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  1. People seem to like Miles, which leads me to say he has a good creative team supporting the character with storytelling, more so than just pretty pictures and flashy artwork. Kamala Khan seems forced into popularity via the PC ain't it cool world, of she's Pakistani and Muslim race/religion card route. Nothing too dynamic about her as a brilliant character. I sort of feel, with all of these existing characters being reimagined as a new ethnicity or gender, the ultimate character to create would be an Elderly Buddhist Transgender Homosexual Physically Disabled Bi-Racial with Downs Syndrome to take over the mantle of an existing popular character like Deadpool. Spider-Gwen is visually cool, driven by great art, good writing and a unique twist, so feels like there can be more substance to develop upon here if they stray away from the whole Spider-Gwen Stacy aspects of her name. Silk seems like yet another young female super hero, but has the potential of all to be most unique and break free from being a copy cat lame creation. So, I'd probably be a buyer of Silk and Miles. At current prices I'd sell Kamala. I'd hold Spider-Gwen despite the high prices that seem overpriced.
  2. The difference between a 9.6 and a 9.8 is the mood of the grader. The difference between a 9.8 and a 9.9 or 10.0 is the relationship of the submitter to the company.
  3. I was a bit of the guy who rode the line of persistent and pest, communicating via FB messages with them and the delays were frustrating as I did a "pre-order" and I speculate they didn't get their allocation or sold more than they had in supply and was scrambling to get more inventory. At the end of it all, they shipped me what they had, refunded me on what they didn't have, and everything was evened out. The lesson of this for those who pre-order and are attracted to lower sales prices is that you may not get what you wanted and could be better of paying more elsewhere because what good is paying $10 for a comic that sells for $15 elsewhere, when your pre-order gets refunded after the book is now at $25 in the open market after its release. Although I don't have anything bad to say about them per se, I'd never ever order from 'em again, only to avoid having to be my own customer service agent, continually contacting them for status updates on my own initiative. I sort of felt or was worried, if I didn't inquire as often as I did as a squeaky wheel, I could have been ignored, swept under the rug and possibly left holding the bag with actual damages of no merchandise, no refund and in limbo.
  4. Unless it's like a trading card pack where the contents are different, random and there's a valuable chase insert potentially inside, I feel that Polybagged books might not command top dollar if unopened because you can't see the condition, especially of the spine, so most collectors would assume a modern poly bagged book to be 9.2, and would opt for buying an opened edition at a higher grade if the prices were the same. I'd open up the poly bag, keep the original poly bag, and then see the condition if it's worth grading or if you're not into grading, just keep the book in the open bag and put that in a standard comic bag and board to archive.
  5. I agree 500% on that from various perspectives, including rendering quality, scarcity and comparative quality (DD vs Batman)..., but from the perspective of a fan wanting what they want, not for resale or anything, then I agree 1,000% with the exchange. Miller's remarks don't resemble anything close to his published artwork or his artistry at it's pinnacle and are no more than a nice autograph accompanied by a doodle, a nice souvenir but far from being aesthetic by any means, and something that could be forged or done by a child, so to me it's more about the nostalgia and experience getting the autograph in-person along with something he draws for you personally in front of you for you. From a resale standpoint, removing that emotional connection, I'd find myself hardpressed to ever buy something in the secondary market from a reseller hustling these mediocre renderings.
  6. This is why buyers should try to do research via google searches and msg board inquiry posts. A golden rule is simply "don't pay cash in advance" to artists you know nothing about nor their reputation or if there's even a bit of negative press. If an artist wants the money up front, and you hear they're behind on their work and unreliable, consider yourself buying a lottery ticket that either may pay off or you may be a loser with nothing to show for it. There are lots of artists who handle CIA, cash in advance payments well and deliver on the goods, and there's the artist's perspective of customers flaking on payments necessitating CIA payments. If t's a "starving artist" always looking to make rent or hustle, that's the red flag for a desperate unorganized non-professional who probably is doing a money grab and you're standing in the back of a line all while this creative genius is sitting at home with a list of commissions that are overdue while posting photos of cats playing ping-pong on social media or smoking up weed playing video games all day. The artists who are professional who don't "need" the money are usually the ones who deliver because they are professional and respectful. There's a few out there of course who are just slow too. The majority of honorable slow artists are the ones who tell fans, put your name on the list and when I get to you or get it done we can discuss payment, otherwise, you're on the list, I owe you nothing and you've paid nothing. The problem with CIA is once you've paid in full, you've given the artist no motivation to complete your piece. You need a carrot to dangle in front of 'em to ensure they're focused. Partial payments, not payments in full are one way to start. The other is COD, cash on delivery of course. No art is worth chasing or groveling over.
  7. It is too big in dimensions to get graded and slabbed I'd speculate
  8. Question: How should collectors treat the Batman #50 Blank Sketch Cover Variant with the thin paper wrap that's held bound under the staple, apparently to help protect the actual sketch cover itself from surface wear? As it relates to CGC Grading, does removing this paper make it now "incomplete"? As it relates to getting a CGC SS Sketch and slabbing, if you leave it on, then the artwork is obscured when it's entombed. Or do you simply get a sketch on the thin white paper and leave the actual blank sketch cover alone (which seems odd since the paper is thin and you get no logos, so it would look odd if not weird). I'd imagine it's almost like a poly-bagged book in that the removal from it's original packaging as published isn't necessarily compromised if it's considered a "throw-away" wrapper, 'tho purists probably would keep intact as well as not get a sketch on the blank.
  9. I think the difference now seems that from the buyers side, and publishers know it, back in the days, new characters was to inspire new readers and engage existing readers, where they loved to see single issue sales continue or rise, where today, it's all about a smaller population of buyers (dare I not say "readers" because the majority of books are not even read by the purchasers of multiple copies who then entomb the books into CGC plastic never to be enjoyed for the literature and more treasured as a collectible asset). It also feels like the imagination involved in the new creations is uninspired and biting off existing characters and there's little innovation towards really creative unique characters with substance, and substance is something like personality and charisma that needs to develop over time, much like a baby to toddler to child to teen to adult, the evolution (varied creative teams handling the character) takes time. Look at Deadpool, as a previously cited example as well as Lobo, and other characters who had mediocre periods to pinnacle years later with the right writer (and artist). My biggest observation is simply there's too many coming out and too many speculators hording 'em and buyers, buying into the hype causing seemingly unsustainable stock market like surges based on assets with volatile foundations like Bitcoin Crypto Currencies, Tech stocks etc. - - making assumptions that the current prospect is the next legendary hall of famer and pricing it based on that future being realized.
  10. I think you're right on the money about Wolverine and Deadpool, same goes for DC's Lobo. It feels similar to the Sports Card hobby where there's way too much speculation driving prices up on "prospects" as if they were established "hall of famers" - - so, to see comics like Ms. Marvel, Silk, Spider Gwen, Cosmic Ghost Rider, etc. come out of the gate strong without a meaningful story arc nor years to establish the character, have books priced at $200+ seems too premature. Look at X-23, from NYX #3, it did take a while before that book went up. Same for The New Ant-Man (Scott Lang), as I remember Marvel Premiere #48 being in dollar bins despite the Byrne/Layton artwork for the longest time.
  11. Is it my imagination or does it feel that Marvel and DC are pushing out mediocre new characters, often remix/reimagined (not so creative at times) variations of existing characters, and with greater frequency now, with the possible agenda of this marketing tactic to replace the "Variant Covers" they've been flooding the market with, to increase orders and sales by speculators? I envision seeing every issue with an introduction to some new character in a cameo, then as a civilian, and then the origin in costume, heroes, villains and supporting characters alike. I think everyone is looking for "the next" fill in the blank hot character of today, or grail key of yesteryear, so this seems like what's happening in modern comics today. The problem I see in the market is people are hording books, flipping them and driving prices up what seems to be prematurely without the character having time to evolve, earn a fan base and capture (and captivate) and audience as was done in the past with time for people to search for back-issues instead of picking 'em up hot off the press, going to the LCS, bagging/boarding then submitting to CGC in one fell swoop.
  12. I'd remove the tape since it's a problem that will only continue to cause further problems and increasing defects. Restoration won't impact the value nor removal of any aftermarket production elements like tape. What I would NOT do is any color touch ups if any parts or pieces are inherently damaged as it's handled and the tape is removed, relegating it to the proverbial "it is what it is" status, which with Original Art and "one of a kind" pieces like this, has minimal impact on value since it is a one of a kind item and not like someone can pass on it and wait for a better one to come up for sale later on.
  13. A lot of times simply inquiring with the artist, or fans on boards like there will give you answers to what the known process is, since it's usually artist specific whether they do digital, blueline, etc. Many of the overseas artists are the ones who trade digital files back and forth between penciler and inker rather than mailing them risking loss, damage or deadline delays. So, if you see a lot of artists who reside in South America, Asia or Europe who are part of a penciler/inker tandem today, the odds are there might not be the traditional process of original pencils with original inks on top. Personally, I like to see pencils and inks separate like how The Walking Dead original art is made (and sold), seeing each artist's contributions and the creative process with the final end result that's published.
  14. A totally agree with you on that scenario. The odds are that published artwork will outperform commissioned artwork, but the x-factor is always going to be "artist" trumps everything then "character" comes next, and then oddly enough "rendering quality" - - so, in other words you can have an elaborate jungle girl painting that looks epic by an unknown street artist VS a quick doodle of a jungle girl by Frank Cho, Frank Frazetta, Adam Hughes, etc and we all know which one would sell for more now and tomorrow. For comic art, we've all seen published super-hero pages, aged over 20 years since publication of mainstream characters (Spider-Man, X-Men, Batman, etc.) do surprisingly well at auctions. It's not that "nobody cares about commissions" it's just less people do, and even less would spend an ungodly amount on 'em later on, unless it's by a top name artist with detailed rendering. The problem today is that most artists charge an amount for commissions where there's little room to "flip" 'em for worthwhile profit, so commissions are truly for fans more so than investors. The one thing that I think has moved most collectors away from commissions isn't only the price, but more so "the waiting game" and unreliability of artists and seemingly awkward situation where, as a paying customer, we feel we have to beg and grovel to get what we paid for when there's delays as if these artists were made of glass and sensitive geniuses fearing offending them by simply asking for the respect of getting what was paid for in a timely manner as promised. In what other industry can someone take your money, and not deliver the goods within a promised or reasonable deadline?
  15. Does anyone know if CGC will be attending this show? I think it would be a smart move by CGC to participate given it's a higher end show in terms of comic book dealers, so customers can submit books onsite as well as other books to avoid the mad crush and inconvenience of hauling submissions to SDCC and dropping 'em on here in LA. I'd speculate CGC would do a ton of business at this show.