The Art of Creating

A few days ago Chris Owen and I were sharing a pint and having a chat about the two things we’re experts at girls and comics. While the girl discussion fell into silence after a few seconds we really caught some wind in our sails while discussing comic books. We’re going to do a Comic Culture podcast on it very soon but I can spill the beans a bit in that we explored the process of creating characters for the comic book medium. Can old men create characters that resonate with the youth in society, can women create male characters guys can relate to, and can Irish descendants create great Manchurian characters? There is so much to explore here and I wanted to get our minds working on this before we record the show and perhaps get a little insight from the comments section that we can use on the show. Has it evolved into the proper groups creating characters reflecting themselves today? Will AI be able to fool us all? Perhaps Chris and I have to stop drinking beers from the land of Hegel and Schopenhauer?

I promise no philosophers were used or harmed while I went through this week’s “destined for eBay auctions” comic pile.

For my cover of the week, I went with Witzend #3, the minimalistic gem from the great Wally Wood. Witzend #3 is most famous for being the first appearance of Mr. A by another great minimalist, Steve Ditko. Was there a minimalist party going on that month? Did Carl Andre and Don Judd show up? Still, I’ve always been drawn to this cover but I’m not sure why.

We might as well stay in the 1960s for our splash page of the week. Actually its more of a pin-up and it came from the most creative hands in comic book history, Jack Kirby. Kirby could absolutely overwhelm you with power, he could leave you in wonder at the chaos he can create and then on the next page he can calm the savage beast with simple and elegant beauty. Kirby is the King!

When we opened up our first comic shop back in the 90s we tried to venture into the mail-order market for new comics. Being Canadian we stuck to trying to service Canadian customers as we thought the international shipping and border delays would become a service issue. I remember using Westfield Comics as a model, perhaps I should say I used them more as a motivation. Here we had a little operation out of the middle of nowhere, Hickville, USA being a dominant player in the mail-order comic business, it gave us hope. What I didn’t know is they were putting full-page ads into comics even a decade earlier. Here’s a Westfield ad from 1988’s Avengers Annual #17.

Last night our weekly icecollectibles weekly eBay auction finished with some great results. I find it surprising that a great project like JLA/Avengers has been out of print for over 15 years; it’s hard to find the 2008 TPB and it’s even harder to find the set of the original 2003 series. Our set sold for $38.76 USD. Advantage Buyer.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1713


  1. Here’s my second Nonce test to see if you guys can hear from me once again. Scott seems to have gotten it working.’

    I remember Westfield also, I admired their quiet little ads, no hyperbole in sight. I wonder what happened to those folks?

    Your Witzend brings up an observation of mine…why is there relatively little interest in 1960s and 1970s fanzines? I’m not talking run of the mill stuff, but my God, Wally Wood’s Witzend, you can’t get more creative than that, with Frazetta, Ditko, Williamson etc. And Squa Tront and Spa Fon, backed with never before seen art and EC goodies. Scream Door with Wrightson’s early work. Early Corben in Weirdom (his first work was there) and elsewhere. I handled all these when they first came out, that and Underground Comix was pretty much my offerings. Real Book Books about comics or collecting togetgher old comics were VERY few and far between circa 1970-1975, but I handled whatever was available from Nostalgia Press, Chelsea House…you could count those one two hands in the early days.

    Okay, my point, why do these vintage fanzines with tiny print runs sell for so little? $50-$100 is it. You guys go on about CGC copies for which tens of thousands of copies exist, and these little puppies rarely had a print run more than 1000, often just 500. Many have surely been lost to fire and flood over the years. Yes, collectors did buy them and preserve them, but still, I’m amazed there is so little interest. That said, Underground Comix are in the same realm. Aside from the rarest early issue of Zap #1 and a couple others, even vintage Vaughn Bode and Corbens and R. Crumbs, first printings, are lucky to fetch $50 or $75 for the most pristine copy. Print runs? 10K to 20K, rarely a second printing on many titles except the Crumbs.

    I know this stuff is near and dear to my heart, I am surely biased, but it’s such an important part of early comics fandom that has brought about so much of what we are part of today. When I am pricing a Witzend #1 at $100, $125, I just have to wonder. Is Wally rolling over in his grave? Speaking of Wood, the entire Tower line, THUNDER Agents, Dynamo, Noman—-those are also really, really inexpensive comics which also surprises me, from the same 1960s era as Marvels that sell for BIG money. I know Thunder Agents aren’t on everyone’s mind, but again, packed with work by Wood, Crandall, Ditko and crew, and .25 comics like Silver Surfer, nice value for the money. Only TA #1 seems to sell for much at all. Again, since collectors were starting to organize and become more aware of preserving comics, did we all save so many copies that supply outstrips demand?

    Ok, that’s my soapbox for today. Let’s see if this posts ok!

  2. I’m with you on this Bud, the scarcity of the fanzines and some of the big name artists that contributed should make them way more sought after, perhaps it is a continuity thing?

    I wonder what the most expensive fanzines are? Sounds like a job for … Sorensen!

  3. I’ll add one thing to the fanzine idea: Ditko, I have a really nice copy of Hawk & Dove #2 on ebay, it has not been looked at by a single person in 6 months. Ditko may be an important name in comics, but he doesn’t seem to trigger the buying response like Adams et. al. Sure, very small sample size and I’m biased…but the days of creator focused collecting may have waned…you just don’t meet collectors these days saying ‘I collect Rich Buckler’ …you get cover artist collecters (but whether the prices remain high for Stanley Artgerm Lau’s work remains to be seen) but the days of ‘i want everything by X’ seem to be over. My enjoyment of Gil Kane’s work rings empty with the younger audience on Instagram, they collect differently now, it’s hype focused.

    Anyway, I’m sipping a gamay noir from Hawkes Bay, NZ….and may be blathering. But without the younger generation becoming ‘artist obsessed’ then those fan books won’t increase in price.

  4. Hey Bud
    I’m with you on the Undergrounds! I think Overstreet has done them a disservice from the get-go. They list lots of comics besides the big two, so why not the Undergrounds? Years ago I sold most of my Undergrounds from the ’60s and ’70s for a pittance (for frivolous things like food and rent), and have regretted it ever since! The only ones I kept were Air Pirates, of which I later sold my double of the first issue for $100. As rare as these books are (Disney sued Dan O’Neill for $3.2 million and won, and ordered the books shredded!) they never seem to go for much more than that! Zap, Mr. Natural, Wierdo, Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and more are solid entertaining books, but few collectors seem to care at all! Then there are all of the great mini comics from the likes of Chester Brown (Yummy Fur), Julie Doucet (Dirty Plotte), John MacLeod (Dishman) and Colin Upton (too numerous to list)! These are the Undergrounds of the ’80s, and also, I think, deserve more love.

  5. Thanks for the shout out Walter.

    For Fanzines I go to Nostomania on the web and look at their top 100 Magazines, which is updated every three months. Juxtaposed between the usual suspects are a number of fanzines and very amateur publishing houses that could / should be fanzines.

    For those interested it is well worth the time if only to touch on what is out there beyond comic books.

  6. Excellent comments guys- here are my two bits:
    I don’t think fanzines or undergrounds are dead. You claim that there is ‘no interest’ but that is because you are not seeing them sell for thousands of dollars each. The market for these books has not become infested by investors, thus the readers and collectors who want them [ like me] are still able to buy them at their fair market value. Just because they sell at $10- $100.00 each does not mean that they are dead. I will happily pay these prices for the books that I want to add to my collection- I recently picked up a gorgeous copy of the last issue of GOLDEN ATOM from 1954-55 for $75 USD & am as happy as a bug in a rug! The market for fanzines & undergrounds is kinda like the market for pulps used to be up until a few years ago- it was guarded by enthusiasts & readers who were happy to operate under the radar of the comic book market, ever fearful that the comic book world would collide with the world of the pulps! For many, many years, pulp fans had their way, but finally-enough comic book dealers penetrated the force field that surrounded the pulp market and all hell broke loose ! Hey Mel!- go and buy back your underground comics right now at $10.00 each, before the market explodes and you are forced to buy them SLABBED at $500.00 each !! Which route do you prefer ???
    The comic book market is riddled with investment, some of it justified, most of it not. I have to grudgingly agree that most of the investment in Golden Age material is understandable, as these books are simply rare & copies of certain issues do not surface very often. Investment in Silver Age material is kinda mindless- yes, I realize that many collectors view this era as the focal point of their four colour world as most of the characters that they identify with were created during the Silver Age- but absolutely none of these books can be considered rare, nor will they ever be! Yep, the high grade collectors are losing their marbles at me right now, foaming at the mouth & screaming that CGC 9.8 SA books are rare as hen’s teeth, but condition rarity is a different aspect & not a field that I care to discuss. As you guys have said- people today collect with a different mindset than collectors from my era, or earlier. Some of this collecting, some of this investing… is hype driven, which can be dangerous, as hype can subside & you can be left holding a book that is now worth substantially less than what you paid for it. This does not bode well for the hobby if all people are doing is chasing the next big thing, and not actually collecting a series of books or work by a favourite creator to actually read and enjoy those books. Our hobby was created due to a love of the medium, not by the lure of big money. Decades of enjoyment by legions of readers created this world, not decades of investment. On the other hand, are the books being published today actually worth reading ?? I think not, but then I am stuck in the past & have no interest in the style of ‘storytelling’ being offered today.
    The Hawk & Dove #2 that Spider is trying to sell is a lovely book, with Ditko still in his prime. Unfortunately, it is not a rare book and DC has done nothing with the characters. There are no TV shows or movies, thus there is minimal interest. Today’s readers do not identify with Hawk & Dove and, let’s face it- Ditko’s style of art is on a different level than today’s near computer-generated art. If you are a new reader fed a steady diet of Jim Lee or Stanley Artgerm Lau art, what in blazes will possess you to pick up a Ditko Hawk & Dove comic ??? For those old souls who would like to collect Ditko, the process is daunting as he does not come cheap!- Spider-Man is one thing, but his PCH & 1950’s stuff is through the roof with some books virtually extinct on the marketplace!![ i.e: Fantastic Fears #5, Daring Love #1 ]. I think that Hawk & Dove is worth having, but as said, the book is not rare, copies can be had cheap & you have to work to find a home for it.

    A comic book hero reflects the time/era in which he/she was created. Many classic characters were created by market forces that required a ‘gap’ to be filled, a ‘need’ to be met, generally a new ‘hook’ to draw in more readers & sell more product. Superman & Batman were created on the backs of very strong pulp magazine influences [ science fiction & Doc Savage and The Shadow/Spider/The Black Bat respectively ] & all other characters that followed found their niche in their footsteps. Then war broke out and another wave of characters was created to fight the Nazis, the Japanese & the Italians [ Captain America & most of MLJ’s heroes etc ]. After the war, the market shifted into bloody crime & horror & the hero was virtually dead. DC initiated a major reboot in 1956 but it was Kirby, Lee & Ditko who managed to revive the hero successfully in the 1960’s by giving their new characters some personality & making them live in the real world with real problems [ like paying rent, buying groceries & going out on dates !]. Our world has changed dramatically since the 1960’s & offers a completely different canvas for current creators to paint on than their predecessors. What kind of character do you need to create now that will resonate with current readers AND provide interesting and entertaining stories. We live in a very politically correct world which provides a very limited freedom of expression, thus there is only so much that a modern super hero can accomplish. A super hero is no longer required to fight the nazis or the Japanese, nor do we need super heroes to fight crime. What then does a modern super hero do ? How does he/she/it remain relevant ? Is there a need for super heroes in our world ???
    I was trying to say in the previous post that reviving GA characters like Daredevil or Crimebuster and placing them in the modern world will not work. They are anchored in their time & place and enjoyed a freedom of expression far different than what they are allowed today. Read some of the old Gleason books & see how NASTY some of the stories are [ they are GREAT- I LOVE ’em!] but you can’t publish some of this kind of material today [ outside of a classic reprint, which is a different thing altogether]. They belong to a different world & putting them in our current environment is pointless. I would love to be proven wrong- I would love to see a classic, long forgotten GA hero brought back SUCCESSFULLY into our era, but so far have not seen it happen. How do they remain relevant today ??

    Comic books, the comic medium will live on- in print or online, but we need to explore other avenues of storytelling. The day of the Super-hero may be coming to an end. How are super hero comic sales lately? How is the MCU doing on the silver screen ??…..

  7. Really great comments this week! Live Frog… I couldn’t agree with you more! This is the kind of stuff that brings me back week after week!

  8. Thanks Gerald- I agree. This has been a good session- let’s hope it continues. C’mon guys- chip in !

    What we are doing here is the modern day equivalent of producing a ‘fanzine’. Print fanzines do not exist any more [ do they?], having been replaced by blogs & forums such as CBD. This stuff is all real time, with people chiming in as they wish, which is great. Unfortunately, unlike a printed fanzine which you can store & review for ever, a blog or forum is ephemeral & many have been lost due to various factors over time. Frederick Pohl’s amazing blog ‘The Way the Future Blogs’ vanished soon after his death and all that incredible detail that he posted about early science fiction [ & other subjects ] has gone with him into the other world. Only a few pages survive on & I check them out occasionally to reminisce. There has to be a way to save the more important works that are published on such blogs & forums for future generations to access as I would hate to see Ivan Kocmarek’s work on the Canadian Whites or Brian Campbell’s work on the Canadian Silver Age to simply vanish into the ether should anything happen to CBD! How about it Walt? – A hard cover, slip cased edition in several volumes of the best of CBD ! You could publish a volume or two every year ! Let’s go kids- let’s get things started ! Time’s a wasting !

  9. I agree with you LV that blogs may have replaced fanzines…the problem is I can’t find any good ones (other than this highly esteemed publication)!

  10. Spider- yup, CBD is unique, but depending on your interests- there are other comic blogs/forums that are worth checking out. CGC FORUMS has it’s share of interesting threads amongst all the rubbish, I go there occasionally to see what’s new.

    I love older books & went to this site regularly-

    Pappy has given up, but his site remains up. Check out the links on the right hand site for all kinds of blogs for all kinds of comic interests. Most will mean nothing to you if you don’t care for vintage books.

  11. I didn’t intend to say interest in fanzines was dead; it’s not, just languishing a bit, judging by demand and prices. The funny thing is, why am I complaining? On the one hand it seems the zines are underappreciated. For instance, it was very exiting for me to discover SATA, which was filled with wonderful material. Bill Pearson and Dan Adkins put it together from 1956 to 1964, and as I was entering fandom in 1965, I’d just missed it. It took a good buddy of mine, Larry Bigman, who collects all the old zines, going back to early sci-fi fandom, to introduced me to it just a couple years ago. I quickly found most of the issues (a few are truely scarce) and ended up with a couple dupes…and listing them on MyComicShop, watched them sit…and sit…and sit. What?

    SATA from MyComicShop: Fanzine by Bill Pearson that was one of the most attractive dittoed fanzines ever made. Art in this issue by George Barr, Larry Ivie, Roy G. Krenkel, and Richard Bassford.

    Another issue: Cover art by Bil Pearson. Comics in this issue are “The Spy” with art by George Barr and “The Last War” with art by Larry Ivie, both written by Pearson. A review and checklist for Playboy Magazine. Tarzan Fifty Years Ago by Camille Cazadessus [Camille was the publisher of ERB-dom for decades, who featured original work in there by Reed Crandall, Jeff Jones, Krenkel, Frazetta et al].

    Fine and VFN copies of SATA sit unsold on MCS for $15 and $17!

    I also really enjoy Bob Jenning’s long running Comic World. Started in the early 60s, he had in-depth articles on Golden Age characters like the original Daredevil, Airboy, Ghost Rider, long before the priceguide and comics magazines. And letters…letters from Golden Age artists like George Tuska and Fred Guardineer, by golly. They go unsold for $25 or $30 each.

    But ok, modern kids as you guys make the case above, are often just not interested in the history of comics. Though I have found exceptions there too. A local surreal artist and youngster known as Skinner is really into comics history. And relative young man Alex Grand, who’s maybe 40, has been interviewing artists and posting great stuff on his website

    I am fascinated by it. So I love going back and finding out intimate details of the earliest comics from the 1930s, the careers of the artists, etc. In the book field, illustration, you can go back a lot further, and my interest begins back in 1820 with steel engraved illustrations, then chromolithography (the first way to achieve color printing…the alternative was hand coloring), then finally the introduction of color wood engraving around the 1870s and finally photo-offset, today’s process, around 1900.

    Some of you guys are probably rolling your eyes, but just like comics, I find these early pioneering publishers and book designers and artists to be fascinating, working from scratch to create all that has evolved into fine books, fine printing, and fine illustration today. So much like comics, just a longer history.

    Anyway, its fun to read everyone’s take on this. And low prices on zines are good for us old-timers, here we can explore the world of early fandom and the first work of artists like Wrightson, Kaluta, Vess, Brunner, Chaykin, as they worked through to becoming greats. And none of it will break anyone’s piggy bank.

    Very good point about blogs being the new fanzines. I agree that some are well-worth preserving, Ivan’s certainly comes to mind, thanks for pointing it out. But evidenced by print run (and my sales) on Ivan’s book, Heroes of the Home Front, demand is just modest and a project like that has a lot of hurdels.

    Blogs are free and easy to illustrate in color, and quick to to get the word out…big advantage over traditional printing and distribution, or even on-demand publishing,. Low carbon footprint! Sad to hear of Pohl Anderson’s work being lost, I hope we can preserve our other favored writers.

  12. Hey Bud
    I too love digging into the 19th century roots of modern comics and cartoons. It was Punch magazine in 1843 which first used the term “cartoon” to mean what it does to this day. Prior to that, “cartone,” from the Italian, was a term originally used for a preliminary sketch for a painting or fresco. Some of the cartoons from Punch are among the very best ever created, including work by the great John Tenniel, most famous for his illustrations of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In the 50 years that Tenniel worked for Punch, beginning in 1850, he produced about 2,000 cartoons, many of them editorial cartoons targeting the likes of British Prime Ministers Disraeli, Gladstone and Bright. I have a great collection from 1878 which is chock full of Tenniel. Another great pioneer of illustrated magazines was George Virtue, whose innovative work in engraving produced some amazing collections of illustrations. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of his two volume illustrated Bible from circa 1847, chock full of lovely engravings of Bible stories. Luckily I found a copy which hadn’t had all of its engraved pages ripped out to be sold individually at a flea market!!!

    I really don’t see why anybody would think this day and age can’t produce a comic fan who also loves the history of the medium. We should never sell the modern audience short in this regard. Every generation produces its great chroniclers of popular culture from the Venerable Bede to Tom Wolfe. We should always remember that this medium has a long and distinguished history which goes back far beyond the likes of Ally Sloper and the Yellow Kid.

  13. On this very subject, so well remarked upon by several in recent days, I am ten days back from Palm Springs Modernism Week. Our first in three years since covid-19 interruptions and probably ten visits previously to this extraordinary week of art, antiques, vintage autos and trailers, tours, films, gardens and lectures.

    We attended a Palm Desert Public Library sale in support of the College of the Desert Library and I scored The Golden Age of Comic Fandom by Bill Schelly (Hamster Press Seattle, 1995) 232/1000 signed (it seems). 5$ Actually it is a curatorial rescue even though 1000 copies does not register in my world as a limited edition. But in all my life never seen it…

    I am old enough to have acquired a few of these in the 1970s but it was difficult on the plains of Saskatchewan.

    Curiosity fuelled my interest not investment. You guys talk about investment a lot. I will benefit from my holdings as donations I expect. I followed artists, not content, except for that Kirby quartet (New Gods Etc) But that was decades ago and most of it seems silly now. I learn a lot about comic history as I read your comments and am grateful.

    But I leave you with two comments by great Canadian artists. Micheal Snow who died in January at 94 answered his Proust question “what was the first art ?” he said ‘Comic strips’

    Secondly, if you read Hot Breakfast for Sparrows: My Life with Harold Town by Iris Nowell

    you find Harold with Jean Townsend, at her invitation, went to Double A Whiz Comics, Harold deeply committed to comics was fired in two months. But he learned as Iris recounts, absence …take it out. He recounted via Iris that his comic book work set him up for his art career.

  14. Hey Wayne
    Harold Town’s biggest problem with Anglo-American was the fact that Fawcett (who licensed their characters to “Double A”) insisted that their characters, redrawn by Canadian artists, have paste-on heads drawn by Mac Raboy, in much the same way DC insisted on pasting heads on Jack Kirby’s Superman in the ’70s. I once owned a copy of Captain Marvel Jr. with the title character’s back turned as he tossed a German tank through the air!!! In a phone conversation I had with Ed Furness back in the early ’90s, he confirmed, “Oh yeah. that would be Harold. He hated pasting those heads on his art. He didn’t last that long, but he was a brilliant draftsman!” And Harold and Michael Snow and Greg Curnoe, and all of the lovely characters who haunted those wonderful musical, magical openings at the Grange back in the day, took their love of comic books to new heights we could never have imagined! Margaret Atwood says “A word after a word after a word is power.” Likelywise, nyuck, nyuck, nyuck…”A picture after a picture after a picture is a frickin’ comic book!” And I don’t mean “frickin’! And!!! With great power…

  15. I don’t think that fanzines are doing all that badly, particularly comic book fanzines- am checking out some recent sales on the Heritage Auctions archives & some of the sales are bewildering! A CGC 9.4 copy of the Witzend issue that Walt has pictured above sold for $312.00 USD very recently & copies of FOOM are going nuts!!! A CGC 9.8 copy of Comics Journal #89 sold for $1800.00 USD [ because it had a pre-TMNT #1 article with a picture of Leonardo in it ] & a CGC 9.8 file copy of Wizard #1 just sold for $3120.00 USD !!! Yes, I know.. some of these are Pro-zines…but still !! Many fanzines are selling quite well on Heritage & if you are not having any success on MyComicShop or ebay, you may wanna change venue !

    For those who need to know how to do it- go to the Heritage website- sign in [ surely you have an account !!!???] – go to Comics & then RESOURCES- from the menu, select RESEARCH AUCTION ARCHIVES & type FANZINE into the search box. The default is COMICS thus it will show you all the sales that have happened since day one involving fanzines. You can modify the search results in any way you like using the menu- I selected MOST RECENT SALES & was able to see what results have transpired very recently. Give Heritage full credit for keeping this service alive, as ebay does not archive it’s sales history for more than two years ??

    I recall seeing an auction recently of many very early science-fiction fanzines, as far back as the late 1930’s- I thought it was on Heritage, but could be mistaken- & not one of these ‘home-made’ issues failed to sell at a decent price. I am trying to recall where I saw this auction- it may well have been on ebay or on John Gunnison’s site- now it is beginning to drive me nuts! Where did I see it ???!! As I get older, my memory & my eyesight are competing to fail first !!!

    Fanzines are not dead- maybe your sales venue is dead…don’t put all your eggs in one basket & try to sell them elsewhere if your primary sales platform fails. If you can’t sell your stuff within about three is time for a shake up, including a change of sales venue. Don’t be one of those guys who posts something on ebay for an absurd price, has no takers…no offers…no interest… & just leaves it there for kingdom come at the same absurd price waiting for some nut-bar to come along and meet his price !

    I collect Hollywood memorabilia & have occasionally actually bought stuff on ebay. Many dealers of such material on ebay are morons & should be avoided. I have seen absurd prices asked for the most basic of memorabilia- I have asked dealers to reconsider their prices…they have told me to piss off! Years later…their items are still on ebay… at the same absurd prices… just sitting & rotting ! Why doesn’t ebay impose fines or fees for storing so much dead stock on their website ??? This does not just apply to Hollywood stuff…there is so much overpriced crap on ebay….just rotting…dying in front of your eyes!

    For those of you who want to buy classic Hollywood stuff…just go to Bruce Hershenson’s site…it is one stop shopping… you will go nowhere else once you have experienced his auctions! Consider yourselves now educated !!!

    Hey Bud!- a friend just gave me a copy of the Bud Plant Fantasy & Comic Art catalog for Fall 1982- it is missing a few pages [ with Barry Smith art ] but is otherwise VG condition. What do you think it is worth ?? Should I get it slabbed ?? Will you sign it for me ??? Pls advise !

    And now…a fine thread on CGC forums about fake CGC graded books in fake CGC holders… actual FAKE books in faked or compromised CGC holders….the storm is about to hit us…it has hit the coin market some time ago… what is next ?? Fake original art ?? We are already seeing fake convention sketches come onto the market ! Lots of fun !!

  16. Yes LF, that scammer was first picked on the facebook comic forums, then the every-hungry-for-content YouTubers got right in on it to. It has become the story of the week.

    As soon as the original poster put it up on FB I sent them a message to alert CGC – this represents a major brand issue for them. Surprisingly enough the hologram (oh how I laugh over them) isn’t the part that gives it away…it’s actually the grade sticker, something just looks off, the font or the contrast, perhaps the corners are slightly too sharp…but yes, I sad state of affairs and I agree with you, it’s the next phase in the scammers moving into the hobby.

    As previously mentioned, I’m up to a dozen CGC slabs opened by now, they are extremely disappointing, most have gaps in the seals you can locate with a thumbnail then very easily open…however the part I don’t understand is how the scammer inserts the new label (apparently the lower posts were cracked on the faked slabs). I’ll be cracking open ASM 72, 76 & 102 next week…I’m going to see if I can manipulate the label well.

  17. Spider- I like to go on the CGC Forums & see what is going on. I don’t post anything- just observe [ like Marvel’s Watcher!]. I just caught this fake CGC thing yesterday & quickly read most of it. I have since read most of it properly & it just looks like a tragic comedy with the victims also failing to use their common sense. Those slabs seem definitely compromised & even I could see this with my one good eye! We still don’t know how much they paid for these fake books yet the scammer appears to be on that thread trying to defend himself ?!? What a hoot ! This may not be the best example of fake CGC books entering the marketplace, but I have no doubt that as prices remain strong for certain books, someone with real talent is going to get involved in this field & we will see some world class fakery! Jason Ewert- watch out! You’ve got competition !!!
    All collectibles from stamps through to fine art have their issues with fakes & forgery. The militaria market, particularly for nazi stuff, is overwhelmed with fake & fantasy pieces! We need to remain vigilant or our hobby too will become ridden with garbage. Some of the CGC guys were noting more & more raw books entering the market lately- seemingly because their owners do not wish to go through and pay for the process when so many raw books are beginning to realize prices close to or even more than their slabbed brethren! I find this quite interesting that some collectors may be beginning to shun CGC. This is an interesting development & bears watching. Long live raw comics!

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