INVESTING IN COMIC BOOKS 

Compiled and edited by comic book historian Terry Hoknes www.HoknesComics.com     hoknes@hotmail.com

Most Valuable CUPPLES AND LEON COMICS published each year

Key investment comics and historically important issues

These are the 3 most valuable CUPPLES AND LEON COMICS comic books published in every year

(Overstreet 2013 guide NM prices)

These books have proven to be consistently the most in demand key issues ever and are the best investments long term.

This list only include regular cover mass printed editions.  No variants or limited edition versions included.

This is the first time a yearly comparison has ever been made and the purpose is to show a few things. 

First of all it does truly highlight the major key books of every year.  It also shows quickly which titles seems to pop up the most often and are truly the most expensive series to collect.  Some titles are just more collected than others and bring higher $$ amounts even to non-key issues in a run. 

Note that some years have lesser keys standing at the front of the line and are for their age a better investment. This can always be seen with books from all eras's which are much more affordable and scarcer than any more recent books.

Cupples & Leon was an American publishing company founded in 1902 by Victor I. Cupples (1864-1941) and Arthur T. Leon (1867-1943). They published juvenile fiction and children's books but are mainly remembered today as the major publisher of books collecting comic strips during the early decades of the 20th century.  In Manhattan, the company was initially located in the Presbyterian building at 156 Fifth Avenue and, during the 1920s, at 449 Fourth Avenue.   Victor Cupples had previously worked with the publisher Houghton Mifflin, and Arthur Leon had been with Laird & Lee Publishers. In 1902, Cupples and Leon ran the New York agency for the George W. Ogilvie Company and other Chicago firms. They also were the advertising managers for Jamieson-Higgins' Four O'Clock magazine. The duo saw that Grosset & Dunlap and A. L. Burt (New York), Donohue (Chicago) and Altemus (Philadelphia) were selling juveniles at varying prices from $1.25 to 25 cents. After talks with Edward Stratemeyer, the two men published a juvenile that sold for 50 cents but appeared to be worth more. Cupples & Leon published the American editions of the UK children's weekly story paper Chatterbox, founded by John Erskine Clarke, prompting a UK researcher of Chatterbox to comment:   

The adolescent public at once decided that here was the place to get your money's worth. It did not take the other publishers long to follow Cupples' lead. Burt and Grosset, who had popular writers on their lists, rose merrily with them to opulence. Doubters like Donohue and Altemus slipped slowly but surely from the juvenile field... Cupples compiled a colossal list of children's names. Included on the jacket of each of its books was a coupon which, when filled out with the names and addresses of ten friends, entitles the whole group to Cupples illustrated catalogue. The catalogue was an insidious narcotic with the habit-forming properties of opium. In it were printed fetching bits from the more popular series. Cupples estimates that all in all 500,000 names have been on that list.

In 1913, they were publishing Roy Rockwood's Dave Dashaway series and other aviation juveniles. Scouting was another focus of their serial novels, along with their Motor Boys series. In 1914, they published Grimm's Fairy Tales, illustrated by Johnny Gruelle.

Comic strips

In 1903, Cupples & Leon collected such strips as The Katzenjammer Kids. Alphonse and Gaston, Happy Hooligan, On and Off the Ark, Poor Lil Mose andThe Tigers. Their major competitor in books of comic strip reprints was Frederick A. Stokes, who died in 1939.  To reprint comic strips, the company offered, for 25 cents, a square-bound paperback format of 52 pages of black-and-white strips between flexible cardboard covers. Between 1906 and 1934, Cupples & Leon published more than 100 titles in that format. They collected Bringing Up Father, Little Orphan Annie, Mutt and Jeff, Reg'lar Fellers, Smitty, Tillie the Toiler and other leading strips of the 1920s and 1930s. They produced at least 18 reprint collections of Mutt and Jeff daily strips, in 10" x 10" softcover books from 1919 to 1934. They also published two larger hardcover editions, Mutt and Jeff Big Book(1926) and Mutt and Jeff Big Book No. 2 (1929). They left the comic strip reprint field in 1934, concentrating on their juvenile lines, just as the modern day comic book was introduced that same year with Famous Funnies.  Victor Cupples died in Mount Vernon, New York in July 1941. Arthur Leon, who lived in New Rochelle, New York, died in December 1943, and his wife, Louise Heroy Leon, died five years later in February 1948.  The Platt & Munk publishing firm acquired Cupples & Leon in 1956.

1902-08

PORE LIL MOSE $4,500.00 / BUDDY TUCKER AND HIS FRIENDS $2,500.00 / BUSTER BROWN HIS DOG TIGE $1,900.00

1909-1912

TERROR OF THE TINY TADS no copy ever sold ! / LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND $4,000.00 / BUSTER BROWN THE BUSY BODY $815.00

1913-1918

MR. TWEE DEEDLE $1,800.00 / MR. TWEE DEEDLE'S FURTHER ADVENTURES $1,800.00 / BUSTER BROWN AND HIS PETS $750.00

1919

BRINGING UP FATHER #1 $300.00 / BRINGING UP FATHER #2 $250.00 / BRINGING UP FATHER #3 $250.00

1920

NEW ADVENTURES OF MUTT AND JEFF $650.00 / KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES #1 $270.00 / BRINGING UP FATHER #4 $250.00

1921

TOONERVILLE TROLLEY $600.00 / JIMMY DUGGAN AND THE REG'LAR FELLERS $500.00 / PERCY AND FERDIE $450.00

1922-1923

BARNEY GOOGLE AND SPARK PLUG #1 $450.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #8 $325.00 /  BRINGING UP FATHER #6 $250.00

1924

THE GUMPS #1 $450.00 / BARNEY GOOGLE AND SPARK PLUG #2 $350.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #9 $325.00

1925

TILLIE THE TOILER #1 $425.00 / BARNEY GOOGLE AND SPARK PLUG #3 $350.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #10 $325.00

1926

BRINGING UP FATHER: THE BIG BOOK #1 $1,000.00 / MUTT AND JEFF: BIG BOOK NN $800.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #11 $420.00

1927

MOON MULLINS #1 $500.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #12 $420.00 / BRINGING UP FATHER #11 $375.00

1928

MUTT AND JEFF: BIG BOOK #1 $800.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #13 $420.00 / BRINGING UP FATHER #13 $375.00

1929

MUTT AND JEFF: BIG BOOK #2 $800.00 / BRINGING UP FATHER: THE BIG BOOK #2 $700.00 / HAROLD TEEN $500.00

1930

MOON MULLINS: BIG BOOK $750.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #15 $420.00 / WINNIE WINKLE #1 $400.00

1931

BRINGING UP FATHER #21 $550.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #16 $420.00 / BRINGING UP FATHER #20 $375.00

1932

BRINGING UP FATHER #22 $550.00 / MUTT AND JEFF #17 $420.00 / TAILSPIN TOMMY $375.00

1933

JOE PALOOKA $800.00 / DICK TRACY & DICK TRACY JR CAUGHT THE RACKETEERS $750.00 / DICK TRACY AND DICK TRACY JR $700.00

1934

BRINGING UP FATHER #24 $550.00 / LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE #9 $200.00 / LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE (TREASURE BOX) $165.00

 

Copyright 1995-2013 by Terry Hoknes at hoknes@hotmail.com  www.HoknesComics.com  / Overstreet Price Guide Data is copyright 1970-2013 by Bob Overstreet & Gemstone Publishing, other info and data reprinted from Ebay at www.ebay.com  , Heritage Auctions at www.ha.com  , Comichron at http://www.comichron.com / , CGC census info from www.cgccomics.com  , GP Analysis from www.gpanalysis.com  , Doug Sulipa at www.dwscw.com and comic cover artwork at www.comics.org