The Search So Far...

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Iconic1s

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Wanted to kick this off by including the current discription of this book in my set.  This pretty much details my search so far:

Spoiler

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"com·ple·tist - noun - an obsessive, typically indiscriminate, collector or fan of something."  Dictionary

This is the last book in this set that is not 9.8 or above.  I believe the 9.6 you see here could have just as easily came back 9.8.  If I get my hands on a second 9.6 before I find a 9.8, I will submit this copy for CPR... as much as I think this book could go either way, I'm not willing to have it cracked without a backup.  I don't want to jeopardize this 9.6 if the worst were to happen!  

I bought this book off of eBay when I already had a 9.4.  It had been listed for a couple months, the price dropped, but it did not have a make an offer option.  Over the course of the listing I sent the seller a couple messages asking if they would accept a lower price.  I also asked if it had been pressed and the response was that it had not.  To me, this left open the option of attempting CPR on the book later.  The price never did come down to where I really wanted it to be but they did end up meeting me half way at $225.00.  At the time there were three of these in the census, one each 9.8, 9.6, and 9.4.  I now have the 9.6 and 9.4.  The 9.8 was listed on eBay in mid-2019 originally for $1500.00 and ended up selling for $800.00.  I could have bought it then but at the time I still needed over 30 books to be at 100 percent completion... with that far to go I wasn't yet at the point where I could justify paying that much for a single book.  Solid raw copies are just too hard to come by so I will wait for another 9.8 to come up for sale and then make the decision whether I want it bad enough to pay what they are asking.

The 9.4 that I originally had in this slot was the first book that I purchased for this set that was already graded and not a 9.8.  I had decided that if I submitted a book and it came back less than 9.8 I could put it in the set while looking for a better copy, but that I wouldn’t buy a graded book that wasn't a 9.8.  I ended up abandoning that idea in order to have some of the harder to find books like this one in the set until I got a 9.8 copy.   

I had gotten the 9.4 from a fellow board member, and probably the most knowledgeable person I have met regarding many of these books, @onlyweaknesskryptonite.  I bought the book knowing that there was a hair in the slab, up against the book.  In fact, he had even previously created a CGC forum post about this hair.  

When I received the 9.4 I prepared to get it reholdered. I had already created an order and mailed the book before I was advised by another board member to contact Brittany at CGC. Once I contacted Brittany everything was taken care of. The book was reholdered and back on it's way to me within a week. The order was changed from a reholder to MECHANICAL ERROR and I did not pay anything for the service, not even return shipping. I did pay to ship the book to CGC but that's okay because I sent it in with another order. Great customer service from CGC and I appreciate fellow board member's pointing me in the right direction!

Now that I have a 9.4 and 9.6, hopefully I’ll be able to add to this description how I came upon a 9.8 at some point.  Either way, I am pleased with this copy and could technically be done with this set right now... but the completist in me really wants to finish it in all 9.8 or above!

Speaking of completist; I am constantly on the lookout for ways to improve this set, even if it doesn’t always mean upgrading a book that is an official member of it.  I want to make this set as fun as possible, and as I need fewer and fewer 9.8’s, I continue working on the gallery to do that.  When I came across the book in the second image slot, which is the only graded copy of Action Comics 727, I felt like it was meant to be here.  I added it to the gallery in May 2021, when Adventures of Superman 499 third printing was the final 9.8 I needed.  It made sense to include it here because; 1) it also has the Centennial Park Superman statue on the cover (this time at night and covered in snow!), and 2) it takes place during the Final Night storyline and this is the Final Slot where I need a 9.8!  I think these parallels are interesting and cool... I just hope that; 3) the World isn’t also dark and frozen over by the time I finish this set in 9.8... yikes!

Spoiler

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https://comics.www.collectors-society.com/WCM/ComicView.aspx?PeopleSetComicID=1118003

 

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On 8/30/2021 at 6:24 PM, Brandon Shepherd said:

That’s quite a parallel between Adventures #499 and Action #727!

 

Thanks!  I thought it was too cool to pass up! :grin:

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Just a quick update... I always get a little excited towards the end of the week and look forward to being able to bump my WTB post.  Usually can't remember if I had bumped it Thursday night or Friday and don't want to get reported for bumping too frequently lol

I've also recently started an Instagram account thanks to a tip from a friend... man you can get lost in there!  I'm hoping that by expanding my search to somewhere other than the CGC forums maybe I can find this book!  I'm not a big social media person... I have a Facebook but have my account on the highest privacy settings (no one can find me there, I hope!).  I am a member of a few Superman collecting groups, although I barely visit and honestly am just hanging onto the account because I had linked my Imgur account to it when I started that for my set images.  

Anyways, the search continues and my WTB post hit sort of a milestone this week with 3300 views... that sure seems like a lot of people to look at that post and to still not have this book!  All I can say is I know some things are worth the wait and things that come too easy aren't always appreciated as much.  I know I will certainly appreciate when I find this book!

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I also ran across something else this week, which I thought was pretty cool.  I met an awesome fellow collector through my quest to finish this set and ended up buying 15 books from him, they took me from 82 to 93 percent complete at the time and also upgraded a few of my existing books to 9.8 (and one to 9.9).  Some were the lone 9.8's at the time and I appreciate his work to assemble them and then being nice enough to allow me to be the steward of them.  If you look at my set I refer to these books by the name of the set they came from, the 'NO ONE CAN KILL SUPERMAN!' collection.  We've kept in touch and I consider him a friend.  The post he created when starting his search is below.

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Edited by Iconic1s
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As my search continues I received this in the mail this week (name redacted to protect the innocent)…

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I love it with this… Best Presented in 2020 and Best Modern in 2021!

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So happy and so honored!  Should probably retire quietly somewhere and tell sea stories and such, but just can’t help but feel there is still unfinished business…

Spoiler

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Edited by Iconic1s
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Dear Journal… today is another day that I also did not yet find this book… but it’s not a big deal, because…

I have been having a great time, particularly over on IG where I have met some cool people and am also finally able to share some of the other stuff I’ve been gathering for 30 years.

Until next time Journal…

Edited by Iconic1s
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This week was a challenge... I almost quit… I almost quit collecting CGC graded comic books and ALMOST stopped caring about this book, or any book graded by CGC…
 
Last week I spotted a post from CGC on IG with an ‘artist’ that had finished an in-house signing, laying on the floor with slabs under and on top of him.  Big grins throughout the room.  I made a pointed comment about how I felt about this pic, which was removed (the comment) and at about the same time I could no longer access my forum account.  I tried many workarounds and the timing of deleted comment and inaccessible account led me to the conclusion that these incidents were linked… this lasted five days.  Ultimately, I believe the lack of access was NOT due to my post or any action by CGC, but this experience did give me some time to reflect nonetheless.
 
A couple things came to me during these reflections…
 
1) Setting the Example!  I was in the military for 30 years and made the top enlisted rank.  The more senior I became the more I was convinced that the most important thing for me to do was to set the right example, among other more technical things.  As long as I wanted to serve, and as long as there were people around me that looked up to someone with my rank, I had to demonstrate to them all the desired qualities; the qualities that were important to that organization.  They were observing me ALWAYS and I had to be the model, both on and off duty.  Setting the example is important for anyone in this type of position.
 
2) Quality Control!  The last re-holder submission I sent in had 14 books… of those 14 I had to send 7 back for cracked slabs.  These were not cracks from shipping… these were cracks from improperly being sealed; perhaps too much pressure.  That’s a 50% failure rate.  You can easily search posts on these forums about other members’ QC problems… these range from mislabeled books to upside down books, and pretty much everything in between.  The point of my comments here are not to bash CGC further about these issues as I am sure for every QC issue there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of books that leave their facility PERFECT.
 
CGC will tell you they are the largest, most trusted, third party comic book grading company; I agree.  Many people, including myself, will pay hundreds, if not thousands. (and some fortunate collectors… MILLIONS!) of dollars difference based on just a small grade bump from this company.  Wow!!  In the case of some modern books no one will even touch a 9.6, while a 9.8 will disappear in a flash.
 
QC (or other) mistakes will be made as noted above… no one is perfect, including myself during my aforementioned service, but they/we should still certainly try, especially if we are in a position where that is desired/expected.  I am not applying a zero defect mentality here at all.  As CGC claims their title as ‘most trusted’ they should always present themselves in the best possible light to give collectors confidence that when they do get that 9.6 back that they were sure was a 9.8, that they were wrong, NOT CGC.  When CGC does make a mistake, such as a cracked slab, we should at least know they are striving for perfection, and care about their customers expectations.  Ultimately they (and everyone) will make errors… hence in this hobby, the saying ‘buy the book, not the slab.’
 
So with all this in mind I see a picture from the very company that we all consider the premier comic book grading company that shows 9.9 slabs (collector’s slabs) laying all over the ground, under and on top of, an ‘artist.’
 
This makes me pause and say to myself… seriously!  I don’t handle MY slabs that way and these guys that I TRUST to provide grades are mishandling books/slabs while also sending me cracked slabs (not to mention other members QC issues).  The picture makes me think ‘DO THEY CARE AT ALL ABOUT WHAT WE THINK?’  My answer at that moment was ‘no’ and the removal of my comment and inability to get into the forums only compounded my frustration, and reflection.
 
In conclusion, I begin to wonder… why do I even care about what THEY think is a 9.8 or a 9.6!?  Certainly this company, this premier grading company, wouldn’t so lack judgment that they would first, have the incident in the picture happen in the first place, and then second, take a picture of the act and show it to us (with pride), while also simultaneously sending QC issues back to customers!  Would they?  Well, they did and it did not set the right example at all for the title that they claim to hold.  Having spent decades of my life painstakingly gathering the best books possible, this hit me to my collector's core… I felt betrayed!  They were laughing at us as they lay on top of our books!  Not cool!!  It would be different if it were impossible to name a QC issue from CGC... it is not!
 
Again, this is not just about the picture itself… it is about the BIGGER picture painted by the combination of all of these issues…
 
So here I sit with all these 9.8’s, a couple 9.9’s, and one lonely 9.6 graded by a company that I feel has repeatedly broken my trust, whether it be through sending me cracked slabs, grades that (to me) don’t make sense (buy the book!), through reading about other people’s issues, and finally by flaunting a picture demonstrating their perceived disrespect/disregard of their clients.
 
This book, which this journal is based on, I am currently offering $1200.00 for.  My 9.6 is a really beautiful book… why do I even care, in light of all this, to look for a 9.8 and to be willing to pay that?
 
At this point I am continuing this search because, ironically, I do still happen to love holding that sweet sweet 9.8 slab in my hands and tilting it in the light ever so slightly to enjoy the vibrant colors, clean spine, and sharp corners of that awesome book I have searched the world for… I love seeing WHITE page quality on the label!  Seeing all 9.8’s lined up in the box makes my collecting heart happy!  For now, I can't help myself.  For now.
 
One more to go and I hope I find it before anything else stupid happens…

Edited by Iconic1s
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This was quite a thought provoking read. I too thought the picture you spoke of was in poor judgment. I’m sorry you have been put through the ringer this last week. I’m glad you’re back, it wasn’t the same here. 
 

I too have had a few set backs with CGC, which really tested my resolve. My last couple of submissions helped me put that aside. 
 

Earlier in the year, I started questioning my commitment to my collection, especially the 15 years I’ve put into CGC. So much time and money! I even started selling off pieces. Thankfully you noticed and reached out. It’s such a crazy ebb and flow that each of us experience.

Hopefully CGC will continue to work with us to resolve any further issues that may arise.

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On 10/21/2021 at 8:50 PM, Brandon Shepherd said:

This was quite a thought provoking read. I too thought the picture you spoke of was in poor judgment. I’m sorry you have been put through the ringer this last week. I’m glad you’re back, it wasn’t the same here. 
 

I too have had a few set backs with CGC, which really tested my resolve. My last couple of submissions helped me put that aside. 
 

Earlier in the year, I started questioning my commitment to my collection, especially the 15 years I’ve put into CGC. So much time and money! I even started selling off pieces. Thankfully you noticed and reached out. It’s such a crazy ebb and flow that each of us experience.

Hopefully CGC will continue to work with us to resolve any further issues that may arise.

Thank you!  It's good to be back!  Yes, it is interesting how enthusiasm can ebb and flow but man oh man the right book/submission can sure make it all right!

I swear I don't have an addictive personality but I really can't explain why I love these books so much, especially CGC graded books when everything goes right!

I too hope they continue to work to resolve some of these more irritating issues (and not do stuff like in that picture again in the meantime).  The product, when right, is just so awesome!

No matter how much I pontificate, or feel set back at times, I know I will be thrilled if/when I ever manage to add that last 9.8 to my set. 

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As I search for this last 9.8 it is impossible to not be aware of other books from this set that come up for sale.

I was lucky when putting my set together to be able to add a 9.9 copy of Superman: The Man of Steel 18… which is the first full appearance of Doomsday. I was working with another collector to buy over a dozen books for this set from him, some were the only 9.8 copies, when he mentioned his 9.9 as well as an Adventures of Superman 500 Platinum Error he had.  When we had worked out a deal for a total of 19 other books (14 of which are from this set) I made an offer to add the 9.9 and 500 Error, which he accepted.  Without revealing the price I will just say that I think we were both really fair with each other.

I will say though that when he first mentioned the possibility of me buying the 9.9 that I thought there was no way it would happen.  The below book, which was relisted today for $8500, had been listed for some time for $5500, which led me to believe the price was somewhere in that range... luckily it was nowhere near that.

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I was really happy to receive my copy and was even happier when I was able to successfully get it reholdered.  It was super scary to send a 9.9 off but luckily this was before CGC started experiencing what seems to be a lot of issues with cracked holders, and QC issues.  Anyways, a few weeks ago another 9.9 copy came up on Comic Link... I was excited because we would finally be able to see what a 9.9 copy of this book may be worth in the market.  I watched the book, and to be honest, had decided that if it looked like it was going to land around $1000 - $1200 I may have thrown my bid in.  I figured it may come in handy for a trade for my last 9.8... maybe.

So last night my wife and I are binge watching Succession on HBO Max and I'm refreshing every few minutes.  It had been sitting at $750 for awhile and all of a sudden jumped to $1301... I was out before I was ever in.  Next I knew it was at $3200.  I watched the final countdown and refreshed right after it ended and it sold for $4532!

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I had mixed emotions... on one hand it's nice to see a book I own appreciate, and to see that there is this kind of interest in this story.  On the other it is a little sad to think you may be priced out of a few you don't own.  (I’m not a seller so it doesn’t bring me joy to see prices rise, as I won’t be the one cashing in, but it is nice to know your investment was good.)  I then checked that eBay listing... the one for $5500 and noticed it ended... thought maybe someone had grabbed it... maybe the losing bidder, good for them I thought.  Then, this morning I saw it relisted (image above) for $8500 OBO.  I guess the owner was watching the $4532 copy above too and decided to adjust the BIN based on the results.  Not sure how I feel about that $8500 asking price!

Anyways, it's fun to watch these events and I'm happy I am close to complete with this set.  If you've read through my set I mention a few time that I have not yet paid more for a book than I personally thought it was worth TO ME... it is one thing to complete a set but I also want to feel like I didn't get completely hosed on a book.  I think my current offer of $1200 for my last 9.8... Adventures of Superman 499 3rd printing is right where it should be.  Now, I do have a few books I'm willing to trade that may make the owner of that book a bit more whole than myself but that's a different thing in my mind.  We'll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

Here's my 9.9...

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Edited by Iconic1s
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Taking a break for awhile…

Logging off all social media, closing search windows, turning off search notifications, and unplugging for the time being.

Will still have this book on my want list (so message if you can help) but am going to pull my eyes away from this little screen at least through the holidays and let my brain waves chill out a bit.

I hope everyone has Happy Holidays and a safe and prosperous New Year!!

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On 11/29/2021 at 9:41 AM, Iconic1s said:

Taking a break for awhile…

Logging off all social media, closing search windows, turning off search notifications, and unplugging for the time being.

Will still have this book on my want list (so message if you can help) but am going to pull my eyes away from this little screen at least through the holidays and let my brain waves chill out a bit.

I hope everyone has Happy Holidays and a safe and prosperous New Year!!

Completely understand and it is always good for a break.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! 

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On 11/29/2021 at 9:10 PM, onlyweaknesskryptonite said:

Completely understand and it is always good for a break.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! 

 

On 11/30/2021 at 9:26 AM, Brandon Shepherd said:

Recharge those batteries, you’ve earned it! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

 

On 11/30/2021 at 9:39 AM, Artifiction said:

Looking forward to your return, and best of luck with your quest!

Thank you all... I lasted about two and a half weeks (I'm so weak)!  Have laid off IG though, and also deleted my Toon Blast app from my phone...

Seeing this book finally get through CCS and to CGC reenergized me a little bit, as did seeing your comments :cheers:

I hope you all have great Holidays as well!!

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On 12/15/2021 at 8:10 PM, Iconic1s said:

 

 

Thank you all... I lasted about two and a half weeks (I'm so weak)!  Have laid off IG though, and also deleted my Toon Blast app from my phone...

Seeing this book finally get through CCS and to CGC reenergized me a little bit, as did seeing your comments :cheers:

I hope you all have great Holidays as well!!

Welcome Back! 

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Glad to see your submission move and I am sure it was good to take time away.  

Hope everything else has been going great! 

(Look forward to seeing the results of your submission.  ) 

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On 12/15/2021 at 11:09 PM, onlyweaknesskryptonite said:

Welcome Back! 

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Glad to see your submission move and I am sure it was good to take time away.  

Hope everything else has been going great! 

(Look forward to seeing the results of your submission.  ) 

Thank you!  Hope you’ve been doing great too!

This submission has been stressing me out… I know it’s very likely NOT a 9.8 but been hoping nonetheless :wishluck:

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On 12/16/2021 at 6:22 PM, Iconic1s said:

Thank you!  Hope you’ve been doing great too!

This submission has been stressing me out… I know it’s very likely NOT a 9.8 but been hoping nonetheless :wishluck:

You are welcome.  

I would try not to let it stress you. Whatever it is... it is.. Still good to stay hopeful.  Good luck! 

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