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About this journal

Well since the old journal format is gone I guess I'll try the new format. Right away I'm having issues...can't seem to fix the position of the picture, even though it appears correctly before uploading. Sigh. Anyway, thanks to dreamtoreal1 for this beauty. Excited to have ronnylama press it and get Claremont sign it at ECCC in March. Hoping for a 9.2 or better, but you never know sometimes. Hope everyone has a great 2018! 

 

Til next time...

*** 

Iron Fist 14.jpg

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Entries in this journal

 

My First NEW Journal

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...   ***

surfer99

surfer99

01/03/2018

Last Reply:
04/22/2018

Black Suit Set Complete

Worth the wait... Ive been looking forward to writing this journal for the last year and half. Honestly, this is not even a set I ever intended to put together, but the way things happened I just had to do it. It started last February when I found a super sharp copy of Amazing Spiderman 300 at my local comic shop for next to nothing. That was a great day because I remember walking out of there with a NM copy of ASM 238 as well, and my son took home a VF copy of Marvel Premiere 15, all for super cheap. Anyway, I took all these with me to Seattle last March for ECCC, along with my original owner copy of Secret Wars 8. The benevolent Ronnylama was kind enough to give em all a nice press and then I handed them over to CGC for grading. To my shock and astonishment, the ASM 300 and SW 8 both achieved the coveted CGC 9.8 grade with White Pages. Prior to getting those books back, I attended Phoenix Con last May and was on the hunt for a book that Art Adams could sign for me. I had a short list of books in mind that he had done and was super excited when I found a beautiful copy of Marvel Team Up 141 at a small booth. I snatched it up real quick and ran it over to Art for a signature...he mentioned he had been signing a lot of these lately...then it was off to CGC for grading. This book too came back CGC 9.8 with White Pages. Wow. This is when it dawned on me that I had to find the other Black Suit books in the same grade and quality, cause anything less would bug me to no end. Dont get me wrong, Im not a grade snob...I love and appreciate comics for what they are, its just in this instance I suddenly had a theme going and wanted to see it thru to completion. It wasnt until June of this year at Phoenix Con that I found the next book for my collection, Amazing Spiderman 252 CGC 9.8 with White Pages. The seller had the book marked down from an already fair price, but I was still a bit short of cash and they only accepted cash. Thankfully Ive bought from this seller many times before and he was kind enough to let me have the book for all the cash I had left which was an amazing price. Excitedly I shared this news on Instagram letting everyone know that all I needed now was Spectacular Spiderman 90 to complete my Black Suit set. Then of course Bagofleas tells me, no you need Marvel Age 12 also since that issue features concept art for the black suit that came out a couple months before ASM 252. Immediately I went on eBay and sure enough there was one copy of this book for sale, at a great price no less, graded CGC 9.8 with White Pages. I had just spent a good sum on ASM 252 earlier in the day, but Bagofleas made a good argument that this book would give me a set that shows the complete evolution of Venom, from concept to reality, so I went for it. The last piece of the set took me until now to find. I had been monitoring the auction sites regularly and checking eBay almost every day looking for Spectacular Spiderman 90 in CGC 9.8 with White Pages. I found a raw copy at one point that I thought looked like a good candidate, but it came back CGC 9.2. I continued to see several 9.6 White or 9.8 Off White copies on eBay and was very tempted to settle for the Off White pages a couple times but held my ground. In desperation I even went thru the Spectacular Spiderman set in the CGC Registry and started direct messaging people who had the book I needed asking if they would sell it to me, but no one responded. Then one day last week after doing my usual eBay search I saw it, and at a great price. Of course I jumped on it, and now my set truly is complete. Here they are in order... 3/84 Marvel Age 12, Black Suit concept art 5/84 Spectacular Spiderman 90, tied for 1st Black Suit 5/84 Amazing Spiderman 252, tied for 1st Black Suit 5/84 Marvel Team Up 141, tied for 1st Black Suit 12/84 Secret Wars 8, origin of Black Suit 5/88 Amazing Spiderman 300, Black Suit becomes Venom Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

12/10/2016

Kraven's Last Hunt

Another SS set completed! This is the set I was really excited about. Found high grade copies of all the issues in Kraven's Last Hunt, and had Mike Zeck sign them at Phoenix Con this past June. Such an iconic story line and I love how they look in the new cases with their high grades and yellow labels. After rereading this story, I've become an even bigger fan of Kraven...ironic since he is no longer among the living...and I started picking up back issues with appearances he has made over the years. Such a great character. Quotes Part 1 of 6 Web of Spiderman 31 I have found dignity, not in the cities, but in the jungle. I have found honor, not in the civilized, but in the primal. I have found morality, I have found meaning...in the hunt. -- Kraven the Hunter Part 2 of 6 Amazing Spiderman 293 So now I see through the Spiders eyes. I wear the Spiders skin. I crawl. Now...I am the Spider. -- Kraven the Hunter Part 3 of 6 Spectacular Spiderman 131 I am the Spider. No...not the Spider. I AM KRAVEN! - Kraven the Hunter Part 4 of 6 Web of Spiderman 32 TWO WEEKS! In the ground! In the grave! Dead! TWO WEEKS! - Spiderman Part 5 of 6 Amazing Spiderman 294 After all these years, you surely know that Im a man of my word...and I give you my word...from this night forward, Kraven the Hunter...will never hunt again. -- Kraven the Hunter Part 6 of 6 Spectacular Spiderman 132 But I cant let my fear stop me. God...please dont let it stop me. -- Spidermann To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

10/22/2016

Punisher Limited Series

Had to do it... I was getting ready for Phoenix Con six months ago and saw that Mike Zeck was gonna be there. What do I have in my collection that he could sign? Oh yeah...the Punisher Limited Series! Overall I was happy with the grades and I think the books look awesome in the new new cases. I like the Punisher but I'm not in love with him so at some point I'm gonna need to part ways with this set. Until then I will enjoy having it in my collection! *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

10/15/2016

TOS 84 CGC 9.4

Looking fancy in the new case... I picked up this book raw from my LCS about a year ago for an amazing price. It looked to be in great condition so I was feeling pretty good about getting at least a 9.0 after a press...Im very slowly looking to complete the Tales of Suspense Cap issues in 9.0 or better graded condition to go along with my reading copies. I previously submitted issue 82, first appearance of the Adaptoid, and it came back 9.4 so when I saw issue 84 came back 9.4 as well as I was super stoked! In this issue the Adaptoid becomes the Super Adaptoid. Such a classic villain, and with a sliver of the Cosmic Cube as his power source he is more than a match for many of our heroes! Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

06/12/2016

Comic Book Memories

My earliest comic book memory... This is a very special post for me. One that I shared on IG and decided to expand upon here. My earliest childhood memory of comics was hanging out with my aunt during the summer and flipping through her small tattered collection of Xmen, Silver Surfer, and Fantastic Four...all of which she gifted to me years later when I told her I started collecting comics. I must have been about 8 years old at the time because there were way too many words on the page...my only focus was the story told through art, especially the battle scenes. If I had to pick one book that stuck out the most for me it would have to be Xmen 22. Something about that red cover with all those cool looking grade B supervillains just really grabbed me. Recently I picked up a couple books that turned out to be the first appearance of two of these characters. It was then that I decided, you know what, I'm going to pick up all of their first appearances...and I did. Reading copies, yes, but that is the point...my Xmen 22 that I still have from my early childhood was well read and I have received just as much enjoyment from reading through these first appearances. Here they are in no particular order... Avengers 13, first appearance of Count Nefaria Tales to Astonish 48, first appearance of Porcupine Tales of Suspense 51, first appearance of Scarecrow Strange Tales 112, first appearance of Eel Strange Tales 113, first appearance of Plantman Tales of Suspense 56, first appearance of Unicorn Thanks for reading. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

05/22/2016

Enter the Black Suit

Latest addition... So I was cruising around Phoenix Con last May hoping to find something for Art Adams and Jim Steranko to sign since they were both in attendance. I wish I had a decent book in my collection I couldve use but theyre all midgrade and I really wanted to find something nice. Ive never had much luck locating books in high grade at a con...theyre always overpriced or just nonexistent. As expected I struck out on finding a worthy Steranko book...although I did pick up a really nice looking Xmen book at my LCS recently that he did and Im hoping he will be back this year so I can get him to sign it. Anyway, I stopped by a small booth run by this guy and his son that looked promising so I asked if they had any high grade books I could check out. As luck would have it they had 3 small boxes of books for me to thumb through. To my delight I found not one, but three copies of Marvel Team Up 141...this book was on my radar because I knew Art Adams had worked on the cover. After gaining permission to do so I took each book out and carefully inspected the condition. I thought one was about a 9.2 so I quickly dismissed it, but the other two looked to be in pretty high grade so I picked the one with the most forgivable defects and bought it for like twenty bucks. Now Im wishing I wouldve bought the other one as well. Needless to say I was stoked when I opened the box from CGC last week to find that my copy of Marvel TeamUp 141 had achieved a grade of 9.8...highest grade on the census and currently only 1 of 51 with signature. Let me tell you, Im not a 9.8 or nothing kind of guy...depending on the book Im more than happy with a lower grade...but dude, 9.8! Haha. This book fits perfectly with my Secret Wars 8 and Amazing 300, both submitted by me and both achieving the coveted 9.8 grade. I dont know how I picked books of that quality, but I did and Im not complaining. Of course now the hunt is on to add a 9.8 worthy copy of Spectacular 90 and Amazing 252 to complete the Venom set. Ah, I love this hobby. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

01/09/2016

Avengers CGC SS

Latest additions... So bagofleas was headed to Heroes Con in Charlotte earlier this year and asked if I had any books I wanted to get signed. Well, one of my favorite writers from the bronze age, Roy Thomas, was in attendance so yes, I jumped on the opportunity. Now what could I have him sign. Something from my Xmen the Missing Years set would be awesome, but a lot of those books are so hard to find in high grade or are so expensive...for me any way...that I didnt want to risk cracking them. I opted for the books you see below, Avengers 103 and 104. Still near mint, but affordable if I had to replace them. I know a lot has been said lately about the inconsistency of grading between graders within CGC and between the graders of one company and another. There has been a lot of crazy swings in grades so the risk of my books dropping was very real. Thankfully, even without a press, both books retained their grades. The 103 remained 9.2 and the 104 remained 9.4 so I was very happy with that. I am grateful to bagofleas and his friend Jason for taking such great care of my books and hope to be able to return the favor at some point. I am also loading new pics today on a bunch of my books cause some were just way too blurry. The new iPhone does a really nice job and the lighting was perfect today. Check em out if you are so inclined, I love sharing my collection with this community. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

11/07/2015

Collection Complete

Latest and final addition to this set... WARNING...This is a long journal, . The most important journal I have ever written and it wont allow comments on the boards, even though I removed all special characters in the punctuation...argh. If you feel so inclined please DM me your comments, thanks. How hard could it be to create a set of Xmen appearances made outside their own title during the time when they really had no book to call their own? Then once created how hard could it really be to find every one of these appearances in NM 9.2 or better condition? Well it took 8 years...from 2007 to 2015...and I can finally say my Xmen the Missing Years set is now 100 percent complete with the addition of Amazing Adventures 9 featuring a very early Magneto crossover appearance. Before I get into the story behind acquiring this book though I want to reflect a little bit on having completed this set...45 books in all. Many of these books were SO difficult to find in grade...Im not even kidding...but you all know what Im talking about because you have your own hit list of books that have eluded you for years. Ive always been a huge Xmen fan ever since I started collecting back in 1987. I would go to my LCS in Lodi, CA...the Comic Grapevine...every week to pick up new issues, chat with Doug the owner, browse through back issues of Uncanny Xmen, and pick up as many issues as I could afford. I still have all of those Xmen books too and only need about a dozen more including issue one to complete that set of reading copies. But we arent here to talk about that so let me get back to the point of this journal. The collection... Below is a summary of my collection, all of which have W or OW to W pages. 3 books in NM minus 9.2 7 books in NM 9.4 1 book in NM 9.4 with SS...2 more pending thanks to bagofleas 34 books in NM plus 9.6 To give you an idea of which books took the longest to find in NM condition, Im providing a complete list here in the order they were acquired. The first one was at the end of 2007, I picked up 4 in 2008, only 2 in 2009, 4 in 2010, 3 in 2011, 8 in 2012, a whopping 16 in 2013 when the set was added to the registry, 5 in 2014, and the final 2 issues in 2015. 11.23.2007 Captain America 173 CGC 9.6 02.10.2008 Hulk 172 CGC 9.6 09.17.2008 Defenders 15 CGC 9.6 09.30.2008 Amazing Adventures 16 CGC 9.6 10.08.2008 Avengers 110 CGC 9.6 07.24.2009 Captain America 172 CGC 9.6 08.17.2009 Captain America 174 CGC 9.6 03.08.2010 Hulk 150 CGC 9.6 03.16.2010 Captain America 175 CGC 9.6 03.26.2010 Avengers 111 CGC 9.6 08.30.2010 Marvel Team up 4 CGC 9.6 02.22.2011 Amazing Spiderman 92 CGC 9.6 07.23.2011 Hulk 161 CGC 9.6 08.04.2011 Marvel Team up 23 CGC 9.6 01.25.2012 Fantastic Four 104 CGC 9.6 03.17.2012 Sub-Mariner 52 CGC 9.2 03.28.2012 Amazing Adventures 12 CGC 9.4 03.28.2012 Avengers 102 CGC 9.6 09.25.2012 Defenders 16 CGC 9.6 10.21.2012 Amazing Adventures 10 CGC 9.4 11.19.2012 Ka Zar 3 CGC 9.6 12.14.2012 Amazing Adventures 15 CGC 9.6 01.16.2013 Sub Mariner 54 CGC 9.6 02.26.2013 Amazing Adventures 11 CGC 9.6 03.16.2013 Ka Zar 2 CGC 9.6 03.28.2013 Amazing Adventures 17 CGC 9.6 03.29.2013 Shanna the She Devil 5 CGC 9.6 03.30.2013 Sub Mariner 53 CGC 9.4 04.16.2013 Fantastic Four 102 CGC 9.4 05.16.2013 Avengers 117 CGC 9.6 05.16.2013 Iron Man 69 CGC 9.6 05.16.2013 Iron Man 70 CGC 9.6 08.02.2013 Avengers 88 CGC 9.4 09.01.2013 Marvel Tales 30 CGC 9.6 09.11.2013 Fear 20 CGC 9.4 09.11.2013 Iron Man 68 CGC 9.6 10.07.2013 Amazing Adventures 14 CGC 9.6 11.18.2013 Amazing Adventures 13 CGC 9.2 03.26.2014 Avengers 103 CGC 9.2 03.28.2014 Avengers 104 CGC 9.4 03.28.2014 Spidey Super Stories 6 CGC 9.6 05.30.2014 Giant Size Fantastic Four 4 CGC 9.6 09.03.2014 Fantastic Four 103 CGC 9.4 04.03.2015 Avengers 137 CGC 9.6 10.24.2015 Amazing Adventures 9 CGC 9.6 Every book contains the following... Pictures of the front and either a picture of the back or a picture of the featured character. The year the book was made and the CGC grade. The current CGC census for the grade at the time of purchase. The purchase price of my book and the selling price of another in same grade...this helps me with valuation. Notes from the CGC case including appearances and signed by dates with creator names. Summary of comic details from marvel.wikia.com. Pedigree significance and origin, if known. Previews or Bullpen announcements made at the time of publication. Reviews from independent web sites, if available. Notable quotes from the book. Sure thats a lot of stuff, but it makes the books all that much more interesting to me, and hopefully to others...nothing is obscured cause I like making my collection available to others to view as well. Now about this Amazing Adventures 9... I had just posted a journal about acquiring the second to last book in my collection, Fantastic Four 103 CGCSS 9.4, when my friend Ronnylama posts the question...which book do you need? The next day I get a text saying he found and purchased the book and would press it then send to me. Say what? Floored, speechless, dumbfounded, humbled, thankful, amazed, excited. I believe that was the order in which I experienced those emotions, . Ron...your friendship, generosity, hospitality, and kindness never cease to amaze me...thank you again SO much. Fun fact about this issue... Besides the awesome Magneto and Inhumans appearance, one of the little things that make this book from 1971 so cool is that it features a letter to Marvel from none other than Jeph Loeb. I would not have even known this if it werent for the notation on the CGC case...thanks CGC. Ive actually met Jeph a couple of times through a friend and I remember him being a funny, down to earth guy. According to Wikipedia he began collecting comic books during the summer of 1970 when he was 12 years old. Anyone curious what he had to say in this issue? If so, read on. Dear Stan and Gerry, Once again I press these mighty keys to present another probing and provoking problem. It concerns a certain group consisting of six non evil, royal blooded Inhumans and one rather oversized but very useful Lockjaw. MMMMM...6? Inhumans...lets see now...Black Bolt, Triton, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa...wasnt there another one somewhere? Ahhh, yes, the one called Crystal...didnt she lose her heart to that Johnny Storm character somewhere along the line? But whats this? I thought she left 8 months ago with Lockjaw...a matter of life and death. But I thought that Lockjaw could travel unimaginable distances...in a matter of minutes. Stan, I think you see my point. Maximus total conquest is not complete because he has neglected Crystal and Lockjaw. Even in FF 82 Maximus states that he will never gain total conquest over the Great Refuge unless all of the royal family is defeated. So to win myself an ol No Prize, I predict that one of these days Crys is going to return to the Great Refuge to find considerable changes. Then it would be Crystal against the brain forces of Maximus. A mind blowing battle with Crys at the slight advantage due to the element of surprise. And, since Maximus does not know the full extent of his

surfer99

surfer99

10/24/2015

My First Comic

Do you remember yours? It was the 70's and I had to be like 10 years old or less. My parents divorced when I was even younger and I remember going to visit my dad in the summers. He would usually end up taking me to grandma's house in French Camp, CA where I hung out with my cousins most of the time. My aunt lived there with grandma and kind of looked out for me. One of the fun things I liked to do at that age was take a magnifying glass and use the condensed light beam like a pencil to burn images into a piece of wood. I don't know all of the images I made, but I remember very clearly making a big ant...he was like a foot long on a thin peace of soft wood and he looked awesome. Sorry, took a trip down memory lane there. Anyway, one day after I was bored of playing with fire and driving my aunt crazy she busted out some Marvel comics and was like, here look at these. I loved looking at those books. There were so many words and at that age they just interfered with the pictures...I didn't read any of them and when my aunt tried to read them to me I usually fell asleep from boredom. When I got to just flip through them on my own though it was great. Sometimes I would try to piece together the story from the images, and other times I just enjoyed looking at these cool characters. Which books were they? The covers that burned themselves into my memory were Silver Surfer 1 and a bunch of X-men books including issue 2 with the Vanisher, issue 3 with the Blob, issue 22 with Count Nefaria, issue 29 with the Super Adaptoid, issue 31 with the Cobalt Man, issue 32 with Juggernaut, and issue 45 with Quicksilver. I guess that explains why the Silver Surfer and X-men were the comics I gravitated to most when I started collecting comics myself 10 years later. The unbelievable part is about 10 years after that, I told my aunt I has collecting comics now and she sent me her whole collection of about 60 books. Man when those books arrived the memories just came pouring back. I still have most of those books and will treasure them forever, along with the great memories. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

07/31/2015

Mail Call from CGC

Just arrived... Shortly after coming home from work on Friday I got a knock on the door from UPS. I had seen a few days earlier that my invoice from ECCC in March had been marked Shipped/Safe so I was eagerly anticipating this package. So excited because I don't peak at the grades online...gotta have willpower cause I love surprises! In the past I've opened the box and revealed the grade to myself one book at a time and then made a journal note before looking at the next book. That was fun. This time, I decided to reveal one at a time to myself and then to tnerb, bagofleas and Ronnylama via group text, sending them a pic of each book as I went along. That was a lot fun too cause we got to share in the ohs and ahs together. I just finished posting the last one, pictured below, on Instagram which is my first venture into social media, and now I'm sharing the results with all of you fine people. I wish I had made note of the grades we thought these would receive, but needless to say I am EXTREMELY happy with all of these! Daredevil 163 CGC 9.6 WP...Hulk appearance. Bought this one on eBay as NM. Daredevil 168 CGC 9.2 WP...1st Elektra. Bought this one from tnerb as NM minus...right on the money with that one tnerb. Uncanny Xmen 244 CGC 9.6 WP...1st Jubilee. This one is from my original collection. Secret Wars 8 CGC 9.8 WP...Origin of alien costume that becomes Venom. This one is from my personal collection. Amazing Spiderman 238 CGC 9.6 WP...1st appearance Hobgoblin. Picked this up at my LCS. Amazing Spiderman 300 CGC 9.8 WP...Origin and 1st full appearance of Venom. Picked this up at my LCS. I gotta tell you, my jaw hit the floor when I saw the 9.8 grade on issue 300. I showed my wife what they're selling for and she was like yeah, you need to take me back to Disneyland, . Very happy to have all these books in my collection and not that it has any relevance, but it bumped me up past the 30,000 point mark so I'll take it. I've added pictures and descriptions for all these to my sets so if you have a few minutes stop by and take a look. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

07/18/2015

Phoenix Con 2015

Ready for another vacation... My family and I were fortunate enough to go to So Cal over the holiday weekend. We spent the first night hangin out in Downtown Disney. The next day we lounged about at Huntington Beach and had lunch on the boardwalk before meeting some friends for dinner in Hollywood. It was cool to see the street performers and stars on the walk of fame...Marilyn Monroe had some tiny hands and feet! The next few days and nights we were at Disneyland and CA Adventure. My legs and feet are still mad at me, but it was a blast. We drove back home to AZ and the next day I was on my feet again walking all around Phoenix Con. It was a great show and seems like it's doubling in size every year...over 100k people this year. Several great comic dealers and lots of cosplay made it lots of fun. You can see a couple of the nice books I walked away with below. I also picked up a high grade copy of Marvel Team Up 141 that Arthur Adams signed for me. I will share that went it comes back from CGC. The great Jim Steranko was also there too but I didnt have anything worthy for him to sign. Hopefully the opportunity presents itself another time. Also had a few books signed by Todd Nauck for bagofleas. Always happy to help a friend, and he was nice enough to return the favor by recruiting a friend to get Roy Thomas to sign a couple of my books at Heroes Con. I got a premium CGC membership this year for the first time and picked out the 4 best looking books in my collection that werent already slabbed so I could use my coupon. I knew these werent in NM shape but I was hoping for VF/NM with a press. Thankfully I showed these to a dealer I trust, Ed Robertson, and he gave them the once over while taking the time to show me the flaws I hadnt seen before. After reviewing the prices these books sold for in the grades he believed they could achieve with a press he recommended against wasting my coupon on them. I appreciate his advice and will spend the next 10 months looking for worthy raw copies to submit before the coupon expires. Would love to find a Werewolf by Night 32. Why is that book so dang hot? Likely people expect it to become a film or show, and rightly so, Moonknight is a great character. I mean, um, that book is garbage, none of you should want it...at least not until I get my own copy, haha. Lastly, best of luck to all on the registry awards! Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

06/02/2015

New Respect for Stan Lee

Stan's Soapbox... If you've ever read some of the great Silver Age books that Stan wrote, especially Tales to Astonish, you no doubt have noticed that he was a bit of a male chauvinist...or at least he portrayed women in such a way that leads you to believe he was. He can be forgiven, it was a sign of the times, and as such was reflected in his writing. One thing you never did see though was bigotry. In fact, he spoke in depth on this topic in the Stan's Soapbox section of Fantastic Four 81 which I just read. In case you don't have this issue, or maybe just don't read this section on a regular basis, I typed it up below for your reading pleasure. After reading this, I have a new respect for Stan the man. The fact that this was printed in 1968, the year of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, tells me he was speaking out against that kind of hate in the best way he knew how. STAN's SOAPBOX Lets lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they cant be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them -- to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater -- one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he hates ALL foreigners. He hates people he's never seen -- people he's never known -- with equal intensity -- with equal venom. Now, we're not trying to say its unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it's totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race -- to despise an entire nation -- to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God -- a God who calls us ALL -- His children. Pax et Justitia (Latin for peace and justice) Stan. Nuff said! Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

04/26/2015

My Birthday Present

Latest addition... Where have the journals been? OK, I'm writing this for all of you who miss reading journals as much as I do. So, I celebrated my birthday last week. Cmon, dont get personal and ask how old...just know that Im feeling my age, . My loving wife of 24 years...no, she is not 24, we have actually been married for that long...gave me a small budget to buy myself a comic. She knows I love comics, but doesnt have a clue what I would want so I am totally cool with getting it myself. Anyway, the book I chose is a CGC 9.6 copy of Avengers 137 which features the Beast and Moondragon agreeing to join the team. Ive always liked this cover and as I looked at the date of publication I realized, hey this book features an Xman appearance the month before the reprints ended with Xmen 94. This means it will be added to my Xmen the Missing Years set! When I first considered this issue for the set I left it out because I figured if the Xman was part of the team, ala the Champions, then it didnt really count as an appearance per se. Im waivering on that a little with the addition of Avengers 137, but my logic is that Beast didnt join the team until the end of the issue AND it features Toad, kind of, who is an Xvillain, so you know what...Im counting it. Issue 136 was a reprint of Amazing Adventures 12 so Im standing firm on not adding that one. So pretty cool right? New book for my birthday and my favorite comic book set! OK, thats all Ive got for now. Tag Tnerb or bagofleas, or any others who are willing to write the next journal, you are it. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

04/06/2015

Hidden Treasure?

Heard about a comic stash... So a friend of mine told me he was in downtown Phoenix a few days ago at an electronics reclamation store and he ran across several boxes of comics buried in the backroom amongst all the other stuff they had for sale there. He knew I collected comics so he gave me a heads up in case I wanted to go check em out. Today was that day. Would I find an Amazing Fantasy 15 or Fantastic Four 1 like Ronnylama and Tnerb jokingly suggested, or more likely would I find the junk I expected? I arrived at the store which was in a seedy part of town (thankfully it was daylight), parked my truck in the dirt parking lot, and walked through the front door with bars on it (and the windows). I was immediately overwhelmed with the smell of what reminded me of my grandmother's house mixed with an auto repair shop garage and dust. The older man and woman who worked there were nice enough and left me to my own devices as I took a look around what turned out to be a huge warehouse full of all kinds of...well, stuff. Lots of old electronic equipment and small box after small box of various machine parts. As I walked around I tried to soak in all the odd things I was seeing in this warehouse including dusty old musical instruments, old photography equipment, stuffed panda bears with real working fish tanks for stomachs, credit card machines, a dirty litter box in the corner, a wall of military patches, barber chairs, outdoor lighting, and a bunch of stuff that I had no idea what it was. Finally I came upon a row that had like 20 small boxes of comics on the top! This was it...what the heck could they have hidden here? Find out next week when I continue this journal... OK, that would be pretty messed up after I got you all sucked into this story, right? So, Im looking at the first box and its got all these oddball Image and Independent titles from like the last decade or whatever, and a few DC and Marvel oddities from the same time period...not exactly what Im lookin for. The first thing I noticed about the books tipped me off to what I was really looking at...all the backing boards had a store stamp for Atomic Comics. This was a local store...actually they had 3 stores here...that closed its doors several years ago. I always wondered what happened to all their inventory. Im sure they sold all the good stuff online or to other comics shops and then all the leftovers, well they landed here. Then it hit me...this reclamation store, this is where businesses go to die once they go out of business. Hey look over there...stacks of old DVDs with Blockbuster stickers. Yep, suspicions confirmed. Kind of sad really, but interesting to see all this old stuff. I still took the time to look through the rest of the boxes. You never know right? Maybe somebody missed something. Oh, here are some XFactor books...nope, issue 7 was as close as I was gonna get to issue 6. Dang. I got really excited when I saw Hulk 289, 288, 286, 281...come on this is one of those junk issues thats gotta be here, but no...there is no issue 271. Sigh. Well, I didnt find any gems, but I gotta say I did have fun on the journey. Now I feel like heading to the flea markets and looking on Craigs List in search of comic treasure. Nah, I think I will get ready for ECCC instead! Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

03/22/2015

Something to Write About

ECCC is only a couple weeks away! Hard to believe its been a year since my first trip to Emerald City Comic Con where I met great friends, enjoyed great food, and picked up some great comics. Seattle is a cool city and I cant wait to go back in less than 2 weeks! Over the past year Ive managed to gather a few Silver Age books worth considering for grading, and several Modern Age gems. The plan is for Ronnylama to work his pressing magic on them and we will see if he and Tnerb deem them grade worthy...although they are pretty strict so I may have to just take my chances on a couple. If Im lucky I may even pick up a few nice books at the show or even at a LCS there. I would like to maybe get some sigs like last year too, but it doesnt look like it. While there are a lot of cool guests appearing, there arent many creators from the Silver and Bronze Age...despite all my lobbying to ECCC to send an invite to Steve Englehart. Neal Adams will be there and of course Stan Lee, but I dont really have anything for either of them to sign. In any event Im really looking forward to this trip and will no doubt post a trip summary when I get back like I did last year. If any of you have attended or plan on attending a show together, please write a journal or leave a comment about it. As fun as this hobby is, it is even more so when you share it with others who love comics as much as you do. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

03/14/2015

1st Appearance Bullseye

Latest addition... Not what you were expecting I know, but still...I love this book. I saw that Herb Trimpe was going to be at the Amazing AZ Con in February this year and I really wanted to find something cool for him to sign. I could have him sign my reader copy of Hulk 172 but I already have a 9.6 copy that I dont want to crack and the reader would only get like a 9.2 with a press, so nah. I decided to check the comic book database to see what else Herb had a hand in creating and thats when I came across Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD 15. I know, I know, he is not in any way related to the Bullseye we all know and love from Daredevil 131...which I would also like to pick up someday...but this is like the proof of concept character that inspired that Bullseye so to me thats pretty cool. Rather than having a supernatural ability that allows him to always hit his target, this Bullseye relies on weapons he creates himself that strike with amazing accuracy no matter who is pulling the trigger. He uses just such a weapon, a rifle that tunes in to the specific heartbeat of its victim, to assassinate Nick Fury in this issue. Wait? Nick Fury was killed? Well thats sure the way it looks until you follow the story in the next chapter in Avengers 72! I love it when storylines transition from one title to another like that. Also featured in this issue is an appearance by a rock group called Country Joe and the Catfish...never heard of em, but turns out they used to sing anti-war songs during the Vietnam era. In this issue theyre singing about the Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange, . Sadly, poor Bullseye meets his maker at the hands of Dum Dum at the end of this issue which is unfortunate cause he really could have had a great run if another writer took the time to develop the character. Oh well...Bullseye, you will not be forgotten and your legacy lives on in the new Bullseye. P.S. Ive never cracked a slab myself so I may need to look up that YouTube video we made with Ronnylama at ECCC last year. Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

01/24/2015

Top 10 for 2014 it is!

Thanks bagofleas for this annual reminder... We spend so much time and money looking for that next great addition to our collections, it's nice to take a moment and appreciate the books we already own. So on that note I will follow bagofleas lead and take stock of my top 10, comparing it to my last top ten from 9/21/2010...been awhile since Ive done this apparently. The one caveat I will make is that this list is specific to graded books, and not any that are currently raw. 10. Tales of Suspense 82 CGC 9.4 WP (previously Marvel Team-up #4 CGC 9.6) New to the list, and a title that's new to my collection. I was drawn to this set because of the early Cap appearances and have not been disappointed. This copy I actually submitted to CGC myself and was very happily surprised it came back NM. It also features the first appearance of the Adaptoid who would then evolve to become the Super Adaptoid in issue 84. I look forward to collecting all the Cap issues in this run in high grade. 9. Fantastic Four 28 CGC SS 7.0 OW/WP (previously Hulk #181 CGC 8.0) New to the list. I have a couple of issues signed by Stan and this one tops the list featuring the second crossover appearance of the X-men. I wish it was in higher grade, but still a keeper any way you look at it. 8. Avengers 110 CGC 9.6 WP (previously Hulk #172 CGC 9.6) This one took a drop from number 2, but is still one of my favorite covers. I remember how excited I was to win this auction and the one for the third part of the story in Avengers 111...the second part of the story was in Daredevil 99 which I also own in the same grade as these. Did I mention I love crossovers? 7. Fantastic Four 104 CGC 9.6 WP (previously Hulk #150 CGC 9.6) New to the list. This is another iconic cover featuring Magneto on his throne with his foes at his feet and their beautiful women his captives. Magneto is best when he plays the egotistical maniac. 6. Marvel Team-up 4 CGC 9.6 WP (previously Giant-Size X-men #1 CGC 8.0) This one moved way up from number 10. With the X-men appearance and tough black cover it was inevitable. Very key book from the X-men the Missing Years collection. Love it! 5. Amazing Spider-man 92 CGC 9.6 WP (previously Captain America #173 CGC 9.6) New to the list. Such a great book. Iceman and Spidey together is always a good time. I remember it wasn't cheap, but I was so excited that I had won the auction...one of those books that really stands the test of time and all the whats hot whats not phases. 4. Marvel Tales 30 CGC 9.6 WP Twin Cities, Ka-Zar 2 CGC 9.6 OW/WP, Ka-Zar 3 CGC 9.6 WP (previously Captain America #172 CGC 9.6) New to the list. If bagofleas can have several books in one category making up one of the top 10 slots then so can I. These will never leave my collection. Each issue is part of a 3 part original X-men story featuring The Angel and the death of his father and it's written by none other than Jerry Siegel...the same Jerry Siegel that created Superman. That would be like Stan Lee writing a Hawkman book or something. How cool is that? 3. Amazing Adventures 11 CGC 9.6 WP (previously Avengers #111 CGC 9.6) New to the list. This is one I never thought I would own in this grade just because of the high cost. Thankfully I got a big bonus at work one year and my wife was very supportive of my decision to purchase this beauty. Awesome black picture frame cover featuring the first appearance of the Beast with fur. 2. Giant Size Fantastic Four 4 CGC 9.6 OW/WP (previously Avengers #110 CGC 9.6) New to the list. Of all the books in my collection, this one proved to be the most difficult to find in grade. It took YEARS of looking at auction after auction. I finally found one during a ComicLink auction one year, but that same auction also featured a copy of FF 104 CGC 9.6 and I could only afford one of the two. I chose the FF 104 at the time because I loved the cover so much. If I had known how hard it was to find the GS I would have picked that one up instead. Fortunately the person who purchased that book from ComicLink also sold it years later on eBay...to me! First appearance of Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man, appearance by Professor X, and a key book in my X-men the Missing Years set. 1. Hulk #181 CGC SS 8.0 OW (previously Amazing Adventures #16 CGC 9.6) This one took a huge jump from number 9. Honestly it should have been number 1 all along, but now even more so since it's been signed by both Len and Herb! This was the first CGC book Ive ever owned, and it was a gift from my amazing wife on 12/25/2006. It was the most nerve-wracking decision to get it signed this year, but it SO paid off...taking something so special to me and making it even more special. Sometimes, the risk really is worth the reward. Lastly, these 10 were on the bubble and honestly could still fall anywhere in the 7 thru 10 range, but this is a top 10 list and not a top 20 so here are the honorable mentions in alphabetical order... Amazing Adventures 10 CGC 9.4 WP Rocky Mountain Amazing Adventures 16 CGC 9.6 OW/WP Daredevil 111 CGC 9.6 OW/WP Fantastic Four 48 CGC 8.0 OW Fantastic Four 103 CGC SS 9.4 OW/WP Hulk 150 CGC 9.6 OW/WP Special Marvel Edition 15 CGC 9.4 WP Strange Tales 120 CGC SS 8.0 OW/WP Giant Size X-men 1 CGC 8.0 OW X-men 141 CGC 9.6 WP, X-men 142 CGC 9.6 WP Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

12/28/2014

Barcodes gone forever?

This is what I'm told... So I was at the mall this morning doing a little Christmas shopping and I passed through a Barnes and Noble bookstore. They have a great selection of board games and toy figures now...and of course comic books. After reading SW3Ds journal about newsstand copies I thought I'd see if they had any Marvel titles worth picking up. But wait...why is it that all I see are DC titles? I checked with the clerk who informs me that yeah, Disney/Marvel decided to pull all their books from large retailers, opting instead to distribute solely through small businesses (which she clarified to mean comic book shops). Say what?!? Does this mean no more Marvel direct editions? Appears so. There were still plenty of DC copies though for whoever is interested. I know, I know, it's like saying there are plenty of Booster action figures when all you really want is a Turbo Man (for all you fans of the Jingle All The Way movie, ). RIP Marvel newsstands. *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

12/19/2014

Last Con of Year!

Fan Fest 2014... I know I just wrote a journal, but I had two things I wanted to chat about. So this past Saturday my wife and I attended her company Christmas party, held every year in Phoenix on the baseball field where the Diamondbacks play. We had a great time...it was a Latin theme with hot dancers, a performance by Pitbull (and some guy I hadn't heard of, Daddy Yankee), and the food/drink was even better than last year. This brings me to the next morning when we decided to check out the inaugural Fan Fest comic book convention...held in Glendale on the football field where the Cardinals play. How cool is that? Now if only there had been an event on Friday on the Suns basketball court I could have completed the trifecta, . Anyway, it was a small convention, put on by the same people that do the Phoenix Con in May. Still, there were several dealers and lots of fun stuff to check out so I'm glad we went. My favorite dealer was there, Ed Robertson, so it's always good to catch up with him, and I did walk away with a few nice copies of TOS for my collection. I'm looking forward to watching this con grow next year with even more comics! I will leave you with a pic of the dancing Deadpools...these guys were having a blast, there were like 8 of them doing the can can, . If I don't talk to you before then, I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! Til next time... *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

12/19/2014

I Like Comics

Felt like writing... Just chillin on a Saturday night and had comics on the brain so thought I would write about them. It's been cool reading Tnerb's journals this month and seeing some great books, like that DD 7..even if it IS only a 5.5 haha. Just kidding, I would totally take that book in a 5.5 even. DD is a pretty cool character and Im sure Im one of the few who actually enjoyed the DD movie. Lately Ive been buying fewer and fewer modern books and more and more Silver and Bronze books. Tales of Suspense has been my favorite with Captain America. Anyone else think Cap should have started his title at number one and Iron Man at number 100 instead of the other way around? Iron Man was on that book first after all. Oh well. Ive also been enjoying Strange Tales with Nick Fury. I even picked up a crossover appearance of Nick in a monster book, cause you know I love crossovers...Creatures on the Loose 35. Havent read it yet, but lookin forward to it. Thats the problem with the older books...they cost a lot more than Modern books so I have to savor them longer before reading and filing them. The last cool book I bought was from my LCS last week. Journey Into Mystery 107 featuring the first appearance of the Grey Gargoyle. Its only in VG but still nice for a reading copy. I wont go into it here, but Im sure Im not alone when I say that the only real Thor is the Odinson and the only real Cap for that matter is Steve Rogers. I will leave it at that. OK thats enough writing for now. Gonna go read Iron Fist 12...that is a cool Cap story. Hope everyone has a great weekend! *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

11/30/2014

Fantastic Four 65 CGC?

Featuring the 1st appearance of Ronan... Its that time of year again when I need to curb my comic book spending...mounting debt and holidays approaching and all that. There are a half dozen books I really want to send to CGC, but again because of budget constraints I have to wait...which is fine. Of course this doesnt mean I have to stop collecting comics, I just cant spend as much as I would like. Fortunately Im still able to unearth amazing books from my LCS at a premium discount so not all is lost. Which brings me to the most recent addition I picked up and the title of this journal.       Sifting through Silver Age back issues I found this beauty. I knew the significance of the book when I saw the cover and the condition looked to be VF to me...the price too was insanely low, so I snagged it. I'm not a huge Guardians of the Galaxy fan but I used to love watching Ronan battle the Silver Surfer back when Ron Lim was on that title so I have an affinity for the character.       Now I guess the only question becomes do I eventually get it pressed and graded? I compared it to my Hulk 181 which is an 8.0 and the wear is very similar so Im thinking it has a great chance at that grade. Looking it up on eBay...cause who knows, I might need to sell it someday...the 8.0 graded copies are selling for about 200. The raw copies advertised in the VF range are going for about 75 to 100. Looking at the numbers and adding in applicable fees, the valuation is probably the same between graded and ungraded...either way I would be making like 10 times what I paid for the book which totally rocks. So what is the general consensus on this one...to grade or not to grade?       Til next time...           *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

10/08/2014

Strange Tales 136

Movie inspirations... I picked up this book cause I liked the cover and I remembered its the second appearance of Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD. I saw a decent copy of issue 135 for sale several months ago and Im still kicking myself for not snagging that one. Side note...the actual first appearance of Nick Fury was really a couple of years earlier when he was just a plain ole Sgt in Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos 1. Anyway, I enjoyed the story and couldnt help but think the Captain America movie drew certain inspirations from this book. Namely, there is a scene where Fury walks into this barber shop thats really a secret SHIELD base...kind of like that scene from the movie where Steve walks through the door of a store thats really a front for the secret military installation where Cap was born. Then there is another moment where agents of Hydra are trapped in a SHIELD facility and spy a window depicting a cityscape below thinking they will smash it to make their escape, only to find the street scene was painted on the outer section of a wall...kind of like that scene in the Cap movie when he first wakes up from suspended animation.       Are these ideas that may have been repeated in various forms in other books and movies? Sure. Im just sayin that due to the time period of this book and the strong ties to Nick Fury and Hydra, my money says Marvel was thinking of this book...and who knows how many others...when they created the Cap movie. I think its smart and a great thing for comic book fans like ourselves who love these stories and appreciate the movie even more when we discover similarities like these.       Til next time...       *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

10/08/2014

Fantastic Four 103 CGC 9.4SS

Latest addition and one step away... Its official...my Xmen the Missing Years set is now 97% complete with the addition of Fantastic Four 103. Only one more book is needed to complete the set! Every book in this collection has been hard to find, and sometimes afford, in high grade but somehow Ive managed to get them all in NM- (9.2) or better with most being NM+ (9.6).       I actually saw this copy for sale a couple of months ago, but the seller wanted almost twice what I was willing to pay for it. I emailed the seller an offer but they were only willing to come down like 18%...so I waited. The seller steadily dropped the price over the next couple of months until it finally landed on my initial offer and I made the purchase. I could have lost the auction to someone else, the seller could have stuck with his initial asking price and let the book sit unsold in limbo for years, but thankfully those things did NOT happen and it is now in my hot little hands.       About this book...   Release date was the same year I was born, 1970   Part 2 of 3 in the Magneto/Sub-Mariner team-up to take over the world   Features an awesome Thing vs. Sub-Mariner battle over land and sea...this is one instance where the cover doesnt let you down and you come to find out there was like a two second battle, haha   Features a cameo by President Richard Nixon who would later be revealed in the pages of Captain America 175 to be Number One, leader of the Secret Empire   Written and signed by Stan Lee on 9.8.12...this is the first time Ive ever bought a Signature Series book thats already signed   Drawn by John Romita and signed by John Romita Jr. in homage to his father on 9.9.12       With all that going for it I just couldnt pass up such a great book. I will continue to search for the last missing piece to my collection, but for now Im going to enjoy my FF 103 and go back and reread the whole storyline.       Til next time...       *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

09/12/2014

Ant Man -- Marvel Feature 1973

Latest finds from my LCS... I cant be in Baltimore enjoying the con with friends so I will satisfy my comic cravings and journal jonesing with stories of my latest local acquisitions. I love browsing Silver and Bronze back issue Marvels at my LCS...I never know what cool books Im going to find and truthfully I would much rather spend my money on reading copies of these than most of the Modern stuff out today. I only collect a few new Marvel titles any more...Uncanny Xmen, Uncanny Avengers, All New Xmen, Avengers. Yeah I think thats it...although because of Tnerbs review I may have to start reading ASM again, especially since Peter is back. I would love to read Cap but I stopped picking that one up when the latest volume started cause the stories were just bad and now they have gotten worse with Cap losing his powers. Sigh.       Anyway, this journal was supposed to be about Marvel Feature. I like the Tales to Astonish stories with Ant Man and when I first saw these Marvel Feature issues I thought maybe they were reprints or something, but they are actually new stories. The last solo Ant Man book, or really Giant Man to be technical...its still Hank Pym any way you look at it...was Tales to Astonish 69 from July 1965. Hank was still with the Avengers as YellowJacket until he and the Wasp were essentially replaced by Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in Avengers 75 from April 1970...my birthday book that I really want in high grade someday by the way. Ant Man and the Wasp would not be seen again until Avengers 137 from July 1975 when the Beast joined the team...another book I would love to have in high grade. Prior to that time however Ant Man and the Wasp had a solo book run in Marvel Feature issues 4 through 10 starting in July 1972...this was the reintroduction of Ant Man, and an underrated book IMO. This is the same Marvel Feature that gave us the first appearance of the Defenders in issues 1 through 3...I have not read those but would like to at some point. I was able to pick up issues 4 thru 8 at my LCS and have really enjoyed the stories so far so I purchased issues 9 and 10 off eBay as well to complete the set. Gotta have the whole story, right?       Til next time...       *** To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

surfer99

surfer99

09/06/2014