Posts by Mark Seifert

About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.

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The Mystic Comics Origins of Marvels First Black Widow

The Mystic Comics Origins of Marvel's First Black Widow

Like many Marvel Comics characters, Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, has more than a few wild twists and turns in her history and origin story. One might guess that the golden age Marvel Black Widow (unconnected to the more famous incarnation of the character) has a more simple backstory. But there's nothing simple about Claire […]

Early Snoopy Appearance in Peanuts Original Strip Hits Record $192000

Early Snoopy Appearance in Peanuts Original Strip Hits Record $192,000

Charles Schulz's Peanuts syndicated comic strip began its 17897 strip, 50-year run on October 2, 1950.  Snoopy first appeared just two days later on October 4, 1950.  An earliest-days Peanuts comic strip from November 17, 1950 has just hammered at Heritage Auctions for $192,000 — a record price for a Peanuts daily comic strip.  The […]

Unearthing the Horror Behind Frazettas Creepy Wolfman

Unearthing the Horror Behind Frazetta's Creepy Wolfman

Let's get the obvious out of the way upfront: Frank Frazetta is one of the most important and influential fantasy, horror, and science fiction artists of the past century.  Frazetta developed an aesthetic that has influenced thousands of other artists over the past sixty years.  Countless of his paintings are familiar icons to both fandom […]

Blue Beetle and the Legacy of the Mystery Men

Blue Beetle and the Legacy of the Mystery Men

Despite its historic debut over 81 years ago, Mystery Men Comics #1 remains one of the most overlooked key comic books of the golden age. The issue's publication date, June 15, 1939 according to the Library of Congress Copyright Office's date of publication records (actual newsstand dates would have varied around the country), puts the […]

The Detective Story Behind the Alfred Pennyworth Comic Book Collection

The Detective Story Behind the Alfred Pennyworth Comic Book Collection

Any longtime collector will tell you that some of the most fabled comic books and comic book collections have some fascinating real-world drama behind them. Take the case of the Action Comics #1 CGC 9.0 from Nicolas Cage's collection, for example: stolen from Cage's home in 2000 during a party, recovered in 2011 in a […]

CGC Grading Comic Books No. 01 with Primary Grader Matt Nelson

CGC Grading Comic Books No. 01 with Primary Grader Matt Nelson

If you've ever visited this site to stare in amazement at a nice high grade copy of Wonder Woman #1 or Superman #2 and wondered how they became known as the best-graded copies, or wondered exactly what the difference was between this particular copy of Action Comics #1 and this other copy of Action Comics #1, you're not alone. Learning how to […]

Flash Comics #104 Heavy Water and Uranium 235

Flash Comics #104, Heavy Water, and Uranium 235

Within a period of a few months between mid-1948 and early 1949, DC Comics updated and expanded the origins of three of its most important characters — Batman, Superman, and the Flash. Batman #47 and Superman #53 expand the original origins of these characters with significant new detail. Both of these comics are highly sought […]

Alan Moore Max Brooks Jonathan Hickman CGC 10.0s Up for Auction

Alan Moore, Max Brooks, Jonathan Hickman CGC 10.0s Up for Auction

According to Comics Guaranty Company's Standard Grading Scale, CGC 10.0 Gem Mint is, "The highest grade assigned. The collectible must have no evidence of any manufacturing or handling defects."  In the scheme of things, the CGC 10.0 designation is rarely seen even on modern comics.  For example, the CGC Census for the 2018 DC Comics […]

Marvel Comics Basil Wolverton and the H-Bomb

Marvel Comics, Basil Wolverton and the H-Bomb

In an industry with a history full of ridiculously creative artists and writers, Basil Wolverton still stands out.  With an output that spans from Spacehawk to Powerhouse Pepper, Brain Bats of Venus to the most infamously weird caricatures ever created, Wolverton's imagination seemed limitless. I like to seek out undiscovered country for these posts, and […]

The Blackhawk Comic Inspired by Opera and Operation Vengeance

The Blackhawk Comic Inspired by Opera and Operation Vengeance

War comics often contain a wealth of historical references just waiting to be unraveled.  Blackhawk included such historical touchstones from the very beginning.  The Blackhawks' plane was modeled after a real-life aircraft called the Grumman XF5F Skyrocket. The Grumman Skyrocket was part of a massive media blitz in newspapers and magazines across the country from […]

NBCUniversal Jumps Into Comics Production with Grant Morrison

NBCUniversal Jumps Into Comics Production with Grant Morrison

Universal Content Productions is a division of NBCUniversal which focuses on indie and creator-driven work. UCP is responsible for the production of tv series such as Battlestar Galactica, Mr. Robot, Monk, Suits, Umbrella Academy and Psych, among others. They've also recently launched a podcasting arm, UCP Audio.  The company now adds comics to its growing […]

Dick Graysons First Robin Solo Series from 1947

Dick Grayson's First Robin Solo Series from 1947

Without the perfect combination of luck, patience, and financing, collecting Golden Age Batman and Robin-related comics can seem like a daunting challenge. As a whole, Golden Age Batman and Detective Comics have been among the most sought after comics ever published for decades. It can sometimes seem like every other  issue is a key moment […]

A Heap of Coincidences in House of Secrets 92s Swamp Thing

A Heap of Coincidences in House of Secrets 92's Swamp Thing

Like every fictional detective in the history of history, I hate coincidences.  Events that are supposed to have "just happened that way" bug the daylights out of me, particularly in the field of comics.  I enjoy trying to find actual reasons lurking under the surface of accepted conventional wisdom. Those reasons are almost always there.  […]

THE ISSUE: Mad Anthony Wayne and Batman

THE ISSUE: Mad Anthony Wayne and Batman

According to some notes in a hand-bound volume of miscellaneous Frank Tousey issues of Pluck and Luck written by Ralph Morton, this Mad Anthony Wayne story originally appeared in another publication in some form in 1881. If you happen to be a Batman fan, you might know why Pluck & Luck #256 interests me. General […]

How Wonder Woman #7 from 1943 Predicted the Future of Politics

How Wonder Woman #7 from 1943 Predicted the Future of Politics

I've been wanting to do a deep dive into the story behind Wonder Woman #7 for quite a while, and the appearance of a Wonder Woman #7 CGC 5.5 copy in the 2020 July 9 – 12 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction underway at Heritage Auctions right now affords me the perfect opportunity. With […]

All-American Comics #61 and the True Origin of Solomon Grundy

All-American Comics #61 and the True Origin of Solomon Grundy

All-American Comics #61 is the first appearance Solomon Grundy, of one of the most important super-villains of the Golden Age of comics and a character who has remained a fixture of Gotham up to modern times.  Written by Science Fiction great Alfred Bester and drawn by Paul Reinman, this Green Lantern story takes a nursery […]

Excelsior: The Mind Behind Americas Original Comic &#038 Pulp Distributor

Excelsior: The Mind Behind America's Original Comic & Pulp Distributor

The American News Company was founded in 1864 by Sinclair Tousey in New York City.  During the final days of the Civil War, and the decade beyond, the periodical publishing business exploded, and American News soon came to dominate the distribution of magazines, dime novels, story papers, pulps, comic papers, comic books, and other national […]

ReedPOP Rebellion BPAL Removed from CBLDF Corporate Partnership List

ReedPOP, Rebellion, BPAL Removed from CBLDF Corporate Partnership List

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a maker of scents and oils well-known in fandom circles for products inspired by the likes of creators such as Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker, and franchises like The Dark Crystal, Hellboy, Labyrinth, and Grendel, among others.  The company is also well known for its stance on social activism, explaining […]

THE ISSUE: Fighters from Mars Attack

THE ISSUE: Fighters from Mars Attack

When riots broke out in Havana, Cuba in 1898, the American battleship U.S.S. Maine was ordered to Havana to help stabilize the situation.  Cuba had become the focal point for escalating tensions between Spain and the United States.  The Maine arrived in Havana Harbor on January 25, 1898. Several newspapers, lead by William Randolph Hearst's […]

IDW Chronicles A Protest that Changed the World with Tiananmen 1989

IDW Chronicles A Protest that Changed the World with Tiananmen 1989

The Tiananmen, or what is commonly referred to in English as "The Gate of Heavenly Peace," is an enormous gate in the center of Beijing. Originally named Chengtianmen, the gate was constructed in 1420 as the entrance to a section of Beijing called the Imperial City, which itself contains the Forbidden City — which was […]