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.
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."
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.
Back to top
||The Super Women of Timely
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!
Back to top
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.
Back to top