The Most Valuable Comics I Own

My Most Valuable Comics
An array of Kaylin's comics

Last week I got an email from a prospective new customer for All New Comics asking what condition our comics come in.  My business partner Peter prides himself on the way he ships stuff, he puts each comic in a bag and board, wraps a bunch of them together in a bag, puts that bag in a layer of bubble wrap, then puts the bundles of bagged, boarded, bagged, and bubbled comics in a box, fills that box with a bunch of packing paper and ships them out.  My comics always arrive perfectly, and we’ve only had about three complaints in the five years we’ve been in business (for literally thousands of orders).  Not shabby.

This customer however wanted to know what “CGC Grade” our comics were in, because if they were less than a 9.9 he wasn’t interested in our books.

This is a market I’m not interested in at all, so I told him he should probably get his comics from a brick and mortar store where he can go through a stack of comics and find the ones that meet his exact standards as it’s not something we’re very good at.  We ship out good comics with no obvious dents or dings, but what we deliver meets the qualifications of  “mint to near mint”.

  • The Cover has: No creases, no fading, lies flat and has no rolls or curves
  • The Spine: is straight, staples exhibit no signs of rust, minor bindery tears are acceptable no more than 1/16th of an inch.
  • Inside: pages have no stains, marks, cuts or tears.
  • Overall: The comic should look like new.

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Most Anticipated Movies of 2010

I’ve been very lax in my blog this year.  I’ve got a half dozen “year end” and “preview” type posts from January that I never scheduled to be published, so the next couple of weeks will be a bit of a clearing house of stuff that I’m moving from Draft to Published.

2009 turned out to be a fantastic year for movies. Not only were box office records broken, but at least ten amazing flicks were released in 2009, with about 10 more top notch movies also coming out.

One of the crappy things about living in London is that we don’t get the smaller films, and even middle of the road openings will only be here for a couple of weeks (see “Moon” and “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasiss” as examples). The good thing is that of the 41 screens in London, the same half dozen movies are playing in all six theatres.

Sooooo, there’s a good chance I’ll never get to see most of these movies in theatres.  However it’s a great list, and it’s chock full of trailers!

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Why the Olympics finally mattered to me

The Olympic Flame in Vancouver
The Olympic Flame shot by my TSN buddy Danny Celia

I worked for the Sports Network for just over a decade (with a little 18 month sojourn to other places thrown in there), in that time I worked through four Olympics.  I arrived at TSN just in time for Nagano Japan, and I was away for Sydney Australia, but there for Salt Lake City USA, Athens Greece, and Turin Italy.

We made some cool apps, and always had great traffic around the time of the games.  TSN was a broadcast partner for Australia through Turin, so we had a lot of really great access.

However, in all that time, I was never as into an Olympics as this year.

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Vegas baby, Vegas

A view of the Las Vegas Strip
Looking at the Las Vegas strip from the Palms

A couple of weeks ago my buddy Ryan and I went to Vegas.  It’s my sixth trip there since my first one in 2001 (and my fourth trip there with Ryan).  Expectations were high after my most recent trip to Vegas two years ago (with Char and the Info-Tech crew), and the time before that with Ryan and John for UFC 52 being pretty much legendary (including the best run of Craps luck we’ve ever had).

The entire time we were in Vegas we were searching for the legendary night that would make it all come alive again…but it never came.  Looking back on it, and I think we were trying so hard to have a great time that we may have overlooked the ridiculous fun we were having.

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My Sketchbook from January 4-10

Just a dood, but he looks like a zombie!
Just a dood, but he looks like a zombie!

So here we are, the first week of my new year’s resolution to draw every day.  I did quite well, but unfortunately I left my sketchbook at work, so instead I had to crank off a few drawings this weekend to make up for the lack of reportable effort (I guess I have a head start for next week).

This week’s sketches were all done on my Wacom Intuos 3.

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New Years Resolution – 2010 The Year We Make Contact

My 2010 Resolutions
My 2010 Resolutions

Well, since this is the year that our robot overlords come online and we make contact with alien life forms I guess I better shape up quickly.  As is the usual rigamarole, I’ll review what I resolved to do last year, and what I actually did.

2009 was a pretty big year for our little family. Maks went from being a bag of need to a real little boy, Kaylin has become a big girl in her own right and started school this year.  Somehow Char has done a great job of holding everything together. We got a start on our basement (it’s framed, wired, and drywalled, mudding happens this week, paint and carpet later in the month). At work we got our website redesign completed and started transforming the rest of the business, and I took on a new gig (Executive Producer…or a similar title to be named later).  Oh, and All New Comics pretty much doubled our business again in 2009.

Not a bad little run of a year.

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Best Comics of 2009

Batman and Robin #1
Batman and Robin #1

2009 was a pretty good year for comics sales. At All New Comics we saw our month-to-month sales rise by about 80% year over year, with a lot of that coming from new customers.

Our existing customers aren’t demonstrating any of the so-called “event fatigue” which retailers like Brian Hibbs are complaining about, and instead are subscribing to event based titles in record numbers for us, prompting us to place our first triple digit numbers for some titles!

For fun, here’s our top 10 subscription title on All New Comics right now.

  1. Blackest Night – DC Comics 8 Issue Mini-Series
  2. Batman – DC Comics
  3. Amazing Spider-Man – Marvel Comics
  4. Green Lantern – DC Comics
  5. Batman and Robin – DC Comics
  6. Captain America Reborn – Marvel Comics 6 Issue Mini-Series
  7. New Avengers – Marvel Comics
  8. Detective Comics – DC Comics
  9. Captain America – Marvel Comics
  10. Green Lantern Corps – DC Comics

That’s what we’re selling a lot of, but what were my favourites this year? Well that’s a slightly different story. Here they are (in no particular order).

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The Best Movies of 2009

Star Trek the Movie
Star Trek the Movie

I have loved movies since I was a kid, and in the summer of 1989 my buddy Ryan and I saw every flim that opened except Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Return of the Swamp Thing. That summer I decided I wanted to make films for a living. I went to school for TV production and did a brief stint in TV land, as a production assistant, editor, and graphic designer before discovering my true calling – the internet.

Since the arrival of Kaylin and Maks it’s been harder to get out and see movies, but since moving to London we have a combination of built-in babysitting (thanks Grandma), and Char and I go out some nights on our own to catch movies individually.

It turns out I saw a lot of movies in 2009! Good for me. We had a new theatre open up near us this year, the Westmount VIP is about a 5 minute drive from our house, and it’s a spectacular facility. I’d say I saw about 80% of my movies there. The VIP part is that you can pay about $5.00 more for a ticket with reserved seating in a theatre where they have plush leather seats, concession people come to your seat, and because it’s licensed it’s 19+ (which means no annoying kids!).

Here were my favourite movies of 2009 in alphabetical order (because ranking them 1-10 is kind of pointless).

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