Now that the milestone 50th edition of the Guide is available, Scoop’s “The Road to Overstreet #50” column is being rebranded as “Inside the Guide.” It will continue to provide similar content, revisiting some of our favorite Guide articles and charting the value growth of comics and other collectibles, but will also get behind the scenes of developing the next edition of the Guide as it goes from first cover announcement to final on-sale dates.
Building each new edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide takes thousands of hours of work in pricing analysis, researching comics history, creating covers, and designing the massive book’s layout. With this process already well underway, Gemstone Vice-President of Publishing J.C. Vaughn has shared some of the early production details on Guide #51.
Scoop: Now that our milestone edition, The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #50 is out, let’s talk about #51. What’s the first step for kicking off a new edition of the Guide?
J.C. Vaughn (JCV): I started working on the covers for #51 months ago. I always joke that the Guide is an annual book with an 18-month production cycle, but it’s not really a joke. We have one cover finished, one nearly finished, and two others (including one for the Big, Big edition) in the works.
Scoop: The first cover has already been announced. How did David Mack’s Daredevil and Echo cover come together?
JCV: I’ve been a huge fan of David’s work since the early days of Kabuki. He’s just an amazing talent, always pushing himself to do even better. We even did an Overstreet’s FAN Edition Kabuki #1 issue with him back then. I’ve followed his work closely from those days through his present work on Cover with Brian Michael Bendis and the wonderful cover he did for AfterShock’s S.O.S. benefit comic. I loved his title designs for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and I really loved his run as writer and cover artist on Daredevil. Once we thought of a Daredevil and Echo cover in conjunction with some of our editorial matter as a cover for Overstreet #51, there was never another choice for it. Once I saw it in my mind, it was going to be David Mack, or we were going to have a different cover.
Scoop: When does Bob Overstreet start analyzing prices for the next edition?
JCV: I don’t know if Bob ever stops. After five decades of this you think it’d be enough, but I don’t know of another hobby or industry that has someone like Bob, who is so passionately devoted to getting it right. He is always monitoring auctions, documented sales, and listening to our Overstreet Advisors when they send him information.
Scoop: How do you decide which topics should be covered in the featured articles?
JCV: Often it’s in conjunction with our cover features, but we always listen to ideas both from freelancers and our staff. In the case of Overstreet #51, it was sort of the opposite of usual. I had the subject matter for the articles from the very start and they served as the springboards for at least two of the covers.
Scoop: How will, or how has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the start of Guide #51?
JCV: Operationally, it won’t affect things at all, barring additional major, unforeseen circumstances. In terms of content, if you don’t spend a lot of time looking at the back issue market, this answer might surprise you given the rest of the news we hear daily. Back issue sales are booming. I don’t mean all record prices, but I just as certainly don’t mean all bargain basement deals either. There is an incredible surge in interest in back issues right now, and we weren’t in a bad place to start with. I can’t wait to see the observations our Overstreet Advisors send into Bob this time around. I’m sure it will be a terrifically varied experience.
Scoop: What do you enjoy most about starting a new Guide?
JCV: I love the reactions of artists when they’re selected to do a Guide cover. I love seeing the concept work and then the finished covers. And then I love working with Gemstone Creative Director Mark Huesman, who has custom-built logos for all but three or four of our editions since CBPG #40. He’s a wizard.