n2wdw's comic book room
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I have one CGC 10 book, the 2010 Inkwell Awards Donation Book.

 

I was surfing ebay earlier this year and saw it for sale. In case you don't know, the Inkwell is an award for inkers. From their website:

 

The Inkwell Award, sometimes shortened to the Inkwells, is an award given for creative achievement in the field of inking in American comic books. It was created to focus on and show more recognition toward the inking art form and its artists, a production skill exclusive to comic books that is often misunderstood and under-appreciated and whose inkers are at times not presently credited as they were traditionally.

 

On a whim, I placed a low bid and ending up winning it for $40.

 

There are 9 copies in the census. Surprisingly, FIVE are 10s. One is 9.9 and three are 9.8s. So 6 of 9 made it to the Promised Land. We all know there's a subjective factor when a book gets a 10 or 9.9 instead of 9.8. It makes me wonder if the CGC graders nudged this one up because it's a donation book for a good cause.

 

 

T2eC16VHJFoFH4bjCuGBSR1d0KOog60_57_zpsc45d2949.jpg

Edited by n2wdw

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Hey n2wdw,

 

I know you got a wonderful collection of Spiderman/Gwen Stacy building... so when I came across this on eBay I thought of you. In my opinion, it's an outlandish amount of money the seller's asking for, but nonetheless, I thought you might want to see this beautiful comic: http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMAZING-SPIDER-MAN-648-CGC-9-8-SS-TERRY-MOORE-NM-M-Signature-Series-Gwen-Stacy-/350952932096?pt=US_Comic_Books&hash=item51b66cc300

 

You're inkwell 10's gorgeous... but 5! Hmmm... I don't want to make any accusations, but yeah... that's very unusual.

 

Congrats acquiring having a 10!

 

SW3D

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Hi SW3D - Thanks. I did see that sketch cover, and I'm a big fan of Terry Moore. I have a few pieces of his original art from Strangers and Paradise (one of my all time favorite series) -- some day I'll scan them in and show them here. But $4500 is beyond outrageous. Terry doesn't do many sketches nowadays -- a few years back at SDCC, he did a free sketch for me each day of the convention (you just had to wait in line, and getting in the line more than once was way bad form), but those days are over. But still, if you catch him in a good mood he'll do something for free, or at most for a few hundred. But $4500? How do you even start a negotiation when the starting price is so high? You could get a really nice mid-grade FF #1 for that, and maybe even throw in a lower grade Avengers #1 (2 books I REALLY WANT AND I'M GONNA GET THIS YEAR -- OR ELSE!). Sorry, I'm ranting. I'll revert back to my nice guy mode and say the seller can offer for whatever he wants, and good for him if he can find a buyer (sucker!) to pay something close. (BTW, Gwen (Katchoo) doesn't look too happy with Peter holding her boobies. Good thing it's Gwen and not Katchoo, or he'd get his butt kicked.)

 

BTW again, I looked at that CGC 10 book thinking I could add to your first graded thread, so I was really disappointed to find so many copies already graded. http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=7309921#Post7309921

 

 

_57_zpsd5a7b72b.jpg

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For Christmas, my wonderful wife told me to buy a special comic. I didn't have to be told twice!

 

There are 3 comics on my "splurge list" right now: Richie Rich 1, Bone 1 and Cerebus 1. I couldn't find the first 2, but a Cerebus 1 was on sale in CGC 8.5.

 

Cerebus 1 is tough to find in high grade, due to the black cover. Most copies have extensive stress lines down the spine. This 8.5, I think, was a touch over-graded, but still a great looking copy. Here it is:

 

Cerebus1CGC851100_zpsf943e7de.jpg

 

 

The book is a lot better than this picture, taken with my camera. So, I wanted this book, but the seller's price was $1500. After years of looking, I thought $1500 was a fair price. GPA shows the most recent sale as $820, but that just shows the limitations of GPA, especially on books without a lot of activity (in contrast, GPA on ASM 1 is probably a lot more accurate). As a more accurate data point (IMHO), at this moment, there's a CGC 8.0 on sale on Ebay for $1600.

 

But anyway, I didn't want to pay $1500. I think I offered $900. I didn't mention the GPA data as I didn't think it was credible. I just offered what I was willing to pay, at that moment in time. The seller came down a bit, we exchanged a few emails, and we finally agreed on $1100. It was more than I wanted to pay -- my budget was $1000 -- but in the end I thought it was too good a deal to pass up. (The seller told me he was willing to sell this one because he has ANOTHER 8.5! That I find amazing!)

 

Now, I only need #4 to complete my set.

 

I also have the counterfeit #1, and here they are side-by-side. From the front the counterfeit looks better than the real copy, but there are some stress lines on the back that brings it down to 7.5.

 

DSCN1569_zps3e640d24.jpg

 

 

Way back when, there was so much controversy and outrage over the counterfeit. I remember the Comic Buyer's Guide wouldn't list a value for the counterfeit, out of moral indignation. I always thought all that was silly. Yes, I agree, the counterfeit was wrong, but once it was out there it had a value. It wasn't the duty of a price guide to make a stand like that.

 

Interestingly, CGC REALLY wants to make sure a potential buyer isn't mislead to think the counterfeit is the actual copy. If you look at the picture, you'll see CGC writes "Counterfeit" 4 times in the label. This, I think, is entirely appropriate, and I applaud CGC to provide this notice.

 

Anyway, here's a picture of Cerebus 1-10 in my comic room (sans #4 which I still need, and #6 -- the first Jaka -- that I display in another part of the room). You'll see the grades are all over the place. These were my original copies that I read and re-read, so I was actually kind of surprised they got the grades they did.

 

DSCN1572_zpsf723ad34.jpg

 

 

Edited by n2wdw

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The Economics of Selling Comics

 

Even though I’m predominately a buyer, I’ve always been interested in the sell side of the hobby. At cons I like talking to dealers about how they’re doing, how the market’s been, what’s selling in different parts of the country.

 

I’m fascinated by the economics of grading and how it affects prices. For example, at this moment there are over 1500 CGC 9.8 modern comics on sale on Ebay for $30 and less. How does anyone make money? Let’s say they were graded at the Modern tier at $18 per book. Assume $2 per book for shipping (to CGC and back). So you’re at $20 in grading costs per book. Then you add in the cost of the comic itself, say an average of $5 for these cheap comics. Then you add in the Ebay fees. So again, how does anyone make money?

 

The answer must be, you don’t. Okay, if you sell on the boards you don’t have the ebay fees. So maybe you make $5 per book. Is that worth it? How much is your time worth?

 

So I don’t really understand why people grade common modern comics, unless it’s for your collection.

 

Then who’s selling those 1500+ 9.8 CGC comics for $30 and less? Sure, there are collectors who are cleaning out their collections, and are looking to get whatever they can get (even if just a small profit or a loss). But the volume speaks not to just collectors, but dealers. And that I don’t get. Why would a business take part in such a low profit venture? And what if you get less than 9.8? For common moderns that’s a huge drop in value.

 

For hot moderns, grading makes more sense. Consider this Franchesco cover. You can buy this comic raw for about $5, and at WW Chicago the Zenescope table was giving it away for free. Yet, it sells for $45 and more. So now your profit is about $20 for a book that probably sells pretty well. That makes more sense to me.

 

 

GrimmFairyTalesValentinesDay2013bCGC9844_zpse55e5a89.jpg

 

 

It makes sense to grade SA keys. But does it really? I think many dealers are pricing keys AS IF THEY WERE GRADED. The days of buying a high grade raw at a discount and then grading seem to be disappearing. This isn’t entirely true, you can still get a discount for buying raw, but it’s not as easy as it used to be. When buying raw my standard argument (valid I think) is “you’ve got to give me a discount off GPA because I’m assuming the cost and risk of grading.” That argument doesn’t work as often now. Often I hear from the dealer “I know how to grade, if I say it’s 7.0 then it’s 7.0, so I’ll discount the amount it’ll cost you to get it graded by CGC.”

 

What about SA non-keys? I think there’s huge variability here. Many dealers are pricing both raw and CGCs high, but you can still get great deals if you’re patient and lucky. The same is true of graded restored SA keys.

 

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts. I’d be very interested to hear what others think.

 

Edited by n2wdw

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Looks like 2014 is off to a great start for you! I'm thinking you got the sweet life: You got a wife that allows you to buy an expensive comic... and then you obtain that beauty... Cerebus #1! Congrats!

 

Refresh my memory... How do they tell apart the counterfeit from the real mccoy?

 

SW3D

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Hey SW3D,

 

The inside cover of the counterfeit is glossy, whereas the real is not. So actually once it's slabbed you can't tell if its real or counterfeit without CGC's notice on the label. BTW, I just checked Overstreet to make sure I got that right, and they also do not provide a value of the counterfeit. So CBG was not alone in taking that stand -- although I still think it's silly at this point, almost 30 years later.

 

You're right, my wife is great. We've been married over 20 years, and now she knows for Christmas, birthday and anniversary gifts I prefer comic type gifts, so she tries to make them memorable so when I look at them I'll remember they were gifts from her.

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So true! I've never understood why so many comics (1,500... wow! that's an incredibly high figure) are selling so low... that I also must conclude it's at a loss. Why would they deal in profit loss or low-margin business? My only guess would be to move inventory and potentially lure new customers that will become loyal to the seller.

 

I'm new to selling on eBay. 2013 was my first year. I sold only 11 books since I began in May. In all those sales, I have never settled for a loss. My intention is to make a profit on every item I have available to sell. And if I can't make a profit, than I'll settle for breaking-even... but I will never sell in the red. The lowest profit I made was a measly $1.19 on a 9.8 comic... but it was a profit.

 

Now although I only sold 11 books on eBay, I almost sold an equal amount of books through private sales. This is where I see my greatest profit margin.

 

As much as I love GPA, it is not a perfect instrument. Some auction houses like Comiclink do not report to GPA. In addition, the amount of private sales which occur at Comic Book Stores, Conventions, the WTB Boards on the Collectors Society, and Other, far eclipses the combined sales seen on electronic auction houses. And these sales data are also not reported to GPA.

But I still use GPA... it serves it purpose.

 

Awesome topic!

 

I'm really digging your comic book room. It's become a go-to place for me!

 

Keep it up!

 

SW3D

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I agree, GPA is useful but not perfect.

 

The best books I've gotten are through this board. By far. Sometimes the deals start here, but often they start at ebay. I give ebay so much business I don't feel guilty about that. And one large dealer, mycomicshop, sells the same books on ebay and their website, for less on their website. Ebay must have given their approval for this. So I think it's hypocritical for ebay to ding dealers who do deals off ebay.

 

I'd rank my best sources as:

 

(1) Conventions (still the most fun!)

(2) CGC boardies

(3) Comic-Link / Comic-Connect

(4) Ebay

(5) Heritage

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Original Marvels Collection

 

My collecting focus has changed over the years, but what's been constant has been my goal of finishing my "original Marvels" collection. For me, as a kid, the original Marvel titles were Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Cap, DD, FF, Hulk and Iron Man, and my goal was to get complete runs of all these titles. I know there are notable titles missing like X-Men, Thor, TOS and TTA, but as a kid they were secondary to me.

 

I’ve been working on this for over 20 years. I got the easy ones fast, but then slowed way down as I got down to the expensive issues. The last decade, I might go an entire year without adding even one issue. To make my task harder, a couple years ago I decided to upgrade some of the issues. (I wrote about this at http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=280191&Number=6204478#Post6204478.)

 

The last couple of years I’ve gotten more serious about it and purchased maybe 8-10 comics. Here’s a buy I recently made on Ebay, Hulk #104, which completes my Hulk run. I went back and forth with the seller on this book for almost a year. The original price was $48. Early last year I offered $30, and he came back at $39. I declined, and then shopped around. I wanted to finish Hulk, and how hard could it be to find an affordable mid-grade 104? But it was tough, especially to find a graded copy. This wasn’t an absolute necessity but I wanted it if possible. A few months went by, and I lost interest in the issue. Then recently I checked Ebay and the book was still being offered. I decide to split the difference and offered $35. The seller agreed, and like that, my Hulk was complete. I wished I’d offered him $35 way back last year. (I know the picture is lousy, but I think it’s a decent 5.5.)

 

 

KGrHqJHJEsFDyVBDJBvBQ-DfCCrlw60_57_zps5fd5e47c.jpg

 

 

With this buy, here’s what I need to complete my Original Marvels Collection:

 

Amazing Spider-Man 2-5, 9, 50, 119 and 122

Avengers 1, 5, 9

Captain America – complete

Daredevil 7

Fantastic Four 1-5, 12, 13, 21, 25, and 48

Hulk – just got 104 so complete!

Iron Man 2

 

Still a major challenge though, but slowly getting there. The next books I’d like to get are Iron Man 2 and DD 7 to complete those runs. You see both books on sale all the time, often in high grade, but I’ve not been able to get a copy for the price I want to pay (especially DD 7).

 

In a recent post I said how my favorite place to buy comics is conventions. I’ve acquired most of my collection from conventions, mostly from dollar boxes. There’s nothing like rifling through long boxes at cons and gazing at dealers’ wall books. It I had to pick, I’d choose family vacations with my wife and kids over conventions. But, there’s nothing like the complete geek immersion of a multi-day convention away from home, like SDCC and WW Chicago.

 

I just ran some reports on ComicBase (the program I keep my collection on). Of my Amazing Spider-man run, I bought 454 issues at $1 each. In WW Chicago this year I got one of my biggest collecting goals, ASM #1, a restored CGC 7.0. I struggled over this decision, because there was a CGC 3.0 universal being offered for the same price. This decision was tough because the front cover of the blue label looked better than 3.0 (there were tears in the back that brought the grade down). I wrote about it here: http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=310019&Number=6945884#Post6945884

 

 

AmazingSpider-Man1CGC70SA3600_zpsc8ca58b0.jpg

 

 

Anyway, if you include this ASM #1, then the average cost of my ASM run is $11. But if you take out the ASM #1, it drops down to $5. And I’d say my run averages VF-. So I think this proves you can collect an entire run of one of the most important titles in the history of comics for a reasonable price.

 

Sometimes you see threads here about people agonizing (my word) about what to collect. Runs versus keys versus themes; CGC versus raw; Marvel vs DC vs independents. My approach has always been – why not everything? Or, more precisely, why not ANYTHING that interests you? Right now I’m really into high grade Lady Mechanikas because I like the title and artist, and I’ve caught the Registry bug (a little). In the past I was into collecting every single First title (about 95% there). For a while I was into the big DC war titles (I still buy bunches of reading copies when I find them cheap). Back when they were coming out I was obsessed with Valiant. I’m starting to collect comics with Matt Baker cover art.

 

My point being, my interests move around, and that makes collecting fun. But I don’t sell parts of my collection when my interests wane, because I know I’ll eventually come back to it. I learned that one the hard way, when as a kid I got into 1st edition SF books and sold my ASM collection. I’ve made a couple of other mistakes like that. I’ll never do that again.

 

When I read here about people selling their collections .. well, I get it if you need the money, the nice thing about comics is you can make a profit ... but when they say they're selling because their collecting interests have changed ... I think, been there, done that.

 

Just my opinion ....

 

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Buyer's Remorse

 

I won this on eBay recently and just received it, Amazing Spider-Man #6 the first appearance and origin of the Lizard. The seller advertised the grade as "Grade: Apparent NM- 9.2 (Color Touch on the Cover, Trimmed)"

 

I think the seller over graded. I think it would be lucky to get 8.5, 7.5 is more likely. But I don't hold that against the seller, I could tell that from the picture, and I'd be happy frankly with 7.0. The seller also disclosed the restoration. So, I think it was a fair listing.

 

But after getting the book I'm having buyer's remorse. The trimming is more extensive than I thought, about a quarter inch along the bottom and right side.

 

I bought it for $435. My highest bid was actually higher (I think around $500). The rule of thumb I use on restored comics is to try not to pay more than the raw unrestored VG for a restored book. The Overstreet VG price for ASM #6 is $358, but I think that's low. So at the time I thought my bid was fair; not a steal but fair.

 

But now a couple weeks later I think I overpaid. It's so hard to tell with restored books. You can get a better looking comic, but it's so hard to guessimate the FMV.

 

Oh well. I plan on submitting to CGC, maybe I'll feel better if I see it with a 7.0 or better grade (even with a purple label).

 

I'm kinda bummed right now for another reason too. I won an auction for Lady Mechanika Long Beach #0 CGC 9.8 for a great price, a book I need for my set, and the USPS sent it into the abyss. It looks like the seller sent it to the right address, but it did not arrive (even though the tracking says it was delivered -- but the idiotic USPS website only says it was delivered, it doesn't identify the address it was delivered to!). Hopefully it will turn up Monday, but right now I'm anxious about getting it.

 

 

_57_zps006199d9.jpg

Edited by n2wdw

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I wrote earlier about collecting Dennis the Menace. I recently bought these books on eBay. Only low to mid grade, but Dennis is hard to find in high grade, and the joy of collecting comics like this is to just have copies. 15 books and 4 Pockets Full of Fun for only $15! By the way, here's a great thread on all things Dennis: http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=688143&fpart=1

 

 

DSCN1590_zpsb545c6b7.jpg

Edited by n2wdw

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A friend gave me a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble for Christmas. I went online and got up to date on my collection of Morning Glories books.

 

I wonder sometimes how comic stores can stay in business with all the discounting by online stores like B&N and Amazon (in addition to online comic stores like Mile High, who regular discount their books). I try to give my LCS business, but for me it's more than the discounts, it's so much more convenient to shop from my sofa than go to the store. When you have active kids, there's not a lot of time to go to the LCS.

 

 

DSCN1593_zps81bd155e.jpg

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Amazing Cerebus collection! (worship)

 

 

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Re: Buyers Remorse

 

Sorry to read about your recent woes. Although I never buy restored books, I've been burned a few times from eBay sellers selling raw books they overgrade or package improperly that they get damaged when they arrive. So I generally stick to graded comics and leave buying raw to places I can trust like my LCS or MyComicShop.

 

Hopefully your LM book shows up soon.

 

Keep your head up!

 

SW3D

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Newshane - Thanks. For about a microsecond I thought about CGCing the entire run, but at 300 issues I realized that was probably insane.

 

SW3D - Good news, the LM came today! Can't tell you how relieved I was when the box arrived, I'd mentally checked that one off my list and I didn't want to have to start the search again. I'll write more about this comic soon.

 

 

LadyMechanika0DLongBeachCGC98100_zpsbffaf666.jpg

 

 

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I'm glad it finally arrived. I can imagine how relieved and happy you must be.

 

Now I have to ask, who exactly is Lady Mechanika? And what is she all about?

 

SW3D

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LM is about a young woman (i.e., Lady Mechanika) who is trying to figure out who she is. Parts of her are mechanical parts and they make her almost superhuman. It's unclear right now how much of her is mechanical, but at least her hands. She doesn't know who did this to her; it's like she woke up one day and found herself this way, with no memory of her life before. She finds other people who also have mechanical parts. She's trying to figure out where she came from, who she is, who's doing this to people. As she searches, she's a force for good, at least it seems that way. There's a lot more to it, a lot of mysteries. Right now there have only been 4 issues (0-3), and #4 is long delayed. All 4 issues have been collected into 2 compendiums, which are somewhat expensive even raw. Hopefully there will be an affordable trade paperback soon.

Edited by n2wdw

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I need 4 more issues to complete my Lady Mechanika set (until #3 comes out). Two of the four are the most expensive, #0 Long Beach comicon and #0 NY comicon. These comics are not hard to find, either raw or graded, but they’re the most expensive.

 

I’ve been watching both LBCC and NYCC, and managed to get a LBCC CGC 9.8 right before Christmas. The prices of Lady Mechanika are all over the place right now. GPA shows the prices of LBCC #0 in CGC 9.8 between $92 - $400 in 2013. This is a crazy range. We'll see if the prices stabilize after #3 comes out. It's been so long since #2, people are focusing on other things, I think.

 

In November and December I lost out on 2 eBay auctions with a high bid of $150. I wasn't willing to pay more than $150 given how unstable prices have been.

 

Then another 9.8 was offered the week before Christmas. By then I was way over my comic book budget, but I thought what the heck and put in a bid of $100, the starting bid (I didn’t even use Bidnapper). I didn’t think I had a chance of winning having recently lost twice with high bids of $150, but I got more excited day by day when no one else bid. I figured the Bidnapper bids would come in at the end, but none did. So I won the book as the only bidder at $100. A great way to end 2013! And a lesson learned -- the end of the year is a great time for deals, if you've got any cash left!

 

I showed the comic above, but here it is again:

 

LadyMechanika0DLongBeachCGC98100_zpsbffaf666.jpg

 

Edited by n2wdw

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I get a sense LM series falls under the Steam Punk genre... Am I right?

 

This sounds very interesting. I can imagine the readership will grow impatient if each issue takes forever. I know I would.

 

Any other modern series u recommend or currently reading/collecting? I'm trying to get into something and I'm finding myself very bored of the status quo. I need something fresh and new and nothing derivative.

 

SW3D

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