As a collector of comic books I am always on the lookout for interesting editions to add to my collection. For a while now I’ve focused on locating pedigree copies of Police Comics. One pedigree that has alluded me is the Eldon comic book pedigree. According to GPA there hasn’t been any sales of a Police Comics within that pedigree. Giving up on a Police Comics Eldon, I have sought out a Jungle Comics #56, Jumbo Comics #67 and Action Comics #25.
The Eldon pedigree is a collection of comic books that were originally owned by Eldon M. Tuffentsamer, a collector who was born in 1928, served in the Korean War and passed away in 1978 in Morton, Illinois. This is verified by one copy with his full name and one with “Tuffy” written in ink – both are a match to the cursive signature on the most common “variants” of the pedigree.
The were some True Comics from 1947 unearthed that have the Eldon name written on them in pencil, yet had mailing labels to John Hamman of Rock Rapids Iowa. John happened to have a son, Eldon J Hamman who was born in 1934 who also happened to serve in the Army during the Korean War. Eldon J Hamman passed away in 1987. Given this collection’s lack of known “Eldon-like” titles, differences in condition, close but not exact signatures and the 1947 dating of the True Comics copies the Hamman connection is a red herring.
In yet another Eldon variant, the signature is “block printed style” with the name ELDON. This has potentially been associated to collector/artist Eldon Dedini. However, an argument can be made for both the cursive and block “Eldon” styles being Eldon M. Tuffentsamer. For example, there is a certified USA #3 with block letters and USA #4 with cursive, both higher grade. Collectors liked to stick with consecutive numbers (runs) of their favorite titles and what are the odds of two different comic signing Eldon’s having saved one high grade copy of each?
The Eldon pedigree consists of an unknown number of comic books that span the early period of the Golden Age of Comic Books from at least 1940 to 1945. The collection was acquired and sold to private collectors in the 1980s. Eldon’s comics have since been passed down through comic book collectors and earned the coveted CGC pedigree label status. The pedigree was officially recognized July of 2019. A number of the “Eldon” books are pictured in 1995’s Gerber Photo-Journal.
The pedigree includes many of the most popular and iconic titles from the era, such as Superman, Batman, Flash, Captain America and Captain Marvel. Eldon also enjoyed Jungle and Jumbo Comics. The collection includes rare and unique issues from the period, such as Captain America #3, Batman #4 and Superman #4. The Eldon pedigree has become a sought-after collection for comic book enthusiasts with some issues from the collection selling for thousands of dollars.
Today the Eldon pedigree remains a bit of an enigma. With no “origin story” direct link back to the original owner or buyers and having originally sold in a “pre-CGC” era collectors are left to speculate based on cover signatures.
As a collector I remain grateful for the early collectors like Eldon M. Tuffentsamer who took such care to preserve these treasures for future generations to enjoy.