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!