Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nailbiter #1

Image Comics - May 2014

Key Issue Notes
First appearance of Eliot Carroll
First appearance of Nicholas Finch
First appearance of Sharon Crane
First appearance of Edward Charles Warren (Nailbiter)
First appearance of Norman Woods (Book Burner)
First appearance of Raleigh Woods
First appearance of Officer Link
First appearance of Alice
First appearance of Hank
First appearance of Robby

I thought I'd talk about a newer and more obscure key issue comic this time. Since Image Comics seems to have moved out of the superhero genre and moved to more supernatural and horror stories, I thought it would fit nicely into the October horror theme.

Welcome to the town of Buckaroo Oregon, the birthplace of the serial killer. Sixteen of the worlds most notorious serial killers have, at one time, called Buckaroo home. What is it about this town that created all of these madmen? Well, that's pretty much what this series is about. Lets' see who some of these killers are.

The most recent and most notorious of these serial killers is Edward Charles Warren. As a child, he had the nervous habit of chewing his fingernails. As he got older, and the monster grew inside of him, he would seek out men and women that had the same nervous habit that he did. He was given the nickname "Nailbiter", because he would chew the fingers of his victims down to the bone before he killed them.

Edward "Nailbiter" Warren
Even though everyone knew that he was a killer and committed all of these crimes, a jury somehow found him not guilty of them and he was acquitted. He was free to leave and ended up moving back to Buckaroo, where he still lives today.

The next serial killer mentioned in this comic is Norman Woods, also known as The Book Burner. When Norman was a kid, he was picked on because he couldn't read or write. One day, he decided that in order to take revenge on people that could read and write, he would burn down libraries, with those people still inside them. He was presumed to be dead and buried in the Serial Killers Graveyard, but when his body is exhumed in issue four, they find his grave is empty.

The Book Burner
Norman had himself a grandson by the name of Raleigh Woods. He wasn't a serial killer, but more of an entrepreneur. He decided to make money on the notoriety of the town and opened up "The Murder Store". In it, he sold nick knacks and replica masks that the serial killers wore. The store is eventually burned to the ground in another issue.

Now let's move on the to first appearances of some public servants in this issue. Let's start with Eliot Carroll. He is an FBI agent that becomes obsessed with learning the secret of why there are so many serial killers coming from the same small town. He goes to Buckaroo to investigate, but winds up going missing.

Just before Carroll goes missing, he calls his friend Nicholas Finch, tells him that he learned the secret he was looking for, and asks him to meet him in Buckaroo. When Finch arrives, Carroll has already gone missing. Finch is an Army interrogator, that is on suspension and awaiting trial for losing his temper, and accidentally killing a man in the interrogation room, when he receives the call from his friend.

Eliot Carroll and Nicholas Finch
When Finch arrives in town, he runs into Sharon Crane, who is the sheriff of Buckaroo. She was working with Carroll, and when he doesn't show up for their weekly meeting, she knows somethings wrong. She is the one that informs Finch that he has gone missing. Now, both Finch and Crane are on the hunt to find their missing associate.

The last of the service workers is Officer Link. He only has a brief appearance in this issue. He is asked by the sheriff to take Hank and Robby down to the station to cool off after a confrontation with Alice and Nicholas Finch. Eventually, in a later issue, he takes over as sheriff of Buckaroo after Crane is relieved of her duty.

Sheriff Sharon Crane
Wait, hold on a sec. Who the hell are Hank and Robby? Well, they are, in their own mind, the hot shots of Buckaroo. In actuality, they are the bullies of the town. They are hired by a mysterious figure to destroy evidence that Carroll had collected in his investigation. They don't last that long, and are eventually killed in a later issue.

And lastly, we have Alice. She is a high school rebel that is on the opposite side of Hank and Robby's unwanted advances. The two boys approach her outside of the Murder Store, where Finch is getting a little lesson on the town by Raleigh Woods. The commotion is heard by Finch, and he comes outside to assist the teenager. Finch, having a bit of a temper, socks Hank in the face. That's when Sheriff Crane shows up and has Officer Link escort the the two bullies to the station.

Phew, that was a lot of characters. Since this series is still relatively new, and I've only read 12 of the issues that are out, I'm not sure where the characters fit into the larger scheme of things yet. But anyway, enough about them, let talk numbers now. 

Charlie Adlard and Wes Craig variants
This comic has a fairly low print run, especially for a 1st issue. According to ComiChron.com, there were only 22,746 copies printed. Now, I don't know if that includes the variant covers or not, and like most new comics, there are a lot of variants for this book.
If that number does include the variants, then copies for the first print would be much lower than that number.

A couple of the variant covers include the Charlie Adlard cover that was printed exclusively for Infinity and Beyond Comics, and the Wes Craig cover printed for Beach Ball Comics and Laughing Ogre Comics. There is also a second print floating around out there. I couldn't find anything on how many of these copies were produced, but there have only been 22 graded by CGC thus far.

In total, not including the second printing, there are 447 copies listed in the CGC census. That includes the original cover and five variant covers. Of those 447, 314 are the first print, and as you can guess, almost all of them are graded 9.8 NM/M. There is at least one 9.9 Mint copy that was graded by CBCS out there too. I'm sure that the census numbers aren't higher is because that most people don't think that this comic is worth being sent in to be graded and it has everything to do with the current value of the comic.

Values for Nailbiter #1 on GoCollect
So if you were to make any profit at all by getting this comic graded, you would have to hope that it came back, from whichever grading company you used, a perfect 10 Gem Mint. That sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Let's say you sent in a copy and it comes back at 9.9 Mint. The last copy, and maybe only copy in existence at that grade, only sold for $47.44 on eBay in Feb. 2015. That is almost the same price that 9.8 NM/M copies are currently selling for. The last three copies that sold were all sold between the $41 to $46.50 range. If you figure that grading costs plus shipping costs would run you around the $35 - $40 range, that doesn't leave much room for profit if you're only going to sell it for $45. So, I'm sure that people are either selling them raw, or holding on to them if this comic series ever gets made into a TV show, and maybe this comic will get a boost in demand.

Find a copy here
eBay - ComicLink - MyComicShop - ComicConnect

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