Young Daniel Bradman was a fan of the Man of Steel, and so for his bar mitzvah in 1988, his father Godfrey did what any real estate magnate would do: He commissioned DC Comics to create a custom Superman comic to serve as a party favor for guests.
But this wasn’t just any comic book. No, “This Island Bradman” was penciled by the legendary Curt Swan and inked by Angelo Torres, and followed Daniel, his half-brother Andrew Hunt and the rest of the family as they’re transported with their home — and Superman, naturally — to an alien world, where they’re to serve as entertainment. Superman is rendered powerless by kryptonite rays, leaving it up to the boys to rescue the superhero and return them home.
The issue, which Recalled Comics contends cost Bradman $18,000, is what Mark Waid has called “probably the rarest Superman comic in my lifetime,” as the print run was no more than 200; that figure comes from Paul Levitz’s 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, though other sources put it much lower. Needless to say, seldom does one crop up for sale. (Waid, who sold his own copy last year, talks about it in the video below.)
But Patch.com reports Blastoff Comics in North Hollywood, California, was contacted by Godfrey Bradman offering to sell a copy of “This Island Bradman.” Owner Jud Meyers purchased the comic, and then recently sold it to a French collector for $5,000. According to Recalled Comics, five were sold in 2011, with a CGC 9.6 copy fetching $2,600.
“It’s stuff like that that is fun and different,” Meyers told Patch. “Sure you can have an X-Men #1 or an Avengers #1, but there are other people who have it. I don’t know of any store I’ve seen [the Bradman issue] in.”
David Levin, who wrote the issue, has shared some of the pages (and his memories) on his blog.
Conventions | Organizers of Tokyo’s Comic Market (aka Comiket), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair, have received a threat letter, leading them to consider their options for the planned Dec. 29-31 event. The preparations committee said it has been in contact with local police and the Tokyo Big Sight, where the semiannual convention is held. The incident follows a series of threat letters containing powdered and liquid substances sent in the past month to more than 20 locations linked to Kuroko’s Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki. About 560,000 attended Comic Market 82 over its three days in August (that’s turnstile attendance, not unique visitors). [Anime News Network]
Creators | Patrick Rosenkranz catches us up on S. Clay Wilson, who suffered a massive brain injury in 2008 (the cause isn’t clear) and is still recovering. “Wilson’s favorite word is still ‘No!’ He used to be a motor mouth but now he’s mostly monosyllabic. After a long life dedicated to being the baddest boy in comix, he’s become a grand old man, but he’s no longer in his right mind. He used to be able to out-talk, out-booze, out-cuss, out-draw, and outrage almost anyone but he doesn’t drink, smoke, snort or draw dirty pictures any more. He doesn’t walk much either and seldom leaves the house, and only in a wheelchair.” [The Comics Journal]
In a heartfelt message, longtime writer and inker Karl Kesel thanked those who helped him to buy back part of the comics collection he sold to pay adoption and medical expenses for his infant son, saying, “there are a lot of great people out there, all willing to go above and beyond. But I never saw this one coming.”
As Comic Book Resources reported in early August, Karl and his wife Myrna adopted baby Isaac, the child of a heroin user who began life battling methadone withdrawal. Facing $67,000 in medical bills, in addition to the $25,000 for the adoption itself, and uncertain of how much would be covered by Myrna’s health insurance, Karl did about the only thing he could: He decided to sell the Silver Age Marvel collection he’d amassed over four decades.