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San Francisco, CA
Time Guarantee on CGC Submissions
year has marked an exciting period of growth at CGC.
One year ago, we committed ourselves to bringing our
turnaround times firmly in line with our stated service
guidelines, despite increased submissions and new services
for magazines. To accomplish this, we streamlined our
handling process throughout all phases of our operations,
and upgraded our invoice tracking methods. But the most
noted changes have occurred in our grading room, where
we've added new graders to our team, allowing
us to handle a greater number of submissions than ever
The result is that we're on time — on all
We have received considerable support from the hobby
to make this possible. In appreciation, CGC is offering
a guarantee on turnaround times for all Economy submissions,
including Magazine Economy submissions. Additionally,
we are guaranteeing our turnaround time on Modern submissions
and reducing this service time to 15 business days.
Turnaround times will be guaranteed based on the following
ship from CGC on or before
||40 business days from receipt
| Magazine Economy
||25 business days from receipt
|| 15 business days from receipt
Should CGC fail to meet the above schedule, the submitter
will receive a 20% credit on grading fees for each book
on the late submission invoice.† This offer is
valid on all books received before January 3, 2006.
Take advantage of this offer by submitting your books
before the end of 2005. If you need any assistance,
do not hesitate to contact CGC customer service at 1-877-NM-COMIC.
† Certain circumstances
may cause a delay in processing your submission, and
are not covered by our turnaround time guarantee. These
include improperly completed submission forms; verification
of pedigrees and foreign editions; confirmation of interior
pages/back covers of restored or conserved comic books;
submitter consent for poly-bag removal; submitter notification
of fragile comic books; and authentication of suspect
counterfeit comic books.
Sim File Copy Pedigree Collection Sale Continues
in November 2005, Dave Sim and Toronto store Paradise
Comics will resume sale of The Dave Sim File Copy Pedigree
Collection of Cerebus the Aardvark back issues
on eBay (eBay sellerid: paradisecomics).
Over the course of self-publishing the 300 issues of
Cerebus the Aardvark from 1977 to 2003, creator
Dave Sim set aside up to 20 high grade copies of each
issue of Cerebus for his personal archive.
In March 2003, the archive collection of issues 1 to
136 was signed on the covers in the presence of CGC
grader Paul Litch. They were then sent to CGC's Sarasota,
Florida offices for grading and encapsulation, where
they were given The Dave Sim File Copy Pedigree for
meeting the Pedigree designation requirements.
CGC designates as a Pedigree collection any comic book
collection that can be authenticated as having had a
single owner prior to coming onto the back issue market.
Examples of other Pedigree collections include The Mile
High (also known as The Edgar Church) Collection from
the 1970s, The William Gaines File Copies of E.C. Comics,
and The Stan Lee File Copies of early Marvel Comics.
"By the time I started Cerebus, the story
of Bill Gaines putting away twelve copies of each E.C.
comic, fresh from the printer, was pretty widespread
in the collectibles market," says Sim. "I
had no idea if it was an urban legend or not. I had
heard that he put twenty of each away, so that's what
I did." Sim laughs, "I'm glad I got that part
Part of the property settlement when Sim and his wife,
Deni, divorced in the early 80s, involved each taking
half of the Cerebus #1s. Over the next few
years, Sim bought copies of Cerebus #1 when
they were selling for between $100 and $150. Because
they aren't "single owner" copies, they will
be encapsulated separately and will not be included
in The Dave Sim File Copy Pedigree Collection.
"Fortunately," says Sim, "they're easy
to tell apart. The copies I was able to buy on my own
were usually in Very Good to Fine condition, at best."
In the summer of 2003, a small number of books for this
collection were auctioned off to the general public
and reached record prices, including the only copy of
Cerebus #1 to be sold to the general public
from this collection — a CGC 9.4, the highest
graded copy of Cerebus the Aardvark found to
date. All profits from the sale of the #1 went to ACTOR
- A Commitment to Our Roots to benefit veteran comic
book creators in need of financial assistance.
"I know a lot of comic book people who aren't part
of the 'collectibles' side look askance at slabbing
(grading and encapsulation) of comic books in the first
place, and particularly at the slabbing of new comic
books," said Aardvark-Vanaheim president and Cerebus
creator, Dave Sim. "But, I've always been a big
supporter of the CGC phenomenon. To me, it represents
a vote of confidence in the future collectible value
of today's comic books. Starting in 1938, no one tended
to take comic books seriously and the watchword was
always 'comic books won't even be here in five years.'
The fact that sensible people invest real money in the
highest grade of comic books tells us that we've moved
past that point. We now believe that comic books will
be here, and will have value, fifty years from now,
a hundred years from now. I considered it a great vote
of confidence that CGC thought Cerebus was
worthy of being part of their Signature Series."
Flash Races to Heritage!
Galleries & Auctioneers (HG&A) will offer the
finest known copy of the landmark Flash Comics #1, the
fabled Mile High Copy, in their upcoming Comic and Original
Comic Art Signature Auction, to be held January 20 &
21, 2006, in Dallas, Texas. Read
spent the past month looking for something to read that
left any positive impression on me. Unfortunately, in
this hobby, not all of the material that comes out is
good. In fact, I read an awful lot of books in between
each newsletter, in search of something to write about,
and this month in particular proved extremely difficult
for me. So many new titles come out every week, making
my task of going through them all an arduous one. But
thanks go out to Eric, a fellow CGC employee in our
Receiving Department, whose recommendation saved me
from my almost routine effort. Unlike most books that
I review here, this book, titled Coraline,
isn't comic related — it's a children's
Coraline is written by comic fan-favorite Neil
Gaiman (Sandman, Books of Magic), with illustrations
by Dave McKean (Sandman cover artist). A book
aimed at children but highly enjoyable for adults, Coraline
combines elements of fantasy and adventure, but not
in the typical "Disney" fashion. Though
this book is aimed at a younger audience, Neil Gaiman
doesn't hesitate in making this one of the creepiest
fantasy stories yet.
The story involves Coraline, a young girl who has become
bored with her world of being a typical young girl:
nothing to do, parents that seem more distant than she
would like, with only older, more eccentric characters
as neighbors. In her house, there is a mysterious door
that opens onto a brick wall, a doorway that was walled
off when the house was split into a duplex. Coraline
begins to hear noises from behind the door, and her
curiosity grows, eventually taking her through the door
into the fourth vacant flat. Coraline comes to find
that this flat is another world, where she meets one
of the most disturbing creatures in the story, a thing
that looks much like her mother, except for the two
white boney hands and the black buttons she has instead
of eyes. She tells Coraline that she's her "other
mother," and that Coraline may stay with her forever,
be fed delicious food (Coraline's own parents seldom
cook anything to her liking), and live without disciplinary
restraints. The "other mother" is pushing for Coraline
to live with her, and when she refuses, Coraline realizes
the "other mother's" real evil intentions.
Neil Gaiman writes an amazing tale, and, even though
aimed at children, a tale that scared the pants off
of me. The "other" world he created represents
aspects of our lives, twisted and perverted, and the
"other mother" character is enough to send
chills down your spine. All in all, Coraline
was a great read, and even though in novel format, it's
a fairly quick read also, one that I can't wait
to read to my children (who probably won't be
as scared as I was).
Timely Announcement from Heritage
CGC graded key books offered
Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers (HG&A) will
offer a selection of some of the most desirable Golden
Age comics ever published in their upcoming Comic and
Original Comic Art Signature Auction, to be held January
20 & 21, 2006, in Dallas, Texas.
"Timely produced some of the most popular comics
published during the 1940s," said Lon Allen, Director
of Sales, Comics, "including such titles as Captain
America, The Human Torch, and The
Sub-Mariner. Unlike DC Comics of the same period,
the Timely heroes actively fought World War II, patriotically
doing their part to overthrow the Axis menace."
||Feature, Smash, Military, and Police Comics
Way back in the 15th episode of Nolan's Niche,
we covered Crack, Hit, and National
from Quality Comics. Now it's time to round out
what might be called the "Super Seven" —
with Feature, Smash, Police,
Perhaps no other Golden Age firm has gained more respect
in the past 20 years or so than Quality Comics. Publisher
I "Busy" Arnold's top-tier firm often
took a back seat to DC and Timely in the 1960s and 70s
because of connections to then-current characters, but
collectors have long since realized how appropriate
the name of the company really was.
Noted for using artistic geniuses such as Will Eisner,
Lou Fine, Reed Crandall, and so many more, nobody published
a more consistently colorful lot of super heroes during
the World War II era than Quality. That is reflected
in the fact that Quality titles have increased in value
more than most Golden Age comics.
Feature Comics (known as Feature Funnies
for the first 20 issues) began as a typical newspaper
reprint anthology in l937. Few original features were
thrown in, until one of the most original of all Golden
Age costume heroes appeared — Dollman in #27 (Dec.
1939). It's difficult to realize that his first
five adventures were four-pagers! Feature is
generally the least-regarded Quality title, partly because
Dollman was its only truly successful costume hero.
The others were short-lived — the heroines U.S.A.,
the Spirit of Old Glory in #42-48 (1941) and The Spider
Widow (with The Raven) in # 57-72. These characters
were almost always limited to five-page stories, and
it's hard to win a following that way. Quality's
version of The Phantom Lady showed up in #69-71 in an
unusual team-up, but with only five-page tales, it was
hardly worth it. Feature died along with many
other Quality titles in 1950, but not before an innovative
attempt at a new type of feature, Stunt Man Stetson,
in #140-144, the final five issues.
Smash Comics, on the other hand, went from
being a lackluster second monthly title in 1939 to a
sparkling example of Golden Age storytelling during
World War II, featuring The Ray in #14-40, Midnight
(somewhat of a Spirit knockoff) in #18-85, The Jester
in #25-85, Wildfire (a heroine) in #25-37, The Marksman
in #33-58, and Lady Luck in #42-85. Issues #33-37 give
you all of them except Lady Luck, who was originally
created for The Spirit newspaper sections. All of the
issues of Smash with The Ray are highly collectible,
even though the character's page count never exceeded
nine. You can get by with only two or three issues of
Feature Comics in a representative Quality
collection, but you'll need as many as you can
afford of Smash, especially #14-40.
dealers seem to price early issues of Police
the highest of all Quality Comics, and for good reason.
You absolutely can't go wrong with Police #1-58
with Jack Cole's wonderfully wacky creation Plastic
Man in every issue along with The Human Bomb. Plastic
Man quickly became Police's lead feature
and ran in all 102 issues. You'll need to get
several issues of Police to cover all of its
costumed characters. The Fireband (#1-13), 711 (#1-15),
Phantom Lady (# 1-23), and The Mouthpiece (# 1-13) all
ended too soon. The Spirit began in #11 (Sept. 1942)
and Manhunter started in #8 (March 1942), with both
running in almost every issue thereafter.
Police, by the way, made a superb transition
to a crime title, featuring hard-boiled sleuth Ken Shannon,
the best of his type in comic books. He ran on most
of the extremely colorful covers and as the lead feature
in #103-127 when the title shifted from costume heroes
The final long-running Quality title was Military/Modern,
one of the few comic books to change its title but keep
the same contents following the end of World War II.
Blackhawk and his crew appeared in all 102 issues of
Military, which became Modern with
#44 (Nov. 1945). Military also carried an odd
second-banana costume hero in The Sniper in #5-34. Military's
covers ran the gamut from extraordinary to less-than-ordinary.
Your best bet is to carefully examine any issue you
think might be cool. Some of the Blackhawk stories are
great; others are not. The last 15 issues (#88-102)
are all uncommonly hard to find and quite attractive,
albeit only 36 pages.
issue of Military is a nifty wartime period
piece. At the time, it was consistently the best war
title on the stands, and one of the few marketed as
such (thus the quick title change). The ever-loving
femme-fatale Torchy appeared in #53-102. Many collectors
think Police is the best of Quality's
seven long-running heroic anthologies, but for my money,
Military was consistently the best throughout
Due to Quality's house style of heavy inking,
it's often tough to positively identify artists.
Unfortunately, Quality's artists almost never
signed their work (or were allowed to sign, as the case
may be). Quality experts such as Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr.,
Hames Ware, and Bud Plant have done uncanny work in
assessing the art credits.
If you can acquire about 50 issues of Quality's
"Super Seven" — especially the
World War II issues — you'll have a wonderful
example of first-rate Golden Age storytelling. For my
money, Quality beats Timely 19 times out of 20! For
some reason, I especially like the 1949-50 issues, but
that may be simply because they are a lot more affordable
than the early issues.
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