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"THE BOOK" COUNTDOWN TO COMPLETION

The book on pedigree comics was a project started back in 2004 by Matt Nelson. At that time the book’s focus was to be on all pedigree collections, but with only back stories and limited coverage of data analysis. In 2006 Matt partnered with Stephen Ritter, who had considered writing a book on pedigree comics himself. At this point, with the help of CGC president Mark Haspel and West Stephen, the scope of “The Book” was expanded considerably to include in-depth analysis of each collection’s CGC grades and sales reports based on GPA and Overstreet data. Due to the much larger size of information offered for each collection, it was decided the pedigree book would be broken into two volumes, the first covering Golden and Atomic Age collections, and the second Silver and Bronze Age.

Stephen and Matt began gathering stories from collectors and dealers involved in the discovery and disbursement of each Golden Age pedigree collection from the past 40 years, and completed 15 of the 45 stories in short order. Famed graphic designer Arnie Sawyer, known for his layouts of the popular Skybox Marvel trading cards and numerous comic company logos in the hobby, joined the team around this time. With Sawyer’s talent, the book took on a professional sheen that separates it from many prior reference books published in the hobby.

In March 2008, Ritter retired from the Air Force and partnered with Nelson to form Worldwide Comics, which has since become one of the pre-eminent vintage comic book businesses in the hobby. This “side project” absorbed most of their free time for the next two years, considerably slowing the progress of The Book. After establishing Worldwide, Nelson and Ritter picked up work on the pedigree book in earnest October 2010, with the intention of finishing it late 2011.

As of now, 24 stories remain to be finished:

  • Bethlehem
  • Cape Cod
  • Carson City
  • Chicago
  • Chinatown
  • Cosmic Aeroplane
  • Crowley
  • Church
  • Eldon
  • Hawkeye
  • Henschel
  • Kansas City
  • Napa Valley
  • Northford
  • Pennsylvania
  • Recil Macon
  • River City
  • Rockford
  • San Francisco
  • Selkirk
  • Toledo
  • Vancouver
  • Van Buren
  • White Mountain

All CGC and GPA data has been obtained through January 2011, and the original lists for 26 of the collections unearthed. This data constitutes a large portion of legwork for the book, and cross-comparison of the data reveals hard truths about each collection, and how they compare to each other. Which collection exhibits the highest average grade? Or page quality? Which is the biggest, and which is the smallest? What are the most valuable pedigree collections? What years, companies and genres did each collection span? How many Gerber 8's, 9's and 10's are contained in each collection? How many '30s collections are there? What are the average multiples of guide paid for each pedigree in each grade? "The Book" will dispel many rumors and misconceptions that have formed over the decades, and provide collectors with an indispensable guide to collecting (and even discovering) the most famous and popular vintage comic books in the world.

Stay tuned for updates as Matt and Stephen work towards completion of the book. Progress will be posted periodically on the official CGC form thread found here.

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