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NYCC 2019 CGC Mail Call

As mentioned in previous posts, I attended NYCC 2019 on Friday only, commuting between Albany and NYC by AMTRAK. My focus, and the majority of my time at the show was spent getting books signed by creators for CGC’s Signature Series. I am the original owner of each of the books pictured, with the 1980-1982 books purchased at my local pharmacy, and the 1989-90 books purchased at local comics shops. Each book was submitted for CCS pressing prior to grading/slabbing. Most of what I submitted is now back from CGC. Following in this post, you’ll find a pic of each Signature Series book from this mail call, and my commentary on the results.

Moon Knight 1

I was twelve years old when I bought this book off of a spinner rack (as evidenced by the date stamp), so under those circumstances I’m particularly thrilled that this book came back graded a 9.8 following signature by Bill Sienkiewicz. While this book isn’t the character’s first appearance, it is his first self-titled series and also introduces us to Bushman and Khonshu. The coming months will see a rollercoaster of values for collectibles due to the COVID-19 crisis, but when the announced Moon Knight series hits Disney+ I’m sure there will be increased interest in this book.

Had this come in at any lower grade, I would have been interested in adding the signature of Moon Knight’s creator Doug Moench through a private signing facilitated by Rich Henn, but I won’t risk cracking the slab and possibly jeopardize the 9.8.

X-Men 141

As mentioned in other posts on this blog (and common to many collectors my age), I grew up enthralled with the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne X-Men. In fact, I still have my copy of X-Men 96 that I picked up when I was seven years old. Not surprisingly, I have a lot of connection to the story lines that these creators produced. Among my favorites is Days of Future Past, which of course appeared in Uncanny X-Men 141-142.

I still remember being wowed by the cover of issue 141 when I saw it on the spinner rack, and wowed by the story this issue and the next contained. A dystopian future where the Sentinels were in charge, the death of an adult Franklin Richards, time travel, the introduction of the New Brotherhood, and more – – WOW!! Keep in mind that I really had no idea that this story was coming. As someone who was primarily buying news stand books at local retail stores, I generally wasn’t receiving previews other than teasers in the letters page of books. My, how the internet has changed collecting!!

That being said, I brought my copy of 141 to NYCC with the intent of having it signed by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Byrne was scheduled to appear at the IDW booth, and I had pre-purchased one of his artist edition books in order to be able to get his signature. Byrne does not participate in any witnessed signings, but I still wanted to get his signature. I was undecided if I would submit to CGC for a green/yellow label (Byrne Qualified, Claremont Witnessed), or send to CBCS for signature verification of both, which would result in a red label. In any event, my decision was made by Byrne being absent that day due to illness (prompting me to get a refund for the pre-purchased book). The end result was a CGC Signature Series book, signed by Claremont with a grade of 9.6.

As you’ll see, the remainder of the books in this mail call were also signed by Chris Claremont. I’ll discuss my plan and the outcomes a bit more as we proceed.

X-Men Annual 6

Another book signed by Bill Sienkiewicz, who was stationed at the Alex Ross Art booth (or should I say suite!!) on the main show floor, rather than in Artists Alley. As mentioned, this book was also signed by Chris Claremont. While this Annual may not be considered “hot” by collectors, it was a great opportunity for me to capture the signatures of two legendary creators on a book that was on hand in my collection. In addition to this Annual, Claremont and Sienkiewicz also collaborated on another X-Men vs Dracula story in issue 159 of the regular series, which I also have a copy of. I chose the Annual to have signed as I believed it would achieve the higher grade between the two, and I’m thrilled with the result – a dual signed 9.6. While I said this book isn’t hot with collectors, maybe the current marvel story lines featuring Dracula will bring renewed attention to it.

We’re now moving on to books I bought from local comic shops around my early 20’s – either at a store (I don’t recall the name of) in Plattsburgh, NY where I attended college, or at Albany’s Earthworld Comics. I thought all three of these books were 9.8 candidates, but as you’ll see, that wasn’t quite the case.

Uncanny X-Men 244

First up is Uncanny X-Men 244 – the first appearance of Jubilee, signed by Claremont and penciler Marc Silvestri with a grade of 9.4. While I’m a little disappointed with the grade, it’s still great to have a dual signed first appearance in my collection.

Uncanny X-Men 256

The issue that saw Betsy Braddock (now) controversially transformed into an Asian woman, graded a 9.4 following signature by Claremont.

Uncanny X-Men 268

Madripoor Knights – A flashback to 1941 involving Logan, Captain America, and a then child Natasha Romanoff, graded a 9.8 following signature by Claremont.

Both Uncanny 256 and 268, I had hoped to get triple signed by Claremont, penciler Jim Lee, and inker Scott Williams. Due to some frustrating miscommunications that I won’t rehash here, that didn’t work out. I will pursue Lee and Williams’ signatures on 256 in the future, but am unlikely to crack the 9.8 graded 268 to do so. I have another copy of 268 though, so may pursue the triple signature on that one.

Thanks for checking out these books. Let me know what you think. I’m expecting back a couple more books signed at NYCC – one is at CGC under a separate invoice, and the other with CBCS for triple signature verification. I’ll post the results of those mail calls when I receive them. Iope you come back to check those out as well!!

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Gary Govel
Gary Govel is a life-long fan and collector of comics, with a particular interest in Bronze and Copper Age Keys. He recently launched Collector Syndicate to share his experiences and promote the hobby.

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