I had been thinking about getting some of my books graded for a while now. I decided to take a few to the Motor City Comic Con with me to have signed and graded. Being on a budget, I decided to start with a few books, getting them signed and then graded. I had done some research on pricing and found that I could start grading my books, even if it were one or two at a time. Getting my feet wet, so to speak.
I have a small mix of comics, from the 1960’s through the 2000’s. My ex had started collecting when he was a boy, and together, we continued adding to the collection throughout our thirty year marriage. I have some of those comics that are now mine, and he has the rest of them. So in looking through my boxes, I began to piece together my nest egg, taking a good look through the books that I have. Some of the books were not in the best shape, but others were very nice. I found some little gems in going through the boxes that brought a smile to my face as I discovered what I had.
Taking a few books with me to Comic Con, I was excited to see that Neil Adams was there, as well as a few others that I knew. I stood in line to meet Neil Adams. Looking around his display tables, I noticed the books, the art and memorabilia from his career. Here in front of me was one of the Comic world’s own legends.
Neil Adams looked up at me and gave me a great smile, and asked me how I was doing. I have an outgoing personality, so I just began talking to him. I told him I was happy to meet him, and would like him to sign my books. He smiled again and asked me what I brought for him to sign. I handed him two books. The first one I had him sign was a Miss Mystic #1. He smiled, and asked me where I wanted him to sign it. I said on the outside cover. The second book I asked him to sign was Strange Adventures #208, which was the fourth appearance of Deadman. I paid his assistant for the autographs, which were $30 each. I asked him if I could get a photo of him with my books, and he said “Sure!” It was great meeting him.
I also got a couple of my books signed by Matt Wagner. I had him sign one of my Legends Of The Dark Knight books, and one of my issues of Grendel, a character he created. Matt signed one of my brothers books first, drawing a sketch of Grendel on the inside of the book, then signing it. I was glad to see he signed my books on the front cover, since I was going to have them graded, and seeing the signature on the cover was better for me if I was going to sell the book some day. He was also really nice and appreciated his fans. He did not charge a fee for his signature on his books. That was a bonus
We walked around for a while, checking out the different booths, displays, and all of the celebrity guests that were there. Many of the visitors of Comic Con were dressed as their favorite character, which was fun to see. As my brother and I began to walk towards the area where the Certified Guaranty Company, or CGC grading company had their booth, we saw that there was another option for grading.
A new kid on the block, Comic Book Certification Service, or CBCS, was there with several of their representatives and information about their company. My brother and I stopped at their table and began asking questions about their service. We spoke with Steve Paulus, Director Of Authentic Signature Program, and Steve Ricketts, General Manager And Grader. Since my brother knew more about which questions to ask, I stood and listened, occasionally asking questions of my own. Steve Paulus answered every one of our questions, and in layman’s terms, that I understood. I really liked several differences between CBCS, and CGC. CBCS has two membership levels, Collector Membership and Dealer Membership. With CBCS your membership is free, there are no yearly membership fees. As a Collector Member, you will receive the following benefits, which I have taken directly from their website:
Direct submission to CBCS: Once you sign up as a CBCS member, you will be able to submit your comics directly to us. With CBCS, there is no need to submit through any website other than www.cbcscomics.com
Submission email notifications: Once you submit an invoice, CBCS will send you email notifications as your submission goes through each stage of certification. You will receive an email when you package arrives to CBCS, when the books enter the grading room, when your books have passed quality control and when your invoice has been shipped back to you.
Monthly emails: Each month you will receive an email from CBCS talking about a variety of comic book topics. We will have articles ranging from the latest insider information on your favorite characters to articles that dive into the history of Golden Age Comics.
Free Grader notes look-up: Our system allows any CBCS member to look up the notes on any CBCS certified comic, free of charge!
And then, there was the price difference. CBCS was offering their service at a much lower rate per book than CGC. They do have tiered grading, based upon how old your books are. I ended up getting five of my books graded. Including shipping costs, I paid $100 for my entire order. I am able to view my order on their website to track the progress of my comics as they go through the grading process. I can’t wait to get them back. I have other books ready to go, including my autographed books from the show. I am happy to have had such a good experience and look forward to sharing my graded books once they come back.