I'm doing something a little different in this week's blog. I'm posting a press release from my buddies over at the CGC (Comics Guaranty Corporation). Steve Borock and I became friends back when I first started THE 3 GEEKS 10 years ago, and since then he has shown me such wonderful support and friendship and introduced me to Paul Litch and the other great people over at CGC. I know that I can always, ALWAYS, count on Steve at every show to have a warm smile on his face and, if we have the time, a beer or ten after hours.
Whether you like the CGC or not, you can't deny they've staked a claim in our industry. They've made their mark! One million marks to be exact....
THANKS A MILLION
Every CGC-Graded Comic Is Now One in a Million. Literally.
CGC is proud to announce that it has just certified its one millionth comic book. A 9.0 copy of Gold Key’s “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” Movie Comics (1970) submitted by collector and restaurant owner Bruce Horste from Canton, MI, has been officially recognized as the one millionth submission certified by the company in its eight-year history.
“This really is a monumental moment, not just for CGC, but for me as well! It is so important knowing that the hobby I have loved my whole life is now better, safer and much more fun, in part because of CGC” said Steve Borock, CGC President and Primary Grader. ”I remember back when Mark Haspel and I, looking at the CGC safe for the first time and seeing about 400 to 500 comic books, saying to each other ‘How the heck are we going to get all these comics books out of here in time?’ We both look back at that day and laugh, knowing that now all the Finalizers combined, grade about that many books in a day.”
Since its official opening announcement in 1999, CGC has experienced an increase in comic book submissions each year, expanding its grading personnel and staff multiple times to meet the hobby’s incredible demand for expert, impartial grading.
“This is insanity. CGC has certified one million comics? It feels like we did that years ago!” joked Paul Litch, CGC Senior Grader and Modern Age Specialist. “Seriously though, this is a huge milestone for all of us here at CGC and the collecting community as a whole. Shawn Caffrey and I have had a lot of fun working with some of the greatest publishers and creators in our hobby. Let’s also not forget the collectors we see at every city we visit during convention season. Without any of these hobbyists, CGC would not be here today.”
“Steve, Paul, and I are not only proud to be part of this from the beginning, but we are so very proud of all our employees that make CGC what it is today,” says Mark Haspel, CGC Vice President and Finalizer. “We feel privileged to have worked alongside them as well as with all the collectors and sellers in our hobby for the past eight years.”
But now that CGC has reached this milestone, what do these numbers really mean? How remarkable is it really?
The process of CGC certification is not that of one or two hobbyists looking at a book, picking a grade and placing the comic book in plastic. It is a monumental task, done not just by hobbyists, but by professionals who love what they do.
The certification process starts the minute a comic book(s) arrives and is signed for at the CGC offices. It is processed by our receiving department and then labeled for grading. The only information that the grader will see is the label. This label will only have a barcode and the invoice number. When the comic book goes through the certification process, the only knowledge the graders have of any specific comic book is that which is on the label, to keep the submitters identify hidden throughout the grading and restoration detection process for reasons of impartiality.
After each book is carefully inspected by a restoration detection expert, pre-graders and finalizer, the comic is then assigned a grade and a label color classification. Any restoration detected is always noted on the label along with the grade.
The comic book then goes to encapsulation where two pieces of safety micro chamber paper are placed inside the front and back cover. Next the CGC label and comic book are placed in an archivally safe Barex inner well before being sonically sealed in CGC’s state of the art tamper evident holder.
Once an invoice has left encapsulation it enters “Q.C” (Quality Control), to ensure that each and every comic book is checked, before being safely shipped to the submitter in our specially designed shipping boxes.
With all this in mind let’s now take a look at the figures:
1,000,000 books certified in 8 years averages out to 125,000 books per year, that’s over 10,400 books per month, over 2600 per week! This averages 520 books per day, that are each looked at by a minimum of 3 graders! The lucky submitter, Bruce Horste, will receive a commemorative plaque and free Collectors Society membership, plus a $200 CGC certification coupon. The CGC crew and management, meanwhile, has been celebrating the achievement and is currently making bets on how long it will take them to reach two million certifications.