Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

The Champion City Comics staff will be taking the rest of the week off to celebrate Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful and safe holiday. We'll see you on Monday, December 2, 2013.

Photo courtesy Comics Alliance - Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

EBAY COMIC IDIOTS BY ANAND 'KAV' KAVIRAJ

Being a frequent buyer and seller of comics on eBay, I have run across some amazing people, made connections which led to drawing projects, articles, and friendships. I even met a guy who owns a copy of Action Comics #1! He had to pay $80,000 plus trade 80 other very valuable comics for it! And, of course, I have also come across the inevitable IDIOTS.

One dude had a coverless copy of a comic titled Captain Future and he listed it as 'MINT' condition with a buy it now price of $200. WTF?? I thought-I just had to inquire about this, so I messaged the dufus, and he responded huffily that, 'The part that was there was in mint condition'. WTF?? I rebutted him with, 'Well if I have a single page of Action Comics #1 then can I list it as 'Action Comics #1-MINT condition' since the part I had was mint? He got angry. Dufuses usually get angry when you point out their dufusness, I have found. According to his logic, if you have a comic with a cover a bit worn which puts it in 'good' condition, merely rip off the cover and VOILA! MINT!

Another dude has had a listing up for years which was titled 'Spider-Man original art -Vinny Romita-Signed by Stan Lee-John Romita Jr and John Romita Sr.' Price? A mere $17,995.95. WTF? Dude thinks since Stan Lee, John Romita, Jr. and Sr. have signed it , then it must be a gold mine. Ok dude-get a grip-there are plenty of Romita/Romita/Lee autographed items on eBay-Vinny Romita-a little kid-his autograph has no value, nor does his 'original 'art'. Just pause to think for a moment-if those four signatures were worth $18,000, wouldn't those four dudes go into business and make a fortune?  He actually thinks that some day someone is gonna come along and buy this piece of crap!



Then there are the dudes that like draw a picture on a napkin and list 'original one-of-a-kind art' for like $20,000. Just some dude. Note to dude: EVERY piece of 'original art' is one-of-a-kind. That means nothing. Here's how it works-first you become famous, then your art is worth beaucoup bucks. It doesn't work the other way around.

If you frequent the collector's forums they mock the HUGE number of idiots who list their comics at WAY over valued prices in buy it now formats with no best offer listings. For example: I've seen a $200 book listed at $1200. There's all these IDIOTS on eBay hoping one day a bigger IDIOT will come along, but IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN. EVER. WHY would you spend $1200 for a comic when there are PLENTY of listings of the same comic, in the same or better condition for $150? WHY??? YOU WOULDN'T!

There was the dude who listed a 'huge lot' of TWO COMICS. I'm not s*****g you! I messaged him too and said, 'I fail to see how two comic books constitute a 'huge lot'. He replied, 'Thanks for sharing', so I replied, 'I just didn't want you to look ridiculous'. ZING. He didn't change his listing, the way a functioning human would.

EBay can be a great source of income, deals, and...AMUSEMENT.

Monday, November 25, 2013

GREETINGS FROM WEBCOMICS LAND: DETECTIVE PEREZ WELCOME TO RUST CITY BY PAUL PATE

Today, we would like to share a webcomic from Paul Pate titled Welcome to Rust City.

Synopsis: Consider yourself lucky. You're lucky you don't live in my city. I've lived in Rust City my whole life, and for all thirty some of those years, this city has been in decline. At this point, it is almost unbearable. But, this is MY city! I am detective Lorenzo Perez. If there is a crime in this city and I catch the case, you can best believe I'm gonna find those responsible and bring them to justice!

Take this case. Someone kills Christina Stephans. They don't just kill her. They open her neck up and drain her blood all over my apartment floor! They're not gonna get away with it. Not if I have anything to say about it. Not if I have to take on gangsters, corrupt police officers, rogue FBI agents, and vampires! I will do what I have to do to track them down. I will enlist the help of some unruly characters along the way. And believe me, there are plenty in this town!

So, join me for this story if you will. But, please take my word for it, you don't wanna move here. You wouldn't last.



Friday, November 22, 2013

THE ARTWORK OF FLORIN GRADINARU

Florin Gradinaru is an artist from Romania and I am showcasing his work at Champion City Comics.

Florin's bio:

I have been drawing since childhood and I specialize in characters, portraits, and scenery illustration for comics, children books, games and cartoons. I enjoy creating dynamic compositions inspired by nature or fantasy.

When I was ten years old, I started studying arts with a great teacher, Gheorghe Ciuchete, at Childrens Palace in Craiova, Romania where I studied drawing the human body, portraits, compositions, still life and colouring. I attended the Art High School "Marin Sorescu" in Craiova where I studied painting and other disciplines with another great teacher Mihail Trifan and others for History of Arts, Sculpture, Perspective, etc. After that I studied Geography and English at the University of Craiova where I continued my love of drawing and painting. 

Personal blog: http://floringradinaru.blogspot.ro


Thursday, November 21, 2013

THE WYTHEVILLE PEDIGREE COLLECTION

Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj, our resident artist and comic book guru has written a great article about the  Whytheville Pedigree comic book collection.

What is a pedigree and how did they come to be a part of comic collecting?. In the 1970's a comic book store chain in Denver, known as Mile High Comics bought a stunning one-owner Golden-Age collection which was then sent to CGC for grading. The collector was Edgar Church, an illustrator who bought every issue that came out to be used as reference. Here is one of Church's illustrations, used for the cover of the Mile-High catalog:



These books came to be known as, you guessed it, The Mile-High Collection or the Edgar Church collection. Since these books where in a cool dry climate, they where wonderfully preserved and in stunning condition for their age. Amazingly, the older books were in the best condition, as they were at the bottom of the 8 foot high stacks and thus virtually untouched by air. These books you could actually still smell the printer's ink on and the pages were white and supple. Included in the collection was a complete run of Action Comics including #1 in an estimated 9.4 condition-it is unknown the exact condition as the current owner refuses to get it graded. I can understand how difficult it would be to let a book like that out of my control for a second! Comic book bags and boards where only around from the early 70's on so it usually the luck of the draw on finding high-grade issues prior to that. Early Silver-Age issues in high-grade are usually ones that where in the middle or bottom of a stack of books that have been left untouched for years. The fact that a book is sandwiched between other books meant it was safe from aging factors like sunlight and air.

Chuck Rozanski-Mile High founder with the Church collection:



One of the problems with early Golden-Age books is that there are not a lot of them around, period! In the 1940's, during World War II, they used to have massive paper drives for the War effort and millions of kids dutifully brought their comic books to the curb to be turned into pulp for much needed military paper products for the boys overseas. To further exacerbate things, many more were destroyed in the infamous 'war on comic books' instigated by the vile Dr. Wertham. To find a large cache of these early 1940's comics is amazing in itself but to find a huge collection in tip-top condition seemed to be a once in a life-time event. Indeed there were other Golden Age pedigrees to surface, the San Francisco, Lamont Larson, Cosmic Aeroplane, Denver, Allentown, Recil Macon, 'D', Blankas-Salida, Pennsylvania, Carson City, Hawkeye, Windy City, .Crescent City, White Mountain, and Bethlehem collections, but none could match the depth and condition of the Church collection.

With all the buzz about Golden-Age pedigrees and not a lot to be had, some truly beautiful Silver-Age runs have now shown up at the door step of the Certified Guarantee Company or CGC to be certified and graded. CGC requires proof of the find and that they grade the entire collection in order to establish a 'pedigree'.

The "Wytheville" pedigree collection was found by long-time dealer Kermit E Osserman, who first learned about the books by seeing a few offered on Ebay. He noticed that the seller was from Virginia and that they where offering some very interesting key issues like Marvel Spotlight #5, first appearance of Ghost Rider! After purchasing all the man had to offer that week on Ebay, a dialogue was opened up and discussions ensued to allow Kermit to come to Wytheville and purchase the huge collection of silver and bronze age books in one massive buy. The owner of the books was a police officer whose brother was a hoarder and a loner. The boy bought every book off the rack, each week, one at a time, over the course of years.

The "Wytheville" collection stood in some 40 long boxes and 30 or so square boxes. The brother had done some sorting of the books by placing them into runs. You could see that, after months and months of sorting, he had barely scratched the surface. There where huge runs, in issue number order, untouched for years. There is a certain smell to a comic book that has aged over the years, referred to as 'acid' due to the bleaching compounds used in the production of paper and which, when reacted with oxygen, slowly corrode and yellow paper products.

There where runs of DC's Our Army At War, Sgt. Rock, Star Spangled War Stories, high-grade Richie Rich issues in the pre 100's. Then there where the Amazing Spider-Man runs, Action Comics runs, then Marvel Horror books like Crypt Of Shadows, Where Creatures Roam, Where Monster's Dwell, on and on. Each box was more amazing then the last. After four hours of looking through all the boxes and doing some calculations, Kermit was ready to sit down and discuss pricing for the lot.

There where two serious draw-backs on the collection. About twenty percent of the books had sustained water damage in moving them from the brother's house to the officer's basement. This of course figured into the final negotiations. The other problem was that all the key issues had been removed. There was no Hulk #180, #181 nor #182, no Iron Fist #14 etc. In fact there was no number one issues of any of the runs that had started at the beginning. In the final compromise, they settled on several thousand dollars for the lot. It took two trips with a Toyota Highlander filled to capacity both times to get all the books from lower Virginia to Charlottesville, which was three hours away, and it has taken nearly a year of intermittent listing and grading to get the best of the best onto Kermitspad.net and Ebay!

Wytheville pedigree books or 'Wythville' as Kermit calls them can be recognized by the gold certificate Kermit provides with each book he sells.



You can check out some of these fine books at http://www.kermitspad.net/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=0-collections-wythville. Here are some of the high grade silver age books which reflect the condition of this pedigree:







Wednesday, November 20, 2013

URITORCO

Story Concept, Artist, and Letterer: Victor Pozzi

Story: Christopher Smith

The Uritorco is a mountain that is 1,949 meters high, located in the center of Argentina, in the province of Córdoba. This area was inhabited in ancient times by the Comechingones that revered as a sacred mountain. Uritorco is known for frequent esoteric practices and, in past decades, there have been UFO sightings by locals and tourists. Since the 1950's, there is the myth that an underground city (Erks) lies beneath the region.

This story follows a group of superheroes who are trying to stop a group of supervillians from stealing the mystical powers of Uritorco.

Uritorco by Tony Wright


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

THOR BY VICTOR POZZI

Victor Pozzi, the artist for Uritorco, Westwood, Naira, and The Captive, has submitted this cool original piece of Thor artwork that he completed for commission at a comic con in Argentina. Enjoy!


Click to enlarge 

Monday, November 18, 2013

KAV'S COMIC DISCOVERIES: JACK KIRBY

Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj is our comic book guru and comic book artist. He has made a discovery regarding Jack Kirby's improper use of quotation marks. 

I've been reading Jack Kirby's bronze age DC titles where they let him write, draw, AND edit the books. That was a big mistake because Kirby's use of quotation marks was deplorable. He scattered them everywhere, in a nonsensical manner. I ignored it until now but he went to far in an issue of Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth! Kamandi is fighting some robot cops and Kirby has him thinking, "First, I'll borrow this "pseudo-cop's" pistol...". Because he put "pseudo-cops" in quotes, that means they're NOT pseudo-cops, but REAL cops which they're NOT. DC: KIRBY NEEDED AN EDITOR!!!! Yeesh.


Friday, November 15, 2013

BATMAN BY VICTOR POZZI

Victor Pozzi, the artist for Uritorco, Westwood, Naira, and The Captive, has submitted this cool original piece of Batman artwork that he completed for commission at a comic con in Argentina. Enjoy!

CLICK TO ENLARGE 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GREETINGS FROM WEBCOMICS LAND: CAN AN AIR BUBBLE IN THE VEIN KILL YOU?

Comic book guru and artist, Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj shares some important information regarding the deadly air bubbles that kill people in movies, television, and comics. 



A few weeks ago I offered a tip for comic artists about drawing bullets. Today I offer one for writers-do not script the old 'air bubble in vein' as a clever means of killing. An air bubble in the vein is 100% harmless. This urban myth is so persistent even if you Google 'can an air bubble in vein kill you?' most websites stupidly claim they can, and blather on about 'air embolism'. An air embolism is a condition that arises from improper scuba diving technique, not a syringe. Ask any nurse that gives IV's or any doctor-ask a CARDIOLOGIST for god's sake if an 'air bubble' can 'explode the heart'. I myself have calmly watched a two foot long air bubble enter my vein through an IV and I was just peachy. Still don't believe me? OK Google and try to find a SINGLE PERSON who was murdered by an air bubble injected into his vein. YOU CAN'T. BECAUSE IT'S NEVER HAPPENED. BECAUSE IT CAN'T HAPPEN. This would be such an easy way to murder someone it would be used CONSTANTLY. I think this urban legend began because of the way doctors squirt out some fluid from a needle before an injection so people thought they were getting rid of 'deadly' air bubbles. Actually after the professional taps the syringe to encourage the air bubble to "float" to the top, they then push the plunger to get rid of any air bubbles, and they evacuate any extra medication in the syringe. This allows them to perfectly measure the exact volume (and the amount of drug) in the syringe that is delivered to the person. Hence the squirt! If I never accomplish anything else in my life, dispelling this stupid myth would make me very, very happy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: THE RED DEVIL HAS BEEN UPDATED!

Champion City Comics is pleased to announce that we have started Chapter 2 for The Red Devil at Tapastic. Our international crime fighter has returned and this time Red Devil and Kid Diablo are tracking down an old friend named Nick Logan who is in possession of an artifact once owned by the Inca ruler Manco Capa. This artifact is believed to be the key to an underground city where a rumored ancient staff is housed. The Red Devil and Kid Diablo must get to Nick Logan first before he is captured by The Order of Methalius.

Click here to read The Red Devil at Tapastic!

CLICK TO ENLARGE



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

KAV'S WTF?! COMIC BOOK COVER: OMAC #1 BY DC COMICS

Champion City Comics artist and comic book guru, Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj shared with me a photo of the cover of 1974's OMAC #1 from DC Comics. After looking at this cover all I could think was, "WTF is that?!"

OMAC stands for One-Man Army Corps and this series was developed by Jack Kirby following the cancellation of New Gods. OMAC was apparently Kirby's version of a futuristic Captain America. This #1 cover by Jack Kirby is truly bizarre because we see OMAC throwing a woman in a box who appears to be in pieces or bent in an odd way while partially submerged in water. I know the purpose of covers is to sell the comic book, but this is not one of Kirby's best in my opinion.

Click to enlarge

Monday, November 4, 2013

ORIGINAL ARTWORK: BATMAN BY JOSEPH HAEMMERLE

Joseph Haemmerle is the artist for The Champion City Fire and The Red Devil. He recently finished this incredible Batman drawing, which he wanted to share with the faithful followers at Champion City Comics. I'm a huge Batman fan and this is a great view of Batman descending from Wayne Tower into Gotham. Enjoy.

If you are interested in owning any of Joe's art then contact him at joemhaemmerle@yahoo.com.

Click to enlarge



Friday, November 1, 2013

DID YOU KNOW? THE INCREDIBLE HULK

Comic Book guru and comic book artist, Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj has another juicy bit of information for all you comic book fans out there in Champion City Comics Land. Yesterday, he caught Doctor Strange giving the bird to some dude in an old Marvel comic book. Today, he has a cool "Did you know?" regarding The Incredible Hulk. Enjoy!

Did you know the Hulk originally talked like a normal dude, and was actually smarter than most people? In The Incredible Hulk #6 he outwitted the Metal Master, and he used to be able to change back and forth at will, using his Gamma Machine. Boy, things sure changed for old Hulky, and not for the better! Now he's a roid-rage special ed superhero.

Check out the images below by clicking on them to see the old school Hulk in action.