BY MATT TUCK
THE COMING VAMPS
The vampires are about to invade popular culture like it’s 1997. There are several major vampire projects that are confirmed, and there will be plenty more to follow, of that we can be sure.
Marvel has Blade and Moon Knight on the horizon, and there’s rumors that Dracula will be introduced into the MCU. Across the street from the MCU is the Sony-verse, and they have Morbius on the way. Outside of the superhero realm, Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles from the 1990s will be making a comeback beginning with AMC’s reboot of Interview with the Vampire.
The succession of vampire projects leads us to the most recent vamp news. Only days ago, the word spread across the internet that The Lost Boys would be getting a reboot. Joel Schumacher’s cult classic horror-comedy that oozes 1987 nostalgia from its pores has remained a staple of ‘80s pop cinema for decades. While fans of the original are divided about the announced remake, it is already having an impact on comic sales.
LOST BOYS: REIGN OF FROGS #1 (2008)
Fans of ‘80s vampire movies will forever love the Frog Brothers. When Lost Boys was released, it was at the height of the tween crowd’s obsession with the Two Coreys, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. Unfortunately, Haim passed away in 2010, but his memory lives on through his acting career, particularly those teen comedies with Feldman.
One of the duo’s more beloved performances was in The Lost Boys. Haim played Sam Emerson, the new kid in Santa Monica, who befriends the odd comic shop owners, Edgar and Alan Frog, played by Feldman and Jamison Newlander. The three friends talk comics, fight monsters, and offer levity to the horror aspects of the movie. In 2008, they returned to star in the franchise’s first comic, Reign of Frogs #1. The series, published by DC under its Wildstorm imprint, would last four issues.
Up until now, there has been hardly any activity for the first Lost Boys-related comic. The last time a graded copy sold online was in October 2016 when a 9.6 sold for $16. Interest is rising, and prices are everywhere on the spectrum. Since this past weekend, the price tags have ranged from $2 to $30.
LOST BOYS #1 STANDARD COVER
Where was this series when the vampire phenomenon raged across Hollywood in the late-1990s and into the early 2000s? There was Blade, Interview with the Vampire, Twilight, and True Blood putting vampires into the mainstream consciousness for so many years. Yet here is the most famous and beloved blood suckers of 1980s teen cinema, and no one thought to do a comic adaptation? That’s called dropping the ball.
That in itself explains why the first direct Lost Boys comic didn’t come around until 2016 some eight years after Reign of Frogs. To be fair, it was mostly aimed at the hardcore fans that had wanted more from the classic movie for years. That explains why the print run was relatively small, but that is a boon for collectors. In this hobby, the fewer copies that are available, the better.
The last time a graded copy traded hands, it was in 2019, and that day saw a 9.4 sell for $39. The next slabbed Lost Boys #1 should exceed that mark, considering that a raw copy sold for $40 on September 17. In fact, most raw copies of the standard cover have doubled in value over the past week. Where they were $15-$20 comics before the reboot news, the weekend saw that range bump to $30-$40.
LOST BOYS #1 JOELLE JONES VARIANT
The legend of the buff saxophone player lives on.
Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric may have been the stars of the movie, but Tim Cappelo stole the show in his exaggerated, hip-thrusting saxophone antics. That tiny cameo has spawned a life of its own as pure 1980s cheese, immortalized by Joelle Jones for a variant edition of the Lost Boys #1.
Of all the Lost Boys #1 covers, this has proven to be the most popular. I guess people just can’t get enough of that sexy sax. While the issue’s sales volume has picked up the pace, the fair market values have stayed virtually the same since the summer. There have been no recorded sales of any graded copies, but the raw variants are generally earning $10-$25.
X NECROSHA #1 CLAYTON CRAIN 1:10 MOVIE VARIANT
This is a cover that has been quietly gaining traction in 2021. As part of the promotion for the horror-oriented Necrosha crossover between the X-Men titles in 2009, the issues all received movie variants. These were patterned after different horror movies but featuring the cast of that particular comic. One of those happened to be an X-Force Lost Boys homage drawn by cover artist extraordinaire Clayton Crain.
What makes this X Necrosha variant issue special is that it is hard to find. The CGC census lists just 23 total copies graded in its records with only 10 of those scoring a 9.8. The last copy to trade hands went for an unimpressive $30 in August, and that is the only raw copy to sell this year, which could prove to be an absolute steal. In February, a graded 9.6 sold for $200, and that was followed by a July sale of $77.
There is just one copy listed for sale on eBay at the moment, and it has an asking price of $250.
TEEN TITANS #8 ALEX GARNER MOVIE POSTER VARIANT
Not to be outdone, DC Comics got a piece of the Lost Boys homage action. In 2015, the publisher commissioned a variant to commemorate the famous movie poster. Of course, it was a hit with hardcore fans, and like X Necrosha #1, it went widely unnoticed by the majority of collectors who weren’t already planning on buying TT #8. That is why you won’t find many copies floating about on eBay at the moment. In fact, there’s only one listed at the time of this writing, and the asking price was $38. Like X Necrosha #1, CGC has only 23 copies in its census data.
On the graded side, two 9.8s tied for a new record high of $90. Before that, last year’s high of $77 held the record. The most recent graded sale was in July when one sold for $53.
KIDZ #1 DONNY HADIWIDJAJA VARIANT
The first issue of Kidz had some of the most fun variant covers that all seemed to fly under the collecting radar. Kidz #1 featured '80s movie poster homages to The Goonies, Ghostbusters, and Lost Boys. With the added attention on those Lost Boys poster tributes, it may be worth your time to keep an eye on this series. Best of all, the Hadiwidjaja variant is cheap at the moment. There hasn’t been a graded sale for this cover since one brought $11 last year. As for the raw copies, the last two sales were both for $5 or less.
THE COMING WAVE
Zombies are about to be out, and vampires are going to be in again. With so many vamp projects in the works, it would seem hard for the blood-sucking undead not to grab the public spotlight by the throat like they did from the late ‘90s into the early 2000s. You can rest assured that those vampire keys you bought in the old days will get a bump from the excitement.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.