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Peter Panzerfaust - A Collectors Guide
Peter Panzerfaust Comic Series-2012/13's Comic Phenomenon
Peter Panzerfaust is a comic book series written by Kurtis J.Wiebe and illustrated by Tyler Jenkins. It is an independent comic published under the umbrella of Image Comics (The Walking Dead, Chew etc) but from the Jim Valentino's Shadowline, which is in effect a sister company (similar in relation, to Robert Kirkman's Skybound) and initially launched in February 2012.
The characters are basically a re-imagining of J.M.Barrie's Peter Pan, with Peter Panzerfaust, a mysterious American Boy appearing in France in 1940 in Calais. France and helping a group of young orphans (lost boys) , just as the town falls to the invading Nazis, later in the story, familiar characters such as Kapitan Hakinan (Hook) and Wendy Darling make an appearance.
The success of the series is likely to be down to a number of factors – engaging storyline, fantastic coloured artwork by Tyler Jenkins throughout, with a few outstandingly iconic covers, low print runs and finally news that the UK’s BBC worldwide has acquired the rights is commissioning a Digital Motion Comic (a form of digitially animated comic book) followed by a live action TV series, albeit aimed at a younger audience, a factor which always seems to push comic values higher (see The Walking Dead/Thief of Thieves etc).
With the exception of naming some of the characters, I will avoid referring to any specific story details, so as to avoid any spoilers!
Peter Panzerfaust was originally intended as a five issue mini-series, however it's huge success has seen it turn into a monthly edition, however Kurtis Wiebe has previously confirmed that it will consist of a total of 25 comics. Issue 23 was released in February 2015 and although a year has past and for reasons that are not entirely clear, the authors have confirmed that the penultimate and final editions are in production and therefore we should expect to see them released in 2016.
Peter Panzerfaust Issue 1 - February 2012
The First Edition First Print is reported to have a print run of around 4,800, which I'd imagine would not be uncommon for one of Image's new series, has no doubt helped push the value of this comic up to the somewhat incredible levels for a comic published just a year ago. Published with a cover price of $3.50US/£2.30UK, it is regularly appearing on eBay with Auctions reaching $225/£150,(sometimes more) and "Buy It Now" price of anything from $250/£170 - $750/£500! Although the higher priced editions will usually be CGC verified and possibly autographed by the Kurtis J.Wiebe and/or Tyler Jenkins.
The immediate sell-out success of the First Print meant that in March 2012, The Second Print Edition was released. As with many great modern comics, the Second Print Edition had a completely different cover (which is, in my opinion, probably better than the first print edition) which I always think is a nice touch!
If you are interested in picking up the story and not necessarily have the financial resource to purchase a first print edition, Digitial sites such as Comixology usually have the 1st Edition available free for download (as of March 2013).
Peter Panzerfaust - Issue #2
Number 2 was released on 14th March 2012 and in April, a Second Print Edition with a new cover was released, again, due to high demand. The narrative builds on the previous edition. Once again, relatively low print run, hence the second print run and unsurprisingly, probably the second highest value after issue #1. Copies of #2 first print are averaging around $120-300/£80-100 on the "Buy it now", the higher end for CGC Editions, although you may be lucky and pick up cheaper on auction, the Second Print Edition likely to be somewhat cheaper, you should be able to pickup for around $15/£10 on eBay (as of April 2013)
Note: if you are looking to start or to add to your collection, the Second Print edition cover with PP with pistol in hand is printed to show creases (to give an aged effect) this is particularly important if you are concerned with quality issues if bidding on eBay etc and you're thinking the picture doesn't tally with the vendors NM claims!
Peter Panzerfaust #3
On 11th April 2012, (Issue #3 was released, along with the Second Print Edition of issue #2, as per above). Again with an instantly iconic cover of an alluring, machine-gun toting female, stood in front of a crashed aircraft (don't worry, no spoilers!). Although sold-out very quickly and likely a larger print run than previous two issues,, issue #3 didn't go to a second print.
Nonetheless, issue 3 first print is still very collectible, copies typically appearing from $30-$90/£25-£60 Buy it Now and some for $150-$225/100-150 for CGC versions, although it should still be possible to obtain copies on Auction for $15-$22/£10-15.
Peter Panzerfaust Issues #4,#5 & #6
With editions being released May 2012 (#4), July (#5) and September (#6), the initial story is carried through (although #6 was originally destined to be the end of the mini-series) and the issues continued to sell-out, although no Second Print editions were required to be produced.
Issues #4, 5 & 6 are likely to be the easiest to obtain if you are looking to start collecting at this stage, and you should typically be able to be able to purchase copies on auction in the $9-$15/£6-£10 region, higher for CGC/Autographed versions (as of April 2013).
Peter Panzerfaust - Issue #8
After Issues 1 & 2, Issue #8 was perhaps the most eagerly anticipated and now one of the most collectible of the series, as it saw the introduction of Kapitan Hakan (Hook).
Issue #8 was released on 9th January 2013 and sold out very quickly, much helped by excellent reviews in the trade press. Subsequently, a Second Print was released in early February, which again, appears to have sold out incredibly quickly and the second print has, in my opinion, a far better cover than the first, featuring a rear view of what no doubt to be many readers favourite character - Kapitan Hakan!
First Print Editions appear relatively hard to obtain, perhaps due to the popularity, however when available, first prints seem to be going for approximately $68/£45, although sometimes a bit higher and sometimes lower! Even the Second Print edition, featuring that awesome cover, appears to be very difficult to obtain in the UK, although much more widely available in the US, with it being available from many retailers below cover price at around $2.95, however if purchasing from the UK, shipping charges would push the price up to around £10
Peter Panzerfaust Issue #9
Issued 13th February 2013 and perhaps featuring the best cover so far! Once again, a very fast sell out (even before it reached comic stores, in some regions!) and has proved to be one of the more collectible editions and similar to Issue #8, quite hard now to get hold of.
Copies of the First Print Edition are increasingly hard to find, although only having been issued 6 weeks previously Further proving the momentum of it's popularity. Currently on eBay a CGC'd version is on auction with a day to go and currently $146/£96 with 10 bids!
A Second Print edition was issued on March 13th and again proved to be a sell out, as previously features a new cover, to separate it from the first, once again proving a sell-out, you may still be lucky to pick up a copy from your local comic store at cover price, otherwise it will be about $12-15/£8-10
Peter Panzerfaust - Issue #10
Issued 13th March 2013 and unsurprisingly sold out, some online retailers, particularly in the UK, have taken the unusual step of increasing the price above the cover price, such is the demand.
A Second Print Edition has already been announced and is due in stores April 17th 2013, again with a variant cover from the First Print Edition and featuring Big Chief on the cover. Image have also announced a blank convention cover for this edition and also a retailers variant cover, no doubt will become highly collectible, so look out for them!
Issues 11 - 15 "The Cry of the Wolf"
Issue 11 was released in June 2013 and began a new story "Arc" entitled "The Cry of the Wolf", following the story of the "Lost Boys" joining forces with "The Braves". The titles are generally easy to obtain, as of early 2016, equal to, or slightly higher than the original cover price.
Issue #11 did get a nice Rob Guillory 1 in 20 variant cover edition (See Photo) which can still be obtained for $10-$15 in the US (although some retailers are rather optimistically offering them for $100-$150. Although in the UK, this edition is much harder to obtain and in most cases, most likely would have to be purchased from the US, which would price it around £16-£20.
Issue #15 had a "Ghost" wraparound variant cover by Geoff Darrow and Dave Stewart. Similar to #11, this is widely available in the US for as low as $8, but at the time of checking (in February 2016), there appear to be no UK sellers of this variant, therefore with International postage, prices the cheapest option at around UK£18.
Issues 16-20 "The Hunt"
Issue's 16-20 trace the fourth major story arc in the series "The Hunt". As before, these issues are still widely available, with each issue featuring a standard cover.
However, issue #20 featured a "Virgin Art" variant which which appears, conversely to other variants, more widely available in the UK than the US. In the UK, it can still be obtained for around £4.00 but in the US, around $6.
Issue 21 is in the final story arc heading towards the series finale (eventually!). The primary cover of #21 features quite an iconic image, however there was also an alternate cover issued which had the unusual properties, in that the cover interlinks links to another of Kurtis Wiebe's comics, specifically issue #8 of "Rat Queens". Both covers were from Tyler Jenkins.
Collected Editions (Trade Paperbacks)
August 2012, saw the release of the first bound volume of the collected issues of 1-5 in a softcover trade paperback, as is the standard today.
The book is widely available and a great way to enjoy story line arc's, in one book. TPB's retail at cover price US$14.99/UK£10.99 but you should be able to pick it up cheaper from the main online retailers and possibly cheaper on eBay.
Four collected editions of the comics have been released to date. Episode's 6-10 appear in Volume 2 of the collected editions - titled "Hooked" and was released May 2013. Volume 3 appeared in March 2014, featuring editions 11-15, which covers the "Cry of the Wolf" story arc. Volume 4 features editions 16-20 and is titled "The Hunt". A Hard Copy "Deluxe" edition of the first 10 volumes is also available at around US$20/£22 (best price in January 2016, although many sellers marking it higher)
The fifth and final volume will be released once episodes 24 & 25 are issued, hopefully sometime in 2016.
In the wake of the huge success of The Walking Dead franchise and the resurgence of comics as an investments in recent years, I think this series had caught a lot of collectors/dealers by surprise, I had heard some mention they read the first edition, liked it, but didn't think there would be much demand, so didn't put any more orders in.
Unusually, some online retailers are selling latest editions at a premium to cover price, although you should find that if they stock it, your local comic store should still retail them at cover price. Only a year into the series, I don’t think it is too late to get into, with the availability of the digital editions at reasonable prices and collected editions, also from a collector/investors point of view, there is still the occasional bargain to be had on the usual sites such as eBay. If it is a series you want to pickup on now, then I would highly recommend you place a standing subscription with your favourite comic store, either local or online, as the popularity of this series is often showing that it sells out before it hits the shelves and only those with subscriptions can guarantee their copies#1
Best of Luck & Enjoy!