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Comics Guaranty, LLC Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
October 2004  
Volume 3, Issue 8  
1. CGC and Michael Bair Embrace the Crisis
2. CGC Teams with Idea + Design Works, LLC
3. Hawaiian Dick
4. The 'Other' Nedors
5. Leading Auction House for CGC Graded Comics Membership Reaches 30,000!
6. Quality Comics Offers High Grade CGC Certified J.I.M. Run


November 5-7
Wizard World Texas

Arlington Convention Center
Arlington, TX
On-Site Grading not Available!

November 19-21
New York National

Penn Plaza Pavilion
New York, NY
On-Site Grading Available!

CGC and Michael Bair Embrace the Crisis
Bair to sign for fans and submit IC 4 insert editions at the National — November 20, 2004 in NYC
Mike Bair
Michael Bair

Artist extraordinaire Michael Bair, who is inking DC's smash hit limited series, Identity Crisis, will be on hand and signing at the CGC Booth from 2:00pm – 3:00pm on Saturday, November 20th during this year's National Comic Book, Sci-Fi & Art Expo held in New York City. In addition to doing this signing, with all autographs being eligible to be handed in at the CGC booth for CGC Signature Series certification, Michael will be certifying 10 of his personal creator copies of the rare Identity Crisis #4 with the "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" poster insert for the prestigious CGC Signature Series.

According to Bair, "The entire print run of Identity Crisis #4 had Sky Captain movie posters inserted in the middle of the book. When management saw the preview copy, they discovered the poster interrupts the double page spread in the center that made it impossible to read the story in continuity. Originally, the copies were to be destroyed and reprinted but having the posters removed would probably be more cost effective and they knew of a process of doing it without damaging the books."

However, preview copies were already sent out to the creators directly from the printer. Bair did not learn of the error variants until a couple of days before the Baltimore Comic-Con. At the Baltimore Comic-Con, Bair submitted his copies to CGC, the hobby's only expert, impartial certification and grading service. These books were graded on site on September 11th and 12th 2004, which pre-dates the issue's release date of September 15th. Of the five books submitted, there are two Universal 9.4s, two Signature Series 9.4s and one Signature Series 9.2. All the books bear the "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow poster insert" on the CGC label. Bair will be submitting ten more copies for onsite grading at the National.

"I met Michael in a hotel lobby at San Diego years ago, we hit it off right away, and spent about an hour talking about comics," said Steve Borock, CGC's President and Primary Grader. "Not only am I a big fan of his art, but I am very happy to have a friend and professional like Michael involved with the CGC Signature Series. Every day, more and more comic book fans are finding out how great CGC's Signature Series is, and having someone like Michael involved will help get the word out to fans who, believe it or not, don't know about it yet."

"I have been familiar and supportive of CGC since their inception and have come to know the staff through previous CGC Forum Dinners," said Bair. "When I found out that these books had the rare insert, I thought it would be best to have them CGC'd for the historical reason of having this insert documented and for preservation."

Previous to inking Identity Crisis, Michael has left his mark on many of the DC characters from stints on such fan favorite titles as Hawkman, JSA, JLA Year One, and The Kents (DC Elseworlds). Bair has also done incredible work for Harris Comics (Vampirella), Marvel Comics (Hellstorm) and others.

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Nolan's Niche The 'Other' Nedors
Michelle Nolan

Earlier in this series, we talked about collecting three of the ultimate "generic" anthologies of the Golden Age – Thrilling Comics, Startling Comics and Exciting Comics from Nedor/Better/Standard Publications. But every representative Golden Age collection would do well to consider adding a few issues of the other five regularly published Nedor super hero titles of the 1940s.

There were five of these comics: the title-character-oriented Black Terror #1-27 and Fighting Yank #1-29; the much lesser-known anthologies Wonder Comics #1-20 and Mystery Comics #1-4; and the largely super hero anthology America's Best Comics #1-31, almost all of which are Golden Age gems. In all, there were only 111 issues of these five titles combined. The inimitable Alex Schomburg did the vast majority of those 111 covers – all pictured in the Gerber Photo-Journal – in typically bravura style.

Other NedorsIf you just like collecting solid examples of Golden Age heroic comics, America's Best is an irresistible title from a character standpoint, though not with regard to exemplary art or story considerations. The title, which ran 31 issues (February 1942 through July 1949), was Nedor's version of DC's World's Finest Comics and Comic Cavalcade (although America's Best started before Comic Cavalcade or America's Best was never square bound).

The first five issues of America's Best were 68-page gems, all featuring four lengthy super hero stories. Issues #6-8 were 60 pages. You can't go wrong with any of these issues, especially since they all have attractive World War II covers. They cover all the "big guns" of Nedor except Fighting Yank, who curiously did not appear in America's Best until #9 (April 1944). Black Terror and Doc Strange were in #1-8; Captain Future in #1-3 and 5; The Liberator in #1, 3-5 and 8; The American Eagle in #2, 6 and 7; The American Crusader in #6; and Pyroman in #3-8. The issues with five super heroes (not counting the non-powered Woman in Red in #1-2) are #3, 5, 6 and 7 – and how many Golden Age comics had five different colorful super heroes?

America's Best #9-31 all were 52-page issues except #15, 16, 30 and 31. They all contained three or four super hero stories through #29 including a latecomer, Miss Masque, in #23-31. If you only want to buy two or three issues of America's Best, my advice is to check out the contents of any you see and buy it if you like it. Many of the covers are in the humorous vein of World's Finest and Comic Cavalcade – among the few such ads in the history of Nedor, which generally preferred action-packed or symbolic covers.

The Fighting Yank, running Sept. 1942 to Aug. 1949, carried some of the finest covers of the World War II era, including several of Schomburg's most grotesque images (he illustrated #4-29). The Fighting Yank appeared in three stories in most issues and in four full-length tales in #1 and #2, which were the only 68-page issues. The only other heroes who appeared among generally lackluster backup features were The Grim Reaper in #7, The American Eagle in #18, Miss Masque in #22 and 24 and The Cavalier in #25. The Cavalier surely was among the most little-known heroes ever to be featured in a 10-page story. The highlight for art lovers was the teamup efforts of Jerry Robinson and Mort Meskin in Fighting Yank #25-29. Their interior work was far and away the finest in Nedor's super hero history.

The Fighting Yank - Other NedorsThe 27-issue run of The Black Terror, like The Fighting Yank, ran approximately quarterly for the same seven years. Schomburg illustrated all the covers but the first one (remember, he signed some of his covers Xela – Alex backwards). Except for #11, The Black Terror appeared in three stories in every issue (four stories in #24 and 25, albeit shorter tales). The only costume hero backup feature of note was a Miss Masque story in #21. The Robinson-Meskin team did noteworthy work in #23-27, ranking with their material in The Fighting Yank as the finest in Nedor's history. The first two issues were 68-pagers.

Wonder Comics featured two Wonder Man covers by famed EC artist Graham Ingels in #11 and 12; otherwise, they were done by Schomburg for the 20 issues of this lesser-known title, which ran from May 1944 to October 1948. Standard seemed to have cancelled the title with #7 (Jan. 1946), only to pick it up again with #8 (October 1946), apparently when more paper was available. The only true costume heroes were The Grim Reaper in #1-17 and Wonder Man (also know as Brad Spencer, Wonder Man) in #9-20. Schomburg turned in nifty science fiction covers for the Tara strip in #16-20. Tara, similar to science fiction strips then running in Planet Comics, started #15 and was among the few science fiction characters to earn a cover in the 1940s. Frank Frazetta drew The Silver Knight in #20 and contributed to Jill Trent in #17, but this wasn't among his most collectible work and the printing was poor.

Brad Spencer, Wonder Man also appeared as the primary feature in Mystery Comics #1-4, none of which were dated but all of which were copyrighted 1944 by the William H. Wise Co., which apparently distributed this title through Nedor. This 52-page series featured mostly science fiction and jungle strips, none of them distinguished. Schomburg's covers were the most noteworthy aspect of the series. Many of the characters in Mystery Comics also turned up in two William H. Wise one-shots copyrighted 1944: the 196-page America’s Biggest Comics Book and the 132-page Complete Book of Comics and Funnies.

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Leading Auction House for CGC Graded Comics Membership Reaches 30,000!

In under three years since its inception, Heritage Comics Auctions (HCA) has registered 30,000 online bidder-members to the Web site. HCA's parent company, Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers, the world's largest collectibles auction firm, has a total of 185,000 online registered bidder-members.

More about HCA Web site membership.

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Quality Comics Offers High Grade CGC Certified J.I.M. Run

Quality Comix, LLC is pleased to announce that they will be offering a near complete run of CGC certified Journey Into Mystery from # 84 - 125 on their web site, on Monday, November 1st. All but one book are CGC certified and about 75% are graded 9.4 or 9.6! Many of these books have never been offered to the public before and some are the highest graded copies according to the latest CGC census. This collection includes 39 books and represents one of the best Journey Into Mystery runs ever assembled. Some highlights include #84 CGC 9.0, #87 CGC 9.4, #89 CGC 9.2, #91 CGC 9.4, #98 CGC 9.6, #109 CGC 9.4 and #112 CGC 9.4. A sampling preview of this incredible run can be viewed here. Please contact Brent Moeshlin at or 334-300-1106 for more information.

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cgc registry

CGC Teams with Idea + Design Works, LLC
30 Days of NightIdea + Design Works, LLC (IDW) has gained a respected position in our hobby as a leader of quality independent publishing. The horror smash hit, 30 Days of Night, by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, set the standard for IDW's publishing goals. High quality story, art and production have become the mainstay at IDW. They have recently joined forces with Konami, producing a comic book line based on popular video games such as Silent Hill: Dying Inside and Metal Gear Solid. IDW have also adapted hit television shows CSI & 24 for the comic industry to enjoy.

"We cannot be happier to add IDW to the list of publishers we are now the official grading service of," said Steve Borock, President and Primary Grader of CGC. "Not only are they publishing some of my favorite and some of the most cutting edge comics out there, but they are real business professionals as well, which makes them a pleasure to work with."

"Quality and formatting are two things that IDW Publishing is best known for. That makes our relationship with CGC a real no-brainer. CGC is the top level grading company and we're proud to be working with them," said Beau Smith, IDW's Vice-President of Sales and Marketing.

For more information about IDW, visit their Web site at To submit your IDW comics please click here.

To learn more about CGC, visit our Web site at

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Hawaiian Dick
Shawn Caffrey
Caffrey Chronicles

On September 11th & 12th, Comics Guaranty, LLC was temporarily stationed out of Baltimore for on-site grading at the Baltimore Comi-Con. For the employees sent to the show, it was an enjoyable yet exhausting experience. But one of the plus sides to working at any convention is the chance, if any, to walk the convention floor and meet some of fandom's most famous creators. Luckily, I always manage to pull in some free time during the day to say hello to some friendly faces and introduce myself to new ones.

One day in particular, I had run into a good friend of CGC's and mine, J.C. Vaughn, Executive Editor of Gemstone Publishing and author of McCandless & Company and IDW's 24: One Shot. Always beginning with a friendly hello and leading into discussions of countless comic related topics, Vaughn, being an established writer, makes recommendations on great reads that I am more than excited to follow up on. One recommendation that he made was unlike anything that normally catches my attention, a 1950s detective story set in Hawaii. Having said nothing more than, "Just read it, trust me," I was so intrigued I made Hawaiian Dick my first purchase at the convention.

Hawaiian Dick Hawaiian Dick was published by Image Comics in December of 2002, written by B. Clay Moore and drawn by Steve Griffin. Originally published as a three issue mini-series, Hawaiian Dick is a supernatural crime-noir detective story set in 1953. It tells the story of a former big city detective named Byrd who finds himself in Hawaii after running into some trouble back home. Hired to locate a stolen car, he teams up with Honolulu detective Mo Kalama, and as the two attempt to find the car, they unravel what turns out to be a kidnapping case. In the midst of the story, they come across Hawaii crime lord Bishop Masaki, and not only are they forced to deal with him, but elements of the supernatural. As the story progresses further, Byrd and Mo come across "Night Marchers," ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors, and the story takes a sharp turn, bringing the reader into an unexpected world of voodoo and zombies.

B. Clay Moore has a knack for flowing dialogue and his story-telling grabs the reader with countless hooks woven throughout the storyline. Steve Griffin puts forth an incredible effort, and with his use of vivid colors and painted texture, it's his art that sets Hawaiian Dick in its time period and location. The critically acclaimed series earned artist Steven Griffin a 2003 Russ Manning Award for Most Talented Newcomer, as well as a 2004 Eisner Award nomination for Best Colorist. Image Comics has since reprinted the three issue series as a trade paperback, with tons of extras, including sketches and early comic strips with Hawaiian Dick's main men, Byrd and Mo. I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fun read with illustrations that separate it from the norm of the comic medium.

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