LAST UPDATED - 02/13/2023
I collect just about anything under the sun if it has a cover that can hold my attention. Of course, it wasn't always that way. My initial foray into golden age books were those with jungle GGA covers. Any book that had a dramatic Rulah cover (All Top 8, Zoot 11, Rulah 17) was on my want list. Hence, my first few books were Rulah books. But the more I looked for these type of books, and the more I conversed with experienced collectors, the more I became enlightened to all genres of the golden age. I began to recognize (and appreciate) the signature artwork styles of Lou Fine, L.B. Cole, Frazetta, DeCarlo, and of course, Matt Baker. I wanted any comic with front cover art from these artists. I also wanted those comics that had the most ghastly horror covers, and the most shocking crime covers, and the most brutal war covers, and so forth and so on. Sometimes I will buy books for the stories regardless of the cover art. The Kit West stories from Cow Puncher are a blast to read. The stories from Farmers Daughter and Dizzy Dames are an absolute hoot! The stories from Lawbreakers Suspense are just downright macabre. So overall, its easy for me to say that my collecting habits never did fine focus. However, for whatever reason, I never did gravitate to classical superhero comics (Batman, Superman, Flash, etc).
It quickly became apparent to me that I had to manage the type (quality) of books I was going to buy in order to cover the quantity that I wanted to buy. I wanted nice books, but not so overly nice that I had to limit my buying. I became quite content with books in the 5.0 to 8.0 range. That is why nearly most of my collection falls in that range. I have very few really high grade books, and you can pretty much count those on one hand. I also have very few low grade books as well, but sometimes (after years of searching) if that was the best I could get, then so be it. I also quickly learned that when an opportunity presents itself to acquire an obscure rare book that you personally find covetable, you have to grab it. Roughly ten years ago, I had a chance to buy a real nice copy of a canadian white LUCKY V5 #9. I did not know much about canadian comics then (and still don't for the most part), and I had never seen that particular cover, but I remember it vividly and it stuck with me ever since. The cover had Piltdown Pete, sitting on a chair, puffing on a cigar, with a very attractive woman sitting on his lap. And beneath the two of them, laying on the floor, was this little guy also puffing on a cigar. The entire cover color scheme had this darkish yellow red hue to it, but the woman was in a bright white dress. There was a real nice contrast in colors that was in play there. Wow, what a book. The price was a little high, but not crazy high. I have never had the opportunity to buy another one since. Why oh why did I pass on it. *%#)$*!
I do feel that there is a niche and a need for the services CGC provides to the hobby. Granted, I don’t always agree with the grades they give out (and I don’t know anyone who always does), but I do find there restoration and conservation checks to be invaluable. If I am buying a CGC book with a universal label, I am confident it is unrestored. If they do miss something, then it is something I would have missed too. And I do feel that when I buy a CGC book, the grade will be at least in the ballpark. I never worry that I am going to by a CGC 6.0 book, and receive what I would consider to be a 4.5. And if I am buying a very expensive book, I feel more comfortable if it was graded, rather than to assume the risk if it wasn’t (I have been burned before). Nonetheless, most of my books were acquired in their raw state, as that is how they were for sale in the open market when I purchased (or traded) for them. About four years ago, I decided that it might be in my best interest to start slabbing them. I figured if I was ever in a pinch, they would be easier to sell that way. It took a long time to slab most of my books, mostly because of my worriment about shipping too many books at once. What if it fell off the shipping truck? And then what if a car ran over it? Or what if it got stolen out of the USPS or Fed-Ex location? What if, what if, what if. It’s ingrained in me to question anything and everything about any process, and so I think about all of the things that could go wrong when a package is in transit (and it has me quite spooked). So 15 is my number. That is the maximum number of books I am willing to lose once I ship them off. Four years later, most of my books are now graded.
Since the majority of my books were submitted to CGC through my account, I do have grader notes on a large number of them. Those that I submitted over 3 years ago, I might not have access to the notes (depends if I can locate the appropriate invoice number). However, if you are interested in the graders notes, I would be happy to provide it if I have it available.
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