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n2wdw's comic book room
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890 posts in this topic

Will I look? Yes I will!


My 2 Value submissions shifted over to Graded a couple of days ago, about 4 weeks after submitting in Baltimore. So hopefully it'll advance to Shipped next week. Will I look before I get the books? Absolutely! I don't have the will power as others on these boards to wait until the books arrive.


In the meantime, here are a couple of books I picked up lately, Suzie #51 off eBay, #56 off these boards. I got #56 from the boardie first. He also had #51 for sale raw, but it sold before I saw his post. BUT, I'd seen #51 on eBay and had been watching it for a while. The seller had it BIN for more than I wanted to pay, but allowed offers too. Having won #56, I decided to make an offer on #51 that was about the same what I paid for #56. Why not? I was surprised when the seller accepted my offer! Just proves you never know. It doesn't hurt to make a low offer, the worst that happens is the seller says no.








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Still Waiting for my 2 Value Invoices


So I'm at exactly 1 month since submitting my 2 latest Value invoices. They've sat at Graded for just under a week. Within the next week or two they'll move to Shipped (hopefully) and I'll be able to see the grades. In the meantime it's interesting and nerve wracking to watch CGC fill in the Key Comments. They go back and forth, from what's clearly preliminary to what looks near final, and then back to preliminary. Huh? The most I'm worried about is Our Army at War 78, which is the first Nurses issue. Will the CGC label include that key notation? The things comic collectors stress about.


In the meantime, here are a few books I've picked up lately. Here's one I got for my Dave Stevens set (80 points!). It came up on eBay for BIN $50!!! I put the !!! because that's way underpriced for a Bettie Page / Dave Stevens cover / CGC 9.8. The seller also allowed Best Offer. Being the cheapskate I am, I thought about offering $40. But then I thought, am I crazy? I hit BIN and counted myself very lucky.






I love Jeff Smith's Bone. In a way, Rasl is just as good. Number 3 is one of my favorite covers of the serious. I saw this SS on sale months ago. But it was only 9.4, and while the price was fair, the $10+ shipping cost pushed it passed what I was willing to pay. I watched it for months, hoping the seller would reduce the price. But to be fair I knew the seller didn't have much room -- this was an under $30 book. Finally, I decided to send the seller an email. I asked if he could use a less expensive shipping method (I didn't need insurance or tracking, again it was an under $30 book). Well, that's all it took, we were able to quickly agree on a price, so now this book is finally part of my collection (where it should be!).






Finally, there's this, an SS book with an Alfred Tujillo cover (also signed by his co-creator and lovely wife, Cara Nicole aka AZ Powergirl). I'm interested in Alfred as I'm in his sketch op. The sketch op has taken a while but hopefully with the heroic efforts of kaholo1256 (who stepped in for the original facilitator) we'll have our books soon. I'm interested to read this book, the tease on the back cover has me intrigued. I'll be placing an order soon at their website http://183degree.storenvy.com/collections/183593-books-and-magazines




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Matt Baker Weekend


This weeked was great for inexpensive Matt Baker pickups. I've decided it's impossible to try to put together a collection of high grade Baker covers. The supply isn't there, and when high grades do appear on the market they fetch high prices. The few high grade raws on eBay right now -- and these are maybe 7.0s, not 8.0s or 9.0s -- are all over $500. My criteria for buying is whether the cover presents well, irrespective of the other flaws in the book.


I haven't decided if I'm going to CGC these comics. Given the price even for low grade copies, it's doubtful I'll ever get reading copies. Most of these comics are fun to read so that argues against grading. I guess I'll decide once I start putting together my next Value submission.










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Will I look? Yes I will!


My 2 Value submissions shifted over to Graded a couple of days ago, about 4 weeks after submitting in Baltimore. So hopefully it'll advance to Shipped next week. Will I look before I get the books? Absolutely! I don't have the will power as others on these boards to wait until the books arrive.



My 2 fast track Value invoices advanced to Shipped/Safe today. So about 5 weeks for Value FT, I think that's pretty good turnaround.


As for the grades ... well, as with every one of my submissions to date, I had mixed results. For the most part what I got was in the range of what I thought I'd get.


The biggest issue I'm grappling with is, what should the criteria be for books I chose to grade? As I was looking at the grades today for these 2 Value invoices, I was scratching my head on a few of the books -- why did I decide to grade these books? Maybe I need to put together a point system like I've seen others on the board doing.


Anyway, I'll post pics once I get the books from CGC. Thanks for reading.

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Latest CGC Grades -- DC War


For the last few years, the Overstreet Price guide has included the "War Report" by a group of uber collections self named the War Correspondents. There's a lot of great things in this article, including their list of the top 50 Silver and Bronze war comics. Here's their list from 2014:






Right now my DC Big Five collection is in 2 long boxes. At cons I pick up copies when I can from the dollar boxes. Not high grade but alot of fun to read!


I also have a few keys, and my latest CGC Value submission included 2 from the top 50. The first one is #3, GI Combat 87, the 1st appearance of the Haunted Tank. This one has been on my want list for a while. I managed to pick up an affordable copy earlier this year from a boardie. Only CGC 3.0 (no surprise there), but I think it presents better than 3.0.






The second book is #15 on the War Correspondents' list, Star Spangled War #84, the first Mademoiselle Marie. I bought this for my collection years ago at the SDCC (back when they actually sold comics). At the time it was to check it off my want list. For the past few years I've tried to upgrade. They don't often come up for sale in any grade. So I decided to go ahead and grade this copy. My thinking is when I finally have a chance to upgrade, having this copy graded will make it easier to sell.






I also graded another DC war comic, Star Spangled #85, another Mlle. Marie cover. There are only about 5 or 6 MM covers in Star Spangled. They're tough to get in high grade. All DC war is that way, you have to remember these comics were well read. Dale Roberts had a nice comic at this year's SDCC (okay, I guess they do still sell some comics there). He wouldn't come off his price and I don't blame him, you don't see them often. I was really happy with the 6.5 grade.









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Latest CGC Grades -- Marvel Keys


I also submitted a couple of Marvel keys on my most recent Value invoice. The first was Iron Man 55, the first appearance of Thanos and Drax the Destroyer. This copy was from my collection. I have a complete run of IM and bought this copy years ago for $2. I only decided to grade it because of the crazy money being paid for this comic. I have no current plans to sell it but I'd be willing to trade it if the right deal comes along (I'd then fill in the hole in my Iron Man run with a low grade reading copy).


Recently I've been mining my collection for similar keys that I can grade and then use in trade. For example, I have most of the X-Men keys from the 80s and 90s, just because I was buying them off the stands during that time. Unfortunately, they're not in the best condition, I'd be shocked if they made it to 9.0 (other than a couple of exceptions). I've always been more focused on filling holes and completing runs than getting the best copies. To this day I'd rather walk out of a con with an armful of mid-grade comics than a single high grade trophy.






The second comic is Journey into Mystery 102. This is my favorite kind of key, with first appearances of important complimentary characters. This comic has the first appearance of Balder and Sif, two of my favorite characters from among the Thor ensemble.





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Latest CGC Grades - Matt Baker


On my latest submission I submitted two golden age comics with Matt Baker covers. Baker and Dave Stevens are my favorite good girl artists, although I have some other favorites like Renee, Cole, and Lubbers (from the GA) and Benitez, Franchesco and Broomall (modern). I think you see a lot of Baker, Renee and Cole in Stevens, just like you see a lot of those artists in maybe the most popular good girl artist today, J. Scott Campbell.


I keep my Baker and Stevens collection in binders, with the comics in 3-ring mylar sleeves bought from Bill Cole. For support I also include an acid free board in the sleeves. As far as I can tell, only Bill Cole sells these binder sleeves. Otherwise I buy most of my other mylar direct from E. Gerber. By the way, I love the Hot Flips guys, and when at cons I throw a lot of business their way … like, a lot – someday I’ll wise up and bring mylar with me to save money (but probably not, I’m not that forward thinking). But for the money, E. Gerber is the least expensive I’ve found for mylar. Having said that, it frustrates me that E. Gerber does not allow you to order over the Internet – you have to call them.


Anyway, back to the binders. I like them because they are a great way to display comics, take little space, and provide easy access if you want to read them. I know others here shun putting comics in binder sleeves because of the potential damage to comics. And listen, if I had a high grade comic I wouldn’t use them either. But otherwise, all is good. To avoid damage, you have to be – as Han Solo would say – real careful like.


So right now I’m going through this thing, about whether or not I should CGC my Bakers. In a moment of CGC and financial weakness, I graded these 2 comics, but I’m leaning towards putting others in the binder instead of grading, so they’ll still be available to read. The only exception would be higher grade comics (like 6.0 or above), which neither of these are. At the same time, being graded greatly increases their re-sale or trade value … so yes, I go back and forth on this.









And also, here's a Bill Ward cover I got graded in this submission:




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Latest CGC Grades - Good Girl Art


So I graded a few GA GGA comics with my latest Value submission. This first one is a classic Betty & Veronica cover, and an upgrade over what I already had in my collection (a CGC 3.0). I got it from a boardie. I knew this copy was better than what I already had, but still I was pleasantly surprised to get 6.0.






I've had Brenda Starr on my want list for a while. They are expensive at cons. This is the first one I've managed to get, I won it on eBay. I got it for a good price, it was one of those auctions on eBay where (I think) I was one of the few shopping at the time.






Finally, here's a classic cover by LB Cole. There's actually a 2nd print out there, and I wasn't sure if this was the 1st or 2nd print. I was relieved not to see a 2nd print notation from CGC!




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Latest CGC Grades Part 2 - Baltimore Comicon


In Baltimore last month I submitted 2 Value invoices. I wrote about the 1st invoice in postings above. Now I'll write about some of the books from the 2nd invoice.


This is another DC war book, Our Army At War 168, the 1st Unknown Soldier. This is #44 on the War Correspondents top 50 list.






The next one up is Space Ghost #1. I have alot of fond memories watching Space Ghost on Saturday mornings. What's cool is 25 years later, my kids watched Space Ghost on DVD and really liked it. I'm showing the back cover of this book too because the full pager of Space Ghost is so cool.






I've always liked this book, Crime Reporter #1. I've watched a few copies on eBay, always too expensive for me. I finally found a nice looking copy for a price I was willing to pay in Baltimore. What a great con for buying comics! When I compare my experiences this year at San Diego versus Baltimore ... well there's no comparison. I hope I'll be able to go back to Baltimore next year. It's kind of bad timing for me as it's always right after the kids go back to school, but hopefully I'll at least be able to go for a day or two.








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Latest CGC Grades Part 2 - a few keys



More books from my most recent CGC Value submission ...


I did not expect to get a key like this at Baltimore, Journey into Mystery 85, the first appearances of Loki and Odin. JIM is a treasure trove of first appearances and I've tried (unsuccessfully) to pick up a JIM 85 on eBay for a couple years.


The dealer (who it turns out lives just a couple miles from me) estimated the grade at 3.0, and it came back at exactly that. Whew! At 3.0 I got it for a pretty good price. I was afraid it would come in lower, because of the fragile spine and some chipping (under 2.5 would have been a financial disaster). I was sweating bullets on this one, I'm really happy it came in at 3.0. What made me buy it though was the clean cover (other than the edges). It's one of those books you wouldn't project at better than 3.0 because of it's flaws, but it's still a nice looking book.






The next book is DD #1. This is my reader copy, I upgraded to a restored 5.0 last year at Chicago (the book has in my opinion the least offensive kind of restoration, some color touch). I decided to grade the book solely for the money. I have no plans to sell it, but I have it in my back pocket if I need it for a trade. I was really happy with CGC 2.0 given the chunk out of the upper right corner.







I got this book, Hawkman #1, at the San Diego comic con. I knew it had a coupon cut out (the cut out takes a piece out of the last panel but you can still see all the dialogue) but decided to submit it just to see what it would get. Not bad for $25!






The last book is Adventure 283. I love this kind of key, the first Phantom Zone. A minor key I guess, but critical to the story of the DC universe. How cool is that!




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October ComicLink Win


I'm in the middle of posting about my latest CGC invoice, but here's an interlude to talk about this month's ComicLink auction. I'm really excited because I picked up a major book for my Original Marvel collection. As I've mentioned before, my Original Marvels collection is my goal to get complete runs of ASM, Avengers, Cap, DD, FF, Hulk and Iron Man. These were my favorite titles growing up. I like other Silver Marvel titles (like Thor and X-Men) and I collect them (I'm really close to getting a full run of the Thor issues, not counting Journey Into Mystery), but I don't consider those titles as part of my Original Marvels collection.


So in this month's October CLink auction I won FF #2. It's a restored 4.0. I know many people abhor restored comics, but I don't mind especially if it's a defect that bothers me less. Trimming and water damage, dirty comics, that REALLY bothers me. But a little color touch on the cover? That doesn't bother me. Something else that doesn't bother me is subscription creases. It's a personal thing, but those defects don't bother me.


So in my mind, this FF #2 CGC 4.0 R (slight color touch) is just a shade less in desirability than a universal 4.0 (okay, maybe a couple shades). It's a nice looking book, and I got it for about half GPA. For expensive books like this, I'll take that.


I just need 15 more books to complete my Original Marvels collection. But they are the most expensive, including ASM 2-4 and FF 1, 3 and 5. But yes, I'm open to restored comics that present well, have defects I can live with, and are substantial discounts over universal GPA (especially since for early Silver I think GPA is low, in light of eBay prices).





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October ComicLink -- Another Win


Bidding this month on CLink didn't seem as intense as last month. I haven't done any kind of detailed analysis, that's just my feeling from watching the auctions. Still, of my couple dozen tracking bids, I was out of the running on all of them pretty fast. I got the FF #2. I also won this one, Startling Terror Tales #10. I've always liked this LB Cole cover. Also, the message on the large gravestone, and then the smaller that says "The Story Starts." Creeeepy!


Only 3.5, but a very solid, nice looking book (IMHO).


I almost didn't up my tracking bid last night, not thinking I had a chance. I had to go to dinner so I wouldn't be around when the auction closed -- so I wouldn't be able to snipe at the end. Some people have a moral adverse reaction to sniping. My position is, you snooze you lose. Anyway, since I wasn't willing to pay alot, and since I couldn't snipe, I didn't think I had a chance of winning.


Then I thought, what the heck. I put in the next highest bid (which was the most I was willing to pay), and then went to dinner. I didn't think I had a chance to win, as the other bidders only had to top my bid by $10 (the next increment). But to my pleasant surprise, I won it. Just proves you don't have to snipe to win auctions. I guess for me, sniping gives me the feeling I have some control over the outcome of auctions, which of course is completely not true since it all depends on what others are willing to pay.




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October ComicLink -- Mixed Feelings About Win


So here's something I won last night, ASM #4. This is a major key of course. In addition to being the 4th issue of Spider-man's 1st title, it's the first appearance of both Sandman and Betty Brant.


This copy has minor restoration. I don't mind restoration and I've come to the realization I'll probably have to go with either beat up copies or restored copies for the last issues I need for my Original Marvels collection, unless I want to spend a fortune (which I don't). Given that choice, usually I'll go with the restored copies.


This particular ASM #4 is not the best looking copy. Just proves all CGC 3.0s aren't the same. For example, the 3.0s of GI Combat 87 and Star Spangled War #84 that I show here at this link, or the 3.5 Startling Terror Tales #10 above, are better looking than this Spider-man. http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=7287580&fpart=27


I bought the ASM #4 just to check it off my list, and it was cheap. I won it for only $173, which is a pretty amazing price for the first Sandman / Betty (I'm pretty confident I could flip it for more). But I only reluctantly hit the bid button; it was one of those books I could go either way on (whether I won or lost the auction). I'm glad to have it, it fills that hole, now I only need 14 issues to complete my Original Marvels collection. But it has alot of rough edges, and that's one of those flaws that bugs me. Anyway, here it is:




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October ComicLink -- Suzie!


Here are my last wins from this month's ComicLink auction, 2 Suzie comics. Earlier I wrote about picking up Suzie 51 and 56. http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=7287580&fpart=27


Then this month a few Suzies were offered on CLink. I won these 2 (#53 and 59) for under $100, which to me is an amazing pickup for comics that came out during WW2. I've fleetingly considered trying to get graded copies of the entire title.


Suzie (issues 49-100) is in the registry with 2 sets. comixcroz is the leader by a wide margin, and his set is cool to browse with images and descriptions of his comics. http://comics.www.collectors-society.com/registry/comics/PeopleSetDetail.aspx?PeopleSetID=88767


I'll probably go ahead and start a set, but I'll never compete for the top spot. comixcroz has that locked up, and I'm not in the market for higher grade copies. But it's a fun title to collect, especially the Al Fagaly covers, #49 - #69.







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Latest CGC Grades Part 2 - Golden Age Good Girl Art


Continuing with the 2nd Value invoice I submitted at the Baltimore comicon ...


Fighting Yank 21 has the classic Schomburg cover. I got it for a really good price in Baltimore. I was actually shocked when I saw the sticker price (at how low it was), and then the dealer took off more when I put together a small pile of books. I was very happy to get 3.0 on this one.







The next comic is Wartime Romances #1 with a great Matt Baker cover. Again, I got it for an incredible price -- Baltimore has turned into one of my favorite cons! I struggled over whether to grade it, because the St. John stories are almost always interesting. If I had to do it over again I might just have put the comic into my 3 ring Matt Baker binder (where I keep comics in 3 ring mylar sleeves).







I got this Planet Comics #66 from Greg Reese. Planet Comics is one of my favorite Fiction House titles, and #66 is one of my favorite covers. Baltimore was just an amazing con, I picked up so many grails!




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Latest CGC Grades Part 2 - The 100, Archies and Greg Reese


Hibou and Brandon Shepherd - Thanks!


And Brandon -- Great to see your start of a continuous journal, I look forward to reading it. I started out with individual journal entries like you and others, but eventually I decided to create this continuous journal. For me it's like a history of my collecting life, and I like having it all in one place. But that's just me, I enjoy reading all the journals here (and in fact I mostly keep to the journal area, I rarely venture into the jungle of the General area).


I just got back from a vacation. My wife can sit around a pool / beach forever and enjoy the relaxing and books on her kindle. I get bored. So I've learned to load up my iPad mini with TV shows. On our trips the last 2 years, I watched big chunks of the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. This year -- last week -- I watched the 1st season and the beginning of the 2nd of The 100. This is a great show! It's on iTunes and on Wednesday on the CW.


Okay, back to comics. At Baltimore I picked up a few Golden Age Archies. I graded the ones shown below. I guess these qualify as GGA, but given their innocence (they're Archies after all) they are definitely their own category of good girl art.


I also bought these comics from Greg Reese. Greg is one of those national dealers I really enjoy working with. Great stock, fair prices, friendly, mature, no drama.


In contrast to Greg, there are some dealers out there -- not alot, but a few -- who come across as you're "privileged" to be shopping in their area. At a recent con, I picked out 2 comics and asked the price. He said $100. That was more than I was willing to pay, so I asked the price on the comic I was more interested in. He said "95."


Okay, fine. They're his comics, he can price them however he wants. What bothered me is he smiled at his buddies and they laughed. What is this, high school?


What did I do? I smiled politely. Carefully put the comics back where I found them. Kept my wallet in my pocket and left his booth.


I saw him again in Baltimore. This time -- as I usually do -- I passed right by.







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Thanks for the encouragement, I like hanging in this "comic room" with everybody.


You got me thinking about Fiction House titles, I'll be breaking out the Gerber Photo Journals soon and looking at some great cover art.


I'm glad to hear that Greg Reese is a good dealer to work with, he has a book on his site that I've had me eye on and I'm tempted to reach out and submit an offer. I saw him at Wizard World Chicago in 2011, I didn't get to talk to him much as he was conducting business when I was at his table but he had a polite and friendly demeanor.

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