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About Cat-Man_America

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  • Birthday June 4

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    Art, SF, silent film, serials; travel
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    The nearest pub

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  1. Pollyanna is pretty nonchalant about such things, ...she still wears rose colored blinders, takes cash, check or credit card and claims to live close enough to your place to come by for a visit if you contact her on-line (rumor has it she’s stacked, too). ...It’s Chicken Little who gazes skyward and panics. Let’s go with what we know first: 1. Covid-19 will have long term physical consequences for some who recover from the pandemic. 2. The scientific/medical community doesn’t have enough data on immunity after recovery to determine reinfection rate because the virus hasn’t been around long enough to conduct a valid statistical analysis. 3. There is no “wonder drug” ...just a couple of Hail Mary pharmaceuticals (chloroquine and hydro chloroquine) that certain parties are investing heavily in and promoting. These drugs have proven effective for Lupus and certain arthritic conditions. For those conditions they’re FDA approved, for COVID-19 they demonstrate “some” anecdotal promise, but the data is sketchy. No one knows what the proper patient dosage is nor under what conditions these drugs should be administered. They’re also considered very dangerous if not administered under close supervision. As for the “what have you got to lose?” argument, the best response is “your life!” What is NOT known: 1. How long it will take to get a viable vaccine. Most experts in the medical profession have been saying a year to 18 months. This is with full testing and FDA approved trials. I think two years is an outlier. Perhaps that extended prediction reflects inoculations that take into account strain variations or perhaps a resurgence of the virus mutating to a more deadly ...or less deadly strain. 2. FDA fast tracking and escalated scientific studies. This can happen, still maintaining some safeguards. Besides new drugs that show promise for a routine vaccination that protects against certain strain(s) of Covid-19, there’ll be ongoing research into developing antibodies from recovered patients for serum inoculation. The latter may have promise of bringing us closer to the so-called “herd immunity” goal. What we should be doing: 1. Listen to sound professional medical advice on social distancing, masks, frequent hand washing and stay at home as much as possible. 2. If required to work in a congregated setting protect yourself and others by distancing and be sure your medical coverage and insurance is up to date. The bills for hospitalization are going to be bankruptcy sized for the underinsured. 3. If your current job or business doesn’t provide adequate health care resources, it may be time to re-evaluate and consider finding work in a safer environment or commit to working from home. This crisis has produced job opportunities for entrepreneurial self-employment. Where we’re headed (tuned-in crystal ball predictions): 1. Sooner rather than later, a single payer medical system. The Covid-19 crisis is exposing all the weaknesses of our existing insurance based health care system. The public demand for single payer or some combination of insurance & government health care will win out. 2. Stockpiles of masks, gloves for the public and more protective gear for front line first responders. Too many health care workers are succumbing to Covid-19 from overexposure to infected patients without care givers having adequate protective gear. There’ll be a public demand along the lines of the old civil defense system for better readiness. 3. Conventions, sports, concerts, etc.. While group entertainment will be back bigger than ever, don’t look for it this year. Until there’s some kind of FDA approved vaccine or treatment that reduces infection to a treatable flu or cold endurance without the prospect of a hospital stay and intubation, social distancing will remain paramount. Oh well, my crystal ball has grown hazy again. Maybe I should try reading palms instead, ...uhhh that’s palm trees, ...from a respectable distance!
  2. Mitch may be a bit hyperbolic hitting the Depression button, but there is some justification for global uncertainty being in the mix. Looking at GA comics it’s difficult determining outliers from trends right now. There are just too many variables. Cap 3 has to be assessed from several perspectives: 1) census numbers, taking into account possible crack and press resubs, 2) frequency of copies appearing on the market in auctions and 3) growth in acceptance and rising value of restored books. With those three factors being considered value in the current market can be gauged along with any volatility produced by pandemic concerns. In general, economic stability is being maintained through promises of stimulus money aimed at bolstering confidence in our institutions while shoring up the personal damage long enough for businesses to recover. As already alluded to, those promises come with conditions, red tape and an end user agreement that no one will be happy with when they read the fine print. There’s always a price tag that has to be paid. The real question is who’ll end up holding the check and how much will the final check be for bailing out businesses. The best carefully worded parable I can apply to these uncertain times is this: imagine being shanghaied and indentured for years on a sailing ship in troubled seas, ...a ship with no compass, a broken rudder moving every which way and a confused Captain with no clue how to trim the sails. Now we’re in the path of a hurricane. It’s just an analogy, but this is where we find ourselves today. Personally, I don’t see the sky falling, but it would be foolhardy to ignore storm clouds on the horizon and potential for instability. The savvy collector has to take proper steps to prepare for bad weather while still keeping faith that some clouds do have silver ...or gold... linings.
  3. 10% is an overly ambitious guess. My best guess would be under .1%. Also, any Top 20 list is subject to shifting based on the degree of interest and realistic market demand. On average, I suspect much fewer than .1% of most GA books survive, grade and status notwithstanding. Gauging the number of high value comics correlated to vague publishing data while estimating how many copies were destroyed as unsold returns, worn out through handling, recycled in war time paper drives, dispatched in spirited public bonfires or rebound as patchwork annuals or special issues, ...well, my friend, this would be a daunting task! So the answer is NO, given this scenario, every GA book could be an outlier! Note: Sorry, I missed your effort to close the post before responding to it, so the barn door closed after the cow got out.
  4. Actually Nov./Dec. '47, reinterpreting Charles Nicholas's cover for Marvel Mystery #80 (Jan. '47)...
  5. Obviously you're unaware of technological advances in the Appalachian regions where they have this covered...
  6. TMI since I don’t imbibe Corona beer it’s non-essential!, ...but fine ales are a staple of life !!!
  7. Anyone can be a profiteer. I certainly don't begrudge profit ...that would be the epitome of hypocrisy... but as professions, lawyers and doctors are the backbone and defensive line of social order. ...BTW, I'm neither a lawyer nor a doctor and I've never played one on TV (I did play a vampire once, but that's another story). My inclination is to root for the little guy up against the crunch of wealth and privilege, not because I have issues with wealth or privilege, but because I also support fairness. What I'm saying is that a reasonable balance provides security. The breakdown of social order occurs when a system fails to support fairness for the vast majority of folks who reside at the lower end of the spectrum. Sadly, unity will not occur in the near term because that is not the prevailing philosophy guiding us. That said, we're still on the same page and you're absolutely right that there's no easy, good, or 100% right choice. It's just that there isn't any one-size-fits-all solution either. Bottom line: With our health (knock on wood) and plenty of beers on hand ...NO Corona... there's still room for GA comics in my life even in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.
  8. The reasonable middle ground is the only way we'll all survive this as a society. My better angel will always choose doctors and lawyers over financial profiteers with vested self-interests.
  9. parachuting soldier to parachuting soldier (with star hero thumbing a ride)...
  10. But if fuel prices have gotten lower why is the market running out of gas? ... ...
  11. Irrespective of real world census accuracy, this interactive visualization is an amazing achievement! Big thumbs up from yours truly.
  12. I totally agree with your first sentence, respectfully differing a bit with other conclusions. The 25% figure is speculation, but the idea isn’t laughable because the percentage of “ghost” copies can't be verified with any degree of certainty even by the eagle eyed observers here given the amount of cover manipulation that can occur in pressing and cleaning. The number could be greater than 25% or less. It certainly varies based on issue and title dependent upon a book’s estimated value and how many times it’s been cracked out, pressed and resubmitted for grading. What constitutes a key or major key is debatable, but what one does with the labels and the reasoning behind it comes down to dollars. It's impossible to know the rationale an owner would have in submitting books without labels and withholding labels from later census correction, but full disclosure isn't always a paramount concern for sellers since auction sales are tracked and private sales are not. For the purposes of this discussion a better way of defining keys would be any books which demonstrate high dollar value in a run. If a book generates thousands of dollars from an incremental bump, it’s a prime candidate for cracking, pressing ...rinse & repeat... over multiple listings as needed to get the required grade. One other factor not touched upon is the responsibility for removing a listed book from the census after the grade label is returned, assuming of course that it has been returned. I’d think it’s much easier to follow a policy of adding newly graded books to the census than to insure entries with returned labels are cross-checked in a timely manner to remove redundant copies. From a business perspective, the latter would be of lower priority. Personal anecdote: In my collection are two very rare books with only two known copies 8.0 or above as indicated in the census. Both should be removed from the CGC census. They’ve been regraded, but the label wasn’t returned because regrading and re-holders weren’t done in house. These aren’t ghost copies, but they aren’t CGC census copies either. In this instance, the census is technically correct since those books are graded and in holders, but inaccurate from the standpoint of being CGC certified. They did receive incremental grade bumps which were well deserved, but failure to communicate the label change is more complicated. Having copies removed from the census shouldn't be a problem because I have before and after scans of both books, but CGC takes such a dim view of their competition that I’m hesitant to raise the issue with them. This brings up another point about prospects for future census consideration. For the health of the hobby any serious census should reflect all known graded copies regardless of the grading service (well, excluding PGX). The actual numbers of graded comics shouldn’t be proprietary. Right now there’s just one census, but I'm guessing there'll be another soon and somehow those numbers will need to be reconciled. I'd enjoy reading other perspectives on this.
  13. Green Girl to experienced girl on green cover...