Why your old comic books might not be worth much, according to Graham Crackers Comics

Why your old comic books might not be worth much, according to Graham Crackers Comics

It's definitely the first time that the “wrong edition” cost me quite a few potential dollars.

For the longest time, I wondered if the comic books from my youth would be worth anything to collectors today. They have been tucked away in a box in my various basements the past 60 years or so. That means if they continue to stay there, then they are probably worth less than what I paid for them in late 1950s - 15 cents each.

A visit to Graham Crackers Comics in St. Charles was in order. I stopped in with a handful of my oldest and dearest comics. They were called “Classics Illustrated,” comics that tackled the great novels in a way that a youngster could understand. Yes, they did come in handy to help pad the occasional book report, but that's another story.

Turns out, my “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Iliad,” and “Uncle Tom's Cabin” comics could have delivered a nice return - if they were among the first edition printed and in mint condition.

Dave Heun recently visited Graham Crackers Comics in St. Charles with a handful of his oldest and dearest comics to get an idea of their value. Courtesy of Dave Heun

A “Hunchback of Notre Dame” meeting those standards is worth $1,500, according to the Overstreet guide for comics.

Mine? It was a much later 18th edition in fair to good condition. That would bring me a whopping $5.

So, my comics will simply remain a nostalgic memory. However, I did get a feel for what comic book stores look like these days at Graham Crackers' new location at 962A S. Randall Road.

My favorites of Sgt. Rock, Tomahawk, Sad Sack, Beetle Bailey and Dennis the Menace are long gone. But comic heroes like Batman, Superman and Spider-Man remain strong.

The clerk at Graham Crackers told me a new series of X-Men comics has been a popular choice for customers the past three months.

And he told me that Sgt. Rock still turns up on occasion in DC comics, but he doesn't have his own series any longer. A lot of the war comics that were so popular in the 1950s and '60s wouldn't garner much attention these days, he said.

Regardless of the change in tastes, it's good that the art of comic books is still with us - even though my chance at $1,500 rather than $5 rested solely on when the presses rolled for Quasimodo.

<h3 class="leadin">Some Sholes holes:

When walking through LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles more than a year ago, we noticed the 1872 Sholes School on-site was in bad need of a paint job.

I wrote a column item about that, and not long afterward, the school had a new coat of paint on it. It was almost as if Tom Sawyer had read that note and talked his buddies into painting it because “it would be fun.”

The school looks quite good, but our pesky woodpecker friends seem to have done some considerable damage on the building framing to the right of the front entrance.

I had to fight woodpeckers from ruining my house this year, so I know a woodpecker hole when I see it. And Sholes has a doozy on it the size of a tennis ball, along with several smaller holes.

So, as it has been for the Pioneer Sholes School Society and its volunteers the past four decades, there is a bit of maintenance to do again.

<h3 class="leadin">First Thai visit:

It had to happen at some point - and finally did last week.

Much to the surprise of our friends who took us out to eat, I declared it was my first visit to a Thai restaurant.

This historic event took place at Vino Thai's on the east side of St. Charles. The restaurant lived up to the rave reviews from those who had been there before.

My rainbow fried rice and tilapia was quite good, but so many other items on the menu were tempting.

There's no real reason I had never eaten Thai food before. I possibly thought it was too spicy or something. The result of this visit is that it will not be the last time.

<h3 class="leadin">Arden's vets honored:

Arden Courts Memory Care in Geneva wants to make sure the veterans who live there now get the proper recognition next week.

The facility will honor 12 residents who served in the Army, Air Force and Navy during a special Veterans Day event. Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns is expected to attend the ceremony, put on by Heartland Hospice and Arden Courts.

The veterans and their family members will be part of the festivities, which include a special pinning ceremony and certificates of appreciation. Entertainment and refreshments are also offered during the 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, event.

“We are all so excited to watch our Arden Courts gentlemen join together in this honorary ceremony to celebrate a part of each of their lives that sparks memories, pride and self-efficacy,” said Dorie Arnold, program services coordinator at Arden Courts.

“When I hear vets praising their peers for bravery and formulating lasting friendships in their new home here, I remember why I do what I do each day. It is an honor to watch these encounters unfold.”

<h3 class="leadin">Filled with balloons:

Over the past several decades, the front windows of this store location at 301 W. State St. in Geneva has showcased men's clothing, albums and CDs and jewelry.

The window display has depended on whether it was Erday's, Kiss the Sky or Perlman Fine Jewelry operating at the time.

In this entire time, that showcase window has never been full of balloons. But it is now, with balloons stacked to the ceiling for the past few weeks, as Edie Boutique prepares to open at that 301 W. State St. site.

We're expecting to see this women's boutique open soon as part of Geneva's retail district. Edie Boutique already operates in places like Lake Geneva, Naperville, Glen Ellyn and Park Ridge.

And apparently, the shop understands that balloons in a window can catch your eye.

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