Comics Guaranty, LLCNumismatic Guaranty Corporation
April 2003  
 
 
   
1. Sensation Comics
   
2. ComicLotto.com Introduces the First Online Comic Lottery
   
3. Comics4Kids
   
4. SCOOP - Pop Culture at Your Fingertips
   
5. Dave Stevens & the Rocketeer
   
6. Cruisin'
   
7. Heritage Announces World's First Grade-Certified Comic Book Market Analysis Tool
   
8. Change in Minimum Submission Requirements

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

May 30 - June 1, 2003
Wizard World Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, PA


July 17-20, 2003
Comic-con International

San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA


August 8-10, 2003
Wizard World Chicago

Donald E. Stevens
Convention Center
Rosemont, IL


Nolan's Niche Sensation Comics
Michelle Nolan

Sensation 359Sensation Comics was the last of the classic "Big Eight" super hero anthology titles introduced by National Comics (DC) in the early days of the Golden Age. For many years, issues of Sensation also were the least expensive of these anthology titles, but they have caught up rapidly in the past few years as interest in collecting Wonder Woman increased.

Wonder Woman was the lead feature in the first 106 issues of Sensation. Number one premiered January 1942, although her debut story was printed a month earlier in the back of All-Star #8. However, five other costumed/super hero strips were introduced in #1 – Wildcat, Mr. Terrific, Black Pirate, Gay Ghost and Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. The Little Boy Blue strip might well rank as the worst Golden Age strip DC ever published, but for some reason it ran in most issues through #82 (October 1948) in what is surely one of the most inexplicable mysteries in all of comics history. You have to see Little Boy Blue to realize just how bad that strip was!

Sensation #1 - 17 (May 1943) were the 68-page issues, and you can't go wrong with any of them, because all six characters appear except in #14, in which The Black Pirate is absent. In fact, the contents of Sensation were so consistent that all six heroes ran through #31 (July 1944), the last 60-page issue before Sensation dropped to 52 pages.

Wonder Woman is featured in her original star-spangled skirt/culottes in the first three issues of Sensation. H.G. Peter did not start drawing the covers until #4 – before the Amazing Amazon abandoned the skirt/culottes effect forever, so that makes the first three issues unique. The other most sought-after cover is that of #13 (January 1943), the famous Hitler-Tojo-Mussolini "bowling pin" cover. That was one of the few patriotic covers drawn by original series artist H.G. Peter, the rococo Wonder Woman stylist who tended to focus on situations involving fantasy, symbolism and humor instead.

Sensation 661Sensation really didn't change much until its last couple of years, when there were some nifty additions, making the issues from #91-106 generally scarcer and more desirable than most of the earlier issues from the 1944-48 period. Wildcat, the last surviving superhero in Sensation, bowed out in #90 (June 1949), to be succeeded in #91-93 by Alex Toth's wonderful Streak the Wonder Dog stories. The Streak stories were probably intended for the Green Lantern comic, had it not been discontinued with #38 (May-June 1949).

After 92 issues as a monthly title – making Sensation one of the more successful and consistent titles of the Golden Age – Sensation went semi-monthly with #93 (September-October 1949). DC then embarked on an intriguing experiment with its "all-girl" issues of Sensation from #94-106, which many enthusiasts consider to be the most collectible portion in the title's history after the glorious 68-page run of #1-17.

Wonder Woman, of course, continued to lead Sensation, which also included a doctor/detective strip entitled Dr. Pat, Rx. In #94-106; Ann Martin of Romance, Inc. in #94-105; Headline Heroines in #94-98; and Astra, Girl of the Future in #99-106. The last Golden Age issue was #106 (November-December 1951), which was the last issue with Wonder Woman and also the first 36-page issue. Indeed, #106 is one of the scarcest of the entire run. Actually, all the issues from #91-106 are relatively tough to find compared to many of the earlier issues. Kindly counselor Ann Martin starred in romance stories, making Sensation a unique "superhero" comic of its era. Meanwhile, Astra was one of the earliest female science fiction characters to be featured in her own strip, at least outside the realm of Fiction House's long-running Planet Comics.

Sensation switched genres entirely and became a weird/mystery title with #107 (January-February 1952), in which the only continuing character was Johnny Peril. The concept of Johnny Peril, which was a good one, continued when the title was changed to Sensation Mystery for its last seven issues – #110 (July-August 1952) through #116 (July-August 1953).

So if you want the best of Sensation, try a few of the issues from #1-17 and then those from #99-105 – and compare the difference. It's difficult to believe they came out only seven or eight years apart.

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ComicLotto.com Introduces the First Online Comic Lottery

ComicLotto.com is the first Web site of its kind, offering continuous daily Comic Book Draws and a Grand Weekly Draw of a CGC-certified comic book.

The concept is simple: start with a full long box with 250 comics, all valued anywhere from $1-$10 (US) for each respective Draw, with a randomly placed prize in each box. Each participant has an opportunity to draw and potentially win the prize, which is valued at 25 times their original purchase price . It's that simple! To find out more, click here: http://www.comiclotto.com/cl/CGCreview.htm.

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Comics4Kids

Looking for something to do with those pesky non-CGC-worthy comic books? Want to help secure a bright future for our nation's children and at the same time become a part of the newest comic book-based literacy program? Well, here's a way for you to do all three!

Comics4Kids is a not-for-profit organization that gives donated comic books to children in hopes of encouraging them to participate in the comic book hobby and, more importantly, helps to teach them how to read.

"We'd like to do more than just encourage kids to go to a comic store and spend Mom and Dad's money. We want to enable children everywhere to stimulate their imaginations, and at the same time improve their English skills," says C4K President and CEO Dale Moore. "Comic books are not only a wonderful source of entertainment, but they are also great building blocks for learning."

You can find out more about Comics4Kids and how to donate comic books at www.comics4kids.org or e-mail any questions you may have to: comics4kids@aol.com.

c4k Graphic

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Dave Stevens & the Rocketeer
Shawn Caffrey

During my early collecting years, I tried so hard to collect only the titles that would separate me from everyone else. There was only one negative aspect to collecting non-superhero titles. I missed out on a lot of good artists and stories. But it wasn't until my employment at Comics Guaranty that I finally came to that realization. One of my co-workers, Phil Kaltenbach, found profuse enjoyment in discussing with me all of the positive things in comics that I had missed out on because of my single-minded determination. During the course of a single workday he would introduce me to artists and stories that went unnoticed by my younger tastes. On one of those days, he asked me if I had ever heard of Dave Stevens.

Now, everyone has seen, or at least heard of The Rocketeer, right? Well, as far as I was concerned, it was a movie and nothing beyond that. That was until Phil recommended that I pick up a copy of Starslayer #2 by Pacific Comics. It was then, and only then, that my eyes beheld something new and unlike anything I had previously seen. I paged my way through the Mike Grell's Starslayer story to page 27, and there it was, "The Rocketeer" by Dave Stevens. The colors were so bright, and the detail was unimaginable. His figures had this depth of realism that made his panels almost like looking at a collection of photographs and the facial expressions of the characters made me feel like I was actually living each panel and taking part in all of the action. This was better to me than the movie ever would be. From that point on I was hooked. It took very little time before I was searching eBay daily until I completed the entire run of The Rocketeer storyline. Then I read it straight through in one sitting.

The story begins with the Rocketeer's first comic appearance in Starslayer #2 and continues into #3, and from there, goes into another book titled Pacific Presents, #1 and #2. Now, even though they are different titles, it continues the same saga of our hero Cliff and his beautiful girlfriend Betty. It's similar to the movie, but the visuals are even more effective on paper. Dave Stevens creates such a beautiful world with his clean style, unlike anything I'd ever seen. And his Betty, well, there is no question that the man knows how to draw women. The storyline goes to it's own one-shot titled The Rocketeer Special Edition. And years later, was even picked up by Comico and Dark Horse for a three-issue series called Rocketeer Adventure Magazine.

In my mind Dave Stevens has joined the ranks of some of the top artists in the comic book industry, both past and present. He has a style that would appear to be Frazetta-like by nature, but brings it to a level of his own. The line work is clean and completely simple, but creates an appearance of three-dimensional perfection that never leaves the paper. Not to mention he also draws the most jaw-dropping images of Bettie Page. So, in my opinion, Dave Stevens is the modern day Frank Frazetta. Anyone whose collection doesn't include the Rocketeer series, or has never experienced Dave Stevens' work, should give it a try. No one will regret the effort.

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Collectors' Society Boards

SCOOP - Pop Culture at Your Fingertips

Scoop is the FREE, weekly, e-newsletter for collectors and pop culture enthusiasts of all ages from Gemstone Publishing and Diamond International Galleries.

Scoop covers the past, present and future of comic character collectibles, the latest industry news, important CGC certified comic book sales, media happenings and so much more. Scoop gets you tuned into those trends that shape history and our development as a society. Reminisce about those characters you loved as a kid, and catch up with the characters that have everyone talking today. Visit http://scoop.diamondgalleries.com to check it all out and http://scoop.diamondgalleries.com/signup to subscribe.

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Phil's Corner Cruisin'
Phil Kaltenbach

When my brother Tom and I got back into comic books in the early 1970's, we found ourselves attracted to all kinds of titles from both Marvel and DC, even though we each had specialized some 10 years before. I helped to reacquaint Tom to Marvels like Neal Adams' X-Men and Barry Smith's Conan the Barbarian, while he turned me on to Berni Wrightson's Swamp Thing. We sampled all kinds of new titles and our collections grew quickly. Before long, however, it occurred to both of us that it might be a good idea to buy more than one copy of especially outstanding books, and to that end we developed a ritual of which I still have wonderful memories.

One of the first comics that excited us this way was Jim Starlin's Warlock in Strange Tales #178, (February 1975). The comic had already been on the stands for about a month when I picked it up, attracted by the name of the antagonist, The Magus. One of my favorite novels at that time bore that title: John Fowles' second novel, published in 1966, which I still consider a fantastic piece of fiction. I showed it to Tom when I came home from graduate school for Christmas, and he fell for it, too. We both bought the next two issues and picked up an extra copy or two.

A couple of days after I returned home again for the summer, Tom and I were enjoying ourselves one night at the local pool hall. Later that evening we went to a 7-11 next door for a cup of coffee, and there on the spinner sat a half-dozen or so copies of Strange Tales #181, the final installment of Warlock in that title. Excitedly we each grabbed a copy to look through the story ("A Thousand Clowns", an absolutely incredible read with astounding artwork). We then decided we would divide the four nicest copies between ourselves. The remaining couple had already suffered a bit of rack-burn.

Suddenly Tom made an inspired suggestion. Another 7-11 stood a couple of miles down the road. Why not drive there and pick up the best copies they had so we would each have a few more? We did, and now we each had five beautiful, mint (at least, in those days!) copies of this knockout comic. Before we knew it, since the stores were open all night, we found ourselves driving all over Baltimore until past 3:00 a.m., hunting, like two crazed Euell Gibbons, the wild Strange Tales #181. I'm sure we visited at least 10 stores, and bought coffee at several of them, including several we didn't even know existed until we went searching for "just one more". At each stop we each picked out as many pristine copies as they had, then contrived, with great difficulty, to pay for the books without allowing the baffled clerk to touch them. We must have seemed like we were up to something! By the time we returned to the now-dark pool hall to pick up my car, each of us had about 25 copies of that glorious book. What a grand and stimulating adventure!

We went on safaris like this several more times during the next few years. One other book I remember hoarding was Detective #475; Marshall Rogers blew us both away. Of course, most of these copies were sold or traded away over the years, but I still remember and cherish those four-color all-nighters.

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Heritage Announces World's First Grade-Certified Comic Book Market Analysis Tool

Heritage Comics has joined forces with Australian company GPAnalysis for Comics to offer a sophisticated comic book reporting and analysis system. For just $6.95 per month, GPAnalysis for Comics will provide comic traders with accurate, up-to-the-moment market information, online, based on actual auction sales of CGC-graded comics on leading auction sites such as eBay and Heritage. This new service will help collectors and dealers determine the best time to buy and sell to maximize the value of their comic investments.

Consignment Director of Heritage Comics, Fred McSurley, said that although online comic trading had been booming for the past five years, there was a significant gap in the availability of accurate, up-to-date market information. "It is exciting that the comic trading community now has access to a service similar to the reporting and analysis available for listed stocks. For the first time collectors can determine a much more accurate value for their CGC-graded books at any time of the year," he said.

Read More

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Change in Minimum Submission Requirements

Because of numerous requests from both dealers and collectors, CGC is changing the minimum submission requirements for the Economy and Modern service tiers.

Effective immediately, the minimum book quantity for the economy and modern tier will be as follows:

  • Economy tier: The 3-book minimum has been changed to no minimum. This means you can submit 1 book if needed in the economy tier.

  • Modern tier: The 4-book minimum has been changed to a 2-book minimum. This means you can submit 2 books if needed in the modern tier.

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