With all of the exclusive creator/talent signing deals...
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An eye opener for anyone who thinks this job doesn't cost money (lol).

Baltimore Lauren and I are working on my taxes---we just finished the tally for money spent on signature fees for 2016.

This number includes checks and cash combined, to CBLDF, Heroes, ComicsSketchArt (Miller), Stan Lee, Jim Lee, celebs (the most expense there was BTTF cast), McFarlane, Romita, Claremont, Quesada, Conner & Palmiotti, Doug Moench, Hannigan, Milgrom, Ken Bald----the list goes on and on.

Not to mention celebs like Gene Simons, Chloe Bennett, Ming-Na Wen, Millie Bobby Brown, etc----it's a lot.

Grand total of $ spent on signatures for 2016

drum roll-----

$52,746

Ouch.

Quit it.

If I stepped away from Signature Series TODAY----I'd be saving over $50K to start!  :acclaim:lol

Edited by Rich_Henn

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you beat me Rich :(

2016 =

$51,196.02

 

However if you add in $$ for sketch opps etc it would be closer to $85K

 

I  have personally seen almost every CGC dealer and/or facilitator who has posted here in this thread bust their butts at shows in order to get books done. These people have put everything on the line to be positive representatives for CGC when out at shows, and have laid much of the foundation for the signature series program.

The real issue arises when dealing with those who try to "work" the system for their own personal gain, be it for notoriety, prestige, money, reputation, what have you.  

I have said this to several of my fellow facilitators, I personally consider myself a Collector/Dealer. 1st and foremost a collector (as can be seen by viewing my collections on ComicArtFans and MySlabbedComics), but I also make 100% of a living off of signature books, CGC SS, sketch opps and  mail-in signings.  I am fiercely protective of the CGC signature series program and will speak AT GREAT LENGTH, some might say TOO MUCH, at times when I receive inquires about the program or see areas that I feel need improvement on.

I do not like exclusive deals, PERIOD. I have been around since 2007 and have never "locked" down an artist.  When I offered the first ever sketch opp here on the boards , Mike Zeck was not doing shows, the opps and signings were open to the boards with prices set by Mike, not by me.

I have also  offered contact information to facilitators such as Rich, of the artists I have managed to get in contact with who do not attend shows (or didnt until recently) including but not limited to Joe Giella, Al Milgrom, Don Perlin, Sheldon Moldoff etc).

Inclusive > Exclusive. 

-Dan :)

Edited by Par2ch

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A correction in price market for SS books is coming.
already begin in the Sketch books.

2c

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1 hour ago, Par2ch said:

 

I  have personally seen almost every CGC dealer and/or facilitator who has posted here in this thread bust their butts at shows in order to get books done. These people have put everything on the line to be positive representatives for CGC when out at shows, and have laid much of the foundation for the signature series program.

The real issue arises when dealing with those who try to "work" the system for their own personal gain, be it for notoriety, prestige, money, reputation, what have you.  

I have said this to several of my fellow facilitators, I personally consider myself a Collector/Dealer. 1st and foremost a collector (as can be seen by viewing my collections on ComicArtFans and MySlabbedComics), but I also make 100% of a living off of signature books, CGC SS, sketch opps and  mail-in signings.  I am fiercely protective of the CGC signature series program and will speak AT GREAT LENGTH, some might say TOO MUCH, at times when I receive inquires about the program or see areas that I feel need improvement on.

I do not like exclusive deals, PERIOD. I have been around since 2007 and have never "locked" down an artist.  When I offered the first ever sketch opp here on the boards , Mike Zeck was not doing shows, the opps and signings were open to the boards with prices set by Mike, not by me.

I have also  offered contact information to facilitators such as Rich, of the artists I have managed to get in contact with who do not attend shows (or didnt until recently) including but not limited to Joe Giella, Al Milgrom, Don Perlin, Sheldon Moldoff etc).

Inclusive > Exclusive. 

-Dan :)

Bravo Sir

Edited by BeachBum

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Just now, Rich_Henn said:

An eye opener for anyone who thinks this job doesn't cost money (lol).

Baltimore Lauren and I are working on my taxes---we just finished the tally for money spent on signature fees for 2016.

This number includes checks and cash combined, to CBLDF, Heroes, ComicsSketchArt (Miller), Stan Lee, Jim Lee, celebs (the most expense there was BTTF cast), McFarlane, Romita, Claremont, Quesada, Conner & Palmiotti, Doug Moench, Hannigan, Milgrom, Ken Bald----the list goes on and on.

Not to mention celebs like Gene Simons, Chloe Bennett, Ming-Na Wen, Millie Bobby Brown, etc----it's a lot.

Grand total of $ spent on signatures for 2016

drum roll-----

$52,746

Ouch.

Quit it.

If I stepped away from Signature Series TODAY----I'd be saving over $50K to start!  :acclaim:lol

Hey Rich...you want to know how much I spent on signatures in 2016?  lol I don't even want to know...I'd probably cry.

 

FYI...2017 YTD my total is over $60K.

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19 minutes ago, Kevlar said:

If CGC is going to allow a witness to be at a signing by themselves without the facilitator I have no problem with this as long as the witness is not in the industry such as a CGC dealer. (This would be in addition to the current witness restrictions of relatives, employees, owners, etc). When a dealer witnesses someone elses books there is too much of a chance that they might do their own books (and I know this has been done before as I have seen it done). I know there have been times where “witnesses” were at a convention and later they were selling comics on their ebay stores that were signed at the convention they were working at. There is too much of a chance for fraud (ie a dealer witnessing their own items) in that instance.

We both see this.

19 minutes ago, Kevlar said:

The one instance I do not think should be allowed to pre-sell is convention exclusives where you are not guaranteed to get book.

Agree. 

19 minutes ago, Kevlar said:

If CGC does allow pre-sales, they should be regulated and transparent. That means there should not be any PM sales threads. I don’t do them and don’t believe others should either. There is a selling forum for a reason and sales threads (pre-sale or regular) should be there.

My argument as well.

Edited by BeachBum

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2 hours ago, Kevlar said:

PRE-SALES

  1. First, I believe that pre-sales should be allowed in certain instances. When you have guaranteed access you should be able to “pre-sell” which is no different than just taking orders. When you can order any amount of a book you’d like, when you have an agreement with a retailer, publisher, etc. The one instance I do not think should be allowed to pre-sell is convention exclusives where you are not guaranteed to get book.

  2. People have brought up the issue that pre-sales shouldn’t be allowed because you can’t guarantee grades. This is true, but I don’t think this is an issue if you are upfront with people that if for whatever reason you can’t get the appropriate grade a person is not required to purchase the item. If I go to a store and pre-order an item and the item comes in damaged, or the store gets the wrong item, they would not require me to purchase it. There’s no difference between that and pre-selling comics. But when dealing with convention exclusives, that would be like an appliance store pre-selling the newest game console when they aren’t even sure if they are getting them.

Doesn't this open up potential problems, though?  Can you really guarantee anything without having the book (and grade) in hand?  (This applies to both convention and non-convention comics).  What if there is a problem with the shipment and the books all arrive damaged?  What if there is a problem with the shipment and the books never arrive at all?

The comic landscape today moves very quickly.  A book that is sold for $100 today may only be worth $50 tomorrow.  Similarly, a different $100 book sold today may be worth $200 tomorrow.

Take the latter $100/$200 situation, and let's allow ANYONE to have their own presales.  Sellers A, B, and C all offer a presale of the latest hot variant.  All guarantee 5 copies available in CGC 9.8.  The book sells out and has higher than normal demand.  Seller A fast tracks the books, and within a month (or two) gets back all 5 copies in CGC 9.6.  Sellers B and C get all 9.8s and can fulfill the orders to their customers.

What happens to those unlucky five buyers of Seller A's comics?  Not only do they not have their "guaranteed" 9.8s, but while waiting a month for them to get graded and arrive, the market moved on them and now they have to shell out double the money to get their comic.  How would seller A be held accountable?  "Sorry, maybe I'll do better next time" doesn't really seem to cut it here.

There are people on these boards that I trust with getting the job done.  They have a proven and near-perfect track record and have shown to go above and beyond what is asked of them.  Should we allow them to do presales?  How do you determine who is worthy in these cases?  In the current system, I don't see a good way to fairly allow some sellers the right of pre-sales, and lock out others.

Now, if sellers are held monetarily accountable for their "guarantees", maybe that is a good check and balance.  Think along the lines of "Pre-sale of hot variant #1, CGC 9.8 Guaranteed or 125% of your money back".  The boardies with a proven track record should have no issues with this (afterall, they can back their promises).  The boardies that don't fulfill their sales either pay up or very quickly get put on the Probation List.  It's a slippery slope, but the best idea I can think of.  Either that, or continue to disallow all presales.

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Just now, masterlogan2000 said:

Doesn't this open up potential problems, though?  Can you really guarantee anything without having the book (and grade) in hand?  (This applies to both convention and non-convention comics).  What if there is a problem with the shipment and the books all arrive damaged?  What if there is a problem with the shipment and the books never arrive at all?

The comic landscape today moves very quickly.  A book that is sold for $100 today may only be worth $50 tomorrow.  Similarly, a different $100 book sold today may be worth $200 tomorrow.

Take the latter $100/$200 situation, and let's allow ANYONE to have their own presales.  Sellers A, B, and C all offer a presale of the latest hot variant.  All guarantee 5 copies available in CGC 9.8.  The book sells out and has higher than normal demand.  Seller A fast tracks the books, and within a month (or two) gets back all 5 copies in CGC 9.6.  Sellers B and C get all 9.8s and can fulfill the orders to their customers.

What happens to those unlucky five buyers of Seller A's comics?  Not only do they not have their "guaranteed" 9.8s, but while waiting a month for them to get graded and arrive, the market moved on them and now they have to shell out double the money to get their comic.  How would seller A be held accountable?  "Sorry, maybe I'll do better next time" doesn't really seem to cut it here.

There are people on these boards that I trust with getting the job done.  They have a proven and near-perfect track record and have shown to go above and beyond what is asked of them.  Should we allow them to do presales?  How do you determine who is worthy in these cases?  In the current system, I don't see a good way to fairly allow some sellers the right of pre-sales, and lock out others.

Now, if sellers are held monetarily accountable for their "guarantees", maybe that is a good check and balance.  Think along the lines of "Pre-sale of hot variant #1, CGC 9.8 Guaranteed or 125% of your money back".  The boardies with a proven track record should have no issues with this (afterall, they can back their promises).  The boardies that don't fulfill their sales either pay up or very quickly get put on the Probation List.  It's a slippery slope, but the best idea I can think of.  Either that, or continue to disallow all presales.

 

No you can't guarantee anything. But if you don't have the book in hand and when the books come in if the entire print run is damaged it doesn't matter if there is a pre-sale or not and no customers get books they might want.

A seller doesn't need a GUARANTEE during a pre-sale. Even the BEST "proven and near-perfect track record" people on the board can't control ship damage and things. But to say that a dealer can't take orders doesn't make sense. Don't comic shops have pull bins so they know how many copies of books to order? Diamond has shorted LCSs before. LCSs have had books come in damaged or had full runs with printing defects. If there are 20 people that want a copy of a book that he can provide but a board dealer is not allowed to take orders to know how many to submit, maybe they only do 5 because they don't want to get stuck if the demand is low. Now they get those 5 books and because there are 20 people that want it the price spikes when it shouldn't have. Who loses there? The customers lose because they pay more than they should have.

This isn't a perfect world we live in.

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18 minutes ago, Kevlar said:

 

No you can't guarantee anything. But if you don't have the book in hand and when the books come in if the entire print run is damaged it doesn't matter if there is a pre-sale or not and no customers get books they might want.

A seller doesn't need a GUARANTEE during a pre-sale. Even the BEST "proven and near-perfect track record" people on the board can't control ship damage and things. But to say that a dealer can't take orders doesn't make sense. Don't comic shops have pull bins so they know how many copies of books to order? Diamond has shorted LCSs before. LCSs have had books come in damaged or had full runs with printing defects. If there are 20 people that want a copy of a book that he can provide but a board dealer is not allowed to take orders to know how many to submit, maybe they only do 5 because they don't want to get stuck if the demand is low. Now they get those 5 books and because there are 20 people that want it the price spikes when it shouldn't have. Who loses there? The customers lose because they pay more than they should have.

This isn't a perfect world we live in.

I agree that it isn't a perfect world we live in.  But that doesn't mean that we can't try to come up with the best possible solution (one that is both fair and easy to moderate on the boards).

If the entire print run of a book is damaged, that is the perfect argument for NOT allowing presales.  Sure, no customers get the books they wanted, but in this scenario, only one party made a guarantee.

Also, there are cases in which I could have a presale and make a guarantee, but my postman decides that he's tired of carrying the extra 100lbs of paper stock each week (with my increase of sales due to all my presales), and he runs over all my packages with his truck.  Sellers B and C both get their 9.8s, but my guarantee falls flat due to "circumstances".

The point I'm trying to make is that you can NEVER make a guarantee without having the book in hand.  If you do make a guarantee and you fail to fulfill that promise, you need to be held accountable.

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually PRO-pre-sale.  But I've been bit enough on the boards to know that rules need to be put in place to protect buyers from getting screwed.

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@reddwarf666222 What you're saying just isn't true. A facilitator cannot witness books.

I was witnessing for Joe Pierson at Heroes/Villains this weekend in Chicago - it would have been 2x easier/faster if we could have split up, but that's not how the SS program works. I witnessed every single book that was done at that show.

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man I missed a lot this weekend! 

I have seen facilitators who follow the rules at cons and bust their asses while others do not even break a sweat and just pull CAW strings from an artist's table in their stable ... I just hope SS program doesn't suffer from the lack of respect they show.  If I was a facilitator who made my livelihood off SS/Comics the combo of not following the rules / stable talent would drive me mad! 

 

@BeachBum is not a internet troll but he is a in-person troll... I ve seen it ::foryou: 

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1 minute ago, dhurley said:

man I missed a lot this weekend! 

I have seen facilitators who follow the rules at cons and bust their asses while others do not even break a sweat and just pull CAW strings from an artist's table in their stable ... I just hope SS program doesn't suffer from the lack of respect they show.  If I was a facilitator who made my livelihood off SS/Comics the combo of not following the rules / stable talent would drive me mad! 

 

@BeachBum is not a internet troll but he is a in-person troll... I ve seen it ::foryou: 

I think that a lot of creators are getting pissed at the facilitators and dealers that rock up to them with a handful of books, get the signed for free and then go off and charge their customers stupid amounts for the privilege. Hence the more private/facilitator signings. What I dont like is that as a fan you cant get your one or two comics signed meet the creator and have it CGCd.

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11 minutes ago, dhurley said:

man I missed a lot this weekend! 

I have seen facilitators who follow the rules at cons and bust their asses while others do not even break a sweat and just pull CAW strings from an artist's table in their stable ... I just hope SS program doesn't suffer from the lack of respect they show.  If I was a facilitator who made my livelihood off SS/Comics the combo of not following the rules / stable talent would drive me mad! 

 

@BeachBum is not a internet troll but he is a in-person troll... I ve seen it ::foryou: 

You say the sweetest things honey. How's the wife?

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9 hours ago, masterlogan2000 said:

Take the latter $100/$200 situation, and let's allow ANYONE to have their own presales.  Sellers A, B, and C all offer a presale of the latest hot variant.  All guarantee 5 copies available in CGC 9.8.  The book sells out and has higher than normal demand.  Seller A fast tracks the books, and within a month (or two) gets back all 5 copies in CGC 9.6.  Sellers B and C get all 9.8s and can fulfill the orders to their customers.

 

13 hours ago, Kevlar said:

The one instance I do not think should be allowed to pre-sell is convention exclusives where you are not guaranteed to get book.

This is the problem you are running into. People are rushing to front load the covering of costs of a show and to corner/get to market first on show exclusives by selling them weeks, sometimes months ahead of a show. They are selling books they have no guarantee of getting and taking in money ahead of time. These sales are being conducted outside of the sales forum and instead in Sig Series and PM sales threads - working around Sales Forum rules such as no pre-sales, and board only offerings. 

Then customers are surprised months later when they receive the book in the mail in a grade less than advertised or nothing at all - and the market has moved - looked what happened with the SDCC foils. These sellers are taking no risks, taking money up front, and putting all the risk on the customer which is not fair to them.

I personally wait until a show, pay and 9.8 pre-screen the exclusives, and only then sell the books. Facilitators and their witnesses (from both companies) are now loading up the Exclusive lines in hopes of covering their pre-sales. Last Summer at one show I watched while a group of witnesses were trying to pre-screen a horrible print run at an exclusive booth and were being yelled at by attendees for holding up the line. Most recently at ECCC two big retailers told me horror stories of how they were treated by pre-sellers on their exclusive lines.

Exhibitors/retailers/publishers are not stupid and are taking note on who is doing what in their sales lines and signing events.

15 hours ago, Par2ch said:

The real issue arises when dealing with those who try to "work" the system for their own personal gain, be it for notoriety, prestige, money, reputation, what have you.  

 

And when new SS rules go into place instead of working within the new guidelines their first reaction is to try figure out how to work around them.

Edited by BeachBum

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13 hours ago, Kevlar said:

If CGC is going to allow a witness to be at a signing by themselves without the facilitator I have no problem with this as long as the witness is not in the industry such as a CGC dealer. (This would be in addition to the current witness restrictions of relatives, employees, owners, etc). When a dealer witnesses someone elses books there is too much of a chance that they might do their own books (and I know this has been done before as I have seen it done). I know there have been times where “witnesses” were at a convention and later they were selling comics on their ebay stores that were signed at the convention they were working at. There is too much of a chance for fraud (ie a dealer witnessing their own items) in that instance.

I feel like it's getting to the point where CGC should be the one providing the witness and not the Facilitator. This way CGC can vet the witness and keep the conflict of interest to a minimum. You're having dealers/other facilitators witnessing at shows for other facilitators, getting their own books done, all the while pocketing the CAW pay from CGC.

Edited by BeachBum

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I think there's a lot of good discussion here.  Lots of folks weighing in on best practices.  I think these kinds of open public discussions are good for SS.  In no small measure, I believe they ultimately led to the downfall of a pretty bad facilitator, which was a positive for the SS community. 

That said, I am still very interested in people's thoughts on all of the exclusive deals for talent.  I know recently one major artist/writer came to market who'd been away for a long time.  This person came back immediately as an exclusive to one facilitator.  The positive is that they're back and signing again.  The negative is that the initial prices were Gwen Stefani crazy.  That is, the shiznit was B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Prices did go down, but not before many folks threw a lot of money that way. 

I echo dhurley's comments earlier.  If you want to lock up an offsite bulk signing, have at it.  If the creator wants to charge an exorbitant price for CGC sigs, have at it.  The market will decide on prices.  If the creator wants to limit the # of items that can be signed in public, fine.  That only doesn't work when you have facilitators trying to seed the line with multiple folks trying to get all the books they want signed.  It's happened countless times.  Maybe the solution is to work with the creator to do a private signing (that was one way to do bulk and respect the creator's wishes).  Maybe another way to police this is for CGC to limit 1 dealer's account to a certain # (consistent with a creator's public signing limit) of books to be done at one show.  I know that would be hard. 

I mention the signing limit because that's the inevitable justification for many of the exclusive deals:  "Oh, so and so just wants to spend time with fans, not dealers who load up for free and then flip books, blah, blah, blah."  But exclusive deals don't solve that problem.  Private signings do. 

Frankly, I think DWC has poisoned the well on this issue.  And if they hadn't been so terrible and gouged so hard, they might still be swimming in money with their exclusives of Lee and McFarlane. 

But let's be frank.  90+% of creators who are exclusive are now exclusive because someone promised more $$$$ and less "hassle", with most of the hassle just being poor behavior by facilitators. 

Edited by Transplant
Grammar

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2 hours ago, Transplant said:

I think there's a lot of good discussion here.  Lots of folks weighing in on best practices.  I think these kinds of open public discussions are good for SS.  In no small measure, I believe they ultimately led to the downfall of a pretty bad facilitator, which was a positive for the SS community. 

That said, I am still very interested in people's thoughts on all of the exclusive deals for talent.  I know recently one major artist/writer came to market who'd been away for a long time.  This person came back immediately as an exclusive to one facilitator.  The positive is that they're back and signing again.  The negative is that the initial prices were Gwen Stefani crazy.  That is, the shiznit was B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Prices did go down, but not before many folks threw a lot of money that way. 

I echo dhurley's comments earlier.  If you want to lock up an offsite bulk signing, have at it.  If the creator wants to charge an exorbitant price for CGC sigs, have at it.  The market will decide on prices.  If the creator wants to limit the # of items that can be signed in public, fine.  That only doesn't work when you have facilitators trying to seed the line with multiple folks trying to get all the books they want signed.  It's happened countless times.  Maybe the solution is to work with the creator to do a private signing (that was one way to do bulk and respect the creator's wishes).  Maybe another way to police this is for CGC to limit 1 dealer's account to a certain # (consistent with a creator's public signing limit) of books to be done at one show.  I know that would be hard. 

I mention the signing limit because that's the inevitable justification for many of the exclusive deals:  "Oh, so and so just wants to spend time with fans, not dealers who load up for free and then flip books, blah, blah, blah."  But exclusive deals don't solve that problem.  Private signings do. 

Frankly, I think DWC has poisoned the well on this issue.  And if they hadn't been so terrible and gouged so hard, they might still be swimming in money with their exclusives of Lee and McFarlane. 

But let's be frank.  90+% of creators who are exclusive are now exclusive because someone promised more $$$$ and less "hassle", with most of the hassle just being poor behavior by facilitators. 

True, I do work with one artist over the UK, and because there are only two people doing SS in the UK, well only 1 as I dont do much. He had dealt with me for years and is happy to do so, I speak a lot to the other the other facilitator and we open up each other opps at cost to each other as we have different clients.

Also my artist friend also donates his sig to charity.

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21 hours ago, Rich_Henn said:

An eye opener for anyone who thinks this job doesn't cost money (lol).

Baltimore Lauren and I are working on my taxes---we just finished the tally for money spent on signature fees for 2016.

This number includes checks and cash combined, to CBLDF, Heroes, ComicsSketchArt (Miller), Stan Lee, Jim Lee, celebs (the most expense there was BTTF cast), McFarlane, Romita, Claremont, Quesada, Conner & Palmiotti, Doug Moench, Hannigan, Milgrom, Ken Bald----the list goes on and on.

Not to mention celebs like Gene Simons, Chloe Bennett, Ming-Na Wen, Millie Bobby Brown, etc----it's a lot.

Grand total of $ spent on signatures for 2016

drum roll-----

$52,746

Ouch.

Quit it.

If I stepped away from Signature Series TODAY----I'd be saving over $50K to start!  :acclaim:lol

Mere peanuts Richie, I have to spend that much at Tiffany & Co. in San Diego to woo Laura into helping us at the SDCC every year!!!  :p

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5 minutes ago, Triston Pence said:

Mere peanuts Richie, I have to spend that much at Tiffany & Co. in San Diego to woo Laura into helping us at the SDCC every year!!!  :p

If I'm not mistaken you helped me out big time last year at Phoenix Comic Con - and personally handled my books for Sig Series after I handed them off. Thanks for looking out for them and treating them with respect. All came back 9.8 and above.

(thumbsu

Edited by BeachBum

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