French.
And last, I have one more Sea Hunt #1 that is of particular interest. This one is not a complete copy. It’s the cover only. This one you won’t find anywhere because mine is the only one. Let me explain how I know. When these comics were being prepared for print, a cover was produced for the artists and graphics people at Dell to work on. You might call it a working copy. In fact, they called it the Shop Dummy. Once the final version of the Shop Dummy was approved and sent to the printer, this Shop Dummy was trashed. Someone saved the Shop Dummy for Sea Hunt #1 and I have it in my collection. It’s obviously very special. Read More