10 Things About the 2000s that Wizard Forgot – Part One

This past Wednesday, I picked up the latest issue of Wizard, issue #219, which was billed as "The Decade Issue," and promised to celebrate the past 10 years of comics over the span of the somewhat thin magazine.  As I eagerly read through the articles, excited to relive the wonders and joys of the comic industry in the 2000s, I reached the end of the magazine and scratched my head.  That's it? Even though you had the requisite Joe Quesada praise, kissing up to Hollywood and celebration of Geoff Johns (hey, even we're guilty of that one), it still seems like some things are missing…

Now Wizard, I know times are hard and the magazine industry is getting hammered by this thing called the "Internet."  Hell, I may even be somewhat involved in the grand conspiracy to destroy printed media by helping to operate this fine website, but what you don't know about me is that I LOVE magazines.  Which is why I buy your magazine every month.  That said, I am sympathetic to your situation and am assuming that the things I felt you left out of this issue were because you were limited in pages you could print.  I'm sure, given an unlimited number of pages, you'd have included everything worth noting.  I thought you would have put these items that you left out of this issue on your website…but, well I know you're too busy promoting Jason Mewes appearing at your Anaheim Comic-Con there to actually put any compelling conent.  So here, let me help…

I've put together the list of 10 things that I thought Wizard left out of their "Decade Issue." If you're a Wizard reader, just print this web page out and staple it to the back cover of your magazine and voila' you'll have the complete picture of the 2000s.  If you're not a Wizard reader, well let me sum it up for you quickly: "Yay Marvel, Quesada and Bendis! Thank god Hollywood likes us! Geoff Johns is great! Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb are gods! We printed funny covers from Alex Ross!" That pretty much sums up the issue, so now that you're caught up let's begin shall we?

10 Things, Good and Bad, About the 2000s That Wizard Forgot – Part One


1. The Big 2 become the Big 3, then the big 4, then the big 5 and so on.
For the past 40 years, Marvel and DC Comics have been at the top of the comics industry, diving the fan base into two camps.  But the 1990s saw the rise of other publishers, most notably Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics, giving creators more options and fans more books to enjoy.  While the 2000s didn't really see any major change to the dominance of the top two publishers, the field of publishers behind them grew dramatically.  Joining the ranks of Image and Dark Horse were:

Oni Press – Oni has grown from an cute little indie publisher to a powerhouse with some insanely successful books and movie deals (See item #4 below).  Oni has firmed up it's catalog with the likes of Queen & Country, Scott Pilgrim, Wasteland and many other projects varying from monthlies to graphic novels, becoming one of the most unpredictable and exciting publishers in comics.

IDW Publishing – Rising to prominence with the success of 30 Days of Night, IDW has been gaining momentum by mixing licensed properties with creator owned work and becoming a quite interesting publisher taking on projects and risks that it seems like no other comics company would publish.  They've ended the year strong with one of the best graphic novels to date, Darwyn Cooke's Parker: The Hunter.

Top Shelf – Once a small obscure indie/underground publisher, Top Shelf has grown these past 10 years by producing quality alternative works, and most recently the source of some of the most promising talent in the comics industry with critically acclaimed creators like Alex Robinson (Too Cool),  Matt Kindt (SuperSpy, which to be fair WAS mentioned in this issue of Wizard) and Jeff Lemire (Essex County Trilogy).  Throw in The Surrogates, an awesome series that made the jump to movies and Alan Moore's new home (Lost Girls, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and Top Shelf has become a force to be reckoned with.

2. The Next Generation of Creators
Wizard spends an awful lot of time singing the praises of established creators of the 2000s like Jeph Loeb, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Adam Kubert, Ed Brubaker and many others, which I completely agree with in terms of their greatness, but let's be honest – most of them have been around since the 1990s.  But what's gotten me most excited for comics in the past 10 years have been the creators that broke through in these past 10 years like Rick Remender, Tony Moore and Jerome Opena on Fear Agent; Jonathan Hickman and anything he touches like The Nightly News and Pax Romana; editors turned creators like Pete Tomasi who is consistently delivering quality work in the likes of Green Lantern Corps; the epic work of Robert Kirkman who already seems like an industry vet despite breaking through within the past 10 years on the back of Invincible and The Walking Dead.  I could go on and on, but if you ask me, the true story of creators in the 2000s was the ones we're going to be enjoying well into the 2010s

3. Indie Creators Move On
While I was surprised to see Wizard mention the ending of Dave Sim's Cerebus with issue #300 in 2004, but they failed to also mention that two other classic creator owned titles, Terry Moore's Strangers In Paradise and Jeff Smith's Bone, came to an end in the 2000s.  But what's even more compelling is that not only that those titles came to an end, but without missing a stride all three creators started on their next projects, and with great success.  Dave Sim continues to make you scratch your head (in a good way) with Glamourpuss, Terry Moore has taken a turn towards sci-fi/conspiracy thriller with Echo, and Jeff Smith crosses dimensions with a sci-fi/noir feel in RASL, proving that all three creators were not one hit wonders.

4. Scott Pilgrim Takes Over the World.

I was shocked that the words "Scott" and "Pilgrim" never appeared once in the entire Wizard "Decade Issue."  Bryan Lee O'Malley's little digest formatted comic published by Oni Press throughout the 2000s has become, in my opinion, one of the most important comics of the decade.  I've even gone as far as to call Scott Pilgrim the Harry Potter of comics.  When a new volume is released, it's an event and I've seen people lining up at comic stores waiting to get their hands on the book.  With a movie in the works and 5 volumes already in print, Scott Pilgrim is easily a story worth telling in the 2000s and could end up being one of the most important stories told from this past decade.


5. The Collector's Market Evolves
The 1990s saw a huge boom and bust in the comics as collectibles market, and Wizard was right in the middle of that with their price guide and unrelenting efforts at highlighting and celebrating comics as valuable collectibles.  What's interesting about comics as collectibles in the 2000s to me was the evolution of the collectors market. First we saw eBay move in and take over the back issue market, then we saw the emergence of the Certified Guaranty Company, who (with the help of Wizard) will grade your comic and then seal it forever in plastic so you can never enjoy it ever again but sleep soundly knowing it has a grade of 9.1.  Luckily for us sane people, the CGC has not become the standard, just another option for collectors who want to go that route.  But the most suprising trend in collecting in the 2000s was the emergence of the hardcover market, with limited print runs of Absolutes and Omnibus editions driving prices up ridiculously (like Grant Morrison's New X-Men Omnibus fetching over $300 on eBay).  I never would have thought that a reprint edition would then outprice some of the original issues of the comics being reprinted, but here we are.

Bonus! Here's some fun we had at the New York Comic-Con a couple of years ago, trying to open up a slabbed comic, and in the act, providing some commentary on what we think of slabbed comics:




And so concludes the first 5 things that Wizard left out of their Decade issue.  Tune in next Tuesday to see the next 5 things they forgot which include such wonders like the creator of the decade, the rise of new forms of media, and the changes that could spell doom for the entire comics industry (you'd think THAT would be worth reporting, wouldn't ya?)


  1. I haven’t purchased a Wizard in years. Did they include an entry for "Wizard becomes douches of Con Industry" ?

  2. Completely agree with #2.  They should be celebrating who came out  in the 00’s not who gained fame in the 00’s.

  3. I have the love/hat relationship with Wizard.  I have a subscription and I look forward to it each month.  I could go on forever about the good and bad of the magazine but I enjoy it.  Worst case, they do dumb lists and articles that pander to the lowest common denominator of comic book fans.  The fact that I read some would say I am that category.  But a few months ago they had a tremendous article on Bill Mantlo.  An amazing creator and writer who barely survived a hit-and-run in 1992.  it was an awesome piece and an example of what Wizard should be more often.

    Regarding their website I laughed out loud (LOL if you didn’t have time to read laughed out loud, and now you’ve read all of this wasting even more time) at Ron’s comment on them promoting Jason Mewes.  It’s on there right now.  Who the hell cares!?!?  Sure Jay and Silent Bob are funny I understand that you want to promote your Con, but Jason Mewes?  Wizard should have one of the premiere websites in comics, especially if they aren’t doing well as a Magazine, and its a joke.

  4. Pardon me while I run off to sign up for the Anaheim Comic Con.  Jay’s autograph will be mine.

  5. I debated spending the $6 bucks just for that SAWEET ASS Cassiday Cover!!! I luv my Astonishing X-men Trades


  6. I loved your article, I think the problem with printed media is that it’s lazy, they have know about the internet but all they have done is try and look the other way hoping it would just fade, Internet sites like Ifanboy thrive by creating new content and reinventing themselves as time passes, and making the reader part of the game not just talking down to us, kudos.

  7. Definitely agree with #5. The collector’s market has completely changed in very dramatic and mostly positive ways. Comics that are truly rare and collectible are worth as much as they’ve ever been worth, whereas issues that are easy to find are around cover price, almost always. On the other hand, there’s slabbing books for huge mark-ups…and if people are into that, then there’s that whole scene for them, on the side, where they don’t bother us and we don’t bother them. Unlike in the ’90s.

    Is Scott Pilgrim really that big of a deal, though? Look, I LOVE the series, but I wouldn’t call it the Harry Potter of comics. It’s a critical darling. We LOVE it when it comes out. But I don’t think it deserves recognition on the level of, say, Sandman or Strangers in Paradise in the ’90s. It does exceptionally well for Oni, but I don’t see it as being super-important…at least not yet (hope with the release of the movie it really does "go Harry Potter"). The only thing close to Harry Potter-level hysteria that I’ve seen in comics in the ’00s…was the renewed interest in Watchmen. Seriously, Watchmen is one of the most important stories of the ’00s.

    I disagree about the Big 3 becoming the (Not-Quite-So) Big 5, though. This was done in the ’90s as well. And those smaller publishers did just as well if not better in the ’90s. Companies like Chaos and Topps sold more comics in ’94-’97 than IDW sold in all of the ’00s. I think Top Shelf was just as big in the ’90s (with From Hell) than they have been in the ’00s. In the ’90s it felt like tons of indie creators could flourish with their own private companies. Jeff Smith’s Bone had Cartoon Books in the ’90s, for example–indies were even MORE prevalent. And don’t forget companies like Valiant and Malibu: there was already a Big 5 or Big 6 in the ’90s, PLUS all the little guys. That’s not to say that Oni, IDW and Top Shelf don’t make better and way more diverse comics than those ’90s companies did, but I don’t see how their rise in the ’00s is unprecedented. There were nearly-as-Big companies in the ’80s too (Eclipse, NOW, Disney). In the ’00s Marvel + DC = significantly more of the market share than in the ’90s, so I can’t see how ’00s was the "decade of the independents" or whatever in any way shape or form…

    What I think IS noteworthy is the prevalence of generally GOOD, thoughtful comics from all publishers. For the most part, the fluff this decade has been kept to a minimum. Even the crossovers are better compared to the ’90s.

    That ties into how we’re a more mature audience these days. The aging of the average comic buyer is a factor in all of this. THAT’s an important aspect of the industry now too. THAT’s imo THE industry story of the ’00s: the average comic buyer demographic turned 30 sometime in the early ’00s, and by the end of the decade the average comic buyer is about 35. That affected EVERYTHING. It affected what gimmicks we wouldn’t fall for–or fall for as hard–anymore, what trends and tropes we accepted, and what sorts of stories and storytelling we liked.

  8. Great start to the list, Ron.

    I’m just as happy about #1 as you are, but don’t forget about BOOM! Studios. Those guys came out of nowhere and are making some great comics. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but with the success of their kids line I’d imagine they’re selling as well as some of the others you named.

  9. I have a love hate relationship with wizard as well. I remember buying the first issue way back when. I was subscrber until about three years ago. I just couldn’t do it anymore some how they have managed to loose touch the very industry it claims to celebrate. The list in that article just drives that home

  10. I’d put Image becoming a good publisher up there as well (though you sort of have it). Their turnaround is remarkable.

  11. 1 thing I do agree with in this issue is the alternate cover that read:

    Spider-Man: Superhero of the decade!

    Quoted for truth!

  12. I think Robert Kirkman was mentioned in that issue, but your point is still valid. But I have to disagree with #1. As much as I love LOEG and Scott Pilgrim and Local (The best comic book of the decade), they don’t even come close to pulling off Marvel/DC numbers. The larger comic fandom has a Cape-fetish and this will be the death of the medium.

    Also, I know its a DC imprint, Vertigo should be considered one of the most important publishers of "independant" comics. Fables, Scalped, Y-The Last Man and the recent Unwritten are some of the best comics published in this decade.


    Which reminds me, the decade will be over in 2010, you philistines!

  13. @muddi900: Vertigo should never be considered an independent publisher.

  14. @muddi900: I realize that’s not exactly what you said, I’m just making the distinction.

  15. I can’t agree with #1, not because he isn’t wrong about how great those companies are…..But do all comic book readers know about Top Shelf or Oni Press? People probably know what Boom! is producing because of their Disney comics. Other then the hardcore fans, or just people that go on sites like this one, probably have no idea how many great companies outside of Marvel/DC/Image there are.

    Same goes for Scott Pilgrim, I can’t imagine the entire comic book fandom knows what that is.

    See I find that Wizard is both a ‘new read friendly’ and a ‘casual’ magazine. They don’t talk about the things we read/discuss on the internet and they don’t bother to talk about news outsite of the major companies. Wizard is just a place for new readers to come in and figure out what is going on in the more important spheres of the industries. It’s how I got started anyways, I read Wizard for a long time before I felt like moving on. Probably like that for a lot of people.

  16. Best thing about 00’s was Wolverine and Deadpool.  NOT

  17. It’s not just about numbers. It’s about the relative *success* of the publishers. Does anyone remember the 90’s, when comics publishers would come and go in the blink of an eye?

    At this point, Oni, IDW, and Top Shelf are making headway in bookstores, getting film deals, and demonstrating a staying power that didn’t exist in the 90’s. I think this is the decade in which these publishers have proven themselves.

  18. @daccampo: That’s all fine and I agree with all of those points.

    But again, this is not a in depth look in the comic industry. Wizard is, and always has been, a magazine to just pick up and/or be a place for new readers to buy. Most new readers don’t wanna hear about ‘random’ (in their minds, not mine) indie publishers. They wanna know what is going on with Marvel, DC, and MAYBE Image.

  19. They don’t? Most new readers to comics only want to hear about Marvel and DC? That’s unfortunate.

  20. @CONNOR: Yes but it has published some of the most important independant content this decade. More so than Image, Dark Horse or Top Shelf. That’s not undermining the importance of these publishers, but speaking, how many people would have read Y-The Last Man if it was published by Image. or The MF Grimm book. or many other.

    So in short, Vertigo has the reach of DC, but the "ethic"of Image/Dark Horse.

  21. I think they should include the information for all of the publishers, not just their advertisers.  The big reason being is that if I were a new reader I would want to know that there are more options than the "big two"

    I think new readers are different than readers 10-15 years ago when they could have cared less about anything other than Marvel and DC.  Most new readers I know don’t even start with either of the big two publishers anymore. 

    That’s the big reason why I don’t think Wizard is relevant anymore. 

  22. @josh: Hmmm I dont have a stat to prove me right. Nor do you have a stat to prove me wrong.

    Guess we’re both wrong in this case.

  23. How can I be wrong if I made no statement?

  24. I used to subscribe to Wizard and then the started devolving into talking more about the entertainment industry and less about comics. The straw that broke the camels back for me is when Cerebus, ended the didn’t do anything on it. I never read it, but it’s a huge milestone for a comic creator to see something through for that long.


  25. A new reader to Wizard probably doesn’t have a great swell of interest in things other than Marvel and DC, I think that’s a fair statement.  Look at the covers of that thing?  Plastered all over with hype, and exciting looking letters describing SUPER-HEROES!

    And on the spectrum of comics from "Mainstream" to "Independent", Vertigo is a dang sight closer to Indie than Mainstream, no matter who their big-daddy publisher is.

  26. @josh: Your assuming I’m wrong, so that’s how I read it. Sorry if I didnt get the gist of it.

    I do agree with the slabbing, god I had that system so damn much. I mean if you want to protect your comic then that’s your thing. But to go out in such a crazed manner to have a 10 point system to grade your comics…..That’s insane.

  27. Some great points. I’d quibble on #1 because the biggest of the small publishers, Image and Dark Horse, really got their foothold in the 90s. Yes there are a lot of other great, significant indie publishers with top talent, but that’s always been the case– First Comics, Eclipse, Mirage, Fantagraphics…

  28. hmmm… I have to wonder how much that Fathom might have sold for after michael turners passing, I mean it was a 9.8


  29. A slabbed comic is no longer a comic in the way that a butterfly pinned behind a glass display case is no longer a butterfly.

  30. Wait a minute. Hang on a second. There are still people out there in the world that actually buy Wizard Magazine? Willingly?

  31. I had dropped off of comics and would pick up Wizard every now and then. It wasn’t until a retailer at my LCS handed me issues of Sleeper and Y the Last man and that is what hooked me. If I, a new reader had read about more comics like that in Wizard then I would have looked for them.

  32. iFanboy = Wizard Magazine Killer. That’s 5.99 towards more comic books for me

  33. The best thing to come out of the "Comics Aughts" — Heidi MacDonald!

  34. Fun issue Ron.

  35. Would have thought Wizard would have something like "Yay Manga for getting more people to read comics" but maybe that’s too far out of their interest area?!

  36. As one of the purveyors of comic-related information on the internet, I was always curious as to what the iFanboy founders thought about “Wizard.” I used to read “Wizard” until very recently.  When I got back into comics I figured it would be one of the easiest ways to get a feel for the pulse of what’s what and who’s who in the industry, and I really didn’t trust internet sites (until I found iFanboy) because they just seemed glorified versions of Previews with their one-upmanship of being first to report something in 30 words or less.  (“News” blogs with their lack of fact checking turned me off to that.)  So I picked up Wizard, and what I found is half a magazine devoted to non-comics stuff, and when they did focus on comics, it was always Marvel and DC, unless some independent publisher managed to parley one of their titles into a successful film (e.g., “30 Day of Night”).  Every month I would force myself to work my way through “Wizard” until I could breathe a sigh of relief at finally reaching their faux price guide and throw the thing out.  Their meaty articles and interviews are few and far between.  I wish there were some hybrid magazine of “The Comics Journal” and “Wizard.”


    Anyway, thanks Ron for expanding on what “Wizard” overlooked.  Like you said though, maybe if “Wizard” didn’t have word count limits or hack editors, this stuff might have made it in.


    1.    There are definitely more minor publishers that are making an impression on the comics industry now, but I just don’t think they’re as big as some of the minor publishers from the ‘90s, or even the self-published creators of the 20th century.  From what I hear from dealers, in my travels of the internet not actually visiting the shops, and what Diamond’s Top 100 lists confirm, is that it’s really only Marvel and DC and a few books from Image, but mainly just “The Walking Dead.”  It makes me think that iFanboy’s Pull Lists are the exception, not the norm.  If they were the norm, “Sweet Tooth” would be outselling “X-Force” hand over fist.  I think daccampo had a point about the relative success of recent publishers.  Let’s hope they stick around. 

    2.    I don’t disagree with your assessment, Ron, but to someone like me, who missed out on the ‘00s, Bendis, Brubaker, and Johns are new guys.  But that’s just me, and I agree if “Wizard” had wanted to do a better retrospective of the past decade, it should have focused on people like Kirkman, Hickman, et al.

    3.    I was glad that when I came back to comics a lot of the independent creators from back in the day had started new projects I could enjoy.  “Cerebus” was the last comic I read before I was out completely.  I think from ’97 to ’04, aside from “Stray Bullets” when it came out, “Cerebus” was the only comic I read.  It’s a shame, like ScottB said, that “Wizard” didn’t make more of a big deal about “Cerebus” ending.  Dave Sim was very important in the creators’ rights movement of the ‘90s, and the entire formation of Image could be laid at the doorstep of the work he and other self-publishers were doing.  But aside from Tom Palmer’s half-page articles focused on independent and self-published titles, when has “Wizard” ever really cared about non-mainstream stuff?

    4.    Scott Pilgrim – Only read the first one; it wasn’t my cup of tea, but if I was younger, I would have jumped all over it, especially with its pseudo-manga style art and format.  I think I have an innate aversion to fictionalized depictions of people in bands.  I don’t why, but it’s just a bias of mine.  I almost didn’t pick up “Young Liars” for that reason.

    5.    I’m so glad we’re beyond the speculators’ boom of the ‘90s.  That said, it makes it harder to sell off those single issues you don’t want so you can buy the trade.  I remember selling off some early “Sandman” issues for a fair chunk of change to buy most of the TPBs.  I also miss the days when I could buy a $25 book off some kid looking to buy money for fireworks for a quarter.  Ah, the good ol’ days.


    Looking forward to the next installment, Ron!

  37. @kodaiji: Your prefrence, or mine, to Scott Pilgrim is irrelevant to its influence. It has had immense crossover success, rivaling books by Marvel & DC. For example, the last volume came out in February this here and here’s the sales chart.


    Scroll down to the TPB/GN chart and you’ll see that Scott Pilgrim is 3 most selling book in the Direct Market, beating out the eagerly awaited All-Star Superman HC. And that does not count the sales through Amazon, B&N, etc.

    And thats why its surprising that wizard completely missed it. And that’s why Ron mentioned, noty just because he likes the book.


    Also, Dave Sim really shot himself in the legs with his actions out side comics, and sadly people only remeber that.

  38. @TNC: You’re wrong.

    Run with it.

  39. @Kodaiji – I’m also not a fan of Scott Pilgrim.  I’m glad others enjoy it and that is sells well, but I can’t see the appeal.  I thought I was the only one.

  40. @muddi900: You’re absolutely right that my opinion of "Scott Pilgrim" is irrelevant to its influence.  I just used Ron’s mention as a touchstone for me to describe my experience with it, which looking back was probably a bit off topic.  I do know that it sells like gangbusters, as you showed, because I know people who don’t even read comics that own those books.  "Wizard" was remiss in not mentioning that series’ impact on comics and fans.  

    I also think it’s sad that people only remember Dave Sim for his politics/beliefs and not his art or his efforts to help creators, self-publishers, and retailers. If I shunned everyone whose opinions were at odds with mine, I’d be friendless and have to cut our the majority of books, music, comics, TV, movies, and websites from my life. 

  41. I miss the Comic Foundry. I only read one issue, but it was fantastic

  42. @stuc I read through every Pilgrim book they had at the library 3 different times and still couldn’t get into it.  I just legitimately didn’t care for the book.  I stuck with it because of everybody’s love for it, figured something was wrong with me.

  43. I was doing a podcast on this earlier today and was singing the praises of Wizard for celebrating the last decade.  After reading this article, I can see where we’re coming from as to what Wizard missed out on.  Let’s be honest – Wizard still has its impact in pop culture, but is definitely a shell of what it once was.  I still pick it up though because I don’t like being glued to the computer all day to get my comic industry fix and I still feel Wizard has its relevance in that area. 

    I definitely think they should have added more impactful writers and artists to their lists of the last decade, especially when you consider Wizard at times had several articles at times listing who the "Young Guns" were that were going to make an impact.  Not that I’m saying we should just chuck Bendis, Morrison, Kirkman, and others off the list – it just seems odd that Wizard would hype these guys for so long through the years and not give them props here.  Guess we needed more ads for Wizard Cons 🙂

    And I’m not sure about Scott Pilgrim – I see a lot online of people praising the book, but don’t see (at least in NY) lines of people parading over book and comic stores for the newest volumes. I could be missing something, but that’s just my two cents.

  44. Again, Scott Pilgrim comes out once every year or so and people mostly buy it then.

  45. @ conor & muddi900:/ wouldn’t a more appropriate word for vertigo be "alternative" ( i hate that label, especially when applied to music )? but doesn’t it fit in this context as an alternative to the capes and cowls?

  46. @ mikegraham6 :/ i LOVED the comic foundry. i was sad to see it go. 

  47. That is indeed a stupid label, no offence. Then what is Top Shelf, Alternative Alternative Comics. And Fantagraphics must be so alternative they must be mainstream.

  48. That article was a blast to read Ron, thanks for writing it!!

    Man, to think I’ll only get the chance of anticipating a new Scott Pilgrim book once really bums me out :’l

    I read the entire series in like three days after Vol. 5 get Book of the Month honors and I read Vol. 1; I can totally see the label "Harry Potter of Comics" applying well to it 

    I only picked up one issue of the Foundry (the last one, with Bryan Lee O’Malley on the cover lol) but man was it a good one; I have really, really enjoyed reading it 

  49. Here’s the thing with grading guys, my two cents.

     I have my rare books graded when I go to shows, but they need to fit a certain criteria to be worth it. The most common books I get graded are the books I want signed. Anybody can print a certificate of authenticity on their PC now a days, there’s really very little long term credibility to COAs if you think about it. CGC has very strict guidelines for their signature program, and the label is sealed in the case with the book, making duplication or swapping the books impossible. If you are in the market for a key issue signed by Stan Lee, for example, Read the yellow CGC label and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Plus, when you get it done yourself, you won’t have to wait in line! (though you still can if you want to meet the creator)Though I have no intention of selling my graded books, I can rest easy knowing that if I ever had to, I can prove the signatures are real and get what they’re worth.

     I get the rare books grade, but I still have a reader copy. whether it’s a variant with a low print run that I picked up for the cover art (Aspen Civil War #1), or an old key issue that has historical and sentimental value to me but unfortunately hasn’t aged that well and wanted it protected (Avengers #4), I always have a reprint or reader copy for the book (CW 1 news stand/TPB, Avengers classic #4/ Avengers Masterworks/ TPB, etc). It’s not like I go out of my way to buy reprints just so I can slab my books ether. I’m sure we all have multiple versions of more than a few of our favorite books. How many people bought Captain America in issues, then picked up the Omnibus when it came out? Or read Watchmen in trade, then got the Absolute? I think we’re all guilty of that.

    Point I’m trying to make is: Those of us who get our books graded are not always money hording A-holes (though some are), most of us do it because we love the comics in our collections, and want to protect some of our best so that, hopefully our kids can enjoy them too.


    Here’s a side question for you all: Should the unthinkable happen and our present civilization is lost due to natural disaster, extreme climate change, or nuclear fallout, how would future civilizations learn of us? They could make educated guesses based on archeological discoveries, like we do now, but any books found would probably be unreadable. After a few thousand years computers probably wouldn’t work, even if they had a similar power source.  Ah, but a CGC graded comic would probably survive the test of time! Not only would they learn about our culture, but they’d probably think a few of us could fly too!


  50. I agree with the part on hardcovers near the end. Some freinds and I have recently finsished writing individual comic "wish lists". not so much for christmas but in our overall lives. My list has about thirty titles on them and they are almost entirely collected editions or thick trades rangeing from The Amazing Spider Man Omnibus to All Star Superman. I did a quick talley online after I was done and if I were to buy them(even with InStockTrades.com great deals*wink*) I would be close to ten grand deep. And as a lowly undergraduate student their is no way I could afford them. Not that I would want to buy them all in one fell swoop but you get the idea. But its nice to dream, and I’ll just have to take solace in my already abundant collection of trade paperbacks. *sigh*

  51. Remember when Fanboys collected Wizards and thought that crap in the bag with the magazine might be worth something??!!  Ahhh, memories.


    I no longer read Wizard mostly because magazines cost money now and promote waste when I throw them out of my bathroom later.  I do miss Wizard as a platform for unknown artists and the letters to editor section.  


    Unfortunately, the last time I picked up Wizard (The Secret Invasion Issue), I saw the same pic in the back from 1989 of Grant Morrison and Alex Ross once again topping the Artists list and I was like, " Ok, am I still in 1999??"  I don’t think so.  

     I admit that it was crucial when I was getting into comics and wanted to understand different titles, but now I just can’t read it anymore.  I found a stack of old ones a few years back in my Mom’s basement.  After skimming through a few and realizing Wizard was in a Bromance with Rob Liefeld, I hastily threw them out.

  52. I have a Fathom: Wizard Special Publication and the Top Cow Universe. [I bought it…you know… when I was a dumb kid and didn’t *cough* know any better.] I wonder what it’s worth?  Should it be slabbed? 

    Funny mini video guys, and about how I feel about speculation.

    Nice article Ron. 

    I suspect in the conclusion you’ll cover online e-comics ?

  53. @jfgn "iFanboy = Wizard Magazine Killer. That’s 5.99 towards more comic books for me "

    abso-lutely correct. I appreciate iFanboy’s opinions over Wizard 100%

    I read it for years. Dropped it. Never looked back.

    Wizards opinions are great when im taking a shit.

    Then i flush those opinions down the toilet.


  54. Which is better/worse:


    Wizard magazine or Comic Shop News? 🙂


  55. Ron – "creator of the decade" ?– eager to learn of your take on this, but not so eager to find out in this format – surely a decade-in-review type program is prime material for the video show? Would like to hear all of your perspectives on the decade, and among other things, who deserves the crown of creator of the decade.