Lost in collecting- Om's Journal by oldmilwaukee6er
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403 posts in this topic

Long story short he came back around and purchased the paper pile for $300. My brother laughed and said “and we haven’t even stopped MFing you yet” and the guy was East Coast (and now NC) and laughed and took the whole lot. Good guy and probably THE ONLY GUY in the room that would have bought that stuff (feel bad for his wife).


MANY dealers were out starting at 930AM on SUN with dollies and carts on the floor by noon. We were packed up and out at 5pm (show close).


Interesting enough. There was a power outage at 300-315pm. It knocked half of the floor out completely (only very small back up) and half on stronger backup. No major panics, no major deals lost (that I heard). The cause was a little popcorn pop-up storm that was pretty intense for 10minutes.

Breakdown & roll out, sweating muggy balls at 430-500PM

Home by 630pm


Budget breakdown

+$57 in tips I made bar-backing THURS night

+$60 picking budget (with up to additional $40 on card for parking (spent $26), tolls (est. $10), gas as needed- strict $100, but NEVER count ALL the overhead dammit)

+bonus $15 from the lady (I wuz like aww baby baby, please)

+bonus wallet $20

-$2 in tolls (most of them I just blew and will pay online)

-$x in “go juice” (gasoline)… I did not have to fill up. Thanks, Scion.

+$200 for common cards

-$15 for SAT night beers

+$70 for scrapbooks

+$50 for autograph book

+$150 for NY Times sports sheets

+$15 (my only sale)- used Bruins hockey jersey / sweater


-$40 juice to the lady (jersey money (hers) and some juice to cover tolls, etc.

=$580 in my pocket. I just effectively doubled my budget for WW Chicago (OR moved closer to my ASM1 goal)… if I can only stay disciplined. :eek:


And that’s why you always gotta have a side hustle!


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Most collectors collect out of a feeling of nostalgia, either for family, home, childhood, or adolescence (toys, games, etc.). They accumulate during their earning years, value reaches its peak when the first generation is 45-60, and then they begin to stop. This is because few individuals are able to sustain their income into retirement (IMHO this will be more true for future generations). Once a collector learns to live without, the passionate need to possess diminishes. Thus, when we get priced out of a particular collectible, we may switch to smaller quarry.


One day while picking the local Burnham bowl show, I bought a Spay-C Go Bots model that transformed still in the box for $5 and put it together. Poorly too, just like I did when I was 9 (broke one small piece, altered two decals). I used to have Go Bots when I was a kid, not really Transformers. It wasn’t a mess but it was imperfect. I displayed it for while at my desk at work. I thought about collecting the other models in the box, scooping them all up and sitting on them for a while (there are three, then a larger one, and like one variant chase model). And then I found a Transformers Construct Bot (Ironhide) for $7 at the Brady Street Walgreens. So cool! Ages 8 and up (so I couldn’t frog it up), no painting no decals and they transform without disassembly and their parts are all interchangeable, so you can customize your bots or replace bits.


I put together the following want list, 16 for the set, and decided that I would focus on ONLY the original run and not the Age of Extinction/Dino or Beast Hunters



Wave 1 (2013)

E1:01 Ironhide

E1:02 Starscream

Wave 2

E1:03 Thundercracker

E1:04 Bumblebee

Wave 3

E1:05 Silverbolt

E1:06 Cliffjumper

E1:07 Dead End

E1:08 Breakdown



Wave 1

E1:01 Wheeljack

E1:02 Soundwave

Wave 2

E1:03 Autobot Hound

E1:04 Optimus Prime

E1:05 Megatron

Wave 3

E1:06 Smokescreen

E1:07 Decepticon Dragstrip

E1:08 Shockwave



Wave 1

E1:01 Bumblebee

E1:02 Blitzwing


Yesterday I added the final Wave 3 Elites that I have been missing (below). Actually the lady bought them for me as a thank you off of Amazon for $33 ($11ea). Super nice gesture as these did not hit Walmart or Target like the others, at least online or my store!




I display them on a small curio cabinet just off the kitchen (the boxes fit in the bottom). I bought the first few Wave 1-2 Scouts from my two local Walgreens for $7ea c, then made one online purchase each with Walmart & Target… based on my list the Scouts were $7-8ea, the Elites $11-13ea, and the triplechangers $14-15ea




Finally, I did cave and buy the Target EXCLUSIVE Predaking, part of the Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising imprint, it was sold at the triplechanger + price point (~$24). I passed when it was on the website, because I was trying to stretch my collecting dollar. However, I found this at a local Mighty Con and had to pop- $15 unopened, but the box had some wear and lots of discounted price stickers and sharpie marker lines through price stickers.



The Decepticons are the coolest. They dominate PWN the air with those sweet planes.


My Smokescreen arrived bagged! I know I am going to open it up and assemble it, but the collector in me is like ‘damn why is this one bagged and ALL the other ones not?’


FINALLY, I would probably add the following to my collection in the future:


Wave 1

E1:01 Optimus Prime vs. Megatron (this was pretty much sold out when I first started and I already have these two separately as Elites. The Ultimate pack would have extra weapons and spare parts).


These items were on my want list but I now read they have been canceled, with no current plans for release.

Scout Arsenal Pack

E1:02 Starscream

E1:04 Bumblebee


Elite Arsenal Pack

E1:01 Wheeljack

E1:02 Soundwave

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Very nice!When I saw the title,I thought i was going to see the mean green machines from when I was a kid!!


Wow... I fell down the rabbit hole

$110 mean green machine


$75k mean green machine



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The Wednesday One


This week’s pull really is one book. We Stand on Guard #2 from Image.



I actually went early to the store because I did not want risk it being under-ordered and my tiny little east side store only having 2 copies. Arrived at 1240PM and there were 4 copies left. I scooped up one and paid in cash.


Through two issues, I like the series. I bought it because my LCS pretty much insisted, and he is a big Brian Vaughn fan. I read Saga 1-12 electronically and liked the book but thought it a little (airquotes) overly sexualized and indulgent. I know I know, this from a fan of underground comix, Crumb, and S Clay Wilson kinda guy. I like the big feel of the book and the nice price point of $3. The book also has Steve Skroce on art. I remember him on X-Man during my second phase of collecting, but he also works with the Wachowskis on their movies (e.g. storyboards for the Matrix and more).


Set 100 years into the future, We Stand on Guard sets out to be a ‘military thriller’ where Canadian civilians are resisting an invasion by U.S. manned and unmanned giant mech robots. The central conflict appears to be in response to a White House bombing (references to the British torching 300yrs ago; War of 1812), but “water” and “land” are hinted as important as well. MORE INFO: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/04/21/we-stand-on-guard-comic-book-first-look/26111205/


As a Yank, I feel BKV is again indulgent in a steady stream of anti-Americanism. Sorry, not sorry. Because he can- the same way he reminds us 47 times that Alana always LOVES (lurvs) to do down on Marko (Saga). For example in issue 1, a revisionist history that pegs Superman as Canadian and Krypton as Canada and we poor American savages as Metropolis run by greedy corporations ala Lex Luther (though I CANNOT say I did not enjoy this and I WOULD like to see more comic-as-symbol references).


All that said, I will kiss the ring for another month- nice colors, rock solid art, more BKV than you can shake your Wreathian at, and cheaper than the village insulter at the Renaissance Faire (ok, I’ll stop). Thanks for reading! 500 posts in 11 years Haha lol



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Daydreaming about Wizard World Chicago


After new comics Wednesday, I turned my eye toward my regular work and my new part time Thursday night gig bar-backing. THUR worked late on a slow night and made about $50 in tips. That brings my total to $100 over three shifts (more on that). FRI was groceries and then I went to a little upstart brewery that an acquaintance started and hung out (‘crashed a beer’ then did ‘detail work’ AKA cleaning). Being a brewer is mostly about being a good janitor. FRI night was chill. SAT was the Steampunk invasion of the Bristol Renaissance Faire and I used my sport-card hustle money to take the lady out for the day. Bought the tix at Walgreens for $20 each and then brought another $45 to spoil her a little. We dressed ‘steampunk light,’ which is really all I do (I cosplay a basic dirtball mechanic), and the weather was perfect for it high 70s and overcast. I am not a big cosplayer or steampunker (more my wife’s thing), love dressing up on Halloween tho, but not some rando WED. However, I feel comfortable the two times I cosplayed at Renn Faire. It was nice… stunning ladies everywhere- took in the joust, the mud show (comedy show), music, and there must have been 200+ people cosplaying steampunk. Crazy busy tho. Was able to drink a beer early but then the lines were horrible, and then the lines for the bathrooms was horrible, and food too. So we just zigged when everyone zagged, and had a beer earlier, and then ate light veggie fare through the day until around 4pm when the lines died down. Glad to be back among my ‘mics last night and was out like a light in the chair at 8pm (haha).


So since I have not been journaling, I have been thinking a little about WHY I feel lost in collecting and DAYDREAMING about my glorious FRI at Wizard World Chicago (WWCHI).


Between the extra $100 I made at the corner spot and the extra $500 I netted from the sport card hustle, I have doubled my WWCHI budget. I believe that this is my 5th WWCHI in a row, having hit it almost every year since relocating to the Midwest- and we always do it the same way- FRI only, smash and grab (not hotel, low overhead). Each year we save a little money each month for WWCHI. Being blessed with a wife who (somewhat) collects comics, but enjoys all manner of popular culture, comics culture, SCI FI, PlayStation gaming & more. In fact she is the gamer by far. I like to collect and hunt for vintage systems, but she is by far the techie and gamer. ANYways, it is a blessing. But is also means budgeting equitably. So our planned budget is $500/ea, plus $250 for go-juice, parking & a celebratory steak at Gibson’s (7:30pm reservation this year). If we personally save more (e.g. from additional discretionary work) obviously the budget can go up (e.g. 2013 was a year I was flush and added two Silver Age keys).


AND, I have been saving throughout 2015 for my primary goal- the ASM 1. In fact, to date I have squirreled:

+$700 partial recovered deductible (I was hit by uninsured driver the deductible was recovered!)

+$240 in comic sales

+$110 bonus gift from lady

+$1000 in pay-myself bonuses for extra classes taught

+$500 WWCHI monies

+$600 side-hustle monies

-$450 for new bike (yeah, I splurged on a flat-bar road bike from Nashbar w/ minor upgrades last month)

= $2700 MAX WWCHI budget


That makes for some fun daydreaming. So the questions for today…

**Stick to my strict $500 budget and let my ID run wild a little?

**Or bring it all and hope there is a nice presenting 2.0 ASM1 in the room to satisfy the EGO?

**And would a 2.0 satisfy said EGO?


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Freaks and Zaps on the brain

Soundtrack (listening to Rounders on Netflix)

Biked to work yesterday on the new bike (13mi roundtrip). Ouch. The new forward riding position and the seat have me hurting a little. I can put my old seat, but I am trying something new and it is likely to hurt for a while. I took some time to think about my Wizard World Chicago (WWCHI) nut and I think I may just enjoy the show on a smaller budget and continue to save for a nice ASM1. I shall see. I really feel like I need 3.5-4k to acquire a book with which I would be satisfied (but the more that money sits, the more the lady gets accustomed to seeing it there). SO TODAY, to distract myself a little, I dredged up my registry sets to see the damage from the 2015 Registry Awards. I lost the top spot on both my sets this year, a title I held for only one year (now reclaimed by the reigning champion). This may be the year I make a run consistent with Goal #2.


I still pick underground comix. My wife recently said that nothing gives me quite the thrill of finding a high grade, first print underground. Sometimes I am the only one in the room looking for undergrounds. Part of me loves systematically working WWCHI, comic booth after comic booth, grinding undergrounds. It is because I have a knowledge advantage when it comes to identifying first printings. Nevertheless, I rarely buy anything, so it is a tough grind. There is just so much mess out there, so many uninformed dealers; it is almost like being on autopilot- grind GRIND undergrounds. Natch.


However, I do have a strong affinity for Zap Comix and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and it has been a goal of mine since about 2002 to put together the best first print runs of those titles that I can afford.



Freaks- http://comics.www.collectors-society.com/registry/comics/SetTypeDetail.aspx?SetTypeID=3378

Zaps- http://comics.www.collectors-society.com/registry/comics/SetTypeDetail.aspx?SetTypeID=2710


As of right now, I am trailing by 382 points in Zaps and 931 points in Freaks. I do have quite a few raws that I should have graded, but long TATs have always been my excuse. With just Zap alone, I have about 20 raws that I think would grade 9.4 or better and I once calculated the grading fees at ~$460 (plus shipping, ins, etc.).


WWCHI raw pickups

th_wwchi12zap13.jpg th_wwchi12zap12.jpg th_wwchi12zap4.jpg th_wwchi12fffb2.jpg th_wwchi12fffb1.jpg


I really SHOULD do a complete inventory. And I really should sell my under copies on eBay. It seems to me that this is a situation where it will take a little money, but the result of this project may be a little extra ASM1 money and some more downsizing / curation of the collection. I think I should target the end of the con season, perhaps submit sometime before the holidays.


WWCHI Sucha News Freaks (before my new scanner)

th_wwchi12fffb4suscha.jpg th_wwchi12fffb5suscha.jpg th_wwchi12fffb6suscha.jpg th_wwchi12fffb7suscha.jpg th_wwchi12fffb9suscha.jpg




Edited by oldmilwaukee6er
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The Wednesday One

NOTHING for me this week from my usual pulls and money is tight, so I popped on a single spec book ($4)- Batman #43 1st app. of Mr. Bloom (after the lads at CBSI: http://comicbookinvest.com/2015/08/12/the-wednesday-one-8/).



Plucked the best of five copies, plus there were two variants on the small LCS shelf. Pretty interesting at a glance and I picked up the regular cover because it features the character. Seeing yet another Capullo Batman in my spec box reminds me that I miss him on Spawn.



ASIDE- Pop art in Milwaukee

I have been enjoying the discussion in this thread posted by ComicWiz back in 2014 http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=8157893&fpart=1


I enjoy his postings, as he is an underground comix guy from way back (we met back in the old CPG days and even hung out at San Diego 2005ish for the launch of the underground comix reference guide).


Lichtenstein’s Crying Girl painting is probably my fave piece in Milwaukee’s permanent collection (currently off display for renovation): http://collection.mam.org/details.php?id=13085.

After just basic research, I now understand it was a direct lift from a panel in Secret Hearts #88 (June 1963; DC Comics).


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If you get a chance, head over to the CPG UG forum. I posted a few things over there, including a question you may (or may not) be able to help me with. I just spent a long time today going through my undergrounds, as I wanted to add a new empty box to my collection as things were getting tight.

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If you get a chance, head over to the CPG UG forum. I posted a few things over there, including a question you may (or may not) be able to help me with. I just spent a long time today going through my undergrounds, as I wanted to add a new empty box to my collection as things were getting tight.


I sure will. Forgive the delayed response (my account over there is frozen due to inactivity).

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Hanging out at the corner spot

Scanning some Harvey Pekar and thinking about work-a-day stuff; last night marked 3-weeks working as a bar-back at the neighborhood café/bar. A lot of my acquaintances hang out there and it is the ‘brown café’ of the neighborhood- serves news, coffee, beers, & small plates from 5-midnight. One of the bartenders is traveling in Europe and so I am helping Thursday nights in August (cash plus tips & drinks). It is a tough job and sometimes it is tough to let go of one’s ego and grind service industry (where I am the noob), but it will lend itself to some wild Pekar ‘at the corner’ nights. Maybe I can make $200 or so toward the ASM1 fund before WWCHI. So far, I have netted about $150.


American Splendor #1 VFNM



AS1 undercopy (VF+ or better)



AS 2-5 (VF to NM-)

th_AS2_zpsnym39qhm.jpg th_AS3_zpsz4kqnjdr.jpg th_AS4_zpsbylnacfg.jpg th_AS5_zpsy7ryachr.jpg


TODAY family in town, as my niece is dancing at Irish Fest that night ($5 FRI ticket 4-5:30pm entrance; cruise my bike down to Summerfest grounds and I only have to cross one street). My sister just sent me a text about possibly hitting the Wisconsin State Fair this morning for some deep-fried fun- http://wistatefair.com/fair/new-food/


SAT is a work function down in 'the Northern ILL.' New boss party, ugh, before the semester. I am leading a small carpool, so I will have company for the ride down. I think my new boss is into shooting pool and BBQ!? Hopefully he HAS a pool (cannonball) or is into COMICS!

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Corner spot comix (Summer o ’72)!


So while hanging out at the corner spot TODAY, I got a chance to kick it with a ‘geek friend’ of mine, the chef at the corner spot. He is old school service from back in the day in Milwaukee, has his set gaming friends for Necramunda, Star Wars X Wing, D & D (he is DM), etc. I mean tight group, I have not even been invited. Before I helped out at the corner spot, he and I played trivia together and PWND the old Two Bucks in Milwaukee ($20-30 gift almost each week at Monday trivia). ALSO, we often carpool to small cons, as he is picking reader copies of X-Men 100-200. That was before the whole racist mess blew up there (http://fox6now.com/2015/05/06/breaking-two-bucks-milwaukee-is-no-more-corporate-moves-to-revoke-franchise-license/ ).


ANYways, he stopped by and gave me the following Bronze Age books for free. Seems he picked them from a second hand place & the guy had just marked the stack at $3. He kept em and read em for a while and then gifted them to me.

THEY ARE (books range-graded at 4.5+; range 3.0-7.5; CROW; assume spine roll; Overstreet 45 GD-VG prices).

AS-IS; two books detached at bottom staple per below


Marvel June 72 (4 books)

Monsters on the Prowl 17 $3-6



Combat Kelly & Deadly Dozen 1 $3-6



Stg Fury 99 $3-6



Astounding Tales 12 2nd app. Man Thing (Neil Adams) $3-6




Charlton July 72 (2 books)

Just Married, All New 86 $2-4

Career Girl Romances 69 (dude)- detached at bottom staple $2-4



Classics Illustrated 145 The Crisis (Churchill) 7/58 $6-12




DC Comics May-June 1972 (7 books)

Tarzan 208 John Carter app $3-6



House of Mystery 202 $5-10




Weird War Tales 5 Heath / Toth art; Adams cover $8-16



Superboy 186 detached bottom staple $3-6



Adventure 419 $3-6



Dark Mansion, Forbidden Tale of 5 $5-10



Jimmy Olson 149 Golden age Plastic Man; rat chew at bottom front cvr $3-6


Edited by oldmilwaukee6er
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The Big Con Job

This weekend was warm WARM; between the family & a work event & the 90 degree temps I kept a pretty low profile & did not feel up to much (LAYzeee). Monday way the usual back to the office grind & late Tuesday I finished a 6-week night course that I was managing but was beginning to wear thin on me (group conflict & entitlement). It was the oddest thing, storming & arguing before class & then suddenly gelling and norming during the oral presentation. But it had me pretty wound up (teaching high is some-THING, jack), so I slipped down to the corner spot for a celebratory pint. AND NOW, since I compartmentalize, I can begin to get excited about Wizard World Chicago (WWCHI)! Woooooooo

My lady and I save a little throughout the year to do this con up in style (for one day) and it is a milestone for our summer and marks the beginning of the academic year. Nevertheless, we nut up for FRI tix $56ea & gas $12 tolls $7.50 parking $13-21, plus a little extra juice for backpack snacks into the con. WE KEEP IT LEAN for the Big Con Job! Limit overhead(!); the American Pickers never reveal their full overhead. However, you gotta and you know I am focusing on picking BACKISSUE comics and rarely other stuff (e.g. vinyl pops, autographs, TPBs.


Tomorrow (today?), I will start working on my con bag- made a list tonight:

*Empty water bottle

*King-size snickers

*Beef jerky

*5-10 various bags & boards (namely for TWD con variants, or odd raw book)

*Bubble wrap, just in case I find some schweet MOC Usagi Yojimbo action figures or perhaps pop on a 1977 Kenner R2D2 AFA figure (WOW totally outta my league)

*Mock-box… AKA a USPS Spiderman box that I cut down to hold some of above and transport comix back

:news: Spare bag for $1 books to grind, dredge long boxes (tested @Mighty Con and can hold 40 comix plus)


Check my airbrushed Deadpool T all ready for the con. I bet Deadpool outnumbers Batman.


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The Wednesday One- Stars Wars #8

I want to dissect the following quote by Mile High Chuck, not because I disagree but instead because I agree.


"Disney announced that they will be spending two billion dollars (!) over the next five years to construct entirely new Star Wars amusement parks in Anaheim, and in Orlando. I mention this fact because I think that it speaks directly to the incredible degree of emphasis that Disney is going to place on marketing their Star Wars franchise. We were already aware that they have five (or maybe six?) new Star Wars films on tap over the next 60 months, but this theme park announcement is clearly throwing gasoline on a fire. Unless Disney figures out some way to screw this up. Star Wars is going to be THE pop culture phenomena of the next decade" (emphasis added).


Star Wars is a transmedia property that already transcends generations and will continue to do so for another 20+ years. That means that generations have and will continue to grow up playing with Star Wars toys and watching Star Wars movies. And there is much to love (for example I have been watching The Clone Wars on Netflix and thoroughly enjoying it).


The grrl is a big Star Wars fan (original trilogy and R2D2). For some people, perhaps generations, the risk is Star Wars overload. Because it is all going to be tied in. It is like what Marvel is trying to do with Secret Wars- all in the name of corporate synergy across media properties. What we are concerned about… is if suddenly one cannot ride a ride at Disney World & misses some small video that is part canon that somehow informs the movie. The risk is overload, and burnout, and selective entry into the ‘verse. IT also appears that The Mouse will be coopting some of the “fan fiction” and reworking it back into canon (e.g. Rogue movie & perhaps the Rogue Squadron comics)?


Truthfully, I do not know if we will have Mouse overload, but I do think it’s clear that Star Wars will be big for the next generation as well. ALL THAT SAID, I do not really collect Star Wars stuff! lol But I have an appreciation for those that do. And the grrl is quite fond of R2D2 and has through our WWChi runs bought many an item of R2 clothing. And we do a robot Christmas tree, so she also buys R2 ornaments or we convert cheap astromech units into ornaments.


With one exception- I do read the Star Wars (2015) comics and I mean read it like a kid, without regard to condition or conservation (gave away 1 to a friend & 2-6 to a friend’s kids). And I keep the digital downloads for my phone. This week I picked up Star Wars #8. Excited to dive into this one as last issue was a (I hope) one-off Obi Wan issue. Perhaps we’ll get back to Han’s wife soon and see what transgressed between Sana Solo and that scruffy looking nerf-herder.


For spec, I also want to pick up the a copy of Hip Hop Family Tree #1, but my little LCS did not have any in stock (under ordered or the little store was not allocated). Therefore, I will look to buy it at Lost World of Wonders sometime THURS.


FINALLY, I have thinking of adding an AFA 80 loose R2D2 & possibly a 1st Hip Hop Family Tree to my want list- however I am in need of an education on which HHFT book to invest in and so perhaps I will seek that at WWChi.


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For spec, I also want to pick up the a copy of Hip Hop Family Tree #1, but my little LCS did not have any in stock (under ordered or the little store was not allocated). Therefore, I will look to buy it at Lost World of Wonders sometime THURS.


FINALLY, I have thinking of adding an AFA 80 loose R2D2 & possibly a 1st Hip Hop Family Tree to my want list- however I am in need of an education on which HHFT book to invest in and so perhaps I will seek that at WWChi.


I think you would want to acquire a first print copy of HHFT #1. It has a picture of Grandmaster Flash on the cover. These were pretty close to treasury size. Just make double sure it is a first printing as it appears to have been reprinted several times.



Edited by Brother J
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Only 364 days until the next WWChi. Yesterday went quite well, with both my lady and I emptying our pockets for the first time in about 3 years. Part of why I have had a difficult time in the past is in part why I remain lost in collecting, a lack of a strong shopping agenda from year to year. After my THURS night shift at the corner spot, I had a chance to hang with my friend the chef. We talked about the plan of attack and I gave him the options I was weighing- nut up and attack ASM1, buy a different key such as Avengers 1, GSXM1, or other, or grade some undergrounds, namely revitalize my Zap Comix Project. In the end, I decided to try my hand at submitting books to CGC.


We arrived down to Chicagoland without issue, my experience at the National Sports Card show teaching me about a different way into the MB Financial Park parking lot (via Balmoral) that saved me traffic. So we scooted down without issue, my lady dressed in her Assassin’s Creed finest, and me with the requisite comic T shirt. We queued up for about 25-30 minutes and were in the hall by about 12:15pm. I wound my way to CGC’s booth and queued up in the submission line, which had moved just past Moondog’s booth. After about 5 minutes in line (and by 12:20pm ) CGC cut off walkthrough submissions, much to the chagrin of several around me. One guy had tried walkthrough THURS and FRI and was pretty upset that the CGC SS rep delivering the bad news stated “try again tomorrow.” The general impression for the line was that on-site grading is not an option for the average Joe. I stayed the course because if posting on these boards for almost 11 years has taught me anything it is that TAT is dreadful. Honestly, it is the single biggest reason why I have waited all this time to submit my books to CGC. That’s not entirely true, as I waited in line I thought about my two others. The first was 3 SS books at SDComicCon- while Dan O Neil was signing. When I found out, I bought a few books and had him sign/Remarque them. The second time was 2 books through a collector friend in FL (Eggs), a Zap Comix #0 1st that netted 9.4 and my Mowry Opera House fire-salvaged Zap Comix #1 that earned 2.5 (both pro-screened by Matt). However, I never fully submitted books on my

own, instead electing to buy already graded books. Twice (c2004), I submitted to the competition. In part because I truly feel that legitimate competition is necessary for CGC and the hobby. ANYways, we all know how much value THAT added to my books.


The line moved slowly at first and there was MUCH complaining, the crew at CGC cleared the line after an hour. ALL TOLD, I submitted the following (24 books; $600+ an AMEX charge):


Grade* Title # Printing Source of book

9.0 Zap Comix 4 1st WW12 Copy

PGX 8.0 Zap Comix 4 1st OWW Donahue copy

PGX 9.4 Zap Comix 5 1st OWW Donahue copy

PGX 9.4 Zap Comix 6 1st W Donahue copy

PGX 9.6 Zap Comix 7 1st W Donahue copy

9.2 Zap Comix 7 1st Donahue copy

9.2 Zap Comix 8 1st Donahue copy

9.2 Zap Comix 9 1st Donahue copy

9.2 Zap Comix 10 1st does not say IFC

PGX 9.0 Zap Comix 10 1st W

9.2 Zap Comix 10 1st Does not say IFC

PGX 9.6 Zap Comix 11 1st W

9.4 Zap Comix 12 1st no cvr price

9.2 Zap Comix 12 1st no cvr price

PGX 9.8 Zap Comix 13 1st W

9.4 Zap Comix 13 1st

9.4 Zap Comix 14 1st 4.95 cvr Last Gasp

9.4 Zap Comix 14 1st 4.95 cvr Last Gasp

9.4 Zap Comix 15 1st 4.95 cvr Last Gasp

9.4 Zap Comix 15 1st 4.95 cvr Last Gasp

*I fully expect these books to come back higher, I list most all NM books as 9.2 unless it is flawless, then 9.4. As with most hy-graders, I tend to undergrade.



I also submitted these bad boys, which may become flippers toward ASM1:

FF48 my grade on this book is 6.5; pressable to 7.0?



JLA1 2.0-2.5; not pressing this book at this grade


This book will be back to me first, after only a month or so :)

The rest will hit around Christmas time (~4mos).



TWO FINAL NOTES on that. 1) On-site grading is decidedly not for the average Joe, though on-site submission is. Without a dealer badge, one simply cannot get in line quick enough. Also, within about 20 minutes of the show opening, while you are standing in line, you will get cut off. This was the repeat experience of 4 CGC collector/submitters over 4 different shows and it was my experience as well (n=1). 2) The people behind CGC are kind and informative. I came with my books and an information list and they walked me through the rest, even helping me fill out the forms. In the end, I had four different invoices (1 Standard, 1 Standard/press, 7 Economy/press, and 14 Modern/press) and when the team cleared the line, I was the last one standing. However, the resentment that builds because of #1 above means they take a RATION of mess for an hour straight. But then guess what? After that, one can walk right up and on-site submit without a wait. SHOUT OUT- my helper Dan was very helpful and kind (and patient with me).


AND SO I was back on the floor by about 115PM with over half my nut gone (plus dipping into some additional ASM1 savings when that AMEX charge hits). I went back to the beginning and began to grind undergrounds systematically.

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Revenge of the Jedi


Picked up a Revenge of the Jedi knock-off patch (last pick o the day). Actually it was a freebie as my lady bought 3 T shirts from the vendor. I have always wanted one, but was unwilling to pay $8 for a knock-off.


How many differences can you spot?




The Jar Jar patch was picked from the depths of artist alley.


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Basking in a glorious ‘con-over’


Ahh the con hangover… The money is gone and the ache of 30k steps, hunching over long boxes for hours. and twisting one’s body to squeeze in alongside the mundanes begins to set it. Also, the dehydration from neglecting the body in favor of comics must be corrected and of course, one must BASK in the GLORY of the HAUL (Valhalla witness me- shiny and chrome!).


The day after a nice con I like to do nothing. Sans recover, bask in the new ‘mics, scan them, and reflect on my experiences. And so that is what I will do! ALSO-watch English soccer (my fave thing to do on ANY Saturday).


After CGC, I began my normal routine- and my routine is underground comix from the 1960-70s. I also really do enjoy Usagi Yojimbo and I have added 3 action figures to my want list (Space Usagi, one by Antarctic Press & the 2004 relaunch figure). Therefore, I hit more toy displays than in year’s past. Finally, I was also on the lookout for X-Men 102 & 121 for my friend the chef, as they are the last two issues of his 100-200 run (we will not read em until he has all 100 issues and can read them straight through).


I worked 100-400 aisles until 4pm and then 400 through the rest of the show from about 430-7pm. Typically we meet up twice during the show and during our first meet up at 4pm we shuttled swag to the car so we could enjoy the remainder of the show less encumbered. So I worked 100 to 400 systematically, crisscrossing the long aisles. My approach is usually the same, scan the signage, scan the wall, and ask after undergrounds. My first fruitful stop was a booth were most everything was $2. I picked 4 TPBs- Lenore Wedgies; The Fox- Freak Magnet; Twisted Sisters 2 (collection of the feminist underground comix of the same name), & Forgotten Realms EXILE (Drizzt DoUrden). I also plucked VGFN copies of Black Panther $4-14 as a gift for a friend. STOCKED UP first stop. And on I worked.


The next fruitful stop was Comic Cellar, a dealer from CA and someone who always has 1-2 short boxes of u-comix, along with the odd nice wall book. I plucked this Robert Crumb American Greetings (Hi Brow) greeting card for $16. Before Crumb inspired an avant garde & outsider art movement in comic form with the publication of Zap Comix #1 1st in 1967, he drew this cards for the Cleveland, OH, company.



I like how this card has his art inside and out. A nice find.


After, I broke the ice with the dealer, he pulled out a few nicer undergrounds behind the table. I ended up taking the following 3 books for $130


San Francisco Comix #1 (1st and only); A nice presenting VG copy w/ bongwater, resin stain on BC. Even though this is an undercopy for me, I just could not pass it up for $100.




Freak Brothers #10 (1st; $2.25 cover; full color interior); a stunner (!); would not hesitate to call this NM+ and I rarely do that




Kanned Korn Komix (promo); this book was included with the first pressing of Canned Heat’s Future Blues album c. 1970. I have the album; now I can marry the two. This book is signed on the interior by guitarist Larry Taylor.




After that, I had more luck with toys for a spell… but did get skunked on MOC Usagi Yojimbo action figures. So, I picked some TMNT loose figure bins and plucked an ‘89 Usagi & a ‘91 Space Usagi ($3ea; no accessories). I also picked 2 Heroclix for a friend. He plays only black characters (his team is the Black All Stars) and so I found him 2 decent ones (65-85pts) for like $2.5ea. Nice guys at that booth. They helped me dig last year and did so again (and always seem to produce the cards too).

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