In the Dark

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Oblivious to anything new

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Feeling Blind

My first Journal was simple. I had a through an dI wrote. Now, thoughts have been few and far between. My life opened and upended again. I am almost exactly where I started and better off for it. However, my collecting has changed, and I don't necessarily mean by grading company. Marvel lost me on all titles but two and that might change to one. I have been visiting more comic conventions in the hope to lose myself into my hobby. Ive been listening to inspirational messages and trying to create my own. My father died over a year ago and I lost the one person I ready everything to. I still read it to him, but now I get no answer.     My last CGC book arrived in the Mail a measly 7.5, and I am ok with that. the cover is awesome and it is signed. Actually my last CGC book that arrived was sent to me by a friend that is currently over seas which means I will be missing him at Baltimore. That sucks...so as I write I realize I have no reason to write a journal, or rather no direction to write a journal. I am just trying out this new format.  I am hoping I like it, because if I don't I most likely will fade away again.   My goals are still the same, to own a complete set of New Mutants in a 9.8 or better, something CGC made harder after adding a few second, third, and fourth prints. Not to mention 5th and 6th.     Then there are the BIRTHDAY books. At first I limited myself to 45. Forty five was doable. 45 was clean...45 is not longer the amount I need. Now will Dell, Charlton, Archie, and a few others, I need over a 100.  some of these I am buying just to have. Others I hope will eventually be graded, but nothing less that a 9.2. do you realize how difficult it is to find some of these in the first place...   and then there is original artwork. Yes, this bug bit me. However I am trying to really limit myself to what I get. I currently own nine pages from New Mutants 15. Two are framed, the other seven need to be still, and two of those I only just got in the last month.    Now if anyone could please help me with learning the new journals, I would appreciate that.   Image is from Buz Hasson who will be at the Baltimore Comic Con. I recommend seeing him for a commission.   

Tnerb

Tnerb

08/12/2017

Last Reply:
01/03/2018

CGC or the Other Guys...

First off let us state who the other guys are. If they are not CGC, then they are the other guys. I have posted books on social media. And the one thing that was a real turn off is that if I posted a book by the other guys it was ridiculed and deemed a gift grade, no matter what the grade was. If it was a 9.2, CGC never would have graded it that high, or an 8.5...WHAT? With that grease marker... A 9.9... They are giving you a gift. If it was graded by CGC there was unadulterated praise. A Gem Ten...Wow, CGC really knows what they are doing.   I even experimented a little to see the difference between CGC and the other guys. The results don't matter here, what matters is how another CGC fan boy treated the situation. After that happened I felt betrayed. I lost the impetus to share anything and everything about the grading community. Then the things in my personal life were occurring, the most heart wrenching was the death of my closest friend, my confidant, my sounding board. The thing is no matter who graded the book, we all forgot that it was the book in the first place we desired. If CGC never opened their doors in January of 2000, if grading was still argued over the convention floor, if you had to trust the auction sites to not only accurately grade the book, but to be honest about it, then it comes down to the original material at hand, the comic book itself. I had a book graded by CGC a 9.2, after a signature was added, it was an 8.0. The drop of the grade hurts in two ways, one financially and the other is ego. Can I praise a lower grade book? Can I scream from the roof tops that I have it? Can I look past that it is only an 8.0. Damn straight I can. Will I have it signed and pressed? Yes, I will. Will I be happy if it goes up? Damn straight I will. Will I be happy if it drops... Well, what does that matter? It's the book that is what collecting these things are all about, graded or not, by CGC or... well by CGC or the other guys. Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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08/29/2016

CGC and the New Case

Or Let's forget about Surfing There has been so much said about the new case and the waves it created. My problem with the new case is totally different. CBCS has their case, PGX has theirs. And then there is Halo and Vault. The case is essential to the collector, or at the very least it is to this collector. In 2007 I immersed myself back into the comic book world and picked up my first two CGC graded comic books. They were both blue label books, one was a 9.8 (eventually I sold this one) and the other was a 9.0 (which I still have). These labels were after the red labels and showed the numeric grade quite dominantly on the left hand side. Every single New Mutants issue I own have these labels, whether they are blue (universal) or (yellow) they are a complete set. Out of the original 107 issue set (CGC has since added a few) I had 106. The 107th one I need is issue 58. Only one currently exists in 9.8. The problem is that when a second one arises and I get it, the label and slab will be different than the other 106 books in my set. As a completist I'll be happy to have them all. This of course is before they added the multiple prints and summer special that are part of the current set. So what am I to do? Can I get a 58 and trade it with the only one in the new old label? Will bagofleas do that? Or do I just submit them all for the new label? And then what about my original set? Do I continue to get CGC to grade them, or CBCS since I just recently used them to get Jim Shooter and Tom Mandrake? If it comes down to a choice of either purchasing a new label or the old label, I will choose the old label and the only reason for this is my OCD tendencies. Thanks for reading PS. Photo of New Mutants Annual 2 was cracked for signatures and the old new label. To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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08/26/2016

What have you Lost Lately?

Or I have been "Wallaced" once again. Sometimes my collection is filled not with what I have, but with what I lost. I am a collector. The Star Wars Pepsi cans I had to cut at the bottom to allow the soda to be released without breaking the seal lay in a box some where in storage. The Star Wars action figures are in multiple boxes in multiple closets behind multiple book cases. Should I mention the hardcover novels I like to read, the pops craze that took over my shot glass space, or my digital library that I fear I will lose (or had already lost due to a computer crash)? Lately I have been selling off pieces of my CGC collection. The items I bought with the increase of cash from this purge of books have been for healthcare payments, car payments, even a plane ticket back home for my wife for a funeral. I've been lucky though, since I found a buyer and out of the abundance I sold I only got rid of one book that was a Grail. The others I was happy to see go to a good home. Each time I sold five or six books, I thought I could use that money to buy one book. I didn't. Instead, another payment was paid, rent, utilities, and insurance again. Yes, healthcare is damn expensive. Did I mention I'm at the doctor's office right now? I was watching a few books in the most recent Pedigree auction. One in particular was a beautiful copy of a CGC 9.8 of a birthday book I struggled to find in near mint condition (the struggle continues). Sure, the pages weren't deemed white, but a 9.8 as old as me (Technically older, since most of my birthday books were released in February of 1972) is amazing. I placed an opening bid that I knew would never win. In hours I was notified to try again. I didn't. I hoped to come in and win in the final seconds. I watched and waited. I calculated what I WOULD spend against what I COULD spend. They were vastly different dollar amounts. Suffice it to say in the weaning hours, I was out. It's not that I wouldn't have gone higher, because I would have. It's just that I couldn't. I had something similar happen with a Sub-Mariner #38 which I eventually purchased, although not the same I might add as what I clearly craved. The bidding closed, my data base was not updated and I lost without really playing at all. I hope to find one in the wild, maybe during a game of ComicBookGo, maybe I'll find it in a distant land rummaging through a box here or there. Maybe it will be there waiting for me? Or maybe, just MAYBE, it will sit forever, lost among my collection of never-haves and never-should-be's.   Ps: To whomever purchased the item pictured, Bravo. To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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08/16/2016

Lee, this is Life

The following is very personal and close to my heart. It's also sad. I needed to vent and I chose to do so where I feel most comfortable. This isn't about comic books.   045772324I've been a private person. I got this from my father. When I started to collect CGC graded comic books I wrote about them in the journals over the years. As I wrote I opened up. I not only told you of my efforts to complete a New Mutants set in a 9.8, not only did I talk repetitiously about my ASM 129, but I also wrote about my life in general. Last year I closed up again. I stopped writing. One might assume that CBCS might be the cause, that I switched sides. This has nothing to do with The newest grading company coming on to the scene and although I have a few, the reason for my seclusion was deeper. Married life changes a person and as I adapted (and still am adapting) I became closer to being like my father. My father cared for his wife, she wasn't his first, but she was his best. They married back in 78' when I had a handful of comic books to my name. I owe her a lot. My father cared for his kids, it didn't matter if they were his or hers. He loved us all the same, equally. Then it was his grand kids. He cherished them, but only after they became potty trained. I read him my journals after I wrote them. At least 500 made their way to his ears before they made it to your eyes. Each one made me feel elated as he smiled or laughed and he told me they were good. The positive praise was much better than when he told my 12 year old self I sucked at singing and I should quit now. I returned the favor by teasing him well into my adult life by showing him the comic book he refused to buy me for $300 when I was 16, and currently sells for $20k-$25k. This netted me the credit card whenever I wanted it. I just had to pay him back. That was fair, but he was always a fair man. Over 44 years I angered him, made him sad, made him happy, had him cry, had him scared, had him jubilant, victorious, and defeated. Never in games. His record stands at 1-0 in a single game of Monopoly. And many of those things, if not all those things, he never told me. What he did tell me over the years from the first time he held me until he could tell me no more was "I love you". And for a good ten to fifteen years straight after every phone call he would tell me he was proud of me. After every phone call I hung up smiling. This man never understood why I collected comic books. He never understood the search, but as I took him to a few conventions with my son he was just happy to be there. I can go on, and I want to go on because there are so many more things I want to say. So many memories I want to share, but the result is the same, I type in tears. I'll have no more memories. My father was battling cancer. In the beginning he told no one. Finally he succumbed and no longer kept it secret. I can here my step-mothers voice calling his name telling him to tell her. Then months later it was our turn, but only when it was too late. My father never wanted to burden us (his kids) with his problems, its the way he was. Finally my step-brother, sister, and I knew. My father got weaker. On April 5th 2016, he was the weakest I've ever seen him. As I left his place he simply told me, "Lee, this is life". I simply replied "I know" while inside me was crying like a lil kid and I thought "this is the part". The next day he was in the hospital. He did get to go home but was back in the same hospital for the same reason a few days after that. There was too much fluid in his lungs and the cancer that was originally in his skin and bones that narrowly missed his pancreas was attacking what gave him breath. Finally on the 12th of May he was moved to hospice and when I started that day at work I realized the worse thing, he was never coming home. They gave him the option to go through chemo, since the other options, that had huge success ratios with others, simply did nothing for my father. The chemo option, the last option, had just a good a chance to kill him than to save him. My father is a smart man, smarter than I ever gave him credit for, he knew the odds were not in his favor. He told the doctors, it's ok. They did their best and it's time for him to move on. I keep visiting, my optimism thinking that somehow, someway, some miracle will prevail, while the other side of me, just wants his daddy back. The tears flow again. I've been blessed more so for knowing this man, because with one simple twist of fate, I could have missed having the greatest father I ever could have. One more time dad. I love you. Thanks for readingLeePs. This man. This great man was still with me as I wrote this and I wonder do I show him this and read it to him, or do I just let him hear it in the hereafter. Maybe, he will hear you read it out loud.To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

Tnerb

Tnerb

05/26/2016

World's Finest

Originally written for PopCultureUncovered with the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman movie to be released. I hope I did it justice. Batman and Superman: Truly the World's Finest. As a Marvel comic book fan it might be difficult for me to say this, but my first introduction to the World's Finest team wasn't the Fantastic Four, Avengers, or the X-Men; it was the super duo of Batman and Superman. Even though I wasn't around for their first comic book meeting, I was introduced to them in 1981. It impacted the way I would look at team-up books over the next few decades. The two Golden Age heroes originally teamed up in print with Superman #76, where they exchanged secret identities (5-52). This was published between the Golden and Silver Age of comics, known as the Atomic Age. If you want their true first meeting, it was actually years before, on March 5th 1945. This took place on the Superman radio show, but that's a whole different story, or is it? My father was only four when the Dynamic Duo and the Man of Steel joined each other on the cover of World's Best Comics #1, something they also did a year earlier in New York World's Fair Comics from 1940, but if you opened the pages, they were never paired together. Over the years National Allied Publications (before they became DC, a name they were called throughout the years, but wasn't officially their company name until 1977) presented the covers with Clark and Bruce's alter egos, but they didn't find themselves working together until 1954 when DC published World's Finest #71 entitled "Batman-Double for Superman". Four decades had passed before a copy of the greatest super hero duo made its way into my hands. The series lasted for 323 issues and ran from 1941 to 1986, but it was issue #271 from September of 1981, 200 issues after they joined forces, that introduced me to the comic book world of Superman and Batman together. At nine years old it was a comic I read over and over. To this day I still have no idea how this comic book came into my possession. For $1 I would have rather purchased a candy bar than an over-priced publication. Issue #271 was a few stories told in one comic book. This is where the radio drama unfolded in beautiful four color form. Batman was missing and it became Superman's job to rescue him, with the help of Robin, the Boy Wonder. One story even had Bruce help Clark when Lois was absolutely, positively sure that Clark Kent and Superman were the same person, not to mention that Bruce discovered that Superboy and Ma and Pa Kent's adopted son were one and the same. And did you know that Robin was the defender of Gotham since Batman was originally dead on Earth 2? In January of '86, DC ended the long running World's Finest with issue #323. The cover was simple as Batman and Superman said goodbye, two words rested on the cover stating "The End". The title of the issue was "Afraid of the Dark". I never purchased it. To this day issue #271 is still the be-all, end-all Superman/Batman story to me, while many favor Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. The success in the eighties of DC's square bound limited series starring both of their franchise quarterbacks (as older counterparts) prompted a second series, the Dark Knight Strikes Again, and more recently the Dark Knight III: the Master Race. The first two can be found in trade paperback format for the reader, while the more collectible conscious person might hunt down a reasonably priced graded copy. I recently found among all the new number ones, that my passion in collecting comic books has remained strong for nostalgic reasons. There is something beautiful and poetic about finding a book from my childhood, and also that I would find it today in the same condition it might have been in when it was originally on the shelf thirty years ago. In today's market, at the turn of the millennia, after Superman's death and Batman's broken back, third party grading arrived on the scene. This helped cause speculation, and dealers to clamor for higher prices. And now with a movie that should have been released right around 2007's I am Legend, many key team-up books featuring the two Warner Brother's franchises has led for these issues to be desired again. On eBay, typing in Superman and Batman along with Comic Books will fetch you over 15,000 hits. Some of them tediously priced, most likely caused by the fervor of the upcoming movie. In 1979 Superman was shown to the world making us believe a man could fly. Ten years later we realized that Mr. Mom could be a good Batman. And when it was announced Ben Affleck would portray Batman, fanboys (and girls) frothed at the mouth spewing their feelings about it. As far as comic book collectors (and dealers) were concerned, this caused more and more people to send in books to get graded, speculating that the higher the grade, the better the profit. After all, it worked for New Mutants 98, the first appearance of Deadpool. A perfect Gem Mint 10 copy sold for $15,449, a price normally reserved for books from the sixties, not the nineties. The Dark Knight Returns had several printings. Issue #1 had four different printings graded by CGC. 1,857 of the first printing of the Dark Knight Returns was graded by the premiere grading company while 1,239 of issue two (first printing), 1,327 of issue three (first printing), and 1,407 of issue four. It is rare when a comic book series' subsequent issues climb higher in the number of graded copies. Issue one is normally the highest submitted issue, keys withstanding, then the numbers usually drop, like in this instance, it is unheard of for a third issue and then a fourth issue grade more frequently than the second issue. In fact, I know of no other instances. When it was finally announced that Superman would battle the Caped Crusader the Dark Knight Returns was once again becoming a hot commodity. Issue #1 has climbed in the last few years, almost doubling what it was selling for in 2012. The last recorded sale, as of this writing was $650, slightly less than the $708.90 day average. The 90 day average for the following issues graded a 9.8 by third party grading company CGC are as follows: #2 at $163, #3 at $124, and issue #4 at $270. Imagine originally buying these at cover price. Not to mention the fact that a Gem Mint 10 copy of issue 3 sold for over six times the amount of a 9.8 copy. This sale happened in August 2008 and I could only guess it would sell for six times that in today's market. I don't see the owner parting with this anytime soon (No, it isn't mine.) As for my ultimate Superman/Batman pairing, there is no 90 day average. Only five 9.8 copies of them have been recorded as being sold and one of those copies is recorded twice. The highest it ever sold for was in 2007 for $192, the following year the price dropped to $45, and the last sale was in 2014 for $90. Only 18 have been graded by CGC and a third of those are the coveted 9.8 grails. One day I hope to find a copy that looks like it came fresh off the shelf and send it in for grading myself. The issue itself was dedicated to telling the history of the forming of the two greatest DC characters ever created. In each story, weaved together in a singularity tale so the reader could understand and enjoy. The plot concluded with them becoming friends, so what other possible outcome coul To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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Tnerb

03/08/2016

CBCS

Or please don't delete     First and foremost I am not putting this out on the chat boards so my journal can be erased. This is not praise for them nor is it an advertisement for their service.CGC changed the market when they arrived on the scene. Some dealers thought it was a great idea for a third party grading company while others (myself included) thought the idea was dreadful. I'm not sure when PGX started since my attempt to speak with them has been unanswered. I should try again, but part of me wonders why. There is some animosity by certain individuals that rivals fanaticism. I have had a few books graded by CBCS to try them out. I wanted to get an idea how they graded. Were they strict? Accurate? Dismal? The point for this journal isn't how they grade, but that with Steve Borock heading the charge they are a company with a reputation. Many of the people over there have been in Overstreet, or have been members of the hobby for a long time. This does not make them inferior, but it does make them a viable source of competition. But, how much competition? CGC is still running behind schedule. I still have an invoice (currently my only one) sitting at received since October 1st. This could be for a few reasons, either no one is paying attention to CBCS (which I don't believe is true, eBay has had CBCS slabs grow in number) or dealers and fans have been sending in more. CGC is hiring and if you have the chance I say go for it. I guess the point I'm trying to make with the completion finally arriving, is that it is making CGC a better company. Of course the part I speak of is the customer service and the graders themselves. The people behind the scenes are business people. They look at the bottom line. The graders are the ones that have been fortunate to deal with comic books all day. To see a Green Lantern 1 and a Detective Comics come across your desk. When this happens, they are not only grading an age old periodical, they are looking at history. Will I switch to CBCS? Will they continue to help CGC morph and change? Will CGC lead the market or fall behind? Will they delete this journal? Will my birthday books I send in get a deduction for speaking about "they who shall not be named". I hope before they do that, the graders and the customer service (who are the same people that we see at convention after convention) can read this as what it is. A thank you. Now...about that Iron Man 55. ??Thanks for readingTnerbPs. I need to thank Bagofleas for making these journals tolerable. He has been editing my stuff for a while now and putting up with my horrible grammar skills. This last journal was meant to be about him, but I couldn't do that because I would be omitting others like Ronnylama. If you don't know this guy, you should. His collection is phenomenal, and as good of a collection as it is, he is a better person. I am better for knowing him. There is also Surfer99 who showed me that having a 9.6 is just as good as a 9.8. Not to mention the (place your own negative expletive here) has gotten me addicted to Clash of Clans.Also Lee K, who showed me checker boards are just as nice as copper age Marvel comic books. Shivabali for being a silent supporter. And a slew of others who have read my ramblings. Now to go back for the past month and voice myself again on people's comments to those very ramblings. Thank you.

Tnerb

Tnerb

11/30/2015

Just in Case...

Or a Second thirty in thirty??? I posted about CBCS in a journal earlier today. I'm hoping it will not be deleted, but in case it was, here is another one to keep the streak alive. Covers, let's talk about covers. Graded books can not be read unless the slab is cracked. I don't know anyone purchasing a premium comic book at a premium price just to read it. I'm sure Vince didn't crack open the Action Comics #1 just for that purpose. I will continue to send in the following... New Mutants 58 New Mutants Annual 4 New Mutants Annual 1(for signatures) My Birthday Year/Month books ... and whatever covers I like. I purchased a beautiful copy of Strange Tales. I have enjoyed this cover for years but never purchased it until this year. On top of my choice books, I'm allowing myself to send in ten books to get graded, ten books because of the cover alone, ten books that I won't care about the grade. And that is difficult to do. I love having my Daredevil issue 1 in a 4.0. I wouldn't mind eventually getting a higher grade, but I don't particularly like the cover. Even Amazing Spider-Man 50, as iconic as it is, isn't very colorful. Which reminded me how much I love those one color comic books (actually two) like FF 75. Great, more books to send in. Thanks for reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/30/2015

One Day Left

Things that make you bid on eBay For the past few years when November arrived I strived to write thirty journals in thirty days. The first year I tried, I did it because I wanted to see if I could write when I needed to rather than when I wanted to. I am happy to say that first month, as much of a struggle as it was, was a success.l, as was the following years. Last year, I think I challenged others to write there own thirty in thirty. A couple have tried. I didn't think I could do it this year, after all what was there to talk about? I learned about grading from a professional stand point. I talked to many of the great people that enjoy this hobby more than I do. I learned about pressing. I learned about the slabs themselves. I found a perfect bag and board system. I travelled and met some great people. This year I haven't written like I have in previous years, but the thirty in thirty felt right to do. After all, once something is broken, you can't fix it. I have one day left and I already know what I will write, if I will write it. Of course between today and tomorrow is a long way off and I might have found an eBay purchase that was too good to pass up. Or I might have packaged up those junk comic books I was told would never be worth anything. Maybe even chat about the autobiography of Stan Lee. Or I could let the thirty in thirty die and be happy with the 29 in 30. Thanks for reading   Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/29/2015

The Quest is On

Thank you Richard and Wendi In eighth grade I had a friend by the name of Greg Horn. He was one of the few I let know that I collected comic books. I think I did this because he might have let slip during a session of Dungeon's & Dragon's that he liked comic books. One series, I didn't realize at the time was a reprint, was Elfquest. This was originally published by Warp Graphics in black and white. Epic reprinted these amazing stories in color. The first one I remember picking up was issue eight. I didn't know they were reprinted and I enjoyed the issue thinking it was new. I was already going to an LCS, so to make sure that I didn't have to wonder if I would miss an issue or not, Dane, the proprietor placed it on my subscription list. I followed Cutter and Skywise through their journey after their Holt was destroyed. I never planned on getting these books graded. Recently, as I have been going through what I should collect, I keep coming back to this series. I'm not sure if I'll ever get my original collection graded by CGC, but I think I might like to try to find these comic books out in the wild and get them graded. Even though the 9.8's will be my initial goal, I'll be happy with anything graded Near Mint, but first I'll go back and read my originals. Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/28/2015

One more left.

108 out of 109 isn't bad The only New Mutants issue that I need in a 9.8 is issue #58. There is one out there, but it is already safely in some one else's collection. But then again, the one issue they need in a 9.8, I have the only one, so.... Touché! I have at least ten raw copies of #58, two of which are easily a 9.6, with a press. The question however, is could it be a 9.8? The single 9.8 out there will not be cracked for a signature. The reason why? Because it WON'T retain. So the copies I have, I could either get them pressed and send in enough of them to go through a screening, but then there is the fear of cracking for a signature. Ok, maybe fear is the wrong word. Addiction is more like it. My original copy, which I thought originally would get a 9.8, received a 9.6. A grade I was still happy with. Next year I will find out. I will have to try. I do want to complete the series in a 9.8 or better. And there is no way I am going to do that just sitting on them. Of course I will have to send in a lot more for the pre-screen, but wouldn't it be a kicker if I received more than one in a 9.8. Then I could crack one for a signature and be happy when it came back a 9.6 SS...wait...what? Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/27/2015

The First Four

And I don't mean the fantastic kind Both issue two and three of my Daredevil collection are graded by CGC and signed by Stan Lee. I purchased each of these raw, at a convention. When I had them in my hands with a 9.0 grade, I was ecstatic. My first and fourth issue are also signed by Stan Lee. Their grades are no where near as good. I hope to get those a bit higher, but my next Silver Age raw book I am looking for is DD issue five. Wally Wood worked his magic in this issue. If I can only get that in a 9.0 or higher it would help solidify in my mind that I have some pristine looking books. A goal from last year was to get the first ten issues of Daredevil signed by Stan Lee. I did get a few more signatures from the man, but they were on some other books. The question is, will this fall within my goals? And if it does, will it fall within my budget? And then if it doesn't, can I skip getting birthday books? Either way when it comes down to the final result and considering the day, I am thankful for what I have. Happy Thanksgiving Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/26/2015

All for One

Picking a Grail There are a few grails I would love to get in a high grade. Once upon a time I picked ten books that one day, I would like to have in a 9.2 or higher. A 9.2 is respectable, but a 9.4 is desirable and a 9.6 would be a blessing. Dare I dream higher? The two books that come to mind are both tied to Daredevil, although not Daredevil titles themselves. I remember reading Amazing Spider-Man 16 over and over again. The Circus of Crime gave both DD and Spidey a battle. The only thing was, it wasn't ASM 16, it was Marvel Tales 154. When I first glanced at the original, I thought, "What tomfoolery is this?". I mean why couldn't Marvel just start over at a number one so I wouldn't be confused? Eventually I hope to find at least a 9.2 of this great book and the other one is 34 issues later where arguably the best Daredevil villain was ever created. With space becoming an issue and a budget newly imposed, couldn't I go after the cremè de la cremè? Both issue 16 and 50 are on my radar and have been for a while. Since I already got a 9.2 of Iron Man 55, oh wait, an 8.0. I forgot that it dropped. It will be safe to say, once I get those grails...I won't be cracking...I hope.   Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/25/2015

A Monthly Budget, but for What?

All for CGC or all for reading? Every week I buy comic books. I buy these to read with no thoughts of grading them. They are plentiful and others have already sent them in. There is no guarantee that what I send in will get a 9.8. But what if I stop buying comic books on my monthly basis for one year? The question then becomes what do I send in? I have already sent in over twenty of my own to be graded, some with signatures. Do I finish those? Do I send in more of Crazy! #3? Or do I waste money for my vaunted .5's? I have a little over a month to decide what to do, but I must budget for whatever I decide to do. If I decide to get more books graded, would I want to if I don't read them? What's the point in grading something I don't care about? And then there is one other budget that most overlook, the budget of space.   Thanks for reading Tnerb   Next up... All for one. To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/24/2015

700

Did I really write that much? 700 is such a nice round number. I wish more of the comic books I collected would reach this number, but the way companies are these days I fear I'll have 700 number ones before having one 700 ever again. I started writing journals when I realized I enjoyed collecting these slabs. My first journal was posted over six years ago. Since then I questioned CGC, thanked CGC, and even propositioned them for a job. I had fun over the past six years writing these journals. I have met some great people and some of those became friends. This community is a great community and I thank you for all your support. I don't know if tomorrow's journal will be 701 or another first journal. And when this month's 30 in 30 is over I'll re-read all the comments that many of you have posted and make my own comments. As for the photo below, on my Instagram page we were asked to show off our favorite or first silver age book. Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/23/2015

At a con

I love these things I spent a few hours at the New Jersey Expo Center looking through comic books. I bought three books to turn over to CGC, but never did. My wife and I started to collect Funko Pops and I spent a bit on them, not to mention my wife wanted a mystery box. Please don't ask. I did find a Journey into Mystery that might get a .5 that I would like to turn in. As I was heading home I decided to send in ten books. All of which will be for low grades. I have three copies of Crazy I would like to turn over and seven other books to go with it, but adding the pre-modern age books add up and I have a birthday party gift I need to buy and she doesn't take comic books. I have to stop thinking about getting the best grade. I can grade every book in my collection and be happy with what I grade it. After hating graded comic books initially, my views changed because of the community. I like sharing what I have whether it's a copy of X-Men 6 in a .5 or an iron man 55 in a .5. I have the book and isn't that what it is about, having the comic?   Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/22/2015

Hating number ones???

Who really likes these? What is going on? Why are companies putting out first issue after first issue? Companies look at the numbers and they might show sales but what else do they show? The past few number ones I read don't begin a story as much as continue eight months after the ending of the Secret Wars, especially since the series didn't end yet. I recently picked up a Marvel Super Heroes issue 23. This .25 cent comic book has three stories in it. Wouldn't it be nice if Marvel would continue this? Continue with their $1 books months or years after it was originally released. This comic book was cheap compared to the money it would have cost me to buy the originals. Marvel has forgotten the collector. They continue with multiple covers, but the inside stays the same. This won't change for a long time and might very well get worse. If it does, I think I'll continue looking for some good deals here and there. I'll start at the New Jersey Expo in Edison, maybe I'll find a book or two that's worth having. Thanks for reading   Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/21/2015

Return of the Jedi

Or the last great Star Wars movie??? Return of the Jedi was released in May of '83. It wasn't for another year that I picked up New Mutants issue 15, which started my collection of comic books, but the Return of the Jedi limited series made its way into my home before then. I don't know where I purchased it or if it was a gift. I fathom I got them one summer at camp. This limited series and the picture book (remember school book sales?) gave me the option to relive the movie. It was so good that I already knew when the next one came out in '86, it would be great. I purchased a few of the Star Wars comic books here and there. Reading the exploits of my favorite childhood heroes kept me going, but as much as I enjoyed seeing Luke, Han, and Leia, my focus slowly changed to Illyana, Sam, and Dani. Month after month passed and I wanted more. I collected the Uncanny X-Men, Invincible Iron Man, and the Avengers while periodically checking in with the Fantastic Four. At issue 200 I stopped collecting Iron Man every month as well as the other two. It was the mutant titles I coveted and stuck with, like the New Mutants series, even when during times I thought it was . I mean seriously...Birdboy???   In '86 the next Star Wars movie never came out. I thought maybe in '87 and then in '88 I would finally see what happened to my first idols. It wasn't until '91 when Timothy Zahn wrote an Heir to an Empire that Star Wars jumped to the forefront of my collecting desires. This novel helped catapult Star Wars back into my life. Dark Horse solidified that with Dark Empire. Recently Star Wars has seen a revival stronger than when the Phantom Menace fizzled in '99. The New Mutants was then cancelled, patching the way for X-Force, revitalized and cancelled again 13 issues later. A third time was not the charm as 50 issues later they were left in the wind. Today the character I fell in love with l, along with her beloved brother Peter, has had her sorceress ways placed among the X-Men and so many years later I get to see what happens to my original heroes after they get older and pass the torch to a younger generation. May the force be with you. Thanks for reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/20/2015

The Empire Strikes Back

Same Galaxy, still far away... I was eight when Star Wars came out with The Empire Strikes Back. My father was remarried but still taking us to movies. I've seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Smokey and the Bandit, and Kramer vs. Kramer to name a select few. I was amazed by the Hoth scene in this newest Star Wars movie. I was even able to get a few more action figures this time around. At eight it's easier to be a pain in the than when you are five. That winter we had a horrible storm. The snow piled and piled up. It was horrible if you were an adult, but not for an eight year old with a backyard full of snow, who now had his own private Hoth. It was such a great winter that I didn't find some of my action figures until the spring. Any comic books I got at this age was mainly Richie Rich. It wasn't until '82 that I picked up another Star Wars comic book. I was ten and able to sneak off a few blocks away to the 7-11. I still wasn't caught fully by the comic collecting bug yet, but it was getting close. Thanks for reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/19/2015

Star Wars

In a galaxy far, far away... I remember going through the Sunday Newspaper and picking out the times to see Star Wars. I was a child of divorce and Sunday afternoons happily brought me time with my father. I'm sure it was my sister who went outside to retrieve the paper from our front walk. I can easily recall the full page ads in the entertainment section. After seeing such movies like the Rescuers, the Apple Dumpling Gang, and Escape to Witch Mountain, my father changed my world. After the effect Star Wars had on me, my grandfather picked me up an oversized comic book of Star Wars. I had this everywhere we went. I wanted to bring it home with me but I was told to leave it in his car. Every time I got in the red monster I had something to do. The other issues I remember getting were 11 and 14. The treasury edition is long gone, eventually being taken home, but 11 and 14 I might still have. With the new movie due out only a month away, there are no newspapers with full page ads. There are no movie times I can spread across the table and pretend I could see one after the other. Marvel once again tells the tales of Luke, Leia, and Han and I'm enjoying the ride, even if they aren't as good as the imagination of one five year old boy I left back in 1977.   Thanks for reading Tnerb Ps. I'm not sure what I saw first between A New Hope and the Rescuers. To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/18/2015

Collecting O. C. D.

Overall Comic Desires My collection has to be complete. But what is complete? The New Mutants title has become stagnant since I need only one more. I finished my Magik and Longshot limited series and stopped with my Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars since they climbed in price. The Thing and Ka-Zar are both good backups, but I began to get something a bit more ragged. I can't say when it started or which was my first, but it's those ripped up shredded well read graded .5's I love. I even went so far as to purchase a few raw to send in. I think I'd be disappointed if I got anything graded higher. My original Crazy! 3 graded a solid 1, a slight disappointment I might add. I truly wished for this comic that I had for as long as I could remember to be graded poor. I won a graded .5 yesterday for a price that really couldn't be cheaper, but they could become expensive. A ToS of Iron Man's first appearance climbed out of my range at $970, a bargain if I ever saw one. The great thing about the .5's is that they are the only criteria. It doesn't matter how many I have of the same title, it's just not necessary to complete a run as it is to have the book, now only if I could get the story. Thanks for reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/17/2015

Hefty Goals

Sometimes, it's the things from ones own youth that you want the most. Doctor Strange and Sub-Mariner have always been favorites of mine, but they were always underdogs. Both had series in the late eighties, but never seemed to thrive. It was the age of the mutants. I like the Sub-Mariner because of issue 38, an origin issue. Imagine an origin issue 37 issues after the first ones instead of just starting over...anyway... After reading it over and over with a few other random issues it became the catalyst for my future collecting attributes. I didn't get another issue of this series until many years later. And I decided to go after a 9.8 of issue 38, losing the first time. I would like to get another of the series eventually and complete the series, but what if I go after Doctor Strange? There are so many series out there that are rather limited. These are series I always thought I could achieve a full set of. Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-in-One, and Doctor Strange. These are series that ran a gauntlet of artists. Some were vibrant while others showed a scene so majestic it couldn't be fit into the book itself. Could I collect these? Could I collect them while collecting my current goals? And then there is my desire to send in some of my original collection. And most importantly can I continue all this while paying off a car? By the way, the car is so worth the consequence of not purchasing as many slabs. Thanks for Reading   Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/16/2015

By the Guide

But, Which one? Years ago, decades by now, I had just started to collect comic books. Not just buy them, but surround myself with them. I bought both Marvel and DC, but it was the company born from a "Timely" manner that captured my imagination. After each comic book that I read and closed, the story continued in my mind's eye. My father must have seen something in my desire to spend my weekly allowance My father has always worked for himself. Even when my father was 13 and my grandfather purchased a gas station and tossed the keys to my father one morning with the words, "Here kid, I'll see you tonight." There were two choices he was after, one was a comic book shop while the other was a gift shop. In preparation my father received a package from a distributor and a comic book price guide published by Robert Overstreet. I looked over and over the pamphlets and the guide. It was the guide that helped me pretend what my collection was worth, even though I didn't have many within its pages. I now use the guide with knowledge rather than imagination. Even though CGC books are pricier than their raw counterparts, it is the raw books I search for to turn over to get graded, although if I find a good deal I will definitely buy a graded copy. I just wish Overstreet would consider coming out with a 1st edition price guide of grading comic books. Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/15/2015

Modern Age Gold?

When will 9.8's become too plentiful? It's amazing how much CGC has changed the modern age market, not to mention speculation. I purchased a collection a few years ago and made my money back. A few comics I kept while others I sold. One being the first comic book appearance of Rocket Raccoon. But let's get to the books that just came out a month ago. With CGC being around for over 15 years and people sending in new comic books right away and flipping them, I wonder if this will destroy the future of finding raw books. I was fortunate in that I found an Avengers 98 through Greg Reece. It was a beautiful raw book that I thought I would be lucky to get 9.4...with a press. It returned a 9.8. The feeling I had when this returned as the grade all collectors strive for was phenomenal. My Wonder Woman 199 hit a 9.4, also with a press. But what's going to happen fifteen years from now when all these graded comics flood the market. It reminds me of the market reports that would recommend silver age. I can vaguely remember in Overstreet's monthly magazine, an article talking about Iron Man 55 and now you have comics like Star Wars issue 10 already on EBay. This book was recently released and yet my comics for Baltimore are still sitting at received. But that's another story.   Thanks for reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/14/2015

Let's go Crazy

Another Signature My original previous CGC collecting goal was to complete the New Mutants set in 9.8 and higher. I am close, very close. However, the closer I got, the longer it took. I need one more in 9.8. I started to get frustrated and decided to go after my birthday books. However, I had another goal that started a year ago. One that seems a little crazy. One of the first comic books I ever got was a copy of Crazy! #3. I read it so many times it became tattered. When I received my coupon for four free comic books to be graded, I sent in comics that meant something to me, including this one. Eventually I decided that I wanted a 9.8 copy, but there were none available. I decided to take the raw route. I purchased many different copies and sent the best two in. Why two? Crazy! #3 also happens to be one of Bagofleas birthday books. One I am keeping, while the other I am sending to him. I had both copies signed by Stan Lee. They are on their way back and I can't wait to have them in my hands to get the registration numbers and look them over and now with graders notes, I will compare them not with just my eyes, but theirs too. Thanks for Reading Tnerb To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

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11/13/2015