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  • Birthday 03/02/1884

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  1. Idiot! That was a newsstand copy of Catwoman #83! Argggh!!! Why couldn't he have done it to a garbage book like Rai #9???
  2. You know well...the quality of the materials used for these books was just garbage. Barely a step above Charltons. You look at them sideways, and the ink flakes. And it does not help that nearly every Marvel from Nov 1971 to Dec 1972 had a solid color border/picture frame that cannot hide a color breaking spine tic to save your life.
  3. Please show me on the, I mean, on this book where it indicates it was made for Western:
  4. I don't have any problem with this idea, and have said it before. The problem, however, is that when they were made, they weren't made just for Western, and there's no indication whatsoever that they were. The cover markings exist to prevent distributors from returning the books to Marvel for credit, which they weren't allowed to do because they'd bought them as non-returnable for a better discount. And what is that method of distribution called....? The Direct market.
  5. You mean the end of the Direct market experimental program and the company-wide direct market program...
  6. Are you suggesting that some distributors of non-returnable comics were receiving newsstand copies while at the same time some distributors of non-returnable comics were receiving the black diamond copies in 1977? Maybe, which I think I said in the other thread. This was fundamentally a 2 year experiment to see how it would work. I think what's more likely is that everyone in the Direct market distribution channel received a mixture of books. The cover markings wouldn't have made any difference to the retailers that were selling them; as far as they were concerned, they were the same books to sell at the same time. They really only mattered to Marvel circulation, which could then keep track of where these books went, and see if they were receiving any back through newsstand channels. I have no doubt it was driven by Western, but those months that Western placed orders, there's no reason to think they wouldn't have sent them out to Sea Gate and other distributors. Western wasn't returning them, so there wasn't a fundamental need for them to be different if they were *just* going to Western. Now...I realize I can't prove that, but I think it's a reasonable conclusion based on what we know about Western's program.
  7. I'd put 'Tec #400 in there above Avengers #93, too. But the GLs are classics, and as you can see from subs...quite a bit more popular. Supes #233...ehhh...I dunno, I have a hard enough time with Bats #227. But the lunatics have driven it up, so there you go. Frankly, Avengers #93 suffers from being a weirdo Nov '71 book, and the cover is so-so.
  8. Let me rephrase what I was asking to make my point. If an early / mid bronze age book becomes Hot that wasn't before in the past would you expect to see a lot of new 9.8's get graded? For pre-1975, no. They don't exist, which was the point being made in subsequent posts. For 1975-up books, sure.
  9. Bats 232 Bats 234 Bats 227 (insane, I know) Bats 251 GL 76 GL 85 GL 86 GL 87 X-Men 58 Avengers 93
  10. You're not alone in thinking that. There was a time, when Neal Adams was the hottest of the hot, that Avengers #93 was the most popular Adams book there was. It used to be THE key Bronze book to get, and went toe-to-toe with Green Lantern #76 in terms of value and demand. Maybe it's because it's 40 pages of Adams at the very top of his game...and every single page is a masterpiece, a feast for the eyes...but it was THE book to own, and it's sad that it's fallen so far. It's hard to even put it in the top 10 Adams books now.
  11. There is a tremendous difference between early to mid bronze (1970-1975) and late bronze (1975-1980) in 9.8. Mostly it's due to the development of collecting in the 70s. Some of it is due to the poorer quality of paper and other products (ink, sizing) that went into production in the early 70s. Post 1975 9.8s are easy. Pre 1975...? Much, much harder. You will not see a doubling (or more) in the numbers of books like ASM #129, Defenders #1, FF #112, etc. in 9.8. They just don't exist. For example...I've submitted maybe 1000-1500 Bronze Age books. From 1975-up, I've gotten maybe 300-400 9.8s. Before 1975? 0 Not one. Zilch. Nada. Lots of 9.0s, 9.2s, 9.4s, and even 9.6s. Zero 9.8s.
  12. I'd go with NSA surveillance. Those guys know everything.
  13. By the way...a good way for retailers to not have to keep an obsessive pulse on the industry is to limit purchase of all books to 1 copy per person until the book is no longer new...say, after a week or a matter what it is. Book comes out this week? You can buy 1. You want to buy more than one? You'll have to wait until next week/month/whatever, and whatever is left, you can buy.
  14. To add to the above, I understand your point: Creator: "what you intend to do with that after I sign it matters to me, and affects my willingness to sign it for you." Retailer: "what you intend to do with that after I sell it to you matters to me, and affects my willingness to sell it to you." And on the surface, sure, that may seem to be parallel...but they're least, not really. The item being signed already belongs to the person seeking the signature. They're buying something that isn't (technically) tangible, to add to the item they already own. And signatures are, because of their essentially intangible nature, theoretically infinite. Creators don't "sell out" of their signatures (until they can or will no longer sign.) There's little danger...aside from fatigue, which is curable...of someone seeking a signature to not get it because there aren't any "more" to be had. The new book being purchased, however, belongs to the retailer until it's sold. It's a tangible item. And it's certainly finite. And there are many, many, many examples of people going to the store to buy one and being unable to because someone else came and cleaned them out. And due to the serial nature of the item...a periodical...there's a good reason to want to cultivate people to be repeat buyers, whereas signatures are not periodical, and there's no natural incentive for anyone to want to come back to get "the next signature." So while yes, it doesn't matter what someone does with something after they own it, there's a difference it "business development"...that exists for the retailer that doesn't exist for the creator signing.
  15. The issue is not parallel. Why? Because what I do with something I already own is different from what I may potentially do with something that does not (yet) belong to me. Not to ME...but to the retailer who sells to me. Allow me to explain: the issue ultimately isn't what the buyer intends to do with the item he's bought. You're not going to see me argue that people can't do whatever they want with their property. Let me repeat that, so that everyone is completely clear about where I stand: you're not going to see me argue that people can't do whatever they want with their property. Even when there are the Valiantfans projects...where I openly argued, angering many people, that they shouldn't be participating just to flip...I still argued that people could flip them...but that they shouldn't. There's a difference. And that's the difference you see in my original post in this thread. But these new books aren't their property...yet. And that's the pivot point in this discussion. The retailer has to decide what he wants to do: cultivate clientele, or sell to anyone indiscriminately. As has been shown since the 90s, the person who buys the hot issue just to flip...the "speculeech"...does not come back. The people who ran to the stores to buy Superman #75? 99% of them didn't come back to buy #76. They had no interest. But I bet you anything there were casual readers of Superman who suddenly couldn't get a copy of the latest issue, and get really annoyed. I know. I was one of them. And I worked for a distributor at the time, and that a-hole wouldn't let me buy even ONE copy! A lot of retailers angered a lot of readers in the days and weeks that followed Superman #75...and while that's the most extreme example, it's not alone, by any means. In the 80s, immediate sellouts were very rare. ASM #252, Thor #337, Batman #428...but in the 90s, there was a "hot new book" that sold out every other week: Ghost Rider #5, Solar #10, X-Factor #63 (yup!), ASM #361, Batman #457, Batman #492, Gen 13 #1, Lady Death #1...and as print runs plummeted because of the crash (because of "speculation"!), sellouts became necessarily more common, because retailers couldn't order more than they could any hint of a book being hot was scooped up...a la Batman #89 (it just happened with Batman #77 last year!) So. You can sell to your reader and not frustrate them...or you can sell to a speculeech who's just going to flip it, and lose both for the next issue (and every issue after...unless it's "hot.") The issue isn't what the new owner of the book intends to do with it (and that seems to be the misunderstanding)...once it's bought, they can do whatever they want with's the retailer deciding BEFORE it's sold who they want to sell it to and why. And, of course, a healthy dose of "just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD." It's a piece of cake to actually speculate in new comics. Ordering ends a mere three weeks before printing/shipping. There's no reason for people who want to to not take the risk and order through someone with a Diamond account extra copies of whatever, because that doesn't result in any copies being taken from others.