In the world of comic books there is one thing that totally baffles me. Graded comic books.
Don't misunderstand me. I know what they are and don't need explanation of the grading process. That I get. I don't understand the reason why people do it. "It increases the value, and preserves it at that level of quality for all time..."
Relax dude. I understand that too, but what I don't understand is the appeal behind it. You have a hard to find issue, a "holy grail" or "unicorn" of a comic book, you get it graded and BOOM! Sealed forever, you can never read it again.
Or, let's say you find an already graded, hard to find issue that you have been looking forever for. You pay WAY TOO Much money for it, and now it gets to sit on a shelf or in a long box where no-one gets to read it, appreciate it and enjoy it.
"...well I can just download a digital copy and read it there...."
BUT WHERE IS THE JOY?
I guess I am a very practical and tactile person. I like to hold the book in my hand. Smell the pages as they turn. Leaf through the artfully mastered pages and experience the plot developing with every page turn. "Old Fashioned" might be a term one would use.
Look, it is my experience, that graded comic books, largely en masse', are an excuse for store owners and booth dealers at Conventions to ridiculously drive up the price. Even on Amazon and Ebay this occurs. I saw a copy today, of "The Walking Dead #1 Monthly" CGC rated 9.8 being listed for $3,600.00!!!
That is OUTRAGEOUS! Talk about scamming people! At convention, where all prices are usually jacked up anyways, I saw a 9.3 CGC TWD #1 (The same darn book) go for $1,300.00
I get the preserving the book and posterity, blah blah blah...but Price gouging like this pair of clown shoes above; is disgusting. Using a "Graded Book" as the reason to jack up the price is morally wrong. Not that I think that this person is losing any sleep over it. Scum bag. The sad thing is, PEOPLE PAY IT! It blows my mind! Especially, when they buy a graded book they can never read unless the crack it, and "decrease the value".
People are going to continue to get books graded, I'm never going to stop that. I realize this. I just personally want to have the book in hand. I can read it whenever I want. My son can read it. His son and so on.
Certain books that I have read, I can tell you everything about what was happening and going on in my life when I was reading that book. Sites, smells, where I was in the world... I don't get that same experience with digital print. Probably why the concept and appeal of graded comic books eludes me.
Like a creepy old collector, cackling in his dimly lit study polishing his trophies and then putting them back in his vault never to be seen by mankind again. It is for him and him alone. That is how I view graded books. Where as a museum, the books are preserved, and available for all to enjoy for future generations. You can't enjoy it, if it is sealed up and locked away.
Just some food for thought, I will leave you with a conversation from Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer between Giles, her watcher (played by Anthony Stewart Head) and Jenny Calendar, the Computer teacher (played by Robia LaMorte):
Jenny Calendar: Honestly, what is it about them that bothers you so much?
Giles: The smell.
Jenny Calendar: Computers don't smell, Rupert.
Giles: I know. Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a... it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible. It should be, um, smelly.
Season 1: Episode 8 "I Robot, You Jane"
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CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
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