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  1. yep, this. the way CGC ships is similar to getting a CGC/magazine storage box (usually holds 30 slabbed comics) and line the bottom and sides (especially the front and back) so the slabs sit securely. Place cardboard on either end like book ends and ensure they are snug against the slabs. you may want to also insert cardboard in between every slab or at least every 3 slabs to help prevent them from rubbing against each other too much. Then slip on the cover with bubble wrap or padding on top and tape it down. Then find a bigger box that has at least 1" or more of clearance around all dimensions. You're going to want to line that with padding (bubblewrap or foam) and set the sealed CGC storage box inside and put padding on top and seal the box. That is pretty equivalent to what CGC sends except the side padding is a 1" thick cardboard buffer. When I've ordered stuff from ComicLink they've sent a combination of what CGC sends and large boxes filled with packing peanuts and up to 3 groups of 4-5 slabbed comics in large white bubble mailers in that large box.
  2. The only way reading should be enjoyed. First I slip on my silk and satin burgundy paisley smoking jacket, walk to my absurdly cherry wood paneled and book cased, high ceiling library filled with unknown tomes I've never read (nor intend on) and fill a cherry and black wooden curved pipe with sweet tobacco but never light it. Then I set that pipe down on my salvaged mahogany wood end table and fill a low ball tumbler with some Four Roses poured on the rocks from a pretentiously ornate crystal decanter hidden in a globe and set that down next to the seemingly superfluous pipe on the end table. I call out for Alexa to play Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture or something from Hans Zimmer on my dolby atmos HiFi. I then sink comfortably into my magenta leather brass nail tufted high wing-back chair and ottoman in front of a low lit Gothic fireplace of grotesque proportions. I carefully select the latest high grade issue in the run of Silver age ASM I'm currently on (#20 or was it #24?) from the shortbox at the foot of the ottoman and deftly remove it from the crisp Gerber mylites2 w/fullback and settle in for a nice read under the soft white yellowish glow of the end table lamp perched just below the pallid bust of Poe. I take a couple of sips from the low ball glass, set it down, wipe the condensation on my jacket, delicately grasp and open the supple comic cover as the nostalgic scent of recycled newsprint gently assaults my olfactory sensors and slowly allow myself to become submerged into the panels and dialogue of the Ditko art. There's simply no other way.
  3. This is why I only do drop offs at conventions. also to save on shipping to CGC but mainly to remove possibly the most dangerous link in the submission chain. COVID has kept me from doing any subs this year. Maybe next year but TATs are going to be crazy like 1 month for a walk through, 6 months for Fast Track, and 5 years for economy.
  4. Not sure I'll ever go back to finish watching the last 2 seasons of TWD or even any of the newer spin offs. The show began to follow the writing style from Lost, felt derivative and just became a big tease with no real substance. I wanted to watch a show about zombies, survival WITH and AGAINST zombies, fighting off the zombie hoards, uncovering the origins of the zombie disease, searching for a cure or vaccine for the zombie transformation, or even a better rationalization and suspense of disbelief on how emaciated rotting corpses with no connective tissue and major dental abscess can bite through thick clothing let alone move at all. By the introduction of Negan, the zombies became more of a background nuisance, less of a focus, and often shoe-horned in a gratuitous zombie or zombie kill in most later episodes. If we wanted a show about a warring tribal factions in a post apocalyptic era then the NBC show Revolutions wouldn't have been cancelled in it's 2nd season and would be well into it's 8th season this year. Of course, it didn't help that 3-4 of the most heavily audience invested characters get killed off. I agree, that if the shows writing wasn't going in any major direction the audience wanted in the future, at the very least, this is one area the show should have deviated from the comics by not having the some of the major characters killed off. I probably won't bother with any TWD movie either unless it's a complete reboot and has a deep emphasis in the Zombie origins.
  5. So prior to switching to MPS, does the FVF still cap at $750 for either #1 or #2? what about for non-store subscribers?
  6. meh, I was expecting this to be one of those that dragged on with no updates for 20 pages and then just died off. Pleasantly surprised this got resolved so fast. Honestly, I got carried away with the curiosity of how much each of those individual components of a slab weighed in order to come to the actual shipped weight. It still amazes me that a USPS box in a box with bubblewrap makes up less than 1lb of weight to get to the minimal shipping weight of 2lbs since the slabbed comic weighs just over 1lb. Oh well nothing else to see here I suppose. carry on.
  7. So is there any back story to how it was relocated, by comicconnect and whether they bought it from the OO that Gil Kane sold it to or simply secured the auction rights to it?
  8. The weight of the return package is your proof. My apologies if someone has already determined this. <Information is dangerous in the wrong hands. Removed the details of this post to prevent abuse of the info. by request of a board member> Is it possible the comic cracked enroute, sure. I've received USPS box in a box with full bubblewrap slabs that have been cracked in transit only 2x in 10 years but it is possible. Could the buyer have cracked it after he received it, sure. but there's no proof that he did it. However, what there is proof of is that there is no way a slab with a comic and inner well were in that return package with that weight.
  9. Not always so. I doubt if production defects are allowed in a 10.0. In a 9.8 sure. Lots of production defects in comics: ink streaks, coloration, smudges, miswraps (allowed in 9.9 and below), gripper holes/tears/bends/creases, spine and edge ripples from where the folding press wrinkled cover when coming right off the press. And then there's plenty of shipping defects that knock grades way down. No, folks have pulled pristine books that came back as 9.9's and 10's out short/long boxes at comic conventions or LCS that are decades old. It really just takes a good experienced eye to weed out the best ones and then have the patience to carefully examine the book thoroughly before submitting, then pack it well for shipping, and a whole lot of luck to have been at the right place at the right time to spot it, have it shipped to CGC without it getting damaged or lost, and have it make it past receiving and through up to 3 graders handling it without any accidents along the way. "Hey look, this ASM 129 is a perfect Ten point O-OOPS!" (Grader picks the book up off the floor) "Um...nevermind" The only defects (though there may be more) I've ever seen allowed in a CGC 9.9 are: Off-white to white pages up to 1/8" miswrap full spine length to the Front cover (spine showing the whiteness from the back cover on the front cover) (this might be one of the reasons a technical 9.8 book may get the 9.9 grade if the 1 or 2 minuscule spine defects are hidden on the white spine border sufficiently that they are overlooked by the graders) The only hidden defects I've actually observed in some of the 9.9's I own: 1 or 2 barely visible non-color breaking shallow spine bump/indent up to 1/16" that is only visible under angled light. Of the 10's I've seen they all had: White pages Perfect page wraps, alignment of the front and back cover and centering sharp corners, no bindery tears, no staple misalignments No spine wear of any form, no edge wear of any form. Here's my advice for submitting a surefire 9.9 or 10.0: just submit lots of modern Zenescope Grimm Fairy Tales books and any books with lenticular covers. The ratio of 9.9's and 10.0's to anything else is almost 50/50.
  10. Have you ever received a fresh batch of books from diamond and as you look through each one you get that sinking feeling and then after looking at all of them just know that there isn't a single 9.9 or 10 (even with a press) in the order possibly due to a shipping issue?
  11. Ah yes the staple indents is a good one. Great points about the certain way the characteristics of the staples on the centerfold and cover may look. I may need to go over a few copies to get a sense of the consistent traits. Thanks Joey and JJJ for the additional insight and perspectives.
  12. Always trying to improve my grading and restoration detection. Before I send in some older comics (copper age and below and below) is there a way to determine if the comic has previously been disassembled and re-assmbled for things such as center fold replacement, Marvel stamp wrap replacement, spine re-alignment, tattooz/Mark Jeweler insert swaps, etc? I'd like to do my own pre-screen if I can to determine whether to bother sending books in for grading or if I spot something suspicious to send it in for a more professional pre-screen to avoid getting a Qualified label. Not looking for detection of staple replacement although I suspect some of the same methods for detection hold true. I realize if a rusty staple has been replaced with a clean one telltale sign is the presence of rust transfer on the cover or interior pages but the staples are rust free. I'm more interested on whether I can tell if the same staples were removed and then put back. If the staples were simply removed and then reapplied using the same staples what should I look for? Will there be distortions in the pages or staple holes? Is there a specific appearance of the bend or folding of the staple tines that are only present when they were originally done via the machine vs by hand? A more arched bend vs a flat bend? Did the staple ends being folded appear different across different ages of comics (GA vs SA vs BA, vs CA)? Should I examine the staples under magnification looking for any abrasion or marks or scratches on the staples themselves indicating the use of a pry tool to open the staples or remove them? Will there be any noticeable wear, stress marks or changes to the elbow or elbow pit of the staple itself (where it bends) that would indicate it having been flexed or unflexed a few times? Anything else I should look for on the staples themselves? Or will things be more apparent from the swapped pages and inserts? Aside from the obvious items such as difference in page quality/tone/feel, difference in page wrap alignment or attached insert with the other pages, orientation, length is there anything specific to look out for? Thanks for any advice or comments.
  13. I would try both but someone on here already stated to start with the one at your local PO (make sure it's the main PO in your city and not just a dinky annex) and see if they reach out to the post master down there or initiate a trace. If that fails, as a last resort I would also try calling the USPS customer service line and yes, it'll be a bit of a run around with long hold times but you will eventually find someone willing to help and start a trace on the package. You sent it certified but was it also priority mail, Express, or parcel select? You're probably SOL if you shipped it Media Mail. While I considered using private insurance for insuring packages, Registered Mail is a must for anything over 5k for me. Not saying its perfect but it does mean that the USPS has skin in the game to find your package since they're on the hook if it gets lost or damaged for the full claim amount. Once you file a claim they will move heaven and earth to find your package rather than pay out the claim but they may also drag their feet on declaring it lost to avoid/delay paying the claim until it becomes all but certain that it is lost or was stolen. Sadly, this may be another knock against CIS. If they have approved your claim and are processing your claim, slowly, and plan to pay it out but just being slow about it then that might just be how they are right now (possibly due to a bunch of other clients with lost USPS packages) but at least you'll get your money. However, if they're sandbagging you or have not yet approved your claim due to insufficient evidence, you may need to get an official statement from the post office of it as declared lost and/or threaten CIS exposure on social media if they are just flat out refusing your claim. From what I've read on here from past customers of CIS, one drawback on getting a claim payout from CIS is it may be a one and done then drop you as a customer. Not to give false hope but I suspect it's just stuck/misplaced/delayed at one of the facilities, got misrouted, or had the label sufficiently damaged that it couldn't be processed yet and might turn up with a trace or after a few weeks possibly after the election.
  14. Great point Bob. These are the kinds of insight and discussions a "council" of experienced and seasoned graders/dealers should argue to come to a consensus that benefits the hobby but also allows for educated and well thought out agreement on where those defects should fall. In this example, one extreme opinion is considering that a pressable/cleanable defect be assigned a grade at it's post-manipulated perceived grade. I disagree and I feel most would as that is just not how grading should work and it would further complicate the grading process. The defect is present regardless if the potential for removal exists. the value may change for the potential upgradability over one that has non-pressable defects but that can be negotiated by the buyer and seller. On the other hand, the other extreme, but current, opinion is that pressable/cleanable defects should continue to be treated as they have always been even graded below other more permanent defects of equal size or of smaller size but greater accumulation. Prior to the broad acceptance (undetectibility) of "expert" pressing and cleaning (despite the 2 having been used for decades) and the reinforced stigma of restoration color touch vs tear seals, all those defects had a level playing field. However, with CGC purple vs blue labels and offering its own pressing service, the playing field has dramatically shifted. There's even a different market and levels for restoration removal of color touch (A and B grades being potentially removable with C being the more permanent). Why should it be any different for pressable/cleanable defects? In the grading guide a full book length non-color breaking vertical bend is first observed in a FN- 5.5 example of a comic with a similar accumulation of defects allowed in higher grades despite book length bends not actually referenced in the grade description allowed defects reference page for FN-. However, in the same guide you can have books with defects such as oxidation shadows along 2 full edges in FN 6.0 or animal chew on 2 corners affecting 1/4" of the cover and some interior pages in FN+ with a similar accumulation of defects as the comic with book length non-color break bend in the lower grade. Oxidation shadows and animal chews are permanent and removal/repair would be detectable as restoration and receive a purple label whereas a press of the book length bend would not. I suspect the needle on where a book length non-color breaking bend may grade may fall might need to be moved to somewhere in between those 2 extremes. But that is what I would expect the group of experts to debate and hash out. For now, I have to keep grading it as the current opinion but perhaps making note of it's potential for upgrade but this is one area where I can see a change in consensus.
  15. I was thinking of a good way to tackle this problem and about to reply with my own but what you've laid out is a pretty good way to start. However, here are the key areas of conflicts with any grading standard that seems to get in the way a lot and that may need to be defined/addressed early on in the development of that "master defect document". 1. Undetectable pressable/cleanable vs non-pressable/non-cleanable defects. one of the interesting things in the Overstreet grading guide is that there are multiple representations of defects that are pressable/cleanable but only allowed in lower grades but not upper grades. one example might be large or book length bends (not creases) that can be completely pressed out, multiple non-color break shallow bends and finger bends that don't break color all over the book but with sharp corners, perfect spine, and edges, or mild to moderate soiling all over the front or back covers that is dry cleanable. Should those continue to be graded at the same level as they are now or considered for elevation in grade considering that FN/VF or VF book could soon be a VF/NM or NM+ with a good thorough clean and press? 2. Tear vs Stains: this debate may be as old as grading itself. Overstreet is pretty clear on where these fall but CGC and other grading companies treat these very differently. From collector to collector, everyone has a difference on if given a choice between a comic with a small stain to a small tear which they would prefer and the degrees of acceptability at different grades. Then there's the issue of stain type (if you can even determine) to classify whether they are cleanable or pose a potential for increased deterioration of the paper. Same for tear type. Some small tears 1/4"-1/8" are mangled affecting the appearance whereas I've seen and even missed 1" tears that were so perfectly fine that they are invisible to the naked eye in hand unless you open the cover and see the edges separate. Some small tears are in danger of becoming chipping or pieces missing where as other cut through covers and story. 3. Defect naming conventions: Overstreet provides some definitions and labels but it is far from complete. To define the defects you have to be explicit to cover all possible common defects. See #4 below: 4. Spine tick/bump/bend/crease/stress: Whether they break color or not, these are often used interchangeably and incorrectly. Furthermore, if a book has spine wear that comes in the form of 1/2" bends but only part of each bend (say 1/4") is a sharp crease and only part of that crease (1/8") show color break, what do you call them? 1/2" spine bends with 1/8" color break? 1/2" spine bends with 1/4" crease with 1/8" color break? After a press you may end up with only the 1/8" color break spine ticks and maybe some light spine stress lines. 5. Quantifying accumulation and eye appeal: Of all the issues with grading this one is the hardest and most subjective. If you look in the grading guide, you'll see interesting examples of NM books with specific defects but you KNOW that there are more defects on those covers that you cannot see than what the photos are showing you even if you are able to see the ones they are pointing at with arrows. One example is spine ticks, you may only see the color break but what about the different sizes of their associated non-color break crease or bend lengths leading away from them. And you know most of those covers have lots of shallow bends that are only visible if you angle the light a certain way. If they were to represent that in the grading guide (haven't seen a visual example in the guide) what sizing and quantity, or percentage of coverage of the cover is acceptable in various grades. Overstreet also shows a graph with a guide on acceptable quantity of defects in the different grades. What it doesn't show is the severity of each defect in each grade. It does state that a book with multiple smaller defects may grade higher than a book with a single severe defect. But where do you draw the line? Would a single diagonal non-color break cover bend up to 4" be graded higher than 4 different 1" bends on the front cover 6. Front cover defects vs Back cover defects: CGC certainly has, in the past and probably currently, given more weight to defects on the front cover than on the back. this is where the whole spine re-alignment issue surfaced but there are normal non-manipulated examples. 7. Grader state of mind: I know I'm totally guilty of this and have observed this when I've gone back and examined some books weeks or even days later. this may be the cause of the greatest swings in subjectivity when grading. Depending on my mood, comfort, or even the book itself, I have seen areas where I've totally over or undergraded a book and gone back and asked myself what was I on when I considered that defect acceptable in that grade or why I was so harsh on the book for something that even overstreet considers NM. What must we do to either clear our mind, use as a grading sheet, use the same type of lighting, or meditate to help us focus to ensure that the way we grade and assign the grade remains consistent? One last thing: Overstreet appears to be a very strict standard above what even CGC or other grading company's allow. One competitor in Australia appears to be the only one that claims to strictly follow Overstreet's standards. However, over time we have even seen Overstreet bend towards CGC's standards in certain areas. As the goal post moves from industry leaders, should we follow or try to get them to follow what makes sense to us? Solve those 7 and probably others I've missed and you can probably cut that Master Defect Document into stone for all time. That's all I got for now but I'd be interested to hear what you all think about those issues and how you grade around them.