Comics Guaranty, LLCNumismatic Guaranty Corporation
August 2002  
1. San Diego ComicCon International: Best Yet!
2. Venus: A Quick Look
3. CGC Adds New Grader


September 21-22
South Florida Fall Con

Pompano Beach Civic Center
Pompano Beach, FL

San Diego ComicCon International: Best Yet!

This years ComicCon was the best and biggest ever, and CGC had our best convention in terms of the number of submissions, the number of CGC certified comics displayed by dealers, and positive comments from the collecting community! It seems CGC has really arrived, as collectors from all over the world searched out our booth in order to submit comics for us to certify.

Steve Borock and Mark Haspel worked the booth and walked the floor answering questions, listening to comments, and explaining CGC’s certification process to the few people in our hobby who still don’t know exactly what it is CGC does. Both Steve and Mark said most people were very excited about what CGC has done to revitalize the back issue and collectors’ market.

The best and yet most disturbing comments at the show were about how CGC has saved collectors from losing money to online ebay crooks, some of whom have private feedback, who sell trimmed and color-touched comics. The collectors get the comic after the auction, send it to us, find out that they have been deceived by these comic book "doctors," and are able to get a refund. One collector told us the $240 spent with us saved him $15,000!

We heard that record prices were paid for CGC certified comics, including an Amazing Spider-Man #19 CGC 9.9 Mint that went for just over $17,000! That’s over 37 times the Overstreet 9.4 NM guide!

Kudos to Metropolis Comics, and the Pacific Comic Exchange for having the most impressive showing of CGC certified comics of all the dealers at the con.

The auction houses were present in full force. Joe and Nadia Mannarino of All-Star auctions held their online/live auction at San Diego, and as in every year there, they assembled an impressive showing of high grade and rare CGC certified comics and very rare original art, once again setting record prices. Heritage auctions were set up across from the CGC booth and, from what we saw, Ed Jaster, Fred McSurley, and John Petty were working non-stop showing CGC certified comics and taking consignments for their next monster auction. Jay Parrino’s The Mint had what was probably the most impressive showing of CGC Gold and Silver Age high grade gems at the show. Those of you who know Bill Hughes and Rob Hughes know how hard they work and this con was no different: they both looked worse for wear by the end of the show! It looks like their next auction will be their best yet! For results and information on these upcoming auctions, go to ,, and

All in all, in our humble opinion, this was the best San Diego ComicCon ever!

Venus: A Quick Look
by Phil Kaltenbach

Of the many "gruesome but wonderful" titles that made up the Marvel/Atlas line near the beginning of the 50's, one of the best was "Venus," a title that tried to appeal to an incredible variety of readers during its run of less than four years. At the beginning, in August 1948, this book told the story of Venus, goddess of love, who wished to find out more about the love life of mere mortals, so she descended to Earth and took on a job as the writer of an "advice to the lovelorn" column in a large city newspaper. She almost immediately fell in love with her editor, who felt the same way about her, and they shared some fairly innocuous adventures through the first half-dozen issues. Issues seven and eight bore the "lovers' magazine" heart imprint that appeared on some twenty titles at this time, as Martin Goodman apparently decided that romance comics were the wave of the future.

With issue nine, the editors seemed to feel that science-fiction and fantasy were a better bet, and Venus had to deal with supernatural forces, monsters, exile on the moon, and even the end of the world in #11. These extraordinary but unspectacular stories ran for just four issues, until April 1951, when the new flood of Atlas horror titles swept it up.

The last seven issues of "Venus," written and drawn by Bill Everett, make up an incomparable, if small, body of work. In each issue the lovely Venus and her mortal friends faced an incredible array of terrifying menaces. A few of the highlights are issue #16, in which gargoyles invade the newsroom; #17, with an amazing cover depicting our heroine being interred alive by skeletal masons and the fantastic story "The Cartoonist's Calamity," in which every bizarre creation of the title character springs to looney life; and the final issue, number 19, which boasts one of the coolest covers imaginable. More than in any other title, in "Venus" Bill Everett was able to give free reign to his astonishing imagination and talent, and anyone who sees and reads any of these books will fall in love at first sight, just as the title goddess herself would surely have it.


Collectors' Society Boards

CGC Adds New Grader

Jerry Stephan set sail on his comic book odyssey from Saint Louis in February 1965. His journey took him to his first comic book convention in 1968, mail order (both buying and selling) in the early ‘70s and east coast conventions from New York to Orlando during his Navy days in the late ‘70s.

After Jerry received his honorable discharge from the Navy as a journalist in 1980, he bought 8,000 comics through and ad in The Buyer’s Guide and set about supporting his habit by dealing at local shows. With his Theater degree from University of Missouri at St. Louis in hand and a career as a computer programmer begun, Jerry embarked on a new course by opening a comic book store (Stephan’s Fantasy Shop) in May 1985. Two years later, like many shops in the late 80’s, his ship run aground; Jerry took to the road and began doing shows throughout the Midwest.

1994 was a watershed year for Jerry. First, he put on his first of many comic book shows. Jerry’s greatest joy was to bring comic creators to St. Louis and often take them to dinner. Chief among his guests were childhood idols Dick Sprang and Carmine Infantino. Second, that fall he joined a newly formed St. Louis comic club, SAGA (Silver Age and Golden Age collectors) and was drafted President, an office he retained with pride until joining CGC where he will make a fine addition to the already impressive team of comic graders


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