San Diego ComicCon
International: Best Yet!
This years ComicCon was the best and biggest ever,
and CGC had our best convention in terms of the number
of submissions, the number of CGC certified comics displayed
by dealers, and positive comments from the collecting
community! It seems CGC has really arrived, as collectors
from all over the world searched out our booth in order
to submit comics for us to certify.
Borock and Mark Haspel worked the booth and walked the
floor answering questions, listening to comments, and
explaining CGCs certification process to the few
people in our hobby who still dont know exactly
what it is CGC does. Both Steve and Mark said most people
were very excited about what CGC has done to revitalize
the back issue and collectors market.
The best and yet most disturbing comments at the show
were about how CGC has saved collectors from losing
money to online ebay crooks, some of whom have private
feedback, who sell trimmed and color-touched comics.
The collectors get the comic after the auction, send
it to us, find out that they have been deceived by these
comic book "doctors," and are able to get
a refund. One collector told us the $240 spent with
us saved him $15,000!
We heard that record prices were paid for CGC certified
comics, including an Amazing Spider-Man #19 CGC 9.9
Mint that went for just over $17,000! Thats over
37 times the Overstreet 9.4 NM guide!
Kudos to Metropolis Comics, Highgradecomics.com and
the Pacific Comic Exchange for having the most impressive
showing of CGC certified comics of all the dealers at
The auction houses were present in full force. Joe
and Nadia Mannarino of All-Star auctions held their
online/live auction at San Diego, and as in every year
there, they assembled an impressive showing of high
grade and rare CGC certified comics and very rare original
art, once again setting record prices. Heritage auctions
were set up across from the CGC booth and, from what
we saw, Ed Jaster, Fred McSurley, and John Petty were
working non-stop showing CGC certified comics and taking
consignments for their next monster auction. Jay Parrinos
The Mint had what was probably the most impressive showing
of CGC Gold and Silver Age high grade gems at the show.
Those of you who know Bill Hughes and Rob Hughes know
how hard they work and this con was no different: they
both looked worse for wear by the end of the show! It
looks like their next auction will be their best yet!
For results and information on these upcoming auctions,
go to www.allstarauctions.net
All in all, in our humble opinion, this was the best
San Diego ComicCon ever!
Venus: A Quick
by Phil Kaltenbach
Of the many "gruesome but wonderful" titles that
made up the Marvel/Atlas line near the beginning of
the 50's, one of the best was "Venus," a title that
tried to appeal to an incredible variety of readers
during its run of less than four years. At the beginning,
in August 1948, this book told the story of Venus, goddess
of love, who wished to find out more about the love
life of mere mortals, so she descended to Earth and
took on a job as the writer of an "advice to the lovelorn"
column in a large city newspaper. She almost immediately
fell in love with her editor, who felt the same way
about her, and they shared some fairly innocuous adventures
through the first half-dozen issues. Issues seven and
eight bore the "lovers' magazine" heart imprint that
appeared on some twenty titles at this time, as Martin
Goodman apparently decided that romance comics were
the wave of the future.
With issue nine, the editors seemed to feel that science-fiction
and fantasy were a better bet, and Venus had to deal
with supernatural forces, monsters, exile on the moon,
and even the end of the world in #11. These extraordinary
but unspectacular stories ran for just four issues,
until April 1951, when the new flood of Atlas horror
titles swept it up.
The last seven issues of "Venus," written and drawn
by Bill Everett, make up an incomparable, if small,
body of work. In each issue the lovely Venus and her
mortal friends faced an incredible array of terrifying
menaces. A few of the highlights are issue #16, in which
gargoyles invade the newsroom; #17, with an amazing
cover depicting our heroine being interred alive by
skeletal masons and the fantastic story "The Cartoonist's
Calamity," in which every bizarre creation of the title
character springs to looney life; and the final issue,
number 19, which boasts one of the coolest covers imaginable.
More than in any other title, in "Venus" Bill Everett
was able to give free reign to his astonishing imagination
and talent, and anyone who sees and reads any of these
books will fall in love at first sight, just as the
title goddess herself would surely have it.