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raz68's Comic Book Blogs

  • raz68 | Male | 51 years old | NYC

"If you don't stand for something. You will fall for anything."

Have been collecting on and off since grade school.

October 2019

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Grading your comics

1755 views • Oct 26, '09 • (3) Comments

The profile says that I have been collecting comics on and off since grade school.  I have also been collecting baseball cards.  In one of my long absences in both collecting realms when I returned there was baseball card and comic book grading.  All of a sudden your comic book or baseball card was not worth as much if you didnt have it graded, put in a hard plastic case so it would never be handled or read again and have a number value on it. 

I have a few of my own thought, my own comments and opinions on this.  I have to say that I do have very mixed feelings about it.  The first time I went to a baseball card show after many years and I saw the tables set up for grading cards of course I had to see what it was all about.  So after some pamphlet reading I see that I hand my card over, which to me could be considered to have more than sentimental value than monetary value.  These people then take my card, charge me $30 or more depending on which service you use, and they tell me on a scale of 1 to 10 just how good my card is based upon certain criteria like cut, bends, corners, coloring, etc.  So I think to myself, what qualifications do these guys have to tell me exactly what my card is worth and how it rates on a scale of 1 to 10?  Is this subjective? Is it scientific? Is it fact based?  So I read more and I see if I ever want to sell my cards or comics I better get them graded so i can get more, or my collections could be worth more!  So I decide to take a shot.  I have a Nolan Ryan rookie card that to me is perfect except its cut is a bit off center. The corners are crisp, the coloring is perfect.  So I drop $35 (which I later say to myself I could have purchased more cards with that $35 instead waste it on this, but I get ahead of myself).  I wait 6 weeks to get it back in the mail, open it and see its rated a 5.5.  There is no explanation, no nothing in the envelope (maybe they do more now then when I got mine graded).  So instantly I am turned off to the whole grading process and no it wasnt the fact that it was graded lower than I expected, yes that is a let down but what it did was just make me question more what qualifications do these people have, taking my money, reviewing my collections and telling me what they think its worth.  What if I wanted to sell it without getting graded and the person buying it think its worth more to them, maybe its the last piece of their collection they need, maybe they are a huge fan of the player or the comic.  Regardsless what I realized was what was once a great fun hobby is nothing but a big business out to make more money.

So here it is, my first comic con and there they are all set up with their tables to grade your comics.  So I start with the thoughts all over again.  Luckily I didnt carry any of my collection with me to this convention that I would be even tempted to get my comics graded.  I walk around and truly enjoy my first convention.  I stop at a stand and see that someone is selling graded books.  So I decide to flip through the box.  Most of them graded 935 or higher which was great.  I am really not familiar with the criteria for grading comics but these books looked like they were taken off the shelf or out of the publisher and put right in these lovely hard plastic (being sarcastic) casings.  I see one I like and think, but how the hell would I read it?  Would I want to open the case, if I could, and even take it out and read it and ruin it?  What fun is this?  I enjoy reading the stories.  I enjoy admiring the art, the colors.  I enjoy comics, why would I ever get anything graded?  I want to teach my kids to enjoy comics the way I did, read them, enjoy them, respect your belongings and keep them in good shape.  I do not want them to learn to  treat it like its just an investment, its just a business.  Could they be worth something, could you sell them one day if you really wanted to or pass them on to your kids.  Sure you can but enjoy them.  Artists, writers, inkers, publishers are creating comics for your enjoyment so enjoy them!

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My First Big Apple Comic Con

1187 views • Oct 20, '09 • (5) Comments

This past Saturday I attended my very first Big Apple Comic Con.  I can not begin to describle how excited I was leading leading up to the day.  I really didnt know what to expect.  I headed into the city with my 9 year old son in tow. 

Leading up to the convention I received tons of updates on what stars, sports figures, wrestling stars, artists, etc. were appearing.  I couldnt beleive how many people were going to be appearing.  Since I had my son with me I had no plans to stand in line for autographs.  The basic plan was to just walk around, check this shin dig out and of course buy some comics while in the process. 

Walking up to pier 94 I was not sure where to go and approached some guys wearing volunteer shirts who directed us where to go.  We headed up to the registration area.  Suprisingly there were no lines and we walked right up to register and get our wristbands.  My son was instantly excisted when he received a free "How to Draw" Wizard book and several "Toy Fare" magazines.  We then headed down to get in line to get into the convention.  He was already digging into the Toy Fare magazines and laughing it up as we walked to get in line.  Although the line was long it moved fast.

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