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Charlie Kim is a designer who is currently transitioning into teaching. While working for various companies, he helped develop many international brands such as the Hong Kong Airport identity, Lenovo’s sponsorship program for the Beijing Olympics and Lavasa, a new city being developed in India. Locally, he's also worked on the 1998 campaign for the Canadian Opera Company, the Canadian Innovations stamp for Canada Post and the terrible Grand & Toy re-brand (hey, they can't all be winners). Charlie’s love affair with art and design all began with comics.

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Charlie

April 26, 2017 / / Nut Shell 5 Comments

Speaking of milestones, both DC and Marvel Comics celebrated their 75th Anniversary during the past several years. DC Comics was officially founded in 1934 and Marvel Comics back in 1939. Despite all the promotions and industry events, anecdotally speaking, the 75th Anniversary of DC and Marvel seems to have been met with indifference among collectors, with very little recognition on…

March 23, 2017 / / Nut Shell 39 Comments

Last updated on April 11th, 2017 at 07:37 amI’ve got a lot of things I’d like to discuss but I’m gonna have to put that on the back burner because this past weekend was the Toronto ComiCon, 2017! I usually split a booth with someone but this year I went solo, although I did have someone to help watch my…

February 16, 2017 / / Nut Shell 4 Comments

In Part 1 we looked at various criteria that helped to identify “quality” books as potential investment vehicles. In this follow up, we’ll examine some common traits that may, or may not exist as we continue the discussion with a look at some esoteric qualities. There’s a lot to cover so let’s jump right in. Not too long ago, there…

February 1, 2017 / / Nut Shell 7 Comments

If you’ve read any of my past posts, then you’ve read me drone on about buying “quality keys” versus “junk keys”, and yet I’ve avoided trying to define what I meant by “quality”. Many of you probably rolled your eyes and just assumed I was referring to the big Silver Age keys, and for the most part, you would be…

December 28, 2016 / / Nut Shell 9 Comments

An inherent part of collecting is being able to show-off your books, but having been blessed with astute sensitivity, I’m far above this crass behaviour. I kid, of course. I’m rarely above anything and this is Boxing Week 2016! As I wrote in the past, the younger version of me would plan a solo mission in advance and spend December…

December 14, 2016 / / Nut Shell 7 Comments

I’m back with part two of my list of recommendations. Similar to part one, you’ll find some dark themes, mind benders, thrillers and more sensitive, introspective stories to enjoy. These are books that I feel deserve recognition for being stellar examples of hard work and vision… or just plain old fun. Silverfish Story and Art: David Lapham Mia Fleming does…

December 7, 2016 / / Nut Shell 7 Comments

Being a slow reader with many interests means that my “to-read” list is an ongoing work in progress. I recently made a push to chip away at my massive list and so, in another two part write up, I thought I’d share with you some of the highlights. Many of these books have been properly reviewed already by fellow CBD…

November 16, 2016 / / Nut Shell 2 Comments

In part one of this write up, I briefly looked at the changing demographic and the response from Marvel and DC. I also discussed the growing Asian influence, specifically from one Chinese company, who is making serious inroads into Hollywood and whose predictions about the Chinese market is only a few years away. All this has me thinking about which…

November 9, 2016 / / Nut Shell 3 Comments

A gay Green Lantern, a Korean Hulk and a female Thor. Marvel and DC have been working overtime to appear more inclusive these days, but are these changes simply about appearing more politically correct? For the longest time, Canada had an immigration policy where they would only let in people who “looked like us”. When my family landed, way back…

September 28, 2016 / / Nut Shell 13 Comments

Back in early February, I noted that sales during the past holiday were slow and that the back issue market appeared to be trending down. I wondered if comics had peaked, which did not sit well with the faithful. My write up turned out to be somewhat polarizing but it also brought fourth some interesting ideas and view points in…

September 14, 2016 / / Nut Shell 16 Comments

Last updated on May 2nd, 2017 at 02:12 pm Another Fan Expo has come and gone, and this year, I had the good fortune of being able to set up as a vendor. In the past, I’ve set up at both the spring and winter show but I’ve always avoided the summer Fan Expo due to the high cost. However,…

August 24, 2016 / / Nut Shell 20 Comments

When it comes to investment comics, here’s what we know: The growth trajectory isn’t a simple ramp but rather an exponential curve and higher grades can offer higher yields.   Serious hardcore comic investors like to dabble in high grade books that can range from $20,000 to $300,000. I’m sure most of these buyers and sellers are well off and…

July 13, 2016 / / Nut Shell 8 Comments

When I’m out and about, one of the things I like to do is pop into the used book store. Not only can you find some really good deals, but you can also find some unique items as well. In the past, I’ve been fortunate enough to find rare out of print material from my childhood that I just wanted…

May 16, 2016 / / Nut Shell 3 Comments

Darwyn Cooke was an award winning artist, born in Toronto, and celebrated for such works as Catwoman, Justice League: The New Frontier and Richard Stark’s Parker series. It was announced this past Saturday morning that he had passed on at the young age of 53 due to lung cancer. A huge shock to the community considering news of his illness…

April 11, 2016 / / Nut Shell 6 Comments

The online market has turned many collectors into dealers who prefer to focus solely on the more lucrative first appearance of popular characters, adding to the competition for “key” books. But unless you have access to a stockpile of “key” books, your inventory of resalable books will eventually run out. As such, sellers have had to utilize a variety methods…

April 4, 2016 / / Nut Shell 3 Comments

If you’re old as I am, then you’ve been around long enough to notice change. One of the most notable changes that we can point to is how and what we consume on television, and nowhere is this more apparent than within the Star Trek franchise. It’s true that technology has been accelerating, giving creed to Moore’s law, resulting in…

March 7, 2016 / / Nut Shell 10 Comments

I was at a local shop last month wanting to buy an X-Men #120. The book was certified by CGC as a 9.0 but the slab was cracked and scuffed so I thought maybe I could negotiate a deep discount. But instead, the store owner (let’s call him John) was asking double the market value. John explained that he had…

February 1, 2016 / / Nut Shell 72 Comments

If you troll the auction sites as much as I do then you’ve noticed something interesting lately. It’s hard to account for every book but many of our favourite keys seem to be levelling out and some even trending downward. The value of books like New Mutants #98, Batman Adventures #12 and even the mighty bellwether, the Hulk #181 at…

January 11, 2016 / / Nut Shell 12 Comments

It was a year ago that I went hunting for deals during Boxing Day. I end up with a handful of cheap keys, all purchased under $5. One of the books that I picked up, Adventure into Fear #19, was warped and stained due to moisture. At about the same time, my good friend Mike came over to trade some…