How to Window Bag/Prep Comic Books for Comic Conventions! A Step by Step Guide.

Greetings!

I’m here to tell you how to prep your comic books for comicons like San Diego Comicon or MegaCon or even the big New York Comicon as well!  Here we go:

Today we will window prep an Amazing Spider-man #1 for Stan Lee to sign! You will need: Mylite2 and Fullback, 1 exacto knife, 1 sharpie black marker, skinny blue painter's tape from the hardware store, and a small cutting board from a kitchen department store area like at Target or Walmart.

Today we will window prep an Amazing Spider-man #1 for Stan Lee to sign! You will need: Mylite2 and Fullback, 1 exacto knife, 1 sharpie black marker, skinny blue painter’s tape from the hardware store, and a small cutting board from a kitchen department store area like at Target or Walmart.

First you need a few tools:

Mylites2 and Fullbacks are recommended for absolute protection of your 9.8s and 9.9s. Ultro Pro works, but I suggest otherwise.

Mylites2 and Fullbacks are recommended for absolute protection of your 9.8s and 9.9s. BCW works, but I suggest otherwise. Do not use Ultro Pro.

An alternative to Mylites2 and Fullbacks, I would use BCW bags and BCW boards. No ultra pro. No way.

An alternative to Mylites2 and Fullbacks, I would use BCW bags and BCW boards. I do not personally like Ultra Pro because they bubble and wrinkle a lot.  This can cause problems possibly during the handling of your book.  This is only a personal preference however, do not let me scare you away from Ultra Pro.

 

Now you will need to place the fullback inside the mylite2 and slide the cutting board inside the bag/board:

Cut a hole where you want the signature to go:

Slide the cutting board out of the bag/board. Place skinny blue painter’s tape around the window you cut.

Double wrap the corners with 1″ pieces of skinny blue painter’s tape:

When placing blue painter’s tape at the top corners, be sure to place the tape below the flap line so it doesn’t get stuck when the grader is trying to remove the comic!

Write on the window box who you want to sign the comic book. In this example, Stan “The man” Lee:

When you slide the comic book in the bag/board, be sure to watch the bottom of the window against the bottom edge of your comic book:

On the opposite side, type or write on the backer board your name, address, phone number, email address. Seal the bag/board with only 1 peice of skinny blue painters tape for easy removal for the grader.  Tape or write your details sheet to the backer board that is slid inside the mylite2.

In the space provided below, write the year, title, publisher, and name of the comic book along with issue number. Write who you want to sign the book, and instruct what services you want provide. This includes any additional instructions, and fast pass, yellow label authorized signature witness, pressing, etc.

You have now finished prepping your book.
Good luck!

Of course, there are other artists, and other creators. Sometimes I feel the placement is just as important. This is how I prep all my J Scott Campbell books for his sweet Amazing Spider-man variants:

How I prep a J Scott Campbell book for his signature.

How I prep a J Scott Campbell book for his signature.

Stan Lee is getting older, and I’ve been told by some he needs more room to see where he signs. I frequently have asked for Stan Lee’s signature right on top of the THOR or SPIDER-MAN logos here:

Alternative method for prepping a Stan Lee signed comic book. Right across the top logo, plenty of space for him to sign. Good eye appeal, too.

Alternative method for prepping a Stan Lee signed comic book. Right across the top logo, plenty of space for him to sign. Good eye appeal, too.

One thing to mind is if you have tape overlapping the sides, protect the book behind it! It might not even be your book!

Do not allow tape to overlap the sides of your book! It will harm the book behind it possibly.

Do not allow tape to overlap the sides of your book! It will harm the book behind it possibly.

So use an extra piece of tape and wrap that bad boy all the way around the sides so there is NO TAPE STICKINESS on the opposite site of your book:

Double wrap any tape hanging off the sides!

Double wrap any tape hanging off the sides!

Sketch covers. What if you want a sketch? Or, better yet: What if you have like 5 people you want to sign your book? Make a BIG WINDOW!

Large window bag prep for a sketch cover book or multiple signatures. This is a good method if you absolutely don't care where your signatures go.

Large window bag prep for a sketch cover book or multiple signatures. This is a good method if you absolutely don’t care where your signatures go.

There are drawbacks, however. If you make the window too big it can bend outwards and defeat the purpose of protecting the edges of your book. Try not to make it too big. If so, double tape it with overlapping strips:

A window bag that is too big can bend outwards so double tape if this happens.

A window bag that is too big can bend outwards so double tape if this happens.

Example of a sketch cover in progress inside a large window bag prepped comic book.

Example of a sketch cover in progress inside a large window bag prepped comic book.

 

I’ve been given some sneak peeks at some books from my convention facilitator, Matt Saltzman from Trinity Comics Convention Facilitator Services. Check them out, look! This gives you an idea what they look like before getting sent off for grading with CBCS and CGC:

1991 DC Comics BATMAN #563 High Grade Newsstand Edition Early cover art by J Scott Campbell. Probably the only Batman cover before DKIII

1991 DC Comics BATMAN #563 Early cover art by J Scott Campbell. Probably the only Batman cover before DKIII

Mirage Studios Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7 Second Printing, very rare Ultrom cover art by Kevin Eastman.

Mirage Studios Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7 Second Printing, very rare Utrom cover art by Kevin Eastman.

Amazing Spider-man #607 J Scott Campbell Variant Cover art of Black Cat

Amazing Spider-man #607 J Scott Campbell Variant Cover art of Black Cat

Marvel Comics Thor #109 So this can happen too. Fair warning. Stan doesn't always read where he should sign.

Marvel Comics Thor #109 So this can happen too. Fair warning. Stan doesn’t always read where he should sign.

Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #601 Mary Jane cover art by J Scott Campbell, beautifully signed in gold sideways. This is a high grade Newsstand Edition, by the way.

Marvel Comics AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #601 Mary Jane cover art by J Scott Campbell, beautifully signed in gold sideways. This is a high grade Newsstand Edition, by the way.

 

Amazing Spider-man Mary Jane cover by Adi Granov

Amazing Spider-man Mary Jane cover by Adi Granov

New Mutants 100 signed by Fabian Nicezca and Rob Liefeld

New Mutants 100 signed by Fabian Nicezca and Rob Liefeld

Jennifer Blood Risque Topless Virgin Variant Edition, Signed by Tim Bradstreet and soon Garth Ennis

Jennifer Blood Risque Topless Virgin Variant Edition, Signed by Tim Bradstreet and soon Garth Ennis

Amazing Spider-man signed by Joe Jusko

Amazing Spider-man signed by Joe Jusko

Marvel Punisher Action Figure Variant Cover - Signed by Vincent D'Onofrio and Jon Bernthal

Marvel Punisher Action Figure Variant Cover – Signed by Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal

Commission by Chad Hardin, artist of Harley Quinn

Commission by Chad Hardin, artist of Harley Quinn

Amazing Spider-man Mary Jane as the Iron Spider, signed by Stan Lee, Alex Ross, and Dan Slott

Amazing Spider-man Mary Jane as the Iron Spider, signed by Stan Lee, Alex Ross, and Dan Slott

Machete movie poster photo variant cover, signed and sketched by Danny Trejo

Machete movie poster photo variant cover, signed and sketched by Danny Trejo

Back to the Future - Signed by Biff Tannen, Tomas F Wilson

Back to the Future – Signed by Biff Tannen, Tomas F Wilson

Star Wars 1 Luke Action Figure Variant Cover - Signed by Mark Hamill

Star Wars 1 Luke Action Figure Variant Cover – Signed by Mark Hamill

That should cover it! If you have any questions email me and I can refine the guide!

Thank you

KaptainMyke

 

THE GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE 1 of 1 Motorized Walking Action Figure Prototype in Box

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE 1 of 1 Motorized Walking Action Figure Prototype in Box

GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE

2017 TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Custom One-of-a-Kind 1 of 1
Unreleased Prototype Toy from the 1994 Playmates Toys Catalog
GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
New, with box featuring custom box art.
Created by Alvin Silvrants of Hits-Design in the Netherlands.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Giant Cyber Samurai Turtle Custom One-of-a-Kind 1 of 1

Previously Unreleased and Unauthorized Bootleg of a Prototype Conceptual Toy from the 1994 Playmates Toys Catalog

Commissioned by Michael Frederik Sorensen aka KaptainMyke, this one-of-a-kind concept prototype was first spotted by myself in the 1994 Playmates Toy catalog. I had to have it. I said to myself, “this figure has to be made!” So, I made it happen. I commissioned legendary Netherlands sculptor, artist and custom toy builder Alvin Silvrants of Hits-Design. www.hits-design.   I would recommend his quality and highly detailed craftsmanship to anyone I know. I am proud to add this figure to my legendary TMNT Collection.

Sealed, new in box.   Completely original packaging and box art courtesy of Alvin Silvrants of Hits-Design.  Playmates Toys Custom Netherlands Release, not a licensed real Playmates Toys figure.  I rarely seek bootleg figures or desire unauthorized toys. When you see a toy figure of this caliber and detail, you cannot resist!  The figure has real walking actions, laser sounds and talking sounds! The laser pistol, eye visor and stomach cavity all light up with bright flashing red laser lights!  Also included is original sketches, conceptual art, top secret build photos, notes, and a certificate of authenticity from Alvin, that states this is the first ever figure made by him and it is 1 of 1.

  • Giant 12″ Hand painted Motorized Walking Action Figure
  • Stock # 3405 as featured in the 1994 Playmates Toy Catalog
  • Custom box art design
  • Original sculpted head
  • Motorized Walking action
  • Laser pistol with working firing sounds and lights
  • Swivel turtle mounted machine gun turrets on both left and right shoulders
  • Swivel turtle mounted machine gun turrets on both left and right knees
  • Left hand features working grabbing hand
  • Includes mutating 2.5″ baby turtle that transforms into Ninja Turtle co-pilot featuring 2 sai weapons
  • Shell cockpit control center
  • Gold paint
  • Purple Metallic Pearl paint on body and weaponry
  • Working blast sounds with talking voice and red lights on eye visor and torso
  • Includes a detailed laminated original concept sketch by artist Alvin Silvrants
  • Includes a laminated original signed Certificate of Authenticity stating #1 by artist Alvin Silvrants
  • Includes a detailed art sketchbook with photos featuring the design and creative process
  • Encapsulated inside a custom measured 14″ acrylic case from Collectible Grading Authority, Inc. (CGA)
  • More photos can be found at www.kaptainmyke.com.
2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Light up action and Walking action

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Left Side of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Left Side of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Right Side of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Right Side of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Front of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Front of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Top of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Top of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Bottom of box art.

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Bottom of box art.

 

 

 

Scan of Original page from 1994 Playmates Toys Catalog showing the Giant Cyber Samurai Turtle

Scan of Original page from 1994 Playmates Toys Catalog showing the Giant Cyber Samurai Turtle

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Original certificate of authenticity by artist Alvin Silvrants

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Original certificate of authenticity by artist Alvin Silvrants

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Original concept sketch by artist Alvin Silvrants

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Original concept sketch by artist Alvin Silvrants

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE Instruction manual by artist Alvin Silvrants

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Instruction manual by artist Alvin Silvrants

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE

2017 GIANT CYBER SAMURAI TURTLE
Back of box art.

Alvin Silvrants information can be found at his website  www.hits-design.  You should look him up for his creative acrylic and oil paintings or commission him to do a custom action figure, or even illustrations for children’s books.  This guy is really talented and you should keep him on your radar in the future.  Thanks, Alvin!

SEE THE TESTING VIDEO RIGHT HERE: 

Collecting High Grade Newsstand Editions for Investing in Comics

Remember when you could go to the grocery store with mom and get a comic book?  Or maybe the pharmacy?  You could even go to these ancient bookstores called Waldenbooks or B. Dalton Booksellers and could buy a comic book off the spinner rack!   That was a long time ago.  If you are a comic book collector now, in 2017, you buy your comic books on ebay, an online retailer, or even at a local comic store. In almost 30 years, this is what happened to newsstand edition comic books:

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers

Newsstand Editions vs Direct Editions from Comic Retailers

Because of all of this, I would be mindful and watchful for any 1992 or newer newsstand edition comic books that feature a UPC bar code on the covers – especially if they are high grade. Specifically, any comics that are in a grade of 9.4 or higher and newsstand edition are selling for significantly more money than regular market value. Examples include Batman Adventures 12 Newsstand Edition, and any other modern day key issue book:

1993 DC Comics BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 Newsstand Ed. CBCS 9.4

1993 DC Comics BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 Newsstand Ed. CBCS 9.4

For earlier titles, there are exceptions to the rule. Some comics have the bar code on the back, like Marvel Comics Presents #72.   Any books post 2002 would have a UPC barcode on them no matter what now, but the difference is they all state “DIRECT EDITION”. You are looking for 2002 and newer comic books that have UPC Barcodes that do not show the words “DIRECT EDITION” in bold letters above or below the bar code.

Okay I broke down some maths. Let’s look at Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane.

1992 Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane

1992 Image Comics Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane

That’s a very publicly well known number having a 1.7 million copy print run in 1992. 15% of comics in 1992 were allegedly newsstand. 225,000 (1/4 million copies) I estimated the newsstand edition to be a 1:1000 ration of rarity. So 1:1000 is not accurate, that was hand grenade accurate. 32 is more accurate. I think it’s even more accurate to say it’s a 3:100. Or, 30 in 1000, if you will. That’s still a very low number. Still rare. But not even a 1:100.

In summary, here’s what you need to know about High Grade Newsstand Collecting for Investing:

  • High grade. 9.4 or higher is ideal. Pressing services for comic books helps greatly!
  • The years for comics in 1972-1990 doesn’t really matter. It was a 50/50 ratio split in distribution of direct editions over newsstand editions.
  • Search for comic books from the years 1990-2001 with UPC bar codes on cover.
  • Search for comics from the years 2002-2017 with bar codes that do not say “DIRECT EDITION”.
  • Newsstand Edition error or recalled books are also wise investments.

You can experiment with this with your own Spawn #1 Newsstand search terms on ebay.  Try it!  This is the new hunt, people!  Have fun! The only place where I can find modern day 2016-2017 newsstand edition comic books is:

  1. Barnes and Nobles bookstores
  2. Books-a-Million bookstores
  3. Wal-mart
  4. Toys R’ Us

Good luck!

Here are some examples of high grade newsstand edition rare covers of J Scott Campbell with his run on Amazing Spider-man. This is some of his earlier work, too:

Amazing Spider-man 476 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 476 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 492 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 492 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 493 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-man 493 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell-newsie-001

Amazing Spider-man 601 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell Very rare

Amazing Spider-man 601 Newsstand Edition Cover art by J Scott Campbell with rare $3.99 cover price.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

1991 Marvel Comics Marvel Comics Presents #72 High Grade Newsstand Edition, 9.4 1st Weapon X, origin, etc UPC Bar code is on the back of cover, unlike most newsstand editions from 1991.

2015 IDW Publishing Back to the Future #1 ZBOX Variant Cast Signed CGC 9.8

2015 IDW Publishing Back to the Future #1
ZBOX Variant Exclusive cover by Doug Chiang
The “Grays Almanac Cover”
Released on 10/20/2015, the same day Marty, Doc, and Jennifer travelled to the future in BTTF II
Cast Signed witnessed signatures
White Pages
CGC Graded Signature Series 9.8 #1504938002

Signed by Michael J Fox on 1/20/16
Signed by Christopher Lloyd on 6/4/2016
Signed by Lea Thompson on 6/4/2016
Signed by Thomas F Wilson on 1/7/17

The only way to obtain this extremely hard to find variant was to be a subscribing member of zbox for the month of OCT 2015, have the code on the card for the comic, and receive it safely in the mail from ZBOX.  I find this book to be extremely culturally significant and the hands that touched it.  One of the best trilogies ever made, hands down.  Thank you to those who made these films happen.  Bravo!

I am hoping to obtain signatures from:
Flea, Billy Zane, Elizabeth Shue, Bob Gale, and Robert Zemekis, and Stephen Spielberg.

If you guys or their managers are reading this, please sign these books if you ever meet my guy Matt from Trinity Comics Convention Facilitator Services.

2016 NECA 1/4 SCALE DONATELLO from the 1990 JIM HENSON Movie

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

I purchased 2 only because one source was taking over 2 months on pre-order when I bought another one directly from NECA’s ebay store. This one was opened to enjoy its immaculate detail and photorealistic likeness of the movies. NECA manufactured these quarter scale replicas to every single detail from the motion pictures. I am truly amazed at the quality and scale of effort put forth into making these toys for mass production. This is hands down the most detailed and high quality action figure I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Buy one if you ever have the chance!

Authentic 100% NECA North American Release, not an unlicensed imitation bootleg.

Very hard to obtain and purchase only when NECA does limited releases on their ebay store page. You can pre-order these figures from various online retail outlets but there is no guarantee you will get one in a timely manner.

 

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Full body shot posing with bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Full body shot posing with bo staff.

2016-2017 NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1/4 SCALE REPLICA from the 1990 JIM HENSON FILMS
DONATELLO

Comes with:
-extra pairs of hands, open, clutched, and thumbs up
-a slice of pizza
-a cannister of TGRI ooze
-bo staff
-cloth bandanna
-cloth ribbon ties for bo staff on shell
-removable wrist straps for changing hands
-inflated ego

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Action pose with bo staff over his shoulders

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Action pose with bo staff over his shoulders

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding a slice of his favorite pizza and giving a thumbs up to the camera!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding a cannister of ooze from TCRI labs.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding a cannister of ooze from TCRI labs.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding a cannister of ooze from TCRI labs.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding a cannister of ooze from TCRI labs.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding a cannister of ooze from TCRI labs.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding a cannister of ooze from TCRI labs.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff. Notice the veins in his hands and arms. Such detail and quality!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie holding his bo staff. Notice the veins in his hands and arms. Such detail and quality!

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie's face.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie’s face.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie's face.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie’s face.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello - Closeup of Donnie's face.

2016 NECA 1/4 Scale Donatello – Closeup of Donnie’s face.