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Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide

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The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (or Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide) is an annually published comic book price guide widely considered the primary authority on the subject of American comic book grading and pricing in the hobby/industry. Numerous observers connect the expansion of the direct market distribution system and the proliferation of comic book specialty shops to the broader recognition and acceptance of Overstreet's annual guide. This guide is considered a standardized inventory and pricing system within the comic book industry.[1]

Begun in 1970 by Robert M. Overstreet as a guide for fellow fans of Golden Age and Silver Age comics, the Overstreet guide has expanded to cover virtually the entire history of the American comics publication as far back as the Victorian Age and Platinum Age. The annual edition also covers promotional comics (giveaways and advertising) and "big little books", while continually updating new publications and market reports that cover the prior year of market activity.

Overstreet's annual guide to the comic book collecting hobby has itself become a collectible, and since the 1980s each edition of the Price Guide includes a page listing collector's values for older editions, with hardcover editions, in particular, selling for a premium. Currently, the Price Guide is published in four formats: hardcover, softcover, a larger, ring-bound edition and an electronic edition, often with multiple covers for each version.


Robert M. Overstreet grew up as a comic book, coin, and Indian arrowhead collector. In the 1960s, after abandoning a project to create an arrowhead price guide, Overstreet turned his attention to comics, which had no definitive guide.[1]

Comic back-issue prices had stabilized by the end of the 1960s,[2] and, Jerry Bails, who had recently published the Collector's Guide to the First Heroic Age, was considering creating a comic book price guide. He was contacted by Overstreet, who was doing the same thing. Bails' extensive notes, supplemented by Overstreet's study of dealer listings, "became a backbone to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide".[3]

Under the auspices of Overstreet Publications, the first Comic Book Price Guide was published in November 1970. Priced at $5, saddle-stitched and published in a print run of 1000 (a second edition of 800 was released subsequently),[4] the book included 218 pages of listings. Among other things, Overstreet's guide included inventory lists, and it instantly became an invaluable resource tool for comic book collectors and dealers.[2] By 1976, the guide had achieved national distribution.[1]

An early decision was made by author to exclude the niche of underground comix, an adult-oriented expression of the art form that Mr. Overstreet had no interest in documenting, for reasons he has never made public,[citation needed] despite the book being promoted by its publisher as "the most complete listing of comics from the 1500s to the present".

Overstreet periodicals[edit]

During the 1980s and 90s, Overstreet Publications also created publications that provided updates on pricing for recently released comics as well as selected titles dating back to the Silver Age. These updates encompassed a guide to both current and valuable comics, along with featuring news related to comic books and collectors, as well as interviews. These publications also included editorial content contributed by publishers and bookstore owners who were polled for their insights. Various incarnations of the publication (which were published quarterly to bi-monthly, and eventually monthly) included Overstreet's Comic Book Price Update, Overstreet's Comics Price Bulletin, Overstreet Comic Book Monthly, and Overstreet's Fan, with this last incarnation showing a great deal of similarity to the successful comics news magazine Wizard: The Guide to Comics. Overstreet also published twenty-one issues of Comic Book Marketplace between Mar./Apr. 1993 and January 1995. Ultimately, most titles were canceled, including Overstreet's Fan which ceased publication in 1997.

Sale to Gemstone[edit]

In 1994, Overstreet sold his business to Gemstone Publishing. Despite this change in ownership, Overstreet continued to serve as the author of the annual guides and related publications. In July 2003, Gemstone Publishing made an attempt at a monthly publication called Overstreet's Comic Price Review, which only ran for nineteen issues.

Additionally, Gemstone Publishing released three volumes of the Overstreet Premium Ring Price Guide. These volumes provided values for thousands of collectible toy rings of various types. Among these, the most valuable is the Supermen of America ring, with a value of around $100,000 depending on its condition. Original artwork for volumes 2 and 3, created by artist A. Kaviraj, is on display at Austin's Ring Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The 52nd edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (2022-2023) was scheduled for release on July 20, 2022.

Facsimile Edition[edit]

In commemoration of the publication's 50th anniversary, Gemstone Publishing issued Facsimile Edition reprints of both printings of the original edition from 1970. The Facsimile Edition of the first printing, featuring a white cover, was initially scheduled for release on April 8, 2020. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, its release was postponed. Each of these editions came in four versions: a softcover edition with a retail price of $16.95, a hardcover edition priced at $25.00 (limited to 400 copies), a signed and numbered hardcover edition costing $50.00 (signed by Robert Overstreet and limited to 100 copies), and a deluxe signed and numbered hardcover edition priced at $75.00 (signed by Robert Overstreet and Steve Geppi, limited to 50 copies).[5]

Also see[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Who is Robert M. Overstreet?" Arrowheads.com. Accessed Nov. 3, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Maggie. "November 1970: Mint Never Meant So Much Before", "The 1900s: 10 biggest events from 100 years in comics", Comics Buyer's Guide #1365 (Jan. 14, 2000).
  3. ^ Ray Bottorff, Jr., quoted in "With a Little Help From His Friends...", Alter Ego vol. 3, #25 (June 2003), pp. 14–19.
  4. ^ "The Semi-Secret Origins of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide", Scoop (Mar. 15, 2003).
  5. ^ "Gemstone Publishing, Inc.. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide # 1 Facsimile Edition (Standard)". www.gemstonepub.com. Archived from the original on 2020-01-30.

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