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CGC Journals

Our community journals

  1. Early on in my collecting journey, I focused mostly on FF and soon added ASM.  ASM soon became my favorite and Marvel had a couple more titles featuring Spidey - MTU and Peter Parker.  I started collecting these as well.  At the time, I also watched the Saturday morning Superfriends cartoons (it was early around 7am?) featuring the DC superheroes.  Spiderman was completely different from Superman and the other more familiar DC superheroes.  He was young, had everyday struggles (such as paying the rent), was cracking jokes and was definitely more relatable.  His origin back-story about why he wanted to become a hero was also interesting and it just felt right.  I don't recall the first issue of ASM that I bought off the rack - but it was somewhere between 180 and 200.  I remember being disappointed in #200 (no new villain, just the same burglar).  Within a year or two, I became aware of that pivotal key in Spidey's life, ASM #121.  That was a shocker and I knew I had to get a copy.  I eventually did, and I also bought some other earlier issues along the way from a local comic store (#131, 139-140).  The villains were also pretty creative, well-developed, powerful and ruthless, and it was very entertaining.  

    Within several months of starting ASM, I began collecting other Marvel titles.  X-Men was the other big one.  That also captivated me, with a team of mutants that worked together to fight off larger, more complex, and other-worldly enemies.  Similar to ASM #121, I know I had to get #94.  I already mentioned how I had to decide between GSX #1 and X-Men #94 in the last entry but I did put down GSX #1 as an alternate when I bought X-Men #94.  I had started to collect X-Men right around the time of the death of Phoenix (#137).  Shortly after that momentous issue, Kitty Pryde and Days of Future Past debuted.  Really great stories. 

    In my early collecting days, I focused on the big 3: ASM, FF and X-Men.  Later, I started to collect other titles as well.  One other memorable story arc was DareDevil after Frank Miller took over.  Growing up in Hawaii, we would sometimes get to watch Japanese programming on TV. One of my favorites was Kage No Gundan, or, Shadow Warriors, about a Ige Ninja clan.  It was a weekly series that ran for 4-5 seasons in the early 80s.  That Daredevil run with the Hand were fantastic and I remember running some string from one wall to another in my bedroom and hanging these DD books from them, displaying them like someone hanging their clothes. It was my way of being able to look at their covers constantly, like pieces of art hanging in a museum.   Elektra and her sai were also enjoyable to read, as I had never seen those sai weapons before.  I started to draw my own comics, modeling enemies and battle scenes after DD and his battles with the Hand.  

    I did collect Avengers and a little Hulk but wasn't really into Captain America.  When Wolverine appeared and starred in X-Men, I had a feeling he'd get his own series and couldn't wait for that to happen.  When it finally did in 1982, I quickly bought several copies of Wolverine #1-4.  I was 15 at the time, and this was the first time thinking that comics could be worth more down the road.  It was the first time when I intentionally bought more than one issue of a comic for investment purposes.  I bought 4 copies of #1, 2 of #2, #3 and 2 of #4.  I just recently submitted one of my #1's to CGC last December.  Around the same time, I started to invest in acid-free boxes, Mylar sleeves and acid-free boards - it was pretty expensive and the boxes were pretty heavy.

    The early 80's were memorable to me as several new titles appeared: G.I. Joe, printed on that newer, better paper, New Teen Titans and TMNT.  It wasn't long before TMNT started to fetch incredible prices.  Once or twice in the late 1980's, I would buy an Overstreet and look up some of the prices - I looked up Wolverine, G.I. Joe, the Jim Lee issues of X-Men and TMNT, in particular, since those issues were taking off.  I recall back then how I had wished I was able to get TMNT, but I was glad to have G.I. Joe #1 and some of the X-Men.

    Currently, the bulk of my collection remains in Hawaii while I've been living in Illinois ever since college.  With the pandemic, I've asked my mom to look through and inventory the boxes little by little.  Each time she goes through a book, it's like going on a treasure hunt since I had forgotten a lot of what I had collected.  It's funny, once she said I had FF #12 and I got really excited before finding out it was FF Annual #12.  I had to ask her to take some pics, because of that reason and also because there are so many Spiderman series and titles that it can get confusing.  Sometimes, I'm pleasantly surprised, such as when she told me that I had FF #66 and #112.  Other times, I'm disappointed that I didn't have Star Wars #42 (I have #7-69 but not 39 and 42).  Of course, I remembered I had X-Men #94 and ASM #121 (low grade) among the keys.  There are still 8 boxes on the top-most shelf that my mom can't get to, so the next time I'm able to get to Hawaii, I'll be sure to see what's in those boxes.  I know my G.I. Joe run is in there.  The really big question is if I have IH #181.  For whatever reason, I just remember that I was disappointed with the story.  That issue hasn't come up so far in the other 26 short boxes the my mom inventoried.  However, I'm not even sure that I do have a copy.  Maybe I'm just wanting to believe that I have it so much that I became convinced that I have it.  Maybe I read a reprint, or maybe I just imagined it?  At my age, I can't trust my memory anymore.  Until I go back, I can only hope.  Who knows what lies in those other 8 boxes?  Maybe IH181 and TMNT #1 (highly doubtful)!  I'll just have to wait to find out.

  2. August 2020

    Frontline Combat #14 ($25.00 + shipping = $29.60)


    Two-Fisted Tales #21 ($20.00) + Frontline Combat #10 ($35.00) = $55.00


    Total amount spent on war comics in 2020: $84.60

    33.3% were Mercari purchases

    66.7% were bought locally

    None are for sale! :screwy:

  3. Two key “collecting milestones” for me were getting a hold of a copy of Hulk 181 (a 3.0 SS signed by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe), and later on, one of the Sideshow Collectibles diorama statues based on that iconic cover.

    Showed both here side by side with a graded 7.0 I’d acquired more recently, amidst a backdrop of 181 facsimiles and other slabs in my custom display cabinet/ drawer.








  4. I have been building up my collection with what I thought was slowly but surely lol. I really did lie to myself! And I thought by the numbers that I could make lots of money selling slabs from a collection...enough to completely pay for the collection and remodel the office to the ultimate nerd display room. So far here is what has really happened....

    As I went through finding books to have graded it occurred to me that I could press my own books and save a TON of money. So I put about $250 into the pressing setup and saved TONS of money. But the counter to that has been the time it takes to prep and press.

    In a group I follow in Discord they discussed cold pressing books. So I figured hey I can do this! I can save time and money! So I spent another $250 and built a cold press to kick out 6 books at a time. Again saving TONS of money, and kicking up the output. But now instead of going in and spending 5 minutes to heat up the press and spot check all the sheets before inserting them into the book then the press....now I'm in my office for a little over an hour to get 6 books out at once. 

    I get excited about learning new things. Well that is when a friend asked if I could press a book or two for him. I pressed and slabbed them at my cost. And bumped the grade significantly on both books. And that couple went up and up. And another friend heard I was pressing, then another, and another....at one point I had to tell them "no more for the next month" so I could try to kick out 75 of my own books. At this point my shipments to CGC are shifting from mostly my books...to mostly other peoples books.

    Now this has seemingly taken on a life of its own. I'm not making any money off this at all. And now its turning from a fun thing to challenge myself with, to a choir. :( Had one person yesterday ask from one of my groups if they could send me 25 books. A guy another town over drove the hour and a half last week to my house and dropped off 10 books to be pressed and slabbed. He saw the results on that and let me know he was setting aside more for me to press and send. Another sent me a Tomb of Dracula 10 to press and clean, that one I'm excited about. And my first friend that I pressed books for dropped off 50 books on my doorstep last night :( 

    I don't feel like i should really price myself out of oblivion. I added an extra $2 on to my modern pressing prices to at least put a few dollars in my own pocket. And added a few extra bucks to older books only because I will spend WAY more time cleaning them carefully. Kind of feeling like i need to be real up front with these people that I'm not making anything compared to the time spent and to softly encourage tips past the press and slab costs. Not sure if people will do that or not. For something like slabbing that already costs a bit to do I don't how people would perceive that. Everyone always says "$4 for shipping...per book?" not realizing that there is a ton of packaging and shipping costs associated with sending packages to literally the other side of the country. I'm peeking right now at close to 100 books graded a month. The sticker shock is not there for me anymore. I like to help people out, and I love seeing all these amazing books. But I don't want to burn myself out doing something that has helped me in paying for the hobby.

    Seems that it is time to really sit down and figure out what time I'm willing to commit to pressing my books...and doing those for others. To boot I just started up my last Semester of College to finish up my bachelors. Time to make time for me. 

    Thanks for reading my rant....oh and in the last 3 months I almost finished my Daredevil full run...just have the issue 1 to go!

  5. Tnerb
    Latest Entry

    The New Mutants

    As it was with collecting comic books, it was the New Mutants that drew me into the grading community. I was new and naive. I did not get the small intricacies between a 9.8 and a 9.6. I didn’t realize what a trimmed cover was or how you could tell if a book was restored, But over the years I have learned that as much as I have learned there is still so much more to absorb.


    I met Bagofleas through the registry, as I did others, but it was the New Mutants set that I desired to have a complete run of. It wasn’t as complete as it is now. There was only one slot for a Marvel Graphic Novel. The point system was not high…only 25 for a 9.8 in most of the books. I looked over what was the number one set and decided I wanted to be there. Eventually I made it…and lost it again.


    I reclaimed the spot, but never during a time when the awards were to be handed out again. Money got tighter and the desire and ability to get the whole set in a 9.8 changed to getting the whole set in a 9.8 signed and then wained. Eventually to find happiness again my collecting goals changed. I still wanted the best New Mutants set, but I wasn’t actively seeking the books I needed…and then when I found them, a lack of grade or lack of money stopped me.


    As I worked on two custom sets earlier this year, I decided to check back to my favorite set and noticed I was no longer number one, but neither was bagofleas…a new upstart has taken over the number one spot although it was obscured I knew he completed what I hoped to one day do…and I knew he had what I was searching for…that vaunted copy of New Mutants 58 in a 9.8.


    Twice this set has received notable honors. Once by myself in 2012 for the Best Copper Age set. Once by Bagofleas in 2014 for the The Best Presentation and I can only hope that 2020 the underrated under-pointed New Mutants (1983) set will once again belong to a top rated set contender…NashVegas13. If I ever had a crown for this set, I hand it off to you. Well Done…Well done!

  6. dknight76

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    Like to create a La Pieta set with comics like these:  I think this is a very interesting list.  I am sure there are tons of others that I am missing.

    1.) Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #128 (Superman holding Lois)

    2.) Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #102 (Superman holding Lois)

    3.) Batman Vol 1 #613 (Batman holding Catwoman)

    4.) The Brave and the Bold #105 (Batman holding Wonder Woman)

    5.) Detective Comics Vol 1 #569 (Joker holding Catwoman)

    6.) Detective Comics Vol 1 #850 (Batman holding Catwoman)

    7.) Superman Vol 2 #210 (Wonder Woman holding Superman)

    8.) Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (Superman holding Supergirl)



  7. When I heard about this, I was more expecting something in the comic.   A tv in the background with a slightly blurry Rick's hair, and lab coat.   But is it 'meta', the cartoon show, cartoon show characters watch?





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    In my constant tug of war between what kind of collection I want and what kind of collection I can afford, I took some steps toward upgrading my Adam Warlock Key Set today. I found a very nice Strange Tales 181 that is autographed by Jim Starlin at an 8.0 rating. I'm pleased because I just came up with this idea that I don't want to go below VF for any Bronze Age issues and I found it on eBay for a reasonable price. I'm still waiting on two more Strange Tales titles (178 and 179) that I just won on ComicLink last week to add to my set, though. 

    When I first got into collecting slabbed comics, I truly thought that I would just pick up X-Men titles or anything having to do with my favorite X-Man, Gambit. But, over the last year, I've experienced a slight shift that has me looking more closely at Bronze Age titles as well as some Silver Age. Since I came of age during the Bronze Age, this is right up my alley collecting-wise. Could be dangerous, though...




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    Coming soon!

    A new journo about my Covid-19 'I made a thing' and how I I'm going to spend my stimulus money on sneakers and try and sell a pair for $3k within one year.

    I kinda want to try this... I've got a bit of time, I've got the feels RE writing / learning a new collectible field on the fly so here goes! 

    Maybe I can get the lady to write on influencer culture in the time of Covid-19. 

  8. A lot of time has passed since my last entries.  At this point, I'm still collecting, but I'm focusing on "stuff" that seems to have a whole lot of bang for the buck.

    I'm going after Conan's done by Smith in 9.0 or better.  Eventually, the keys will be slabbed, but the rest will live out their lives in raw condition in some top-notch mylars and good quality backboards.

    I'm very passively going after Iron Fist as I run across them in high grade raw.

    I'm also going after some golden age.  Nothing earth shattering, but books that I can get a good deal on that seem very interesting for a less-than-$200 price tag.

    Lastly, I've moved heavily into paperback books.  I just posted this elsewhere, but check out this cover!  I love these, and their (still) cheap!


    flying saucers.jpg

  9. Hollywood

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    I grew up in a small town in South Western Ontario, my friends and I used to do all sorts of activities from tunnel ratting through drainage pipes to good old fashioned street hockey, but what we really liked to do was collect.

        We started collecting sports cards  around the summer of 1987 and comics a few years later.

       If I recollect correctly, the first comic book I had was Batman Annual 14 with TwoFace on the cover.

       Sadly, over the years My friends and I drifted apart, though I continued collecting.

        Mostly my collection was focused on raws, that as a kid I thought would be quite valuable.

         Around the age of 14 things in my life began getting quite chaotic. I found myself getting into fights at school and eventually put into group homes until I was 18. Subsequently, my collecting took a hiatus.

        Once I was 18 I was removed from the group home and thrust into the streets to fend for myself. Without much of an education or direction in life, I turned to substance abuse, which in turn I got in quite a few fights.

        Eventually, I found myself at an alcohol rehabilitation clinic called "Brentwood". This is in the city of Windsor, where during my free time from programs I was able to resume my collecting activities.

       I began to accumulate a rather large collection of books that interested in, but didn't really hold alot of value, Spawn run, Maximum Carnage run, Knightfall run and stuff like that.

       Eventually I returned to Alcoholism and as the years rolled by, collecting drifted off into a distant memory.

       It wasn't until the late winter of 2018 that I resumed my hobby.

        I live in Toronto Ontario now, and the first shop I ventured into was "The Beguiling" on College St. This particular stores primary interest is providing the comic community with affordable raws at reasonable prices.

       The first books I purchased were Wolverine 1 (ongoing series) X-Factor 6 (first appearance of Apocalypse) and Punisher 1 (ongoing series).

     I hadn't even heard much about slabbed comics until a couple months later when I joined the forums and attended my first comic show in February.

      I'm a big fan of the dexterity of Supervillains, especially Carnage who I find is a conflicted soul, much like myself (lol).

        The first slabbed comic I bought was an Amazing Spider-Man 361 in 9.4 grade. I have no doubt in terms of fair market value that I overpaid considerably, but I was happy.

        Over the past year and a half I have accumulated a pretty decent collection and being a member of these boards I have had an opportunity to meet and interact with some pretty awesome people.

       I know we are all going through some tough times right now with the Covid19 Pandemic, but I can see that it has strengthened this community in ways I don't think any of us could have imagined.

      As I continue to collect, I've amassed a list of books I have really wanted and have eventually acquired, including New Mutants 98 and Amazing Spider-Man 300 (my two personal favorites). I have also fluctuated between collecting first appearances of key supervillains in both the DC and Marvel Universe such as Darkseid and of course Carnage. 

         In the past year and a half, my interests have shifted from modern to bronze and even silver age books.

      I have mostly directed my attention and finances to slabbed comic books, as I am not a professional grader and have really failed in alot of my submissions.

       In regards to slabs, I like to garner my finances into accumulating 9.8s, which I have amassed quite a few since I really began taking comic collecting seriously.

       My greatest purchase in my opinion, and despite my friend's protests has been Amazing Spider-Man 300 9.8.

      Now I know people will say "Why did you buy such an expensive book that is common as dirt?"

        Well, that is the mystery of that book, isn't it? How can one of the most graded books in the registry maintain such longevity and value? Too me I find it fascinating and in terms of strength of character (not monetary) it is one of the most valuable books available, and I imagine would be far more expensive if only 2000 copies were graded, and not 20,000.

       Thanks for listening....and happy hunting!



  10. The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - Too many cooks!


    I bought this beat up copy for $4


    Herb Trimpe did the cover for this (I really like Herb's run of covers on this book) but this is actually Part 2 of a two part story that Ayers and John Severin did the art on. John Severin is one of the few thin line inkers that I really like.


    For some reason it took two people to write this, Roy Thomas and Mike Friedrich are credited, this just a couple of issues after Harlen Ellison did a guest-written issue. This is right as Roy was getting ready to transition into the Editor-In-Chief role, so I suspect he had his hands full at the time.


    Also thought it was interesting how in the 'Incredible Herb Trimpe' Book released after the artists' death, Roy talked about how many times, he gave Herb just a small bit of information and he'd put the whole story together. Those artists' did a lot more work than they get credit for.


    So this story took two writers and two artists and the rest of the team...




    (The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - cover dated October 1971, on newsstands July 13th, 1971 with cover art by Herb Trimpe and inks by John Severin)



    The Incredible Hulk seems like the type of comic that works perfectly as a month to month, as opposed to a long form story, but even back then they had continued stories - this one starting in the issue before. In it, Bruce Banner is taken away by Doom to be brainwashed and work on a Gamma Bomb for him...




    (The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - cover dated October 1971, on newsstands July 13th, 1971 with art by Ayers and John Severin)



    But love gets in the way. Comics loved this type of thing back then... the all powerful bad guy who's all bent out of shape because of a woman. It doesn't really fit Dr. Doom, but these comic books were always pretty limited in their storytelling.




    (The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - cover dated October 1971, on newsstands July 13th, 1971 with art by Ayers and John Severin)



    It's funny how I have as much nostalgia for these ad pages as I do the comics they appear in! I always wanted to get this stuff, but for me, I guess sending $1 off in the mail was too much work at 12 years of age!




    (The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - cover dated October 1971, on newsstands July 13th, 1971)



    I'm guessing the Comics Code Authority assumed Doom meant that in a figurative way...




    (The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - cover dated October 1971, on newsstands July 13th, 1971 with art by Ayers and John Severin)


    The Hulk ends up not too happy he's been a part of some brain wash scheme, and comes as close to hand-to-hand ending the life of Doctor Doom as I can ever remember. But he also has this pensive moment, which in hindsight looks especially weird...




    (The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - cover dated October 1971, on newsstands July 13th, 1971 with art by Ayers and John Severin)


    Here in the Hulk's mailbag, (Roy?) address' the Comics Code Drug issues done in the Amazing Spider-man. They even make appearances in each others mail bags!




    (The INCREDIBLE HULK #144 - cover dated October 1971, on newsstands July 13th, 1971)











  11. They finally released a TPB of the Detective Comics run bridging the gap between issues #993 and #1000. Once upon a time, I intended on collecting all of the single issues for the Rebirth of this DC title (ditto for Action Comics).

    As a designer, I also created a Captain America shield range target. It's noice. Gonna hit some today at lunch.

    I'm tired.

  12. bane
    Latest Entry

    Face 2 Face - Drama, Netflix                             Frost/Nixon - True Story, NowTV

    Family Blood - Horror, Netflix                             Fruitvale Station - True Story, Netflix 

    Family, The - Comedy, Action, Netflix                Fundamentals of Caring - Drama, Netflix 

    Fast Color - Sci-fi, Netflix                                   Funhouse, The - Horror

    Father of the Year - Comedy, Netflix                 Funhouse Massacre, The - Horror, Netflix 

    Fear of 13 - Documentary, Netflix                      Funny People - Comedy, Netflix 

    Feedback - Drama, NowTV

    Fighting - Drama, Netflix 

    Fever - Thriller, NowTV

    Fighting With My Family - True Story, Netflix 

    Filth - Black Comedy, Drama, NowTV

    Final Destination 5 - Supernatural, Netflix 

    Final Score - Action, NowTV

    Fire in Paradise - Documentary, Netflix 

    First Man - True Story, NowTV

    First Match - Drama, Netflix 

    First Sunday - Comedy, Netflix 

    First Reformed - Drama, NowTV

    FirstBorn - Supernatural, Netflix 

    Fish Don't Blink - Comedy, Netflix 

    Fist Fight - Comedy, Netflix 

    Five Easy Pieces - Drama, NowTV

    Five Nights in Maine - Drama, Netflix 

    Flatliners - Sci-fi, Netflix 

    Fled - Action, Netflix 

    Fletch - Comedy, NowTV

    First Kill - Action

    For The Love of Spock - Documentary, Netflix 

    Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashnau Story - Documentary, Netflix 

    Force, The - Documentary, Netflix 

    Foreigner, The - Action, Netflix 

    Forever Chape - Documentary, Netflix 

    Foxy Brown - Action, Netflix 

    Fractured - Psychological Drama, Netflix 

    Frank and Cindy - Documentary, Netflix 

    Fred - Documentary, Netflix 

    Friday Night Lights - Sports, Drama, Netflix 

    Friends With Benefits - Comedy, Netflix 

    Fright Fest - Horror, NowTV

  13. Greetings, 

    As of 01.01.20, Spectacular Spider-Man #001 - #263 + Annuals, + 35 Cent Variants is complete. The goal is a complete set in CGC 9.8 or better. I sold off most of my comics and it took about one year to finish it.  The final three books have been submitted for grading with CGC. With the set complete I am still hunting 21 Books in 9.8 Condition to upgrade lower grades in the set. This includes the 35 Cent Variants. If anyone happens to have time to check out my Spectacular Spider-Man "Nuff Said" series, please let me know if you have any potential issues that you can help me with. I am always grateful for the help! 


    Brian W.



    I also included a photo of my favorite book in the collection... it is an EXTREMELY RARE, CGC Graded 9.8 Signature Series Yellow Label with Signatures from the late great Stan "The Man" Lee, the late Mike Esposito, and Sal Buscema, and John Romita. This is the year I will ship this copy to Gerry Conway to get the 5th Signature to complete it. I pray it stays 9.8 Grade, stay tuned! 

  14. Jimmers

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    Love me the oversized,the thicc,gimme some big page love!And when it's a Dell price variant..oh,baby


    Can't say I love the journal format though.Not a fan

  15. Obie's Journal

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    In this journal I shall post about my Spider-Man #252's and my quest to obtain more. 

    I bought my first one about two weeks before my birthday last year, and now I have about 13-14 copies. 

    I have just received my first Spider-Man #252 CGC 9.4, which was a personal grail for me. It is my second graded copy, the other being a 8.5 I may have overpaid for. 

    I'll try to post some pictures of the other copies. 

    Also, if anyone has any Spider-Man #252's you would like to unload for a (hopefully) good price, let me know.

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    Here's my first of the year. Decided to start it off with a bang (at least for me) :bigsmile:


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    Can you please expand the listing for Magnificent Ms. Marvel (2019). Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


  16. Phelps27

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    Latest Entry










  17. Well I've been M.I.A. but we set up the office. The wife and I are posting a ton of the collectibles, got all of the comic books we have in, built the shelves to display, and tore the house apart. I will post some pictures so everyone can see the chaos. I decided to keep all the Batman Animated Series and have started posting the rest. Once I can get to the end of that... I will start working on the "Funny Books". 

  18. Swingwitme
    Latest Entry

    how long does it take for cert# to be in the system after on site grading at a con

  19. Since everyone else apparently gets a journal, maybe I should claim some space too... 

    I'm just another schmo that has a lot to say about things that most nobody cares about.

  20. Jradical

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    1138563042_IMG_20190808_1950482.thumb.jpg.f1f6f8e96c13127c527e75d446a5a43a.jpgHere is an indie key in high grade signed that I picked up today. I think it is worth holding on to long-term. Thoughts?