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Comics Guaranty, LLC Comics Guaranty Corporation
February 2006  
 
Volume 5, Issue 1  
   
1. Collecting Columbia Comics
   
2. Reminder: Turnaround Time Guarantee Offer Ends March 1, 2006
   
3. CGC invades WonderCon
   
4. CGC/ACTOR Charity Signature Series Signings at New York Comic-Con
   
5. All Star Auctions to Feature CGC'D Comic Books and Rare Comic Book Art
   
6. Large Golden Age Comic Auction Announced by ComicLink
   
7. World's Largest Doctor Strange Collection
   
8. ACTOR MegaCon Charity Auction 2006 Is Not To Be Missed
   
9. CGC Signature Series Signing at MegaCon
   
10. Comic 'Crisis' Relief! Two Generations of Comic Writers Band Together for a Cause
   


UPCOMING EVENTS


February 24-26
MegaCon

Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL


February 24-26
New York Comic-Con

Jacob K. Javits Center
New York, NY


March 17-19
Wizard World LA

Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, CA

 

Nolan's Niche Collecting Columbia Comics
Michelle Nolan

The small output of the Columbia Comic Corporation is often overlooked by Golden Age collectors, but it shouldn't be.

Big Shot Comics
Click to enlarge

Columbia's flagship title, Big Shot Comics, ran 104 issues from 1940-49 as one of the first hybrid anthology titles, mixing original heroes such as Skyman and The Face with well-known newspaper comic strip characters. Big Shot, however, was the only long-running title from Columbia.

Skyman, often drawn by Ogden Whitney, Mart Bailey, or Paul Reinman, was a solid Golden Age costume hero, yet was featured in solo action on only a handful of Big Shot's covers. Skyman's all-too-short stories often seemed to end just as they were getting going. He ran in every issue through #101 except #42, but his last adventure as long as 10 or 11 pages was in #26 (Aug. 1942). None of his remaining adventures in Big Shot was longer than eight pages, and they were only six pages for the second half of his long run. His stories just cried out for longer treatment.

Skyman, a dynamic costumed aviator created by writer Gardner Fox (perhaps with help from editor Vincent Sullivan), appeared three months after the first strip of this kind, Spy Smasher, debuted in the first issue of Fawcett's Whiz Comics. Skyman thus appeared too soon to be considered a Spy Smasher knockoff.

The Face
Click to enlarge

The Face, credited to Fox and Sullivan and drawn in appropriately scary style by Mart Bailey, was one of the most original of the early heroes. Radio announcer Tony Trent came up with the idea of wearing a frightening green mask to throw fear into criminals. The idea was cool, but the stories were almost all either 8- or 6-pagers, failing to allow for the development such a character might have warranted. Some collectors even consider these early horror strips, so to speak. Except for a handful of later appearances, Tony Trent abandoned The Face after #62 (Jan. 1946) to go after criminals with his own mug.

Big Shot came up with another original costumed hero when Spy Chief (known as Spy Master in the first two issues) gained an alter ego known as The Cloak. The origin of The Cloak was told in #15 (July 1941) but the character ended with #28 (October 1942) and his stories were never more than 6 pages. Big Shot also had its own magician, Marvello Monarch of Magicians, as did so many Golden Age anthology comics. Marvelo lasted only through # 20 (December 1941), though featured almost entirely in six-page stories.

Early issues of Big Shot are surprisingly scarce, so they are indeed prizes. They also featured the likes of Joe Palooka, Dixie Dugan, Charlie Chan, and Sparky Watts (who began his humorous, satirical run in #14). Your best bet is to nab one or two of the first 20 issues, and you'll have all the characters, not to mention possibly a scarce issue.

Skyman also appeared in four issues of his own title. Although numbered, they were dated only by year and were essentially one-shots. If you aren't interested in Big Shot, it would still be well worth your while to pick up any of the four Skyman issues. The first two (1941 and 1942) were 68 pages, while #3 (1947) was 52 pages and #4 (1948) was 36 pages.

All four issues contained four Skyman stories, and #1 also had a 3-page recap of the origin of Skyman, whose alter ego was scientist Allen Turner. His nifty boomerang-style plane, The Wing, was one of the earliest versions of the Stealth bomber and may have been inspired by a craft of the same name in Republic's first Dick Tracy serial (1937).

The Face also appeared in four issues, a 68-pager in 1941 with four Face stories, a 60-pager in 1943 with five Face stories, and 36-pagers in 1948 and 1949, after Tony Trent had abandoned his gimmick. The first two issues can be exceptionally difficult to locate, so they are genuine Golden Age "finds" if you can locate any of them.

Many collectors were surprised to discover that Skyman and The Face appeared in stories in Sparky Watts #1, an undated 1942 issue. Sparky Watts isn't every fan's cup of tea—although if you give cartoonist Boody Rogers a chance to grow on you, you'll find him often hilarious—but the first three issues of Sparky Watts are noteworthy for some of the longest stories in comics to that point. They ran 39 pages in #1, 52 pages in #2 (1942) and 54 pages in #3 (1943).

Joe Palooka ran in every issue of Big Shot through #72 (Dec. 1946). That was odd because Harvey's run of Joe Palooka began with #1 in Nov. 1945. Joe Palooka also appeared in the first 31 issues of Quality’s earliest title, Feature Funnies # 1-20/Feature Funnies #21-on. After Feature Funnies #31 (April 1940), Columbia immediately picked up the strip with Big Shot #1 (May 1940). Joe Palooka thus became one of the few iconic comic strip characters to be published by three different companies—and to run continuously on the newsstands from 1937-61.

Columbia also published a 68-page one-shot in 1943 entitled Columbia, the Gem of the Comics, but the only strip resembling a super hero was Sparky Watts. Columbia's four issues of Joe Palooka, released in 1942 and 1944 before the Harvey run began, also did not include any super heroes, though they are "musts" for Palooka collectors.

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CGC Invades WonderCon
CGC Invades WonderCon
Click to enlarge

February 10-12 marked WonderCon's 20th year and another great start to the convention season. CGC made its presence in the city of San Francisco, setting up on the convention floor to take submissions, giving fans and collectors the opportunity to take advantage of their guaranteed turnaround-time tiers. With close to 1000 submissions by the close of the weekend, it was clear to the CGC staff that many took them up on that offer.

The three-day show, held once again at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, offered an impressive line-up of guests, ranging from the likes of Frank Miller and Peter David to Terry Moore. Attendees who stopped by the CGC booth were offered to participate in CGC's prestigious Signature Series tier, giving them the opportunity to get their books signed by their favorite creators witnessed by appointed CGC witnesses. With the books being witnessed, fans can submit their books through the Signature Series tier, where during the grading and encapsulation process, it's given the yellow label, authenticating the creator's signature.

"CGC Signature Series was very successful this year", says Kevin Boyd, a CGC Signature Series Director, "and with WonderCon being the kick-off to the convention season, we can't wait to see how many more people participate in this great program throughout the year."

A special thanks to Jason Waters (ACTOR), Kris Moore, and Elrod Mah for all their help in making CGC's WonderCon presence a successful convention experience.

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All Star Auctions to Feature CGC'D Comic Books and Rare Comic Art

"We are very excited by the upcoming New York City convention to be held at the Jacob Javits Center February 24-26, 2006. At the upcoming Convention, we will be joined at our booth by Carmine Infantino, the artist who revolutionized The Silver Age Of Comics. We will also be joined by Joe Giella, one of the premier artists of the Golden, Silver and Bronze Age of comics. Joe celebrated 60 years in the field in 2005! In addition to these two fine artists and gentlemen, we will also be holding a Simul-Con: an auction which will end at the convention. We will have items in the auction on view, and a bank of computers where you can bid. View it, bid it, and win it!".

We will be offering CGC'd comic books from the Big Apple Collection, both Golden and Silver Age. We will also be featuring more great DC art by the greats! A truly historic page from the DC Universe, the splash page from Brave and the Bold #34, the first Silver Age Hawkman appearance! We will also be featuring great strip to include a FANTASTIC Peanuts Sunday.

For more information please go to: http://www.allstarauctions.net.

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World's Largest Doctor Strange Collection

Dr. Strange
Click to enlarge
The Howard Hallis Doctor Strange Collection will be on display at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, California, from March 1 - 26, 2006. Opening reception will be on Saturday, March 4, from 6-10 pm.

"Howard has been a member of the CGC chat board community for awhile now," said Steve Borock, CGC's president and primary grader. "He is just a great guy and his love for this hobby is undeniable. Once you see this collection, you will see what a labor of love putting together this impressive array of Doctor Strange material was."

Dr. Strange
Click to enlarge
The collection will include original art pieces from legendary comic artists such as Gene Colan, Frank Brunner, Alex Ross, and P. Craig Russell, among many others. These will be displayed in the gallery area in the back of the store. There will also be rare posters, pin-ups, and limited edition prints in this area as well.

Also on display will be high grade CGC'd comic books, foreign editions, trading cards, toys, sculptures, and various rare collectibles. Howard's own custom covers for Ditko's Strange Tales run will also be part of the show.

More information:
http://www.howardhallis.com/drstrange/meltdown/
http://www.howardhallis.com/drstrange/
http://www.meltcomics.com/

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CGC Signature Series Signing at MegaCon
Dare Devil
Click to enlarge

CGC has announced that the very talented Amanda Conner (JSA: Classified) & Jimmy Palmiotti (Hawkman, Jonah Hex) will be signing at the CGC booth at MegaCon. Amanda & Jimmy will be signing at the CGC booth Saturday, February 25, from 3 pm to 4 pm. All comics signed by Amanda & Jimmy at the CGC booth will be eligible to receive the CGC Signature Series label.

CGC witnesses will be on hand to accept signed books during the signing. Only comic books submitted immediately after the signing will be given CGC's Signature Series label, comic books submitted anytime after the signing will not be eligible for the CGC Signature Series authentication.

Arrive early at the CGC booth to ensure a spot in line for these remarkable creators. For more information on upcoming shows that CGC is attending check our Web site at: http://www.cgccomics.com.

For more information on Megacon, visit:
http://www.megaconvention.com.

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Comic 'Crisis' Relief! Two Generations of Comic Writers Band Together for a Cause

Top industry talents bridging comics past and present are joining forces at The Comic Bug on Saturday, March 25 from 2-5 p.m. Writers Geoff (Infinite Crisis) Johns, Marv (Crisis on Infinite Earths) Wolfman and inker Norm Rapmund (Infinite Crisis) will be appearing at the Manhattan Beach, California, store for a charity signing benefiting ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots). One hundred percent of the proceeds raised at the event will go to the organization, which gives aid to comic creators in need of financial assistance for everything from medical bills to living expenses.

Twenty-one years ago, Marv Wolfman and George Perez turned the DC Universe on its ear in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Consolidating nearly fifty years of continuity, "Crisis" refined the history of some of our most loved heroes; Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and many more, making obsolete many tales told by generations of comic book creators while laying the groundwork for the future. If you've stepped foot in ANY comic shop in the last year, you've no doubt heard of Infinite Crisis, the sequel to that seminal work of two decades ago, which undoes much of the threading that Wolfman and Perez laid down. Scripted by hot industry writer Geoff Johns, Infinite Crisis has been several years in the making, with clues laid intricately through books from DC as far back as 1998. This is the first time the two writers have appeared exclusively under one roof.

"I can't think of a two other creators who have had such an impact on something as big as the DC Universe, not just today, but two decades ago. This is history in the making, folks! Literally!" exclaimed Comic Bug Manager Mike Wellman. "Just as some of our favorite super-heroes have gone through generational changes, so too does some of the talent that create these tales. ACTOR is an organization that doesn't let us forget the great writers and artists from all eras, and helps comics' elder statesmen in financial or medical need."

"ACTOR is an important organization, one I hope I never need," stated Wolfman, "but vital to those who might. I hope we can raise a fortune to help them out."

"I'm just excited to help out in any way I can," Johns added.

"I'm very fortunate to live in Los Angeles," beamed McLauchlin. "We have such an incredible, dynamic array of comic stores. The Comic Bug is quickly becoming one of my favorites because of the great and fun promotions they run, just like this one."

"CGC has always supported ACTOR," said Steve Borock, CGC President and Primary Grader. "We encourage everyone who can make this great event to do so, and even if you cannot, please visit the ACTOR Web site or visit them at most major comic book conventions and donate whatever they can."

The Comic Bug is located at 1015 Aviation Blvd. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. For more information, call (310) 372-6704 or visit http://www.thecomicbug.com.

For more on the guests, go to http://www.marvwolfman.com and http://www.geoffjohns.com. A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR) Comic Fund is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. ACTOR creates a financial safety net for yesterday's creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. For more information, visit http://www.ACTORComicFund.org or call 310-909-7809.

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cgc registry
Reminder: Turnaround Time Guarantee Offer Ends March 1, 2006

The CGC guarantee on turnaround times applies to all regular grading tier submissions including magazine submissions. All submissions are automatically eligible for this guarantee, and submitters do not need to make special note on their submission invoice. This offer is valid on all books received before March 1, 2006. Click here for full details.

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CGC/ACTOR Charity Signature Series Signings at New York Comic-Con
CGC/Actor NYC
Click to enlarge
Jae Lee! John Romita Sr.! Ron Marz! Lee Moder!

CGC and A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR) have joined forces with Jae Lee, John Romita Sr., Ron Marz, and Lee Moder for some very special charity signings benefiting ACTOR, at the CGC booth (#544) during the New York Comic-Con.
The dynamic Jae Lee (Ultimate Fantastic Four & Dark Tower) will be signing on Friday, the 24th from 4:00-5:30 pm. The legendry John Romita Sr. (Amazing Spider-Man) will be doing a Limited Signing* on Saturday morning, the 25th from 11-11:45 am. The talented Ron Marz (Ion, Witchblade) & the gifted Lee Moder (Wonder Woman, Painkiller Jane) are scheduled to sign on Sunday, the 26th from 12:00 - 1:00 pm. All comics signed at the CGC booth during these amazing Signature Series Charity
CGC/Actor NYC
Click to enlarge
signings will be eligible to receive the prestigious CGC Signature Series label. Proceeds for all books submitted for CGC Signature Series will be donated to ACTOR. A CGC witness will be on hand to accept signed books during the signing. Only comic books submitted immediately after the signing will be given CGC's Signature Series label, comic books submitted anytime after the signing will not be eligible for the CGC Signature Series authentication.

Arrive early at the CGC booth (#544) to ensure a spot in line for these remarkable creators. For more information on upcoming shows that CGC is attending, check our Web site at: http://www.cgccomics.com.

For more information about ACTOR please visit: http://www.ACTORComicFund.org.

* Only 50 tickets will be given away Friday at the CGC booth (#544) for the Limited Signing with John Romita, Sr! Doors open at 11am, so be sure to get in line at the CGC Booth first thing Saturday morning! Limit 3 Signatures per ticket!

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Large Golden Age Comic Auction Announced by ComicLink

Josh Nathanson, President of ComicLink, has announced plans for a large Golden Age comic book auction in April. The April Golden Age Focused Auction will contain CGC-graded comic books from 1938 up through the late 1950s and will contain many issues from a variety of publishers. It is scheduled to start on April 9 and goes through April 20. Scoop learned that ComicLink will be offering buyers a longer period of time to pay than usual (30 days interest free) in order to stimulate more aggressive bidding and is also offering cash advances to sellers for desirable material to be included in this auction. In addition, unlike ComicLink's recent auctions where there has been no reserve, reserves will be permitted in the April auction. The consignment deadline is March 31, 2006. There are also plans for future Golden Age auctions after this one, but ComicLink does not yet have firm dates for them.

Josh Nathanson, President of ComicLink said, "We are looking forward to increasingly providing collectors with highly desirable items from the Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages for their collections within ComicLink's auction format. As in ComicLink's For Sale/Bid section, ComicLink has been consistently realizing record prices for our Focused Auction consignors. The best part is that our buyers are extremely happy to have the opportunity to obtain these items because of their relative scarcity and generally upward price trends. A happy seller and a happy buyer is all we can ask for in our business."

Currently, bidders can bid in ComicLink's early CGC-graded Batman Auction, which ends on February 16. This auction contains 73 Batman issues between #2 and #100, many of which are scarce. Some early, desirable issues are lower grade like Batman #2 in VG- (CGC 3.5) and Batman #11 (1st Joker Cover) in FN- (CGC 5.5), but most of the issues are among the highest graded, like Batman #10 CGC 8.5, #16 CGC 9.0 (1st Alfred) and Batman #48 in CGC 9.4. Many of the issues showcased in the auction included highly demanded covers rarely seen in the available condition!

CGC has also learned that the ComicLink February Silver/Bronze Age February Focused Auction auction preview is now online! This auction features over 250 CGC-graded comics from the Don Rosa pedigree collection (the most ever auctioned at one time and the vast majority of which graded CGC 9.4 or better) as well as over 250 other CGC-graded Silver/Bronze Age comic books. All items start at $1 and have no reserve. This auction starts February 19 and ends the evening of March 2.

On ComicLink.com, collectors can also select from over 6,500 other vintage CGC-graded comic books—the largest CGC-graded selection available in the world. ComicLink consistently showcases and sells some of the most highly desirable and highest priced CGC-graded comic books in the world.

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ACTOR MegaCon Charity Auction 2006 Is Not To Be Missed

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 14, 2006) — ACTOR Comic Fund is launching its 2006 Orlando MegaCon auction with a one-off special "pre-MegaCon" kickoff piece by master artist Jae Lee.

The JLA pinup by Jae Lee is a stellar Justice League piece featuring Superman, Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter and was created specifically for ACTOR This 11x17 drawing on bristol board is penciled, inked, and generously donated by Jae Lee.

This amazing piece is available at
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?View
Item&item=6254018520&rd=1&ss
pagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1


For the FULL ACTOR art auction, be at the Orlando MegaCon February 24-26 to bid on pieces like Dave Sim's Lot 34:

Lot 34
Dave Sim
Cerebus #56 cover recreation

This gorgeous original painting done in ink and watercolor is artist Dave Sim's recreation of the "Wolveroach" cover from Cerebus #56. Sim spent "the better part of two days rendering all the original raindrops by hand" after experimenting with half-a-dozen different ways to render the rain in both watercolor and gouache. Sim eventually rejected this painting, and will try again later in 2006, but this work stands alone as an original painted recreation indigenous to this auction. Donated by Dave Sim.

ACTOR has a total of 179 lots from fantastic artists such as Mark Bagley, Ethan van Sciver, Rags Morales, David Finch, Jose-Luis Garcia-Lopez, Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Gene Ha, and Joe Quesada.

"Every year I'm amazingly blown away by the generosity of today's artists in making donations to help comics' elder statesmen," said ACTOR President Jim McLauchlin. "The sheer volume of donations we get warms the heart, and I'm really looking forward to being at this year's Orlando MegaCon."

"I bid and win pieces in this auction every year," said Steve Borock, CGC's president and primary grader. "I think that we owe it to those pioneers of this great hobby a little help when needed. That's why CGC and I have always supported ACTOR in every way we can."

The catalog is available for download at http://actorcomicfund.org/Pages/Auctions.html.

For more on MegaCon, visit http://www.MegaConvention.com.

A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR) Comic Fund is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. ACTOR creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. For more information, visit http://www.ACTORComicFund.org or call 310-909-7809.

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