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Everything posted by lighthouse

  1. Well and it makes it easier to get a designation on the label, since "newsstand edition" alone often isn't enough, but "price variant" is.
  2. It’s not in line with your handle. There’s a spot of gloss loss in the center of the cover. This one from same box is probably 9.4 though. Also one I hadn’t seen. And also a price variant. Both from same collection. Guy bought most of his stuff direct. But a few interesting newsstands.
  3. Not one I’d personally come across before. And counts as a price variant.
  4. That's still one of my favorite board moments. And somehow I went all the way past "way past starting to dislike you" to " @THE_BEYONDER is my homeboy." Probably because he was such a good sport about it. And in the time of Bug, and Khaos, and Hammer, and JC, that was positively group-huggy.
  5. Officially yes. But it's going to be a VERY small shipment, as the DC stuff didn't reach Diamond in time and will instead arrive with the May 27th stuff.
  6. Your experience will be richer if you have history with the characters. But you don’t need to know ANYTHING about what has happened in X-Men comics over the last 20 years. If you would at least recognize the characters who have been famous enough to appear in X-Men movies, you’re plenty prepared. I give Hickman a lot of credit for writing the story in such a way that you don’t have to be current at all to jump in (but still have some little nods to more recent events for those who were).
  7. When I first opened the current shop, we did allow folks to get just one title. But the deadbeat rate on single-title subs winds up over 70% in the first six months. We bumped it to 3 titles for about a year and the deadbeat rate for 3-title subs was still around 50% in the first 6 months. Now our minimum is 5 titles. But I do have one single-title sub who’s been with us since the first month. He buys some back issues which gives him a reason to come in more often. We tried for a while to encouraged him to check out other titles. But he reads Flash and that’s it.
  8. He might not be wrong. My shop has a loyalty program that tracks by phone number. My current count of discrete "loyalty" customers is more than 2% of the population within a 25-mile radius of my shop. Yes, I get customers who drive 100 miles specifically to shop in my store, and I do get customers from other states who swing by when they are in town for other reasons. But it's a big number of locals regardless. There aren't "millions of collectors" of slabbed keys. There aren't "millions of collectors" of full runs of Bronze Age horror titles. There aren't "millions of collectors" of every garbage title produced every month. But millions of collectors? Sure, maybe.
  9. Heck I distinctly remember hearing my first wife coming back from the mailbox in 2003 saying “you got another Donut check”. I’ve consigned stuff through several different folks over the years when their customer base was a better fit than mine. I’ll send some stuff to MCS, some to CLink, some to a buddy that sells rare Funko Pops, some to a guy who sells vintage statues. But nobody can move random $15-20 comics like Donut.
  10. McFarlane has been inconsistent about dating his stuff. Some of his covers he puts a date under the signature, some he just puts a line or a squiggle. But the only cover with an "87" under the signature is 298 which would make sense that he was drawing it in late 1987 for a March cover-dated book that would have been physically released around he first of the year. The '87 under the signature in that pinup page makes it certain that he initially drew it before 298 was released, whether before or contemporaneous with the production of issue 298. He obviously "touched up" the artwork for the poster release months later. But the original version of the pinup got pulled off the shelf and published in Web Annual 4. Reusing old artwork is somewhat common. The GI Joe Special released in 1995 is an example of this. Released after the entire 155-issue run was done, and using interior pages originally drawn by McFarlane for issue 61 but rejected (along with a McFarlane homage cover by Gosier). If you can make money selling something that's already been drawn, why pay for something new?
  11. Well and that's why I said "based on what else you're reading". We don't recommend A Walk Through Hell to everyone either, but we have yet to recommend it to someone and have them disappointed. It's either a flavor you like or it isn't. To be honest I think DC's mistake was in making so many of the Rebirth titles twice a month. There's only so much storytelling capital available and it replenishes only at a certain rate. There's a big difference between "guy has a story for character ZZZ that he's been dying to tell for years" and "guy gets assigned the next 8 issues of character ZZZ as a work for hire". You can only milk a cow so often and get milk worth drinking.
  12. Interesting that that pinup was used in an issue after Spidey 300. But it was drawn before Spidey 298 was released. Note the ‘87 under the McFarlane signature.
  13. They do. But only if you have 25 books in the same tier that you want screened all at the same grade. I've done submissions of 100 books at a time where I still didn't have 25 matches of tier and grade. If you're just burning off a $150 credit, a prescreen is far beyond your means.
  14. I've wondered aloud if that's what Marvel was testing with its 20 randomly inserted Absolute Carnage books with the sketches inside the cover. Far as I know several of those haven't been found yet. Have any of them even changed hands?
  15. Typically the folks who make those comments are the same folks who refuse to buy any slabbed books under any circumstances. I can put a raw 9.2 Spidey 300 on the wall at the same price as a slabbed 9.4 and there are a LARGE number of customers who will choose the raw book. Heck I can put a raw 8.5 up for "slabbed 9.4 minus slabbing costs" and it will sell faster off the wall than the slab will. But there are lots of folks who think "I heard rich people really like those so you should sell them to rich people" with a very limited understanding of what it is the rich people actually like. True in comics, true in restaurants, true in most anything.
  16. I don’t really view 5 years as long term. But in a “must be slabbed, must be from 1997-2017, must hold for at least 5 years”... I’ll take three 9.8 copies of Saga 1 and sleep very comfortably.
  17. Three decades ago I was a sportscard dealer. I still remember the excitement of cracking box after box of the inaugural Fleer Rookie Sensations Basketball for obscene profits. The first sportscard set with inserts, and the one that killed traditional collecting. Prior to that set, you could be reasonably assured of stocking what your customers wanted. Guy likes Nolan Ryan, here's the 4 Nolan Ryan cards that were made that year. I can't imagine a dealer trying to make a living face to face now. "You got any Lindor cards?" "Sure, here's 180 different ones from this season." "Oh, none of those are the ones I was looking for." But oh, the joy of stretching the plastic ever so slightly and seeing a pack had two blue edges mixed in with all the white... *swoon*
  18. New business idea 1) Order a store exclusive for Marvel issue with cover by popular artist. 2) Receive my 2,500 copies of the regular issue, 1,000 copies of my store exclusive, and 500 copies of the B&W store exclusive. 3) Shoot video destroying 499 of the B&W variants on camera and post on YouTube 4) Sell 1 of 1 remaining B&W variant for thousands of dollars 5) Repeat
  19. Based on the rest of what you’re reading I would point you at Ice Cream Man. And for a recently ended series, Regression. Sadly I have to echo the DC comments. The magazine sized Black Label stuff has been mostly solid. But even my most diehard DC subs are buying most of the superhero titles out of loyalty rather than excitement. And they’re all hoping Death Metal somehow re-energizes things. But it’s hope not confidence.
  20. For every person in this thread expressing the opinion that slabbing these books was dumb, I hear an equal number of customers every week asking me why we don’t “get all these books graded”... They’ll flip through a box of mid grade Silver Age and see 12-center after 12-center priced at $30-50 and in all seriousness will say things like “man these books are gorgeous you should get them all graded and you’ll make a fortune!”
  21. The 12,000 books referenced in the original post are FCBD books and have no collector value until years later (and even then only if they are of some new property that becomes a tv show). We've sold a five-figure sum through mycomicshop the last couple years, but those are higher demand books. We would have to hire personnel specifically to put $3-5 books into the database and pack them, and the return likely wouldn't be there. In a choice between investing that time in grading and pricing our own books that will sticker at $10-20 or cataloging books worth cover price, it makes more sense to put the labor into the better books. The calculus would be different if no more collections would ever come in. But we will probably be offered 60-70 long boxes of back issues during June, and the return on those is better than on spending labor on the "dead stock".
  22. 10 Fast Track Moderns 4/23 - Delivered by carrier 4/28 - Received 4/30 - Scheduled for grading 5/4 - Grading / Quality Control 5/5 - Shipped That's 5 business days from "received" to "shipped", and 9 business days from carrier delivery to shipped. I admit I was more than a little nervous at the lag between delivered and received. But that's stupidly fast start to finish.
  23. Threads like this one are a big reason I don't publicize my shop on the boards. I can give better peeks behind the veil without giving advantages to my local competitors. It's a thin veil, plenty of boardies know exactly where my shop is. Some provided counsel years ago during the business plan phase, and others like Greggy plan to visit and just haven't yet. But as it is, I can share a little more behind the scenes this way.
  24. Most of the small press folks are. Making books returnable transfers all the risk back to the publisher. Marvel was a little slow to respond, but is the steady girlfriend anyone would ask for. Their road map is pretty much exactly what I would have asked from them. DC on the other hand, is the psycho girlfriend your friends warn you about who drinks too much tequila, throws shoes, and is liable to key your car when she misremembers something you said 3 years ago. DC has been an engine of chaos throughout this process, and I can tell you that I will be reducing my shelf copy counts for DC products by at least 2/3 for the next several months and outright ceasing to carry the mediocre miniseries that I have always carried (at a loss) in the past. I'll continue filling every order my customers make, but when it comes to putting my own money on the line supporting a publisher, DC will be 6th in line behind Marvel, Boom, IDW, Image, and Dark Horse... they'll be roughly in line with AWA, Valiant, and Titan when I'm deciding where to throw capital in a given month. (And I have nothing against AWA, Valiant, or Titan, they're just not my first choices when allocating shelf space).