Martin Sinescu

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  1. Very good point, I hadn't considered that. Could possibly also keep people from getting ridiculous sigs on comics that have tenuous connections to the autographer just because they had to take advantage of CGC and Celebrity X being in the same building at the same time.
  2. This touches on one of two thoughts that occurred to me today while discussing this with a co-worker. CGC almost completely ignores centering, yet it's incredibly crucial for achieving high grades with PSA/BGS (or get the OC qualifier if it's way off). I wish CGC would adopt this, but, like many things, they're set in their ways as is the hobby. If nothing else, it's amusing to think the card graders are grading under a different set of criteria than the comic graders, yet under the same banner. It copies the sports card graders' scales. The other thing that occurred to me is that this would've been one area where CGC could've brought a real advantage to the table: More increments at the high end of the scale. While PSA continues to stay with their troglodytish 9 or 10 for the high end, CGC could've brought over the 9.0/.2/.4/.6/.8/10 differentiators. BGS has a 9.5 in between and you even get a side of sub grades with that to help identify whether it is a strong or weak overall grade (which I prefer and would put me firmly in their corner if I were actively collecting), but CGC just seems to have copied the BGS scale (ironic, since Beckett owns their chief competitor) rather than try something that would make them stand out. Missed opportunity if they go that route and really a bit timid if I'm being honest. And my opinion on the sig series is that it would be great if they do go into sports cards. I have plenty of signed cards from when I went to BB card shows as a kid that I probably can't sell for Jack as there's no authentication to go with them. I think it would be a big asset for them to do this at a player signing (do they still do conventions? I'm assuming so) and might be enough to get sports card collectors to try them out. It's a moot point if their intention is just going after the CCG stuff primarily (CCGGC?) as I don't think Charizard signs much these days.
  3. PSA is a better known brand. So is Beckett. Way better. Without knowing the numbers internally, I think it's still pretty safe to guess that PSA does a much higher volume and dollar amount than CGC. The only way CGC could make any noticeable impact on these two would be to do it cheaper, faster, with higher quality, more accuracy and significantly higher resale value. In other words, no chance. It's simply not viable in the long term unless you plan on running your business into the ground at light speed. Beckett was a game-changer when they came in. They had the name-recognition in the card hobby, a higher-quality case and a more sophisticated grading scale.... they still couldn't and can't knock PSA off the top. I can only see CGC doing this to capture a small niche of the market. Just like with comics and other collectibles, there are small nuances and secrets to grading/authentication, so I wouldn't really trust CGC with cards any more than I would trust PSA to grade comics.
  4. Pulled this out of an original owner collection of two long boxes. Random mix of late 80's into 90's with newsies and directs. \ And I was like.....
  5. Yup, right after I sold my Canadian 9.8.
  6. Wow, I've been looking for a White Page 8.5 with a nice wrap and it's been very tough. Beautiful lineup!
  7. Not that I want to get into the back and forth that's blossoming here, but Thor 337, whether you choose to classify it as a key or not, has been important for decades, not just because of BRB but it's also the beginning of Simonson's run on the title, which is generally hailed as one of the best of the 80's, so it has carried extra weight because of that. When I began collecting in the late 80's, it was already a big deal. Those that were active at the time can chime in as to whether the impact was immediate or not, but it's been one of the 80's milestones for as long as I've been collecting. Similar to Moore, Miller, Byrne, etc. starting on various titles, or Morrison more recently, these books used to really be a marker of significance because of their impact in the titles and the industry as a whole.
  8. It transcends the standard monthly comic cover. I love that it's disturbing, risky and surreal. It's also a contemporary, striking and original realization which perfectly complements the character. Honestly, you shouldn't want to look at the Joker: He represents madness, cruelty, murder -- the worst of humanity. Yet this image has the power to draw you in because you really have to get into the detail of it, going against the viewer's (most likely) initial reaction to be somewhat repulsed. From there, it provokes further thought about his relationship with the Bat. Is it pleasing to look at? Perhaps no, but I think it is one of the best, most faithful interpretations of the crazy, psychopathic Joker I've ever seen.
  9. Again, I wouldn't say cover alone drives the value as the OP requested: A Joker appearance will already cause at least a modest bump in almost any Batman issue. It had a low print run relative to the rest of the series. It's both the penultimate issue from a writer/story that is held in very high regard by fans and of the original 'Tec run itself. No doubt the cover is most of the recognition, but these other factors have substance beyond the eye candy and all come together for this one book which helped justify the higher price as it began to escalate.
  10. This has been my experience since the redesign and I'm on Safari. I used to go nuts getting logged out every 30 minutes, now I don't even have to keep a tab open. In fact, I shut my computer down last night and haven't been on GPA in a day or two -- just opened a new tab for GPA and I'm still logged in. Not sure why other are getting different results, I assumed this was an update in the software that went along with the redesign and I thought it was a great idea.
  11. Nice. This arc has been on my back-burnered list of priorities to seek out. I kind of have a few "classic" modern Marvel storylines I'd like to complete. I've got all of Lady Bullseye, most of Old Man Logan, and bits n' pieces of Winter Soldier. Planet Hulk has been another from that same time period that I'd like to put together, but I'm so scattered all over right now I haven't really sought it out. Yep, that gut-punch when you think you're about to wrap your hands around a solid block of comics and it ends up feeling like oatmeal in an envelope.
  12. Yep, I've got that, too. It just didn't make it to the "top shelf".
  13. Haven't bought anything different for my ASM keys this year, but here are two upgrades I've gotten in the last month or so on books I already had. Previous copies were also 8.5's, but upgraded to White pages and slightly better wraps on each. Despite the weird spotting on the inner well, the Berk 20 is absolutely sick to behold. Should've been an 11.0 Here's the SA gang all together: All white pages except the 9 on the left. All 8.5 except the Annual.