Event Auction Highlight: More from the Toy Box Comic Collection
By Arthur G. Ciesielczyk
A couple of years ago I approached Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Comics with most of my complete toy line collections. He marketed them in such a wonderful way that I wanted to give him a chance to sell my CGC comic collection. Vincent said that I could say a few words about the collection you are about to see. Here goes nothing.
My favorite comic book artists were John Romita, Sr., Gil Kane, and my personal favorite, Neal Adams.
You will see a lot of their cover work here. In the year 2000, CGC appeared on the scene. I thought that comics would finally be graded like currency or baseball cards, meaning that mis-cuts, off centering, crooked labeling would all knock the comic’s grade off. I started looking at “raw” comic books different. Any little flaw like frayed corners or spine stress, and I would take a pass. Don’t even get me started on “arrival dates” stamped in ink on comic covers. I turned down a beautiful mint copy of Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76 with the incredible Neal Adams cover because someone had put an arrival date stamp in the shattering lantern (should have still bought it). What I am trying to say in so many words is that I was concerned that CGC wouldn’t be so kind to books that I considered flawed books. It appears they are not as strict as in the Baseball card hobby. I tried only to buy the best that I could find. I really disliked the look of a comic with the cover wrapped around the front of the book. You won’t find many of those in this collection. What you will see are nice runs of 20 cent Avengers, Amazing Spider-man, and my favorite super-hero, Captain America.
I waited a couple of years to start having my books graded. How did I know that I would get the same comic book back that I had submitted? I would get about 10 comics from my collection graded a year. Some were hits, and some were misses. I found out the hard way that you look at your own books with “loving” eyes, not with an independent third party set of grader’s eyes. I learned to pay a few bucks or buy lunches to have someone double-check the books that I was going to send in. It was well worth the impartial feedback.
I started buying CGC graded books on eBay. It seemed that there were numerous copies of most of the books that I was looking for, but people seemed to be competing for them. Let me tell you, winning auctions get addicting. I was buying so much from the same buyer that he would even give me a list of books and grades before he listed them on eBay. I made it worth his while. I also learned to send people want-lists, a nice way to network for toy and magazines and anything else under the sun
Well, it looks like comic book grading is here to stay. Some people are of the opinion that they even saved the comic book industry. My personal opinion is I don’t know enough. I have a lot of 9.4s that looked like perfect 9.6s to me, so to each their own. I really hope that you find something in this collection that excites you as much as it excited me when I first opened that box from CGC and held my graded treasures in my hands for the first time so many years ago. Happy Collecting!
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