SATURDAY SLABS : Key/Investment Grade Comics – SGT ROCK/OUR ARMY AT WAR Issues 1 to 100!

SLABS –slabbing is slang for getting a comic professionally graded and encased in an un-openable hard plastic shell from CGC, PGX, or CBCS. A slab therefore is that graded comic, encased.

I’m not a big one for getting books encapsulated (the more technical term for slabbing), especially for modern books. But I do understand the benefit of third party grading, especially when it comes to older books. Ensuring the book is complete, annotaing any issues, and providing a grade from an outside third party, eliminates much of the haggling regarding condition that would otherwise occur when buying or selling a comic book.

So for reasons of liquidation, I see the benefit of comic book certification (including encapsulation), but again, I see the benefit as it relates to older or scarce books (real scarcity, and not this manufactured scarcity of variant covers on modern books). Now that said while I can see the use of grading and slabbing for select investment grade books, I DO NOT agree with the fad of pressing comics.

What is pressing comics?

It is a relatively new bit of snakery, people attempting to make the cover of their book look better, by actually applying moisture and heat to their comic, to ‘press’ out wrinkles, creases, folds, rounded spines etc.

And while it will make your cover lay better and arguably get you a slightly higher grade, based on a nicer cover, ‘pressing’ does this as the expense of the interior which in older books is newsprint. You can not apply heat and moisture to newsprint without shortening the life and speeding up the degradation of that pulp paper.

Period.

No ifs, no ands, no buts. Heat+moisture+newsprint = nothing good. That comes from the Library of Congress.

Now no specific long term studies have been done to show the damage of ‘pressing’. In 10 years when you open up that sealed book, will you find it is more degraded and corrupted then a say non-pressed book? Have those previously white pages started to brown rapidly due to the excess moisture pressed into those pages? have you induced mold growth into your valuable collectible.

There is no science to pressing comics, no agreed upon heat settings, or moisture exposure times, or drying times, it is a bunch of disparate people making it up as they go along, giving you short term results, at the expense of the longevity of your book. Why on earth would you let your collectibles be the guinea pig for such untested experiments.

Just say no to pressing your comic book.

That public service announcement out of the way, onto this installment’s investment grade books.  Out of the first 100 issues of the ground breaking DC War Series OUR ARMY AT WAR, here are the issues worth adding to your collection… and why.

 

 

15 MUST OWN ISSUES OF OUR ARMY AT WAR!

 

Our Army at War 1 - Dc - Superman - National Comics - Sword - Battle - Carmine Infantino

You do not expect sophisticated storytelling from a nearly 70 year old comic book, but this debut issue of OUR ARMY AT WAR offers up just such a compelling and surprising reading experience. Particularly in the story ‘DIG YOUR FOXHOLE DEEP’. OUR ARMY AT WAR #1 is a pricy acquisition, but one worth acquiring if you have the disposable income.

Next of the must have issues would be #15:

Our Army at War 15 - Explosive Battle Action - Fire - Thunder In The Skies - Sunday Walk - Fifteen Minute War

Just based on that striking cover with its beautiful use of yellows and purples.

For similar reasons, the following issue, #46, makes the must own list:

Our Army at War 46 - Soldier - Army - War - Action - Explosive

 

Next up, #50:

Our Army at War 50

This issue is notable in that, from here forward, the cover art gets far more sophisticated. It is also the first taste of the letterbox covers that would come much later,

The next 50 issues, from 50 to 100, with one or two exceptions, are all worth owning.Standouts being:

53,54,56,57(1st Grey Wash Cover), 61(Wonderfully desperate and emotive faces by Frank Robbins I believe), 71(Great, you-are-there pov camera angle), 74,75,80,81,82,83,87,89,90,92,94,95,96!

 

Our Army at War 53 - Dc - Tank - Soldier - Machine Gun - WarOur Army at War 54 - Gun - Sword - Jan No 54 - Grenade - Battle Line - Joe KubertOur Army at War 56 - Joe KubertOur Army at War 57 - Bullets - Machine Gun - Helmets - Men - ExplosiveOur Army at War 61Our Army at War 71 Our Army at War 74 - Bullet - Face - Head - Fear - AirplaneOur Army at War 75 - Blind Night Fighter - Airplane - Gunfire - Double Length Story - GooglesOur Army at War 80 - Tank - Ruins - No 80 - Tank Bait - SoilderOur Army at War 81 - Dc Comics - The Rock Of Easy Co - Gun - Nazi - HelmetOur Army at War 82Our Army at War 83 - Gone With The Gun - Flying Machines - The Trooper - Big Guns - The WarfareOur Army at War 87 - Battle Action Comic Book - Vintage Army Comic - Easy Company Army Stories - Wwii Tank Warfare Comic - Chute Dragging Soldier Into TankOur Army at War 89Our Army at War 90 - Easy Company - Dollar Comics - Superman - National Comics - Approved By The Comics Code Authority - Joe KubertOur Army at War 92

Our Army at War 94 - Target Easy Co - Combat Happy Joes - Battle - New Two Part - Fight - Joe KubertOur Army at War 95 - Battle Of The Stripes - Barb Wire - Gunfire - Crawling - Battle - Joe KubertOur Army at War 96 - Tank - Building - Panzer - Gun - Dc Comics

Well those are my collectible/investment picks for this installment.

Now you can actually pick up some of the aforementioned issues via one of my current favorite comic book stores, LONE STAR COMICS. Better known by there website presence, MY COMIC SHOP. Please use the link below to order from them, and when you do you will earn this blog a few pennies, that will be greatly appreciated and go back into the blog, and more content you can use.

So Thanks to anyone who supports this blog, and this specific post, via the following link:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=180591&AffID=200301P01

Thank You for looking and come back next Installment for more great selections!

Excelsior!

RIP To Stan Lee 1922 to 2018.

December 1st to 2nd Youtube Roundup : Dr. Von Chilla + Price Increases+Bendis+ Social Justice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gswkW9as0M4

 

Under the heading “Don’t drink and Youtube” 🙂  – Dr. Von-Chilla went on a bit of a tirade regarding people speculating on comics and buying comics based on movie, tv news. Which I can get behind his feelings on that.

He also threw in there, ‘Brown chicks taking over for white guy superheroes’, which I think is a whole separate argument that I don’t get behind.

Now I know Dr. Von Chilla is not one of those anti social justice warrior nut-cases, who were hating on creators like Mark Waid and Ta-Nehisi Coates and Dan Slot, but that issue he brings up of characters changing, is one of the arguments of this mob.

It is that faulty ‘anti social justice warrior’ thinking.

If you do not like social justice warriors, you should not be reading superhero comics, because Superman, Batman, and Captain America in their origins were Social Justice Warriors. Before there was a term for it, these characters in the Golden Age were taken it to the fat cat businesses and corrupt syndicates and regimes that were sticking it to the little guy. From slum lords to Nazis the comics of the 1930s 1940s were all about saying things about what was wrong in the world. Far more courageously I might add, than most books do today.

So to hate on today’s comics for doing the same thing is to be disingenuous at best, and a moron at worst.

Now that’s me going on a tirade against people with an issue with Social justice concepts in comics. Here’s the thing, not all comics are for you or for me.

We have our preferences and there is nothing wrong in wanting to stick to that. What is wrong, is to not allow others there preference.

If the publishers can sell new characters to new populations, great for them, if they can spike sales of existing story-lines, by changing up the character, great for them (changing up not being the same thing as a mashup, which is what they are doing wrong today). That is nothing new. After the first 110 issues of the original IRON MAN he got in a rut. Back in the 80s… the creators, to get him out of this rut, wrote a FANTASTIC very long storyline where Tony Stark, became an alcoholic, stopped being IRON MAN, and James Rhodes became IRON MAN. And those were STELLAR issues from the 1980s. For my money the only issues, along with the original 110 issues, worth owning.

The same thing happened in GREEN LANTERN, the book was going nowhere after Neal Adams’ departure in issue 89 (IT SHOWS YOU HOW MUCH NEAL ADAMS BROUGHT TO THE BOOK AND THAT HE WAS A HUGE PART OF THE CREATIVE DIRECTION, BECAUSE WHEN HE LEFT EVEN THOUGH THE WRITER DENNY ONEIL STAYED, THE BOOK WAS UTTER CRAp. THE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS STORYLINES THAT MADE AND STILL MAKE THEIR PARTNERSHIP SO GOOD, WENT BY THE Way-side AND THE BOOK DEVOLVED INTO A BORING BOOK. AND I LIKE DENNY ONEIL AS A WRITER, BUT WITHOUT NEAL ADAMS HE DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THESE CHARACTERS. I SPECIFY THESE CHARACTERS BECAUSE HE DID VERY WELL ON BATMAN AFTER NEAL’S DEPARTURE) .

THE BOOK WAS BAD A LONG TIME AND DID NOT GET GOOD AGAIN UNTIL ABOUT #172 when writer Len wein comes aboard and started to direct the book back to earth, and replacing Hal Jordan with John Stewart. LIKE ALWAYS THE LATE, GREAT LEN WEIN WOULD BE CALLED IN TO HELP RIGHT A SINKING SHIP, AND WITH THE HELP OF HIS ARTIST WOULD COMPLETELY REVAMP IT, AND BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO the series.

AND ONCE HE GOT THE BOOK winning again, WEIN would turn iT OVER TO ANOTHER WRITER TO CARRY THE book to the championships (to toss in a sports comparison).

HE DID THAT WITH THE X-MEN, fixing it and HANDING IT OFF TO CHRIS CLAREMONT AND HE DOES THAT HERE WITH GREEN LANTERN… fixing it and HANDING IT OFF TO STEVE ENGLEHART AND JOE STATON, till about issue 200, with wonderful Joe Staton art and great Englehart stories, along with the ONeil/Adams run… those are my favorite issues of GREEN LANTERN to this day.

SO IF LOOKING TO COLLECT GREEN LANTERN IN MY Humble OPINION YOU GET ISSUES 42 to 80, then 172 to 200. Use the following link(YOU GET GREAT BOOKS, AND YTOU EARN A FEW PENNIES FOR THIS BLOG TO KEEP THE LIGHTS ON. A WIN-WIN!):

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=179931&pgi=1&AffID=200301P01

 

https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680115.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/4749311.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/679549.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/899707.jpgGreen Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 52Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 53Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 54https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680145.jpg

https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/681251.jpgGreen Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 57Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 58Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 59Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 60https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/679569.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680191.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680199.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/679611.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/612061.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/800569.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/1081095.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/867585.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/804069.jpg

And they were experiments, creators tossing stuff at the wall and seeing what stuck. They were allowed that freedom in the 1980s, they should be allowed that freedom today.

The ones that do not appeal to you, don’t buy. Like me I no longer buy Marvel Comics in monthly form. I think to pay over $3 for Marvel’s horrendous paper quality, and obvious attempt to milk the speculator market rather than create good stories is asinine.  And their obvious editorial mandate to create new characters, mashup characters, to get the mindless speculators, to buy cosmic ghostrider, or phoenix wolverine, or Thor venom, or Hulk Wolverine; is not creative, it is actually them in real ways making of themselves a horrible parody and joke. The same for DC, to a lesser degree, ever since Bendis went over there. He’s a good writer, but I find him more trojan horse at DC, bring the fratboy idocy, and disrespect for readers intelligence and pockets, that he championed while at Marvel.

No sooner he is over there and DC raises its prices to $3.99. So yeah these days, with Marvel and Dc, if I hear good things about a story, I’ll check it out at my library when collected or pick up the trade online. But as far as monthly books, you just get a whole lot more bang for your back from Independents like Image, Dark Horse, IDW, After-Shock, etc. DC and MARVEl, the two companies that realistically can afford to keep the price point of new comics at $2.99 or less, are the ones driving the price up($4,$5,$6,$7 is unsupportable, when realistically speaking most of these books will end up in dollar bins in a few years. It is bad business from the big two.)

So these days companies like Alterna and Chapterhouse who sell books for under $3, are the ones I am happy to purchase everything they sell. For me they are the future of comics.

So alll that to say, there are hundreds of comics released every month, there is no shortage of Alternatives.

And quite frankly to expect Superman or Captain America of today to appeal to you the same way as the Superman of your childhood did, and never allowed to experiment or change that character is moronic.  Characters change, writers changes, the audiences they write for likewise change.

You hate slabbing. Don’t slab. You hate variant covers don’t buy variant covers. (Quick aside : I’m not a huge fan of either of those things. I think pressing comics, while it removes imperfections from the cover, is PROVEN to shorten the lifespan of the interior newsprint pages. I think it is people moronically pursuing short term goals, at the expense of the longevity of the actual book. People are going to unslab these books in several years and find pristine covers over deteriorating interior pages, especially as it relates to older books. Newsprint+moisture+heat=mistake. Every single time.

But hey  if people want to continue doing this even after being informed of the potential damage (every single person you see pressing on youtube, presses differently. Different ranges of heat, different amounts of moisture, different drying time before slabbing. I guarantee you 99% of the people slabbing comics are doing more harm than good, and are making a mold infused mess rather than preserving a collectible. It is all experimentation and guess-work with the lot of them.

If you were to do it perhaps to salvage a book that already had interior water damage, I would only use CGCs  original service, rather than one of these diy -let me get my iron out -guys. Also going through CGC you have some potential recourse through your insurance company  if things go wrong. Better than some of these guys who are doing pressing at their kitchen sink. Okay that may have been a long aside. 🙂 )

 You hate new characters or change to your existing characters, don’t read those characters. Read the 80 years of back issues, or choose new comics to support. It is not that effing difficult, it is not effing brain surgery, it only becomes a problem when you want YOUR choices to be the only choices everyone else has available. That is the problem I have with the anti social justice warrior nuts.

They think their right to hate something, should supersede someone else’s right to love something.

Don’t tell me the things you hate. Tell me the things you love, and that is how you move the needle.

It is what is great about the Youtube comic community. A lot of people sharing their loves, has inspired me to buy a LOT of books this year. People telling me what they hate, has not gotten me to drop a single book, or change a single purchasing decision. I decide for myself what is worth hating, and I hate very few things. I dislike a lot. I have no interest in reading books or watching tv shows about trans or gay characters. I’m not saying these books or Tv shows shouldn’t not exist,  OR THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT, but I have no interest in them IN MY COMICS OR MY TV SHOWS. So AFTER THE FIRST SEASOn of supergirl tv show (which i enjoyed) I dropped out of the second season, because it was too much soap opera bs about her sister coming out. no interest. same thing with arrow, mr. terrifics relationship i think is out of place and just detracts from the show, etc.

so instead I just find something I like, to watch or read.  SO while I may dislike or avoid many  things, I hate very few. Your hate is not something I catch from you, like the cold.

But tell me of the things you love, and that I will check out, to see if I love it too.

Dr. VonChilla, knows this. Because I have watched his videos where he introduces us to books he loves. And some of those books I’ve bought.

That’s how you change the world for the better Dr. Von Chilla… one great recommendation at a time.

 

 

For the love of all things good, STOP pressing and cleaning your old comics!!! You are DESTROYING them!

Watching these Youtube videos on line of people so-called pressing and cleaning their comics.

I can not believe what I am seeing  it is like giving baboons knives. 🙂

People do not press your comics yourself, and do not pay to have an ‘expert’ do it for you.

Why?

Few reasons.

1/All of these so-called experts are using t-shirt presses or steam irons to ‘improve’ your comic. They are all just winging it, with no real understanding of ph balances, and acidity and moisture content, before or after. It’s a bunch of hacks, each one with no understanding of reason 2.

2/ The application of heat and moisture to newsprint, jump-starts a chemical reaction in the pulp paper, the newsprint, that continues and accelerates long after the initial application is supposedly done. The process is called advanced deterioration. The two things you should never apply to pulp paper, to avoid early deterioration, heat and moisture. A whole slew of new and returned collectors are doing just that. In hopes of turning short term profits by slabbing and reselling their ‘hot’ comic. In the long term what they are doing is SHORTENING THE LIFE of that bronze, silver age or golden age comic.

It is far better that your comic has a spine roll in it, than you BURN IN heat and moisture and humidity deep INTO the fabric of newsprint paper. That as stated is kicking into high gear deterioration and breakdown of that pulp paper on a molecular level, that CONTINUES after you have it graded and slabbed in plastic.

And yes, it comes back on the surface looking flatter and squarer, but internally you have taken years (if not decades) off the life of that pulp paper.  And that deterioration process will continue, as well as the possibility for mold growth, IN THE SLAB. Particularly if there is not sufficient time between ‘pressing’ and slabbing.

I’ve seen warped books in a slab before, and the root cause appeared to be a disastrous ‘pressing’ job, immediately followed by slabbing that still humidity soaked book, in plastic.

Now of course the person who sells you the book, doesn’t care, as long as he is getting paid for the arbitrary grade on the slab, people only seeing the cover of the book in the slab, and having no idea of excessive humidity or ph levels in the actual pages of the book. So it becomes a game of hot potato, to not be the one stuck with this graded book, that when finally unslabbed from its protective case, will be found to be in worse condition than a similarly aged book that had not suffered heat and moisture intrusion.

So arguably people are paying more for slabbed books (that is what they call graded comics, that have been sealed in plastic after grading) that are actually shortening the life of their comics, that because of this mania of people seeking a ‘perfect’ cover, they are ruining the actual comic book pages by entrusting them to witch doctors claiming to ‘press and clean’ them.

And I’m sure there is at least one restorative service that is keeping ph levels and moisture content, in mind. However they are the conservationists at the Library of Congress, and are not the services selling themselves as pressers to help you increase the grading on your comic book. 🙂

This is not brain surgery. I do not know what it is about the 21st century , or America in the 21st century, where common sense is not common, and idiocy is contagious, and sought out over reason. How do we  jump on obvious idiotic band wagons like ‘Me too’ and ‘Let’s iron my old pulp comics!” 🙂

And before I get hate mail, I think crimes of abuse when proven in a court of law, people should of couse face the punishemnt prescibed. However, I think when punishment is applied by the mob, before the verdict is in, people losing their jobs, their families, their name before their day in court… that is not justice. And when you are making judgements on your biases and trama, and projecting your issues, or unapplied vengeance in your own life, over the facts of a case that has nothing to do with you, that is mob rule. That is lynch mob justice. That is a witch hunt. And calling it ‘ME TOO’ doesn’t make it any less so. Okay back to the regularly scheduled program.

I do not have a major issue with drycleaning, provided the person knows what he is doing, however If you love your comics, for the love of GOD, spread the word to have people stop pressing their comics. If you have to get out an overwrap or wrinkle, do it the old fashioned way, apply weight and time, to the book. Not heat or moisture.

That should be common sense to anyone over twelve years old, especially anyone who is a comic fan. The fact that it isn’t… disturbing.

Not trying to be belligerent, I’m a collector, so I hate the idea of people shortsightedly ruining collections, in this new speculator’s bubble we find ourselves in, a couple decades after the last speculator bubble popped.

Love the hobby guys, and avoid the snake oil salesman. 🙂

Here endeth the public service announcement. 🙂

 

20 Best Youtube COMIC BOOK Channels! Week ending 2 June 2018!

While relatively new to the Youtube Comic Book watching scene, I’ve been a collector for a very long time.

I’m listening and watching these Youtube videos/channels on Comic Books, and these channels are fantastic!

I watch them courtesy of Roku on my Big Screen TV, and I spend more time watching these YouTube channels, than regular TV most days. Much to the chagrin of my better half, who has seen more of these videos than she would like. 🙂

It is just great to see collectors of various ages and backgrounds sharing their passion and finds and tips, on a hobby I also get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Without further ado, this is this week’s 15 Favorite Channels!(You can find any of the channels just by searching for their name on Youtube. Tell them HT sent ya!)

  • SILVER AGED DAVE (best comic book room tours, and essential info on insurance, budgeting, preserving your books, and generally enjoying your collection, along with great hauls)
  • SADDLE CITY COMICS – nice coverage of mostly new comics presented by company
  • TheKMN1971- Simply has some of the best hauls of bronze age books. Always costs me money when I see his videos. As i’m inspired to go looking for many of the books he shows off.  🙂
  • EARL GREY (best coverage of European comics, as well as deep dives into select creators and genres)
  • MERCENAUT (very informative, and great selection of books to be on the lookout for)
  • GEM MINT (great coverage on Omibus and collected editions)
  • REGIE IFBBPRO (great hauls and stories, and passion for this hobby)
  • LEEKIRBYDITKO (hands down the best golden age coverage on Youtube, and recently become very interested in Golden Age)

  • THULE (Another great Golden Age channel)
  • JERNO’S COMICS & POP CULTURE – Recent find. Very informative. I like his recent project, cashing out his Starbuck’s stock (Long before this most recent news issue, I had no interest in Starbuck’s. Like KFC amd Shell Gas they are on my list of companies to not do business with) and putting it into comic books, and making a greater rate of return on comics than with his Starbuck’s stock.
  • BOOK ROAST – This one has more to do with Gift Boxes and Harry Potter but it is a nice peacekeeper when you need to break up your comic book watching for your better half 🙂 Also while not a Harry Potter fan, I like this channel as well. Her coverage of different Gift Boxes is interesting, and informative; and her Scottish accent doesn’t hurt. 🙂
  • AFTA COMICS –  Love listening to this guy. He sounds like the late, great Adam West. May he rest in peace. So yeah, I listen to him tell his stories in his Adam West voice, and I’m entertained, and reminded of the late great Adam West. Really like this channel. Covers great Westerns.
  • CHYCHO – I like his laid back, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response, a belief that sound can soothe, and in addition create states in the listener where information is more readily absorbed) delivery. Nice coverage of everything from Golden Age to moderns. And his overview and understanding of economic systems, reinforced some things I knew, and really opened my eyes on some other things. His post PERSONAL FINANCE:CURRENCY,MONEY,ECONOMY,P2:GOLD should really be required viewing, by pretty much everyone.

  • LUTHER MANNING – Like his CGC hauls
  • ALEX THE COMIC HOARDER- like his upbeat coverage of hauls
  • WINDY CITY COMIC BOOKS (great coverage of classic comic book magazines)
  • GORE VIDAL- Great coverage of Independents, magazines, and hardcovers, with a love for the Spanish and Italian artists. His multi-episode coverage on Dark Horse’s CREPAX is essential viewing. He stopped broadcasting a bit mysteriously a month ago, anyone with his contact info just let us know he is alright.

 

  • GABE INFINITY WATCH – I like his coverage of IDW Artist’s Edition.
  • ISLORD372 – New discovery , I really like his collection coverage video.
  • SUPERJOE – Nice selection of various comics from various eras. And some books I had not seen before.

Honorable mentions:

 

  • COMIC BOOK FANATICS – Shout out to Ray Jr, who left to do a tour in Afghanistan. Stay safe over there,.
  • FOOLKILLER5150 – Appears to be an abandoned channel, but lots of good content still out there.

 

And this installment’s Public Service Announcement – To everyone out there who has an issue with Social Justice Warriors, first learn to use the whole word and not the acronym, second you may want to choose a different medium if you don’t like Social justice Warriors. Because if you are reading Superhero Comics, the first social justice warrior is Superman. Followed quickly by Batman, Shazam, and all the others. The whole of Superhero Comics built on this bedrock of vigilantes, sticking up for the little guy, and taking it to the fat cats, and the corrupt, system. Social Justice Warrior defined.

 

Give love to the channels I mention and be wary of cleaning and pressing a comic. If your comic book is a 4.5, It is a 4.5. The attempt to make it a 5.5 in the short term, can be speeding up the process of making it a 1 in the long term.

Ending this on a positive note you 17 channels are always showing me your hauls and recommends, which I greatly thank you for. You’ve put some great books on my radar. Wanted to return the favor. Below is my list of must own comic books, that I think are WAY undervalued and you can still buy incredibly cheaply and will only go up.

Enjoy!!!

 

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/d/d7/Defenders_Vol_1_52.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080721172925https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/b/b8/Gunhawks_Vol_1_1.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160716135239

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/8/84/Adventure_Comics_Vol_1_431.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20170401041618https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/a/a7/Adventure_Comics_Vol_1_434.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20090202013949https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/0/04/Adventure_Comics_Vol_1_438.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20090202014031https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/0/07/Adventure_Comics_Vol_1_440.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20170430053009https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/786713.jpghttps://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/5/51/Daredevil_Vol_1_126.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080808204134https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/8/80/Daredevil_Vol_1_127.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080808204311https://i0.wp.com/www.strangercomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/asunda-untamed-graphic.jpg

 

DAREDEVIL 126 & 127 – One of the best two parters of all time. I read this back in the day and it still stands up as one of my favorite non-Frank Miller DAREDEVIL comics. TORPEDO is a great bronze age character, and this is him at his best. Sporting great Gil kane covers, and a story by Marv Wolfman (who was also Executive Editor at the time, and art by Bob Brown and Klaus Janson. Wonderful visuals.

THE UNTAMED – Is a beautiful sword and sorcery graphic novel by Sebastian A. Jones and Peter Bergting and Darrell May. From STRANGER COMICS. A quality and very little known collected edition.

DEFENDERS 52- Best Gil Kane Cover. Best done in one story. Best Hulk vs Sub-Mariner fight. One of the Best Keith Giffen and David Kraft co-scripts. From about issue 42 to 52, these guys were on FIRE! Best depiction of the Hulk. Best depiction of Sub-Mariner. Done, done, and done.

ADVENTURE COMICS 431-440 -Michael Fleisher’s stories starring the Spectre, with Jim Aparo art have quite frankly never been surpassed. They are for me, the definitive take on the Spectre as a vengeful Wrath of God, with a more than demented sense of perverse punishments. A lurid and legendary series.

THE SINISTER HOUSE OF SECRET LOVE #1- Dark Shadows meets the House of Mystery? How do you not love that title and that cover. A must own.

I SPY 1-6 – The 60s pushed the envelope in terms of entertainment, writing and scope. Bringing globe trotting adventures into our living room. I SPY along with DANGER MAN/SECRET AGENT MAN and MAN WITH A SUITCASE were some of the best TV shows of the period. to have that great Cosby and Culp series, also as a comic book is a must own. Great photo-covers.

You can get any of the books listed, using the link below. And using the link earns this blog a few pennies to keep the lights on.

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COMICTOM101 vs PGX and We Love Comics?!

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqRVhjeLzR4PErfe_jOqHMA

If you are not watching Youtube channel COMICTOM101, and are a fan of this niche hobby called comic/comic books, you may want to start.

Like I mentioned in previous posts I find myself watching Youtube channels courtesy of streaming platforms like Roku or Amazon Fire, more than I watch regular broadcast or cable programming. And while I watch a variety of topics and channels, from nature shows to woodworking to short films to cooking shows, the number one tyoe of channels I watch is the comic related ones.

This week’s 15 best channels, have changed a tad from my previous posting.

A mainstay WE LOVE COMICS, that has some good advice and tips on his channel, has been bumped because of his antics in PGXgate. As a channel that goes out of his way to speak about integrity, I think his very selective defense of his sponsor PGX is suspect. As is his silence on the subject in light of the questions COMICTOM101 brings to light.

PGX is a certification company that has been involved in suspect story, after suspect story, from (per Bleeding Cool) certifying fradulent copies of Walking Dead as a rare collectible,  to the well known grading issue stories, to the most recent claim of an ex-employee, of plans by the company to sell graded comics under a shill account.

It is that last story, that any user of PGX would be concerned about, that WE LOVE COMICS completely failed to address when bringing into question the claims, of a ‘possibly disgruntled’ employee.

Especially when WE LOVE COMICS goes out of his way to say he talks to the owner over the phone, and not to address that issue and other issues, such as the WALKING DEAD fiasco,  has to call into question any claims of impartiality.

And look, I don’t really have a dog in the certification fight.

While a long time comic book fan, I’ve always looked at slabbing of books (encasing them in plastic once graded) very skeptically, regardless of the company.

Only this year, 2018, have I really decided that for me, for select books that I already have in either a collected or reprint format, that having the original issue of a select, upwardly mobile, original bronze or silver or golden age comic, can be a smart addition to a long term collection or investment.

I still think slabbing modern day comics is suspect at best. But that is an argument for another day,

Anyhow, So from 0 certified comics at the beginning of 2018, I now have 10 of them. So still a very modest graded collection. Nine CGC titles and 1 CBCS title.

I went with CGC because of its long standing history, and the fact that the books are easily bought and sold on Ebay and other channels. Also because of their reputation.

Because especially when it comes to trusting someone to grade your comics, reputation is everything. CGC is not perfect, it has issues, as does CBCS. I prefer to just buy already certified books, than goes through the delay and cost of sending my own books in. A smart shopper can get a slabbed book at a very affordable price on the secondary market.

I’ve bought a total of eleven books, one I had to return for a refund, for obvious pressing issues visible from outside of the slabbed book. Pressing is another practice I have issues with, as it damages the comic long term, to get it to get a higher grade in the short term. That is also an argument for another day.

Back on track, the ten books i have that are graded with none of the books costing me over a $110 in already certified condition, is not a bad deal at all.

Now, the one company I actually sent books to, via a convention was CBCS, and I ended up canceling that order, because of the delay time, and was charged $28 to get my books back, and received one of them back water damaged. Possibly not innocently so.

And again I researched all 3 of the certifying companies, CGC, CBCS, and PGX, not content to listen to just rumors.

But yes from personal experience I have no plans to go through the hassle of getting anything certified via CBCS. If i get it via the secondary market fine, but me dealing with that process, not so much.

PGX from research one, had a lot of shady stories attached to their name, but they were older stories. That maybe you could chalk up to growing pains. But years into their business model and new stories of concern pop up to add to the existing story.

I recently just came across the Walking Dead story, and to follow that up with these pretty damning accusations of a ‘let go’ employee, is cause for questions. Especially when you see the questions the company should be answering they are avoiding.And i saw that video from WE LOVE COMICS where he did hint at drug use being the reason a PGX employee was let go.

And for WE LOVE COMIS and PGX to now backtrack from that when called on it by COMICTOM101, does not fill one with confidence in either the company PGX, or their ‘impartial’ spokesperson WE LOVE COMICS.

Based on CoMICTOM101’s great reporting, for me the PGX question is answered in regards to the question of whether graded items from them should be avoided.

Now can they right the ship? Absolutely.. But it would seem it would need to be an overhaul and transparency from top to bottom. With the leadership paying to staff the company with recognized and respected graders. Once that A team of great vetted graders is in place, and an established perhaps third party inspection of their grading and database process is in place, you do the hard part of restoring your name. You own up to perhaps not doing it right in the first place, and not planning it right in the present. But a willingness to correct it in the future. To own up to any incidents that could be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as an attempt to scam people. If the employee in question who was let go was correct, hire him (or them, since it sounds like it was more than one let go) back.

And the number one thing you to to restore your reputation, and this is going to hurt, you offer a recall and free regrading of every PGX book out there in the wild. Yes it is expensive, yes it is going to require real graders, yes you are going to put yourself in the red in the short term. And yes it is absolutely the right thing to do, to restore customer confidence.

 

Do i expect PGX to do that? Based on their history, absolutely not. I expect them to continue doing what they have been, making income where they can, however given the prevalence and the increasing number of negative stories around PGX’s name, it is not a path I see as sustainable for them.

I, to speak for myself, as i said the verdict is in. I’ll not be buying any PGX books or their sertification process. And I find any channel that advertises sending your books to PGX without addressing the issues, is not impartial, and has to be viewed as a paid commercial for the company, rather than anyone with any real concern for the comic book community.

 

I would like to be wrong in that assumption, but given how the ground currently lays, I do not see it.

 

That’s all for now, and come back tomorrow for my installment on this week’s recommendations of the TOP 15 Youtube Comic Book Channels!

 

 

Classic COMIC BOOK Comic & Cover of the Day: BATMAN and TEEN TITANS

Today’s classic comic cover (alliteration is your friend) is a Jim Aparo cover from writer Bob Haney’s crazy 1970s run on BRAVE AND THE BOLD. This is one of the best books DC was putting out back in the 70s, and even back then the stories were outrageous non sequiturs, diverging wildly from established DC tropes of storytelling and often character. I loved Bob Haney’s stories, and being even of their time the stories were out of their time, and therefore remain oddly timeless.

Brave_and_the_Bold_v.1_149lrg

This particular cover and comic of the day is BRAVE AND THE BOLD #149, from 1979, starring BATMAN in conflict with the TEEN TITANS, and titled ‘LOOK HOMEWARD, RUNAWAY’. Both the absurd and highly entertaining writing of Bob Haney and fluid and graceful art of Jim Aparo are at full gallop in this fun story.

If interested grab a copy here!

Enjoy till next time!