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About BabaLament

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    Collector is an understatement.

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  1. That new-slab smell. Submitted these at Comicpalooza in May, arrived today. Many thanks to facilitator @Dork Buzz. First off, some Venom-y goodness. True Believers: Venom - Lethal Protector, Venom: First Host (Shattered Comics Variant), & Marvel Classics (Mexico) Venom: Lethal Protector. I think I've got the reasonably achievable set knocked out; Red, Gold, Black (error), Silver (Italian), Foil (Mexico), Shattered, Venom Annual #1 Clayton Crain homage (x3), Kyle Willis (@Masochism) homage (x3). The only cover I'm missing is the white error, and I don't have the kind of income where its likely that book will end up in my collection. I might get a really good pencil & ink guy to do up a Venom blank in black & white; that's as close as I'll probably ever get. I've had the Predator #1 in my collection since I was ten years old, so I was surprised it came back in as nice a shape as it did. Even more surprised with the Predator #2. Not bad for reader copies, I'm happy as can be. Probably going to be it for me for a little while. I took the rest of my 2019 comic budget and spent it on a shiny rock for my girlfriend; going to see if she likes it (and/or me) enough to stick around for...ever. Wish me luck!
  2. Hello all! Finished re-organizing the comic room & have started putting art back on the walls. I still have a bunch of OA that needs framing, and a bunch of sketch/art comics that need slabs prior to going on the wall. I'd really like an ungraded/ART slab for these, but I don't think that service is available through CGC. I could go...elsewhere...but for the moment I'm perfectly content to sit around and wait & see if we get that option in the future. Here are some of the wall hangers I have up at the moment: First up is the 2015 Carnage series, full set. I had this done at Aaron Brothers (framing shop at Michels), and it was something of a nightmare for them. They get comic framing business, but the only templates they had were for one to three books, they'd never done a sixteen book frame before. They flew out the head framing guy for the company & he put in a solid week making sure it turned out right. Its heavy, takes up a lot of real-estate on the wall, but its probably the most remarked piece on the wall. Next is a set of Venom/Carnage portraits by Atom Todd. I purchased the original pencil & ink pieces, framing them up over the color prints. Another large piece. A Venom/Spider-Man/Carnage connecting piece by Jason Flowers. This is one of my favorites; I like how the two 11x17's flow into each other. They didn't line up exactly right, so I had to hide the shift (one of them is a little bit higher than the other to get the art to line up properly) under the matting. This is one of my pet projects. A watercolor painting by Karl Slominski of Spider-Man surrounded by the various Symbiote characters (at the time of production. Clockwise from top: Venom, Carnage, Scream, Agent Venom, Lasher, Riot, Toxin, Anti-Venom, Mania, Phage, Agony, Raze, Hybrid, Scorn). B&W + Color prints of Spidey Fight by Mostafa Moussa. I passed on the OA on this one and immediately kicked myself in the butt. By the time I contacted him to rectify that error, it had already sold. So, instead, he's doing a pencil & ink reproduction. It should be done sometime this summer, at which point I'll have this re-framed into a three wide custom frame. I have a couple more that I'm waiting on the framers to finish. Another pair from Mostafa Moussa, a pencil/ink OA + color print of Carnage. I have the matching pair w/ Venom, but I can't decide if I want to get them framed separately or together as a massive four piece set. Chibi-Carnage pencil & ink by Skottie Young. I can't decide if I want to frame this by itself, or have it as a centerpiece in a frame surrounded by a bunch of Skottie Young covers. Two framed Maximum Carnage & Separation Anxiety posters that came with the SNES games. I've had these folded up in the boxes for a long time, and it shows. Aaron Brothers tried to press out the folds, but they are still very visible. I love these two, mostly for the sentimental/nostalgia value. The last one currently on the wall is a color print of Venom Fight by Ryan Pasibe. I literally picked up the OA pencil/ink reproduction from the post office; these will be framed side by side and back on the wall ASAP.
  3. My OA (finally) arrived! This is an 11x17 pencil & ink OA of Venom & Carnage. I first saw this piece as a color print at C2E2 a couple of years ago; the print has been hanging on my wall for years. I reached out to Mr. Pasibe & asked to purchase the OA. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to part with the original, but he was willing to do a reproduction. Its been a long wait, but worth it. Going to have them framed up side by side. Its not exact, but I like it. Aside from the art, I had some comic good times over the weekend. I picked up a set of Punisher (first series), passed on NYX #1-5 (wasn't comfortable at the price point), grabbed a very nice set of signed J. Scott Campbell ASM's, and shamelessly raided the dollar bins at all of the HPB's around town. They aren't comic books, but I manged to pick up a near-complete set of Vampire: The Masquerade 2nd Edition supplements, and a handful of Marvel Funko Pop's. So yeah; good weekend.
  4. Theft sucks, regardless of whom it happens to. I don't deal with MHC often because I'd have to rob a bank to do serious shopping there, and I don't really have the skill set for all that. However, when I have called them up looking for a particular item, the staff have always been courteous. I disagree with his pricing structure, but its his business, he'll run it how he sees fit; and its not like I don't have a zillion other shops where I can take my business if (when) I feel he is grossly overestimating the value of his merchandise. Regardless of my opinion of his business methodology, I don't want any of us, collectors or retailers, to be robbed, injured, etc.; while our collections/inventories are a significant part of our lives/livelihood, its not worth being hurt or killed over. Though if the criminal who cut himself robbing MHC turns around and sues Chuck because he was injured during the incident, I may laugh just a little bit at the absurdity.
  5. @oldrover Technically, shouldn't you be getting a graded book back? Small consolation, but its better than a poke in the eye.
  6. @kav "Buyers who disagree with my grade" being the goofs who cry, "every book I lay my hands on should be 9.8-10 because I'm special!" Yes. Yes you are. Very "special." I agree with you. This way makes life easier, and it appears to cut down on the crybabies and con artists.
  7. @oldrover Sorry to hear about your insufficiently_thoughtful_person buyer. After reading the many eBay horror stories, I added a piece to the boilerplate section of my listings. "I am *not* a certified grading professional; I cannot provide an estimate on what grade this book "could" be, and my opinion could be very different from that of a professional. I have described the condition as best as I can, and additional photos are available upon request; but what you see is what you get, I cannot and will not assign a grade." I've gotten requests for additional photos, which isn't a big deal, especially with graded books. Slabs make life easy. Raw books, I occasionally get a request for a picture of the splash page; probably for people checking for first/second/third/etc. printing. I've had a couple goofballs with, "ok, so you won't give it a number, but what do you *think* it is NM/etc.?" I politely respond by cut/pasting the blurb; and that's usually the last I see/hear of those people. So far I've been lucky & haven't had any issues. I'm assuming one day I'll run across someone who makes me want to set the world on fire, but it hasn't happened yet. I hope you work this out without too much inconvenience. If nothing else, when you re-list the book, I hope it goes to someone with better reading comprehension skills.
  8. Hello all! First day at Comicpalooza (Houston), and I’ve had a great day. Thunderstorms last night flooded parts of the city & made getting to the convention center a pain in the butt travel wise, so it’s been a slow morning in the exhibit hall. Which was perfect. Not a lot of bodies equals easy access to creators/artists for signatures & commissions. My first pickups of the day were ASM #121 & Uncanny X-Men #164. This is excellent, as Gerry Conway & Chris Claremont are here. I also brought my PC Aliens/Predator: Deadliest of the Species to get signed by Mr. Claremont. Sam de la Rosa signed the Venom: Lethal Protector #1 Mexico Foil reprint, Venom: First Host #1 Shattered variant (LP #1 cover swipe), and True Believers: Lethal Protector #1; so I’m now the proud owner of the reasonably achievable Venom family portrait (Red/Gold/Silver/Black/Shattered/Mexico Foil/True Believers). I keep hoping to find a white error in a barn somewhere, but so far I’ve had the same luck with that as I’ve had with winning the lotto. Many thanks to @Dork Buzz for providing witnesses, taking the time to chat, and being a super nice guy. My mom came with us to the show this year, and she can’t stop talking about what a gentleman he is. Picked up Tyler Kirkham’s current ASM cover trio & I’m really happy with them. The Spider-Gwen cover is on point, and the Spider-Woman is fantastic (a character that is criminally under utilized), but the She-Venom cover is (IMHO) the standout of the three. Somebody beat me to his Blue Beetle cover OA; so I have to shop for some Blue Beetle goodies for a friend’s birthday present. Grabbed the black variant of the White Widow #1 McFarlane cover swipe because it’s beautiful. Speaking of McFarlane, I grabbed the Venomverse #1 McFarlane (Color) for a great deal. Day one has been pretty good to me. Looking forward to the rest of the show & hope everyone else here has a great time!
  9. @Nepatkm I was bummed out when I saw that sweet Punisher variant cover, and then he wasn't even in the first issue. Oh well, so long as we get the good stuff moving forward.
  10. I ordered from them once, which was enough to convince me to never make that mistake again. Honestly, if anyone wants ComicXposure variants/exclusives, I highly recommend buying them through NY Collector Cave ( / (718)-892-0402). The owner is a super nice guy. I reached out to him during my go-around with ComicXposure at the advice of a board-mate; he gets all the ComicXposure exclusives (apparently he's friends with the guy) *and* has functional customer service skills! Now I buy books & Funko Pop's from the cave regularly and I've never had a problem.
  11. @Wolverinex If the noise at WB about doing a Batman Beyond flick turns into a reality, that'll be a very nice book to have on hand. I had a great week. Finished up my McFarlane Spider-Man #1 cover swipe set with Marvel Zombies #1 at 9.6, and Dark Avengers #11. I need to get Dark Avengers & Venomized variant on slab, then the set will be complete. I also picked up another set of ASM #361-363 w/ first & 2nd printings. I also picked up The Tick #1 as part of a new cover swipe project; there are eight printings, so one down & seven to go. Grabbed a set of Thrawn comics, both the recent Marvel run & the DHC adaptations of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy; he's going to be at Comicpalooza in Houston, so I'm going to see if I can get him to use up a sharpie.
  12. ...and this is why I, and many others, buy things from your shop worry-free. If a book has restoration, or issues, the staff have always taken the time to point that out to me before making a purchase I might regret. I picked up an ASM #129 last year that I thought looked shady, but was willing to take a stab at. Before I sent it on to be graded I brought it through the shop and asked if your people thought it was booby-trapped (I thought it might have been trimmed). They gave it a once-over, and pronounced it legit. That's one of the best parts about having an LCS w/ trustworthy staff; sometimes its nice to have a second opinion.
  13. @RockMyAmadeus Nice thing about this hobby, everything eventually comes around again. I'm after that particular ashcan for sentimental reasons; Deadliest of the Species #1 was the first book I ever bought w/ my dad. I still have the full set of books, but I want to include the ashcans, and have the whole thing framed up for my office wall.
  14. @jsilverjanet @RockMyAmadeus Yeah, I put in the $50 bid, & was so burned out after work that I had to go sleep. Disappointed that I didn't get the book, but I did manage to get nine hours of uninterrupted sleep; so in the end I'll call it a win.
  15. Sniped again! Aliens Predator: Deadliest of the Species Platinum Ashcan (1:1000) was on eBay, I put in a decent bid, went down to the last five seconds...beat out by a dollar. When it comes to eBay, if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.