Professor Pecora

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About Professor Pecora

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    (S)uper Collector

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    Atlanta, GA

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  1. I finally completed my write-up for my newly acquired world class copy of Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 9.8 W for my CGC Registry Set entitled, "Enter Wolverine!" Just wanted to share with the larger CGC Comic Collecting Community! Enjoy!! -Professor Pecora [AND NOW...THE WOLVERINE!] Incredible Hulk #181 showcases the 1st full appearance of Wolverine and his 2nd overall appearance in the history of comics! Moreover, there are only a handful of comic books that have literally stood the test of time and have reigned over any other book of its era; Incredible Hulk #181 is one of those exceptions! If you were to think of a single comic book to represent the most sought-after, most valuable and most significant issue of an entire age, it would be Action Comics #1 of the Golden Age (1938-1955); Amazing Fantasy #15 of the Silver Age (1956-1969); and Incredible Hulk #181 of the Bronze Age (1970-1984). In other words, the 1st appearances of Superman, Spider-Man and Wolverine have superseded the importance of any other character of their respective time periods! With that said, the world was introduced to the claw-slashing, berserker-raged mutant Wolverine, who made a long-lasting first impression during his debut in November of 1974, as he battled the most powerful character in the Marvel Universe—the Incredible Hulk! However, Wolverine wasn’t anything like the major superheroes before him; instead, he was ill-mannered, hot-tempered and walked the earth with a tortured soul, as he would later struggle with his origins and the purpose of his creation. He was a government experiment—the perfect weapon—Weapon X! As a direct result, the “anti-hero” was born! Wolverine was originally created by writer Len Wein and designed by Marvel Art Director, John Romita, Sr. However, in October of 1974; it was the late Herb Trimpe (May 26, 1939 – April 13, 2015) who first drew the character for publication in a last panel cameo featured in the Incredible Hulk #180. The following month, Wolverine was depicted on the front cover lunging in midair and slashing through heavy chains to attack the Goliath Green Machine! In my personal opinion, this is by far the most badass 1st appearance entrance in the history of comics! Wolverine battled the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe head on, so the story title, “AND NOW…the WOLVERINE!” served as an impact statement as if to say, “move over Hulk…another badass is in town to take on all challengers!” With that being said, Herb Trimpe’s classic cover of Incredible Hulk #181 forever remains etched in the hearts and minds of all Wolverine fans and collectors, and is easily recognized and revered worldwide by any comic book collector or connoisseur! Roughly 8 months later in the Summer of 1975, Wolverine made his 2nd “full” appearance in Giant-Size X-Men #1 and became a major addition to the new X-Men team. While Wolverine was kicking a** and talking trash in the process, he became increasingly popular with avid X-Men readers and became the most popular character on the X-Men roster! From this success, Marvel would later feature Wolverine in his 1st solo comic; in a classic four-part miniseries, which was published from September – December of 1982. Fast forward a little over six years ahead, and Marvel finally catapulted Wolverine into his own monthly series in November of 1988! Furthermore, in the 43 years of his existence, Wolverine has become the most popular character in the entire Marvel Universe, next to the franchise’s marquee character—the Amazing Spider-Man! In the Marvel cinematic world, Wolverine has been characterized on the silver screen by famed actor Hugh Jackman for an astonishing 17 consecutive years in a total of 9 films! With the start of the new millennium in the year 2000 up until the year 2017, Hugh Jackman (as Wolverine) has been featured in the following Marvel films: X-Men (2000); X2: X-Men United (2003); X-Men: The Last Stand (2006); X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009); X-Men: First Class (2011); The Wolverine (2013); X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014); X-Men: Apocalypse (2016); and Logan (2017). To say that Hugh Jackman has had success towards making Wolverine and the X-Men a viable movie franchise would be a gross understatement! Rather, he has ventured into “legendary status,” with almost 2 decades of filmmaking and helping to contribute a Worldwide Box Office Total of OVER 5 BILLION DOLLARS! As a direct result, copies of Incredible Hulk #181 will only continue to appreciate and rise in value annually, making it not only the most coveted book of the Bronze Age to collect and showcase, but one of the most secure long-term investments! According to the CGC Census Report as of September 26, 2017, out of an impressive total of 9,785 copies graded, only one (1) freak of nature was graded (WAY BACK in April of 2001) as a Universal MINT 9.9, which sold for $150,000 on Comic Link back in February of 2011! Furthermore, only one hundred one (101) copies (including my copy) were graded as a Universal 9.8 and only nine (9) copies were graded as a Signature Series 9.8. With these statistics in mind, the rarity factor for a CGC Universal IH #181 in 9.8 is only 1.03% of the total population! That’s extremely rare! Considering the vast number of copies that have already been professionally graded and the fact that many 9.8 copies are stashed away in private collections, it is going to become increasingly difficult to locate any 9.8 examples; raw or professionally graded! On that note, this particular CGC 9.8 copy sports PERFECT COVER WRAP, PERFECT CENTERING, and PERFECT WHITE PAGE QUALITY along with being PERFECTLY cut! (okay, if you want to be a snob...99.9% perfect! ) The color saturation is deep and bright and the corners are razor sharp! Of MAJOR significance is the absolutely PERFECT CENTERING & REGISTRATION ALONG THE SPINE! It is extremely RARE even in the 9.8 grade to find a copy in this immaculate condition, which makes the Professor Pecora Copy of Incredible Hulk #181 one of the finest and most valuable copies in the world! I purchased this PRISTINE GEM in March of 2017 from the same auction house where the single CGC 9.9 MINT copy last exchanged hands—Comic Link! I had to bid very aggressively in the final seconds of the auction to secure it, along with auctioning off the majority of my CGC 9.8 Bronze Age Marvel Key Collection in the Pedigree Comic’s April 2017 Grand Auction to pay for it, but at the end of the was all WORTH IT! In closing, I would like to thank Mr. Doug Schmell of Pedigree Comics for helping me to acquire this MEGA Bronze Age Key! -Professor Pecora
  2. Off on vacation

    Hope you enjoyed the solar eclipse with your family! I currently live and work in Atlanta, GA, so although we were located on the path of 100% totality viewing, we unfortunately had major cloud covering and could not see the corona, etc. during totality. However, it was an awesome experience to witness how dark and cool it became; the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees, street lights went on and the crickets started chirping along with birds and other species thinking it was night! This is actually my "2nd" Total Solar Eclipse experience; I saw one in Rochester, NY like 25-30 years ago! I remember being in upper elementary school at the time! Anyway, hope you have been enjoying your vacation with the fam! Best, -Professor Pecora
  3. HULK 2 Has returned to my collection finally.

    Congrats on reacquiring a Hulk #2 for your collection! It looks nice! -Professor Pecora
  4. TVs and Up Versus Rocks

    DAMN!! Your Comic Book Room is MAJOR!!! It's like a mini museum! It should be a tourist location in your area! (lol) -Professor Pecora
  5. What's up n2wdw! Thanks for your contribution! Hey man, even though it's a qualified green label, it's still a "CGC 9.0" and your copy has great color saturation; the white Incredible Hulk logo really pops! I bet it feels good just to own a copy of IH #181! -Professor Pecora
  6. Welcome To My Comic Book Room

    What's up N2wdw! I LOVE your newly created Comic Book Room! I have always envisioned creating a similar room when I buy my future home (still renting as of this e-mail :-) I love the nostalgic carousel comic book rack to greet you as soon as you walk in! It also looks like you have a cool flat screen mounted on the wall. It looks awesome! I eventually want to invest in a museum style display case to showcase my world class Bronze Age (and future Silver) Keys, then have reader copies (of all the CGC books displayed) spread along a cool table with comfortable leather reclining sectional chairs, so visitors can just kick back and take a trip back in time to enjoy a piece of American History and pop culture! Your room is definitely inspiring! I am only 38, single, no who knows what the future holds. Although it would be special to one day experience the joys of fatherhood, I am somewhat undecided if I want to have children at this stage in the game. If it happens it happens, but I do have a TON of nieces and nephews and I have been teaching children since the late 1990's as an educator; I have seen a few generations maturate into adulthood! I will most likely buy a beautiful home by the time I am 40. Anyway, like Lethal_Collector noted, your pic is a good tease! You definitely left us wanting to "see more!" -Professor Pecora
  7. You're Welcome! It also depends on the length and depth of each spine stress as a contributing factor to the overall grade. At first glance, my initial thought was a CGC 9.4; however, it would be interesting to find out! -Professor Pecora
  8. Thanks for sharing Paul_Maul!! Wow!! What a GREAT LOOKING RAW COPY you purchased for "under $1000" back in 2000!! Congrats to you my brother! You made an awesome investment! Are you planning on submitting it to CGC for encapsulation? From what I can see from the scan, your copy looks like it would grade out between the 9.0 - 9.6 range, which is a HUGE Return on Investment if you decided to sell it one day! Again, thanks for sharing Paul_Maul and your copy looks phenomenal! -Professor Pecora
  9. Sounds good SW3D! You'll figure out what direction to take your collecting focus on soon enough! I am a strong believer with the statement you shared, "less is more!" At the end of the day, as much as I LOVE collecting and appreciate the historical significance of KEY books...they are all INVESTMENTS as you can't take them with you to the grave! I have learned to focus on a fine balance of collecting what means most to me and considering the future investment potential each particular book possesses. In addition, when you have hundreds of lesser desired books and say you do have to sell them one day, it is an extremely tedious and EXPENSIVE (S&H) process! I remember putting in countless hours in order to promote and market my 200 + Wolverine (1988) CGC 9.8 books just to break even on most of them...with many of the non SS 9.8 and non significant 9.8 issues only selling between $20-$30! Whatever "holy grail" you have in mind - aim for it! I already have another "holy grail" I am searching for next, which I will most likely acquire sometime next year I used the remainder of my recent auction winnings to #1) pay off some bills and #2) to live on! I would normally just reinvest ALL of my auction winnings into other Key CGC books, but this time around I decided to keep things "balanced" and in perspective; I was more than content with acquiring the world's finest looking copy of IH #181 CGC 9.8 W! However, life is short, and it felt nice to have the extra cash in my account and to have the means to get other things accomplished! Let's go get those GRAILS bro!! -Professor Pecora
  10. What's up SW3D! Thank You so much my brother! It's very nice to hear from you and I hope you've been doing well. Thank you for your positive feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed reading my journal entry! -Professor Pecora
  11. Thanks r100comics! I appreciate it! As far as the spine stresses are concerned, I had Matt Nelson of CCS inspect the book up close and he noted: "Based on a couple of tiny spine stresses, I don't think the book has a shot at 9.9." So I would say you're correct with noticing the tiny spine stress next to the "He's Here" black arrow text box and 2 tiny spine stresses next to his arm. I don't think there are a total of "5" tiny spine stresses; the other two that you may be seeing are most likely from the scanner. Again, as Matt Nelson noted, they are tiny spine stresses, which even the lone 9.9 has a couple of visible tiny spine stresses if you look very closely! CGC graded the 9.9 like right when they opened up their company in 2001; I highly doubt that it would regrade out as a 9.9 if it were to be cracked out and resubmitted. If so, then my ASM #129 CGC 9.8 W should also be graded as a CGC MINT 9.9! -Professor Pecora
  12. Loved your detailed breakdown!! Now that you have given me your unbiased honest opinion, I will give you mine That CGC 9.9 was graded a LONG TIME AGO! Granted, it is also PERFECTLY wrapped, centered and cut like my copy (they almost look like twins in that regard), but my copy is much BRIGHTER than the 9.9! Look at the 9.9 copy in upper right hand corner on the top of the "K" in Hulk, it's significantly whiter in this small section compared to the rest of "The Incredible Hulk" title. You can also see the internal pages pretty clearly from the fading white color. My former CGC 9.8 W [Mile High 2 Pedigree] copy looked the same in terms of the color fading, which I really hated...especially when I would see lower graded copies look much brighter with colors truly popping out! Also, the CGC 9.9 has at least one visible spine tic, which can be seen to the left of the black arrow underneath the small Hulk image. Like you already pointed out, the bottom left corner of the CGC 9.9 has some light visible wear, whereas my copy has a superior corner. My take is that CGC graded this book during its infancy stages (before they were refined) and it would NOT grade out at 9.9 again if it were to be resubmitted! (Either that or my copy should be seriously reevaluated for a 9.9 MINT Grade!) However, because it has the CGC 9.9 MINT label, it would probably sell for over 1 million dollars if it were ever to surface! Moreover, at least I have a STRONG CASE to put a major premium $$$ PRICE TAG $$$ on my copy if I were ever to sell it!! Thanks for your contribution to this thread newshane! -Professor Pecora
  13. Thanks newshane! I appreciate it! Tell me what you think when you compare my copy with Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 9.9 MINT that sold on Comic Link for $150,000 way back in February of 2011. Thoughts? -Professor Pecora
  14. Thanks Rockblazer! I felt the same way along with many other professionals including Matt Nelson of CCS who actually examined the book up close before I had it reholdered. When I won the book at auction on March 29, 2017, it was labeled "CVC Exceptional" and was in the old CGC holder. I simply wanted it displayed in the updated and more beautiful CGC Holder without that annoying CVC sticker on it (as all can clearly witness how "exceptional" the book is with our own eyes! lol) However, without even asking Matt about a possible upgrade, he said that "he doesn't think it would have a shot at the 9.9 because of a few tiny spine tics...although it's a very beautiful looking book and has to look the same way as it did when it was printed!" I was like WOW! Just to think that my copy would even be "considered" for a possible CGC 9.9 MINT upgrade was crazy!! It's all good though! It's officially "The Professor Pecora Copy" and I would be 100% confident to put it up against any other 9.8 in the world! -Professor Pecora
  15. Thanks Brando! I'm like a sniper patiently posted in position for hours (in the CGC collecting world up to years) and as soon as I see the "perfect" opportunity (copy), I unload for the kill!! Once I saw this copy, I "knew" that was "the one!" Without any hesitation, I made the immediate decision to sell most of my CGC 9.8 Bronze Collection to acquire it!! I am so happy I now own another CGC 9.8 W copy since I sold my previous Mile High 2 CGC 9.8 W copy back in November of 2013! Plus, this copy actually looks better! It's much brighter with deeper color saturation and I think it's also more perfectly aligned / registered along the spine :-) Yes, I am with you that cover alignment has also been the bane of my collector's existence! However, when you're collecting Key Bronze books that may have several copies floating around the market in the desired grade, being OCD and particular actually makes the chase more challenging, fun and interesting! (Do you feel the same?) Truly, as you're very much aware, not all 9.8's are created equal; to land a "perfect" looking 9.8 W on a book such as IH #181 is an "incredible" feeling!! It's good to hear from you Brandon! THANK YOU for sharing my joy with me!! -Professor Pecora