Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Stay safe and stay positive and don’t forget to leave out the milk and cookies for Santa.
This week’s post was inspired by my good friend Mike Huddleston who popped in for a coffee recently. Mike and I somehow got on the topic of accidentally damaging comics and we had fun remembering the times we pulled some bonehead moves that damaged our comics.
Remember back in the old days when our better books were put into those very rigid Mylar bags. These old Mylars did not fold over at the top, they were just open-ended and back then we did not put our books in regular polypro bags before we put them in Mylars, the Mylars were open at the top and our good books were exposed to the air. I’m not sure why we did it this way but we did and for years and years. I remember at a con, it might have been the early 1990s, I was standing near the Mylar bins joking around with some guys when I mistimed taking a gulp of my Coke as a joke was told. I had one of those spraying Coke out my mouth and nostrils moments right onto a couple of bins of Mylars, the ones with the open tops. Oops! I think I damaged about 30 or 40 books, the hardest hit was the Batman bin. Back in early 1990 our Mylar bins of Batman would have contained nice copies of issues like #100, 155, 171 etc., nice copies. I did my best to clean the mess up, I had to remove every book and try to wipe off the wet ones and re-bag into new Mylars, in some cases the books were relegated to the regular bins. I’d say that joke cost me about maybe $1000 back then, I shudder to think what that same episode would have cost today with today’s values of those nice Batman issues.
Then there was the time I was in Chicago looking through the bins of this awesome dealer from Michigan, the guy was famous for having high-grade Bronze Age stuff at very affordable prices. I remember a very well to do collector standing beside me looking through the same bins, this collector and I knew each other as he’d been buying off me for years at the U.S. shows. The guy had amazing stuff in his personal collection, big key after big key and all in high grades. He was looking at a nice high-grade copy of Nova #1, I think the price tag on it was $10 but I can’t remember for sure, anyway, he didn’t take the tape off when he removed the book from the bag and when he was putting the book back in the tape caught the cover, he tried to slowly peel the tape off but a nice chunk of the cover came off. Oops! Then he quietly and discreetly puts the book back in the bag and slips it back into the bin. I caught all this out of the corner of my eye but to my disappointment, I did not call him on it. “Come on, give the guy his $10”! is what I should have said. That episode still bugs me.
I’ve been lazy and had tape catch many times over the years, I find that if it’s Scotch tape you still have a chance of peeling it off unscathed but you have to pull on the tape kind of perpendicular to the book and you have to go really really slow almost watching the cover free itself of the tape in ultra slow motion, the glossier the book the better your chances and the age of the tape is a factor as well with newer tape being easier to peel off. If you end up with that old really sticky tape then all bets are off and you just have to try to minimize the damage.
I once sent a nice copy of Flash #92 down to CGC. This was a nice book, the one with the Black Canary cover and I thought it had a chance at a CGC 7.0. A couple of weeks after I sent the book I got an email from CGC saying they had torn the back cover while encapsulating the book, Oops! I ended up getting back a CGC 5.5. To CGC’s credit they did own up to adding the tear and they did give me a monetary credit for the damage. I’ve heard stories of books getting damaged at CGC but my one experience so far was resolved professionally by them.
I’ve put a coffee cup on more than one comic, I’ve almost torn off a couple of back covers over the years not realizing the cover was hanging over and not in the bag as I slid the book into the bag, I’ve even dropped an un-bagged comic on a wet floor, oops, oops and more oops.
We all love our comics but stuff happens. I’d love to year your Ooops moments if you had any. The bigger the cringe the better!