INVESTING IN COMIC BOOKS 

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

Most Valuable HARRY A CHESLER COMICS published each year

Key investment comics and historically important issues

These are the 3 most valuable HARRY A CHESLER 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 most books from the 1950's which are much more affordable and scarcer than any more recent books.

Harry Chesler (January 12, 1898 - December 1981), often credited as Harry "A" Chesler, with the "A" an affectation rather than a true initial, was the entrepreneur behind what is often credited as the first comic book "packager" of the late-1930s to 1940s Golden Age of comic books, supplying complete comics to publishers testing the waters of the emerging medium.

Chesler's studio was active between 1935 and 1946, according to one standard source, or from 1936 to 1940 and then reorganized and running from 1940 to 1953, per a different edition of the same source. His shop employed "a growing group of men who produced scores of strips & entire books (often first issues) for nearly every publisher," including Chesler's own Star Comics, Star Ranger, Dynamic Comics, Punch Comics andYankee Comics. The studio also "[p]roduced the early issues of MLJ Publications Zip Comics, Pep Comics and Top-Notch Comics, Captain Marvel,Master," and titles for Centaur Comics. Alumni of the Chesler Shop "went on to form the nuclei of various comics art staffs" for a number of different early comics companies; they include Jack Cole, Jack Binder, Otto Binder, Charles Biro, Mort Meskin, Creig Flessel (briefly), Ken Ernst,Bob McCay, Otto Eppers, and dozens of others.

Most often credited as Harry "A" Chesler — the "A" was an affectation rather than a true initial, and Chesler sometimes quipped it stood for "anything"[8] — Chesler was born in Jersey City,New Jersey, grew up in East Orange,[9] and worked in the furniture business before he went into comics.[10] He also worked for a time at the Philadelphia Public Ledger, where he picked up his fictitious middle initial.[9] In the 1920s, Chesler worked in advertising.[9]

In 1935, Chesler established a "packaging" studio in Manhattan that supplied comic-book content to publishers testing the waters of the emerging medium. The "Chesler shop" or "Chesler Shop", as it was informally called,[11] was located first at Fifth Avenue and 32nd Street and later at Seventh Avenue and 23rd Street.[9] (Another source lists his studio at 28th Street and Fifth Avenue.)[2]George Tuska, a notable comic-book artist who had worked for Chesler in the late 1930s, recalled that, "Chelser had his office on the fourth floor of a building on 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenue[s]".[10] During this time, Chesler commuted from his home in Dover, New Jersey.[9]

Chesler's early publications Star Comics and Star Ranger were produced through his own Chesler Publications, Inc.[12] These were bought by Ultem Publications in 1937, where he continued as editor until Ultem was in turn bought by Centaur Publications in 1938.[13] By the late 1930s, Chesler's packaging business was flourishing. As Tuska recalled, Chesler "did alright with comics. Bought a lot of property in [New] Jersey. Made his own lake".[14] Circa 1939 to 1940, Chesler was living in the Succasunna section of Roxbury Township, New Jersey;[14] he lived there again later in life.[9]

Chesler employees remembered him as a tough but warm boss who always wore a hat and smoked a big cigar.[9] Artist Joe Kubert recalled Chesler paying him $5 a week, at age 12 (c. 1938) to apprentice at his studio after school.[9] Similarly, artist Carmine Infantino remembers that, c. 1940, he was paid by Chesler "a dollar a day, just [to] study art, learn, and grow. That was damn nice of him, I thought. He did that for me for a whole summer" while Infantino was in high school.[15]

Chesler's later imprints included Dynamic Publications,[16] Harry "A" Chesler Jr. Publications,[17] and Harry "A." Chesler Feature Jr. Syndicate.[18] The covers of many of his 1940s comics bear the phrase "Harry 'A' Chesler Jr. Features Syndicate, N.Y.".[19] or "Harry 'A' Chesler, Jr. World's Greatest Comics"[20] Comic-book historians sometimes label all such imprints informally "Harry A Chesler Comics."[citation needed] In his heyday, Chesler recalled in a 1976 profile, "besides about 75 of my own titles, we produced comics for some 50 different publishers. At one time, there were 40 artists working for me and I had 300 comic titles on the newsstands."[9] However, the Grand Comics Database records only 19 distinct titles directly published by Chesler between 1937 and 1946,[21] leaving the meaning of "my own titles" in this quote unclear.

Chesler's comics enterprise was severely affected by World War II. Chesler's main pre-war editor, Phil Sturm, was on active duty for most of the war, severely curtailing the company's ability to produce comics. (Chesler's son, Harry A. Chesler, Jr., although listed in the business records as a co-owner in name, was never involved in the publishing business.[21] Evidence from Chesler publications' statements of ownership during the war indicate that Chesler, Jr. was "on leave to the US Army.")

1937-1940

STAR COMICS #1 $5,000.00 / STAR COMICS #3 $5,000.00 / STAR RANGER #1 $4,000.00

1941

DYNAMIC COMICS #1 $3,500.00 / YANKEE COMICS #1 $3,100.00 / PUNCH COMICS #1 $2,450.00

1942

SCOOP COMICS #2 $2,900.00 / DYNAMIC COMICS #3 $1,550.00 / PUNCH COMICS #2 $1,500.00

1943

SCOOP COMICS #3 $1,200.00 / CAPTAIN BATTLE COMICS #5 $850.00

1944

DYNAMIC COMICS #8 $2,200.00 / PUNCH COMICS #9 $2,000.00 / SPOTLIGHT COMICS #1 $1,800.00

1945

PUNCH COMICS #12 $6,000.00 / RED SEAL COMICS #14 $1,325.00 / PUNCH COMICS #13 $1,200.00

1946

DYNAMIC COMICS #20 $1,500.00 / DYNAMIC COMICS #17 $1,150.00 / PUNCH COMICS #18 $1,050.00

1947

PUNCH COMICS #20 $2,000.00 / PUNCH COMICS #21 $900.00 / RED SEAL COMICS #19 $750.00

1948

DYNAMIC COMICS #25 $675.00 / DYNAMIC COMICS #24 $650.00 / PUNCH COMICS #23 $320.00

 

Copyright 1994-2013 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