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Everything posted by The_Man_Of_Steel

  1. Advice for the new comic book Collector Compiled and written by: A. Youngblood (a.k.a.) The_Man_Of_Steel Hello my fellow collector, my desire here is to give you the new comic book collector, the most comprehensive and helpful article that I can possibly put together. There are many different types of comic book collectors, and each have their reasons for how/what they collect. Your disposable income will dictate how/what and the accumulation of what you collect. I'm going to give my advice as if you already know what genre of comic books your primarily interested in, and you know which titles/characters interest you the most. Because comic books are considered collectables, there are people that will try and take advantage of that common knowledge, so always try to keep in mind... RULE # 1 - A comic book is only worth what somebody is willing to give. RULE # 2 - Enjoy your collectables, that translates to: read Comic books, and read them by the hordes, by the hundreds, by the thousands, read them until your eyeballs fall out. So what is the best way to get hordes, hundreds, and thousands of comic books without having to go to a local bank and get a loan? The short answer is: buy VF-NM Bronze/Modern Age RAW comic books on eBay. However, you should always keep in mind that overgrading is common among eBay sellers. Don't be discouraged though, because if you are careful, especially with how much you bid, then you can come out on top...in the long run. The way I see it money is money, business is business, and like most people, I try to save as much money as I can (STRETCH YOUR MONEY, the more you save, the more you can buy). About 95% (give or take a little) of the comics I have purchased on Ebay, I won for .60 cents an issue or less (Spider-Man & X-Men titles are generally an exception) and that is INCLUDING the shipping and handling. However, these are also all Bronze/Modern Age books, and the bulk of them guide for less than $5, but we want to read comic books right? My Ebay Comic Buyers Guide (learn from my mistakes) 1.) Be specific in how you search for the comics that you want. If you simply enter the word "Spider-Man", you will learn that it would take all day to go through all the pages. If you're looking for large runs or large lots of books, then try using words like "lot", "collection", "run", and "complete". For Example: in the search field enter "Spider-Man lot" or "Spiderman lot" or "Amazing Spider-Man lot" or "Amazing Spider-Man collection" and see what the results are. If your looking for CGC books, then use search words like "Amazing Spider-Man CGC". 2.) When you bid, don't bid like it will never show up on Ebay again. I also recommend, just putting in your maximum bid, and if you get outbid, go on to the the next auction. I have won a few incredibly good deals (as a buyer) like a high grade run of X-Men (1990 series) 1-58 for only $9.99 plus S&H! 3.) Check the sellers feedback (AVOID sellers with excessive negative feedback) If they have negative feedback, then investigate to see what the complaint was about. 4.) Check to see if the seller has sold comics in the past (by clicking on "S" items in their feedback), and be sure to browse the seller's other current auctions (this can lead to some good deals, especially with sellers that combine shipping on multiple items). If they have not sold comics in the past, then ask questions, and bid accordingly. The only exception to this rule may be CGC slabbed books. 5.) If the feedback is acceptable, and you can see that other people have been satisfied with the sellers grading, THEN I have found it a good idea to contact the seller and ask the following question, BEFORE bidding. "Are you passing the grade down, OR have you graded the comics yourself?" There are more sellers passing down the grade than you might think. 6.) Always figure in the cost of shipping into the total. When purchasing large runs/lots of comic books, the shipping can and does tend to get higher than a few books. 7.) I highly recommend paying for anything you buy on eBay via PayPal (or a similar service) with a credit card. Why? Because it speeds up the transaction, AND more importantly, it covers your butt in the unfortunate event of fraud. According to the Fair Credit Billing Act you do NOT have to pay for merchandise that you did not recieve, and have the RIGHT to dispute the charge. Also paying with a service like PayPal is motivation, because the seller does not want PayPal to close/suspend their account. 8.) Always ask the seller to package your comics in a BOX. I make the request when I send them the payment. If you ask for a box, and they fail to comply, then you have a reason to complain if the books are damaged in transit. That concludes my guide to buying comics on eBay. Is eBay the only source from which I purchase books? I sometimes purchase trade paperbacks at Amazon.com, because they sell below cover price, sometimes waaaaay below cover price and they offer good deals on shipping. Another place worth checking for trade paperbacks (TPB), is Barnes&Noble.com, I have found a few outstanding deals for less than $5! Overall, Amazon.com is the better of the two, but if you have the time, compare prices. Ok, now that we've found the good deals and have hordes, hundreds, and thousands of comic books, what's next? 0.) Learn as much as you can about comic book collecting, for a good start I recommend learning the comic book language/terminology/definitions 1.) Learn how to grade comic books - Start by reading and memorizing the OverStreet Grading Criteria If you have a great deal of interest in comic book grading, check out the most in depth guide available - OverStreet Grading Guide 2.) Preserve your collection, check out this article on Comic Book Preservation The best solution available for the purpose of preserving comic books is Mylar D sleeves. The polypropylene bags commonly used by comic shops is a very short-term/temporary solution. Polypropylene bags should be changed every 3-5 years, and if you have thousands of comic books, that can become a major chore, not to mention trying to keep track of which bags need to be changed and which ones do not, and investing more money into preservation each time you change a bag. What are the advantages of Mylar D sleeves? 1"How does Mylar, which is biaxially extruded polyester film, afford more protection? The poly-bags that most everyone sells are "blown" films, affording very low density and dimensional stability. Mylar is an extruded film that is simultaneously stretched in two directions to give it maximum strength. In fact, it resists penetration by gases, such as oxygen, 300 TIMES more than the poly-bags. As for strength and stability: it is also several hundred times stronger and more stable. Keep in mind, that we are not talking about 4 or 5 times better as compared to their price; we are talking about offering the kind of protection for 100 years which poly-bags cannot offer for even one year." In other words, IF you choose to use Mylar, there will be NO need to "change bags" in your lifetime, and the page suppleness (whiteness) of your books will be of higher quality. I recommend using 1 mil Mylar (the lowest in price) on all common non-key books, and 2 mil + Mylar on higher dollar key-issues. There are two main suppliers of Mylar that I'm aware of are BCE Mylar and E. Gerber. I have purchased from both, and the same supplies at Gerber are considerably less. I recommend purchasing supplies in quantity. IF you order Mylites (1 mil Mylar), then order them by the 1,000. Click on the follwing link to check out the prices of E. Gerber Archival Storage Supplies. 3.) Purchase a Comic Book Price Guide - the most widely accepted guide is the OverStreet Price Guide I cannot recommend purchasing this book enough. The OverStreet price guide is more than a price guide. Check out the following link, where you can see the table of contents of a previous edition. Inside you will find top 10 lists, and articles on Grading, How to grade, Grading definitions, restored comics, scarcity of comics, perservation and storage, buying and selling, where to buy and sell, conventions, a website directory, First Appearances, The Overstreet Comic Book Hall of Fame, and much more! 4.) If you have (or plan to) accumulated a few thousand comic books, then Comic Book collection management software will come in handy. - There is only 1 off-line program available that has a built in database of comic books. This same program has a built in price guide, grading system, and both are customizable. This same program allows you to import and export from other sources, and integrates with selling services such as eBay and Yahoo. If you want to know about comic books then I highly recommend purchasing ComicBase because it not only helps you keep track of your collection, but it's a comic book encyclopedia. The following is an introduction from the ComicBase 6 (the version I own) manual that gives a brief summary about ComicBase. 2"Thanks for purchasing ComicBase, the finest software available for people who love comic books. ComicBase comprises an encyclopedia of comic books, a database for organizing and managing your collection, and a price guide with comic book values for the past four years. It includes reviews, as well as detailed notes on over 13,000 titles, combined with full-color illustrations of cover art. ComicBase tells you what each title is about, how it relates to other titles, and helps you find special issues by first appearances, origin stories, or by the writer or artist who wrote for it.ComicBase is also a professional tool for organizing and managing your collection. It keeps track of which comics you have, charts your collection’s value over time, and prints a wide variety of reports to let you manage your collection like a pro. These include detailed price lists, collection statistics, checklists, and much more. You can also use ComicBase to create price labels or automatically post your books to an online auction site. ComicBase is updated regularly. We’ve combined our research with that of Comics Buyer’s Guide to cover more titles, both mainstream and independent, than any other guide. We’ve also expanded our pricing research, including sales at retail stores, conventions and online auction sites. The result is the most realistic, hard-hitting price guide available. ComicBase 6 is also available in a Deluxe Edition which includes a special bonus disk, containing thousands of additional cover art scans, interviews with comic book creators, and movie previews." If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then download the ComicBase 7 User Guide The manual contains much more detailed information and provides color photos of the program in action. If you have a high speed connection, you might want to download the demo available at the Human-Computing (publisher of ComicBase) website. Comic Book Reference Books: 1.) E. Gerber Photo Journal Guide to Marvel Comics Vol. 3 & 4 (Vol. 1-2 cover pre-Marvel Golden Age) Ernst Gerber's fantastic Photo-journals which feature an introduction by Stan Lee are an amazing reference source for serious collector's, especially collector's that have interest in cover art, and would like a visual reference. These can come in handy when you don't have a list and your thumbing through backissues looking for a specific book, and recognize the cover of the book your looking for. These Photo-journals are the best visual reference available for Marvel comic books. These two volumes (3 & 4) feature full color photos of over 17,000 Marvel Comics from June, 1961 through 1990, from Amazing Fantasy #15 to X-Men Giant Size #1. Also, the Photo-journal Guides offer a complete cataloging system for Marvel Comics from 1961 to 1990 with a relative value index for 15,000 Marvel Comics, and a detailed artist compilation. The E. Gerber Photo Journal Guide to Marvel Comics Vol. 3 & 4 are THE resource on Marvel comic books, and if you can spare the cash, I highly recommend em'. 2.) The Standard Catalog of Comic Books 3"The publisher of the weekly Comics Buyers Guide, Krause releases an annual CBG Checklist and Price Guide as a competitor to the long-running standard, The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. Now, Krause has combined the annual guide with information in the CD-ROM "ComicBase" (from Human Computing) and much new research to compile this massive volume. With over 145,000 entries, it attempts to list all English-language comics sold in America, all English-language graphic novels and comic-book reprint collections published in North America, many giveaway comics, and magazines such as MAD and Heavy Metal that feature extensive comics content. For each listing, it gives the title, publisher, original cover price (in all but a few cases), and value in near-mint condition, with a multiplier given to determine prices in higher and lower grades. In most cases it also provides a cover date, and for some comics it gives story titles, writer and artist names, character appearances, and circulation information collected from publishers and distributors. There are also over 2200 short reviews of selected series, each illustrated with a sample picture. The catalog also supplies data on comics that have been graded by Comics Guaranty LLC, a third-party service that has been evaluating comics since 2000, and also gives a general multiplier showing how much this grading increases the average sale price. Spot-checking reveals some missing books (such as the "Elfquest Readers Collection" series) and some minor errors (the first Blackhawk series is attributed to DC when it was initially published by Quality), but some mistakes are inevitable in an undertaking of this scope. A comparison with the latest edition of The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (2002. 32d ed.) shows that both contain much exclusive information. Overstreet does not include reviews or circulation data, but it has an exclusive section on pre-1933 comics-related publications. Also, it generally provides better cross references from one series to another and contains much exclusive descriptive information, including notes on character appearances and the scarcity of certain comics. But the Standard CatalogR includes many black-and-white comics, including manga, that are not included in Overstreet. The prices listed in Overstreet are generally the higher of the two: as an extreme example, if anyone finds copies of Limited Collector's Edition #C-20 (the first Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer treasury edition) for sale at the $3 price quoted by Krause, this reviewer will take 30-Overstreet lists it at $310. Highly recommended for all libraries as a supplement to, but not a replacement for, the Overstreet guide." Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. Comic Book History: DC Comics Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes by Les Daniels Marvel Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics by Les Daniels Quoted Resources List 1 - Quote from a preservation article at www.egerber.com 2 - Quote from the ComicBase 6 manual 3 - Quote from a review that can be found at Amazon.com P.S. - If anybody has suggestions or would like for me to add something then send me a PM. This is a first draft, I plan on updating.
  2. Hello Lucy, and welcome to the forums I must agree with Blowout that is a sweet and unique avatar. My eyes are pleased! How old are you? Are you single? I hope that we can have some great discussions, and that you will base how you feel about me on what you read on these public forums, but I'm sure that others will try and influence your decision, maybe even through private messages. If you want to know a wealth of information about grading check out posts by Arnold (sorry if I spelled your name wrong) and James (a.k.a. Fantastic_Four).
  3. quote] Any suggestions on where to purchase Mylars over the Internet? In a sentence, I recommend purchasing Mylar sleeves from E. Gerber. From what I have read sending a comic book to CGC in a Mylar would actually be a waste of money. Why? Because for the sole purpose of sending books to CGC, cheap poly bags would get the job done, and if I am not mistaken, CGC would NOT send your Mylar sleeve back to you. I would be more concerned about how the books are packaged: bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and a good sturdy BOX. To answer the second part of your statement above, in accordance with current comic book storage solutions, Mylar D is the wise choice for long term storage (your comics should be around longer than you!). Ok, here is a little history of my experiece with BCE and E. Gerber. I have purchased ALL of my Mylar sleeves, acid-free backerboards, acid-free boxes, from two places. As you probably already know both E. Gerber and BCE Mylar have been around for some time and advertise in the OverSreet Price Guide. BCE Mylar is the first place I ordered from, and I ordered 1,000 Arklites, and 1,000 thin-extenders (because I don't have an endless supply of money). I received the order quickly and hassle free. After doing some searching I found their prices were considerably higher than another place that I found through Diamond Comics Through Diamond Comic Distributers I found E. Gerber, and to date I have ordered from them no less than 3 times, and each time I have received the order quickly and hassle free. When I order, I order no less than 500, but I prefer to order by the 1,000, because if you do your math, it is considerably cheaper in the long run. In one order, a purchased 2,000 halfbacks. In another order I purchased 1,000 1 mil Mylites, and 5 acid-free boxes. For the price/protection it is difficult to beat the 1 mil Mylite. Compare the price of 1,000 1mil Mylites with 1,000 2mil Mylites 2. All I'm going to say is that if your like me and have 1,000's of books, it all adds up. The only drawback with E. Gerber is that orders can NOT be done online. I order via phone using a credit card. Having purchased comic supplies from both BCE and E. Gerber, it appears to me that E. Gerber sells higher quality comic supplies (for less), and that along with a better price is why I recommend E. Gerber over BCE Mylar. One last note: I kind of like a "loose" fit, so I use Silver/Golden age size for my Modern age comic books. When I purchase several hundred back issues, and need to get an idea of the state of preservation quickly (eBay feedback), I'll take them out of the cheap poly bags (throw em away) and PUT 10 MODERN AGE books in 1 SILVER/GOLDEN age Mylite! However, I do this only temporarily until I can get around to grading, cataloging, and placing them each in a Mylite w/halfback. Ocassionally if I have more than 1 of a book, and the title/character is off lesser importance to me, I'll place two comic books in one Mylite w/halfback between them. Well, that is about all I can think of for now, hopefully I have not overlaped what has already been said too much.