Print Editions

When buying comics you always want to know that you are paying the correct price for the correct printing. Nothing like paying for a first printing only to find out later you have a fifth printing.

Depending on the publisher and the year, there are a couple of ways to tell what print you are getting. With older books you will need to open the book. Somewhere around the first page or so, or the last page there will be an area with all the information about the book and the publishing details. If it does not list any mention of the printing edition, then it is a first printing.

With newer modern books you will need to use the bar code. Or should I say the last five numbers of the bar code. These digits will tell you everything.

  1. The first three digits will tell you the issue number.
  2. The fourth digit is the variant number.
  3. The fifth digit is the print number

The above example is: Issue number 4, First variant (original cover), First printing.

Now open the second photo and see what you get from that code.

There is one other way they release different printings. They change the color of the cover of the book. A great example of this is New Mutants #87. The first printing is a red cover. The second printing is a gold cover. A highly collectible book to watch out for is Batman: The Killing Joke. It has multiple printings and everyone of them has a different color cover. So do your home work and know what you are looking for before you spend your hard earned money.

Join me next time when we discuss Autographed books.

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