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Comics Guaranty, LLC Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
December 2004  
 
Volume 3, Issue 8  
   
1. CGC Named Official Grading Service of Emerald City ComiCon
   
2. Fight Comics
   
3. A Ray of Light from "The Darkness"
   
4. Hake's Americana & Collectibles To Offer Over 100 CGC-Certified Comics in January
   
5. New Web Site for CGC'd Comic Books
   
6. The Northern Lights Brighten Heritage Comics!
   
7. Sean Chen Signature Series Signing
   


UPCOMING EVENTS

January 22-23
Big Apple Convention
Penn Plaza Pavilion

New York, NY


February 5-6
Emerald City ComiCon
Qwest Field Event Center

Seattle, Washington


February 18-20
Wondercon Moscone
Convention Center

San Francisco, CA


February 25-27
Megacon
Orange County Convention Center

Orlando, FL


CGC Named Official Grading Service of Emerald City ComiCon
ECCC LogoEmerald City ComiCon has recently named CGC as their official grading service. CGC will be attending the convention February 5 and 6 in Seattle, Washington. They will be available to accept submissions to be graded in their Florida office as well as answer questions from collectors and dealers. Because CGC takes the comics back with them from the show, submitting comics at the show means that collectors and dealers save on postage and insurance from Seattle to Florida.

"We are really happy to be named the official grading service of the Emerald City ComiCon and are looking forward to the convention," commented CGC President and Primary Grader Steve Borock "ECCC has become a real exciting show and we are happy that we have a another area in the country to meet collector's and Dealer's that we have not previously met before. Jim Demonakos, ECCC Co-Organizer, has been wonderful to work with, he is a real professional and has a great love for our hobby. This should be a great convention for CGC!"

Special guests attending the convention include Adam Kubert, Mark Waid, Brian Michael Bendis, Roy Thomas, Kurt Busiek, and more. Exhibitors include Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Top Cow Comics, Palisades Toys, ACTOR Comic Fund, and many others.

For more information regarding CGC and Emerald City ComiCon, visit www.emeraldcitycomicon.com and www.cgccomics.com.

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Nolan's Niche Fight Comics
Michelle Nolan

Not many Golden Age titles provided such a varied cast of characters and genres as did Fiction House's Fight Comics, one of the pulp publisher's famed "Big Six" comic books. Quick – name the other five! Right – Jumbo, Jungle, Planet, Wings and Rangers.

The generically named Fight Comics – obviously taken from the long-running Fiction House pulp Fight Stories – lasted 14 years and 86 issues. Issue #1 (Jan. 1940) ties for the second Fiction House comic book released (Jumbo started in 1938). Fight #86 (Jan. 1954) was among the firm's final 10 issues.

Fight ComicsThe title often featured the usual Fiction House cast of better-than-average artists – the likes of Matt Baker, Jerry Grandenetti, George Evans, George Tuska and Jack Kamen – along with a few early covers by Will Eisner and Lou Fine, back in the days when Fiction House acquired its art from the Eisner/Iger studio.

Through the 86-issue run, the title featured more than two dozen different characters, all of whom had one thing in common – these folks lived to fight! Few titles of the Golden Age ever burst with more sheer energy than Fight Comics, in which well over 1,000 punches and gunshots must have been portrayed over its 14-year run.

The majority of the characters came from the world of war heroes, spies, soldiers of fortune, vine swingers, prizefighters and a smattering of super heroes. They were almost all interesting. Fight Comics also featured more than half a dozen types of covers. In a sense, anyone who can collect all 86 issues has a microcosm of comics from the early Golden Age to the confusing limbo of the early 1950s.

The first two super heroes, Sabre (Spy Fighter) and Power Man (Rip Regan) ran in Fight #1-16 and #3-14, respectively. The stories were always short and of little consequence. On the other hand, both Super-American (#15-18) and Captain Fight (#16-19) were among the earliest and most colorful patriotic heroes. Both were fun features, running either 13 or 14 pages except for the 9-page Captain Fight story in #19. If you can only get one issue, shoot for either #16, 17 or 18, because they contain both characters. They're great, albeit scarce, examples of the vintage patriotic super hero.

Of the other fairly noteworthy early features, the only ones with staying power were Kayo Kirby, Shark Brodie and Sky Fighter (Chip Collins). These features pale in comparison to the long-running characters introduced during the World War II era: Rip Carson, Chute Trooper (later Risks Unlimited), Senorita Rio, Hooks Devlin (Special Agent), the sea-faring hero Captain Fight and, most of all, frequent cover feature Tiger Girl – the poor woman's Sheena!

Rip Carson ran in #19-85 except #69 and Senorita Rio appeared in #19-71 also except #69 (Fight dropped from 52 pages to 36 with #69). Hooks Devlin, a fun spy/detective strip that is often overlooked, ran in #20-69. The Errol Flynn-inspired Captain Fight appeared in #44-69. And Tiger Girl showed up in #32-81. Trying to take advantage of the post-war popularity of jungle theme covers, Fiction House used Tiger Girl as the cover feature from #49-81, including some of Maurice Whitman's finest cover work toward the end of the run.

Every issue of Fight is featured in the Photo-Journal, so attractive is the series. The first 14 issues of Fight (Jan. 1940-Aug. 1941) look very much like similar exotic themes coming from the likes of Fox and Quality at the time.

Three of my favorite Golden Age covers are the patriotic super hero themes of Fight #15-17 (Oct. 1941-Feb. 1942) with Super American, which were apparently Fiction House's responses to the immediate success of Timely's Captain America.

Some of the earliest, and most active and violent, war-hero covers are those that grace Fight #19-36, 38, 41, 42 and 44 (June 1942-June 1946), including the infamous "Nazi axman" cover, in which a hooded executioner is shot just before beheading a bound woman. There are also two oddity covers on Fight #41 (Dec. 1945) and #42 (Feb. 1946), featuring the Rip Carson stories "Twenty Coffins for Tokyo" and "Hit the Silk for Honshu." These are among the last of the raciest World War II covers from any publisher – both hit the stands following the official end of the war with Japan's surrender signing early September 1945.

Senorita Rio, a classic Fiction House female, mistakenly appeared as a blonde on the cover of #48 after her portrayal as an exotic brunette beginning with her first cover appearance on #37. My favorite Senorita Rio cover is the sword-fight classic on #47 (Dec. 1946) on a Spanish-style tile roof. The title of the featured story is so typical of Fiction House's always amusing annals of alliteration: "Horror's Hacienda."

When Tiger Girl debuted in #32 (June 1944), jungle girls still were not common in comics. She didn't hit the cover for three years – until #49 (April 1947). But she was a stubborn vine swinger, lasting both in the comic book and on the cover through #81 (July 1952). Sheena last appeared on a Jumbo cover at about the same time with #160 (June 1952), and the quarterly Sheena title ended with #18 (Winter 1952-53), so Fiction House apparently felt the era of the jungle girl was about over. Atlas had not yet started its moderately successful jungle girl titles and Fox had long since gone out of business. Fawcett's Nyoka, meanwhile, was on her last legs as well, not to mention being a lot less sexy than other jungle girls of the era.

During the final stages of the Korean War, Fight Comics went back to war-theme covers for its last five issues, which included two Tigerman reprints from Rangers Comics by George Evans in #86. Tigerman – a super spy sort – was a post-war Rangers feature, not the least bit related to Tiger Girl.

With far more versatility than any other Fiction House title, Fight Comics is well worth a battle through the boxes at your next comic convention!

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Hake's Americana & Collectibles To Offer Over 100 CGC-Certified Comics in January

Hake's Americana & Collectibles has long been recognized as one of the premier Americana auction houses, particularly when it comes to character-related memorabilia, but with their January 25 – 27, 2005 auction, they will be significantly expanding their offerings by including over 100 CGC-certified comic books and other items.

Hitler"While we have offered comics in the past, we are looking forward to pleasing our loyal customer base and our new customers even more by including a larger selection of high-grade comics," said Jeff Robison, General Manager of Hake's.

Batman A few of the highlights include All American Comics #1 CGC 6.5, Captain America Comics #1 CGC 8.0, and Marvel Mystery Comics #59 CGC 9.4. CGC-certified comics from the Mile High, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Rockford, Gaines files, Bethlehem and other pedigrees will be included in the offering.

The auction is also packed with numerous classic Americana collectibles, including political memorabilia, autographs, coins, vintage advertising collectibles and character toys. Highlights include a rare 1941 Superman Fleischer cartoon film one-sheet poster, an autographed sketch of Mickey Mouse signed by Walt Disney and memorabilia from numerous comic clubs of the Golden Age.

To order the upcoming auction catalog and to register, visit www.hakes.com. Catalogs are also available by calling Heather at (866) 404-9800 ext 249 or Sara at ext 410.

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Sean Chen Signature Series Signing

Sean Chen XmenSean Chen, artist extraordinaire of Marvel's X-Men: The End, will be doing signings for CGC Signature Series at Collector's Kingdom on Saturday, January 29th from 12 pm to 4 pm. Collector's Kingdom is located at 202 West Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, NY.

A CGC deputy will be on hand to witness the signings. The signed comics can be submitted to Collector's Kingdom that day to be sent to CGC for encapsulation, grading and the prestigious CGC Signature Series Label.

For more information, please call 631-549-4336 and ask for Ray or Mike.

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cgc registry

A Ray of Light from "The Darkness"
Shawn Caffrey
Caffrey Chronicles

As of late, I'd been indulging myself with countless graphic novels and trade paperbacks, and sadly neglecting the newer released single comic issues stacked in my bedroom. Eventually, I had managed to finger through the pile, looking at each cover, waiting for one in particular to grab my attention. That's when I came to a book with an incredibly detailed cover by Dale Keown, depicting a small demon holding out a hand of cards across a poker table.

DarknessI pulled The Darkness volume #2 #17 from my stack of books. Not a title that I would normally purchase, but I'm a poker fan, and poker comic covers had recently gained my attention as a collectible. The Darkness, one of the original big hits for Top Cow Publications since 1996, was always one of my favorite reads in my earlier days of collecting, but slowly tapered down as Marvel and D.C. Comics' super-hero titles began sparking my interest. This issue of The Darkness, beginning a new story arc called "Hell House," depicts the main character, mafia hit man Jackie Estacado in his struggle with the Darkness curse. David Lapham, best known as author of Stray Bullets, takes the helm as writer, while Brian Denham brings the words to life as artist.

Now, I've been off of The Darkness series for quite some time now, but the premise itself is still familiar. For those unfamiliar, the character of Jackie was cursed on his 21st birthday, a curse that gave him access to a world full of demons that are all at his disposal when the lights go out. What really enhanced my enjoyment with this issue in particular was how David Lapham showed the struggle between Jackie and the Darkness power. Most of the issue is the two talking back and forth, the Darkness begging Jackie to come out. But unlike the original series of The Darkness, Jackie wants to control his power, trying all he can do to keep it at bay, struggling for dominance of his own body over the bevy of demons that lurk inside him.

Brian Denham's art continues to illustrate Lapham's noir-ish writing style from Stray Bullets, bringing a dark and uneasy grit to the storyline. Top Cow's The Darkness was a book I'd always enjoyed, and I can't be happier to have gotten back into it. It's unlike the earlier series, which I still enjoyed, but have found myself enjoying the newer brutal display of the Darkness power illustrated in this issue, along with the back-and-forth narrative struggle that Lapham writes between the two sides. The Darkness has peaked my interest once again, along with many other Top Cow titles, and I guarantee that issue #18 of The Darkness will be one of the first books to read in next month's stack of books.

For more information on The Darkness & other Top Cow titles, log onto www.TopCow.com

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New Web Site for CGC'd Comic Books

Vintage Collectibles

A new, exciting collectibles Web site featuring CGC-certified comic books will be live starting December 24th. Our friend, longtime hobbyist and Overstreet Senior Advisor, Bill Hughes, is launching his site www.VintageCollectables.net. This site will showcase rarities from several hobbies that he is associated with, including comic books, baseball cards, original comic art, movie posters, autographs and Disneyana. Bill also tells CGC that he has a revolutionary platform by which consignors can make money off their comics even if Bill doesn't sell them! Just click the 'Consignments' icon on the home page for more info. In all, there will be over two million dollars worth of mostly high-grade collectibles listed when the site launches, with more to come on a daily basis. Bill is a regular submitter to CGC and is one of the most aggressive buyers in the marketplace, so you will want to check out this site for many top census CGC'd comic books. He also offers payment terms for purchases of any size. Remember, there is only one 'I' in Bill's Web address. Once again, go to www.VintageCollectables.net and have some fun.

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The Northern Lights Brighten Heritage Comics!
Collection includes astounding CGC-graded issues

The Northern Lights Collection, an outstanding collection of comics from the Golden and Silver Ages, will be presented by Heritage Comics Auctions (HCA) in their first two sales of 2005, beginning with the February 11-12 Signature Auction, to be held in their Dallas offices.

"The Northern Lights Collection represents an outstanding achievement," said Ed Jaster, HCA's Director of Acquisitions, "assembled by a truly advanced collector who spent in excess of $1 million assembling a grouping of the highest-quality books available. The range of high-grade material here is staggering, from an Amazing Spider-Man run that has to be seen to be believed (the #1 is CGC-graded an astounding 9.4), to a run of Batman #1-200 that will have collectors salivating." Read More

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