A Tale of Two Piles And Hitting Send

Hot Book

Yesterday Jay, our guy who runs ICE, texted me and told me the next time I’m in the warehouse to look for Daredevil #270. Apparently, it’s blown up thanks to it having the first appearance of Blackheart in it. This was doing to be my first test as to whether putting all those boxes into numerical sequence was a good idea or not. Great news! It works! It took me all of 2 minutes, moving a total of 4 boxes, to fish out 19 fresh looking copies. As I mentioned before, I plan to leave these boxes as is and venture into them when needed, such as on this DD #270 mission.

Notice how even light wants to avoid this corner

It’s never good to gloat so to remind myself I’m not that smart I took a couple of pictures of the “other” pile in the warehouse. Those 1,100 plus bins in sequential order are like an oasis of calm when compared to the 500 plus box corner of chaos that still has to be dealt with.

These boxes are going to be really tough to get through, its mostly stuff from the last 20 years and there are a lot of odds and sods, lots of single issues randomly thrown into long boxes. Perhaps a few little gems will come out of these, I figure we’ll need a gem or two every third of fourth box just to keep us motivated to push through them all.

With these boxes, I’m going to pick out SUV loads into stacks and try to sell them bulk to someone that has the time to give each book that second look. With this pile, the priority will be to have a good comb through as to not miss anything big and then to move the boxes out of the space any way we can, back to the store as $2 bins, some quality $5 bins for local cons (when they come back) and bulk sales to the brave souls willing to take them on.

I’d like to get this area of the warehouse down to a more manageable 200 plus boxes by the fall but we all know what happens to the best-made plans.

We had a bit of a discussion in the comments of last week’s post that touched on the topics of submitting to CGC, grading comics and cleaning and pressing comics. I think all three topics deserve their own attention. I’d like to start with the CGC submission process as it was the first one that came up in the comments. So we’ll just visit the submitting, we’ll leave the grading and the pressing and the cleaning. I think Chris Owen and I will be tackling either grading or pressing and cleaning on the Comic Culture podcast this Wednesday.

Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario is a CGC Drop Off Depot, in other words, we have an account and submit books for grading regularly. We try to send one load down every month, sometimes the grind and time flying by too fast get in the way but we are good for 10 shipments a year anyway.

I recommend you find a local shop that you trust and that is well organized and well versed in shipping down to CGC. This way the process is really easy for you, you want into the shop, fill out a form and I recommend taking close-up picks of the covers just in case another customer is sending down the same book in that batch.

You can go it alone and set up an account but volume becomes an issue, shipping there and especially shipping back is very expensive, especially to Canada. A returning box with 25 graded books in it costs $180 USD shipping. This works out to just over $7 per book while sending 2 books costs around $65 USD to get back or over $32 per book. High shipping costs can be justified on high-value books but not on books with more modest values. Your local comic shop can pool your books and send them when you can have the cheapest return shipping. Books are graded and shipped in tiers so it’s not just volume of books, you may have 14 books to send but only 2 might be in the Standard tier, these 2 books would have to be pooled with other Standard books from other customers until 20 or so could be shipped down at once. Sometimes your book may have to sit at the comic shop shipping shelves for several weeks until enough books are accumulated.

CGC prices their grading service based on submitted fair market value. The CGC pricing schedule including current turnaround times is available here. Notice how long you have to wait to get your stuff graded and that’s only after they “receive” your shipment into their system, your boxes could sit on their docks for three weeks before being “received” into their system. And they do watch the “fair market value”, though they aren’t sticklers, if you put a $500 value book into the $400 tier they will let it go as the values are subjective to current data which is always changing, just don’t try and sent a $3,500 Hulk #181 and try to sneak it into the $1,000 tier, they’ll call you on it and charge you the higher fee.

I have no affiliation to CGC nor do I get any preferential treatment so I can freely say that the service they provide the collecting hobby is the key to the whole thing. For the current level of commerce to be happening and for the incredible prices being reached by graded comic collectibles you need a third-party grader that the market accepts and trusts. Yes, there are examples where they miss the ball but weighed against the millions of books they’ve graded I’d say they are doing a fine job, actually, it doesn’t matter what I say, just have a look around at the results eBay, Heritage etc.

Back to submissions. Each comic shop will have a different procedure for customers submitting through them. Again, your books will be taken, a form will be filled out, and again we suggest some close-up pictures be taken as often two people may submit the same book on a shipment. You may be asked to pay all the fees upfront. Some shops, like ours, take payment when you come to get your books.

Shipping from Canada to CGC is problematic. We ship items that are going to have a service provided on them and normally we just ship them down at a lower declared value to avoid large value flags at the border. We can choose higher insurance options when shipping down things like Amazing Fantasy #15 etc. When the items come back the value declared at the border is the value of the services rendered on the books as the books were not purchased, they are just coming back after being encapsulated. A courier like Fed Ex acts as your broker.

I was a bit disjointed in my summary but I think I touched on the more important parts. Use a trusted shop that has a well-established routine of sending things to CGC, you don’t have to do any work but you do have to be comfortable with the shop you are using. All submission forms can be filled online so if you are not comfortable with your comic shop you can set up an account, enter your order, package your books and employ a courier like Fed Ex or UPS to get the books safely there and back.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1714


  1. Congrats on the find. If the market keeps humming this looks like a gold mine.

    Great summary on CGC submission, not disjointed at all. I would point out that you should check your LCS’s rates against rolling your own. A few years ago I asked Midtown Comics in Manhattan about doing this, and the sticker shock was severe. Unless you are in a hurry it might make sense to accumulate and ship on your own. This hobby is measured in decades…

    “I have no affiliation to CGC …” I could not agree more with this paragraph. There are various standard complaints or conspiracy theories about CGC, and they are simply trivial or nonsensical. Think about the amount of work and material you get out of that $35 cost of slabbing – it is a major bargain, and it is making your collection far more valuable and salable.

    Some prospectors made a fortune in the SF gold rush, most lost money and many died. Who made consistent money? The pick axe and pan salesmen. This is CGC’s (and its symbiotic partner Heritage’s) business model. Collectors and speculators are the prospectors. We work against the odds, but we are getting our pickaxes and pans at a bargain price, and they are very good quality.

    I guess the market is too small, but it seems to me that GPA should be part of this axis, and Heritage/GPA/CGC should work a bit harder to make data available to the end user. I think this would further increase turnover and demand for that data – more profits for them and better data for the end user. I can’t tell you how many hours I could have saved if I could have linked to CGC’s census directly rather than look book-by-book through their clunky interface. (Heritage’s searchable results are very useful for raw books, I would point out.)

    Looking forward to your take on non-resto resto as this is a much more controversial topic.

  2. Nice work on the Gold Rush comparison, Chris. Merchants indeed! It’s also a familiar comparison because I live in that former Gold Rush area, here in the Sierras in Northern California. We have old mines everywhere here.

    I didn’t realize the shipping issues (cost & customs) you have in and out of Canada, on CGC submissions. But we are faced with that here in the U.S…just on a smaller scale. Shipping cost is an issue on all the books we bring in, and keeping it low for customers going back out to them, without losing money.

    Walter, I use a freight forwarder for shipping to my “foreign” customers, from here in the U.S. into Canada and overseas. It costs me a bit less than $4 per pound, a huge bargain over using the post office. They pick up multiple boxes from us once or twice a week, via FedEx, but Fedex is on the initial courier, not the forwarder themselves. You may or may not have the volume to qualify, but with online comic sales, perhaps you do. More important, they offer tracking but not insurance. Since we sell new books which are mostly replaceable, that’s not an issue. We essentially self-insure. But its a deal breaker for you and expensive comics…

  3. Chris, Thanks so much for the feedback last week. You clearly are following more auction sites than I am, but I will differ with you on MyComicShop Prime vs Heritage. I think Heritage gets higher results, I haven’t done a study, but I look at EVERY auction from both companies. I try and BUY in those same auctions, and Heritage results have, in my mind, are higher. That said, I look at Golden Age ONLY, so I’m not seeing entire universe of sales. Lately, Heritage Gold is at the Tulip Craze level at times, Overstreet is out the window.

    I value the idea that anything (that oner is selling) over $200 should be slabbed. Interesting…

    That said, Heritage sells far more high end books in its auctions, week in and week out, so I’d say the market has made the decision for us. I love MyComicShop, but even with their lower commission, they don’t get anything close to the volume of better books that Heritage gets. The non-Prime, weekly auctions at MyComicShop are only for low grade books and bargain hunters, most of the time.

    But I find it very interesting that you see essentially the same results no matter the sales point, EBay, Heritage, etc. I don’t survey the other outfits like you do, so that is very good to know.

    Oh, and one more thing. I hope I don’t get a letter from some attorney, but one of the auction houses we are discussing, I feel strongly from personal experience…they overgrade their raw books. Not by a lot, but they do, maybe a third to half a grade. Often you can even see it looking at a book online, at cover creases and stress marks on the spine.

    Also, with no statement of paper quality on those same raw books, you’re buying a pig in a poke (is that how they say it?). I got a book recently graded 6.0 Fine, raw, and it had tiny cover chips but I could see those…Open it up, there’s serious tanning/darkening on the inside covers, serious oxidation. MyComicShop would have stated that in their description. If that isn’t hidden, and unaccounted for, I don’t know what is…

    Thanks for taking this encapsulation issue on, Walter. I look forward to yours and everyone’s comments. I obviously have a lot to learn.

    PS: I know at least one dealer who endlessly rants against CGC and the entire slabbing market. But he also always overgraded his books (one customer called it, “overgraded and overpriced”). I bought a restored book from him, way, way back in the early days, that he even denied seeing when I brought it up. It was obvious even to a novice like me. So, yes, encapsulation levels the playing field. I have another buddy, a Golden Age collector, who has far too many restored books bought off of Ebay, all undeclared as such. He didn’t know how to catch it and still doesn’t.

  4. Great stuff! I assumed FedEx would be my choice to send books. The USP has been less then adequate this last year… I have tracked purchases that went on weird journeys around the country which defy explanation! Now as for insurance… should it be insured for what I expect to get out of it if I sold it or more? What if I don’t know its worth… CGC will contact me I guess fir further funds. I know I have some books that will be worth at least a couple thousand USD… I was thinking of submitting one and see how it goes… but should it be several… and sending several of my books through any carrier still gives me anxiety! I do have a friend who says I can use his account… but he also told me he recently received back a book that took 10 months to get back ( although that was an isolated case). I also wonder about my packaging, as I want to make sure its not damaged in transit! I will await all your expert advice to someone who has never done this before but has been convinced by all my friends here ( it was actually Mr. Meli who last year who really convinced me I should take the plunge)!

  5. Some thoughts…

    First: Walt, great job on the article, very informative but I’m still scared to send books across the border, what with all their bad weather and such. Too bad CGC didn’t have a satellite grading service in Canada to save on cross-border costs and hassle.

    As for your warehouse box purchase, it seems like you’re pulling some serious value out of those boxes. Good on you. (:

    Second: Thanks to all the commenters. Your replies strike on further things I hadn’t of. Since I usually buy, generally, poor to fair books that look better than they would grade, I’m not sure if I have the value needed to make it worthwhile.

    Third: Hulk 181 sells for $3,500.? OMG! I’m not up on newer comics, but I wished I owned a couple of dozen of these.

  6. Ooops…

    In my previous post, I left out the word ‘thought’, when I said replies strike on things I hadn’t thought of. I guess I wasn’t thinking.

    Looking at CGC’s price list, I noticed the quickest turnaround is on the big money books, which is where their commissions lie. Evidentally, they ARE thinking. (:

  7. Hey I like this meaty discussion!

    Klaus – Hulk #181??? – you’ve got to step into the 21st century at some point dude. But I am having a hard time with this book too – a kind of ugly 9.4 for $15.6k in January, up from many $9.5k sales in December??? Let the good times roll.

    Bud, I am not going to fight with you about Heritage (HA) vs. the others, especially these days when like you say, we might be in a tulip craze. I will say that I think it might be hard to compare HA and MyComicShop (MA) for anything before Bronze Age, because MCS offers so little decent Gold/Silver any more. A few years ago I looked forward to MCS’s “Prime” auctions because I did think you could get some bargains now and again, but recently there hasn’t been anything old worth bidding on. I of course almost never buy raw – you can read my bias above – but thinking about this I might agree that HA can do better than MCS in low-grade GA raw. On the other hand, the “MCS always undergrades” lore seems to be common knowledge at this point, driving up MCS prices by grade – check out how fast raw high-end GA books sell when MCS post them directly (not as consignments). So even more complexity in comparing Heritage and MCS.

    My point was more about graded GA/SA books. Again, it is possible that HA does do somewhat better, but without discounted commissions I don’t think it’s possible that the seller does better. However if HA’s service and turnaround are worth it to you, all in it might be worth it. The auction lead time for ComicConnect is minimum two months, and it is a trial to get your books to them, so maybe you get what you pay for.

    Speaking of …, I certainly can imagine they overgrade. As I have no skill in this I can’t point fingers. The few times I buy raw are when the book is so cheap I don’t care about overgrading, or so rare and so low-grade that it kind of doesn’t matter. Otherwise I leave it to the rest of the folks to take their chances. And like you say, the more aggressive the overgrader, the more they hate slabbing because it “ruins” the hobby. Yes probably ruining it for them, but for the mass of collectors it means more turnover and selection which benefits them on whole.

    Gerald, I would not trust USPS with really valuable stuff, I have received many crushed Priority Mail boxes. FedEx takes better care of packages, but these days FedEx will throw a “signature required” package worth as much as a car on your doorstep and take off without even ringing the bell. To my point about steps in transit to Sarasota – it isn’t quite the Pony Express, but it sure doesn’t feel very modern. Personally I would diversify submissions – as insurance will end up costing you a lot more than shipping, better to send five packages worth 2k each than one worth 10k and have it disappear, even if insured. But I will keep up my convincing argument that if you want to get the real value out of high end books, you will have to take the risk (and have the patience) to get them graded.

  8. It is very interesting reading the commentary of the concerns of grading from Canadians, these are the same concerns I have over in Australia. The shipping and taxes and time is just too great, all in order to deprive the comic of it’s intended purpose – to move it from readable art to a tradable commodity. I always have a snicker at the commentary on the header ‘off-white pages’ or ‘white pages’….why bother, we as a community have just ensured that no one will see those splash pages again!

    To me the greatest thing to come from grading is the grading chart! the ability to read the descriptive chart, look at a comic and then say ‘yes, this is a 7.5’ is very valuable…In the majority of cases we don’t any more! Vital when you receive in the mail a 5.0 and it was advertised as 9.0 (although I’d love to hear an argument over 9.2 vs 9.4 – it would be hilarious!!!)

    So thank you everyone for the thought-provoking comments and Walt, again, thank you for your wisdom & education.

  9. Vibrant forum guy, I like it.

    Chris, great analogy to the Gold Rush, hits it right on the head. And I do agree that Heritage outperforms the others overall but like you said, they sell it for more but you end up with roughly the same so…

    Bud, I know a guy in Kitchener that runs a trucking business and is tied into the freight forwarding, I’ll look into it with him to see if there are times we can benefit from the service – thanks!

    Gerald, you can’t avoid the anxiety I’m afraid, you either do it or you don’t and if you do you will fret and pace until you see the Fed Ex tracking number say Delivered !

    We overlook the benefits CGC can give to the low grade collectors who don’t encapsulate their books. I know a few old timers who’ve followed my advice by buying low grade CGC graded Golden Age and then cracking them open upon arrival. Just think about snagging that – say – World’s Finest #45 at a CGC 2.5 Blue Label with Off White to White pages. When it comes in and you crack it you get to handle a complete, unrestored, non brittle comic you love and get to slip it in between that #44 and #46 you’ve enjoyed for years. In the lower grades CGC doesn’t get the seller any premium, in some cases it actually hurts the seller, a CGC 5.5 will never be a 6.0 but that same book raw being called a 6.0/6.5 might have made you spend a bit more on it.

  10. All great comments, and, as always, Walter, very honest and informative.

    It costs more to ship items in Canada than it does to ship the same item from Canada to the US.

    I also see little difference between auction houses, eBay, etc. The difference may be the Buy It Now prices on eBay which may not be keeping pace with recent values realized at auctions, Hulk 181 comes to mind.

    Walter, a good comic to talk about regarding pressing, cleaning may be The Mile High copy of Boy Comics 17, which you can find at three very different slabbed grades on Heritage. Noticeably whiter and better looking each time.

  11. Alex, now that’s an eye-opener on the Boy #17. Strange business!

    Hey Spider, is that an Eames chair for your avatar? The family’s daughter or maybe it’s a granddaughter, is a wonderful lady with a sweet young family and married to a huge Alice in Wonderland collector…That was my tie-in. I slept at their place once, out in the Napa area of N. Calif, in room filled with old Eames chairs on display….

    Chris…yes indeedy, MyComicShop grades harder than CGC, so I guess the secret is out. But they do slip up every so often, and then it’s a disappointment to get a VG that is, well, really a VG or VG-. The strangest thing is, they call a fully split spine poor, right along with coverless and pages-out books, the same poor. So the smart folks look hard at those.

    I would not, but you could run tape on those, get those covers back together, and isn’t that a GD or GD+ with a taped spine? I don’t get it.

    My pet peeve is now NG, No Grade. Why would anyone pay for that and it tells you nothing about the book.

    That’s nearly as bad as a coverless book with no details: if you don’t have scans of both sides, is it a nice, clean copy, or beat up? With coverless Centaurs and pre-Batman Detectives and New Adventures and More Funs getting several hundred dollars or more these days, that’s meaningful. My Captain America #1 was the former, a nice tight VG with xerox color covers. It’s was the closest I got to a complete copy, and I liked it! Cost me $400, a couple decades ago.

    Walter, your World’s Finest #45 is a perfect example. That’s the kind of stuff I buy, as do my two 85-year-old comic book buddies who grew up reading Golden Age as kids. We all love restored, slabbed books too (“minor color touch” indeed. I can’t see it). Unfortunately, I’ve gotten lazy and I’ve built up a lot of books still in slabs, that I would normally break out right away and enjoy. It’s a hassle with the new slabs that are more secure. When I upgrade, I’ve already seen what’s inside. I’m so ashamed when my slab-cracking friends see what’s still encased…But they do look kinda nice all protected and safe. OMG, I’m coming over to the Dark Side…

  12. If you guys want a real eye-opener check out “CGC grader mishandling Superman #1” on Youtube! You will never want to trust them with your books ever again! If this is how these characters handle a half million dollar book, I’m out!

  13. Wowie zowie Mel! I hadn’t see that.

    Here are some links:


    In particular read CatmanAmerica’s story on the third page of the CBC comments.

    Interesting to me how a few “seasoned veterans” on the CGC board defend this, while everybody else is appalled. Count me as appalled.

    HOWVER, while I don’t WANT to trust CGC with my books (I don’t want to trust anybody with my books!), I WILL send them my books to grade for a couple of reasons:

    1) On the whole, if I want to sell a book, and it is a $200+ book, on average it is going to be better for me to have it slabbed. (I get Bud’s/Walt’s points about lower value of slabbing for low grade books, but I won’t cede it completely – the slabbing is telling you if the book is complete, if there is resto (which will even drive down the value of low grade books), etc.). Yes CGC might hurt books here and there, but on the other hand, if I get back a 9.8, there is no way I would get the same price for that book if it hadn’t been slabbed. On average I am convinced that I come out ahead.

    2) I would rather store my high-end books for years in a CGC case than in a flimsier way. Maybe I could, at some expense, do something sort of equivalent on my own, but if the endgame is a sale, I am still going to need to go through the CGC process anyway, and the long delay could be an issue. And since the mishandling is presumably a crapshoot, what good is delaying? At best you could take the word of the CBCS board writers that Steve Borock is a saint, but at this point CBCS isn’t going to get me the same sales result for the same grade, so again I will take my chances.

  14. Walter !

    this has been a great forum so far . I literally have thousands of CPV’s , all in high grade , which I bought new off the newsstands back in the day . I was always picky about cover alignment , staple placements , etc . all were put away unread and have been untouched in 40 years . I’m going to retire in 7 years , and these are going to help my retirement . I bought every title that Marvel and DC put out . getting them all graded will be a huge undertaking . other than the obvious choices of titles like ASM and Batman , which would you recommend getting done . I’m sure most of my books will grade out at 9.6 and 9.8’s !

  15. Chris, I was told to sell prior to retirement as the government will claw back all of your pension as well as a sizable chunk of your profit as capital gains tax, especially if you don’t have receipts for what you paid. I retired 5 years ago so it’s too late for me. The clawback can go back to previous years, so you could lose multiple years of pension. Then there’s income tax on top of that. That should kill just about any profit you hoped to have for retirement.

  16. Chris Meli: ‘This hobby is measured in decades’ ….wow, this statement has been swirling around my head triggering lots of thoughts regarding the current state of play. Get that printed on a t-shirt, very wise.

    Walter: great point regarding what advantages has the implementation of grading given us raw-book-lovers…you are so correct! I’m currently hunting for a nice copy of X-Men #108 (some old fogey told me it was important & undervalued, his name escapes me though….).

    My hunt is direct evidence for your point: it is easier (and cheaper) to hunt down a 8.5 graded copy than to buy a raw book. I will buy a 8.5 and crack her open upon receipt! Let freedom reign!

    The people playing with slabbed books want 9.2-9.6 in that particular era. The person who slabbed the 8.5 lost out (at this moment) because the market hasn’t lowered it’s expectations yet. Eventually, well, that 8.5 slabbed will be worth more than a raw but not now!

    Lesson: choose carefully what you get graded, grading does not unequivocally equal an increase in sale price.

  17. Chris, unfortunately, it’s Canada. I don’t know what the IRS charges but Canada’s taxes are high. My collection is pretty modest when compared to others, but I still have a good amount and expect take a pension hit for awhile when I liquidate. Ask an income tax preparer about your own situation as everyone is different.

  18. Okay, twice posted, twice didn’t show up. They might later. There could be a problem with the server that handles CBD. Or maybe it needs some CBD. Who knows.

  19. In the US, I know of no income issues SSI, what you Canadians are calling a pension. This only is effected if you start retirement early; currently early is before you hit 67 in the US, and your SSI (Social Security Income) will take a hit if you make over a certain amount. I have an employee that has been dealing with this, so she simply kept her hours part-time until she hit 67. But 67 and on, no hit.

    Your income level after retirement can effect how much you co-pay for Medicare (Health Care to you Canadians); I have that issue now because I’m over 65 and getting Medicare coverage, so I have to pay a bit more in month “co-pay,” since I’m still working and have income. But’s its WAY cheaper than paying ordinary Health Care insureance, thank goodness.

    But I know of no effect comics income would have on Social Security (SSi) after age 67, in the U.S.

    Also, in the U.S., your profit from comic sales qualifies as “long term capital gains,” which is taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income. As long as you have kept them long enough, such as a year or something. At one time, it was only 15% but I haven’t checked recently. So much lower than ordinary taxes on income.

    Also, if you have no records on cost, I’m sure you can hedge your bets a bit. The government is lucky you are declaring the income at all.

    I always have wondered about “hobby income,” which is a term I have heard and somehow wonder if it applies here tdo minor amounts you might make. But I am no expert. I trust my CPA, Certified Public Acccountant, and I depended on his advice for several decades now.

    My 85-year old buddy is currently selling his collection via Heritage, so I’m going to get some more feedback when I see him this weekend! He’s a Business Administration graduate from Stanford, so he knows what he’s doing. He wouldn’t be paying any more than he has to…Fortunately, he has records of what he paid for the majority of his comics. I carefully keep that information with each of my comics if I can, along with date purchased and grade (for raw books). I keep Heritage auction slips and price & condition details from dealers, which I just transfer to the back side of the backing board or sleeve. For slabbed books, I note it in pencil on a post-it or price sticker.

    My buddy keeps it in a book, but if you loose that…I think it is best to keep the data with each comic myself, and I enjoy knowing where and when I bought things… That’s called Provenance in the antiquarian book field, knowing the hands that a book has passed through. Bookplates and signed inscriptions used to document that, when people stilll used them.

  20. Hmmm…I am envisioning old comic collectors walking around the comic cons of the future in trench coats lined with slabs going “Psssst, hey kid… wanna buy an Action one…. cash only!”

  21. Okay, the url works for me but shows a blank page on the forum. How I originally found it was with a Google search for:

    ‘canada capital gains tax collectibles’

    I don’t use plus signs or qiotes. Look for the CIBC site, which will take you to a pdf file to fill you in more.

  22. Bud, tax is crazy in Canada.

    Ebay must report any sales over $1.000. by Canadians, Kijiji, owned by Ebay is supposed to do the same, your government pension is subject to clawback whenever you earn more than a certain amount. We deal with capital gains, estate, inheritance, income taxes among others.

    I think private company pensions are safe from clawback but still add to your total income which pushes the chance of government clawback higher. I don’t make much but already my Guaranteed Income Supplement has been reduced to 40% of max level because I make too much at $25k per year.

  23. Bud, how do you crack open your slabs?

    Wasn’t “Richard Castle’s” Hulk 181 tagged at $75,000.00?

  24. Opening an encapsulated book

    Tim, I use an oyster knife (though a normal, flat-head screwdriver will also work. The oyster knife gives you more twisting leverage. Place it on the seam at the top edge and give it a firm tap with the palm of your hand. Once it’s in the seam, twist a bit and run it along the seam, the case will usually pop right open. If not, keep sliding it around and twisting it, or just repeat the process on the sides until the case pops apart or breaks up enough to slide out the inner sleave.

    For the inside sleeve, they used to just come apart by pulling the open end apart. No more. Now I carefully take scissors and cut the top off, and slide the book out making sure there are no sharp edges left on the sleeve to catch anything. Just be very careful not to run the scissors into the book itself. Take your time. If it still seems too tight, use the scissors again and cut down one side or the other, a little ways, then pull the top of the sleeve up and slide the book out.

    Richie Evans from Bedrock City Comics, has a Youtube video showing how he broke open is Golden Age Captain Americas! I’m sure you can find him with any search. BTW, Richie is one of the good guys, he has 4 or 5 stores in Houston and a Vintage Comics room in his main store that’s way, way too much fun. I’ve spent several long afternoons there…

  25. Thanks muchly, Bud. I forgot which article I posted this on. If ever I buy an “encapsulated” comic I’ll have the technology though not fond of oysters…

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