Monday, July 9, 2007
posted by Rob Roehm
The Robert E. Howard fanzines from the 1970s can be pretty scarce. Sure, most issues of Fantasy Crossroads and Two-Gun Raconteur can be found on eBay — if you’re patient. Shoot, some of this stuff, including old issues of The Howard Collector, can even be found on used bookstore sites, like abebooks.com. But after you’ve waited patiently, and picked off the fanzines that show up every now and then, the truly rare Howard fanzines become obvious: items like George Hamilton’s Cross Plains, and certain issues of Dennis McHaney’s The Howard Review.
Now, I’ve been known to spend a little more than I should on certain Howard items — The “New” Howard Readers, for example, which I got for around $75 each — but when I saw the final price on a recently ended eBay auction for The Howard Review #3, it made me realize how lucky I was to get those Readers as cheaply as I did.
Despite the fact that this was the third version of THR #3 to be published, despite the fact that, as advertised, the zine is “full of type scan errors, an average of two per page,” it sold for a whopping $547.50. That’s waaay out of my league. I’ve never heard of another Howard zine going for that much.
Even if I had placed a bid early on, I would have been muscled out by three other bidders when the price reached $176.56 — that’s too rich for my blood. And the price kept going up, up, up — to $547.50 — amazing. If this continues, I’ll never be able to complete my Howard Review collection. Maybe I should start playing the Lotto.
UPDATE: dmacmaniac (must be Dennis McHaney) has pulled out another Howard rarity for eBay bidders. So rare, in fact, that I’d never even heard of it, and it’s not mentioned in any of the bibliographies I’ve got: Yggdrasil #1. It’s only eight pages and contains “The Mirrors of Tuzan Thune,” a story that’s readily available in the Del Rey Kull Exile of Atlantis. The price on this one is already through the roof at $159.