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. Hi everyone! Now that Stephen Ritter and I are here together in Dallas, Worldwide is off and running and the new year is upon us, we’re both racing to the finish line on our Pedigree book. First off, let me give a big Thank You to everyone for being patient, and especially to our advertisers whose support has, and will make this project a success. When I started this back in 2003, I had no idea how much of an undertaking it is to write a book. Stephen and I work on the book only in our spare time, time which seems to be continually shrinking day to day. So going forward, we decided now would be the perfect time to start an official pedigree thread to provide updates, ask research questions, and create a place for everyone to post thoughts, comments, etc. To start off, we pose these five questions below to anyone reading. Feel free to either respond here, or contact us privately if that is your prerogative. My email is matt@comicpedigrees.com, and Stephen’s is Stephen@wwcomics.com. The more response we get to our questions, the more questions we will post. Comicpedigrees.com, the official website for the pedigree book has also been updated, which now includes a checklist of where we’re at with each of the 48 collections. This list will be updated as we progress with each story. Our hope is to have the book finished and out during this year’s convention season. We’ll be checking this thread almost every day, but please give us at least a day or two to post, as we tend to get swamped at work. Stephen is leaving for the NY show on Saturday, and I’ll be at Ponscon all this weekend, followed by my trip to NY next Tuesday. Of course we’ll be set up with our huge inventory from wwcomics.com, and I’ll be doing my on-site proscreens for pressing and restoration for classicsincorporated.com. (shameless plug) Without further ado, here are the first five questions of the thread: 1. Did anyone buy any key issues from an antique dealer couple named the Thompsons in the '70s? The collection they purchased would go on to be considered the Kansas City pedigree, which happens to be the oldest pedigree among our 48. 2. Can anyone provide scans of Kansas City books? 3. Has anyone ever seen a San Francisco pedigree copy from the Nedor/Standard/Better publisher before? 4. It appears that the Pennsylvania collection original list is lost. Does anyone know of big key issues from this collection? 5. Does anyone have contact info for Bob Gray, broker of the Twilight collection (owner of Twilight Book and Game Emporium, Syracuse, NY)? Thanks for reading…I hope we see some interesting feedback and discussions here. Matt Nelson