Matt Nelson

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About Matt Nelson

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    CGC Primary Grader

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  1. I believe this was Coast Con 1992, mere months after Bill opened More Fun. I didn't make it that first year (to my chagrin). I started going the next several years, setting up with Bill, and Steve was right there the whole time. What a great show back then! The best dealers there were Steve, us, Jack Culpepper, Jack Mallete, Ken Stribling, and a Herb Macalla. For a young guy looking for Golden Age before the internet, this was as good as it got in the South.
  2. Billy called me Saturday morning with the news, and I was shocked. I knew Steve had been battling heath issues for much of his life, but it was still very sudden. My friendship with him went back to my years at More Fun in New Orleans. I've known him since I was a teenager. He was such a fixture in the Mobile area, and I'm sure many, many people will mourn his loss. He had such a unique personality, which I think was well described in Taylor-Marie's post. I best remember his wacky jokes, his endless knowledge of so many things, and above all, that high pitched southern drawl that was so fun to imitate! We shared many Steve moments we gained every time we were around him. He was certainly a character. He often submitted jokes to Mad and Cracked, among other publications, that often saw print. And he sure loved Superman above all else. But his knowledge and experience he developed from decades in the hobby put him on a level that many of us cannot duplicate. I'll miss him.
  3. Emily, the Krylon spray is not what you told me you and Matt were using at the time. I believe it was a product called Golden Gel, which is irreversible. Regardless, if you have stopped using the previous agent and only use methyl cellulose for your sizing, that is the correct method. But it will not mask a cover's defects, particularly creases. This is why most candidates for restoration, which are low grade copies, can only go so high in grade. To achieve all of these 9.6's and 9.8's (according to CBCS), either these flaws must be masked with a glossing agent, or only very high grade copies are chosen for restoration. Based on the information I've seen, I don't believe that you are restoring books that were previously unrestored high grade copies. And I don't think there are enough "perfect" candidates out there to produce the large number of ultra high grade books that have entered the market in only the past few months. As far as the areas you are color touching, I have seen jobs where you and Matt were within acceptable limits (the Pep #22 is a good example), but I have also seen books you recently restored that were excessive. Can you please post before and after scans of the Spidey #1 that recently graded CBCS 9.6? It was displayed for sale at a large dealer's booth at the New York show in October. I split books with the dealers for years. The bottom line is what the grading company calls the books. When books are restored, graded and sold for profit, one cannot be depended on for their objectivity. And CGC has been receiving plenty of pressed books from everyone since I arrived three years ago. I think we have proven that we treat everyone's submissions fairly and with no bias.
  4. I've been following this thread closely, and have resisted the urge to post many times. I think there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the situation. The only people that really have insight into the restoration involved are the Meyers, Borock and CGC. Considering how this affects and will continue to affect buyers, sellers, the grading companies, and potentially the health of the restored market in the future, I feel it is necessary to seek clarity on the issues we have. Because it appears the Meyers do not perform restoration as a service, and hence do not have any "clients," the onus for validating both the restoration and the grade of their books falls solely to the grading companies. CGC's team is #1 without question. We have multiple restoration experts looking at these books, and a grading scale that offers more detailed and accurate information than anywhere else. Besides the few books submitted to us the first half of this year, we have not been able to evaluate any potential evolution in the Meyers’ work. They have all been subsequently graded by CBCS. While I am flattered by Emily’s post giving me credit for helping them evolve their process, I have to take issue with their declaration that part of the reason they quit using CGC was the other company’s level of “professionalism, honesty, and moral code.” Considering all of the time I spent with them, the information I shared, and the willingness to grade their books in spite of the issues we had, there is nothing that should have given them the impression that we lacked any of those traits, nor that CCS was ever a threat to them using CGC to grade their books. Emily and Matt have been gracious enough to post quite a bit of information regarding their process. For restoration, transparency is paramount to build trust in the industry. I hope they can shed light on the issues we had to insure that the potentially large number of high value books that will be restored by them in the future will be done in an safe, archival manner. There were two particular aspects I hope have been resolved. They were present on the books we graded (hence the B and C notations we gave), which were subsequently cross graded by CBCS, who gave them professional designations and usually a higher grade. One was the large amount of color touch being applied to the covers, and the other was the material used as a glossing agent over that color touch. Together they would create an unnatural look and feel to the book. It masked details of the book to the point where it became very difficult to accurately assess the restoration and grade. And we were concerned about the archival nature of the glossing agent. Matt and Emily are very talented and driven, and very nice people, reasons why I chose to work with them. They made considerable strides throughout our time together, and a couple of the books turned out really great by our standards. I hope they can insure that these issues have been resolved on the books that currently have very high grades and a professional designation.
  5. I'd like to clarify a few things that Emily brought up concerning CGC's position. CGC did have a concern with several of the books submitted to us earlier this year for reasons previously posted in this thread. I gave Matt and Emily time and advice to guide them in the right direction. Up to the point we stopped receiving submissions there were issues with the work, reflected in our assigning either B or C classifications. A decision was going to be made whether to stop taking books that exhibited questionable work, but submissions ceased. In most cases, CBCS gave higher grades and a professional designation. We have not seen the recent restoration outside of the CBCS holders, so I am not sure our issues with earlier work has been resolved. The point of professional restoration is to return a book back to as close to its original state as possible using reversible materials. When work becomes so extensive that it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is recreated, it is impossible to accurately and fairly represent a grade to the market.
  6. Actually the problem isn't money or even the writing. Gathering the stories from people involved became the most time consuming thing, requiring a lot of coordinated schedules and hours of phone conversations. This was no problem when Steve was still in the Air Force and Classics was just starting to grow. But once worldwide started, everything snowballed from there. Time got scarce. It only made things more difficult when we moved apart. I logged all of the original lists and CGC data years ago. About 1/3 of the stories are completed. The website is up. There is an end in sight, but there is still a lot of work to do. One advantage of the time lapse is that both of us now see new ways to streamline the book that will make it more relevant and well put together.
  7. The advertising is a separate issue, but the completion of the book was never in question. We do have some fresh ideas that may kickstart the project. Stay tuned.
  8. We handled all of your issues and in a professional manner. Your emails were derogatory. You are welcome to post them here if you'd like people to judge for themselves.
  9. Yes, for us the winter was always slower, and a good time to catch up. Not so this time. Business is booming. I am working on getting the TATs back down as soon as possible. My main concern is and has always been making sure the work is top notch, so I can't rush things. A thank you to all who are being patient. Jeff, the upcharges you refer to are you running $2000 books through the modern tier, then getting upset when we bump you.
  10. I get a lot of questions about QP. They go through the same process as full press books, but any defects that remain will not be removed. A QP usually removes most or all defects, depending on the grade of the book. Moderns are not the only candidates for pressing. In fact, the lower the grade, the more dramatic the improvement, so this is a good service for VG to VF. There is no prescreen option for QP books, but the value limit is only $200, so any high value books that would benefit from a screening don't qualify anyway. Just watch out for excessive tanning or weak spines and staples. I don't disassemble books for pressing, and frown upon anyone who does it for that purpose. All CCS books are carefully QC'd after pressing to ensure they are fully and properly pressed. This has been and always will be the case. The past month or so QP got backed up, but we are back to the 1-2 week turnaround.
  11. No dog in this fight, but the bolded part seems concerning to me… I would think it would be natural to look at a major key like this and for you to be aware of it. I don't know what sort of volume you are doing, but this sends up all sorts of red flags in my mind. I also don't think these comments give anyone reassurance. The CCS/CGC team-up was controversial when it started. I think there are glaring issues here and I think this comment is concerning. I did look at the book beforehand and determined it was safe to press. The screening service is mainly used for potential upgrade, and is up to the client to choose. But beyond that, I am always rejecting books for tanning, weak spines, chips hanging, etc. If you saw a dozen threads a month popping up, then you should be concerned. the CCS/CGC merger is not the issue. I actually have had much more time to focus on pressing as a service since I got out of dealing. I'm sorry I don't want to split hairs and I have heard good things about your company. However, how can you say in one post the book was not screened and then in another say you did look at the book? That just doesn't make sense… Just my I look at every book going in, but only at a glance. I keep an eye out for fragile books at that point. The screening service people pay for involves an analysis that includes upgrade potential, resto check and safety among other things. Screening is an added layer of identifying fragile books, so if you are in doubt when submitting, just have it screened to be sure.
  12. No dog in this fight, but the bolded part seems concerning to me… I would think it would be natural to look at a major key like this and for you to be aware of it. I don't know what sort of volume you are doing, but this sends up all sorts of red flags in my mind. I also don't think these comments give anyone reassurance. The CCS/CGC team-up was controversial when it started. I think there are glaring issues here and I think this comment is concerning. I did look at the book beforehand and determined it was safe to press. The screening service is mainly used for potential upgrade, and is up to the client to choose. But beyond that, I am always rejecting books for tanning, weak spines, chips hanging, etc. If you saw a dozen threads a month popping up, then you should be concerned. the CCS/CGC merger is not the issue. I actually have had much more time to focus on pressing as a service since I got out of dealing.
  13. Not to be argumentative, but I'm wondering whether screening before pressing might be thought of as serving two purposes: 1. Can defects in this book be improved with a press? (this would be the service people would receive when paying for a screen) 2. Is the book too fragile to be pressed? It seems as if 2. is something many submitters would hope to receive feedback on without having to pay for it. Otherwise I'm left wondering whether: a) books are being pressed even though the person doing the pressing realizes there is a significant likelihood of the book being damaged but presses it anyway because the submitter didn't pay for a screen or b) the pressing process is so hurried that the presser isn't bothering to look the book over first to see whether a press is likely to damage it Just my thoughts on this episode. Well said. It seems extremely careless IMO. It leaves me wondering how experienced the person pressing the book can really be? I just don't get how this can happen. Isn't the fee waived since it was submitted as a walkthrough? Why does the box need to be checked if that is the case? Isn't the whole point of waiving the fee because it is a walkthough and a high value book that will be handled with more care and screened anyway? Kudos to Matt for owning up to this here in the thread, I just really think this process needs to be looked at closely and reworked. I know I am not alone with worrying when my high value books are not in my possession and when I send them out I like to feel 100% confident they will be treated with the utmost care. No need to worry. It's unfortunate that this book has to be brought up on the boards, while thousands of success jobs go unnoticed. I have by far the most experience pressing high value books in the hobby. Pressing low grade books is simply more of a challenge because of a litany of defects that could be present. You brought up an excellent point...walk-thru screens are waived if the book is pressed. There is still a fee if the book is rejected and sent back to the client.
  14. Not to be argumentative, but I'm wondering whether screening before pressing might be thought of as serving two purposes: 1. Can defects in this book be improved with a press? (this would be the service people would receive when paying for a screen) 2. Is the book too fragile to be pressed? It seems as if 2. is something many submitters would hope to receive feedback on without having to pay for it. Otherwise I'm left wondering whether: a) books are being pressed even though the person doing the pressing realizes there is a significant likelihood of the book being damaged but presses it anyway because the submitter didn't pay for a screen or b) the pressing process is so hurried that the presser isn't bothering to look the book over first to see whether a press is likely to damage it Just my thoughts on this episode. Both 1 and 2 are exactly what the screening is for. I've always offered screening, and a lot of people don't choose it. Regardless, if I come across a book that appears too fragile, I reject it. I never press a book just for a fee if there's a chance of damage. Otherwise I'm left with an unhappy client. But sometimes I determine it's safe, and something happens anyway. Sometimes there are no warnings; the book seems secure on the staples and no sign of tanning. People press a lot of AF #15's because there's substantial value increase in almost every grade. So we get many 2.0's, 3.0's, etc through here, which is not the case with most books we press. Naturally, low grades means more defects to contend with in the pressing process. No one is rushing through press jobs here. I will continue working on books past their deadline if need be to make sure they are done to my satisfaction.
  15. Hi Matt; Greatly appreciate your response here on this particular issue as it is important to us to understand the new restoration rating system. (thumbs u Just a couple of quick questions here for you......since the intent is to provide this information to potential buyers in the marketplace, will the grader notes and restoration identification details be provided free of charge to the marketplace for restored books or will every individual interested in a restored book have to pay the additional fee to obtain this critical information? Will GA books with only certain minor restoration that were slabbed in blue labels under the old system continue to retain their "blueness" or will they be emtombed in the new Purple slabs upon resubmission in light of the more detailed restoration rating system that is now in place? Thanks again as it is important for all of us to gain a better understanding of this new system. Sorry for the delay responding. As of right now the restoration notes are part of the overall grader notes that can be purchased. But if any CGC graded book is submitted to CCS for screening to improve the work (restoration improvement, purple to conso, etc), then I will access the notes with no charge to the submitter. Just an observation--usually it's the buyer who is looking to improve a book in this scenario, after the book has been graded and is up for sale or auction. So providing notes to the submitter would likely not prove much use. What would be more useful would be a service that identifies candidates during the grading process. The submitter would be contacted to make a decision on whether he wants that work performed. Regarding books in blue holders with notes....that will stay the same. The criteria for that has not changed.