This is a pretty cool little catalog that a friend sent me. It’s from the early days of the Ultraverse, and solved the mystery for me about how a lot of things were distributed (such as watches, shirts, standees, etc.)
It’s a single sheet tri-folded, so I scanned in all six portions. Over the years I’ve collected just about everything here (I picked up the Malibu watch just last week) but now I have a couple more things to keep looking for (two-pocket folders, license plate holders, lithographs).
Click on the thumbnails to see. Enjoy!
Here’s another weird thing I got from eBay. It’s a mock-up for proposed Ultraverse advertising on city buses. It’s not very big, just a couple of inches tall and about seven inches wide.
Here’s how it was described in the auction:
A rare relic salvaged from the fallen Malibu Comics empire… When an ad agency was tasked with creating bus ads for the Ultraverse, they sent Malibu execs this mock-up of how the projected campaign would look.
Recovered from an ex-Malibu employee who was there.
Insanely rare. Only a handful ever made.
Here is a picture of an actual bus advertisement, courtesy of Ultraverse co-founder Tom Mason (he says it came from the advertising agency and is dated from 1994).
You can watch one of the buses in action (sort of) in the 1994 movie The Chase, starring Charlie Sheen. No, seriously, you can watch it on Youtube. At about the 10:50 mark you get a quick glimpse of this:
And at that point you really should quit watching.
I don’t know a heck of a lot about this. Here is what I do know.
- It’s a print.
- It appears to be art by Hardcase artist Jim Callahan.
- It is numbered 3 out of 100.
- It’s about the size of a regular sheet of paper.
- It has something to do with Wizard Magazine.
- I got it for cheep with some other stuff.
- I had lasagna for dinner.
You don’t see a lot of Ultraverse shirts for sale … I’m guessing they didn’t make very many. I have seen a few Prime shirts and a couple of white Ultraverse tees, but I had never seen a black one before. I bought this off eBay; the picture with the auction showed it still in a bag, so there was no way to know what was on the back.
I was pretty curious about the back. Was it a bigger logo? A cool image? A cover recreation?
Even though the shipping was $9 (for a shirt!) I bid a bit more than $10 and won.
It took about a week and I got the shirt. I opened it up.
This is the front.
And this is the back.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. One of the harder-to-find Ultraverse books is the Ultraverse Premiere 0 error edition, which I first read about in the Collector’s Guide to the Ultraverse.
The reason it is so hard to find is that there are only a few hundred of these and I’m not sure how they were distributed. I believe the total print run for Ultraverse Premiere 0 was in the gazilllions (even though it was a premium book that you could only get by sending in coupons); I base this print run number on the fact that I find these damn things everywhere I go. I have about 20 and I never pay more than a buck. Except for the error edtitions. I’ll pay $5-10 for one of those.
Anyway, here is some basic info on the error books. Basically it’s the same book but in the wrong order.
But getting back to my secret. There is an easy way to spot the error books without opening them up, which comes in handy if you are trying to buy one off an auction site. It’s the staples.
Here is the regular edition. Small staples.
Here is the error edition: Bigger staples, and riding higher.
Yeah, I realize those books look a little rough. Sheesh.
I don’t know if this is iron clad or not. I do know that every time I bought a book with the large, higher staples it was the error edition. Every book I have seen with the small staples is not.
Marvel used to offer up these black and white preview books to retailers called Sales to Astonish. At some point after Marvel bought Malibu, they used the back half of one of these to give the Ultraverse some love. At least that’s what I think happened. I’ve seen a bunch of different copies of Sales to Astonish but this is the only one with a Malibu Flipside. And that’s all I know about this, but at least I have a couple of pictures.
Remember those books that were polybagged with a random Ultraverse Series I card? One of those was Prime 4 (I am still trying to verify that the polybagged Prototype variant cover for that book actually exists … I’ve never actually seen one although I know someone who has).
I actually spent five bucks on this book since it had an extra card in the polybag. Why? I’m not sure.
Edit: Fixed the post to point out that the polybagged variant is the one I haven’t seen (it would have a UPC symbol on the front and come bagged with a random card).
This is one of those things they used to stick in with the box of comics from the distributor every week. Most comic shops got this kind of solicitation catalog. Most went into the trash, I’m sure. I don’t even think this is particularly collectible but it did have some interesting info.
I know there were 5,000 of each of the holographic covers for the first seven Ultraverse titles. Back in the day these books were hard to find, and when you saw one it was extremely expensive. Seems like I remember some with $100 price tags, and this was back when you could get a pretty good stack of Silver Age Marvel comics for that kind of money.
But I never understood the process. This catalog explains a bit of that: For every 100 copies of an Ultraverse launch title, retailers could buy a holographic cover comic for $4.25. You better have had a pretty healthy comic shop if you were planning on ordering 100 of anything, although this was just before the big comic crash of the 1990s.
This falls into the Cheep category. I got this for a buck, plus another $2 for shipping. It’s a quickie convention sketch of Prime on a comic book backing board. It looks as if it was done by Norm Breyfogle in 1993, which was Prime Time for this character.
It came with a Malibu Signature Series book that had a few signatures in it. I am actually thinking of taking this to a few cons and getting some more signatures in it. Not because that would make it valuable, it just sounds kind of fun to do.
A side note: When you pay $2 for shipping, you get $2 worth of shipping. This came in an envelope with no support and somewhere along the way it suffered some indignities. That sounds like life, you know?