Again, a little backstory: while these aren't the very first multi-cover panels pieces to exist (that honor would go to Unity 2 years prior), this is the first VARIANT set produced.
At the time, as some may know, Image was incredibly late with everything. It had become so bad, the distributors forced Image to make their product returnable...unheard of in the Direct market!
So, yeah, it took a while for this set to come out. The first two were Deathblow #5 and Kindred #3. At the time, Kindred had taken the comics world by storm, and having the third issue have a surprise 1 in 4 (meaning every 4th copy was a variant) made collectors go absolutely nuts.
Unfortunately, by the time the later ones came out, the furor had died down, so the later ones are actually more difficult to find, especially in very high grade. It took almost 9 months for all 8 to come out. In order of release, they are:
Gen 13 Ltd #5
Team 7 #1
I've been trying to get a complete 9.8 SS together for several years, but I never seem to manage to get my copies and Whilce together at the same time...and some of them, like Team 7 #1 and Wetworks #2 are dastardly hard to find in 9.8, Wetworks #2 because of a production flaw that put a dent in the bottom left hand edge of the back cover.
But, finally, all in one go, here it is:
Here's what the set looks like in one image, sans slabs:
OK so this is my first activity on this forum in over 3 years. Who the heck am I? Why'd I fall of the forums? Why am I back out of nowhere with 200 slabs to sell? Long story short on the slabs... They are all my personal collection that I picked up some years back. I bought all of them already slabbed, none of them are my own submissions. So I have no idea if any of them have ever been pressed, but judging by the prevalence of pressing, its likely some have. I truly do not want to part with these, but after mulling it over the last year... it's just time to. That's the short version. Read on if you want more background/details!
I've been lurking the forums since... well for a long time before I finally created an account in 2011. 2011... man that was a good year. Had just moved from dusty/hot lil El Paso to the big ole' DFW. The move meant a big step up in pay and on top of that the overtime was all you could handle. Indeed, times were good. So what does one do with disposable income? For me the answer was simple... go get them grails.
I started collecting comics when I was 9. Back in those days of the early 80's, it was all about Transformers for me. Then later on I meandered through X-men, Spider-man, Batman, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Dark Horse, Image, Ultraverse..... all the usual suspects of the 80's and 90's. At some point I started ordering multiple copies via ads in the Comics Buyers Guide "newspaper" (and from ads in the comics too) and then selling those extras a few months later at conventions and turning a small profit. Every penny that I made, well of course I re-spent them back into even more orders, ever growing the collection. Then I reached the college years, and collecting completely stopped. Shoulda sold those longboxes full of 90's Image and Ultraverse when I had the chance, but instead they've sat untouched for decades. I suspect this tale is ubiquitous.
Then it's 2011 and I have both time on my hands and money to spend. And that comic obsession came back with a vengeance. Between early 2011 and late 2013 I sank many a dollar into getting that high grade dream set I'd always longed for as a kid. At first I thought, OK.... I'll stick to only X-men. But hey wait a minute what about getting that Transformers set! Oh wow those Ghost Riders look even sweeter than I remember... buy buy buy! Before long I was back to collecting.... well everything. If I thought it was awesome, I bought it. Problem is.... my scope of what I thought was awesome seemed ever expanding! I was buying raw books like there was no tomorrow too. I absolutely LOVED drinking my favorite high ABV beers while hunting through auctions and comic dealer sites and meanwhile hopping in and out of the collectors-society forums for the laughs and insanity that is CG on weekend nights.
I had already bought several personal grails... X-men 12 (1st Juggernaut), ASM 129, Marvel Spotlight 5, Hulk 181.... and then I thought... dare I? Go after X-men 1? Pffff no! C'mon that's crazy talk.. I COULDN'T. Well.... why can't I? Toyed around with the idea for a couple weeks. Yeah.... sigh... yeah, I'm gonna do it. I see an auction coming up at one of the auction houses I like. The scans looks good and the grade is right.... let's take a shot at this. I can seriously remember that auction like it was yesterday. Within the final hours of the auction the price is still below my spending cap. I throw a bid at it, I'm now in the lead. I'm not excited yet of course, its WAY too early for that. Sure enough within the last hour someone (or perhaps several people) bid me up until I'm out of the running. But JUST BARELY out of the running.... oh man I cant let it go by such a slight margin, I can't loose it like THAT. Fine... I throw a little more at it, no way I'll get it at that price but still why not its worth a shot. My bid has me back in the lead. I laugh... no way I'm gonna win... NO WAY. It's going to blow up in the final secs, I know how this works. Final hour ticks down. Final minutes tick down. Last minute.... I'm still in the frickin lead.... no freakin way... man the TENSION! I was seriously going to have a heart attack as each second ticked down. I'm gonna be snipped last second I know it. 5 seconds, I'm holding my breath. 3 seconds. I won. To say I was absolutely stunned doesn't quite truly capture that moment. Dumbstruck? Flabbergasted? Whatever it was, I sat there flushed while the rollercoaster of emotions swept through me. Elated. Disbelief. I own X-men #1.
I knew that win would mean the end of my collecting budget for 6 to 8 months, probably longer. No prob, I'll stay off of the auction sites and just stick to the collector-society forums and live vicariously through others in the "new to your collection" threads. Yeah that didnt work, within a couple weeks I was back to buying. That's when I knew that in order for me to not buy, it would have to be a total banishment from everything comic related. Not even ghosting the forum. Fine, its gonna suck but its necessary. It's fine, I've got all these sweet sweet slabs and I'm gonna keep them till some day far down the road I'm giving them to my kids or better yet grandkids. But of course life always has other plans for us! 2014 brings big negative changes for me. Not just changes in my financial situation, but also changes in family structure, even changes in health of several family members. For the last 2 years I have been wrestling back and forth with the fact that I should sell the slabs. I probably should have sold them in 2014, but I simply could not let go of the idea that I was planning to keep them for decades. It's weighed heavy on my mind for years now, but I just could not bring myself to sell them. But now, for several different reasons that I can no longer ignore, its unequivocally time to let them go. Believe me I'm not happy about it. But it has to be done. Once I made the very difficult decision to sell, now which do I sell? That also became a back and forth between selling only this but not that, then ok I'll sell all of these but not those. It would always boil down to me saying awww screw it Im not selling any of it as I just cant decide which to part with. So that finally led to my final decision: just sell them all. Just make it a complete endcap to that chapter or now.
Those collecting days of 2011 to 2013 were truly great days for me. Absolutely loved them. The Clink and CC auctions, the ebay hunt, the hilarity of CG... Hope I'll be collecting like that again one day down the road.
While I was thumbing through the collection, looking for more odd cover appearances by D-List characters, it turns out there was another one in the wall display that I highlighted a few days ago that started me down this path.
In Adventure Comics #346 from July 1966, we are introduced to four new recruits for Legion membership. But alas, one of them is a traitor!
Who could it be?
Karate Kid? Princess Projectra? Ferro Lad? Or err...ummm...Nemesis Kid?!
Spoilers from here on out for anyone who hasn't read this yet, but the only worse name that Nemesis Kid could have chosen would've been Traitor Lad. This issue ends in a cliffhanger, with all of the super-obvious clues pointing at Karate Kid as the Legion traitor.
Now I don't have the next issue yet, so I don't know for sure, but I'm going out on a limb here to say that Nemesis Kid is the actual traitor. I mean, it's right there in his name!
I just bought Spider-Gwen #5 CGC#1594823016 signed by Stan Lee; the Aja Variant Cover.
The label says Stan Lee signed the comic on 11/28/2018—that’s an improbability. Today’s date (as of this writing) is 8/15/2018. Did a mysterious benefactor traveled into the future and have Stan Lee autograph the comic? Doubt it. The obvious answer is, he signed the comic in “January” instead of “November” of 2018. CGC must’ve accidentally hit “11” instead of just “1” for the month. Does an error like this affect the antiunity of the signature or value of the comic?
I would love to hear any feedback on this.
I know after 11/28/2018 nobody will believe me or even care about this mistake.
I am going to have to live with that thread title, but whatever!
I have decided the correct term for me, besides original comic art collector, is comic reader. I don't collect comics so much as store the ones I read. I bought some Moebius comics the other day off ebay and when I opened the package I realized these were now the nicest comics in my collection, almost without a doubt. So collecting high grade comics was never my thing. Yes, I grabbed some comics second hand along the way, including a Strange Tales 169 and Daredevil 9 and 10 but not much else unless I bought it to read off the rack. But along the way about 25 years ago I started collecting original art due to a chance encounter with Paul Ryan or Sam de la Rosa at a convention. [i recall thinking "artists draw at cons?" with Paul Ryan and "they sell the art used to make comic pages?" with Samuel de la Rosa (who was one of a few Latino inkers credited as "Manuel Labor" on the issue and who told me that he did not like that one bit) but am not sure which happened first.]
Comic art led me to these boards a few years ago. I had resisted the siren call until recently. But Doc McCoy (I think it was) came over to the OA parts of the boards advertising (his?) free David Petersen art in some thread called Pay it Forward. As I was in the process of trading art regularly with a local dealer, I promptly went and claimed said art. Sadly I traded it away almost immediately to the dealer. I apologize; I was single-minded and unthinking at the time but understand my mistake now. So please forgive me.
But PIF sucked me in right from the start. Especially when I jumped on another piece of OA quickly (still have that one, don't worry). Then a strange thing occurred. I watched as some really cool slabs were given away to fellow boardies. When a nice X-Men slab came up I decided to take the plunge and claim it. (Thanks Griff!) I was quickly offered another slab gratis from a boardie (looking forward to getting that one! ). Now this weekend I took the plunge and decided to have some fun and get a few for myself. I figured it really doesn't matter so much if they are comics I have read and admired so much as fun things to look at on the shelf. So I put out the call for cheap slabs and that thread inspired me to start this one and chronicle the rise through the ranks of my first rate collection. NOT! I am not trying to start a new collection, but have some cool comics displayed that will make me smile.
So without further eloquence...
Bird's Top Shelf Slabs!
#1 in the closet and in your hearts, courtesy of Griff...not the crime dog just a slab hound...she a beauty with white pages...it's X-Men 248 9.4
Done worry folks, she won't be lonely for long. Join us later this week, same slab time,same slab channel...it's a race against time between Amazing Spider-Man and The Defenders! See you here!
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Won this in the recent Comic Link auction. Planning to concentrate on Marvels and Warren magazines for 2018. This book has a nice double panel cover with artwork by Wally Wood and Boris Vallejo. Also features interior work by Barry Windsor-Smith. Like the Defenders 5 from my previous journal, I got this book for dirt cheap. Enjoy.
Hey all, I've enjoyed many fellow boardie's journals and I thought I would share my experience reading Swamp Thing (1982) for the first time. I plan to start at #1 and read up to at least #87. Basically the Pasko, Moore and Veitch runs. I've heard nothing but praise (obviously) for Moore's Swamp Thing, but I figured I would start with Pasko, because it is the beginning of the series. Oddly I have found very little reviews of the Pasko issues, so not sure how it will be. I could have started with House of Secrets #92 and the first Swamp Thing volume by Wein and Wrightson, however I own none of those issues at this time. Though I think there is a trade available, so perhaps a detour down the road a bit.
A bit of background on me as a comic collector. I started seriously collecting comics in1985 with Transformers #1, from there I started to collect GI Joe. It didn't take to long and I was collecting a lot of superhero comics mostly of the Marvel variety. I did dabble here and there with DC Comics, mostly Batman and Justice League. Of course by that time Moore was already working on his landmark run on Swamp Thing, but to my 12 year-old self, It was a bit and ignored it. Oddly I did read Watchmen as it was being released, I found it fascinating, literally the best series I had ever read and still is today. But I still never bothered reading his Swamp Thing. As the 90s started, I found myself getting more into DC comics with Death of Superman, Emerald Twilight, Terminal Velocity and Knightfall. I continued collecting comics (mostly DC) up until the end 1999. At that point I was out and was focused on other things.
I returned to comic collecting in 2014 after being lured back into the hobby by the various superhero movies and of course The Walking Dead. Today I've been reading new stuff and old classic runs that I missed all those years ago. Lately I've been reading Superman from 1999-up to the new 52 (including Flash, JSA, JLA, LoSH and few others). I've also been reading the Sliver Age LoSH archive editions, Savage Sword of Conan, Byrne's Superman, Ostrander's Suicide Squad, DC War comics, Stormwatch/Authority/Planetary, Hellblazer and a bunch of Marvel stuff though Marvel Unlimited.
As for why I want to start reading Swamp Thing, not really sure just a combination of things. I have just recently finished up Moore's Providence and had been deciding on reading another one of his other works that I missed like From Hell. But then a few weeks ago I read Batman #23 "The Brave and the Mold" by King.
That I got me to thinking hey maybe I should read Moore's Swamp Thing...which of course were John Constantine gets his start. So on to the reading of Swamp Thing! Hope you all enjoy a Swamp Thing newbie's thoughts on the series.
Let's round out this week with one last interactive cover of sorts.
Action Comics #388 from May 1970
So what is wrong with this cover? Let's count 'em up...
Krytpo as Streaky
One Way road sign pointing up
Cosmic Boy's gloves
Cosmic Boy's legs are white
Saturn Girl's logo
Superman wearing glasses
Superman has long hair (damn hippy!)
Superman has short cape
Superman's chest emblem backwards
Flash marking on Superman's left arm
Bizarro's chest emblem backwards
Bizarro throwing confetti
Jimmy "Mr. Action" Olsen sleeping while his signal watch is going off
Perry White in a bow-tie
Perry White smoking a pipe
Brainiac in Mr. Mxyzptlk's costume
Brainiac holding up a sign supporting Superman
Brainiac has a DC logo on his chest
The Batmobile is red
Supergirl throwing spaghetti
Supergirl wearing a kryptonite bracelet
Supergirl missing her cape
Supergirl has an "S" logo on her back, with inverted colors
Argo City no longer around in this continuity
...and perhaps the most unbelievable thing of all...Lois Lane as Superman's bride? Right, like that will ever happen!
Continuing our look at the non-Superman titles that I still actively collect, we have the newest title that I've decided to fill out a run on...and that is Jonah Hex!
As far back as I can remember I've always been a fan of westerns, much to the chagrin of my wife and son who sigh and roll their eyes when I come across one while flipping through the t.v. listings. Although I do the same to my wife when Grease is on, so I suppose it's all good.
Anyways, with as much as I like a good western movie, I never did really give the western comic book genre much of a shot. I remember sampling the Joe Lansdale/Tim Truman/Vertigo mini-series from the mid-90's, and they were all right. It wasn't until the Palmiotti/Gray run from 2006 that I really started to appreciate the beauty of the done-in-one, grizzled, morality plays set in the old west. There is also something about this genre that brings out the best in artists, similar to the beauty that cinematographers are able to capture in their movies. I also enjoyed the heck out of the New52 run, even when they went modern day and had Booster Gold along for the ride. It was a nice nod the Hex series from the mid-80's. I've since eBayed off those runs, and put the funds into putting together a collection of vintage Hex.
All-Star Western #11 from May 1972, featuring the 2nd appearance of Jonah Hex, is my newest acquisition that I picked up earlier in the month. Thanks to Hero Time Comics in Southgate, MI for this book. It's rare when you have a comic book store that has a good selection of back issues for sale at a decent price point, so I usually try to stop by when I'm visiting customers on his end of town.
Hex's third appearance in Weird Western Tales #12 from July 1972 I picked up on the boards a couple of months ago. Thanks to @SOLAR BOY for the killer sales threads from earlier in the year, as he also helped me fill out my Doom Patrol run as well.
I was also able to pick up a lot of the first 8 issues of his solo title from the boards as well, but it's been a while and I can't remember who I picked them up from.
Jonah Hex #1 from April 1977. I could look at Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez drawn Jonah Hex all day. Such good stuff!
Classic Bernie Wrightson cover of Jonah Hex #9 from February 1978. Unfortunately, after this issue, I have a big old hole in the run up leading up to issue #72. I picked up a great high-grade run of the last 20 issues of this title from an auction at my LCS, and I ended up paying about fifty cents a copy for those. Such good stuff for an insanely low price!
I love the tag line at the top of the cover..."You liked heroes as a kid? Great! Now maybe it's time you grew up!"
Yeah, grow up a drink a couple bottles of whiskey, you no-good freeloading kids!
...and since you're all grown up now, you should enjoy this cover of this nice lady getting dressed for work.
A fitting final cover for the Jonah Hex series.
Since this is in theory a Superman-centric journal, how about this cover of Jonah Hex #91 from June 1985...
...which is a classic homage to Superman #243 from October 1971.
Back when I was collecting coins, I was interested in appreciation. Yet I kept making the same mistake over and over. A mistake that collecting Bronze Comics corrects.
Without fail, when presented with a cool looking coin from the early 1800's, vs. a cool looking coin from the modern era for the same price, I would always buy the old coin. But that was a mistake....and here's why:
Imagine a coin made in the year 1800 worth $100. Now compare that to another coin made in the year 2000, also worth $100. Which is a better buy based on appreciation? It's important to realize that the coin made in 1800 took 217 years to appreciate to a value of $100. Yet the coin made in 2000 did it in a scant 17 years! In summary, the newer coin is increasing in value at a much faster rate!
For fun, I played around with a spreadsheet and made some assumptions. If a bronze age comic book is worth about $250 today, then it is roughly appreciating at a rate of 13% a year. That's actually a pretty healthy internal rate of return! Why $250? Well, that's the general price point I've been dabbling in lately. I've fleshed out my collection of CGC 9.4 early X-Men at that price point.
OK, so here's something interesting. A silver age comic book is around 10 years older than a bronze age book. So assuming it's also growing at a rate of 13% a year, it would need grow to about $1,000 since it's publication date 10 years prior to the bronze era. .
What would that $1,000 buy today? To give you an idea, that's the approximate value of a Spider-Man #50 (1st Kingpin) in CGC 8.0. Not too shabby! How many of us would like to jump in a time machine, go back 10 years, and purchase some VF copies of Spidey #50 in VF for around $250? I know I would! I'd stockpile them!
So there you go. Buying higher grade (justified expensive) key bronze is not just fun, but I think it's smart too.
Finally after not pulling the trigger on this issue a year or 2 ago I was messaged on the boards in the wanting to buy section and an awesome member asked me if I was still looking for this issue. Of course I was and purchased immediately. Case was in good shape still plan on sending it off for the new case. But the hunt for this issue is over and now onto the #52 RRP variant another that I am sure is going to be difficult to acquire. Shout out to Delt569 for allowing me to purchase his copy thanks.
Well, I can't seem to get the photo to display correctly, even though it shows correct before uploading, but here is my first new journal attempt. I tried to post earlier today, but the post never showed up...weird. Anyway, thank you to dreamtoreal1 for this sharp looking Iron Fist 14. I'm really looking forward to Ronnylama pressing it and then Chris Claremont signing it at ECCC this year. Hoping it comes back at least 9.2 but sometimes you never know. Hope everyone has a great year!
Til next time...
I've always liked the cover of this particular issue of Sub-Mariner. So when it turned up for auction on ebay a week ago, I decide to go for it. I put in a bid earlier today for $265, the auction ending at 9:30pm est. I figured the book was worth no more than that amount, my bid being the 23rd. Well, when it was all over, there had been 36 bids and the winning amount was...……$676.66!?!?! It happens to be a pedigree copy, but still. Is Tiger Shark going to appear in a movie or something? The last 9.2 CGC copy sold in a Comic Link auction a little over a year ago for $132.