Mississippi Mudcats

Total Comic Registry Points: 10,482,441 Rank: 1
 


Mississippi Mudcats's Bio
Hi, welcome to our homepage. I share this collection with my 20-something son. We are both Tom Avents, but he generally goes by Trey. Quite frankly, other than our names and genes, we don’t have that much in common: I am a sports nut, he most definitely isn’t; he plays video games, I don’t; I grew up in a small town attending public schools, he grew up in a big city attending private schools. But one passion we do share is our love of comic books. We have been collecting for many years, especially me, primarily focusing on Marvel and DC superhero titles from the Silver Age. 

We are always interested in buying, selling or trading books with other collectors. If interested, it’s best to contact me if you want to do a deal, since our collections are in my house and I still supply most of the money LOL. You can reach me at tomavent123@gmail.com or by sending us a message through the registry. We do a fair amount of networking with other registry members and have found it to be a good resource for both buying and selling books. Also, many of the relationships I have built through comic collecting have evolved into valued friendships, which I treasure. 

If you drop us a line, we will try to get back to you quickly. And even if there is no current match, we always enjoy talking comics with other passionate collectors. The rest of this bio and many of our set descriptions are basically a diary of my years of collecting comics and were written more for my son than outside readers. Thus, I would recommend everyone stop reading here unless for some reason you are interested in learning more about us and our collections.

Our Background in Collecting: My earliest comic collecting memory involves buying copies of Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four issues off the comic racks at one of the drugstores on the Square in Oxford, Mississippi where I grew up. I am not sure what my first comic was, but I do recall starting after the earliest issues of Fantastic Four and ASMs hit the newsstands. Those early issues before I started collecting always held a special mystique for me. 

I was hooked on comics almost immediately and can remember scouring the comic racks as a very little boy on the day of the month that the books hit the racks and the excitement I experienced over discovering new issues. Specifically, I can remember buying copies of both X-Men #1 and Avengers #1 on the first day they hit the stands and rushing home to read them.

If only I had been smart enough back then to buy multiple copies, assuming my parents would have given me enough dimes, and store them somewhere safe, how different my life might be today LOL. But instead, I eagerly read them over and over and stamped my name on the cover of many of my books to make sure my little brother didn’t take them. And I am embarrassed to admit that there was a kid in town who was also a big Marvel nut and we, my brother and I, sold some issues to him for $5 each, thinking he was a real nut for paying so much over face: live and learn LOL.

I still have a number of those old books, they might now grade about a 2.0 or 3.0 at best. The myth that any old book is valuable, regardless of condition, is one shared by most of the non-collecting public, but we all know here how wrong that presumption is, condition is everything. 

My goal as a little kid was naturally to be a costumed superhero-or villain, it was the powers, not the crusade that fascinated me back then. It was, of course, a different age, as we had no computers, mobile phones or video games. Who knows what the future will hold when all the collectors like myself who were born in the SA are gone? 

Fast forward a few decades and we (my son and I) are still buying comics. In fact, nothing much has changed since we primarily collect Marvel and DC Silver-Age superhero titles, the same books I read so vociferously as a kid. But there are substantial gaps in my collecting history, as by the Bronze Age, I had become distracted by girls. And, unfortunately, for the many years that I practiced law in NYC, DC and London, I did not actively collect comics. So I missed those days where other collectors bought entire titles of pedigree collections in the raw. During that period, while working like a demon, I became somewhat obsessed with 18th Century furniture and 19th century Oriental rugs, both of which I still enjoy, but no longer have space for any more acquisitions. I am also an audio/video nut and collected thousands of CDs, DVDs,DVD-As, SACDs, and laser discs before streaming existed. Fortunately, classic rock music and movies are two other passions my son and I share and we both play multiple instruments, although he does so far better than I.

It was only with the emergence of the internet that my passion for collecting comics reignited. I started this CGC collection over 20 years ago when my son was a very young child focusing on nine Marvel titles (ASM, Avengers, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Journey Into Mystery, Strange Tales, Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish, and X-Men) and three DC titles (Flash, Green Lantern and JLA), all of which I read as a kid growing up. Through the years, we have added more and more Marvel and DC titles, including a couple of Marvel Westerns. But our primary collecting focus has always remained Silver Age books, as we simply lack the resources to compete in the more expensive Golden Age realm. And original art, forget about it, we are far too late to that party. To quote Clint Eastwood, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” In my case, I have been fortunate enough in life to earn enough money to indulge my passions for travel and collecting, but those Golden Age and original art guys live in either another dimension of sight and sound or a galaxy far far away from mine LOL. 

I probably should not share this, and I certainly don’t recommend it financially, but perhaps the most significant event in terms of building our comic collection over the last 20 years was my divorce, as I am not sure any wife would have put up with my spending so much of my disposable income on comics LOL. While married, I did my best to keep my purchases hidden, at least I did after I came home one day to find that she and my then young son had opened some of the CGC cases thinking they were supposed to be read. From that point on, I didn’t send comic purchases to our house, but it’s probably no coincidence that our collection did not really take off until after I no longer had to hide my purchases in storage or convince her that comics really were good investments. Upon reflection, I may need to just delete this paragraph LOL.

Initially, when I started back collecting I bought both raw and graded books. At that time, there were slews of ungraded books represented as 9.6/9.8s for sale on the market. I can still remember my son and I standing in line one year at DragonCon to have Stan Lee sign some of our books, which had been represented on E-Bay to be 9.8s. Unfortunately, when we got them back from CGC we discovered they were either restored or that they graded out no higher than 8.5s. Needless to say, I pretty much stopped buying raw books on the spot; however, we still have file drawers full of raw books from my childhood and those early years when we were still learning the collecting ropes. 

Initially, we had stacks and stacks of books in my audio/video room, which slowly migrated to CGC boxes in the closets. As I am sure is the case with many other collectors, we also did not start out buying highest graded examples. During the early years we had lots of 6.0s, 7.0s and 8.0s in our collection: 6.0 being our first collecting bar. Our first purge was around 2012 when, with a few exceptions, we sent all our books below 9.0 to auction. I used the advance we received on those books to basically buy three books we still own, an ASM #1 9.4, a JIM #83 9.2, and a TTA #35 9.6. It certainly made the number of books we had at the time much more manageable and I am quite certain that those three books have fared much better from a value perspective than the 100s of lower graded books we sold. 

Our second purge occurred a few years later when, again with a few exceptions, we sent all our books graded below 9.4 to auction. Unlike the first purge, we did that later one on a title by title basis. But once again the proceeds went to buying fewer higher graded books. Our whole comic collecting journey has been about constantly upgrading the collection, in no year have we ever sold more books in dollar terms than we have bought. But if CGC ever starts screening 9.8s for upgrades to 9.9s, I’m done, that’s a bridge too far for me. 

Although we have never replaced all of the books we sold with higher graded copies, the number of books in our collection has kept rising through the years as we have expanded the number of titles we collect. We are currently trying to decide the future of our collection, as the library I built in my new house is busting at the seams. In fact, for the first time in years, we are once again now storing some books in CGC boxes in a closet. 

Collecting wise, we seem to be some of the only registry members who collect both DC and Marvel titles. Obviously, the majority of collectors today covet Marvels, especially in the Silver Age, and I was most definitely a Marvel nut as a kid. There’s no question the Marvel stories were better written and intended for a more mature market, at least in my mind, and the movies have clearly been better produced and far more successful. However, from a collector’s standpoint, DC offers earlier titles with far more single highest graded one of a kind books to collect. Moreover, they have always been far more affordable than their Marvel counterparts. 

My experience indicates that, while most younger collectors are all Marvel, many older collectors still value DC titles. I think that age gap accounts for much of the weakness in prices we have seen in DCs over the last few years, as many long-term DC collectors have either passed, disposed of their collections or are at the very least no longer actively buying books. 

When we started our collections, most collectors we ran into seemed to be a lot like us, they were collecting every issue in a timeframe of a title. Today that makes us dinosaurs, which is probably the main reason we top the registry in as many sets as we do. Most new collectors seem to focus on keys or white page 9.8s only, which is where all the appreciation in comics has been centered. We have enjoyed the quests to find those missing issues, but financially there is no doubt that we would have fared far better if we had just bought as many keys in as high grades as we could afford.

Also, while we have very much enjoyed collecting DCs, I am not sure I would recommend it to anyone just starting the hobby. The value of DCs is much more dependent on the CCG census than Marvels and thus more susceptible to declines in value. I would especially advise not repeating our mistake of chasing single highest graded issues, which will almost always carry a premium that can disappear upon changes in the census. Generally speaking, changes in the census can only hurt those books’ value, sometimes drastically. But at least with Marvels, there are far fewer single highest graded issues and many more collectors, so they are less susceptible to big drops in value.

Our Collection: When I first discovered the registry and decided to register our books, I adopted the registry handle of Wallstreetrebel, as I had been a Southerner practicing law in NYC. Also, it was and still is my E-Bay handle. But since I no longer live in NYC, it had become rather dated. Mississippi Mudcats, often shortened to Mudcats, was both a softball team on which I once played and the long-time name of fantasy baseball and basketball teams in NYC, which I owned with a good friend, Rich Catalano, in the Sherman & Sterling lawyers league. My friend recently passed unexpectedly of a heart attack in his 50s and our fantasy league broke up after over two decades of heated competition. So I decided to change our handle in memory of my friend, but using the longer version since both my son and I were born in Mississippi. I currently live primarily in Mississippi, and I’m also a fifth generation grad of Ole Miss, which recently won the 2022 CWS in Omaha, Hotty Toddy! (We won’t talk about 2023 LOL.)

Another problem was that our bio and set descriptions had become short books, which this new extended bio is quickly becoming as well, as each year I just added a yearly update, rather than editing info that was dated or no longer correct. After awhile, even I had a hard time reading through all that stuff year after year. So I have now updated this bio and, if I can complete similar updates to each set description, including purging any books we no longer own, we plan to make at least a portion of our registry sets public again.

We generally don’t collect copies of specific key books, but instead focus on completing runs of books within a title. If asked as to our favorite titles, I guess we would both say either Spidey or Fantastic Four. Even after all these years, I still go back and forth between those two, although the Journey Into Mystery title is another personal favorite. We are also big fans of three DC titles: Flash, GL and JLA. All of our collections in those titles are complete through issue #100 (Issue #89 in the case of GL) or the end of the titles.

Completed Sets(24):

Amazing Spider-Man (#1-25): We have a complete set of 26 unrestored books with a minimum grade of 9.4. 

Amazing Spider-Man (#1-74): We have a complete set of 74 unrestored books with a minimum grade of 9.4.

Amazing Spider-Man (#1-100): We have all 109 books in this set with a minimum grade of 9.4. One book is restored. 

Aquaman (1962) and Showcase (#30-33): We have a complete set of 67 books with a minimum grade of 9.0. We would be interested in upgrades, in particular a better Issue #11, which is our sole 9.0.

Aquaman (1962): This one is a subset of the larger set above, containing 63 books.

Atom: We have a complete set of 48 books with a minimum grade of 9.4. All but one of our books are highest graded examples-at least as of the time I drafted this bio.

Avengers (#1-65): We have a complete set of 65 books with a minimum grade of 9.6, with almost 90% of the books 9.8s. We would like to acquire a high-grade unrestored #1, which is our only restored issue in this set, cost being the biggest issue. 

Avengers (#1-100): We have a complete set of 100 books, including the same books in (#1-65) above, plus 35 more 9.8s.

Daredevil (#1-80): We have a complete set of 81 unrestored books with a minimum grade of 9.6.

Daredevil (#1-157): We have a complete set of 162 unrestored books with a minimum grade of 9.6.

Doom Patrol: We have all 45 books with a minimum grade of 9.0. We are looking to upgrade the single 9.0 and two 9.2s in this set to 9.4s or better.

Fantastic Four (#1-102): We have a complete set of 109 books with a minimum grade of 9.4, although one book is restored and a second qualified. We would love to replace them, but as they are key early issues, it’s cost prohibitive for us right now. 

Flash (105-350): We have a complete set of all 251 books, including the four Showcases, with a minimum grade of 9.2. Only one book is ranked lower than second highest graded in the census. We are always looking to upgrade this collection. 

Forever People: We have a complete set of unrestored books with just a single 9.6 and the rest 9.8s. All of our books are highest graded examples. 

Green Lantern (#1-89): We own all 89 books, none of which are qualified or restored, with a minimum grade of 9.2. All of our books are first or second highest graded examples. We would be interested in upgrades. 

Green Lantern (#76-89): We have a complete set of 14 books, all 9.8s.

Hawkman: We have all of the 34 books in this set with a minimum grade of 9.4, excepting our 9.0 placeholder copy of B&B #34. Thirty-one of our 34 books are highest graded examples, and all of our books from the Hawkman title are graded at least 9.6.

Journey Into Mystery (#83-125): We have a complete set of 44 unrestored books with just a single 9.2 and four 9.4s.

Justice League of America (#1-100): We have a complete set of 100 unrestored books with a minimum grade of 9.4. Ninety-one of our books top the census and the other nine are second highest graded examples.

Showcase (#22-24): We have all three books, two of which are highest graded, with one topping the census alone. Minimum grade is 9.0.

Spectre and Adventure Comics (#431-440): We have a complete set of 23 books with a minimum grade of 9.6. All but one book are highest graded examples. The Adventure Comics set is a 10-book Spectre subset and is complete with every book a 9.8. 

Tales of Suspense (#39-99): We have a complete set of 61 books with a minimum grade of 9.4, although one book is restored. 

Tales to Astonish (#27 and #35-100): We have a complete set of 68 books with a minimum grade of 9.4, although one book is restored. 

All of the sets above, except for the Spidey sets, currently top the registry, although it should be noted that the set that currently sits atop most of the Spidey rankings was sold a couple of years ago. (Of course, if every ASM set out there were registered, we might not make the top 5.) Three of our sets above have won Best SA Set Awards: FF (#1-102), Flash (#105-340), and GL (#1-89). Hopefully, several others will merit consideration for such distinction in the future; however, as noted above, four of the sets above are somewhat flawed, in that they contain a restored and/or qualified book. Unfortunately, replacing those books with similarly graded universal copies is currently a bridge too far us financially.

Almost Completed Sets (over 90%): 

DC Giants: This set is excellent for what we have, as almost every book is a highest graded example, but we still lack copies of seven of the issues. My admiration grows daily for my friend Mark’s diligence in finding them all in such high grades (colmoreman’s Gorgeous Giants set, which he sold on Heritage in 2019), as it’s a very tough set to complete. 

Justice League of America (Complete): We have 259 of 267 books, with every issue over #100 a 9.8/9.9. The issues we lack are later ones and have proven difficult to find at all, much less in high grades, as the census is incredibly low. Therein lies the challenge with extended sets, sometimes there are no CGC graded books to be had, as the CGC grading fees exceed the value of such books. 

Marvel Super Hero Comics (1962-1965): This is not a set we are specifically targeting, but it covers many titles we do collect and we currently own high-grade copies of 90% of the books and top the registry by a wide margin. Of note, in terms of registry point, our set here is the most valuable in the Registry with almost 4 million points. The books we lack are the early Hulks (very expensive), Sgt Furys and Strange Tales. 

Metal Men: We have 54 of the 60 books in this set with a minimum grade of 8.5. This set is highlighted by the single highest graded Metal Men debut Showcase issue (Issue #37). The one 8.5 is our Showcase #39, otherwise the minimum grade of this set is 9.2. As with the JLA set above, the missing books are all later issues, which we just can’t seem to find. Kudos to Wxman Slaw and davecc for finding them all. 

Thor (#126-177): We have 47 of the 52 books with a minimum grade of 9.6. Many of the missing books are early and pricey in 9.6/9.8. I do think this is a set we will eventually complete, it’s more a question of money than finding the books.

All of the sets above top the registry, except for our Kirby Thor set, which is currently #3. Ideally, all could be completed in the near future with a little luck and more money.

Partially Completed Sets (over 75% complete):

Detective Comics (#301-40): This set is currently 90% complete, with all examples first or second highest graded. We have been targeting these books, but only buying books at least second highest graded so completion may take awhile, if ever. 

Marvel Silver-Age 1st Appearances (1956-1969): This is not a set we are specifically targeting, but we currently own about 86% of the books, all of which come from other sets, and top the registry by a wide margin. This is a much smaller set than the Marvel Super Hero set above, but many of the books we lack, including once again some of those early Hulks, are very expensive in high grades, so completion still seems doubtful unless we buy some low-grade slot fillers. 

Plastic Man (1966): This set is 80% complete and tops the registry. The four books we lack are later issues, which we have never seen since starting our set. 

Silver Surfer (Silver Age): This set is 89% complete, with all our books grading 9.6 or 9.8, and tops the registry as of November 2023.

Wonder Woman (#178-203): This is a set of 23 books with a minimum grade of 9.4. Eighteen issues are highest graded, but we lack the five issues not included in the larger WW sei (#1-200) discussed below.

Wonder Woman (#1-200): One of our most confusing sets in that, while we are still buying these books, we are not targeting the early GA entries. Our set is currently a little over 75% complete and tops the registry by a wide margin with 72 single highest graded examples. But, absent a change in priorities, we will never finish this one. 

X-Men (#1-66): This set is about 85-90% complete with 9.6/9.8 examples, but the books we lack include some key early issues. Unlike Thor above, this is a set that I doubt we will ever complete, as the missing X-Men make the missing Thors look cheap.

All of the seven sets above except X-Men top the registry. Ideally, we would love to complete each of the sets above, but realistically it seems unlikely in the near future, if ever. 

Works in Progress (over 50% complete): 

Batman (#101-200): This set is over 70% complete, but we lack almost all of the more expensive books-and unfortunately there are several in this set. The vast majority of our books are first or second highest graded with 24 single highest graded examples, but we are miles away from completing it. We nevertheless currently top the registry, I am not sure why?

DC Silver Age 1st Issues: We have never specifically targeted these books, but currently own 15 of the 20 books in the set and top the registry. We don’t collect any of the titles of the issues we are missing, so completion seems unlikely. 

Detective Comics (#200-300): This set is currently just 56% complete, but leads the Registry. Finishing it will be a bear, as these are really hard to find in high grade and we have lowered our minimum grade to 8.0 to try to fill some slots. I have thought about just junking this one, but we do have 25 single highest graded issues in this one, so there’s a lot of quality, just too many holes.

Kirby Fourth World: A favorite of my son, this set is 63% complete and a distant second in the Registry. We would like to complete it, but it’s not a high priority, at least not currently. 

Metamorpho: We have 23 of the 41 books in this set, and have targeted eight other issues from the Silver Age. As of August 2023, our set tops the registry, but by a very small margin that could change with one book.

Mister Miracle: All of our books are 9.8s, but this set is only 53% complete. As with Kirby Fourth World, we sit second in the registry. 

New Gods: Another short set where all our books are 9.8s, but we only own 12 of 19. Again, we sit second in the registry. 

Superman (#150-217): This abbreviated Superman set covers only the 12-cent issues and is a new addition to our collection. We currently own a little over two-thirds of the books, mostly first or second highest graded. While we top the registry, it’s only because almost nobody has registered their books in this one.

Other Sets: 

We also collect Brave and the Bold (#1-200), Captain America (#100-200), Marvel Tales, Marvel’s Greatest Comics, Rawhide Kid, Showcase, Strange Tales, Teen Titans, Two-Gun Kid and World’s Finest, although none of those sets are 50% complete. Of those titles, several of our sets top the registry, but really should not and hopefully won’t if CGC introduces a percentage of completion component to the registry: Detective Comics (#201-300), Marvel Tales (1964), Marvel’s Greatest Comics, Rawhide Kid, Showcase (#1-64), Showcase (#1-104), World’s Finest (#71-121) and World’s Finest (1941). We also top the registry currently in some extended sets that we are not attempting to complete. Again, hopefully CGC will adjust the set scoring to move us down in those.

Highlights of Our Collection: 

As far as our best sets, in terms of points it would be the Jack Kirby cover set and the Marvel-Super Hero Comics (1961-1965) set, both of which garner over 3 million points and feature multiple titles we collect. Completing the Kirby set for anyone would probably be impossible and is certainly not a goal, as the set contains numerous titles covering multiple genres. Completing the Marvel Super Hero Comics set would be a far more attainable goal, as we are almost 90% there currently. But it would most certainly necessitate us buying some lower grade books, as the ones we lack, in particular the early Hulks, are currently beyond our means financially, at least in higher grades. 

As far as single titles, our ASM (#1-100) set takes the cake in terms of registry points, but it’s nowhere close to the potential maximum points based on the current census. In terms of completeness, rarity, and as close to perfection as possible, I think it’s probably between our Flash (#105-350) and JLA (#1-100) sets in collections containing at least 100 books. Both sets are complete with over 90% of our books highest graded examples in the census and no low grade, qualified or restored examples. Both collections also feature numerous single highest graded books. The Flash set has only one book that’s not at least second highest graded in the census (our Showcase #4 9.2), while the JLA set has none. As to shorter sets, our Atom collection is pretty special as 47 of the 48 issues are highest graded examples, 18 of which are single highest graded.

As far as individual issues, here’s a list of some personal favorites that we have acquired over the years:

ASM #1 9.4
ASM #3 9.6 Pacific Coast
ASM #7 9.8
ASM Annual #1 9.6
Aquaman #1 9.8
Aquaman #2 9.6
Aquaman #35 9.8
Atom #1 9.8
Avengers #2 9.8
Avengers #4 9.6
Avengers #7 9.8
Avengers #16 9.8
Captain America #100 9.8
Captain America #117 9.8
Captain Marvel #1 9.8 Western Penn
Daredevil #1 9.6
Daredevil #7 9.6 Pacific Coast
DC 80-Page Giant #1 9.8 Pacific Coast
Detective #298 9.6
Doctor Strange #169 9.8
Fantastic Four #2 9.6 White Mountain
Fantastic Four #4 9.6
Fantastic Four #5 9.4
Fantastic Four #17 9.8
Fantastic Four #45 9.8
Fantastic Four #48 9.8 Signature
Fantastic Four #49 9.6 Pacific Coast
Fantastic Four #52 9.8 Pacific Coast
Fantastic Four Annual #1 9.8
Fantasy Masterpieces #1 9.8 Pacific Coast
Flash #105 9.4
Flash #106 9.6
Flash #123 9.6
Green Lantern #1 9.4
Green Lantern #2 9.6
Green Lantern #3 9.6
Hawkman #1 9.6
Hawkman #2 9.8 Twin Cities
Incredible Hulk #102 9.8
Iron Man #1 9.8 Rocky Mountain SS
Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 9.8
Journey Into Mystery #83 9.2
Journey Into Mystery #84 9.4 Signature
Journey Into Mystery #85 9.6
JIM Annual #1 9.8
Justice League of America #1 9.6
Justice League of America #9 9.8
Justice League of America #21 9.8
Metamorpho #1 9.8
Showcase #4 9.2
Showcase #8 9.2
Showcase #9 9.2
Showcase #10 9.4
Showcase #22 9.0
Showcase #23 9.4
Showcase #30 9.4 Bethlehem
Showcase #34 9.6 Western Penn
Showcase #35 9.8 Western Penn
Showcase #37 9.4
Showcase #59 9.8 Pacific Coast
Silver Surfer #1 9.6
Spectre #1 9.6
Tales of Suspense #40 9.6 Western Penn
Tales of Suspense #41 9.8 Pacific Coast
Tales of Suspense #50 9.8 Pacific Coast
Tales To Astonish #35 9.6 Western Penn
Tales To Astonish #36 9.8 Western Penn
Tales To Astonish #44 9.8 Northland
Tales to Astonish #49 9.8

While many of the books above are single highest graded examples, not all are that valuable, just rare. Notably absent from our list are several #1 issues of titles we collect, where our examples are restored or qualified. As mentioned earlier, ours is an atypical collection for a large collector, if you could generously call us that, in that we have never spent six figures on any individual book. Rather, we have chosen to make some compromises in our collecting and have often opted for completing sets over an emphasis on highest graded keys. I don’t think it was the wisest choice financially, but we have still managed to acquire some rare books, even if they aren’t auction headliners. The strength of our collection is completeness and uniformity of grades. With enough money, one could quickly assemble a more valuable collection than ours, but it has taken countless hours to complete so many collections in high grade.

I should note that, while we have long been the leader in the clubhouse in terms of overall registry points since Doug Schmell sold his books in 2012, we fully realize that we hold that distinction only because some of the real heavy hitters in comic collecting have never registered their collections here, like the legendary Tom Brulato. We are under no delusion that ours is the best comic book collection in the world, but it does represent pretty much a lifetime of collecting and is the best we could do with the resources and time we have. 

Our Collecting Goals: In truth, we collect too many titles, as finishing all the sets above is certainly beyond our means financially. Collecting so many titles does, however, always give us books to target and allows us to be a little more disciplined buyers, as if we miss one book, there is always something else. Nevertheless, eventually we may crash some of our sets to raise funds to finish others or upgrade the restored or qualified books in our collection. My son and I often speak about which titles to sell, problem is, we seem to never agree on which ones to jettison, it’s almost a Sophie’s Choice. So, for now, we are concentrating on filling empty slots in priority collections and hoping to win the lottery. 

To date, we have primarily been buyers and have never sold a completed set, although that could change soon, as we are currently running out of shelf space in our library. We have, however, sold many books to finance new purchases, as we are always juggling finances. We have also from time to time traded books to acquire books from other collectors. 

Our primary collecting focus currently is completing our sets of DC 80-Page Giants, Detective Comics (#301-400), Metal Men, and Thor (#126-177), all of which are somewhere between 75%-99% complete. It’s not a goal we expect to complete anytime soon, as you have to both find the missing books and, of course, pay for them and we have not seen some of the missing books for years. We also sometimes chase upgrades to our favorite titles, although less and less of late, and are always selling second copies. 

Generally speaking, we try to focus on books that rank first or second in the census. While the number is constantly moving up or down, often to our great dismay when a long coveted book for which we sacrificed financially is bested, as of September 2023 we owned over 450 unrestored universal label books that are single highest graded in the census. Although we much prefer unrestored books, as mentioned above, we do own a few high-grade restored examples when the unrestored copies of a particular issue are prohibitively expensive in high grade. And while Marvels are our first love, we do like many of the DC covers, which is really what CGC collecting is about-after all, you can’t read a book encased in plastic. 

Our Thoughts on the Registry: We realize that there are differing opinions out there among collectors as to whether or not to register a collection. There is a chain of thought that doing so just makes finishing a collection more expensive, as it motivates other collectors or dealers to overcharge or bid you up if they know which books you need. I can see the logic there and have gone back and forth, some years obscuring our collections and at other times making them public. 

There are also privacy issues, which undoubtedly keep some collectors off the registry. While I appreciate being contacted by new collectors, you do attract some jerks when you register your collections and make them public.

Currently, we make public our completed sets and those that top the registry, all of which are 100% accurate. We obscure our other sets and, admittedly, I can’t guarantee the accuracy of such obscured sets, as we don’t always delete books when we sell them, but rather prefer to wait until those books are registered in case we want to commence a dialogue with the buyer.

Let’s Make a Deal: We much prefer private deals to auction buys or sales because of predictability. When one is operating on any semblance of a budget, which we always seem to be, it’s much easier when you know what you are paying or receiving upfront. I have especially soured on sending books to auction, for reasons I am happy to discuss if you have a couple of days LOL. 

We have done numerous deals with other registry members through the years and never encountered any problems. If you are interested in selling any high grade examples of books we collect, drop us a line. Similarly, if you are looking for any books we collect, we may have duplicates available, particularly with DCs. If you drop us a line, we will try to get back quickly. And even if there is no current match, we always enjoy talking comics with other passionate collectors. 

Happy collecting to all! 

2024 Update: 2023 was a rough year on the collecting front, as we lost another good friend of many years, Mark Arrand, who lived in the UK and who I met through comic collecting and have exchanged e-mails and calls with for many years. I will sincerely miss not just his friendship, but the guidance he gave me in the collecting front. Mark had been doing this far longer than I and once owned many of of the top SA books and sets in existence.

On a lighter note, the most exciting thing that happened in our collecting world this year is that we devoted the room over my 3-car garage to our comic collections and had a group of local carpenters build 100 drawers designed specifically to hold roughly 40 CGC books per drawer. Each drawer has a glass front where we can display one comic, so it works as both storage and display. The room is over 30 feet long and features 8 large cabinets of furniture grade drawers with additional comics and comic art hanging on the walls. I’m not sure it will enhance the resale value of the house, in fact, I am pretty sure it may have the opposite result, but it’s certainly the ultimate man-cave.



    

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A

Set Type NameSet NameDescComic Count% CompletedScoreRank
Adventure Comics #431-#440 Spectre Later Spectres Synopsis: This is a complete s (...) 101004080 1
Amazing Adventures #1-#10 (1970) Unnamed set - 123571 5502320
Amazing Spider-Man #1-#25 Mudcats’ First Spideys Synopsis: This is a set contai (...) 26100752450
Amazing Spider-Man #1-#74 (12 Cent Issues) Mudcats’ 12-cent Spideys Summary: This is a complete se (...) 74100885687
Amazing Spider-Man #1-#100 A few dups 9285363291
Amazing Spider-Man #1-#100 Mary Jane's a 9.8 Synopsis: Our set contains all (...) 1081001730519
Amazing Spider-Man #1-#100 Spidey Dups A few duplicates we have upgra (...) 474398474
Amazing Spider-Man #1-#100 Unnamed set - 146623 7618164
Amazing Spider-Man (Complete) LEGACY Just the early issues for now 108111727586
Aquaman (1962) DC’s Namor Synopsis: We currently own cop (...) 6310077070 1
Aquaman (1962) More Underwater Adventures 386030010
Aquaman (1962) & Showcase #30-#33 Raj’s Alter-Ego Synopsis: This is a complete s (...) 6710097505
Aquaman (1962) & Showcase #30-#33 Unnamed set - 130409 446548411
Atom #1-#45 More Tiny Titans 387959970
Atom #1-#45 The Ultimate Atom Collection Synopsis: This is one of the b (...) 48100101010
Avengers #1-#100 Avengers Outcasts 5959137163
Avengers #1-#100 Not Emma Peel's Gang Synopsis: This is a complete s (...) 100100302936
Avengers #1-#100 Unnamed set - 61737 262629513
Avengers #1-#250 Mudcats’ Silver and Bronze Avengers We have started adding the boo (...) 15858311183
Avengers #1-#250 Unnamed set - 155410 6022130438
Avengers #1-#503 A Very Incomplete Set Just decided to register my bo (...) 14125304552
Avengers #1-#65 (12 Cent Issues) Mudcats’ 12-cent Avengers This set is just a sub-set of (...) 65100269923 1
Avengers #92-#200 Later Avengers This is not a set on which we (...) 655819645
Avengers (Complete) LEGACY Hardly A Complete Set Again, just the early issues f (...) 13913302192 1

B

Set Type NameSet NameDescComic Count% CompletedScoreRank
Batman #101-#200 I’m Batman Synopsis: Our set contains 75 (...) 7574114582
Batman #101-#200 Unnamed set - 165318 131217325
Batman (Complete) LEGACY Batman Silvers Synopsis: This is a starter se (...) 798113882
Batman (Complete) LEGACY Unnamed set - 159027 17122819
Brave and the Bold #1-#200 Just the Superheroes Synopsis: This is not a set we (...) 603090072
Brave and the Bold #1-#200 Unnamed set - 146625 14717188
Brave and the Bold #28-#30 Unnamed set - 162573 310042280

C

Set Type NameSet NameDescComic Count% CompletedScoreRank
Captain America #100-#200 Silver Caps Synopsis: This is a starter se (...) 323140112
Captain America #100-#454 Mudcats’ Cap Starter Set Synopsis: This set is a contin (...) 381040952
Challengers of the Unknown Unnamed set - 155150 12138520

D

Set Type NameSet NameDescComic Count% CompletedScoreRank
Daredevil #1-#157 A Not So Courageous Set 6238126934
Daredevil #1-#157 DD Dups 251523772
Daredevil #1-#157 I Wear My Sunglasses At Night Synopsis: This is a complete s (...) 162100237043
Daredevil #1-#157 Unnamed set - 146526 634764
Daredevil #1-#310 More Blind Man Adventures For the most start, our collec (...) 16451238565
Daredevil #1-#380 A Blind Man Shall Lead Them Again, our set is really just (...) 16742240374
Daredevil #1-#80 The First Daredevils Synopsis: In terms of the CGC (...) 81100217277 1
Daredevil (Complete) LEGACY Really just the early issues for now With all the COVID down time, (...) 16327237535
DC 100 Page Books Unnamed set - 143060 12106180
DC Comics 1st Appearances (Silver Age) Unnamed set - 165880 12939717500 1
DC 52-Page Comics Unnamed set - 143061 481528735
DC 80 Page Giant DC Squarebounds Synopsis: Our set is currently (...) 859392857
DC 80 Page Giant More DC Giants 272923400
DC Comics Presents Unnamed set - 143139 54550
DC Silver Age Annuals Unnamed set - 158823 143500
DC Silver Age 1st Appearances - Oct-Nov 1956 Just Two Books Perhaps books should receive d (...) 57182367 1
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