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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pep Comics #22 - 1st Appearance Archie

We spend a lot of our postbspace here at Comic Book Hunter and Gatherers spot lighting Superhero related comics and the occassional zombie title. this post will break away from the norm, we will be looking at one of the most popular characters to ever appear in comics, his popularity has stayed strong for almost 70 years, this includes the rough years for comics when Superheroes were be attacked by the US Government. Of course we are talking about the one, the only Archie Andrews. 

We will look at the extremely rare first appearance on Archie, which also included Jughead and Betty, Pep Comics #22. The cover of Pep Comics #22 features the MLJ patriotic hero, the Shield, along with the Hangman as the a giant boot of tyranny from crushing America. This issue actually hit new stands in December of 1941, the same month Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. 
The key to this issues importance is not the heroes but the first appearance of Archie Andrews. In this issue Archie does not appears as the teenager we have all come to now, he is shown as a young  boy who barely comes up to his father's waist. In the story,  Archie rides a bike and goes to a carnival with Jughead and Betty, both are also young children. Archie and his friends would quickly jump to their teenage years and take over Pep Comics.

It wouldn't take long for Archie to become so succesful that the publisher of Pep Comics, M.L.J. would abandon superhero comics altogether. They would produce comics relating directly to Archie and his friends, these comics would become a reflection of teenage life from the 1940's to today, changing as the times changed. 

It is believed that only a few dozen or so copies of Pep Comics #22 still exist, only 6 have been graded by the CGC. This makes it one if the number one hardest Golden Age issue to find.
The CGC graded 5.0, shown above, sold for $50,000 an amount sure to continue to go up as collectors realize the scarcity of this key issue.

There are very few characters that have been as popular for as long as Archie and his gang. The first appearances of these other characters have realized some astronomical prices, Pep Comics #22 has not yet gotten to that level but it should be ranked with Action Comics #1 and Amazing Fantasy #15.

So if you can find one of these and you have a couple extra thousand dollars laying around buy it, this will be difficult as very few issues come up for sale. Yes it will be a good hunt.

If you have any comics you would like us to spotlight please Email us.
Good luck on your hunt!