Matt Nelson

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About Matt Nelson

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    CGC Primary Grader

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  1. Matt Nelson

    A comic era has ended

    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. Matt Nelson

    A comic era has ended

    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. Matt Nelson

    There's a Restored 9.4 Tec 33 Blowing up on Ebay

    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. Matt Nelson

    There's a Restored 9.4 Tec 33 Blowing up on Ebay

    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. Matt Nelson

    There's a Restored 9.4 Tec 33 Blowing up on Ebay

    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. Matt Nelson

    Current Turnaround times at CCS

    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. Matt Nelson

    Current Turnaround times at CCS

    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.