JIMMY OLSEN (SUPERMAN'S PAL)

Dates: 1 Sep/Oct 1954-40 Oct 1959 (all ND); 41 Dec 1959-163 Feb/Mar 1974 (becomes Superman Family)
Issues: CLICK HERE to view issues, super-size cover images and values in 9 grades

Drives me mad that this title is listed under Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen in American price guides. The main character is Jimmy Olsen, not Superman!

I guess not that many people in the UK collect this title now. But if you are a fan of Superman you should give it a try. Some delightful and quirky stories and some important additions to the Superman lore and legend. Then there are the bizarre transformations, the honorary Legion membership, courting Lucy Lane, covers that teased you to read them to find out what was going on, the Jack Kirby Fourth World treatment that caught us all on the hop and the introduction of Darkseid who went on to become a major villain in the DC universe in #134. Little did we know at the time....

It's amazing to me how under-valued this title is in American price guides. You try finding, let's say, a Jimmy Olsen #36 for $39 in Fine. I recently upgraded my copy of 30+ years standing from a Fine to a 7.5 VF Minus. Cost me $221 (£138) and worth every penny. There are only 8 of these listed on the CGC census in any condition in a dozen or so years of submissions. Come on Overstreet, reflect the market! Hgh grade copies of #1-40 regularly sell for three/four times the Overstreet suggested values.

But note..... that is the market for cents copies in both the US and UK. The market for UK Variant pence-stamped copies is very sluggish. I occasionally put copies on eBay UK to sell when I have upgraded and they take ages to sell. Sometimes I feel that I am practically giving them away. This is one occasion of a title when UK copies are valued at about a half of US cents copies in the UK market. The US market regards UK Variants as very low value. Even though they are the same comic printed at the same time etc etc.

The first officially distributed issue of Jimmy Olsen comics in the UK was #41 cover dated December 1959. All issues prior to this (#1-40) are cents copies therefore. These were Non Distributed in the UK at the time.

The British-priced variants are considerably rarer than their US cents counterparts as it is thought that only 2-3% of the print run was put aside for export to the UK and whatever was left over was sent to South Africa and Australasia.

If you collected Superman you had to collect Jimmy Olsen really, for the Superman appearances and the additional information about the Superman Family Universe. Same with Lois Lane though perhaps to a lesser extent.

The British priced variants (as they have come to be known which I prefer as a term to 'UK editions') are fundamentally the same comics as the American issues, printed at the same time using the same paper stock. The British copies are in no way 'inferior'. They can be disinguished by the addition of a 9d (ninepence) or 10d (tenpence) ink cover stamp.

Jimmy Olsen was distributed in UK newsagents right up until its last issue in 1974. There were no ND or Non Distributed issues in the entire title. Unusual!

Total value for all issues of this title listed:

Condition

PR
1.0
FR
1.5
GD
2.0
VG
4.0
FN
6.0
VF
8.0
VF/NM
9.0
NM-
9.2
NM
9.4
MINT
10.0
Issues 153 163 163 163 163 163 163 163 163
Total £ 599.39 1,220 1,840 3,810 6,760 16,130 33,590 50,580 60,700 Total title value in pounds in UK markets
Total $ 849.85 1,740 2,630 5,460 9,820 22,880 47,410 70,110 84,140 Total title value in dollars in US markets

Note: some PR issues may have no value. Selected issues in FN, VF or VF/NM may not exist in some titles.