Comics Guaranty, LLC Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
May 2004  
 
Volume 3, Issue 5  
   
1. First Dave Sim File Copies CGC Certified!
   
2. Kavalier & Clay's Escapist
   
3. CGC-certified Comics Everywhere!
   
4. Batman's New Look
   
5. New Online Form for On-Site Grading
Submissions at Conventions
   
6. Collectors Society Members: Check Grades Online!
   
7. CGC Dealers: Check Your Grades Online!


UPCOMING EVENTS

May 14-16
Motor City Comic-Con

Novi Expo Center
Novi, Michigan


May 21-23
Wizard World Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, PA
On-Site Grading Available


June 18-20
Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon

Queen Elizabeth Building at
Exhibition Place
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


First Dave Sim File Copies CGC Certified!
First 10 issues set for viewing.

During Wizard World Los Angeles, Comics Guaranty (CGC) and Paradise Comics were proud to unveil the first Cerebus the Aardvark #300 (9.8) and the first Cerebus the Aardvark #1 (9.4) to be certified as a Dave Sim File Copy with a Signature Series label. Now we are going to do it all again.

CGC has graded the first 10 issues of Cerebus the Aardvark. "We were absolutely blown away by the quality of these copies." Said Steve Borock, CGC's Vice President and Primary Grader. "Dave Sim really knew what he was doing when he filed these away!"

Along with the previously graded Cerebus the Aardvark #1 (9.4), the nine other copies graded out amazingly high: Cerebus the Aardvark #2 (9.8), Cerebus the Aardvark #3 (9.6), Cerebus the Aardvark #4 (9.9 MINT), Cerebus the Aardvark #5 (9.8), Cerebus the Aardvark #6 (9.8), Cerebus the Aardvark #7 (10 GEM MINT), Cerebus the Aardvark #8 (9.8), Cerebus the Aardvark #9 (9.8), and Cerebus the Aardvark #10 (9.8).

A list just doesn't do these books justice, they must be seen! CGC and Paradise Comics have decided to host another viewing, this time exclusively at Wizard World Philadelphia on May 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. "The response to the Cerebus #300 and the Cerebus #1 at Wizard World Los Angeles was amazing. People were getting their pictures taken with them" said Paradise Comics owner Peter Dixon. "I'm sure everyone is going to go crazy when they see the first 10 copies in person. Especially the GEM MINT #7!"

"If you are going to be in the Philadelphia area on May 21st to the 23rd you should definitely be at this show." Said Paul Litch, CGC Grader and Modern Age specialist. "Not only is CGC doing on-site grading that weekend, but along with Paradise Comics, we are also showing off the world's best certified copies of Cerebus the Aardvark #1 to #10. Come by and check them out!"

CGC will be at Booth Number 637. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to see the highest graded run of Cerebus the Aardvark #1 through #10, including the GEM MINT #7! Only at Wizard World Philadelphia, brought to you by CGC and Paradise Comics.

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CGC-certified Comics Everywhere!

Some of our very good friends have great news about CGC-certified comics.

First, our friends Joe and Nadia Manarino at All-Star Auctions are proud to offer examples from the Bill Howard Collection, a high grade square bound collection, all CGC graded, with highlights to include some of the highest graded copies according to the CGC census. Also included are dozens of CGC graded Mile High, White Mountain, San Francisco, Denver, Crowley, Dell File Copies, Gaines File Copies, Bethlehem, and Big Apple pedigree books! For more information go to www.allstarauctions.net

Next, our friend Josh Nathanson, President of ComicLink.com, has two very exciting pieces of news:

The week of May 10, a ComicLink seller will be listing the finest X-Men run ever offered for sale/bid to the public! This is an exceptional accomplishment — a near complete run between 1 and 65 — all but one in 9.4 or better! The highlight is a breathtaking X-Men #1 in CGC 9.6! This Pacific Coast Pedigree with white pages is the second best known copy and extremely rare in this condition — it is one of only three to have graded as high as 9.6. Many of the issues in the collection are the highest or second highest CGC-graded copies — certainly a chance for collectors to instantly upgrade theirX-Men runs.

Between May 20 and May 30, ComicLink will be auctioning off a collection of a different kind - an original owner collection of approximately 100 CGC-graded Golden Age comic books. The auction, which will take place in the auctions section of the ComicLink.com, includes mostly mid to high-grade DC issues published between 1948 and 1952. Also included are ten baseball theme comics, a few Barks Duck books, Captain Marvels and a Dick Tracy issue. Many of the books in the collection are the highest or second highest CGC-graded copies (38 are highest graded copies). For more information go to www.comiclink.com

Last but not least, due to overwhelming demand, our friends at Metropolis are adding hundreds of scans of CGC-graded comics every week to their site. This week alone you will find over 500 CGC-graded books with scans listed on www.metropoliscomics.com. Metropolis holds the world's largest inventory of CGC graded comics and they are always buying more.

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Batman's New Look
Jerry Stephan

I've been a Batman fan for many years. I've always enjoyed the myriad interpretations various artists have displayed, from the realism of Neal Adams or Alex Ross to the clean styles of Alex Toth or Rick Burchett. Jim Aparo, Walt Simonson, Marshall Rogers, Frank Miller, Berni Wrightson, Brian Bolland, Jim Lee...everyone has taken a shot at the Dark Knight. But it wasn't always that way.

In late 1963, the height of the Silver Age, nearly everything was selling. But Batman and Detective sales were trending in the wrong direction. One of National's (DC) big three properties was hurting. I even heard Detective Comics was cancelled for 24 hours. All this is unthinkable today. 25 years of Batman under the direct supervision of its creator, Bob Kane, had led to this stagnation. Although the ghosts were many, Batman had to retain the same look.

By this time, Batman was routinely going into space, other dimensions or having space creatures, villains, and lawmen visit the earth. Gone were the nightly rooftop vigils. Batwoman and Kathy Kane were cardboard cutout figures. Bat-Hound, Bat-Mite, and Bat-Girl were nothing more than plot devices. Nothing tells the story better than the last Jack Schiff-edited Detective, #326. Batman is kidnapped and taken to an alien zoo. How will he ever get out of this!

Then someone at DC had an epiphany. Editorial Director Irwin Donenfeld asked (re: told) Julius Schwartz to save Batman. Julie already had successfully revived Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman, and the Justice Society (revamped as the Justice League). Mistakes were made (like having Batman handle a gun), but the New Look was well received.

Contractually obligated to work with Bob Kane for half the stories, Julius Schwartz turned to his top artist (Carmine Infantino) to introduce the New Look and the results were historic. Carmine knew his stuff would look nothing like Kane's and the decision was made that no "Bob Kane" signature would appear on his stories. The difference between Detective #327 and #326 is striking!

The story John Broome scripted was a pretty good one too. It is a story of a young man gone missing and an urban renewal program. No space aliens. No inter-dimensional travel. No pesky Bat-whimsies to turn the plot on.

Other artists didn't immediately start drawing the Caped Crusader. Sheldon Moldoff, Chic Stone, Sid Greene, Mike Sekowsky, and Dick Ayers all ghosted stories under the Bob Kane signature until 1968, when DC bought out Bob Kane's contract. Bob, very much in the mode of newspaper strips, always thought the strip should have retained the look he created.

But the ground was broken. Before the 60's were over, Batman was drawn by Gil Kane, Irv Novick, Bob Brown, Neal Adams, and a few others. The genie was out of the bottle and there was no going back. Just try and imagine Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns drawn in the same style as Detective #326.

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Collectors Society Members: Check
Grades Online!

Collectors Society Members with paid full-featured accounts can view their latest submissions and see grading results online as they become available. Grades are posted when your submission reaches the "Finalized/Imaged/Shipped" status. Just select "My Order Status" from the Comics menu after you log in at www.collectors-society.com.

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CGC Dealers: Check Your Grades Online!

Checking the status of your submissions has never been easier. CGC is happy to offer its dealers a simple and efficient way to track submissions any time, day or night. To get started, just contact the CGC Customer Service Department to set up a password for access to your secure account. Call CGC's helpful customer service reps at 1.877.NM.COMIC

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cgc registry

Kavalier & Clay's Escapist
Shawn Caffrey
Caffrey Chronicles

I was on my way to WonderCon in San Francisco when what was supposed to be a smooth and painless traveling experience turned out to be the exact opposite. I soon learned that my original flight was cancelled, and my new flight didn't leave for another three hours. Traveling alone, with every source of entertainment I brought checked in my luggage, I made my way to the airport bookshop in search of anything to help pass the time. Now, two things had crossed my mind. One, I had a three hour wait, and two, I had an additional six hours of travel time in the air. No magazine was going to fill that void, this called for a lengthy read, one of "novel" proportions. Browsing the selection, I picked up Michael Cabon's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.



The book is about young Joe Kavalier, a Jewish boy who escapes Nazi-occupied Prague to find himself in New York City living with his cousin Sammy Clay. The two take advantage of their own talents and America's new source of entertainment, comic books, and create a superhero-filled world of action and adventure, thus creating their own Golden Age empire of comic books. Though not finished with the novel, but enjoying it thoroughly, I postponed any further reading because of a book released by Dark Horse Comics: The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, a prestige format comic that takes characters from the novel and puts them into panels, giving colorful life to characters that Kavalier and Clay created. Though all fictional, Michael Cabon creates and maintains a sense of historical realism with his characters, for all are treated as if they were superheroes published in the Golden Age.

The Escapist, a masked man whom no lock can hold, thrills readers with his Houdini-esque feats while battling the evil forces of the Iron Chain using his powers of escapism passed on from the League of the Golden Key. The stories, featuring the talented works of Howard Chaykin, Jim Starlin, and Michael Cabon, read like classic Golden Age superhero comics, with gritty non-stop adventure that tie in with the strips created for the novel Kavalier & Clay. What makes characters like the Escapist so enjoyable, especially to readers of the novel, is the historical representation of their era. They represented everything superhero about the Golden Age of comics, they stood for political ideals, mostly pertaining to World War II, and gave people something to believe in, a sign of hope through all the death and destruction.

Dark Horse Comics is currently on its third issue of The Escapist. Unlike anything on the stands today, the book pays homage to Golden Age comics and is a great title not only for fans of the novel Kavalier & Clay, but for history enthusiasts and readers alike. The Escapist and Kavalier & Clay are both entertaining and informative reads, and a great way to pass the time in an airport.

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New Online Form for
On-Site Grading Submissions at Conventions
Prepare your on-site grading submissions in advance and save valuable time!

Prior to each show where CGC will be grading on-site, we will post our Online Show Submission Form. This new online form will give CGC customers the opportunity to prepare submissions for on-site show service in advance so they don't have to spend too much time waiting in line. Just visit the events section on the cgccomics.com home page where the special show submission form will be posted a week prior to any show where CGC will be grading on-site.

After completing the online show submission form, please be sure to print four copies of the form — three for CGC and one for your records. You must present these copies along with your books at the time of submission.

This new online form is only for On-Site Grading Services at conventions. Please do not use this form for submitting books for regular turnaround times.

If you have any questions regarding show services, please feel free to contact CGC customer service at 1.877.NM.COMIC

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