Gemstone Offers New Book: The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Comics #1
Joe Jusko Cover
SEP121116, $19.95
Don Newton Cover
SEP121117, $19.95

The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics is the first new Overstreet-branded book in more than a decade, and it comes from the same team behind The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

This book will offer guidance to new and experienced comic book collectors in getting started in the hobby, building and storing their collections, and getting the best value out of their collections in the future. Available with two covers — one from Joe Jusko (SEP121116, $19.95) featuring Spider-Man, the other a PREVIEWS Exclusive featuring unpublished art from the late Don Newton (SEP121117, $19.95) of the Justice League — The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Comics will arrive in comic shops on November 21st, just in time for holiday gift giving.

To find out more about this new project, PREVIEWSworld spoke with Associate Publisher J.C. Vaughn about the book.

PREVIEWSworld: What’s the story behind the new book?

J.C. Vaughn (JCV):
The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics is not a price guide. It’s a companion to The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, but more importantly it’s packed with basic information that can help a new collector see the bigger picture of the world of comics.

PREVIEWSworld: Where did the idea come from?

We first did The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics as our Free Comic Book Day publication three years ago. Since FCBD brings a lot of new potential collectors into comic shops each year, we thought it might be a good idea for them to have something like that to help them take the next steps on the journey. To our very pleasant surprise, the most vocal people we heard from were long established Silver Age collectors who not only had given it to new collectors, but who had also really enjoyed reading it themselves.

PREVIEWSworld: Is there really a need for such a book?

Definitely! Both on the new comics side and in the back issue market, events have brought old collectors back and new collectors into the market. Things like DC’s New 52, the success of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises at movie theaters or The Walking Dead on TV, the mainstream media reporting on top comics sales have brought with them new or returning collectors. I think everyone who loves this business, this art form, should hope that many of these people become lifers.

PREVIEWSworld: We heard you call it “Comics Collecting 102” when you were talking to someone. What do you mean by that?

Whether one is picking up new comics off the shelves each week or bidding on the highest of the high end back issues, there are things one needs to know in order to collect effectively. This book introduces them.

PREVIEWSworld: Such as…?

How do you collect comics? How do you care for them? Grade them? Sell them? How do you turn your comics hobby into a job in the industry? How are comics made? Who have been the greatest comic creators? What are the lasting legacies of the medium?

PREVIEWSworld: How is this different than the information presented in The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide each year?

Some of it is in the Guide and other portions have been previously. This new book brings it together and supplements it with a lot of new material and offers it in one place. One of the things we’re most excited about is the “Fan to Pro” section, in which we talk to people who have turned their passion for comics into their careers. Rather than just talking with creators who have done this – and we do talk to writers and artists as well – we hear from everyone from retailers to publishers to Hero Initiative board members about what made them make the switch and how they did it.

PREVIEWSworld: You seem pretty passionate about that… Why?

I don’t think there’s any art form or media, except maybe blogging, which is as egalitarian as comics. If you come out today with a new comic and it’s really good – not even great, just really good – tomorrow you can end up at a convention sitting next one of the creators whose work inspired you to get into the business. Sure, there are rare and incredible stories of these kinds of successes in music, TV, and film, but they are not the norm. In comics, they are. We have a very close relationship between creators and consumers and it is a big plus for what we do.

PREVIEWSworld: Who is working on this book?

In addition to Bob Overstreet, Creative Director Mark Huesman, and me, I have to say we’ve been very fortunate with the contributors on this one. Among them are three former Gemstone Publishing staff members. Courtney Jenkins, who was our Marketing Manager a few years back, has written a number of articles. John Clark, who was Editor-in-Chief of our Disney line, wrote a great piece about the late Don Newton, his good friend who did one of our covers. And Scott Braden, who started with us back in the days of Overstreet’s Fan, also wrote a few solid pieces for us. Outside of former staffers, Charlie Novinskie, an Overstreet Advisor, veteran of Marvel Age and numerous Comic-Con program books, who back in the day was in marketing for Topps Comics, has contributed as well, as has Overstreet Advisor and Ape Entertainment editor Weldon Adams, among others. And that’s just a quick, off-the-top-of-my-head answer. We’ve tried to include a lot of different voices.

PREVIEWSworld: You mentioned the late Don Newton. How do you have a new Don Newton cover so many years after he passed?

That one’s due to Bob Overstreet and some amazing timing. Joe Jusko did an amazing job on his cover for The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #42, and he had this beautiful, slightly more modern recreation he had done for himself of his 1992 Marvel Masterworks trading card featuring Spider-Man already in his portfolio. I wanted it right away and everyone agreed it was amazing.

PREVIEWSworld: Or spectacular, right?

Or sensational, yes. At any rate, that gave us one cover, but since Guide #27 we like to do two. We didn’t really have a lot of time to commission a new one, and then out of the blue Bob sent us this beautiful Don Newton cover, a real throwback to older days, a brilliant counterbalance to Jusko’s more modern piece.

PREVIEWSworld: So he just had it?

Yes. Don had done the first original cover for The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (it was #4), which made it even more appealing to have him on the cover of this new Overstreet book. Bob had commissioned this piece as a Guide cover. He didn’t use it, and it has never been published until now.

PREVIEWSworld: So when is this book being offered?

Right now! The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics #1 is in the September 2012 edition of PREVIEWS from Diamond Comic Distributors on Page 306. It will be a comic book size trade paperback, 320 pages, and it’s in full color. It will have a cover price of $19.95. It’s due to go on sale November 21st!

Get these guides at your local comic shop! Go to http://www.comicshoplocator.com or Call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK to find a store near you!

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