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Comics Guaranty, LLC Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
August 2004  
 
Volume 3, Issue 8  
   
1. CGC at Wizard World Chicago
   
2. The Walking Dead
   
3. CGC Forum Dinner Chicago 2004
   
4. The Super Women of Timely
   
5. CGC On-Site Certification Mania!
   
6. New Golden Age Collection Surfaces
   
7. Launch of New Comic Book Company Web Site — Colmore Comics & Collectibles
   
8. Highest CGC-Graded Batman Run on ComicLink.Com
   


UPCOMING EVENTS

September 11-12
Baltimore Comic-Con

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD
On-Site Grading!


September 25-26
St. Louis Royal Fest

Collinsville Convention Center
St Louis, MO


November 5-7
Wizard World Texas

Arlington Convention Center
Arlington, TX
On-Site Grading!


November 19-21
New York National

Penn Plaza Pavilion
New York, NY
On-Site Grading!


CGC at Wizard World Chicago

Hurricane Charley may have narrowly missed Sarasota, but another storm hit head-on at Wizard World Chicago. Fifteen employees of Comics Guaranty, LLC (CGC) made their way to the Windy City for their second on-site grading experience. Little did they know that as they left the targeted path of a category four hurricane, they were headed towards a storm of "comic" proportions. By Thursday evening, the entire staff had set up operations in the confines of the Rosemont Convention Center – and good thing too. By the close of set-up on Thursday evening, CGC had amassed a few hundred submissions, all submitted by eager enthusiasts thirsty for early on-site certification.

Within 10 minutes of opening on Friday, a storm of collectors and fans alike had swarmed in massive lines around the CGC booth. "On-site grading has become a real fan favorite" said Steve Borock, President and Primary Grader of CGC. "I envision, sometime in the near future, that we will have double the amount of staff, machines, and a full island of booths to handle everyone's request for same show certification. Not only that, but I also see us doing on-site grading and certification at almost every large show in the country very soon."

Many customers took advantage of CGC's online "on-site" submission forms, making their experience with submitting an almost effortless and speedy process. Like normal submissions through CGC by mail, on-site services offer the same certification process, with the only difference being same-show turnaround times. "CGC continues to raise the bar for sellers and collectors," said Steve Welch of Albino Rhino Comics and a fan of CGC since its inception. "Offering on-site grading and certification ensures quick turnaround without having to send the books anywhere. Sellers were able to submit books Friday and sell them on Sunday! Brilliant!"

Overall, Wizard World Chicago was an enormous success. According to Wizard Entertainment, attendance reached 54,000 throughout the three day show. Comic book dealers made a large presence at the show, providing fans and collectors with more than enough material to satisfy any need. "The increased number of comic books, Golden Age through Modern Age, made this show an amazing treasure hunt for many of us," commented Steven Lauterbach, President of Investment Collectibles. "I was able to find many comic books for my clients that were on their 'want lists' because of this."

Companies such as Marvel, D.C., Top Cow, IDW and Wizard Entertainment provided fans with countless opportunities to meet their favorite creators, and some companies offered show exclusives, making Wizard World Chicago, once again, a must for fans. With the increased attendance and growing number of dealers and exhibitors, next year's show has the potential to be even bigger and better.

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CGC Forum Dinner Chicago 2004

Saturday, August 14th, 2004 marked the second annual CGC Forum Dinner at Wizard World Chicago. In just one short year, the dinner tripled in size and was held in a private room at Gibson's. It was an amazing event to highlight a great show. The attendees, ranging from collectors to dealers and industry gurus, celebrated the pure joy of the medium of comic books. The monumental task of organizing the dinner was taken by Alan Flenard (aka "PedigreeMan") from the CGC forums.

"The CGC forum dinner during Wizard World Chicago brought together a diverse group of comic lovers. From everyday collectors like myself, to dealer-giants like Steve Lauterbach, Josh Nathenson and Jason Ewert, to respected professionals like Michelle Nolan and Gary Colabuono, everyone came together in the spirit of enjoying this fantastic hobby. Without CGC's constant umbrella support of integrity and comradery acting as the glue amongst these groups, it is unlikely that such a successful, fun time would have ever taken place." said Alan.

To join in one of the CGC forum dinners at a convention near you, go to www.cgccomics.com, click on "boards" and sign up to meet other board members.

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Nolan's Niche The Super Women of Timely
Michelle Nolan

Over the past few years, a few well-heeled collectors have sought out a unique group of pricey Timely/Marvel comics featuring the widest variety of superheroines created by any Golden Age publisher.

Most of these comics were produced in the late 1940's when publishers were scrambling to produce new concepts in the wake of the declining popularity of traditional superheroes. Timely, of course, was among the superhero leaders in the early 1940's, with a raft of them led by Captain America, the Human Torch, and the Sub-Mariner.

Until late in 1943, the only original Timely Comics heroine was the bizarre Black Widow, who appeared in four short filler stories in the back pages of Mystic #3-4 in 1940, USA #5 in 1942 and All-Select #1 in 1943. These comics are so expensive that you'd be better advised to spend your heroine-oriented dollars on Timely/Marvel's 1946-1952 products. Ditto to the issues to the Tarpe Mills newspaper strip heroine Miss Fury #1-8, a title published irregularly from 1942-45. She was in costume on all the covers but inside only in #1-5.

Miss America, Timely's longest running heroine, debuted in Marvel Mystery #49 (Nov. 1943) and ran through #85 in 1948, but was always a seven page backup strip. The star-spangled heroine also appeared in the first five issues of her own title, including three long stories in #1, which was published as a 1944 one-shot. The title was converted into a teenage girl's comic with #2, starring Patsy Walker, though Miss America continued to appear in #2-5. Miss America #1-2 are wonderful period pieces but tend to be pricey; you might find #3-5 for less than $40 or $50 if you're lucky. No issue of Marvel Mystery, of course, will cost you so little unless it's coverless, brittle, poor to fair, or incomplete. Miss America also appeared with the All-Winners #19 and #21 in 1946-47, but those two issues are both scarce and expensive.

With the debut of the exotic Blonde Phantom in All-Select #11 (Fall 1946), which was the last issue, Timely slowly turned to a series of unusual costume heroines. The title became Blonde Phantom with #12 and ran through #22 in 1949. Miss America backup strips ran in All-Select #11 and Blonde Phantom #12-14, so those are worth extra. All the issues of Blonde Phantom are fun, and low-grade copies might be obtainable for less than $100.

After Venus, Sun Girl and Namora began to appear in their own titles in 1948 to accompany the Blonde Phantom, Timely used these heroines in its four flagship titles Marvel Mystery, Captain America, Human Torch and Sub-Mariner. Other companies flirted with costume heroines, but none nearly to the extent or variety that Timely did. DC and Fawcett, of course, each had one long-running superstar in Wonder Woman and Mary Marvel, along with other heroines such as Black Canary and Liberty Belle from DC and Bulletgirl from Fawcett.

Sun Girl and Namora lasted only three issues apiece, all in 1948, but Venus ran 19 issues through 1952, variously evolving in themes ranging from adventure, fantasy, and romance, to science fiction and horror. Venus wasn't really a superheroine, but she's worth the attention of any collector of superheroines for the sheer outrageousness of the stories. Sun Girl had heroine backup stories, Miss America in #1 and Blonde Phantom in #2-3.

Blonde Phantom also appeared in Namora #2, giving her credits in at least one issue of no less than eight Golden Age titles as either the star or a backup — All-Select, Blonde Phantom, All-Winners (second series), Marvel Mystery, Sub-Mariner, Sun-Girl, Namora and Blackstone the Magician Detective #2-4 in 1948! You can win a bar bet with that one: what Golden Age heroine appeared in the most different titles? Even so, Blonde Phantom's run on the newsstands lasted less than three years! So much for exposure (pun fully intended).

Namora also appeared in Sub-Mariner #23-30 and in the Sub-Mariner backup stories in Human Torch #28, #31 and #37. Likewise, Sun Girl appeared in Human Torch #32-35 (including a solo story in #34), plus in the Human Torch backup story in Sub-Mariner #29. Thus, if you can find Sub-Mariner #29, you get four heroes and heroines in one comic. For 1948, that was quite a deal.

In addition, Blonde Phantom backups appear in Sub-Mariner #25-28 and #30. Blonde Phantom also had a story in All-Winners #1, which was intended to be the start of a second series of the classic superhero anthology title. However, Stan Lee and/or his boss, publisher Martin Goodman, must have had second thoughts about All-Winners, because the title was changed to All-Western Winners with #2.

Yet another Timely costume heroine, Golden Girl, never appeared in either her own comic book or in her own stories, but she served as Captain America's partner during stories in Cap #66-73 in 1948-49 before the title faded out as Captain America's Weird Tales #74-75. In Captain America #69, Sun-Girl co-starred in the Human Torch backup story, so you get four heroes and heroines if you can find Cap #69.

Every Timely superheroine made at least one appearance in the last 11 issues of Marvel Mystery — #82-92 — except for the little known Black Widow, who was long gone, and Miss Patriot, who debuted with The Patriot in Marvel Mystery #50 (Dec. 1943) and occasionally appeared during the rest of that star-spangled character's run through #74.

The Marvel Mystery heroine appearance list includes Miss America in Marvel Mystery #82-85, Blonde Phantom in #84-91, Namora in the Sub-Mariner stories in #82 and #84-91 and Golden Girl in Captain America stories in #87-88 and #91-92. If you can find Marvel Mystery #91 (April 1949), you get five heroines and three heroes in one comic book!

All told, costume heroines appeared in 124 of Timely/Marvel's Golden Age super hero comic books. You go girls!

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Launch of New Comic Book Company Web Site —
Colmore Comics & Collectibles

On August 16, 2004, well-known CGC-graded comics collector Mark Arrand launched the Web site of his Internet comic book business: www.colmorecomics.com.

After over 30 years of collecting, Mark decided to pursue his hobby on a full-time basis and turn dealer as well. The Web site's opening inventory concentrates on Silver Age and Bronze Age comics and includes over 340 CGC-graded comics, including many items from pedigree collections and copies in the highest CGC census grades. Many, many more CGC-graded comics will be added in the coming months.

Mark explained, "After being lucky enough to be able to turn my hobby into a business, the launch of the Web site follows over a year of planning, preparation, and development. I am really excited that the day has at last arrived. I already have plans in place to expand and improve the inventory by the addition of many more CGC-graded comics and to expand and improve the Web site itself by the addition of features intended to be for the benefit — and entertainment, I hope — of my fellow collectors!"

CGC has supported Mark on his new venture and, as Mark is an Authorized Member Dealer, his new Web site includes an online form for submissions to be made to CGC.

Mark said that he will now be spending time promoting and advertising his Web site and encouraging collectors to register on it. Registration provides a number of benefits, including a free promotional gift (while stock lasts!) in celebration of the launch.

Mark knows that collectors of CGC-graded comics will be able to find something of interest on his new Web site and he looks forward to being in contact with them. Mark's contact information can be found on the Colmore Comics Web site.

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cgc registry

The Walking Dead
Shawn Caffrey
Caffrey Chronicles

In last month's article I had briefly mentioned how zombies were my favorite characters of the horror genre. So naturally, this month it only seemed appropriate for me to discuss a comic title pertaining to the same subject. It may seem easy, with an abundance of material out in today's market, but few ever stand alone. One of my only drawbacks with zombie-related stories is that they appear to have all been done... over and over again. Honestly, how many different ways can one tell a story of the undead? That was a question I always kept in mind while diving headfirst into zombie-related material until I had a memorable trip to my local comic shop. As I was browsing the new books on the rack, I came across an Image Comics title that grabbed my attention. With the overwhelming superhero material put out each week, it was only natural that I grabbed issue one of a comic titled The Walking Dead.



Written by Robert Kirkman, known best for his work on Image Comics' Invincible, The Walking Dead is a story of a police officer named Rick Grimes who wakes up from a coma only to find his world overrun by zombies. Previously, I had said that I looked for zombie stories unlike any other, and from what I've said so far, it fits the mold of every other story. But Kirkman takes this story down a deep character-driven path that makes the reader forget that there are any zombies in the book. Throughout the story, the walking dead play only a minor role, rarely showing face in panels. In the beginning, when Rick wakes up, he fights his way through hordes of the undead, making his way to his house. To his dismay, he finds it empty, his wife and child gone, and already, by this discovery, the readers find themselves deeply immersed in Rick's life. As the story progresses, Rick comes across a group of survivors, included among them, his family. This is only the introduction of a story about a family and a group of strangers who are forced to finally live in a world overrun by the dead.

The art of Tony Moore in The Walking Dead is chillingly real, thus adding to the reader's acceptance of his new reality. With his crisp lines and cinematic use of black and white, Tony adds a form of emotion to the characters, both alive and dead. As the story progresses and new characters are introduced, the reader can relate to every aspect of each character's personality. The Walking Dead is no longer a story of the undead, but one of hope and survival. The readers can empathize with Rick, along with other characters. As Robert Kirkman said, "I hope to show you reflections of your friends, your neighbors, your families, and yourselves, and what their reactions are to the extreme situations in this book." So, for any horror fan, this is one I highly recommend, and to fans of anything and everything, I couldn't recommend this book more. The Walking Dead will be around for a long time to come, as Kirkman's intentions are to make this an epic tale of Rick Grimes' life, or as he called it, "The zombie movie that never ends." I'm hoping this might be the title that finally gets my wife into comics... we'll see.

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CGC On-Site Certification Mania!

Comics Guaranty, LLC (CGC) is proud to announce three more on-site certification sessions to round out the 2004 convention season! The industry's only independent, third party certification service is planning to invade the Baltimore Comic-Con (September 11-12, 2004), then attack Wizard World Texas (November 5-7, 2004) and finally lay siege to the National Comic Con in New York City (November 19-21, 2004).

On-site certification has been growing steadily since CGC first tried it out at Wizard World Chicago 2003. A year later, they have shattered all expectations. Lines form fast at the CGC booth, so be sure to get their early to ensure that your books will be returned to you by the end of the show. To make things run smoother, CGC offers an online submission form dedicated to on-site submissions only.

"On-site certification is becoming the new fan favorite," said Steve Borock, President of CGC."And we are happy that CGC is able to provide this service to the collecting community."

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New Golden Age Collection Surfaces

Author/historian Jon McClure has discovered an original owner Golden Age collection, contents of which are still largely unknown. The comic books date from 1937 to 1945 and range from VG to VF. Jon is receiving them on a monthly basis, 20 issues at a time, from a 300 book collection. The first batch contains Captain America #1-6, #8-15 which are being certified by CGC. The next batch to be certified contains All Star Comics #1-14.

The collection contains a good number of the top 20 Golden Age comics listed by value in Overstreet. The first three are obviously Captain America #1 and All Star Comics #3 and #8. Future issues in the top twenty include Captain Marvel #1, and who knows what else? — they arrive without description from the widow of the original purchaser/collector.

To get a chance to own one of these CGC certified Golden Age beauties, visit EBay starting in September. They will be auctioned under the EBay username "wildercat."

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Highest CGC-Graded Batman Run on ComicLink.Com

On September 2nd, Investment Collectibles, in conjunction with ComicLink.Com, is listing the finest early Batman run ever to surface since the advent of CGC. From this near complete run of Batman between issues #1 through 100, all but the first issue will be listed in the "auction" section of ComicLink.com. The auction will run until Sunday, September 12th. The discerning collector that owned these comic books spent many years putting the collection together and was meticulous about finding the locating copies for his run. Most of the issues are the highest or second highest graded copies.

The Batman #1 from the collection, which has been certified as a 9.0 by CGC, will be listed in the "for sale" section of ComicLink.com. As one of the most desirable comic books in existence and rarer in this condition, this Batman #1 is the finest known to exist. Not only is the structure impeccable but the color is newsstand fresh and the page quality is a pristine off-white to white.

Collectors and dealers interested in buying or bidding on this collection, or interested in selling books on ComicLink.com can find more information at www.comiclink.com or can e-mail or call Josh Nathanson for details (516/466-2770, buysell@comiclink.com)

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